So it was Tuesday, 24th July 2012 and on my way to work, I decided to switch off my phone because I never wanted to be bothered by any client on this day. After the usual morning briefings with my subordinates, I retired into my office chair watching GOOD MORNING GHANA.
Madam Ursula Owusu was a panel on the show and was asking why Ghanaians were not seeing their PRESIDENT and told the NDC member on the show to stop using old pictures of the PRESIDENT in their campaign commercials since Ghanaians wanted to see his new look.
After the show, I decided to attend to some office work that needed urgent attention and took a nap in my office sofa afterwards. I woke up at exactly 1:47pm after a call on my emergency line by an UNCLE who wanted to discuss business.
After this it was almost 3:30pm so I decided to watch the much talked about “showdown” between Betty-Mould and Kan-Dapaah at the Public Accounts Committee over the Woyome payments on GTV. After the chairman called proceedings to an end, I took my bag to step out and go home.
Just as I stepped out, my C.E.O. who is Chinese and doesn’t have command over the English language asked me “Nana you hear that Ghana Boss die”? I asked how he heard and his Chinese partner said “President Ghana dead”.
As confused as I was, I rushed back into my office and turned on the TV and changed to METRO TV and saw “PRESIDENT MILLS PASSES ON”
I was surprised that GTV never carried such a story because it had been running for almost an hour on other media platforms. I later realized that I hadn’t heard because my phone was off. So I immediately turned it on and stepped outside to call my driver to take me home. As I opened the gate, I was met with the most shocking site of an almost 13 year old girl ‘jubilating” over the news of the death of Ghana President Atta Mills
I called my driver, came into my office and my Boss asked me a question I never wanted to answer “Nana why people happy that Ghana boss is dead?”
Apparently all the Chinese on our premises were shocked that as they were coming to the office near the BABA YARA STADIUM, people were “jubilating” as some drivers were sounding their horns just because they had heard the news.
Then I received a call at last from a nurse friend who wanted to inform me of the news and this is how she went about it, “have you heard that your President is dead” and out of shock I told her, but he’s your President too. Her reply was; “not mine” and the conversation ended.
So I asked my driver and his friend why you could see people visibly happy and his friend told me “if in 2008 I sent my child to the hospital for free and as a mother has to pay 100 cedis now to seek medical attention for my child, I will be happy that he’s dead”.
I got into my car and headed for home and for once KEJETIA looked so quiet and nobody was really talking about the PRESIDENT’s death and it maybe could have been out of shock.
I got home at 7:
38pm just in time to witness the swearing-in of the new PRESIDENT and I must commend the state institutions for such a wonderful transition. After this was the news by TV3 where members of parliament were paying tribute to the memory of the Prof. Atta Mills.
What I heard from Hon. Kofi Jumah was bad. He said when he heard it he thought it was the usual joke and didn’t believe it. So I asked myself; so Hon. Kofi Jumah knew people were joking about the President been dead previously and never came out publicly to condemn it as a Member of Parliament?
Then came the most disgusting of all statements from Dominic Nitiwul who said “he was a good man and God-fearing because sometimes I intentionally provoked him so that he would reply but he never did and he was always calm and focused on his job”. If you care to know Dominic Nitiwul was the MP who said MILLS was wearing a ring from T.B. JOSHUA which he used to “charm” Ghanaians into voting for him in 2008 and gave him the name “SATANIC ATTA MILLS”
A lot of tributes poured in and his friends and opponents alike shared so many good sides of the man and never spoke ill of him. Then it was the turn of Mr. Ade Coker, the Greater Accra chairman of the NDC. He spoke to TV3 and he said “this was the most vilified President of all time. People insulted him and called him names but he never replied. Some were even insulting him just this morning on TV and just as he passed away, these same people are saying he was a good man, what kind of hypocrisy is this?”
So after that emotional speech by Ade Coker, I switched to Metro TV for Good Evening Ghana since I wanted to know all the facts about the PRESIDENT’s death and which better place than
Paul Adom-Otchere’s award-winning show.
The host paid the best tribute to the President when he brought into the studio a man from the University of Ghana to play the indigenous Ghanaian instrument “seprewa” to eulogize the President and a poet, Nana Asaase to round it up with a wonderful tribute spanning the whole hour the program lasted.
I must say it was difficult sleeping that night since I just couldn’t come to terms with the fact that Ghanaians woke up on 24th July 2012 with a President and ended the day with another President, also a JOHN.
I woke up on the 25th of July very tired since I couldn’t get much sleep and tuned in to JOY NEWS at 6 wanting to know if anything else had happened since I went to bed. It was the same old news of the President’s death and people saying how good a man he was.
I therefore tuned in to Adom FM’s “DWASO NSEM” because trust me, if you wanted in-depth news on this issue what better place than Dwaso nsem. The show’s host Adakabre is the all-knowing sort of presenter who will tell you things which happened even whilst you were asleep.
His first interviewee was a reporter of Adom FM who followed the Prof. during his campaign tours in 2008 and I must say he made me cry. He spoke about his encounters with the President and this particular one did strike me; “we were on the campaign tour during Christmas as the 2nd round of the 2008 elections was scheduled for 28th December. Prof. called all the Journalists on his tour and said he was sorry that people were having Christmas with their families and we had to sacrifice to follow him on his campaign. I’m really sorry he said and Prof. gave all of us our Christmas gifts”
He further said “Adakabre when Prof. became President and was going on his first trip to the UK, some of us were not part of his delegation since other Journalists sympathetic to the NDC were billed to go. However, with just a day before the trip, I received a call from KOKU ANYIDOHO that the President had instructed that those Journalists be dropped and those who were with him on the campaign trail be included instead.”
Another reporter of Joy FM, Seth Kwame Boateng was interviewed and he said he felt sick on the campaign trail with Candidate MILLS in WA and was admitted at the hospital. In the afternoon he was told he had a visitor and it was Prof. MILLS who was there. “He prayed for me and called me when we returned to ACCRA to periodically check how I was doing”.
President Mahama had declared one week of mourning and the NPP candidate NANA AKUFO ADDO had suspended his campaign to empathize with the President’s family and Ghanaians. I could sense the nation was ONE in mourning our PRESIDENT.
Afternoon came and the BALOTELLI of Ghana politics had done it again and this time in “OBI MAN SO”. President Rawlings was far away in Congo when he received the news and was interviewed by the BBC and what he said about MILLS even had opponents saying “aaaaaba Rawlings”.
He spoke on how the man was sick with cancer and how that affected his work and couldn’t work for more than 3 hours.
Rawlings, don’t you know custom demands you don’t speak ill of the dead? But who was surprised? It was Rawlings we were talking about here.
One thing came to mind when I heard the interview, Rawlings never had the opportunity to live with elders so he doesn’t know when to speak and when to keep mute. He wished he had the opportunity to follow the President to “ASAMADO” and say “you see that I was right and you were wrong”
Evening came and another bomb-shell, the NDC had “stolen a start”. According to opponents they had disrespected the President’s directive for one week of mourning by endorsing President MAHAMA as the leader of their party according to their constitution. I just knew this was good because it will bring out the hypocrites during this period and it did.
The politics had started again and the President’s death was a secondary matter. Ghanaians were once again resurrecting MILLS to kill him and his opponents who were saying he was a good man were now saying MILLS and MAHAMA “the value is the same”. They were now saying Mahama was part of the incompetent MILLS’ administration and so he will bring nothing new on-board and was just there to over-see to the payment of Judgment debts.
Oh ASIEDU NKETIA couldn’t you wait for just a week for MILLS to enjoy small? Were they really “greedy bastards” as Rawlings had said or were they just being patriots who respected the
constitution of the party they belonged to?
PART 3 answers these QUESTIONS.
By Austine Woode