Ghana: Re-Visiting the Death of the Professor

column

Accra — It is barely four months ago when he died. The pouring of grief and emotions at his demise created the impression that Prof. John Evans Atta Mills was a key player in our democratic experiment, and that it was impossible to forget about the man, sworn in on January 7, 2009, and declared himself to be the father of all.

Evidence subsequently emerged to give credence to the fact that Prof. Mills was more interested in seeking the welfare of the group of Ghanaians seeking protection under the Umbrella than the rest of society.

What is shocking is that barely three months after the body was laid to rest, everybody appears to have forgotten that the good old Professor ever lived. Top officials of the National Democratic Congress, who created an image of divinity about him, appear to have found a new God, in the Professor's understudy at the Castle.

With John Dramani Mahama providing all manner of resources for those who claim to believe in him, the good old Professor's ghost appears to have been exorcised from the scheme of things of this country.

As a friend and kinsman, the circumstances of the death of the good old Professor has been a source of worry to me, in spite of the fact that I was not considered a favourite of the kind of administration he headed, with Communications Director Koku Anyidoho, behaving like the play-ground bully.

When the good old Professor visited his ancestors in circumstances that make it difficult to pin-point the exact cause of death, the natural thing was for this administration to investigate the circumstances.

A day before the former President's death, an official letter was written to the Speaker of Parliament informing the House that the deceased Head of State was to visit Nigeria on the day he died.

Meanwhile, we are told by no mean a person that the sitting President that a day before Prof. Mills visited his ancestors, he was so visibly ill that he could not leave the residential quarters for his office.

If it were so, why was the letter written, informing members of the House that our President, who was terribly ill, was going to confer with Nigerian leader Goodluck Jonathan? What was the essence of that letter?

I am not a conspiracy theorist. But I am getting the impression that there is more to the sudden death of the former university don than we have been told. I do not intend to re-visit the many articles and conjectures I have deduced from the President's sudden death, as he was portrayed as a very fit person and to discuss his health status was tantamount to treason.

I have been unimpressed by the profligate expenditure marking his burial. The moment the official brochure announced that the former President, who was prevented by those around him from being candid about his own health, left a message for Ghanaians promising to intercede on behalf of Ghana before Almighty God's own court, I knew there was something officialdom was hiding.

There was something unnatural about the President's death. The comedy surrounding the way and manner he was sent to the 37 Military Hospital lent itself to a number of unanswered questions.

I am told that Prof. Mills was buried without a death certificate. My Information is that doctors at 37 Military Hospital refused to sign the death certificate. When the late President was buried with all kind of mystical attributions, I knew something was wrong.

Apart from the statement in the official funeral brochure in which the ghost of the President is reported to have left a message for Ghanaians, promising to intercede with God Almighty, the bizarre extent that top officials of Government and party went to make the departed Head of State gain divine status, suggested that there was something more to the death than the people of Ghana have been told.

One television station even went to the ridiculous extent of sending a crew to Heaven to capture the ghost of the departed President being received in the celestial world.

Television footage did several rounds, depicting Prof. Mills being embraced by Jesus, the only son of God, who even offered his seat for the departed President of this Republic, to sit at the right hand of God.

For me, as a friend and kinsman of the departed, I still have the hunch that the whole story of President John Evans Atta Mills' death has not been told.

On Wednesday, I read a news item on the world-wide web, which offered me a lot of encouragement. "Work began, Tuesday, to exhume the body of Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat, amid an investigation into his death in 2004," a report pasted on the net reads.

"The exhumation comes after French authorities opened a murder enquiry into his death, this year, after high levels of radiation were found on some of his personal belongings. The enquiry was launched after Arafat's widow, Suha Arafat lodged a complaint.

"Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abass subsequently approved the exhumation of Arafat's body from the Mausoleum, which is in the Palestinian Presidential Compound in the West Bank City of Ramallah."

It has taken eight years for the request of the widow to be granted. I must be honest, I have not heard Mrs. Ernerstina Naadu Mills raise a finger about the husband's death. I have no reason to believe either that Dr. Cadman Mills, the brother who broached the idea of the deceased President suffering a massive stroke and at the same time raising the two hands to pray to God to receive his soul theory, will make any request for a probe into the brother's death either.

I must admit I do not have any locus to ask for an inquiry. But as a journalist, who was very close to the late President at a point in time, I am worried about the way and manner Prof. Mills' body was rushed to the burial grounds, without trying to establish what really killed our President.

I have always nursed the feeling that something was not right about the way the deceased President was handled, on his last 24 hours on this earth. I concede that the President did not enjoy any clean bill of health before joining his ancestors on July 24, 2012.

Long before the 2008 Presidential and Parliamentary vote on December 7, Prof. Mills was ill. On the campaign trail, the good old Professor looked frail and infirm.

As a matter of fact, his leadership of this nation had been an aberration, given the condition of his health. Somehow, his image makers in the NDC had presented him as fitter than most of the people raising issues about his health.

All the same, when he passed away under circumstances that left a number of issues unresolved, the same people were quick to justify his death as a natural sequence of events. Authorities rushed to bury him and went about their businesses as if nothing had happened.

Four months after his death, we have not performed the 40th day rituals. Instead, his former deputy is criss-crossing the country and doling out state resources to individuals and institutions of state, in a manner that smacks of gerrymandering, as he seeks to be elected on his own merit.

These are very interesting times indeed!

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