How Death Glorified A Vilified Man

Mon, 6 Aug 2012 Source: Yeboah, Kwame

, Is The African Politician At Work?

I will begin by expressing my deepest condolences to the immediate family of the late president mills, the NDC party and Ghanaians. I have learnt from the mishap of ex President Rawlings so I will rather keep my tribute short and simple and move on with my article.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article titled ‘why should I envy Mr. Mills’. In that article I sought to outline all the misfortunes of the then president Mills and why I did not find his position enviable (in light of all the headaches he had to endure). Fast forward a few weeks and the fortunes of the good old professor seem to have changed significantly. The point I am trying to put across is that I have been completely amused by the sudden twist in the public image of president mills and the role our politicians are playing in this regard.

Not saying mean things about a dead person admittedly is the respectful thing to do. But in the case of the late president, the remarkable change is something that has stimulated my curiosity.

Sometimes I wonder, if it is the same man we are talking about? Just a few weeks ago, comedy shows were being organized to mock the president, now comedy shows are being cancelled in his honor. Songs mocking the president were common, now musicians rally to sing his praises and admiration. A few weeks ago politicians and journalist were doing all they could to disassociate themselves from the name Attah Mills. Now it has become fashionable to talk or should I say brag about personal contacts and private conversations with president mills. Can you imagine what would have happened a month ago if Mr. Osafo Maafo had sat on GTV and fondly recounted the academic and leadership attributes of the late president? The result is a no brainer. We are all too aware of how the NPP dealt with Mr. Kwame Pianim when he said he could vouch for the incorruptible nature of president mills.

So I sit and I ask myself, why has everything changed suddenly? Why has ‘treasonable’ comments like that of Mr. Kwame Pianim suddenly become the toast of all politicians? Why is the NDC and the NPP trying to outdo each other in the ‘most pro Mills’ contest? Why is Mills, the man on cancer pills now the man on dollar bills?

The answer to these questions is not far fetched. Ghanaian politicians are up to their usual tricks and like Randy Abbey always says- the devil is in the detail. Politicians in Ghana are ‘smart’, they are not insulting and accusing each other for nothing. You think Akuffo Addo really suspended his campaign? He only shifted it from the western region to Accra. You think president Mahama cried in Cape Coast for the sake of it? You think he is not aware of the value of every tear that falls on the Fanti land? You think that considering to lay the president at rest at the Flagstaff house was an afterthought? You think that the NDC doesn’t know that a more nationalistic memorial cloth would have been better than the divisive ‘se asa’ cloth they are shamelessly parading around? The skeptic in me wonders if these politicians are being nice because they suddenly discovered a new sense of nationality and maturity. Or it is politics as usual , just draped in funeral cloths.

I am in no way insinuating that all politicians who are mourning the president are sharing ‘crocodile tears’. Indeed even if they were I cannot say same for people like Koku Anyidoho and Nii Lantey. If I were them I will be devastated that the man who put his integrity on the line to cover my excesses is no more. Especially so when it is looking much likely that president Mahama is in no mood to replicate such gestures. The fear of the future is a good enough reason to be sad and for people like Koku and Nii they have every right to feel bereaved.

Do not be deceived campaign 2012 has started in earnest. On the 8th of August whiles unassuming Ghanaians like you and I gather to seek the final resting place of President Mills, the disingenuous Ghanaian politician will be staging a well- rehearsed play aimed at soliciting our sympathy. Like the biblical serpent, I entreat all Ghanaians to ‘shine their eyes’ lest they be deceived by these self-seeking politicians. In the last elections we were deceived into thinking that the election was about whether president Mills was sick or not. This time they will be telling us to vote on who killed Mills or who was more sympathetic at the time of his death. Personally I am interested in finding out whom or what killed Mills. But I do not need a politician to tell me, I would rather wait for the coroner’s report.

As we mourn our dear president, we must bear in mind that life must go on. And life will only go on when we have good education, good drinking water, good roads, reliable infrastructure etc. These are the things we should demand from our honorable politicians. We have plenty of confidence in this country but we have to decide wisely which hands we place our confidence in.

Source: Kwame Yeboah



Columnist: Yeboah, Kwame