Death and a message from the dying can indeed give a purpose and direction to the living. Such is the scenario of our late President and Professor J.E. Mills. Whitefield once said “Take care of your life; and the Lord will Take care of your death”. The good professor, I believe, lived his life well and therefore should have no problem with death. His demise even though a sad one provides a school of thought to all cross sections of people and public office holders in particular. Indeed, he left a footprint and indelible mark as one of the hardly any politicians devoid of selfishness, pride and avarice. His caliber of politician is the kind needed to transform Africa from its compounded misery of leadership woes. He gave a new definition and meaning to politics and that should pave the way for many well meaning people to enter into politics which has long been considered a business for the rogue. He remains not only the finest, but also the most astute character in the country’s presidency and leadership profile so far.
In spite of this, such a selfless man with a genuine desire to serve his nation has entered the records as the most vilified President of the Republic of Ghana. Here, I see the late President Mills in light of what the Prophet Isaiah said about Jesus Christ. “Like a young plant or a root that sprouts in dry ground, the servant grew up obeying the lord. He wasn’t some handsome king. Nothing about the way he looked made him attractive to us. He was hated and rejected; his life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering. No one wanted to look at him. We despised him and said he is no body” (Isaiah 53:2-3.). An affable man, who became an object defamation, public ridicule and mockery. A man of peace, whose comrades took weapon in his almonry and handed it over to the enemies to attack him. He was affable character that had to contend with foes, both at home and away from home. A proven professional, who was condemned as the most incompetent President. A man whose ill-health was mocked. A living man, who has been pronounced dead, on countless occasions. A man whose loved once looked on helpless for him to be condemned and disdained to death only to rise up to his praise. His good works were never acknowledged in his life time. What a misery?
His demise also raises questions as to why God should allow such a man die in such a time. A man, who boldly and openly declares his allegiance, strength and inspiration to the Most High God. Why did God not heed the prayers of the faithful to restore his health and save his life? Here, I share the feelings of the prophet Habakkuk “O LORD, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, "Violence!" And You will not save” (Habakkuk 1:2). This will surely add to the endless list of unanswered questions to God. However, I find a clue that says: "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29). Obviously, human cannot comprehend the fullness of God. In his infinite wisdom, he keeps some things secret from mankind. So the best we can do is to keep trusting His will and judgments. However, for the unrepentant cynics, who claim the good Professor could have lived longer by being wise, I encourage them to use their wisdom well so they can live forever; they should never die.
His death is also a lesson to the living in that belonging to different political ideologies or parties must be far-off from enmity. Differences in where we belong and what we believe should never warrant casting of insinuations, aspersions and even wishing opponents’ death. Even though some may jubilate over the death of their enemies, hardly can people jubilate over the death of a good person turned into an enemy for no reason. Such is the case of the good professor and President Mills. He did nothing to become an enemy and target of thunderous verbal attacks. Out of service to nation and mankind, he made a lot of enemies who did not see anything good about him until his death. Ooooh What a travesty?
President Mills, you will be remembered as a proven character of Peace, Humility and true selfless servant to a nation like Ghana and mankind. Farewell, President and Professor JOHN EVANS FIIFI ATTA MILLS. Long live your legacy.
Emmanuel Kwasi Mawuena