By Margaret Jackson
July 18, 2013
How time flies! Indeed many Ghanaians who have been following other events can hardly believe that President John Evans Atta Mills left this earthly earth almost one year ago. It simply looks like we lost him just about six months ago. But the truth is that we are just some few days from celebrating his passing which happened on July 24, 2012 at exactly 2:45 pm.
His death certainly brought the whole country on its knees. This was a man who was even vilified when did something good. President Mills’ death which changed the weather and atmosphere in Accra on that fateful Tuesday, will forever remain a mystery in the minds and hearts of Ghanaians.
But the good thing is that many Ghanaians did not know or acknowledge what President Mills did until after his passing. Indeed, no prophet has ever found a comfort zone in his or her own backyard, therefore, President Mills was certainly not going to be the first or the last one.
He was a simple, well-mannered, humble and down-to-earth President who served his country very well. That was why he broke the country’s heart when he suddenly left his unfinished business on that day.
The country has moved on but the memory of President Mills still lives on. There are so many people who have still not stopped crying, and I know for a fact that so many people are still keeping his personal cellular phone number on their phones. They don’t want to delete the number! It may sound very crazy but that is how those people want to still keep his memory alive.
Obviously, extremely good people do not come from stones. They also do not suddenly appear from somewhere. But because they are special breeds who have unique character traits and are not that many, they are normally bred in trying circumstances. President Mills certainly is counted among that breed of people who came on earth and led a selfless life.
President Mills did not even understand why he should accept per-diem when he travels abroad when his hotel bills and meals are paid for by the state. He did not see the point of creating a fun-fare with dozens of cars following him when he was attending an event or going to the office. Such was the mark of the late President Mills.
As we celebrate President Mills’ passing next week with loads of planned events in Accra and Cape Coast, Ghanaians must learn to emulate some of the sterling qualities of President Mills. Even though President Mills groaned painfully due to the insults hurled daily on him, no one have any evidence of him hitting back.
He bore the pains and the insults with dignity and that was why both Ghanaians and the International Community hailed him for being the Presidents’ President.
Ghanaians need to come together as one people because when politics is over, we all go home and converge as brothers, sisters, friends and associates. Politics, should therefore be second on our social ladder.
President Mills has given Ghanaians a lot of food for thought. His passing broke many hearts and many have still not come to terms that he is no more. But as we celebrate his passing, let us console ourselves with Psalm 90 which was written by King David. 1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 3 You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.” 4 A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. 5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death - they are like the new grass of the morning: 6 In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it is dry and withered. 7 We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation. 8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. 9 All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. 10 Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. 11 If only we knew the power of your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due. 12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. 13 Relent, LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. 14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. 15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. 16 May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendour to their children. 17 May the favour[a] of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us - yes, establish the work of our hands.