Mills memorial: Celebrating a man of peace in disharmony

Prof. John Evans Atta Mills1 Atta Mills

Tue, 26 Jul 2022 Source: Raymond Ablorh

But, on a more serious note, what happened yesterday is disturbingly disgraceful. We couldn't celebrate the memory of a man who stood and was known for peace in harmony.

We did apart amidst unhealthy exchanges and sour feelings. That's sadder than the death of the man.

Our forefathers won independence for us while hanging apart. They couldn't work in unison to actualise collectively determined national aspirations and dreams till J.B. Danquah died in the hands of Kwame Nkrumah in prison, and Kwame Nkrumah was denied the right and privilege to govern and live in the nation he declared independence by followers of Danquah.

Unfortunately, the ills that tormented and killed our forefathers are still with us today so the family of late President Mills and the party he belonged to and our President and Koku Anyidoho (a citizen who loves the ex-president and says he sees him in his dreams asking for the renovation of his tomb) couldn't work together to do just this.

If they couldn't do this harmoniously together, what else could we do in unison as a nation?

We haven't changed from the ugly path of our forefathers; we're still on a path paved by vindictiveness, selfishness, mistrust, animosity and ill subscriptions because our leaders and our elders have grown in age but not in wisdom and understanding of what killed their fathers.

Unfortunately, when babies and sucklings distil wisdom and understanding from our history and culture for them, they call it disrespectful.

The very things that made it impossible for the Danquahs and Nkrumahs to work together before and after independence to develop Ghana are what our foolish elders and leaders are engaging in today.

If they aren't foolish, why are they running at top speed with their eyes closed on the very slippery path their fathers fell while crawling? This explains my use of the word "foolish" to break our cultural pot in conservative minds. Yes, they're very foolish to keep us on this dreadful path.

In our disagreements, we still should be able to have the alertness of mind to see the things that unite us and highlight them above our selfish parochial interests.

Prof Mills was first for his family... But, his family and himself agreed to share him with all of us as patriotic citizens dedicated to our collective wellbeing. That doesn't mean the family lost him forever to us and needn't be consulted after his death when the state and private citizens want to do anything for and to him which, has normative implications on the family that requires rituals.

Don't we have wise elders in this nation anymore? Why did we establish a Ministry for Culture when we're unable to tell which, cultures to preserve and which, to abandon?

What happened is preventable. It is very disgusting, to say the least. And, knowing John Evans Atta Mills, he wouldn't do it this way if he was physically involved.

We built him a beautiful abode, but, very far away from his values and principles and lifestyle.

This should never happen again.

More importantly, let our love for him be manifest in how we treat one another like he did by eschewing vindictiveness, animosity, injustice, unfairness and arrogance in and out of power. And, let's hate corruption and plundering of public resources with passion as he did.

We cannot continue to plunder public resources with our friends and friends while millions endure acidic poverty, and treat our fellow citizens with vindictive arrogance while we adore John Evans Atta Mills.

This is a man who proved to us that it is possible for a Ghanaian Christian to be a tax collector and become a politician and still not be filthily corrupt.

Columnist: Raymond Ablorh