I have been playing back events and re-simulating all the work that was done to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the passing away of the late President John Evans Atta Mills, and I am yet to have an iota of regret.
Indeed, why would I ever imagine having an iota of regret ensuring that the memory of the late President continues to be properly etched on the mind of the nation?
Chairman of the Christian Council of Ghana leading the sermon at the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Asomdzee Park.
I knew it was not going to be an easy task helping to put together the itinerary for the Remembrance Anniversary Activities especially now that the NDC is in opposition, and dealing with an NPP Government that is ruthless and merciless.
Is it not very celestial; the manner in which the weather adopts a certain solemn posture anytime we hit the 24th of July?
In the five years since President Atta Mills passed on, every 24th July, comes with the same cosmic solemnity that engulfs the whole nation and reminds us deeply of the tragedy that hit the nation on the 24th of July, 2012.
I recall how the sun never showed from the 24th of July, 2012, to the 10th of August, 2012, when we laid the late President to eternal rest at the Asomdwee Park.
Never in my life (I do not know about the life of others), had I experienced such a weather for close to a month in this geographical entity called Ghana.
The nation indeed stood still, at the loss of such a GREAT LEADER and FATHER OF THE NATION. Phew!!!
For a nation that had never suffered such a calamitous loss of a sitting President, and with no template to roll out a befitting Final Journey, I cannot forget how the likes of, Captain Kojo Tsikata, Professor Kofi Awoonor, Kofi Totobi Quarkyi, Commodore Steve Obimpeh, Professor Kwamena Awhoi, Uncle Ato Awhoi, Uncle Dan Abodakpi, Ambassador Ken Kanda, Auntie Faustina Nelson, Dr. Don Arthur, Ambassador Kwame Tenkorang and the State Protocol Department, whipped us the younger ones into line to work like bulls as a collective, to give the late President a more than befitting burial.
With tears in our eyes on a daily basis, and our noses running as a result of constant weeping; we had no option but to WORK WORK WORK!
I cannot forget the sleepless nights I had to endure at the Palledium Office of, Kojo Bonsu, with the likes of, Adolph Boateng, Felix Azameti (Olabi), Peter Boama Otokunor, to create “THE JOURNEY” (the picture book that was distributed during the funeral, telling the life story of the late President).
I had to drive to Cape Coast to Aunty Emma, the elder sister of the late President, to get family pictures; I had to contact the likes of Worlanyo Agrah, to get Legon days and hockey-playing days, pictures of the late President.
I had to contact other individuals like Oko Djanie, to get more hockey-playing days pictures.
Of course, I had to get to Mrs. Ernestina Naadu Mills to also get family and marriage pictures.
As regards opposition days campaign politics and Presidential pictures, I was the repository, so it was not difficult to pull out such pictures.
It was certainly an ardours task working to bury the late President, and I give kudos to all the senior comrades who gave guidance to me, and also made it possible for me to be part of such a high-performing Team.
The experience I gained from being part of the Funeral Planning Committee and the work that I was allowed to do, will forever sit positively on my CV. Who knows; I may one day get a state award for it.
The fifth anniversary is certainly a milestone event, and it would have been very unacceptable if some of us sat idly by and allowed it to pass without any major event at Asomdwee Park and also at the Osu Kukuhill Campaign Centre of the late President.
So, July 24th, 2017, came by, and I am so proud to have played a lead role alongside many other comrades and colleagues to have been able to do all the things we did to remember the late President.
I thank former President John Dramani Mahama, Vice President, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur and his wife, as well as all appointees of the Atta Mills/Mahama and Mahama/Amissah-Arthur Administrations for participating fully in the wreath-laying ceremony as well as the Anniversary Lecture at GIMPA.
I thank the National Chairman/Leader of the NDC, comrade Kofi Portuphy, Vice Chairpersons, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, Betty Mould Iddrisu, Ambassador Lee Ocran, Anita Desosoo, General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, George Lawson, Kofi Adams, Joshua Akamba, Mahdi Djibril, Solomon Nkansah, Kwaku Baohen, Siidi Abubakar, Koby Balon, Dr. Ahadzie, Peter Boama Otokunor, and all the National Executives who also participated fully in the wreath-laying and GIMPA events.
I also salute the Atta Mills Institute, and the likes of, Mr. Beebaku Mensah, Ambassdor Ken Kanda, Ambassador Sylvanus Tamakloe, Julius Debrah, Andy Kankam, Adolph Boateng, Claricer Acolatse, Emmanuel Agbozo, Emmanuel Huzey, John Balo, Nana Frimpong, Ludvig Hlordze, Hon. Nii Lantey Vanderpuje, Della Adjaku, Auntie Maud, Nat Lomo-Mainoo, Col Emmanuel Lawson, Col Attachie, Thomas Swaniker, Elvis Afryie-Ankrah, Komla Sokpo, Dickson Gborgblor, and all others.
Led by the Honourable Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Haruna Iddrisu, the NDC Minority in Parliament did not stay out of the solid attention the Party gave to the Activities. Ayekoo to them!
Immense thanks also go to Rev Kwame of the Global Evangelical Church, and the Clergy, led by the Chairman of the Christian Council, for being present to conduct the Remembrance Service at the Asdomdwee Park.
Greatest thanks go to all the foot soldiers who found the time to be present at all the events and show their deep love for the late President.
It will be remiss on my part, if I forget to thank the Ghanaian media, for the glow they have given to the Remembrance Activities; it is very much appreciated!!!
The heavy participation of lots of Old Guards and bigwigs of the NDC was most heartening; as it gives me a renewed sense of hope that if we find the PROPER RALLYING POINT, the NDC SHALL bounce back with full force in no time.
The heart-warming gathering at the Osu Kukuhill Campaign Centre, is for me, the best of the events as the memories it evoked, have been very touching and invigorating.
The Osu Kukuhill Campaign Centre which was given to President Atta Mills by the late and venerable Uncle Harry Sawyer, remained the SHRINE of the NDC as well as the Party’s RALLYING POINT for the eight torrid years that the late President led the Party in the “Wilderness”, as we searched for the right path to the “Promised Land”.
Day after day, night after night, Kukuhill provided us with the right radars with which we soldiered on in the “Wilderness” to find the right path back to the topmost strata of Ghana’s governance agenda, and to most importantly, restore lost dignity, to the Highest Office of the Land.
Indeed, some of us still consider Kukuhill to be our political “Spiritual Home”, and my joy knew no bounds when I saw the gathering of the “saints” at our “Spiritual Home”, after the wreath-laying ceremony at the Asomdwee Park last Monday morning.
I am most grateful to Dr. Valerie Sawyerr for following in the solid footsteps of her father, Uncle Harry Sawyerr, and allowing the NDC Family to gather once again at Kukuhill to re-live the good memories of our association with President Atta Mills when he provided us with an energised and well-determined leadership, which walked the NDC into the “Promised Land” after the 2008 General Elections.
It certainly was “No Easy Walk To Victory”, but the late President had a God-given sense of conviction that won us the victory in spite of all evil and vile machinations by the Akufo-Addo led NPP and its assigns (including the then Chief Justice, Georgina Wood), who got a court to sit on 1st January 2009 (a public holiday), to attempt to prevent the Electoral Commission from declaring Professor Atta Mills and the NDC as winners of the 2008 General Elections.
Is it not amazing that, because of the MAN OF PEACE (Asomdwehene) that he was, when President Atta Mills got sworn-in, he NEVER once attempted to remove Georgina Wood from office?
He allowed her to live with her conscience.
Indeed, when he once inadvertently forgot to acknowledge the presence of Georgina Wood during a State of the Nations Address, President Atta Mills openly apologised to her, and asked for forgiveness from Ghanaians.
That is the kind of good-natured person President Atta Mills, was.
Reel the clock to, July 2017, and in spite of the fact that the EC Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, did nothing to prevent Akufo-Addo from winning the 2016 elections, and actually declared him winner, the current President has accepted a cooked-up petition against the EC Chair, and has forwarded it to his cousin Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, to take action?
Obviously, Akuffo-Addo has moved us back onto the divisive and nation-wrecking path of the politics of vindictiveness, that, President Atta Mills moved us away from.
I must confess that Lord Paul Boateng’s Anniversary Lecture, poured more bright lights on what President Atta Mills stood for; and his lasting legacy that CANNOT be forgotten.Listening to Senior Minister, Yaw Osarfo-Marfo, eulogise his close friend, President Atta Mills, was also very emotional and I am not surprised that the Senior Minister had to pull out his handkerchief and wipe a few tears.
The 5th Anniversary of the sad passing away of the late President John Evans Atta Mills, was worth commemorating in all ways possible, and I thank God Almighty for giving us the opportunity to remember such an illustrious SON OF THE SOIL who cut an everlasting image for himself as, a, Statesman, Politician, Academic, Sportsman, Father, Teacher, Friend, Mentor, and Leader of Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana.
May God Almighty bless all those who contributed in all ways to making the Anniversary Activities a great success, and may the good soul of the late President continue to rest peacefully in the bosom of the Most High!!!
Adieus President John Evans Atta Mills; I SHALL forever miss you and I pray that you continue to keep an eye on me, as I soldier on here on earth to keep your memory alive!!!
I will end here for this week and pray that we meet again same time next week under the shade-giving Umbrella, and continue to sink the destructive head of the elephant deeper in the mud in which it is already sinking.
Deputy General Secretary (NDC)
Founder/CEO, Atta Mills Institute (AMI).
Leave a comment