BY AMA SERWAA ASUBONTENG
It’s been a year now since the death of President John Evans Atta Mills shocked the nation. In advance of the anniversary of his passing, the Herald spoke to a number of people to get their memories of him.
JEFFERY ASIEDU, STUDENT AT KNUST
I was returning from an errand when I heard the news of the demise of our president. I did not believe it, because I thought it was one of those pranks people play on him- because he was constantly mentioned (as) dead- which were never true. When I got home, it was confirmed on the television that the news I (had) heard was not a lie.
I felt very sad because the day was also my birthday. I said to myself there is no more “Asomdwe Hene” (King of Peace). The originator of “my brothers and sisters” is no more. His absence has really been felt because of his sense of humor. He (was) a man of integrity and I think this current administration has not really applied a lot of his ideas and plans in governing, and it is reflecting in our current state of life.
I fondly remember the ex-president for his high moral standards. This was seen in how he admonished the custom officers when Anas revealed the corruption emerging in the service.
To all the family of the ex-president I say Ghanaian citizens share in their grief as we remember a year of his departure. Together we take solace in the Lord, for we know our dear Professor Mills is with Him.
KWAME FRIMPONG, CREDIT VENDOR AT RING ROAD
In fact the president’s death really hurt me when I heard of it. This is because he was a good leader who governed this nation, and most people liked him. It was after his demise that someone like me got to know that he was a good man. This is because most of the bad things that happened in his government at the time were done by the people around him. This is not a matter of politics- I am a proud sympathizer of the NPP- but I liked the ex-president. He was accused of a lot of things and yet kept calm. He showed respect and humility to everyone, even children.
President Mahama has not stayed long as a president but comparing the ex-president’s first year to that of president Mahama, I think last year with Professor Mills was better.
I remember him for how he reacted when he was accused of spending a huge amount of money during their (the NDC) congress. He responded to the accusation and said that he is old and wouldn’t want to misuse the nation’s money, but rather if he had that amount being mentioned it would be channeled to completing the Kumasi road. This statement really touched my heart and made me know that he had nothing to do with the money.
I want to tell the family of the ex-president to take heart and know death is a universal thing that all of us will suffer one day. To Ghanaians, let’s all take heart. It’s painful, but we shall all leave one day.
FREDA FEINDIB WEINGAM, STUDENT AT ACCRA POLYTECHNIC
I was at work in Achimota and had stepped out to buy roasted corn. I saw a lot of people around and wondered what was going on. I got closer and asked but could not believe my ears. Even though I did not believe it, tears began running down (my cheeks) and I lost appetite. Surprisingly, the corn seller nearly ripped my shirt off when I told her the news. (She) started packing up, saying she won’t sell again and began crying.
His absence is really being felt but not much because I think President Mahama is really doing well, wonderfully well. As humans as we are, Ghanaians have forgotten President Mills even politicians sit on radio and insult him.
I remember how the late president use to address the nation (as) “my brothers and sisters” and his humility. This makes it obvious that he (saw) himself as equal to all Ghanaians and not as a superior.
As we remember his death, I want to tell his family and everyone who really liked him to take heart. The Lord is their strength and he knows why he allowed things to happen the way they do.
ESTHER ARYEE, WORKS IN QUALITY ASSURANCE AT MTN
I was driving around town and I heard (about) President Mills’ death on a radio station, but I did not believe it. So I changed it to another station to confirm, only to find out it was true. Tears rolled down my eyes because I liked him as a person.
I am really missing him. His sense of humor, his humility and his God-fearing nature. I liked his style of governance. President Mahama is also unique, just that in my opinion he has a lot to do at the corruption level. It is really high and still affecting the nation. Both presidents have their own style of leadership, and it’s ok.
I fondly remember the late President Mills for his comments such as “I will reduce it drastically, my brothers and sisters.”
At this time, when we all remember his death, much condolence to his wife and son. I pray they make the day of his demise a holiday, so that we can really mourn him. He will forever be remembered.
EMMANUEL WILSON, STUDENT AT UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION WINNEBA
I was working at Solidarity International School when I heard of the demise of President John Evens Atta Mills. It was quite surprising to me. I felt sad but it was also not so much of big news to me because his health status was never disclosed. Initially, when I was told of his demise I thought it was untrue until the chief of staff came out to officially announce it through the media. My mood actually changed though when the confirmation came. I was sad and it felt like I had lost a father or an uncle.
In his absence, I think everything is going on normally because Ghana is bigger than any man or president. For that matter, I see everything going on as normal. Until one mentions the late Atta Mills, someone would not know that there was a president called Atta Mills who is dead.
President Mill’s administration comparing to President Mahama was that (Mills’ administration was the) slow type. When Ghanaians were hoping to see quick things happen, they were not but things were rather slow. All the same President Mahama is doing well and his government is ok.
Some of the memories I have about our late president (are) his way of cracking jokes when things seemed tough. His sense of humor was so great.
As we remember his death this year, I will say all Ghanaians should take a clue from his personality, and as Christians we should learn how he attributed God in all that he did.