It is with deep sorrow that I write this piece, a pay tribute to the memory of the late Professor Mills, a great world statement and a relentless fighter for peace, equality and human dignity. The whole world was shocked and bewildered at the sudden demise of this great personality. In spite of his brief term of office, Prof Mills made an indelible mark on the history of our time. He will forever be remembered as a distinguished champion for peace and dignity of mankind. His display of tremendous courage, integrity and the warmth of his feeling for his fellow men will be a beacon to those who share his conviction and inspiration just as Nkrumah said about Kennedy when he paid a glowing tribute to his friend.
Prof. Mills was naturally, nurtured into leadership just as Moses. God in his divine wisdom, took Moses through different life situations to prepare him for the main task of liberating the Israelites. God strategically, positioned him inside the palace (Egypt) to learn practical leadership skills, made him a Shepherd to work on his temperaments and emotions. A shepherd must have enough patience and must be tolerant. God made him the leader of his people after taking Moses through all these strategic training.
Prof was a sportsman, a teacher ( lecturer), a lawyer, a tax expert, and later, became a great politician. Sports goes with discipline and readiness to accept different results, a teacher must always show tolerance and love, a lawyer must be meticulous in all his/her actions and must do his work with sincerity and adherence to professional ethics, tax officers strictly adhere to principles. God in his own wisdom, took Prof through all these professional hurdles to prepare him for the role he played in Ghana in the academia, as tax and sports administrator, and on the political landscape.
He was a principled person and acted with integrity and honesty, with strong sense of fairness , justice and respect for dignity of fellow human being. He took responsibility for his own actions and the consequences that accompanied his actions. These are the traits persons who claim are admirers of Mills must strive to exhibit at all times. Prof faithfully followed his principles and never at anytime abandoned them when convenient. He always referred to his guiding set of principles anytime he was confronted or faced difficult decision in life.
I saw Prof with his dog walk from Aburi Girls to the palace of B.B Bismarck the then chief of Aburi. My father was the closest person to Bismarck (The Dabrehene) so had the opportunity of listening to the man. My mother was his father’s student at Komenda Training College, and she told me about the man, and why he made that mark in life. He didn’t abandon his friends,he opened his door wide to his friends including one Awuah Mensah etc. Personally, Prof becoming a President was out of my permutations, I saw him too calm a person to handle the position of a President or a serious politician. If I was asked to make predictions about his future, I would have predicted “A Pastor”.
THE “STRANGER” TAG
Prof, entered the political arena through intensive interventions by people who believed in his principles and knew him to be man endowed with exceptional qualities. Uncle Ato and his brother Kwamena Ahwoi are the right persons to give narratives about that. He played his role as Vice to Great Jerry Rawlings with dexterity which won him a place in the secret corner of Jerry’s heart. He was declared an automatic replacement for Rawlings at Swedru a decision which didn’t go down well with those who claimed were the “originals” and this created serious tension between Prof’s camp, and the originals. He was almost abandoned by the originals. I saw Prof, Mr Ato Ahwoi, Kwamena Ahwoi and few others including “Afro” of Akropong at an Odwira festival at Akropong after the 2000 defeat and I nearly wept. I quickly abandoned what I had gone there to do, and joined Afro, “Alina” and others to follow Prof and his entourage to the durbar grounds. This stranger phenomenon, was played against the humble man for sometime but thank God the founder and the party in general, fought hard to suppress that evil machination. After the 2008 victory, we all saw the ordeal the man went through just because, he wouldn’t abandon his convictions for convenience. He stood by his soldiers including the “babies with sharp teeth”. He adhered strictly to his decision to change the political status quo ( winner takes all), retained some officers appointed by the previous regime, cleared from his stable recalcitrant appointees, and opened up to all persons. This philosophy didn’t go down well with some persons who reintroduced the “Stranger” phenomenon. He suffered serious internal bruises but thank God he had dedicated men and women who were prepared anytime to absorb all shocks.
Followers of Prof Mills who have abandoned the principles of Mills, have soon forgotten what the man went through, the stranger attacks for convenience sake, must quickly reverse to their original position they cultivated as a result of dealing with Prof before the ghost of the great man start appearing in their dreams.
Prof, would been living with us if collectively treated him well. He developed health complications, we all saw and knew that yet, exerted brutish pressure on the man whose only crime was that, he had accepted interventions upon interventions, pleadings upon pleadings to serve his mother land. He stood by his avowed convictions and principles at the peril of his life causing the unfortunate incident which hit the whole world on the 24th day of July 2012. The best we can do to avoid defacing of his image what he stood for, is to adhere and practice what he preached and stood for not mounting of beautiful tombs and auditorium filled lectures. We should not abandon his principles to push our personal agenda and interest, we should not forget the ordeal the man went through and we should not pretend not hearing attempts to still denigrate the great leader after his demise. We must avoid feeding the public with skewed narratives to make our case, whilst demonizing others and we must avoid telling bedroom cooked stories about this great leader. Some of us, may die paupers despite our activeness on the political landscape because, we believe in Prof’s Philosophy that “Life is not wealth and crave for money” and he reiterated that position when his adversaries peddled falsehood in the media that he had pumped $60m into his primaries campaign.
TO PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO
I am not aware of any support from the President and his government for the anniversary. But I think, what Prof said when the sitting President’s lawyer qualification issue came up, ought to have prompted the President to stand behind his friend even in his grave. Prof, defied all odds to defend his friend Nana Addo he told the world, so far as he is (was) concerned, Nana Addo was a qualified lawyer. How many politicians will display such sincerity and maturity. I pray God touches the hearts of all he thought and all he supported to join subsequent anniversaries of the great leader. He was a great person and best Kufour rightly said ” you feel air of peace whenever you come close to the man” this is the colossus we talking about and celebrating. Despite their differences, we must salute and thank Jerry Rawlings for having the foresight to give us this great leader. Before the heavens come down, I know we shall all come to understand why God bequeathed to us this great son.Let me end by quoting the first stanza of Original Trinity Hymnal ,700
“When we walk with the Lord in the light of his Word
What a glory he sheds on our way!
While we do his good will, he abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.”
Source: Ohenenana Obonti Krow