View Full Version : A Word Of Caution As We Ride The Professor Home To Heaven

12th August 2012, 01:37 PM
While having a little chitchat with a bosom spiritual brother days ago, he raised an interesting point just when the topic on the demise of our late president Atta Mills came up. As has been the fashion in the last few weeks, the late Professor of Law’s name has not ceased to be discussed at almost every gathering.

He told me that had it not been that Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah was the man who single-handedly led a defiant crusade to reclaim our peoples independence for our country and eventually rose to become the first president of Ghana, his seat in the annals of history as the greatest achiever in our history would have been knocked off by the recently highly-acclaimed memory of the Asomdwehene.


He continued to say he believed the very man who was vilified incessantly from his ascension to the high office of the Number one man of the land was unhappy during his stay in office but never showed it because he needed to accomplish his assignment and what others thought of him did not limit him.

This was intriguing and immediately, the antennas of my mind halted to attention while a slowly well-calculated manufacturing process to arrange my thoughts begun in earnest. I could instantaneously feel a sizzling feeling in my youthful bones because I still could not fathom what could have raised such a comment from him and why now?

Until the ‘sudden’ (as I do not agree with that assertion because nobody knows the time the Lord will come) death of the undeniably most unique and tolerant president that fateful Tuesday 24th June afternoon when the gravitational second hands of the clock stopped at 1415GMT, I have never heard or read about the most sincere and unpretentious testimonies of a man.

A man who never had the peace he needed to execute his function as a ‘Father of All’ but without any fight, he won the undisputed famous accolade as the King of Peace (Asomdwehene).

Is it not surprising to hear all these extols and eulogies about a single harmless man at the very moment when he is not alive to enjoy these crusades of admirations? But there is only one answer to this; it is the nature of humans.

Personally, I met the man a number of times and his appearance alone depicted serenity and when he uttered his famous lines of ‘My brothers and sisters,’ I could tell that he spoke not as a politician but as a fellow comrade. Yes! President Mills was no Politician; he was a comrade.

There has always been that inking in me to pen down some rave reviews of the great man but I preferred to quietly relax, and with eyes like a United Nations election observer and the unseen ears of the ever-revealing wikileaks portal, accumulate all the commentary on the historic passing away of our late president. It was however not surprising and not to advance any course for the progression of such a debate though, that my brother tickled my mind with that comparison about our two deceased Heads of State.

My purpose here is a happenstance of the deliberations my mind and soul have had to contend with following this incidence and I am in no position interested in eulogizing about the Prof because many who have come before me have hit the grounds running already on the issue.

It is sang that when you feel something about someone, you tell it to them and not behave like the millions of political nincompoops who intentionally suppressed all the goodies of the good Prof and spilled unremitting vile and insults at him for us to only know they also believed he was an upright person only after his demise. Hypocrites!
To help with this article, I culled this post (of course with permission) from my good old friend Michael Thompson’s facebook timeline which says;

1."Mr. President Nana Addo says you are “Prof Do Little" His response: “Oh thank God he didn't say I am Prof Do Nothing at least he acknowledges that I am doing something".

2."Ecomini Ecomini” they shouted to ridicule his slip of tongue the previous year. His response: "Now that the economy has improved it's now an economy and not ecomini."

3."Gargantuan gargantuan" they shouted to ridicule him. His response: I expected to be heckled but I didn't expect it to be so gargantuan

4.Your party chairman says there are many ways of killing a cat in the matter of bias charge against the chief justice and the Judiciary. His response: look at me very well, do I look like a cat hunter?

5.Rawlings has been criticizing and bla bla, is he a pain in your neck? His response: Oh no! He is the most experienced former Head of State, the longest serving and I’m in his party. Some of you without experience criticize and make suggestions on radio and your newspapers all the time.

What a man! The confusion or otherwise on who is more important or whose memory should be given the highest order of immaculation is simply irrelevant at this moment but something that will happen this week should be.

This week, the nation will be joined by the rest of the world in grief as we organize a national funeral after our universe froze following that fateful 24th June afternoon news and everything went austere. As well, dignitaries of various statuses and classes from both the local and international communities are expected to grace the occasion to pay their last respects to the late President Mills.

One thing that cannot be avoided is the side attraction businesses that will be created for many ‘wise’ people who can machine plots to deduce some genuine cash from the ‘unwise’ as we celebrate his life.

When I was growing up, I never liked the thought of attending funerals for one reason; I don’t love crowded places because I am unable to adequately express myself properly. More especially with the feeling of attending a funeral, I disliked it for more reasons.

In Africa, funerals are huge functions for the rich and poor, educated and uneducated, because the feeling you receive when a person dies here is that it is another opportunity to spend huge sums of cash. It gets more interesting when the deceased was either an affluent person or extremely famous personality.

Without a shilling of doubt or debate, President John Atta Mills was an automatic celebrity guru for a few in the moments he walked the surface of this sinister planet called earth, and for nearly every 25million Ghanaian after his supposed ‘sudden and untimely’ death.

Another observation that characterizes funerals in Ghana is the way people gather themselves and drink their lives away with all sorts and forms of hard liquor. Food is not so much of a priority to them during such periods as the drinks. What is even more absorbing about such ceremonies especially in this case where we will marking the death of the historic death of a sitting president, is the reckless manner with which people gather themselves in their little cardinal locations to organize parties in grieving the dead.

This event will be no different and trust me when I say this would be an even more revealing one even as that day has been declared a national holiday and fortunately heralds the beginning of a weekend.
When we celebrated the one-week celebration of the late president, it was rewarding to see how many people loved the Professor as they showed their own undefiled love for his memory in organizing little versions of the event across board.

The celebrations went deep into the night with a few people reportedly following the Prof to the grave out of extraneous mourning even when the former First Lady and the family of the late president are being courteous in controlling their teary eyes and bleeding hearts from allowing them to follow the way of the dead.

There are already plans by many to be seen at the funeral grounds on the 10th in an attempt to physically behold the corpse of the late president. The question is of what benefit will that be if the whole nation decides to throng to the funeral grounds to partake in the celebration? Naturally, almost all Television as well as radio stations will be carrying the feeds live and the proximity of the camera lens will present a sharper and closer view of the ceremony from diverse angles than your small two eyes and legs will afford you.

My simple advice is that as much as possible, people should not bother themselves too much by insisting to be at the event grounds on that day before it can be said that they have been a part of the gargantuan ceremony. The spirit of our late president is very privy to this reality and will be much more grateful to your sorrowing souls if you decide not to insist to be at the grounds especially when it is clearly too impossible for everyone to be there.

And for your information, there are already detailed details of security personnel being deployed to be on hand to restore decorum into any person or persons who will mean to misbehave at the ceremony grounds and I wouldn’t wish this harsh treatment for any person.

There are also plans in the pipeline by the Police to bus people who wish to be at the event from various vantage locations but at the same time, scores of people will independently sort themselves out by arriving at the grounds in their own rented buses. But this is my worry heightens.

Our roads are already evils of themselves and the situation is sometimes worsened when there is jubilation and merrymaking. Our roads should not become slaughter houses during this week and people should not turn them into gymnastic centers where they can display their unfinished lessons in acrobatics.

To be of civil behavior, let us be modest in this celebration as we mourn the departure of our president. It will not be enough to write and speak of his dear soul to Rest In Peace (RIP) without exhibiting the same level of tranquility in our actions.

Even if not for the memory of our late Asomdwehene, let us show the rest of the world that will be duly represented that we can be diplomatic even in angst.

Let us all rally behind our new president John Mahama and the family of his predecessor to accord a well befitting burial to the memory of the Asomdwehene. While doing this, let us also guard against piling unnecessary problems and debts for the new president to pay by our unruliness during the celebrations.

There is still abundance of hope for this country and to quote the Professor in his fashionable tone, “God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong. As we approach the December Presidential and Parliamentary elections, it is my prayer and hope that we shall continue to preserve and maintain the peace, remain united and focused as people with one destiny.

We can hardly achieve meaningful development if the citizenry on whose behalf we are managing the country do not support and cooperate with us.”

Source: Etsey Atisu