We are moaning and mourning
The brightness is clouded in the morning
There are those whining and pinning
And still those winning and dinning
But confusion seems to reign
In shine or rain
When that will end,
We are unsure, but all must end
Chinua Achebe sums it up. ‘Live fire begets cold, impotent ash’. The weather in Sekondi Takoradi has been chilly throughout the week.
I had made a pledge to myself that all activities with the mahogany bitters stand suspended just as political activities of the opposition parties in Ghana remain suspended.
But as I sat before my television set and watched the hundreds of Ghanaians from all walks of life, clad in traditional red and black, trooping to the State House to pay their last respects to the late President of the Republic of Ghana, last Wednesday, it reminded me of a poem in my secondary school days which in sum admonishes us all that we shall one day succumb to the final work of the axe and the shovel.
I looked at the corner where the mahogany bitters rested and beckoned it to my side, but it would not move. I moved to the corner and fetched it and I could hear it saying ‘but you say you are on leave?’
I had no time to tell it to shut up and that we were in bad times. I did not measure my usual tots, I simply gulped down what I could, hit my chest and put up a strong face.
Tears began to roll down my cheeks that we shall all travel that part one day, the exact day we do not know, but verily, verily, I say unto thee that once a man is born, he is bound to die.
In this case a man represents a woman as well. The difference is that some do not have the privilege of having their demise announced even by the local ‘community FM’ dotted all over the country.
My brothers and sisters, there laid the popularly elected President of Ghana, the Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, a man who could declare war and our armed forces would have no choice than to obey.
He could not command the Armed Forces to wage a war on death to save him and this country from the agony we are all going through.
A schoolmate of mine used to say ‘Man never is,’ meaning ‘onipa nse hwee.’ As I watched him lying so stiff, oblivious of everything around him, Martin Amidu’s saying that ‘after all when you die, you do not know that you once lived,’ rang in my ear drums.
The late Prof. Atta Mills does not know that he once lived nor remember being a President. Death has laid its icy hands on him.
Every dead person is humble in his sleep, but his, matched his character. It is sad though that a modest man like him should attract a lot of unnecessary controversies around his death, ranging from where he should be buried to what the course and circumstances of his death were.
Sometimes in our eagerness to be seen to be more loving and caring for the deceased, we tend to forget some basic traditional and customarily laws.
No matter how highly placed a person is in our society, it is only the family, and in this case the extended family members who determine the burial place of a deceased one.
In many instances, respect shown to the family have yielded a negotiated agreement as to the most convenient place of burial even though that place might not be the most appropriate place for the burial of the deceased.
Yet in the case of the late President, people who were only politically associated with the deceased had chosen their burial grounds before consulting the family thus generating preventable confusion and debates among the Ghanaian populace at a time when we needed the utmost solemnity and unity to lay the old man to rest.
The other unfortunate public discussion on the death of the late President is the course and circumstances of his death. Here, I would want to stir up some controversy by being blunt with the issues.
Many Ghanaians including those very close to the late President claim that they were shocked by the sudden death of the President.
Every honest citizen of this country knows that our late President was not healthy, the problem was that his handlers were being very dishonest with the people of this country.
We are just being hypocritical about the health condition of our late President by saying his death was sudden. The painful truth is that when a man is unwell, one of two things happens. He either gets well and goes back to his normal duties or dies.
Even if the sick person will not recover fully from his ailments, the length of time for him to live is dependent on how he is managed in terms of treatment and his physical activities.
The sycophants and bootlickers at the seat of government, whose survival depended on showing how close they were to the President, politicized the late President’s health conditions to the detriment of the man.
Why did Brigadier Nunoo-Mensah urge him to stay on when the man knew that his health was not too supportive of his job as the President? The fear that he was no more going to be a security advisor when the President resigned and therefore going to lose a Gh¢7000.00 monthly salary?
In whose interest were the senior members of government serving, when they got the man who had just returned from a ‘routine check-up’ to be jogging openly on the tarmac of Kotoka International Airport and deliver a speech when what he needed immediately was adequate rest?
Who pushed him to the very bad portions of the Accra-Kumasi road when he was supposed to be resting at the Peduase Lodge, and for what?
President Mills would not have been the first President to have fallen ill while in office, at least in Africa. And yet he was painted as fit as a fiddle when his soul was willing but the body was weak?
I am wondering if Prof. Atta-Mills had been the father of anybody at the Castle, they would have made a mockery of him by asking him to jog on the tarmac when he had just returned from a medical check up?
When politics is reduced to this level by nincompoops, this is the kind of national tragedy and embarrassment that confronts us all.
When ex-President Rawlings said that the late President could have lived for about another six months, was he not telling us a certain truth the handlers had hidden from all of us?
We should also not forget that a few days before the passing away of the late President, he had met ‘in camera’ with ex-President Rawlings at the Castle. Who knows what the late President told the ex-President?
Enya asa, nea ofri o, nea otua ka o, ne wura se onda nton bio. Both the person who wants to buy on cash and the one who wants to buy on credit have nothing to buy because the seller no longer wants to sell.
All of a sudden nonentities want to portray to the world how close they were to the late President.
Those who had to chart with him for one hour everyday, those Deputy Ministers who had to call him every morning before the man could even brush his teeth, and still those who would be called to the Castle by the late President to express his appreciation for job well done after they had gone to insult political opponents in the media on his behalf. Shameless idiots raising their egos.
Those appointees who have the effrontery of telling security agencies doing their legitimate work that ‘do you know who I am’ should now know that they are nobodies and that when the time comes for all of us to leave this earth, there is no barrier, and body guards cannot guard us against the icy hands of the unseen end of humanity.
To all of us Ghanaians, I will only quote the legendary Nelson Mandela when he said ‘ that from the disaster of the past, a new society would be born which the world would be proud of’’.
Let us respect one another as we work to improve our lives and leave a better nation to the generation unborn. Adieu, Mr. President, you have paid your dues and so have got nothing to lose.
Source: Daily Guide
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