Former President Jerry Rawlings believes President John Evans Atta Mills sudden death could have been avoided had he (Mills) been advised and done something wiser about it.
Speaking to the BBC World Service in Congo Brazzaville, the Founder of the governing party said though he was shocked to hear the news of the death of his once-beloved protégé, it did not come to him as a surprise.
According to him, although President Mills has been battling with the cancer for quite some time, his death came at the wrong time because “we have elections in December”.
He revealed that the cancer that afflicted Mills, affected both his eye and his ear, and "he couldn’t sustain more than three hours per day."
The former president is in Congo Brazzaville together with his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings. They are participating in activities marking the formal launch of Forbes Africa, at the invitation of President Denis Sassou N’Guesso.
Mr. Rawlings said: “It was quite a shock to my wife and I but it was not unexpected because he’s been battling the cancer for quite a while.
“This is certainly the wrong time for him to go considering that we have elections around the corner in December. Quite frankly, I think had he been advised and done something wiser earlier on, he could probably have survive for another six, seven months I guess, but he got too tight, he got extremely tight and the poor professor passed away.”
Rawlings added: “He’s played his part, as my Vice President I think he was one of the finest, he was indeed one of the finest, but there again considering that the cancer affected both his eye and his ear, he couldn’t sustain more than three hours per day".
The former President expressed disappointment at the fact that President Mills could not re-open the cases of “some of the cold blooded killings that took place before we came into office”.
“So that (cancer) was naturally going to affect his performance and that’s why I think he would have done just as well or even better. The only unfortunate thing is that some of the cold blooded killings that took place before we came into office could not be re-investigated. I would have wished he had really done that.
“Let’s see what can be done with the time that is left.”
Asked about what he thought about the current President, John Dramani Mahama, former President Rawlings said “I don’t know but I hope so.”
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