Aug 16, 2012 at 12:34pm
President Mills' Death, The Tributes and Lessons For Ghana
There have been several tributes from all walks of life since the sad and unfortunate news of the demise of our late President; Prof.
Mills was broken on that fateful day of 24th July, 2012.
They came from the clergy, statesmen, international figures, political parties, musicians, his close associates, government officials, the general public to mention but a few.
One thing that ran through all is that Prof Mills was a great man.
His qualities such as humility, fairness, firmness, selflessness, hard work, respect for time, genuine love for his people, pursuit of the interest of all, faith in God, dedication to ensuring peace to mention but a few.
If these are just mere words or tributes in the name of tradition, then I find something fundamentally wrong with the Ghanaian society.
But if these are indeed qualities that our late President exhibited in his daily activities, then I still find something fundamentally wrong with the Ghanaian society.
I am only 32 years of age; therefore I have only been able to observe the fourth republican democratic dispensation.
I also observed part of the military regime under Flt.
Rawlings even though I wasn’t politically conscious at the time.
If there was an award for the most criticized and vilified President on a daily basis by Ghanaians, then the late President Prof.
J.E.A Mills would have won undisputed.
In spite of all these, he tolerated till his death.
I am surprised and continue to be as I hear tributes from all walks of life pointing to the opposite from the kind of treatment he got from Ghanaians.
If the tributes are anything to go by, then he will be the next greatest Ghanaian leader ever, second only to Kwame Nkrumah, our first President.
Why was it difficult for us to appreciate the rare qualities of Prof.
Did we decide to turn a blind eye to them?
Were we ungrateful to him or did the dirty game of politics of insults blind us to the truth?
Could the Government’s communication team, his friends and colleagues have done better at marketing these qualities to the general public since they were closer to him than most of us?
Was he a genuine man swallowed in the dirty game of politics?
These are the few questions on my mind and I wish that fellow Ghanaians help me answer them.
Our current set-up as a society fundamentally, gives very little incentive (if any at all) for people to exhibit good qualities as our late President did.
We do not celebrate greatness.
For instance let a village school score 100% in their exams despite their challenges and they might not even get any attention in the media.
Therefore, the teachers and other stakeholders who ensured this feat was achieved might not be encouraged to improve the next year.
But let the same school score 0% the following year and the entire media will scavenge on that news item, discuss the possible causes and the way forward.
After that, enthusiastic discussion, nothing might be done again and the challenges will remain unresolved.
I wish that as we mourn the death of our late President, we also learn to appreciate people for whom they are and not wait till they are dead before we celebrate them as is the case of Prof.
Government and leadership in all sectors of the economy and politics must learn to put in place structures to celebrate good leadership qualities.
When this is done, it will encourage others to emulate their good works.
In conclusion, I dare say that if there is any path to real development for Ghana, it will be that of the time-tested values of humility, fairness, firmness, selflessness, hard work, respect for time, genuine pursuit for the interest of all, faith in God and dedication to ensuring peace as our late President has exhibited will be that path.
May God grant us the grace to learn and pursue these as we seek the progress of Ghana!
God bless our homeland Ghana and make our Nation greater and stronger!
BY ANTHONY SELASE SABAH (DEVELOPMENT WORKER)
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