My Brothers and Sisters! I am sitting with the rest of the nation in an uncertain position right now due to the death of our president. I am saddened, discouraged, angry and worried but above all I am confused about this whole spectacle. I feel I could have done something but everything points to the fact that is just the way of life. We all live and die. There is a time for everything.
I remember the accounts my parents and grandmother told me about this country the way it treated its first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah about 50 years ago. To them it just feels like those days and they cannot believe the people are acting the same way to their leaders after many years have passed. It reminds me of a comic carton book from my father’s closet depicting Nkrumah as the living villain, like you see in most movies and books. In life, the people turned its backs on Nkrumah, but in death Nkrumah was nostalgically reminded as a freedom fighter and a champion of African freedom.
I don’t actually know what happened in history that made Ghanaians started seeing Nkrumah as a good leader, at least the majority. Again my parents, grandmother and other acquaintances have told me how Nkrumah was mistreated as a president. However, after his death we became immortalized and gained the love and support of all Ghanaians. History has been kind to Nkrumah. I heard those days; people attributed the way events turned out to external influences.
Comments thread on Facebook (Picture has been taken off, because it is disturbing)
Today we witness history repeat itself in Ghana. I must say my countrymen are not courageous, they are cowards and hypocrites! In Prof. Mills’s case, a few hours separated the people’s view of him as a villain to him as a great leader. It seems that it is actually only in death that we respect our leaders. We seem to cherish the dead more than the living. Interesting! All of a sudden the few words that describe this man are real statesman, sportsman, honest and peaceful. Yes I know death makes everyone look peaceful but I am not sure about the other characteristics Ghanaians have attached to the president in the days following his death.
On the lighter side, I have very good fond memories of “My President”. I remember he said in one of his speeches that “every country who does not honour its heroes, is not worth dying for!” The real irony here is that, Prof. Mills saw Ghana and the people as his hero till his last breath. Therefore, was ready to die for his country. However, Ghanaians did not recognize him as a hero until he passed on. Such pain, we could have prevented if we only appreciated him in his life as much as we have in his death!
I remember once, he even swept the castle with a group of people on a public holiday. I also remember him making the statement that “Ghanaians like borrowing words they don’t understand” to a group of journalists. Maybe it was a joke but I think it was really truthful that Ghanaians like borrowing words they don’t understand. I hope this tragedy will help us learn to use the right words for ourselves and leaders because, most of the time it just discouraging to be a hero for such a nation.
My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Dr. Naadu Mills, son and the people of Ghana. Papa Yaa Wo Ojogbaa! Damirifa Due!