“He took me as a son; I ask you to take heart because you are not alone in our grief…you have lost a son, I gained a father when he took me as his vice president and even though you’ve lost a great son, I think you’ve gained a son (in me). I hope you will accept me as your son and give me the prayers and support that you gave Prof. Atta Mills,” these were the sobering words of His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama when he paid a courtesy call on the family of the late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, former President of the Republic of Ghana.
His visit was to formally inform the Oguaa Traditional Council and the family of former President Mills of the death of their son who passed away on Tuesday, 24th July 2012 at the 37 Military Hospital.
President Mahama broke down in tears immediately he began to announce the demise of the former President to the chiefs at the palace of Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, the Paramount Chief of the Oguaa Traditional Area.
The visibly distraught President Mahama started to lose his voice and had to hold on for a while to wipe his tears.
Among the delegation that accompanied him were some Cabinet Ministers, of State as well as leading members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Addressing a large crowd of mourners and family members, President Mahama said Prof Mills gave him the opportunity to exhibit his leadership skills and always offered him a listening ear. He recounted times when the late Prof. Mills sat him down and advised or encouraged anytime the going got tough.
“I believe that I was the luckiest Vice President in the World; to have had a President like him because he gave me the space to operate and gave me every responsibility…He (Prof Mills) will tell me, John don’t worry, I (ProfMills) trust that you can do or he (Prof Mills) would say God is on our side, He will see us through; he was a man of faith…his disposition always calmed me,” President Mahama said.
He described the late Prof. Mills as a father, a friend and his mentor and encouraged family members to take heart and give him all the support needed to complete the work the former president began.
On his part, the acting President of the Oguaa Traditional Council, Nana Afari Twako VI, said, indeed, the demise of former President Mills came as a great shock to the chiefs and people of the area.
But he, in a philosophical manner added, “What man likes, the Almighty also likes.”
Source: Rebecca Addo-Tetteh/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana