As usual Facebook Radio broke the news to me first. I immediately picked up my phone and spoke to two trusted journalist friends of mine. Dzifa Gbeho-Bampoh will usually respond ‘Kwame Gyuan’, when I called. This time her voice was crackling and the Kwame was soft without the Gyuan. Dzifa said “Kwame it is true oooo oh”. I sensed she had tears on her cheeks and was still crying. Joy FM had confirmation but it was the sort of news you don’t rush to break.
I spoke with Richard Sky as well, just hoping that someone will give me some hope that the story was not true. Sky had forcefully suggested on his shoe The Big Issue four days before that the President was sick and needed help. He had feared the worse. As usual government and party people were all over the place denying and talking silly. I remember one saying “we all get sick; we get malaria. ..”.
A colleague told me his 8 year old son asked him “Daddy is the President sick”.
I have said previously that I think Mills was a kind hearted man, a fantastic teacher and a gentleman. He wasn’t my favourite President. His death however shook the nation even though we saw it coming. I believe he would have been a good leader if he had time. He spent his Presidency seeking medical help and ruling a nation as complex as ours.
I still remember the events of last year as though it were yesterday. I recall the sense of loss and anger I felt emanating from the fact that he could have lived on if he and his handlets had been a little bit wiser.
I recall the sense of pride in seeing John Mahama being sworn in just under 8 hours after Mills had been called to glory. The world was proud of us, and we were even prouder of us.
A year on we mourn a good man. I pray we learn from his passing and do all we can to avert this ever happening.
I’m Ghanaian and proud. I still believe in my country. I don’t believe in my leaders but I believe in my country’s peoples.
God bless Ghana.