Stop disturbing the peaceful rest of late former President Prof. John Fiifi Atta Mills!
Various dictionaries including the Oxford English Dictionary, describe colossus as a statue that is much bigger than the life size. It also means a person or thing of enormous size, importance or ability.
For example, the Russian Empire was the colossus of European politics. Simply put, an extremely important and influential politician is an example of colossus. Something likened to a huge statue, as in size or importance, there is no certain limitation to his strength and like most heroes, it is augmented by his willpower.
DILAPIDATED GRAVESIDE OF PROF. ATTA MILLS
To me, Koku Anyidoho, a former member of the largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), a close confidant and press secretary of the late former President of the Republic of Ghana, deserves that accolade of colossus because of attributes such as mighty, indomitable, domineering, influential, herculean, ruthless, ruling among others.
He exhibited these qualities recently in a controversy involving him, the family of the late President John Fiifi Atta Mills and the opposition NDC, over the dilapidated condition of the burial grounds and the tomb of the former President and its rehabilitation by the state-sponsored project.
Koku’s involvement in this project which was initiated by his non-governmental organisation known as Atta Mills Institute (AMI) which received state sponsorship to face-lift the final resting place of the late professor to commemorate his 10th anniversary of his death, generated heated and nasty exchanges between him and the Atta Mills’ family led by the junior brother of the late president, Samuel Atta Mills, who is the Member of Parliament for Komenda –Edina- Eguafo- Abrem Constituency in the Central Region.
The NDC party of which the former late president was a staunch member and leader of the party, later joined the fracas against Koku, backed by the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
SHAMEFUL SPECTACLE RECORDED
The accusations, insults, acrimonies, name calling and negative activities that transpired prior to the observance of the 10th anniversary of late former president and statesman, noted for his peaceful demeanor, which earned him the accolade, Asomdwehene were so distasteful, shameful and difficult to comprehend.
The family of Atta Mills led by his brother, Samuel Atta-Mills was furious that the government had allowed the Atta Mills Institute to tamper with the grave of the late former President.
According to him the current arrangement was against their custom saying, “It is not proper to allow the Non governmental Organisation (NGO) to make changes to the grave without recourse to the family. Apparently, a group calling itself Atta Mills Institute that the family does not recognise and Coastal Development Authority (CDA) have gone to break this grave of President Evans Atta Mills. Why would you go and touch somebody’s grave without informing the family? Who has the body now? This is the question I want to ask Ghanaians.”
ALLEGED DESECRATION OF ATTA MILLS’ GRAVE
The furious brother of the former late President asked the government to immediately stop the conduct of Koku Anyidoho because he was desecrating the resting place of his brother. Hear him “This is an insult to the family, this is an insult to we the Akans, this is an insult to the nation.
The government allows an NGO and Coastal Development Authority to run Asomdwe Park. Why don’t we send another NGO to go and run Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum? The government has to provide the body of President John Atta Mills. We want to find out where the body is? Who in this government is authorising this nonsense?
REFUTAL OF ALLEGATION BY KOKU ANYIDOHO
But in a sharp rebuttal to the response of the accusations, former aide to John Atta Mills and founder of the AMI, denied claims of tampering the grave of the late President. According to him, he would not dignify the insults meted out to him, insisting that his action was solely to preserve the memory of the late former President. “Nobody has tampered with anything?
What is being done is the reconstruction of the Asomdwe Park. President Mills died as President of the Republic of Ghana. Where has Sammy Atta Mills been all these years? Does he now remember that the late President was his brother? What has he done to keep the memory of his brother alive? I respect the family so much, but I will not dignify Sammy Atta Mills, “ says Koku.
NDC CRITICISES THE BUST OF PROF MILLS
The NDC minority in Parliament in a tribute expressed displeasure over the omission of the name of the late President Atta- Mills on the plaque placed beneath his bust at the Asomdwe Park.
The bust was unveiled on Sunday, July 24, 2022, by President Akufo-Addo to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the passing of the late President. A news conference held recently by the Minority, called for immediate steps to be taken to correct the anomaly.
The Minority leader who spoke on behalf of the group described the omission as unfortunate, saying the name on the plaque on the bust was to inform visitors to the park whose bust has been erected instead of the name of President Akufo-Addo and the founder of the Atta-Mills Institute, Koku Anyidoho, as those who unveiled the plaque.
“We are demanding from President Akufo-Addo and his associates such as Koku Anyidoho to do what is right and appropriate and to remind them that the office of the former President is an institutional office and it goes beyond the persona John Evans Atta-Mills,” he said.
MILLS’ FAMILY THREATENS COURT ACTION AGAINST KOKU
At the time when everybody thought the controversy was over despite the double and separate observances of wreath laying by the government and the main opposition NDC, the Senior brother of late former President and Ebusuapanyin of the family, Dr. Cadman Mills has resurrected the case, accusing Koku Anyidoho of using the Atta Mills Institute to “sow divisions and insult elders” saying that “that was not what Fiifi (Atta Mills) stood for.”
According to him, the family was considering legal action over the operation of the Atta Mills Institute, founded by Koku Anyidoho, adding that Koku was using the name of the late President to run his institute without authorisation from them.
Dr. Cadman Mills who spoke at a public lecture recently to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of President Mills, said the family had decided that it would contact its solicitors to make sure that they explore all avenues to stop Atta Mills Institute from operating.
Indeed, in the realms of eternity, the dead must rest peacefully and nothing should disturb that person who had passed on to glory from having a serene and eternal rest, even in his or her grave.
The Holy Bible says in the Book of Mathew that, those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Outside of burial ceremonies and gravestones, rest in peace has come to be used in obituaries and online to signify respect and well wishes for the beloved person who has died.
PROF. MILLS DESERVES PEACEFUL REST
This clearly reminds us that even in death, there is the need for a serene atmosphere for our beloved ones who have passed on to eternity to rest peacefully. However, in the case of our former late President John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills, that had not been the case at all. Ten years after his demise, his soul continues to turn in his grave without enjoying that peaceful rest, because it is being disturbed continually by his family, party faithful, close associates among other aggrieved persons in the society.
It was time the feuding parties at the centre of controversy, bury their individual differences, stop these petty bickering and rally together to accord that greatest statesman, that due and unnegotiated respect he deserved, even while at his final resting place at the Asomdwe Park, so that his soul can enjoy that peaceful and lasting rest.
Losing a sitting President is not something a nation can brood over. Let us accord this great man all the courtesies he deserved at his final resting place, because he once upon a time, sacrificed his life, time and everything for the betterment of our dear nation. Fare thee well Asomdwehene, a man of peace! Sleep well, man of many parts!
BY CHARLES NEEQUAYE
Writer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org