Late President Mills' last words
8/11/2012 3:00:18 AM -
Accra, Aug 11, GNA - The late President John Evas Atta Mills, who was laid to rest on Friday at the Asomdwee (Peace) Park, off the Osu Castle Drive in Accra, submitted himself to God, before he drew his last breath on July 24, 2012,
Dr Cadman Atta Mills, the late President's brother said on Friday, during the vote of thanks he rendered at the burial.
He said he was in no doubt that the late President Mills was resting in peace and asked for prayers for him.
Thousands of mourners including US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and a number of African Heads of State attended the state funeral that was organized for three days, with the third day being declared a national holiday for the burial service and ceremonies.
According to Dr Mills, who was also a member of the late President Mills Economic Management Team, President Mills' final moments, were marked with a submission to his Maker.
He said President Mills raised his hand and said his last words: 'God, I give it all to you.'
Dr Mills expressed appreciation to the numerous tributes that had come in since the death of the President.
President Mills, who was a former Vice President under the second term of former President Jerry Rawlings, from 1997 to 2000, ruled Ghana from January 7, 2009, to July 24, 2012.
The late President, according to a tribute brochure made available at the funeral, had written and signed a message to Ghanaians, christened 'everlasting message' before his death.
The message read: 'I came to serve; I have finished my time here on earth and have moved on to everlasting rest and celestial duties with my heavenly Father.
'As you leaf through these pages of my life's story, I pray to God that it touches you in many positive ways.'
'Weep not; for I am not dead.'
'I am alive and awake in the Lord'
'Ghana will not die; Ghana will live to declare the works of the Lord.'
'As I rest in the perfect peace in the celestial realms with my Maker, I pledge to always uphold and defend the good name of Ghana'
'Remember the Lord in all your ways, and He will protect you'
'Stay well my brothers and sisters, for I will always be with you.'
President Mills was laid to rest in the newly created presidential mausoleum, with full military honours. Former President Rawlings was present at the graveside for the burial.
Ahead of his interment, the casket of the late President and Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces was draped in the Ghana national colours of red yellow and green, and placed on a gun carriage.
It then went on procession through some principal streets of Accra.
A helicopter hovered overhead with thousands of Ghanaians dressed in mourning cloths following the cortege before it ended at the Asomdwee Park, a bird sanctuary in between the Osu Castle and the Independence Square.
The casket containing the remains of the late President was lowered into the grave at exactly 15:15 hours and the burial ceremony ended with clerical prayer.
At 1600 hours President Mills was lowered into his grave after a brief military and religious ceremonies as well as wreath laying.
Tens of thousands of Ghanaians including 16 Heads of State and Government, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of the diplomatic corps graced the burial service.
The Most Rev Prof Emmanuel Asante, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, who officiated called on man to make God the centre of his life activities.
The ceremonies were followed by millions of people in Ghana and around the world on television and the internet.
President John Dramani Mahama, who led the mourners, laid a wreath on behalf of the Government and people of Ghana.
Others who laid wreaths were former First Lady Naadu Mills; Dr Cadman Atta Mills, the late President's brother for the family; Dr Mary Grant for the Council of Elders of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr David Tetteh Asumeng on behalf Parliament, Lt Gen Peter Augustine Blay, Chief of Defence Staff, on behalf of the Ghana Armed Forces.
President Mahama, had earlier at the burial service at the Independence Square, appealed to Ghanaians to bury their differences and be more united as a departing gift for the late President.
'President Mills would not be happy in his grave if Ghanaians continue to create social and political divisions.
'President Mills was a man of God who abhorred political antagonism and we shall do him a lot of good if we avoid divisive tendencies in our political activities,' President Mahama added.
President Mahama called for tolerance and asked Ghanaians to place premium on the saying that 'unity is strength' to move the country forward in terms of growth and development
Some dignitaries in attendance were the US Secretary of States, Mrs Hilary Clinton, Africa Union President, Yayi Boni, Presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria; Kadre Quedraogo, President of the ECOWAS Commission, Guinean President, Alpha Conde, Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of Namibia, Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of the Saharawi Republic, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and President of Gabon, Ali Bongo.
Others included Sierra Leone's Ernest Bai Koroma, Senegal's Macky Sall, Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, Alhassan Quattara of Cote D' Ivoire.
The rest are Dr Mustapha Osman Secretary to the President of Sudan, Mr Yamina Bengnigni, French Minister for Francophonie, and Mr Themba Masuka, Swaziland Deputy Prime Minister. Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace, representing Pope Benedict XVI was also there to pay respect.
President Mills was born on 21 July 1944 in Tarkwa, in the Western Region of Ghana.
He was a Fante from Ekumfi Otuam in the Central Region.
He was educated at Achimota School, where he completed the Advanced-Level Certificate in 1963, and the University of Ghana, Legon, where he completed a law degree in 1967.
He studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science and earned a PhD in Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London after completing his doctoral thesis in the field of taxation and economic development.
The late President Atta Mills is survived by a wife, Ernestina Naadu Mills and son, Samuel 'Fiifi' Atta Mills.
He was inaugurated as President on 7 January 2009, after defeating the ruling New Patriotic party candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo