Mills’ Autopsy Report: What Is JDM Hiding From Ghanaians?

Feature Article The late President Atta Mills
The late President Atta Mills

The moment you become the sitting President of Ghana, everything about you is of serious concern to all Ghanaians, except what you do with your wife in your privacy. There are several reasons for that.

As a sitting President of Ghana, your salary, food, clothing, bodyguards, garden boys, cooks, cars, drivers, fuel, medical bills, traveling allowances, accommodation, security and in fact, all expenses of your wife etc, fall on the laps of the taxpayers of Ghana.

As the First Gentleman of the state, you receive the highest courtesy wherever you go, and you are accorded the highest respect anywhere. There is always a presidential jet literally sitting in the hangar for your use. Even your in-laws 'kowtow' you.

You are the Commander-in-chief of the Ghana Armed Forces and as such, if you say we should go to war we have no option but to pick our bows and arrows and head towards the battlefront. That is why we too have the right to know everything about you, especially your health. No wonder the sages say, “He who pays the piper calls the tune.”

Fantes have suffered a great deal in the hands of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the case of the autopsy report of the late Professor Mills should bring to an end to the rumours and conspiracy theories. The first Fante casualty was Mr. De-Graft Johnson, the Vice President to Dr. Hilla Limann. He was such a nice gentleman who would not harm even a fly. Barely two years after his government, the Peoples National Party (PNP) led by Dr. Hilla Limann, held the reins of power, 'Otofuor' J.J Rawlings staged a bloody coup.

The gentleman escaped into exile in Ivory Coast and ended up in London where he died. Like Limann, he was never paid any End of Service Benefit, and he died a pauper. Like Hilla Limann, it was alleged he took to heavy drinking out of frustration. He was not given a state burial as the former Vice President of Ghana.

His name seems to have been deleted from the political history books of Ghana by the grace of Rawlings who later founded the NDC with state money. What a dreadful and sad story of a Fante gentleman who was prepared to serve his nation.

Casualty number two was Ekow Nkensen Arkaah, another Fante man with probably the best Curriculum Vitae I have ever read. He was the leader of one of the fragmented Nkrumaist political parties in the run-up to the 1992 General Election, but was lured to leave his party and join the NDC. He was made a running mate to Rawlings, so when Rawlings won the 1992 Presidential Election, Arkaah automatically became the Vice President of Ghana.

Arkaah, the stubborn cat, as he was popularly called, started attacking the NDC for being corrupt and stealing monies from the state coffers. Rawlings became annoyed and so during one of the cabinet meetings which Rawlings did not attend, Mr. Arkaah went and chaired the meeting. When Rawlings heard that Mr. Arkaah was chairing the Cabinet meeting, he rushed to the venue, boiling with uncontrollable anger. He asked Arkaah to leave the venue but Arkaah refused. For no apparent reason, Rawlings pounced on Arkaah and subjected him to brutal beating.

Other ministers at the meeting who were obviously afraid of Rawlings failed to restrain Rawlings as he continued to pummel the poor old man. Apart from Madam Emma Mitchell who boldly confronted Rawlings and reprimanded him for beating the old man, the rest recoiled into their shelves. Madam Mitchell resigned from the NDC because of what Rawlings did to the old man. Arkaah later reported the case at the Nima Police Station but no action was taken. His torn coat is still hanging at the archives of the Nima Police Station.

Mr. Kufuor later chose Mr. Arkaah as his running mate in the 1996 General Election when the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the NPP formed the Great Alliance. The NPP lost that election and Mr. Arkaah retired to 'sit his somewhere'. One day, Mr. Arkaah was returning home in Accra after visiting a friend in town with his driver when a tipper truck crossed his Mercedes Benz and crushed the car. A fatally wounded Arkaah was flown to the UK for treatment but sadly, he too died there.

The bloody hands of Rawlings were boldly written in that planned accident. Like De-Graft Johnson, he was also not given any state burial. In fact, Mr. Arkaah had willed that his body should be cremated and so it was done.

Professor Mills, another Fante man, was the Commissioner of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) when Rawlings asked him to be his Vice President when Arkaah rebelled. At an NDC rally at Swedru, Rawlings unilaterally proclaimed Mills as the candidate for that year's presidential election.

That was how come the Swedru declaration became a political jargon in Ghanaian politics. Mills lost two times to Mr. Kufuor and won when he made his third attempt. He chose Mr. Mahama as his running mate. Little did he know that he was digging his own grave. Barely three years into his presidency, he mysteriously died at the Castle, the then seat of government.

Tongues started wagging and conspiracy theorists took the centre stage. Some said the CCTV cameras at the Castle went faulty on the day Mills died at the Castle. Mills' sister who had visited him the morning he died told Ghanaians that she was surprised because the man looked strong and healthy when he visited him.

She said they prayed and ate breakfast together before she left the Castle only to be called on her cell phone as she was on her way back to Cape Coast that her brother was dead. Then the rumour mill started grinding louder and louder that the man was strangled to death.

What made people more suspicious was that, the body of the man was transported in one of the ambulances at the Castle to the Maternity Ward of the 37 Military Hospital and when nurses went to open the ambulance they saw a man instead of a pregnant woman and referred the ambulance to the Male Ward. Interestingly, no motorcade led the ambulance, considering the fact that the whole drama happened during the rush hours and traffic was choked.

More than a decade since the death of the meek and mild professor, his autopsy report has become illusive like a pin in the ocean. Mr. Mahama must boldly come out to tell Ghanaians the whereabouts of the autopsy report for matters to be brought to close.

If Mills had died when he was not a sitting president, it would not have been anyone's worry. But the fact that he died while serving Ghanaians, it matters for all Ghanaians to be interested to know what killed our president. When you are the sitting president, you are not the property of your family members or your political party alone. You belong to Ghana so we have the right to know what killed you if you die.

What people should know is that when we know the truth, we will be able to make some corrections as far as the personal security of our presidents is concerned. If for example the fault is from the doctors at the Castle clinic we pay to see to the health of the president, heads will have to roll. Mr. Mahama cannot continue to keep silent, since he was the Vice President when the president died.

The last victim is former Vice President Amissah-Arthur, another brilliant Fante gentleman. He had gone to do some exercise in a gym. He collapsed there and instead of calling for an ambulance to convey him to hospital, he was bundled into a pick-up and he died. What have Fantes done to the NDC to suffer such sudden and unexplained deaths?

Did you listen to Matilda Amissah-Arthur, the wife of the gentleman speaking at his funeral? The younger generation of Fantes should advise themselves. Mr. Mahama must speak out or we will continue to believe those who tell us that he had a hand in the death of the good old professor. Your silence on the issue is very disturbing and worrisome. Think!!!

By Eric Bawah