On July 24, 2022, former President John Evans Atta-Mills’ birthday was honored by John Mahama.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) stalwarts and supporters joined the late president’s family to pay tribute to Mills at the Asomdwee Park with Mahama.
At the remembrance occasion, Mahama stated that it would be impossible to restore Mills’ tomb without consulting his family.
“Even while he rests with his maker, such a man and his memory are deserving of the highest respect and reverence.I, along with many others, lament much that the unnecessary dispute over the location of the late former President’s ultimate burial place has overshadowed what should have been a solemn 10th anniversary to honor his life and learn lessons from it.
Any effort to improve the Asomdwee park, where Professor Mills’ mortal remains are interred and where this event is being held, should be welcomed, the speaker said. “It is no more than Professor Mills would have deserved for his outstanding contributions to our nation’s development and its forward match,” he said.
But doing this without consulting his family and while involving people whose acts and behaviour have only served to bring the deceased professor’s name and memory into unwanted and unwarranted public debate is unsustainable, he said.
The late President John Evans Atta-Mills was characterized as a “honorable and dignified statesman whose passion for his country and his people was without dispute” by former President John Dramani Mahama.
He said on Facebook on Sunday, July 24, 2022, “phenomenon best felt than defined,” in reference to Prof. Atta-Mills.
On July 24, 2022, Prof. Mills passed away.
He was Ghana’s first president who passed away while still in office.
Speaking about the events leading up to President Atta-Mills’ passing, Mr. Mahama stated that on the specified day, he had been informed that he would be requested to serve as President because Prof. was expected to fly to Nigeria.
Sir James Bebaako Mensah, the President’s Secretary, he claimed, informed him of the situation.
In a similar vein, Mr. Mahama claimed that Prof. Mills’ secretary once more informed him that Prof “At the official Brand Ghana Project launch that was scheduled to take place at the International Conference Centre, I will stand in for him.
Together with the Chief of Staff, Mr. John Martey Newman, I went to that event.”
He said, “Upon our return to the Castle, which at that time was still the seat of government; as I proceeded to my office, I asked Chief of Staff, Martey Newman to inform Prof. that I was going to cross over and see him to discuss a few important issues after meeting a former President who was waiting in my office.”
According to Mr Mahama, “moments after our return, the Chief of Staff called me frantically and said that Prof had been rushed to the 37 Military Hospital in an emergency. I wrapped up my meeting with the former President and prepared my staff to rush to the hospital. It was then that Sir James Bebaako Mensah entered my office, [and] delivered the devastating news, Prof dead? How? How can Prof die? Were the questions I asked. The world came to a standstill.”
For him, when the news of Prof. Mills’ death got to him, it broke him down, saying “Nothing in my political life and experience had prepared me for a moment like this. The shelter I have been working under Prof had been a wonderful experience. His death left me in trepidation of stepping up to the plate, realising the huge responsibility one was stepping into and that the back was going to stop with me, and no one else.”
He added, “The swearing in ceremony was a blur and I struggled to complete my acceptance speech without breaking down in front of a sorrowful nation. When I left the podium, I missed my way back. I went and sat back in my Vice Presidential seat until the uproar from the MPs reminded me that I had sworn the Presidential oath and should move to the ceremonial Presidential seat. The rest is history to be narrated at another appropriate time.”