It has now emerged that the late President John Evans Atta Mills possibly knew he was going to die even though he had told Ghanaians his doctors had given him a clean bill of health to contest the December 2012 elections.
This was captured in a note he is reported to have written before his demise on July 24, 2012 which bears his name and signature.
On page 2 of the ‘Tributes’ booklet distributed at his final funeral last Friday at the Independence Square in Accra, captioned ‘Everlasting message,’ the late President Mills was quoted to have written ,’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,’ he was quoted to have written.
‘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.’
It is however not clear whether he indeed wrote it or he dictated any such thing to his handlers, when and for what reason he might have done so.
It has generated a huge controversy in social media circles, with Presidential Aide Stanislav Xoexe Dogbe having to accuse the state-run Daily Graphic and Joy FM for creating the buzz, raising concerns that the supposed ‘everlasting message’ could be the creation of somebody and not the late President Mills himself as it sought to portray.
Mills was said to have died of massive stroke he suffered a few minutes before his departure.
That in itself is generating controversy because the autopsy report rather said he died of cancer.
More Issues Over Mills’s Death
Individuals and civil society organisations have started asking questions about the circumstances leading to the death of the late President Mills, with some pushing for a coroner’s inquest.
It follows conflicting accounts and disclosures by some members of Mills’s immediate family, individuals and institutions as to what could have caused his death.
Sister of the deceased president, Mercy Araba Quarshie, had earlier suggested that her brother died sometime around 1:45pm on that fateful day on July 24, 2012.
But the official statement which announced the death claimed he died at exactly 2:15pm.
These and others including claims that he died of throat cancer, as the international media and former President Rawlings suggested, and suffering a massive stroke as the late president’s brother, Dr Cadman Mills, told Ghanaians on Friday, have created doubts.
The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), a pro New Patriotic Party group and the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) have made similar calls.
AFAG raised a number of questions such as, when the late president was taken to the 37 Military Hospital and his condition when he arrived at the hospital, the mode of transportation to the 37 Military Hospital and whether the transportation was under the guidance of a police escort, which would have helped get the president to the hospital faster.
AFAG is also seeking to know the role, if any, the medical staff at the Castle Clinic played in the entire tragedy and why the president was not taken to any health facility closer to the Castle, the seat of government.
‘Was the 37 Military Hospital informed that the Commander in-Chief was in distress and was being rushed to the hospital before the president was taken there? If the hospital was informed, what was the response to the president’s arrival, and what was the treatment?
The group asked, ‘Was it because of stroke, as advanced by the president’s brother, Dr. Cadman Atta Mills or was it because he had a burst blood vessel in the throat, which caused him to bleed from the mouth and nose, and which subsequently choked him to death?’
It also wondered whether an attempt was made to resuscitate the president at all, which would enable him to make a comment to the hearing of his brother, and if he was resuscitated to the point of lucidity and able to talk, why he degenerated so rapidly and died.
Among the several questions being raised is ‘If the president fell down from a massive stroke, how come he was able to lift his arms and to talk clearly to the hearing of his brother?
Did the president fall down and start bleeding on 24th June, 20012, before he fell down, did he complain of any pain, and if he complained, what, exactly, were the modes of treatment meted out to him?
‘Is it true that a relative of the president, who is a civilian with no medical background, was allowed to give treatment to the late president by procuring a medical neck aide for the president, where was the aide de camp of the late president during his last hours, where were his personal assistants and aides at all times of his last hours?’
Some Ghanaians have also sought to know whether there were any installed procedures in place to get medical and other assistance to him in times of distress and the exact medical assistance given to the late president when he collapsed at the Castle.
AFAG and the GMA are therefore pushing for a coroner’s inquest into the late president’s death.
The GMA equally believed the outcome of any such investigation would help shape policies on the health management of the country’s political leaders.
President of the association, Dr. Kwabena Opoku Adusei, who spoke on various networks, stated, ‘We requested that because there have been so many rumours about how the president was taken ill on the morning of the 24th of July, how he got to 37 [Military Hospital] and so many others.’
‘We need to know as a medical association so that if there are any lapses, it will help us inform policies so that we can do things better and to also tell Ghanaians the medical cause of death to abate the rumours,’ he said.
However, the late president’s family on Monday said it was satisfied with the autopsy report from those with the expertise and competence to carry out such an exercise and make a judgment.
A statement signed by Nana Ato Brew, Abusuapanyin Nkuma-Kyereba Twidan (Abusua of Cape Coast for and on behalf of the Mills and Allied Families of Cape Coast, Ekumfi and Prampram), copied to the GNA in Accra, however, did not give details.
It said the family had been overwhelmed by the spontaneous and deep expressions of sympathy extended to it by so many within the borders of Ghana and beyond, since his death, through the period of mourning and burial.