Mills and I were good friends; at same Hall at UG – Akufo-Addo as he commissions refurbished Asomdwoe Park

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has, on Sunday July 24, commissioned the refurbished Asomdwoe Park, the burial place of the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills who died on the seat some 10 years ago.

Mr Akufo-Addo in his address at the commissioning said, while it should naturally be a joyous occasion, and should elicit the display of pomp and pageantry in recognition of the feat achieved, the event was not one of those normal occasions.

He said never again in the country should a sitting President lose his life.

“Exactly ten years ago, a truly tragic incident occurred, one we had never witnessed, and hope will never reoccur in our history, certainly not in our lifetime – the death of a sitting President in office, the death of the 3rd President of the 4th Republic, Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills.

“We were contemporaries at the University of Ghana, members of the same hall, the premier hall of the University, the hall of gentlemen, Legon Hall, played in the same University football team, and, as fate would have it, we ended up belonging to and leading different political organisations. We contested the presidency in 2008, and even though some will say it does not count, I won the first round and he won the second round, the round that really mattered. I was looking forward to a third round in 2012, when the Almighty called him home on 24th July 2012.

“The words of Holy Scripture, in Isaiah, chapter fifty-five (55) verses eight (8) and nine (9), sum it up perfectly by saying that “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’,”. 

He further stated that the news of his death brought up many emotions – grief, sadness, reflections on the past, reminiscences on a generation, the stark reality of mortality, the prospects of eternity, the presence of the Living God.

“Sometime after becoming President, I became aware of the sad state of Asomdwoe Park, and, in 2020, I received a request from the late President’s energetic Communications Director, Koku Anyidoho, who runs the Institute named after the President, for the assistance of Government to rehabilitate the facility. I agreed, and, subsequently, I instructed the Coastal Development Authority to undertake a thorough rehabilitation of the Park, with the close co-operation of the Institute.

“It was not right that the Park had been allowed to deteriorate considerably over the years since his burial in 2012, and I am happy that it was under the Presidency of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, allegedly his ‘fiercest critic’, that Asomdwoe Park has been elevated to a status befitting the final resting place of a President of the Republic of Ghana. I did so with that objective solely in mind, and not to exploit or take advantage of any so-called divisions in the political party to which he belonged. Those alleged divisions are not of my making, and do not, in any way, inure to my benefit.

“There have also been unfortunate accusations levelled by some against Government about the supposed desecration of the tomb of the late President in the process of rehabilitating the Park. Nothing could be further from the truth, and it is good to note that these false, malicious statements have been firmly dispelled and debunked by the Coastal Development Authority, through the agency of its CEO, Mr. Jerry Ahmed Schaib, in a public statement under his hand. 

“My wife Rebecca and our children join me and the Government in reiterating our sincere condolences to his wife, Naadu, his son, his entire family, to the National Democratic Congress, and, indeed, to the people of Ghana for their great loss. The man from Ekumfi Otuam will not be forgotten. Accordingly, ladies and gentlemen, it is my singular honour, formally, to commission the Asomdwoe Park.

“President John Evans Atta Mills, my good friend Fiifi, rest and abide in perfect peace in the bosom of the Almighty, until we all meet again on the last day of the Resurrection. May God continue to bless his soul, and us all, and may God bless our homeland Ghana, and make her great and strong.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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