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Thursday, 26 July 2012
Atta Mills: The Late Ghanaian President’s Link With TB Joshua
As the Vice-President of Ghana between 1997 and 2001, John Evans Fifii Atta Mills, who passed on yesterday at the age of 68, was in his Accra’s office one day when an aide introduced Prophet TB Joshua to him.
The reason Joshua was brought to Mills’ office has remained a matter of conjecture, with some arguing that Mills needed Joshua’s anointing as he prepared for the presidential elections, and others positing that Mills was already down with cataract and needed healing from Joshua.
Prophet T. B. Joshua and John Evans Fifii Atta Mills
In his office, as Mills later told TheNEWS/P.M.NEWS team in an interview on 11 January 2009, he looked at TB Joshua and, immediately, “realised that he(Joshua) was a man of God and therefore took liking to him.”
Mills found that TB Joshua was “a very humble person, very generous and very caring person,” who always received him “warmly”.
From there, Mills began to attend TB Joshua’s sermons and found them “very interesting”.As years passed by and Mills failed to become President of Ghana in 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, he became a regular guest at TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, Ikotun, Lagos, southwest Nigeria.For more than 10 years, Mills shuttled between Accra and Lagos and his bond with TB Joshua grew stronger, he once told our correspondents.
“My brothers and sisters in Christ, I want to thank the Almighty for making it possible for me to be here this morning to take part in this thanksgiving service. I am no stranger to the Synagogue. Indeed, I have been coming here very regularly and I have known the man of God (Joshua) for more than 10 years. I first met him when I was Vice President of the Federal Republic of Ghana. And I have continued to maintain the relationship ever since,” Mills told Joshua’s followers.
After two failed presidential elections, Mills was fickle-minded about another shot at the Presidency and he turned to his friend and spiritual counsellor, Prophet TB. Joshua.
“He (TB Joshua) said to me, this is my time but there would be hindrances and hurdles on the way,” Mills told TB Joshua’s church at a thanksgiving service organised in his honour on 11 January 2009.
“When I told him that our election would be on 3 December and there was a possibility that the result would be announced on the 18th or before the end of December 2008, he looked at me for some time, smiled and said: ‘I don’t see it that way. I can see three different elections ahead of you.’ He added that the results would be announced in January 2009.
I was asking myself, if there was a run-off on 28 of December 2008, give ourselves two days for the Electoral Commissioner to come out with the results and we would run into January. I kept this at the back of my mind.
“We had the elections right on 7 December. There was a run-off on 28 December. And we had the third election in one constituency (Tain in Brong Ahafo region). The results were announced in January,” Mills narrated to a thunderous ovation.
After the thanksgiving service, Mills granted a 10-minute interview to TheNews/P.M.NEWS team that he had been sick and had gone to South Africa for an operation.
“”I think I am as strong as I can be. You can assess the situation yourself. Yes, I had cataract operation, I was sick and had to go for operation in South Africa. But I am strong and ready to take up the challenge for the next four years. I am human like any other person, so who doesn’t fall ill? The fact that you are strong today is no insurance that you cannot break down tomorrow,” Mills said. He died yesterday before completing his four year term. He is the first Ghanaian president to die in office.
President Mills was known as a “man of peace”. He was the Vice President of Ghana under the second NDC government from 1997-2000.He contested the presidential election in 2000 but lost to President John Agyekum Kufuor in the second round of the vote.
The tax expert and law professor was born on 21 July, 1944 at Tarkwa.He attended Achimota School, University of Ghana, Legon, London School of Economics and Political Science (LL M), and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (Ph.D). He was chosen by President Jerry John Rawlings as his running mate in 1996 and the ticket won the election for him to become Vice President.
He was married to Ernestina Naadu Mills, an educator, and had a son, Sam Kofi Atta Mills.
Meanwhile, Ghana is in a state of mourning aftr Mills passed on at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra on Tuesday afternoon, according to a press statement signed by the Chief of Staff, Mr John Henry Martey Newmann released by the Ministry of Information.
The Speaker of Parliament, Justice Joyce Bamford-Addo, summoned all members of the House to an emergency sitting at 1800 hours for the swearing in of the Vice President in accordance with Article 60 (6) of the Constitution.
Reports from across the country say people have been wailing since the news broke in the afternoon.
Shocked shop owners, drivers, civil servants, market women and members of the public could be seen making telephone calls to friends and family members as well as politicians to confirm the sad news.
President Mills celebrated his 68th birthday only last Saturday, July 21.
Traders at the Accra Tema Lorry Station broke down in tears when it was announced that President Mills had passed on.
The traders, mostly women, cried their hearts out saying they did not believe the President had died.
World leaders have commiserated with Ghana over the death of their president.
President Goodluck Jonathan expressed shock at the death of Mills.
The president in a statement signed by his media aide, Dr. Reuben Abati, said: “On behalf of himself, the government and people of Nigeria, President Jonathan extends sincere condolences to late President Mill’s family as well as the government and people of Ghana.
Other world leaders, including US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, have also commiserated with Ghana.