A former Director of State Protocol, Kwame Tenkorang, has clarified the widely popular claims that on the day the late former President of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mills, died, he was conveyed to the hospital in the bucket of a pick-up vehicle.
He also categorically stated that it is untrue that when the late president was brought to the 37 Military Hospital, he was mistakenly sent to the Maternity Ward.
Kwame Tenkorang made this known in an article titled “The President’s men and when Atta Mills died,” an excerpt of a yet to be released book.
According to myjoyonline.com, the article is one of many published in the Journal of the Council of Foreign Relations-Ghana, “The Baobab.”
Recounting the events that happened on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, and how he heard the news of the passing of the former president, Kwame Tenkorang wondered how it was that people rumoured such unbelievable things.
He said he was with a friend, deep in a conversation when he received a call from someone he only describes as ‘our brother,’ jolting him into the reality that had just dawned on the entire nation.
“We were in the midst of our long conversation when my phone rang around two o’clock. The call was from Our Brother, who was not in the habit of calling me. ‘The Oldman is gone’, he blurted out without ceremony. I naively asked, gone where? He just quickly told me, ‘we are all at 37 right now.’ That was when I understood his message and the earlier one of Uncle Bebs, and the shockwaves that it sent to my face must have been so visible that Roy, my visitor, asked me if everything was alright.
“Somehow, I managed to inform him that everything was all right, but I needed to step out immediately. He knew something was amiss since he had never seen that face before in that shocking mood. All the same, we rushed out and Steven my driver drove me straight to the 37 Military Hospital. When I got to the VIP Ward, I saw all the bodyguards and Medical Orderlies gathered there.
“There were also Mr Koku Anyidoho, the Communications Director, Our Brother, Auntie Maud, Angola, Akakpo and others I cannot recall, all gathered and wailing,” he wrote.
Kwame Tenkorang further clarified how the late president got to the hospital, as well as the medical staff who attended to him.
“I was going to join them where they were gathered but Koku approached me and pointed me to the ward. There lay the lifeless body of the mighty President of the Republic of Ghana. The doctor present confirmed the news that was already going viral that our dear President had joined the angels above on his journey home. When the doctor left me alone in the room, my first instinct was to take a picture of my lifeless body. However, my better judgement decided otherwise when I questioned why I should do that. For how long would I be able to look at the picture? And to what end? Wouldn’t it be better to keep the image of the smiling, gentle President John Evans Atta Mills as I knew him than to have on me the image of his gloomy hour of death?
“All this while my phone had not ceased ringing from all corners of the world – from Ghana, from diplomats resident here who wanted to show their home governments how efficient they were at sniffing the most confidential information by reporting before the news networks started, Ghanaian diplomats abroad who were being pestered for confirmation of the news of the alleged passing away of the President, and many others. In all this time of extreme sorrow for some of us, it became a source of great pain that some people, for political reasons, started a very callous campaign, alleging that it was a pick-up that carried the President from the Castle to 37 and landed him in the Maternity Ward. How could that be, when the medical team in charge of the President were drafted from the 37 Military Hospital, led by Dr. Clifford Lamptey and included Dr Kpornyoh and several Orderlies from 37, some of whom were on duty and accompanied the dying President to the hospital? Could the staff of 37 miss their way and end up at the maternity ward? How?” he quizzed.