Prof Mills died on July 24, 2012
John Mahama became the President per Ghana’s Constitution
Mahama for the first time recounts how he received the news of his boss
Ghana on July 24, 2012, was hit with the news of the passing of the third President under the Fourth Republican Constitution. Prof John Evans Atta Mills after a short illness.
Per the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the then Vice President, John Dramani Mahama, was on the night sworn in as the President of the Republic of Ghana to continue the remaining term of the late President.
10 years after his passing, Mahama, has for the first time recounted how he received the news of the passing of his late boss, Prof JEA Mills.
Speaking at the launch of the John Evans Atta Mills, JEAM, Memorial Heritage on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, Mahama said, on the day that Prof Mills died, Sir James Beebako-Mensah, who was the late President’s Secretary, prompted him that he, John Mahama, would be acting as the President of Ghana during an event at the Accra International Conference Center.
He said, he thought the President had some engagement in Nigeria per his schedule and tat he [Mills] had requested that Mahama stands in for him at the official launch of the ‘Brand Ghana Project’ at the Accra International Conference Center.
Mahama said, he attended the function “with the Chief of Staff, Mr. John Henry Martey Newman. Upon our return to the castle…as I proceeded to my office, I asked Chief of Staff Martey Newman to inform Prof that I was going to crossover and see him to discuss a few important issues after meeting with a former President who was waiting in my office.
“Moments after our return, the Chief of Staff, called me frantically and said that Prof has been rushed to the 37 Military Hospital in an emergency. I wrapped up my meeting with the former President and prepared my stuff to rush to the hospital. It was then that Sir. James Beebako-Mensah entered my office and delivered the devastating news. ‘Prof dead. How? How can Prof die?’ were the questions I asked,” John Mahama narrated.
“The world came to a stand still. Nothing in my political life and experience had prepared me for a moment like this. The shelter of 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 buck was going to stop with me, and no one else,” he stressed.
John Dramani Mahama 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 and 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.”
The John Evans Atta-Mills Memorial Heritage is an initiative, which is designed to preserve the values and legacies of the late Professor John Evans Atta-Mills.
He, therefore, called on all persons to emulate the ethics and principles, the late President exuded.