Today, marks exactly one year after the death of President John Evans Atta Mills at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra, and the man who served as his Director of Communications while in opposition and at the Presidency, has broken his long bottled silence on his years with the man many hold as a symbol of peace.
Mr. Koku Sitso Anyidoho, revealed how he had to abandon his lucrative bank job to join the Mills Campaign, ex-President Jerry John Rawlings’ betrayal of Mills, Kufuor years of terror, Kweku Baako’s hate journalism and how John Mills saved Kwabena Agyapong over the Justice Sule Gbedagbe report on player transfers scandal among other issues.
The ex-Director of Communications, who spoke on Accra-based Radio Gold’s 60 Minutes programme, told the host Alhassan Suhuyini, President Mills died with a heavy pain in his heart on the maltreatment visited on him by ex-President Rawlings, a man he reluctantly partnered as his second Vice-President under the Forth Republic after the Ekow Nkensen Arkaah fiasco.
“President Mills’ died out of pain in his heart” Mr. Anyidoho, revealed in tears but avoided mentioning specifics instances when President Mills felt stab in the back by his ex-boss, Mr. Rawlings.
The die-hard aide of the late President, while crying amidst huffing told listeners that President Mills having lost most of his schoolmates, dearest friends and close family members from Fante bloc, because of his loyalty to President Rawlings and his decision to go into politics and partner Rawlings as his vice- president, expected a better a treatment but got the opposite.
According Mr. Anyihodo, the late president once disclosed to him that he never wanted to be President, but only wanted to serve a four-year term in office as Rawlings’ Vice-President and return to the classroom as a law lecture. He was, however, persuaded to accept the National Democratic Congress (NDC) 2000 Presidential Elections flagbearer slot.
This according to Mr. Anyidoho made many Fantes from the Central Region unhappy with him, because the same Mr. Rawlings, had maltreated the late Ekow Nkensen Arkaah, when he was his Vice- President.
This was in spite of Rawlings’ advice to him and others in the NDC youth wing at his private residence, never to let down Mills because he was a good man. For that reason, he together with some youth in the party developed strong loyalty for the late President.
Years later, he was shocked how Mr. Rawlings stormed the Mills Campaign office at Kuku Hill Campaign demanding certain things to be done by Mills, forcing he (Koku) to personally disagree with Mr. Rawlings during a meeting attended by Dr. Don Arthur, Ato Ahwoi, Silvanus Tamakloe and many others.
The former Communications Director also recalled how Professor Mills refused to step down on his Presidential ambition after many party bigwigs have lost confidence in him and asked him to step aside.
Mr. Anyidoho said, “but some of us the youths namely; Elvis Afriyie Ankra, Fiifi Kwetey, Nii Lante Vanderpuye, Ludwig Hlodze, Mahama Ayariga, Dzidzoe Tay and many others stood for him”.
To him President Mills’ deep passion for the young people was what spurred him on to the Presidency, but for that he would have returned to the classroom as a law lecturer, adding the man had no “selfish interests” suggesting Prof. Mills never wanted to become President.
He recalled many instances when Mills listened to his attackers who were mostly his students insulting him on radio, and asked him: “Koku what did I do to deserve that? Have I disgrace myself like that? Why would people I taught in class, marked their scripts and pass them myself be disgracing me in that manner? Or was I stupid while marking their scripts at the time I taught them?”
When asked how closed he was to Mills, Mr. Anyidoho answered – am extremely closed to Mills. Our relationship was just like father and son relationship.
According to Mr. Anyidoho, he often see President Mills in his dreams. “Yes, Mills comes to me in my dreams”.
He told the programme host that “about three days ago, Mills said to me, Koku, I appreciate your loyalty to me.”
He mentioned humility, kindheartedness, appreciative and forgiveness as virtues of Mills.
He said the day he saw Mills’ lifeless body at 37 Military Hospital, I saw peace written all over his face “Koku, am at peace myself”.
The aide to the late President also disclosed that prior to the demise of his boss, he told him, “If for any reason you have to serve John Mahama, serve him loyally, just as you did to me”.
Meanwhile, Mr. Anyidoho said he has started writing a book about his rapport with Mills titled “An Earthly Mentoring Saint – My Times With Mills” and had done about 100 pages.
On what drove him into politics, he mentioned how Kweku Baako directed his hate journalism towards his father, General Anyidoho, falsely accusing him of mismanaging and running down Ghana Telecom (GT). This he said, forced him into writing and eventually into politics on the invitation of Prof. Mills to join his campaign.
Ex-Director of Communications, many times mentioned Kweku Baako, Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide newspaper during yesterday’s interview.
Deeply buried was Mr. Baako in the Kufuor administration that he could questioned very learned scholars, such as Prof. E. V. O. Dankwa and Tsatsu Tsikata, on legal matters, calling them names and even predicted court judgments, despite admitting he was academically challenged.
Another thing which forced him into politics was Kufour’s horrifying rule, where many including, Ato Ahwoi, ex-President Rawlings, ex-First Lady Naadu Mills and many others who served in the Rawlings regime were hounded, terrified with invitations to Security Installations, including the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).
He also disclosed how Prof. Mills told him how as a Vice-President, he saved ex-Presidential Press Secretary, Kwabena Agyapong, over his involvement in player transfer deals, which could have landed him in big trouble.
Mills’ views at time were that Mr. Agyapong had seen many troubles. His father had been killed and to issue a white paper indicting him, was going to compound his woes, hence saved him. Mills, he said, was shocked to hear Mr. Agyapong insulting him many years later, while serving as President Kufuor’s Press Secretary.
Source: The Herald