Mills Is Unfit – Josiah Aryeh
The Interim Chairman of the newly formed National Democratic Party (NDP), a breakaway group from the ruling national Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr. Nii Armah Josiah Aryeh, has described President John Evans Atta Mills as “half-fit”.
“Instead of facing the issues sincerely and truthfully, they don’t. How can you keep a half-fit President? If somebody is half-fit, maybe there are jobs he could do, but certainly not to lead the nation,” he told an Accra-based radio station, Okay FM, on Monday.
“They should come clean on these things. We all know; every little kid in this country knows that the President is not well,” he said.
According to him, Ghana did not need a half-fit person as a president because that person would become a hostage in his own office.
In Dr. Aryeh’s view, there might be a lot more to the President’s malady than meets the eye.
He recounted when he led a team of six colleague lecturers from the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana, Legon to meet President Mills at the Castle, Osu, and President Mills could not recognize him.
Dr Josiah-Aryeh found the president’s inability to recognize him strange since he (Dr Josiah-Aryeh) had served as a General Secretary of the NDC. “Whatever the motive, I don’t know, but if he didn’t recognize me then that man cannot be well,” he observed.
He reasoned that the President’s condition might make it difficult for him to dispense his duties, making him a puppet being controlled by some faceless individuals. He said as a General Secretary of the Mills-led National Democratic Congress, he had countless cordial interactions with the President Mills. “There are only two possible conclusions to draw; that either the man recognized me and decided that this guy I don’t want to have anything to do with him and he was not even civil enough to say hello. Or the man simply cannot see, or cannot see well.”
When asked if, in his observation, he thought the President was visually impaired, he simply stated, “Well, I don’t know, I am simply telling you what happened for you to draw your own conclusions.” “I was the General Secretary. How on earth would he not recognize me, even if I was his worst enemy and I have come to his office to shake his hands twice; not in a crowd of a thousand, not in a crowd of 20, but among six people. He shook my hands twice and he didn’t recognize me within a small room, what does that tell you about that man’s health,” he was quoted as saying.
But Yaw Boateng Djan, the National Organiser of the NDC, quickly waded into the controversy, clearly peeved by the assertion of the law lecturer cum party chairman. “What sort of insult is this?” he retorted. “I don’t know why we use these things as issues in Ghana,” he complained in Twi, citing former American President Franklin. D. Roosevelt who was ruling that country in a wheelchair.
“President Mills has the mental capacity to delegate duties for people to execute. This man [President Mills] is always in the Castle executing his duties, I don’t see why his health has become an issue,” he explained. This is not the first time that reference had been made about the physical or visual capacity of the President.
Sekou Nkrumah, son of Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, is said to have had a similar experience with President Mills.
He complained that on a visit to the Castle, President Mills did not appear to have recognized him. Afterwards, he came out to sound his popular alarm that the President was very sick and needed to resign.
Sekou’s views were rebuffed by aides to the President. However, Sekou had stuck to his observation, saying, “They [Government officials] should continue living in a fool’s paradise. All of us who campaigned with Mills in 2008 knew he was very sick but it was too late to change him. Now he has done one term, if he is not well he doesn’t need to continue.”
President Mills’s health had become a major issue in recent times. Indeed, it had been an issue since the 2008 election, but had always been brushed aside.
But President Mills insisted that he had always been healthy. He stated this dramatically on the tarmac of the Kotoka International Airport a couple of weeks ago when he returned from a ‘routine medical checkup’ in the US.
He said he had energy for the “past, present and future”.