President John Evans Atta Mills’s death and the Samuel Koku Anyidoho conundrum - Kwami Alorvi writes
I have concentrated on writing on educational issues and refrained from tackling political matters for some time now due to some reasons. But the political shenanigans, subterfuge, and storylines packed with political chicanery about the death of President John Evans Atta Mills over eleven years ago have forced me out of my rathole to write this piece. The challenge, which I have chosen to style the *”Koku Anyidoho Conundrum”* needs to be addressed once and for all.
Prof. John Evans Atta Mills was favoured by God to be elected as the President of Ghana in December 2008 by the good people of Ghana after two earlier unsuccessful attempts in 2000 and 2004.
He was born in Tarkwa in the Western Region of Ghana on 21st July 1944 to Mr. John Atta Mills Sr., an educator, and Madam Mercy Dawson Amoah, both Fantes of blessed memory. President J. E. Atta Mills died three days after his 68th birthday, on 24th July 2012, and was buried on August 10, 2012, in Accra.
His known biological brothers from the same father and same mother are Dr. Cadman Atta Mills, an Economist, and Hon. Samuel Atta Mills, Member of Parliament for the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem constituency in the Central Region of Ghana.
One of Prof. Mills’s employees that worked at the Osu Castle, then the seat of Government, with him and his Vice, H. E. John Dramani Mahama was Samuel Koku Anyidoho, an Eʋe whose father hails from Tanyigbe near Ho in the Volta Region. He was the Director of Communications at the Seat of Government.
MEDICAL CONDITIONS OF PRESIDENT J. E. ATTA MILLS
Prior to the demise of President John Evans Atta Mills, popularly called Asomdwehene (Prince of Peace), Ghanaians became aware of his health conditions, which the New Patriotic Party (NPP), then in opposition made political capital out of. They called on Prof Mills to resign as president, citing his ill health. That was after their demands several times on the late President to make public his health status were not met.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Party put up a spirited defence on behalf of President Mills. The President himself, after a return from one of his medical trips abroad, demonstrated his fitness with brisk movements at the Kotoka International Airport, Accra, to prove to his political detractors that, with God on his side, he was fit and prepared to carry on with his duties as President.
After he had signed the book of condolences following the demise of President Mills, H. E. Jerry John Rawlings made some remarks about what he believed were the health challenges of the late president and the cause of his death. That remark did not go down well with many Ghanaians who felt that President J. J. Rawlings was not authorised by the Mills’s family to speak on his medical conditions, which were, and ought to be, confidential matters. More importantly, President J. J. Rawlings was not in possession of President Mills’s autopsy report to authoritatively tell Ghanaians the cause of his death. It was also public knowledge that relations at the time between President Rawlings and the late President Mills, who was his vice, had deteriorated to rock bottom.
During the funeral of Prof. Mills, which I happened to observe, from the distance I stood that day, I personally heard Dr. Cadman Atta Mills tell the mourners during the graveside burial service the cause of death of his brother. If my memory serves me well, I heard Prof Mills had died from something called *complications of a massive hemorrhagic stroke resulting from brain aneurysm.*
Fast forward, Samuel Koku Anyidoho, during an interview on Asempa FM (an Accra based radio station) programme, “EKOSIISEN,” hosted by Osei Bonsu, expelled the political propaganda making the rounds after the death of President Mills, one of which was that he Koku Anyidoho carried the late President in his personal car to the 37 Military Hospital instead of in an ambulance. Koku Anyidoho, in that radio programme, admitted that the team working with the late president knew of his medical challenges, and that the late President was scheduled that day, 24th July 2012, to travel to Lagos, Nigeria. He said the president’s secretary had sent a letter to Parliament informing the house accordingly before his health challenges suddenly came up and had to be stretchered into an ambulance to the 37 Military Hospital.
Koku Anyidoho further explained how both military and civilian medical professionals were on a standby at the Intensive Care Unit of the 37 Military Hospital waiting for the ambulance carrying Prof Mills to the hospital for medical attention. Koku Anyidoho was even biblical in his narration to the host, Osei Bonsu, when he said the medical team did their best, but *”God brings us out here to serve and calls us back to rest, so God called him back.”* By these explanations, Koku Anyidoho dismissed the propaganda that Prof. Mills’s death was mysterious and caused by someone in the NDC and no more due to his well-known health challenges.
During the 2016 elections, a political party propaganda machinery went into full gear about this concorted mystery, telling Ghanaians about an imaginary autopsy report that they claimed, revealed a cause of death of President Mills different from what was in the autopsy report issued by the 37 Military Hospital to the brothers of Prof Mills.
*KOKU ANYIDOHO’S U-TURN*
As stated early on, Samuel Koku Anyidoho used to be an aid to President Mills and had earlier confirmed that his boss died of medical complications. The NDC facilitated his election to the position of Deputy General Secretary of the party, perhaps, as a reward for his political affiliation with the late president. While he was in that position as Deputy General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho was arrested by the Nana Akufo Addo NPP Government when he said on the radio that *”History will repeat itself.”*
He was detained in the Bureau of National Investigation (now National Intelligence Bureau) cells and denied bail. The NDC fraternity rallied behind their Deputy General Secretary. H. E. John Dramani Mahama had to cut short an assignment in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to return to Ghana to help secure Koku’s release from the grips of the BNI. Pictures taken by H. E. John Mahama with Koku Anyidoho at the BNI even caused the dismissal (Government said it was a reassignment) of the BNI boss.
Perhaps blinded by his bloated ego arising out of the support the party members gave him by electing him as Deputy General Secretary, Samuel Koku Anyidoho felt he could contest and dislodge his boss, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, popularly called General Mosquito, from his position and become the General Secretary of the NDC. It was a monumental disaster; Koku lost miserably in the elections.
Since that time of history repeating itself as in previous NDC presidential primaries when people contested a sitting president and lost miserably, Koku Anyidoho’s relationship with H. E. John Mahama and General Mosquito, in particular, and the NDC in general, has been a very frosty one mixed with bitterness and animosity.
The animosity of Koku Anyidoho towards H. E. John Mahama and General Mosquito has driven him into an unholy alliance with forces (call them the “axis of evil”), who have vowed to ensure that the NDC does not come back to power especially with John Mahama as president. With this evil agenda, it appears to some of us that Koku Anyidoho negotiated with these forces to be attacking John Mahama and Johnson Asiedu Nketiah for a halt to his prosecution (rather persecution) at the courts for his *”History will repeat itself”* comment.
The first mode of the attack is to oppose anything Asiedu Nketiah and John Mahama are involved in with the NDC. That led Koku Anyidoho to elect himself as Campaign Manager of the opponents of the two personalities during the internal NDC presidential primaries and national executive elections. He was in the media space discrediting the two NDC leaders in an attempt to provoke them, but he was ignored by JM and General. His expectations of a media war with the two backfired. I know many NDC delegates who shifted camps to John Mahama and Johnson Asiedu Nketiah simply because of Koku’s unsolicited association with the opponents of John Mahama and Asiedu Nketiah during the two elections.
The second front of attack is his u-turn on the cause of Prof Mills’s death to join a party’s campaign propaganda launched as part of the 2016 and 2020 elections that there was a mysterious cause of the death of Prof Mills and not what the 37 Military Hospital issued in its autopsy report to the Mills family.
Since then, an amorphous hitherto unknown Ebusuapanyin and an imposter family of Prof Mills have emerged on the scene, with Koku Anyidoho as the de facto spokesperson, who are constantly singing the hymns of the NPP by nagging and calling for the autopsy report of Prof Mills to be publicised. The latest move by Koku Anyidoho and the imposter family culminated in a delegation that met H. E. President Akufo Addo at the Jubilee House a couple of days ago. Led by their spokesperson, Koku Anyidoho, the amorphous imposter family asked H. E. President Akufo Addo to secure Prof Mills’s autopsy report for them.
*EXPOSING THE MISCHIEF*
The forces of evil who vowed not to see H. E. John Mahama returned to power as President united their forces on the propaganda that Prof Mills did not die from any health complications as known to all well-meaning Ghanaians but rather through a mysterious machination by somebody. As Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s founder, once said, “Ghanaians are not fools.” Indeed, we are not fools to be carried along with this mischief by people with pin-brains (courtesy Her Ladyship Sophia Akuffo, former Chief Justice of Ghana).
Many Ghanaians are wondering whether the Nana Addo we knew years back is the same H. E. Nana Addo we now have as our president. The President told Koku Anyidoho, spokesperson and the imposter family of Prof Mills, who are unknown to the brothers of the late President, that his demand for the autopsy report of Prof Mills was *”legitimate.”* Like seriously?
Had the President been a little non-partisan and a little bit circumspect, he would have exposed the mischief in Koku Anyidoho by asking him and his new imposter family a few questions:
1. What is the ethnic relationship between Koku Anyidoho, an Eʋe man from Tanyigbe in the Volta Region, and Prof Mills, a Fante from the Central Region?
2. Do Koku Anyidoho and the so-called family of Prof Mills who met the president at the Jubilee House know Dr. Cadman Atta Mills and Hon. Samuel Atta Mills, the direct biological brothers of the late Prof Mills? What is their relationship with Prof Mills? Are they uncles and aunties, brothers and sisters, cousins, or nephews and nieces?
As the founding Headmaster of the first of Mahama’s E-block schools, John Evans Atta Mills SHS in Ekumfi Otuam, I looked for the family house and family members of Prof Mills in Ekumfi Otuam from October 2015 when I assumed duty, to February 2018 that I left. My intention was to get them involved in the school which was named after their family man. I was not successful in locating any family house or any family of Prof Mills. They didn’t, and don’t, exist in Otuam.
3. Why is the imposter family not known to Dr. Cadman Atta Mills and Hon. Samuel Atta Mills?
4. Why couldn’t those so-called family members go to their “siblings” Cadman and Samuel to request for the autopsy report if really they are true family members, but have to go to the President?
5. How responsible is an “Ebusuapanyin” of a family who claims to be unaware of the existence of an autopsy report of his dead and buried family man? Can we take him serious?
6. Did he the Ebusuapanyin take part in the burial of Prof Mills, his dead family man, or he stood aloof for “strangers” to bury him?
7. How did the persons who buried his family man acquire a death certificate and burial permit for his deceased man without an autopsy report?
8. What was the intention of the group for demanding the autopsy report of Prof Mills 11½ years after his death?
9. Why does this report become an issue only in election years?
Had answers to these legitimate questions been demanded by the President from Koku and his team, I am confident he wouldn’t have told these imposters that their request from him to give them the autopsy report was “legitimate” and that the report must form part of the public records of the Republic.
*OTHER HEADS OF STATE*
It would appear to many Ghanaians that H. E. the President has formed a bizarre alliance with someone to take control of the sickness and burial of the late President J. J. Rawlings. This public perception arises out of the allegation that President Rawlings was denied access to his family doctor when he fell ill. There is also the perceived sidelining of the NDC he founded, as well as his family from the Volta Region during his funeral rights. Furthermore, unlike Prof Mills’s medical challenge that was widely known to many Ghanaians, President Rawlings’s death took most of Ghanaians by storm because they did not hear of any medical challenges he had prior to his passing on.
Is it, therefore, legitimate or not, for Ghanaians to think that President Rawlings died under mysterious circumstances? Was his autopsy report put in the public domain and made part of the public records? More importantly, is it or not “legitimate” to also ask that H. E. the President makes public and puts in the public records, the autopsy report of the late President Edward Akufo Addo? Are those of President Hilla Limann and Vice President Kwesi Amissah Arthur also in the public records? What is good for the crocodile must equally be good for the frog: *they are both amphibians.* If those above are not part of the public records, why is that of Prof Mills of so much concern to the President and Koku Anyidoho, especially every time H. E. John Mahama is involved in an election?
*KOKU ANYIDOHO, THE CONUNDRUM*
In all these, where are the Council of State and the National Peace Council? Where are the religious leaders who were cacophonously vociferous some years back? Where are the National House of Chiefs and the other voices of conscience?
May I also dare to ask. *Where are you, Major General Henry Kwami Anyidoho, father of Samuel Koku Anyidoho?* Where are you, Senior brother? You would be 84 years old in July 2024, born in the same month as Asomdwehene Prof Mills.
I need not humbly remind you, big brother, that it was the silence of the voices of conscience in Rwanda that caused the mayhem in that country in 1994. That avoidable scar on the conscience of Africa and the world sent you there to sacrifice your life and the lives of many Ghanaian soldiers in order to restore order and peace. Rwanda recently gave you a national award in recognition of your invaluable bravery and love for humanity. So also was the United Nations.
You served for forty-one years as an army officer, rendering impeccable services to Mother Ghana. Your name exudes honour, respect, dignity, integrity, tenacity, and love for justice? Why are you quiet about what your son Koku is doing and dragging your family name into disrepute, big brother? Where are the Anyidoho family and the chiefs of Tanyigbe? Have you all abandoned your traditional duties towards your son Koku?
Pardon me big brother, if you have been doing your best to counsel Koku, but he has chosen to become a wayward child (*Dzimakpla* as the Eʋes call it, and *Babɔne* in Akan). In this case, he has become a housefly ignoring good counsel and caution and will definitely follow the corpse into the grave.
Koku has become *an illogical postulation, an intricate, perplexing, and seemingly intractable puzzle that evades resolution. He is a CONUNDRUM that defies valuation logic* and has become a stain on the conscience of the nation and Prof Mills’s image. It is about time that all those bodies concerned put their hands on deck to advise President Akufo Addo and Koku Anyidoho to let Prof Mills rest rather than quake in the grave.
*ADVICE TO KOKU ANYIDOHO*
Koku, my junior brother, I know there is no good in advising people, because *wisemen don’t need it, and fools won’t take it.* But allow me to take the risk and offer some advice.
If nothing at all, H. E. John Mahama curtailed an assignment in Freetown and returned to Ghana to help secure your freedom from your captors who confined you to the BNI cells. Show some gratitude to him and the NDC for that. Ingratitude makes a man an animal, or even worse, because even some animals have a way of saying thank you when one does them a favour. Don’t let any disagreement you might have had with John Mahama, Asiedu Nketiah, and the NDC become so poisonous that you easily forget the many lovable moments you have shared with them.
We all at one time or the other face turbulences and storms in our lives. We learn to deal with these storms of the mighty and the turbulences of the commoner. When we survive them, they become testimonies. We sometimes feel let down by people and circumstances. But we rise again after falling. There is a time to let go of pains one has harboured, and that time is now. *Shine like the sun on your cloudy days, and you will get through the storm.* Stop looking around everybody as suspects for your predicament. The *”demons”* tormenting you (pain, animosity, and a feeling of self entitlement) might be lurking within you. Cast them out. Truth is like a lion; it needs no defence. Let it loose; it will defend itself.
Do you remember the title *”Rebel Leader”* you conferred on me when we met at *”Meet Me There,”* a restaurant in Cape Coast a few years back? That title you gave me was for the role I played as President of NAGRAT, an association that broke from GNAT. It seems you have wrestled that title from me and escalated it to a higher level: *”Rebel Leader Without Cause.”*
I pray that wherever the soul of President Mills is, *it will descend and extricate you from the forces that hold you captive to the truth and to your conscience.*
*HON. SAMUEL ATTA MILLS’S DECLARATION*
The name *Anyidoho* translated into English means *”a swarm of bees”* in a hive. Hon. Samuel Atta Mills has cautioned, out of frustration, I believe, that if Koku Anyidoho persists in pushing his fingers into a beehive, the bees might be stirred to sting him. While I hope we don’t cross the Rubicorn, I say those who have ears, let them hear. The old say, *”You do not join a shadow dance unless you know those casting the shadow.”*
*THE END OF THE CONUNDRUM*
Hon. Samuel Atta Mills has given a response that should settle the matter once and for all and end the conundrum. He said the autopsy report was issued to the Mills family at the 37 Military Hospital. He emphasised that the family used the autopsy report to obtain from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) a burial permit to bury Prof Mills. H. E. President Akufo Addo’s Minister of Health, Hon Kwaku Agyeman Manu, and his Mayor of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Hon. Elizabeth Sackey can secure the authentic autopsy report from the 37 Military Hospital and the AMA for the President if the imposter family of Prof Mills led by Koku Anyidoho does not know Dr. Cadman Atta Mills and Hon. Samuel Atta Mills to approach them for a copy of the report. The conundrum must end so that another election year will not come, and issues about Prof Mills’s autopsy report will crop up again.
*Once have I spoken, twice have you heard.*