Mills’ health raises concern
It was initially whispered in private that the health status of the President of the Republic, John Evans Atta Mills, might not be the very best.
The Head of State’s ‘disappearance’ from public view in the event of the numerous disturbances going on in the country, and the persistent call on him to make a public statement, without avail, almost authenticated the rumoured claims.
Last Saturday, it was widely rumoured that the President’s health had deteriorated to a disturbing level, with others speculating that he was dead.
However, the President kept wandering minds at ease when he assured the nation that he was well.
Indeed, all might not seem well with the health of the President, as he announced for the first time since assuming power that he was traveling to the United States for a medical check up.
He told newsmen at the Kotoka International Airport on Saturday that he would be away a few days for a normal routine check up.
Prior to his departure, he expressed surprise about rumours circulating that he had died. “Indeed, this is not the first time that I have heard people say this about me. Let me just say that I’m very, very strong and I don’t know the basis for saying that I am dead.
“Well, let me just say that under our Constitution, the President has a duty to inform Parliament whenever he is going outside the country. Sometimes, it is not even necessary to give you the details.
“What I have decided to do is to go for a medical check-up. So, I’m going for a few days and then come back. I’m able to sit down with the doctors and talk about things. Of course, there are all kinds of things which I believe I can strengthen myself for,” he stated.
The President promised that he would be back in no time to continue with work. “Let me tell you, [in] six months we are going to work very, very, very, very, very, very hard.” In his absence, Vice President John Dramani Mahama acts as President.
This is not the first time the health of the President has come up for discussion. He has on countless occasions come under heavy criticism for failing to make public his health condition.
While the President’s assurance of a routine check-up may be re-assuring, the circumstances leading to his trip has set people on both sides of the political divide, wondering about how healthy he is.
On Friday, a number of members of the House of Parliament were whispering about the President’s condition in private. Some National Democratic Congress (NDC) operatives were left wondering what the political permutation for the party would be -whether President Mills should be ruled out of the contest for poor health.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) caucus was also weighing the likely option of a political contest in which the presidential candidate of the party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, might be forced to face a candidate from the ruling party, other than President Mills.
The opposition New Patriotic Party has always insisted that the President owed it a duty to the people of Ghana to make public his health conditions. But Mills and those propping him up have remained dodgy on the issue of how well the President of the Republic is to carry out his duties.
The Head of State has often sarcastically called on all who question his health status to come and diagnose him.
In recent times, the Head of State has come under heavy criticism for failing to make a public statement on the pockets of violence that have rocked different parts of the country. In all this, the President had remained coiled in his shell.
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