The Professor I never met
Posted on: Thu Aug 02, 2012
It is a nation still in grief more than a week after the passing of President John Evans Atta-Mills whose sports credentials as a player and administrator is acclaimed as impressive. We are being told by those who knew him from his school days till his unfortunate demise that the late President played cricket, hockey, football etc and was thus an excellent sportsman.
For some of us it is surprising and unfortunate that his tenure did not witness a flourish of the so called lesser known sports or lesser financed sports which happened to be his baby and till date the age long problem of sports finance still persists without an end in sight but that is a subject for discussion on another day.
Today Press Pass is paying tribute to the late President of Ghana who was also an ardent sports lover.
It is a strange coincidence that I never met him and if I consider the fact that I have met former Presidents J.J Rawlings and J.A Kufuor on countless occasions during and after their tenure of office and have also met high profile personalities in the sporting world like CAF President Issa Hayatou, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacque Rogge etc., then it is really a big surprise that I never took advantage of the numerous opportunities to meet President Mills and it is a pity that I will never get the opportunity to meet him at any forum on earth.
However those who knew him like Kotoko Express columnist Kojo Addae-Mensah and my Managing Editor Ken Bediako say he was a good man. One memory that I have of President Mills that I will never forget is when he was appointed running mate to the then President J.J Rawlings in the run up to the 1996 elections.
I recall watching a programme on GTV late in the night sometime in mid 1996, when suddenly there was a break in the show and the T.V announcer appeared on the screen to announce that President Rawlings had appointed Professor J.E.A Mills as his running mate for the 1996 elections.
My first reaction was Professor who? The name was nowhere near any of the names that had been mentioned in the newspapers as the possible running mate for several weeks running. Not even the big head and full bearded face, frozen picture that was shown on television to accompany the announcement was familiar to me. As a young man in my late teens, my first impression was that President Rawlings has appointed a very wild and fearful person to be his running mate.
That was the impression that was printed on my mind immediately after seeing that fully bearded photograph of Prof. Mills on T.V.
However I was shocked to the marrow when after twenty four hours the man appeared on T.V., clean shaven and with a medium size head. I couldn’t believe this was the same man whose photograph I had seen a day earlier. As if that was not enough surprise, listening to his soft and calm voice when he spoke completely changed the impression I had of the man. Since that day I have come to know Prof. Mills as an affable peaceful man. Asomdwehene… Rest in Perfect Peace!
From the camp of Champions Asante Kotoko, it is still off-season and the team is yet to burst into full scale pre-season training which reports indicate will begin soon. However there are lots of activities at the management level with recruitment in full swing. There is lots of planning also going on and the feeling is that everything is on track.
Press Pass is very interested in the club’s pre-season programme and surely very soon it shall be unveiled for all to know how the Porcupines are going to prepare for the new season, especially which players are going to defend the Kotoko flag both in domestic competitions and in the continental CAF Champions League.
As it happens in all big clubs across the globe, there will be players moving in and out which sometimes makes supporters uncomfortable, especially if some fans’ favourites have to leave and the supporters don’t know what to expect from the new players. In such situations I plead with fellow supporters to stay calm and allow management and the technical team to do what is in the best interest of the club.
Sometimes it takes quite a period for new players to settle and gel with their colleagues and so it is important that supporters remain calm and allow the coach to build a winsome and an all conquering team that we can all be proud of.
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