Give Mrs. Mills the peace of mind to mourn the loss of her wedded and beloved husband - Re: Mills son holds funeral
Mrs Ernestina Naadu Mills
The front page of the Daily Guide newspaper of Monday, August 13, 2012 carried a story under the heading “Mills Son Holds Funeral” with the picture of the son, Samuel Kofi Atta Mills smiling displayed by the by-line.
There is nothing wrong with the son of the late Professor Atta Mills holding a private funeral party for his father. But when one reads the story which is on page 3 of the newspaper it becomes obvious that the story seeks to demonize Mrs. Ernestina Naadu Mills and portray her as an unreasonable and insensitive woman even at the funeral and internment of her beloved husband and friend for several years.
I found the following sentence particularly intriguing and somehow offensive: “… A friend who introduced the reader of the tribute on his behalf said Samuel Kofi Atta Mills was unable to read the tribute at the state funeral out of deference to his stepmother Mrs. Ernestina Naadu Mills.”
The Daily Guide proceeds to supply the missing link: “Daily Guide learnt about how the widow insisted on not having her stepson read a tribute or even lay a wreath on his father’s grave ….” This statement and its follow ups by the Daily Guide would appear to have been intended to show the unreasonableness of Mrs. Ernestina Naadu Mills in refusing to allow her stepson to play any role during the funeral and burial ceremony of his father. It concluded: “At the grave side, he did not stand with his step-mother in the front row but rather between President John Mahama and Mrs. Grant.”
The economic nature of this purposeful denigration of Mrs. Naadu Mills by her detractors appears to have its foundations in the economics of the benefits that may accrue to the late President as another news story on myjoyonline.com of 13th August 2012 attributed to Egbert Faibille cries out as follows: “Naadu, Mills’ son must benefit from Mills’ ex-gratia-Faibille.”
I have known Mrs. Ernestina Naadu Mills and her late husband for many years, long before Professor Mills became the Acting Commissioner of the then Internal Revenue Service. They were a very close family and loved their dogs and pets. They also made many friends because of their affable nature. Naadu is a well educated woman in her own right and knows and has a sense of fairness which one recognizes when one gets to know her. Colleagues of Professor Mills and their wives on the University of Ghana, Legon, campus where they lived for several years will testify to her character just as I am doing now.
She is not the type of woman who would be unnecessarily difficult of understanding without credible and cogent reasons. But all the attacks on Mr. Naadu Mills, since the existence of Samuel Kofi Atta Mills became a political issue, have failed to examine why a sane, reasonable, and fair minded person of her stature and intelligence will adopt the attitudes attributed to her towards her own stepson.
Without credible medical evidence that Mrs. Naadu Mills was barren when she married Professor Mills or became barren thereafter, it is only fair that gender sensitive persons moved away from attributing blame to her, and rather to answering the real questions that may make a wedded wife refuse to recognize the legal or biological child of her husband born out of wedlock. In the patriarchal society in which we have all grown up only the women can be barren and not the men even when they cannot produce healthy sperms. Evidence abounds that even where there is incontrovertible evidence that the inability of a couple to beget children is attributable to the male partner, the woman still suffers the brunt in silence in the hands of the man’s ignorant mother, sisters, and friends. A woman who loves her husband as Naadu Mills loved Professor Mills will always protect her husband even to her grave.
Was Professor Mills compelled to keep Naadu Mills as a wife to the end even if she would not accept his biological son as her stepson? What were the reasons for the husband choosing to stick by his wife instead of his son all these years? Can we say with certainty that the reason for the married couple living together for all these long years without any child born out of the marriage came from the female spouse’s biological inability? We cannot!
I know another married Professor who used to live at the University of Ghana and was said to have impregnated a colleague’s beautiful daughter. Even though he had children with his wedded wife, she objected strongly to the colleague’s daughter’s pregnancy as belonging to her husband and the child when she was born. The child grew up into a beautiful woman and later joined her father in the United States of America. Somehow the father decided to take samples of his grown up daughter for DNA testing. The results were disappointing to the father.
I am not in any way questioning the paternity of Samuel Kofi Atta Mills. All I am insisting on is that, as educated people who are not privy to all the facts and evidence surrounding the wedded and medical relationship of Mrs. Naadu Mills and her late husband we ought not in the light of modern technology and evidence in such matters deepen her sorrows just a few days after the burial of her beloved husband. Those ignorant about the intricacies and complications of paternity issues should google such matters for further enlightenment. The U. S. A., Argentina, and Spain offer good examples. There is a most recent story dated 15th August 2012 about “Nelson Mandela’s Grandson Kicks Out His Wife … DNA Test reveals…” on peacefmonline.com which shows the difficulties in paternity matters. No legally married woman, therefore, deserves what the detractors are doing to Mrs. Naadu Mills at this critical moment of her life.
By C. JUSTICE AMBOWMAJE