The brother of Ghana's late president has said he was forced to hide his illness because the elections were approaching.
Dr Cadman Atta-Mills, the brother of Ghana’s late president John Evans Atta-Mills has accused his handlers of forcing him to hide his illness.
Cadman revealed this in an extensive interview on Accra-based Starr FM on Thursday night.
According to him, the December 2012 elections were on the horizon and the party did not think "politically it was not right" for the public to know.
“My brother got very sick and was in South Africa in 2005 and he had treatment in South Africa and part of the effect of the treatment that he had was that progressively it affected his vision and affected his hearing a little bit. Otherwise, the treatment was extremely successful and he was getting progressively better.
The only problem he had was [with] his vision and even that was getting better with time. We were very conscious of the sickness he had in 2005, and, therefore, he regularly had medical check-ups to confirm that everything was ok.”
“He’s not somebody who will hide things, but for some strange reason, they decided that politically it was not allowable for people to know that he was sick. …Before that I went to China and when I came back I couldn’t recognise my brother, he was not even coherent. He was very visibly sick and I’d never seen him like that before and I said we had to evacuate him immediately. …We had to go to the U.S and that is when they started telling me that elections are going to be soon and politically it was not right. …That was the first time I was very disrespectful of the presidency.”
Although he fell short of disclosing what caused the death of the former president, he said the president was getting better after a trip to the United States but got furious after the president did vigorous exercise at the airport upon arrival to show that he was healthy.
“…we went to the US and lucky enough they detected very quickly what’s causing it and he got much better. I was very angry with him when he came back and he wanted to show everybody that he was well. I confronted him on a lot of things including that.”
Ahead of the December 2012 elections, the health of John Atta-Mills was becoming a major campaign issues ready to be exploited by the opposition New Patriotic Party. Atta-Mills died on July 24, 2012. He was the first sitting head of state to die in office in Ghana.
Many African leaders do not openly admit their health failings and usually resort to hospitals outside their own countries.
Recently, the president of Nigeria admitted to having an illness; bucking the trend when he went to hospital in London and upon his return to the country after extending his leave said he had never felt so sick.