Thursday, September 13, 2012

Truth is stranger than fiction - Samuel Kofi Atta Mills


On Monday, I wrote a post about a fax (!) scam that purported to be from Samuel Kofi Atta Mills, the son of Ghana's late President John Atta Mills. Samuel, according to the fax, had US$95 million that he wanted to invest in my country. The scam is a strange story in itself - but Samuel Kofi Atta Mills' real life is even stranger.

In my prior post, I quoted from a BBC article that discussed Samuel's parents.

He is married to Ernestina Naadu Mills, a director of education and trained marriage counsellor.

The former second lady-turned-first lady is also a dog-lover who has kept cross-bred Alsatians. The couple have one son, Sam Kofi Atta Mills.

The BBC also ran a similar article:

He leaves his wife Ernestina Naadu Mills, a trained marriage counsellor, and their son Sam Kofi Atta Mills.

I took the articles at face value - who am I to question the British Broadcasting Corporation?

But then I ran across another article from, written at the time of John Atta Mills' funeral. The article, with the title "UNCOVERED!!! The Woman Atta Mills Had His Son With," included the following caption below a picture:

Sam Kofi Atta Mills is accompanied by his mother Portia Awuku

The article included no other information about Portia Awuku, and mostly concentrated on a number of protocol lapses that occurred during the funeral.

But then I ran across another article, which had the same picture but with a different caption:

Samuel Atta Mills and his mum, Ruby Addo

But then the text includes this:

On that same day, Sam Kofi Atta Mills’ mother was the first time seen with her son in public. The mother, Mrs Portia Awuku was seen in mourning attire standing by his son. Apart from that she was not part of the funeral ceremony in anyway.

However, the bottom of the page indicates that this was reprinted from another source, and further states:

PS: Please note that Samuel Atta Mills’s mother’s name is Ruby Addo and not Portia Awuku as stated by The Publisher above.

Very, very confusing. But that's not the bizarre part. The bizarre part was the role that Samuel played, but then didn't play, in his father's funeral:

They said he would be reading a tribute during the funeral at the Independence Square so he was to rehearse the reading and get used to the protocol arrangements and the gentleman went for the rehearsals. He even continued the rehearsals on the vary day for the funeral and was really looking forward to it but for some strange reasons, he was not allowed to read it.

After all that, Samuel held his own funeral service for his father.

On Friday, night Samuel Kofi Atta Mills, was said have called his friends and relations, mostly from his mothers side and held very private but touching funeral service at his residence near Roman Ridge in Accra.

Or did he?

Mills’ son only organized a small get together for friends which is mostly done by bereaved families when a loved one passes away....

"He (Samuel) didn’t perform his own funeral; nothing prevents one from also organizing a small get together and inviting friends."

And I'm only touching on the tip of the iceberg about the bizarre events surrounding the real Samuel Kofi Atta Mills. Click the links that I've provided above for more oddities.

Oh, and just to complicate things further, the CIA notes that Ghana will hold a new election in December of this year. John Atta Mills was elected in 2008 (after several tries) with barely 50% of the vote. And if the current government is dissing his son, that may be enough to disrupt a razor-thin majority.

Perhaps the Ghana government will pay Samuel Kofi Atta Mills US$95 million to leave the country for a few months.

P.S. Ghana politics seem to be like the U.S. politics of 1800. Check this article which mentions Ernestina Naadu Mills, along with "the Whiteman" who gives Jaguar cars in exchange for land.
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