Ghana Loses its President to Throat Cancer: John Atta Mills, 68 Dies
Jul 24, 2012 04:02 PM EDT
On Tuesday, Ghana's president John Atta Mills died shortly after reports of throat cancer. The 68-year-old died in a military hospital in the nation's capital, Accra.
The State-run news agencies GTV and TV3 in a special report broadcast segment that interrupted normal programming featured the Chief of Staff John Henry Martey Newman, who announced to the people of Ghana, "It is with a heavy heart... that we announce the sudden and untimely death of the president of the Republic of Ghana," as reported by BBC News.
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The government disclosed no specifics or details about his death. However, according to reports by the New York Times, Mills had recently returned from an eight day visit from the U.S. for medical treatment. There was never any official announcement that the president was suffering from throat cancer, BBC's West Africa correspondent Thomas Fessy reiterates "his illness was never officially declared and Mr Atta Mills himself insisted he was doing well." Never the less the network declared that the former leader was in fact suffering from this decease.
Mills, nominated by the National Democratic Congress, was elected president in 2008 and he was nominated by the same party to run for re-election in 2012, just six months away. Before being elected president Mills served as the country's vice president to Ghanaian military ruler Jerry Rawlings till 2001. He celebrated his 68th birthday last Saturday.
Ghana's Vice President John Dramani Mahama will be sworn in as president temporarily.