Feature Article of Sunday, 5 August 2012
Columnist: Baafi, Alex Bossman
Unprecedented and Unforgiving Gargantuan Mistake of the Government Averted
By Alex Bossman Baafi
The cordial and cardinal message that runs through virtually all the tributes from people of all walks of life to our late President, Professor J.E.A. Mills is the fact that he was a peace loving person who loved this nation and therefore his demise should unite the nation in peace.
In unity and peace, all of us no matter our individual make-ups and party coloration can push toward the same direction for the development of our dear nation.
One crucial decision that holds the key to the unity and peace in this country is the place for the final interment of our late President Mills. For me, among all the places that were considered, the credibility of his burial at his native hometown stood tall. The argument raised by those who favoured his hometown burial were more convincing enough to sway anybody with the exception of those who wanted to show power and were politically motivated.
We were made to believe that among the burial place being considered is the Flag Staff House. Yesterday some of the newspapers showed the dug graves at the forecourts within the Flag Staff House intended for the burial of the late President at their front pages. The news angered the legitimate family to confront the Funeral Planning Committee (FPC) head-on at the castle to disclose their displeasure of not being included in the decision making process towards ensuring befitting burial for the late president. Whatever reasoning went into the selection of the Flagstaff House (Jubilee House) and the subsequent construction of graves were underpinned by jealousy and political mischief, calculated to exhibit stubborn and arrogant demonstration of power.
The intention, conceptualization and eventual construction of the Jubilee House, secretly renamed Flag Staff House overnight, was for it to become the seat of Government away from the castle which still bears the scars of colonial exploitation of our resources even after over 55 years of independence. Those who do not share that view are free and entitled to their opinion but that should not supersede the motive for the construction of the Flagstaff House.
The choice of the Flagstaff House would have been an insult to our Late President himself and gross disrespect to his soul because he vehemently opposed the construction of Jubilee House on the grounds that the money involved could have been used for other useful purposes. He consequently followed his principle and discounted the idea of making the place his seat of government when alive. How on earth, that after his demise his beloved ones would betray him by wanting him to rest there eternally.
I can say with adequate certainty that many people in the largest opposition party in the country whose former leader and President visioned and constructed the Jubilee House in addition to those on other side of the political divide as well as many opinion leaders were not in favour of turning the Flag Staff House into a cemetery.
This morning breaking news about the outcome of the marathon meeting between the FPC and the family brought in some relief to many good people of this country who have been preaching peace and unity based on the demise of the late President J.E.A. Mills. According to the Daily Graphic Newspaper’s front page story, “Late President J. E. A. Mills will be buried at a specially designated place between the Castle and Marine Drives in Accra”. With such a decision by the President John Dramani Mahama, after consultations and recommendations by the FPC, the President has indeed preserved the peace and unity prevailing in the country.
Kudos to the President John Dramani Mahama, the FPC members, the family of the late President and the good people of this country for their concerns, inputs and support in one way or the other, as we prepare for the burial of our dear late President J.E.A. Mills on Friday August 10, 2012. Prof Damirifa Due. May Your Soul Rest In Perfect Peace.