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General News of Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Source: citifmonline

Move to the Flagstaff House - NPP tells Mills

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has once again advised President John Mills to move his office from the Osu Castle to the official seat of government which is the Flagstaff House.

This is the umpteenth time the NPP and other social commentators have questioned the Mills administration’s decision to stay at the Osu Castle when an ultra modern state of the art Presidential Palace is rotting away.

The call by the NPP comes on the back of the recent brouhaha that was generated from reports that President Mills has accepted a ‘mansion’ as a gift from the Regimanuel Gray Estates.

The Presidency has vehemently denied the reports stating that the yet to be built two bedroom structure was a gesture to alleviate the suffering of security personnel assigned to the Presidency.

The security officers are currently housed in tents and answer nature’s call in portable mobile toilets.

Communications Director of the NPP, Nana Akomea, speaking on Citi Eyewitness News on Tuesday August 16, opined that all these issues would not arise if President Mills were to have moved into the ‘Jubilee House’ which has been renamed the Flagstaff House.

He said “all of this would not have arised because the Flagstaff House has been purposely built to house the Presidency.

"It has got living quarters, family quarters, security quarters, servants quarters, offices etc, we have it sitting there doing nothing and the President is dividing his time between his personal house and the basically he has two residencies and then you have to modify one and you get into all these trouble”.

Nana Akomea further questioned the hypocrisy on the part of the NDC who raised similar protest during the first term of the NPP when the then President Kufour asked that his personal residence be renovated because he would be working from there instead of the Osu Castle.

After the renovation of President Kufour’s residence, he asked that the Castle be given a befitting facelift because he would now be operating from there.

The then opposition NDC dragged the issue to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) for investigations.

There were several inconsistencies from government’s initial attempts to defend the earlier reports as to whether it was a gift or a rented facility to be paid for by President Mills or government and all these issues according to Nana Akomea raises questions about the governance of the country.

Meanwhile, a deputy Information Minister, Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa has yet again defended why President Mills has not as yet moved to the Flagstaff House.

Making reference to the current ‘mansion’ issue, the deputy information Minister said the President did no wrong by asking that a security post be built to house the personnel who are to protect his private residence.

He said the “plain mischief” being propagated by the NPP by raking in the Jubilee House issue should be condemned.

He however accepted criticisms that the earlier defence put up by the various communication teams of government could have been better.