General News of Thursday, 2 August 2012

Source: Daily Guide

Chinese Dig 9 Graves At Flagstaff House

Construction of a number of graves has begun at the Flagstaff House, the Presidential palace located along the Independence Avenue in Accra, for the burial of President John Evans Atta Mills who passed away a little over a week ago.

Yesterday, a number of Ghanaian workers and their Chinese supervisors were seen busily working on the graves at the forecourt of the facility, with a bulldozer excavator and a tipper truck on site.

The graves are nine in number, raising questions about the other bodies to be interred in them apart from that of President Atta Mills.

The graves are about 50 meters away from the main gate of the presidential palace. There was heavy police presence at the place, making it absolutely impossible for our roving reporters to have access to the place, considering the fact that it is already a high security zone.

But Daily Guide sources have hinted that as many as nine graves are being constructed at the Flagstaff House in defiance of suggestions by a number of Ghanaians including the Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Accra, Most Reverend Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle.

Others have also condemned the decision of virtually turning the presidential palace, which President Mills declined to use when alive, into a cemetery. The family of the departed president stated that it wanted the former President to be buried in his hometown, Ekumfi Otuam.

However, a statement issued in Accra yesterday evening by the Funeral Planning Committee (FPC), chaired by Kofi Totobi Kwakye, a former National Security Minister, and signed by Deputy Information Ministers James Agyenim-Boateng, spokesperson of the committee, said, “After a series of consultations, the proposed burial sites have been narrowed down to the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and a location within the old Flagstaff House.”

However, attempts to speak to Mr. Agyenim-Boateng to ascertain why a number of graves were being dug at the Flagstaff House, when the committee was yet to take a final decision on the burial place, proved unsuccessful since he did not answer several calls to his mobile phone.

What is also not clear is whether some other bodies would be buried alongside that of the late President Mills, in view of the number of graves being dug.