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Renaming The Seat Of Gov't: Jubilee Flagstaff House...The INSIDE Story   
 
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19-Mar-2013  
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When the Information and Media Relations Minister, Mahama Ayariga told PeaceFM, last week that the official name for the seat of government has been changed to Jubilee Flagstaff House, he was only stating the obvious, claims an Accra-based daily heavily linked with the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Painstaking examination of the event by this paper uncovered that, contrary to claims, accusations, denials and counter claims regarding the purported renaming of the seat of government from its original name, Flagstaff House to Jubilee Flagstaff House indicates that there were indeed, attempts to adopt a “compromised” name for the controversial edifice first christened Jubilee House by the erstwhile Kufuor administration to mark Ghana's 50th anniversary.

What is however not yet very clear is whether the government has now decided to shelve the idea pending further and wider consultations or simply, has capitulated following strong opposition from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party.

Indeed, earlier in a statement on February 5, this year announcing President Mahama’s decision to relocate the seat of government from the Osu Castle, Information Minister, Mahama Ayariga stated that President John Mahama will from Thursday, 7th February, 2013 formally conduct government business from the FLAGSTAFF HOUSE.

According to the statement by the Information and Media Relations Minister "Government wishes to announce that the seat of Government will officially move from the Castle -Osu to the Flag Staff House on Thursday, 7th February, 2013."

The statement continued: "There will be a short ceremony to commemorate the movement at 10 am at the Flag Staff House," the announcement signed by Mr. Ayariga added.

The Al-Hajj has however, discovered that it was President John Mahama himself who first gave the hint (albeit, not clear-cut) to a probable change of name for the over $100 million structure when he referred to the edifice in his speech as Jubilee Flagstaff House before a gathering, including former President Rawlings marking the official relocation of the Presidency on February 7.

President John Dramani Mahama in his address promised before the large assembly, made up of largely religious leaders that his administration would run a politically inclusive and socially united government to ensure holistic development.

ENTER DR RAYMOND ATUGUBA

Subsequent to this, the statement announcing the reshuffle of regional ministers on Sunday, March 10, 2013 and signed by Dr. Raymond Atuguba, Executive Secretary to President John Mahama had “Jubilee Flagstaff House” boldly written at the right corner of the letterhead.

In addition, another government statement three days later announcing changes in the membership of the Constitutional Review Implementation Commission was also written on a similar letterhead with the new name “Jubilee Flagstaff House” audaciously written.

It didn’t therefore come as a surprise to many, conversant with this development when Mahama Ayariga confirmed last Wednesday on an Accra-based radio station, Peace FM that the government has changed the name of the presidential palace from Flagstaff House to the Jubilee Flagstaff House, though, he was unable to state exactly when the name change was effected.

In his interview with Kwami Sefa-Kayi on his ‘Kokroko’ morning show program on Peace FM, Mahama Ayariga disclosed that “The two names have been put together and I think it is time we make progress and we focus on what is happening in Jubilee Flagstaff House and not the name.”
 





NDC’s ANGER

But in a swift but uncompromising reaction, the NDC General Secretary, Mr. Asiedu Nketia expressed outrage about the news of a change of name.

According to him, there has not been any discussion whatsoever about the issue, adding if the President had made such a move, he would have informed cabinet and the National Executives of the NDC.

Further investigations by The Al-Hajj indicate that, the Information Minister couldn’t have gone out of his own way to make such major pronouncement without recourse to the presidency.

The Al-Hajj is continuing its investigations and will bring to our cherish readers full facts surrounding this matter in our subsequent editions. Stay tuned.
 
Source: Alhaji Bature Iddrisu/Al-Hajj/Ghana
 
 

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