General News of Thu, 26 Jul 201810
NDC abandons Mills at Asomdwee Park
The debate about the construction of additional graves as part of the burial arrangements for former President John Evans Atta Mills, who died on July 24, 2012, does not appear to go away.
The motive behind the construction of the nine graves as part of the former president’s funeral held on August 10, 2012, continues to engender heated debate.
The family had requested for the body to be buried in his hometown of Ekumfi Otuam but for political expediency, the previous Mahama administration decided to bury him close to the Osu Castle only to abandon the grave for animals to graze on.
Ghanaians were taken aback in the initial stages of the sitting President’s death when then Mahama-led NDC administration inexplicably ordered the construction of nine graves right at the seat of government at Flagstaff House, now Jubilee House, when only an individual was going to be buried.
Public protest ensued and the government relocated the graves to a parcel of land close to the Independence Square along the Osu Castle Road, which is the former seat of government in Accra for the interment of the mortal remains of the former President Mills.
The NDC government christened the final resting place of Prof Mills, which had been beautifully decorated, as Asomdwee Park, and promised to use as presidential resting place.
Currently, the Asomdwee Park appears to have been abandoned, as the place is in a vegetative state.
The sorry state of the Asomdwe Park appears not to border many people because some are of the cynical view that even the actual cause of death of the former President has been shrouded in secrecy by his own party people and the government he toiled to bring into office.
The debate about the nine graves has been rekindled since the untimely death of another NDC stalwart, former Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, who is expected to be given a befitting state burial on Friday at the new Military Cemetery at Burma Camp in Accra.
Many were of the view that the late Vice President was going to be buried at Asomdwe Park next to Atta Mills but his family preferred a different location.
Meanwhile, the family of the late President has threatened to exhume the body of Prof Mills for reburial if the state refuses to maintain the Asomdwe Park.
According to them, they cannot continue to bear the responsibility of keeping the burial site of the former president clean.
Speaking to Okay FM yesterday, Family Head, Siisi Crentsil explained that the Asomdwe Park has become a subject of ridicule for the family.
The family of the late Vice President has been very proactive in the funeral arrangements of their beloved which is expected to get underway this morning.
A statement issued by Jabesh Amissah-Arthur, brother of the late Vice President, said recently that the body would be laid in state at the foyer of the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) for mourners to pay their last respects from 0800 hours to 1800 hours, but added that security personnel would not allow cameras at the scene.
The statement said on Friday, July 27, a burial service would be held in the auditorium of the AICC between the hours of 0900 hours and midday and said additional seating had been made at the forecourt of State House.
The service is expected to be beamed live both on radio and television.
The funeral cortege, according to the family, would go through some principal streets of Accra, particularly the John Evans Atta Mills High Street before the body is interred at the Military Cemetery followed by a funeral reception at the forecourt of State House from 1400 hours.