The Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has directed the closure of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Mausoleum for rehabilitation work to start without further delay.
Mr Mahama gave the directive when he toured the museum after he had addressed a durbar at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park to mark the PANAFEST/Emancipation Day wreath-laying ceremony in Accra yesterday.
The directive was occasioned by the total neglect of the Mausoleum, whose roofs leak profusely, a situation that has created a total mess in the room.
The recent rain exposed the default of the historical domicile of one of the illustrious sons of the nation, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
Mr Mahama and his entourage were met at the entrance of the Mausoleum by a strong stench from a drenched carpet which was caused by persistent pouring of rain into the room.
The embarrassing situation compelled Mr Mahama to assure the director of the park that he would “do everything to ensure that rehabilitation work begins immediately on this building”.
“Meanwhile, we have to close down the place,” he told the director. At the durbar, the Vice-President praised the decision of the AU Summit in Libya to make the celebration of Nkrumah's birthday a continental affair and event on the calendar of the AU.
"This recognition is highly commendable and I wish to encourage all Africans in the Diaspora to also observe the day in one way or another," he said.
The Vice-President pledged the government's commitment to maintain Ghana at the forefront of the struggle for Pan-Africanist liberation and integration as captured in the vision of the founder of the nation, Dr Nkrumah.
"I am proud that Ghana still remains the only country in Africa or one of the few that have a Right of Abode Law that allows our brothers and sisters of the Diaspora who are desirous of returning to the Motherland to do so freely and legitimately," he said, and urged other countries to do same.
Meanwhile, an assessment of the cost of rehabilitation and maintenance of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park by the Public Works Department (PWD) puts it at GH?563,000.
The Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, Mr Alex Asum-Ahensah, had directed the PWD to ascertain the cost of maintenance and repair works at the park following reports that major works needed to be done on the facility which housed the body and personal property of the country’s first President, Dr Nkrumah.
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture, Mrs Emma Lilian Bruce-Lyle, told the Daily Graphic in an interview after the assessment in March 2009 that the PWD had recommended the replacement of the fountain at the park with a stainless steel system to avoid rust and the provision of a borehole to feed the fountain.