The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has reverted the name of the seat of government from Flagstaff House to Jubilee House.
This time round, the government appears to have settled the debate by picking Jubilee House and gazetting it.
Leadership of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), which prefers to call the place Flagstaff House, has criticized the move by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his government and has promised to change the name again when the party returns to power.
However, it is unclear how that is going to be done as the Jubilee House has now been gazatted.
A statement issued in Accra and signed by President Akufo-Addo on March 29, 2018, gave the historical background of the seat of government and said the name had never been “Flagstaff House.”
He said in recognition and celebration of Ghana’s Golden Jubilee anniversary in 2007, a Presidential Palace was built to serve as seat of the presidency by President J.A. Kufuor and the official name designated by him was Jubilee House.
According to the president, prior to the construction of the Jubilee House, most of Ghana’s national leaders lived and worked at the Christianborg Castle at Osu, Accra, and also said that Ghana’s first President Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah moved to the Flagstaff House and stayed there throughout his presidency.
The statement indicated that until Dr. Nkrumah moved there, the Flagstaff House had been “the residence not only of the colonial military officer commanding the West African Frontier Force in the four British West African colonies of Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Gambia, as was the case in other British colonies around the world, but also the residence of the commander of Ghana’s Armed Forces, immediately after independence.”
The statement said it was the overthrow of Dr. Nkrumah’s government that “the Flagstaff House was returned to the control of the Ghana’s Military, and Christianborg Castle became, again, the seat of government.”
President Akufo-Addo pointed out, “Jubilee House is the first Presidential Palace, built in independence Ghana, to serve expressly as the seat of the Presidency of Ghana. Flagstaff House is a separate property located on the premises of the Jubilee House; and there is no record evidencing the renaming of the seat of the Presidency as Flagstaff House by His Excellency Professor John Evans Atta Mills, the 3rd President of the 4th Republic, in purported exercise of his executive authority.”
The president said, “For historical and tourism purposes, Flagstaff House, which is situated on the premises of Jubilee House, be preserved and commemorated as the residence of the 1st President of Ghana.
“Therefore, in the exercise of the power conferred on the President under Article 58 of the Constitution, I, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic, give notice that the seat of the Presidency of Ghana shall, hereafter, be named, known and referred to as Jubilee House, and the property known as Flagstaff House, located on the premises of Jubilee House, shall be preserved and commemorated as such.”
Later, Director of Communications at the presidency, Eugene Arhin, insisted on radio that “there is no record anywhere evidencing the renaming of the Presidency by President Atta Mills.”