President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described claims that the burial place of the Late Professor John Evans Atta Mills who died on the seat as President some 10 years ago, had been desecrated as unfortunate.
He said nothing could be further from the truth.
On Tuesday July 19, brother of Professor Mills, Sam Atta Mills accused the Executive Director of the Atta Mills Institute Koku Anyidoho and the Coastal Development Authority (CoDA) of tinkering with the tomb.
“A group calling itself Atta Mills Institute that the family doesn’t even recognize, and Coastal Development Authority, have gone to break the grave of President John Evans Atta Mills. They have removed the tomb, and they claim that they are rebuilding it,” the Member of Parliament for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo Abirem said at press conference in Parliament.
He added “My question is that, we have a family tradition. Now that they have touched someone’s grave, is the body still in there? Who has the body? Why will you touch the body without informing the family head? Under whose authority?
“Why do they want us to always go through grief? This is a former president, why will the government allow this to happen? This is an insult to the family and the nation.”
Mr Anyidoho and the CoDA all denied the claims of Sam Atta Mills.
Speaking during the Commissioning of the refurbished burial place, on Sunday July 24, President Akufo-Addo said “There have also been unfortunate accusations levelled by some against Government about the supposed desecration of the tomb of the late President in the process of rehabilitating the Park.
“Nothing could be further from the truth, and it is good to note that these false, malicious statements have been firmly dispelled and debunked by the Coastal Development Authority, through the agency of its CEO, Mr. Jerry Ahmed Schaib, in a public statement under his hand.”
Below is his full address…
The commissioning of an infrastructural project by Government should naturally be a joyous occasion, and should elicit the display of pomp and pageantry in recognition of the feat achieved. But today’s event is not one of those normal occasions.
Exactly ten years ago, a truly tragic incident occurred, one we had never witnessed, and hope will never reoccur in our history, certainly not in our lifetime – the death of a sitting President in office, the death of the 3rd President of the 4th Republic, Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills.
We were contemporaries at the University of Ghana, members of the same hall, the premier hall of the University, the hall of gentlemen, Legon Hall, played in the same University football team, and, as fate would have it, we ended up belonging to and leading different political organisations. We contested the presidency in 2008, and even though some will say it does not count, I won the first round and he won the second round, the round that really mattered. I was looking forward to a third round in 2012, when the Almighty called him home on 24th July 2012.
The words of Holy Scripture, in Isaiah, chapter fifty-five (55) verses eight (8) and nine (9), sum it up perfectly by saying that “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”.
News of his death brought up many emotions – grief, sadness, reflections on the past, reminiscences on a generation, the stark reality of mortality, the prospects of eternity, the presence of the Living God.
Sometime after becoming President, I became aware of the sad state of Asomdwoe Park, and, in 2020, I received a request from the late President’s energetic Communications Director, Koku Anyidoho, who runs the Institute named after the President, for the assistance of Government to rehabilitate the facility. I agreed, and, subsequently, I instructed the Coastal Development Authority to undertake a thorough rehabilitation of the Park, with the close co-operation of the Institute.
It was not right that the Park had been allowed to deteriorate considerably over the years since his burial in 2012, and I am happy that it was under the Presidency of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, allegedly his “fiercest critic”, that Asomdwoe Park has been elevated to a status befitting the final resting place of a President of the Republic of Ghana. I did so with that objective solely in mind, and not to exploit or take advantage of any so-called divisions in the political party to which he belonged. Those alleged divisions are not of my making, and do not, in any way, inure to my benefit.
There have also been unfortunate accusations levelled by some against Government about the supposed desecration of the tomb of the late President in the process of rehabilitating the Park. Nothing could be further from the truth, and it is good to note that these false, malicious statements have been firmly dispelled and debunked by the Coastal Development Authority, through the agency of its CEO, Mr. Jerry Ahmed Schaib, in a public statement under his hand.
My wife Rebecca and our children join me and the Government in reiterating our sincere condolences to his wife, Naadu, his son, his entire family, to the National Democratic Congress, and, indeed, to the people of Ghana for their great loss. The man from Ekumfi Otuam will not be forgotten.
Accordingly, ladies and gentlemen, it is my singular honour, formally, to commission the Asomdwoe Park.
President John Evans Atta Mills, my good friend Fiifi, rest and abide in perfect peace in the bosom of the Almighty, until we all meet again on the last day of the Resurrection.
May God continue to bless his soul, and us all, and may God bless our homeland Ghana, and make her great and strong.
I thank you for your attention.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana