President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last Sunday commissioned the refurbished Asomdwoe Park to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the late Professor John Evans Atta-Mills.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, President Akufo-Addo said the commissioning of an infrastructural project by the government naturally should be a joyous occasion and 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 it never reoccur in our history, certainly not in our lifetime – the death of a sitting President in office… Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills.”
According to President Akufo-Addo, the late former President was a contemporary at the University of Ghana, a member of the Legon Hall, and played in the same University football team.
As fate would have it the President the two 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 mattered. I was looking forward to a third round in 2012, when the Almighty called him home on 24th July 2012.”
According to President Akufo-Addo, sometime after becoming President, he became aware of the sorry state of Asomdwoe Park.
The President said in 2020 he received a request from the late President’s Communications Director, Koku Anyidoho, who runs an Institute named after the late President, for the assistance of the government to rehabilitate the facility.
“I agreed, and, subsequently, instructed the Coastal Development Authority to undertake a thorough rehabilitation of the Park, with the close co-operation of the Institute,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo added that “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.”
The President explained that he did so not to exploit or take advantage of any so-called divisions in the National Democratic Congress, stressing that “those alleged divisions are not of my making, and do not, in any way, inure to my benefit.”
He also addressed the “unfortunate accusations” levelled by some against the 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,” he stated.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD