Mills ‘chokes’ on Golden Jubilee House

Prof J.E.A. Mills laughs off question of when to settle at the Golden Jubilee HousePresident-elect, Prof J.E.A. Mills was beside himself with laughter at the question of when he intends to move into the Golden Jubilee House, the new official seat of government and residence of the President of the Republic of Ghana.

Mills, due to be sworn into office in two days as Ghana’s next president, on Monday undertook a tour of his new office and residence, inaugurated early November 2008 by outgoing President J.A. Kufuor, who was also Mills’ guide during the tour of the House.

The President-elect had described the facility as an imposing and lasting monument, and proceeded to speak to journalists who accompanied the tour, and when asked when he intends to move in, he replied; “I will see you later” as the large following burst out into spontaneous laughter.

Prof Mills had early on said the Golden Jubilee House is “a very imposing building, there are all kinds of facilities. This is a lasting monument and I think that the least that we can do is to maintain it for the benefit of the people of this country.”

Prof Mills said Ghanaians can expect him to continue with projects initiated by President Kufuor, maintain the peace and stability and to promote unity in the country, “and to pray to God to continue to bless our homeland Ghana.”

He said governance and development are processes, and since no one man can surpass them all, there is every need to continue initiated projects while new ideas are developed and implemented for God to shower His blessings on the nation.

“The main objective of going into politics is to help people improve their lot; to develop the country; so we will continue with the development and make sure that Ghanaians can live in peace and then can live in reasonable comfort – that is what we want.”

He called for the concerted effort of all in prosecuting the national development agenda, explaining that with the elections over, there should be only one Ghana, not NDC Ghana or NPP Ghana.

U-Turn?

Prof Mills’ National Democratic Congress party was one of many bodies that chastised the Kufuor Administration for undertaking the complex project, accusing it of lacking priority.

Prof Mills’ Vice President-elect, Hon John Mahama, then Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, claimed the government spent a whopping $70 million on the Golden Jubilee House.

“You hear people say that nothing has suffered by spending almost $70 million on a presidential palace and that commitment to social services has not stopped,” he wondered.

Mr. Mahama who was speaking on a wide-range of issues on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show in November last year, said government had to set its priority right.

“A government loses its way when it loses its sense of priority. I don’t think if we had $70 million to spend, we will spend it immediately on building a presidential palace, we probably could even phase it over a period,” he had said.

The NDC has however maintained that since the facility has been built, it would be a criminal offence to refuse to use it and allow it to rot away.

Story by Isaac Yeboah