Government has clarified its decision to change the name of the seat of government from Flagstaff House to Jubilee House.
In a statement issued by the Presidency on Thursday, President Akufo-Addo said the name of the seat of government had never been “Flagstaff House” as being purported in publications.
He said, Flagstaff House was rather a separate residential building located at the seat of government.
“Flagstaff House is a separate property located on the premises of the Jubilee House… whereas 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,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo’s statement contradicts already existing media reports that President John Atta-Mills had named the facility Flagstaff House from Jubilee House, despite receiving harsh criticisms from a section of the public who said the name was symbolic of Ghana’s oppression from colonialists.
He however added in the statement that “whereas, 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.”
“…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,” the statement further stated.
Citi News’ visit to the presidential complex on the morning of March, 29, 2018, which coincides with President Akufo-Addo’s 74th birthday, showed that the frontage of the facility was being branded Jubilee House.
There had been indications that President Akufo-Addo would change the name to Jubilee House on January 7, 2017, after he assumed office.
The seat of government was re-built in 2008 during the tenure of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) John Agyekum Kufuor.
The edifice which serves as office for the president of Ghana was financed and constructed by the India government with $135 million in 2009.
After its construction, it was named the Golden Jubilee House when Ghana was celebrating 50 years since independence, until the National Democratic Congress (NDC) under the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, took over governance in 2009.
Mills moved the office of the president back to the Osu Castle, and later changed the sign in front of the building back to its original name, claiming that the previous government had not used a Legislative Instrument to effect the change as required by law.
He was criticized by many who said the name Flagstaff House which was given to the building by the British Gold Coast government glorifies Ghana’s Gold Coast past of colonialism.
The seat of government was moved back to Flagstaff House in January 2013.
Akufo-Addo gets $1m India money to renovate Jubilee House
The Indian government in August 2017 donated an amount of $1 million dollars to the Akufo-Addo government for the renovation of the edifice.
The donation was made by India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, M.J. Akbar who paid a courtesy call on President Nana Akufo-Addo on the occasion of India’s 70th independence anniversary.