Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) appears livid over the inauguration of the Asomdwee Park in collaboration with the Atta Mills Institute being headed by their former Deputy General Secretary, Samuel Koku Anyidoho.
The NDC looks uncomfortable with the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Atta Mills Institute (AMI) association with the inauguration.
Recently, Koku Anyidoho, has accused former President John Dramani Mahama of not showing any commitment and concern toward the building of ‘Asomdwee’ Park, the burial ground of the late Prof John Evans Atta Mills.
According to him, the former President refused to build the park to preserve the heritage and memory of their late boss even though the 2020 flag bearer of the NDC, in the view of the former Communications Director at the Presidency, was the first beneficiary of Prof Mills’ death.
The former Deputy General Secretary of the NDC in charge of Operations explained that although Mr Mahama woke up one morning as Vice-President and went to bed the same day as President, following his swearing-in after Prof Mills passed away in 2012, he abandoned the Asomdwee Park.
The former NDC Executive was also unhappy with the launch of Atta Mills Memorial Heritage on Tuesday February 1, 2022 by some appointees of Mr Mahama without regards to the AMI.
Koku Anyidoho accused Mr Mahama of hypocrisy with regards to the launch of the Atta Mills Memorial Heritage after leaving the Asomdwee Park to rot even though there was a plan by the Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL) to develop the place into a befitting memorial park in remembrance of Ghana’s only president who died in office.
He said Mr Mahama was in office for four-and-a-half years as president but he was never bothered about the Asomdwee Park, which, according to him, was subsequently taken over by illicit sex workers and drug peddlers.
It is against some of these reasons that the NDC rejected invitation from the Coastal Development Authority (CODA) for it to participate in the proposed inauguration of the Asomdwee Park on Sunday, July 24, 2022.
The late President John Evans Atta Mills who died on July 24, 2012, was buried at the Asmodwee Park near the former seat of government, Osu Castle Accra.
In a letter dated July 15, 2022 and addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of CODA, the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia indicated that the party will not be participating in the event because the invitation is at the instance of CODA and the Atta Mills Institute.
“We have sighted invitations to a ceremony to commission the Asomdwee Park, the burial place of President John Evans Atta Mills who died in office on July 24, 2012”.
“The invitations are in the name of an Atta Mills Institute and the Coastal Development Authority (CODA) “under the distinguished patronage of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo”.
“We presume CODA to be the funding agency for the refurbishment of the Park whose said commissioning is slated for July 24, 2022, and is separate from the 10th anniversary commemorative events being organized by the NDC.
“We wish to state that the Asomdwee Park was conceived as a possible final resting place for deceased Presidents and Vice Presidents,” reads the response from NDC.
The NDC further stated that “We are concerned about the posture and activities of an Institute that has assumed for itself some form of mythical ownership of the name John Evans Atta Mills, three times NDC flag bearer and President of Ghana 2009- 2012.
“That Institute appears to be serving as a vehicle for our political opponents to sow seeds of confusion in the minds of Ghanaians and obliterate the enviable legacy of late President Atta Mills, a man of peace who was elected unto office on the ticket of the NDC.
“It would be a shame, as the invitation purports, for President Akufo Addo to be associated with a divisive organization, well-known for its fabrications and abusive language. Let us be clear, the Institute in question has been on a collision course with the NDC party on whose ticket Prof. Atta Mills contested and won the 2008 election and became President.
“For your information, its founder has been dismissed from the NDC. An unfortunate impression should not be created that the Institute is being used by the Presidency and the enviable Coastal Development Authority (CODA) to spite the Atta Mills family, former President John Mahama and the entire NDC for that matter.”
According to the NDC, it is ready to review its stance if CODA is ready to meet it and members of the late President’s immediate family to review the arrangements for the commissioning of the park to give it the national character it deserves and to ensure it reflects the true purpose and outlook of the Asmodwee Park.
“Given the above, we kindly request that you withdraw the invitations to the advertised function and meet with the NDC of which Prof. Atta Mills was leader up to the time of his untimely death, and alongside his immediate family, review arrangements for the commissioning event which will reflect the true purpose and outlook of the Asondwee Park.
“Until that is done, the NDC will not participate in the proposed commissioning event on the strength of invitations issued by the Institute.
“All persons associated with the NDC have been duly notified of this binding decision,” the response indicated.