A member of the governing NDC, Eric Ametor-Quarmyne has admitted that there was an attempt at the presidency to rename the Flagstaff House, which currently serves as the seat of government.
Speaking on Joy FM’s current affairs show Newsfile he intimated: “I think that generally there was an attempt to change the name, but they did not find favour with the public – either the NDC faction or the NPP faction.”
Earlier this week, Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mahama Ayariga announced the plush presidential mansion had been renamed Jubilee Flagstaff House.
Barely two days after the announcement, Mr. Ayariga made a U-turn, saying the name had not been changed. He apologised for what he called the misleading information even though a letterhead that had previously been used to communicate official statements from the presidency bore the name, Jubilee Flagstaff House.
A presidential staffer, Stan Dogbe explained on his facebook wall that that came about as a result of a typographical error.
Though Mahama Ayariga took responsibility for the seeming confusion surrounding the name of the seat of government, Ametor-Quarmyne, who is a Communications Consultant to the National Health Insurance Authority, maintained there was an attempt to rename the controversial presidential palace.
Asked by the host of the programme Samson Lardy Ayenini if he agreed with Mr Dogbe that a typographical error accounted for the letterhead bearing the name Jubilee Flagstaff House, Mr. Ametor-Quarmyne responded, “no, no, I don’t think it was a typographical mistake, it was an attempt to do something which went bad, they should just admit that and let’s move forward”.
“A letterhead is not done on the spare of the moment,” he pointed out.
A leading member of the NDC, Mr. Sam Pee Yalley, contributing to the discussion, said, “I am totally appalled by the debates and discussions that have gone around this.”
“The issue being raised about error is very erroneous, there is nothing that can be said that the thing was an error,” he stated.
Sam Pee Yalley, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority, called on the government to ensure that issues of this nature are made transparent and debated upon.
“This error is unacceptable, there should be proper communication between the presidency and the Minister for Information, [the gaffes are] becoming one too many,” Mr Yalley said.
On his part, the Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Malik Kweku Baako said the NDC government's approach to dealing with the building was fundamentally wrong.
According to him, some senior persons in government had erroneously assumed that the John Kufuor government - which constructed the presidential palace on a land formerly used by Ghana's first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah as his residence and named it Flagstaff House - named the edifice Golden Jubilee House for purposes of obliterating Nkrumah's memory from Ghana’s history. But “that is a fallacy, so they began on the basis of a fallacy and we have ended up embarrassing ourselves."
He said the thinking in government was that reverting the name to Flagstaff House glorify Dr Nkrumah.
“Even when they were changing the name, it was done nicodemously, so bringing about a new name on a letterhead also nicodemously. It is so unnecessary, to be honest Ghana is bigger and better than this. Take it from me, in terms of governance we have gone too far for some of these elementary, inept omissions.”