President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo has paid his first official visit to the Flagstaff house, three days to his official swearing-in as president.
Despite playing a role in soliciting funds from the Indian government for the building of the presidential palace in 2007, President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo said he has never stepped foot at the palace.
On Thursday, he was taken round the palace by the outgoing president John Mahama to begin what may well be a rigorous four year tenure.
The familiarization tour was to get Akufo-Addo abreast with what is available at the palace and in what condition.
The Flagstaff House will soon become the official residence of the new Ghanaian leader. It is not clear yet if the name Flagstaff House will be maintained.
Flagstaff House was a colonial relic used by the British colonial government for administrative purposes.
After Ghana’s Independence, Dr Kwame Nkrumah used the Flagstaff House as office and residence until he was overthrown in 1966.
After his overthrow, the place was left at the mercy of the weather and taken over by weeds. Portions of it also served as the Accra zoo.
In the twillight of his administration, the Kufuor government secured a grant from the Indian government and was used in building what is now a presidential palace.
The decision to build the Palace was met with severe criticisms, with the then opposition NDC condemning the then government for building the Palace. They claimed the country was too poor for a government to think about building a palace.
That did not stop the Kufuor government from building the palace which they called the Jubilee House to mark Ghana’s 50th Independence Anniversary.
However, the Mills led administration on winning power decided to change the name from Jubilee House to its original name the Flagstaff House, a name that has since been maintained.
With the NPP returning to power, speculations are rife the government may revert to the Jubilee House name it gave in 2008.
It is not clear if that issue came up for discussion when Nana Akufo-Addo met John Mahama on Wednesday.
According to Joy News’ Gifty Andoh, the president elect thanked John Mahama for conceding defeat in dignity and preparing to hand over power on Saturday.
The President on his part said it was important for Nana Akufo-Addo to be shown the palace before he officially takes over power on Saturday.
He said the Chief of Staff will provide all details the president elect wants to know about the Palace before they will leave office on Saturday.