Former Minister of State in-charge of Public-Private Partnerships under the Mahama-led administration, Abdul-Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, says the change of the name of the seat of government from Flagstaff House to Jubilee House is shocking.
The Member of Parliament for Wa Central constituency in the Upper West region said it shows the New Patriotic Party (NPP) wants to wipe anything related to the first President of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
Media General on Thursday broke the news of the change of the name of the seat of government from “Flagstaff House” to “Jubilee House”.
As at 7:30am on Thursday, workers were spotted around the seat of government replacing the old signage (Flagstaff House) with a new one which now reads “Jubilee House”.
The actual name for the seat of government has been in contention for a while now with the New Patriotic party(NPP) under whose administration the facility was built advocating for “Jubilee House” while the National Democratic Congress (NDC) advocating for “Flagstaff House”.
Reacting to the change of name on Onua FM’s Yen Nsempa hosted by Bright Kwasi Asempa on Thursday, Mr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo said “it coming as shock and it has become the order of the day. It has become the symbol of the day between the NDC and the NPP and you can find the difference between the NDC and NPP on the change of name”.
He further remarked, “this shows the difference is the Busia-Danquah regime and Nkrumah-Rawlings regime”.
The NDC MP said “the NPP thinks they have to curtail history of Ghana because it does appear that they don’t want to hear anything about Nkrumah”.
He explained, “it is part of their [NPP government] effort not to see anything Nkrumah stays on because Flagstaff House is part of the history to keep it. That is where Nkrumah used to stay. These are enduring names”.
Asked what should be the name for the seat of government. Mr. Pelpuo said “we need symbolic names. Both names [Flagstaff House and Jubilee House] are not something we should die to protect because they are all English names. They all resemble colonial names and none of the two has something to do with Ghana”.
The 2016 flagbearer of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, also supported the view that the seat of government should be given a local name instead of the foreign names.
“Neither of those names is appropriate or symbolic. We need to do things that reflect the nation and not to do things partisan way”, he added.
He said “we must have something that unite us because changing the names will not change transport fares, improve health care and give jobs”.
Meanwhile, the Director of Communications at the Office of the President, Eugene Arhin, told Yen Nsempa that a statement would be issued to explain why the name was changed.