The redevelopment of the Asomdwee Park, the final resting place of the late President John Evans Atta Mills by government through the Coastal Development Authority (CoDA) in collaboration with the Atta Mills Institute seems to have sparked anger within the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Koku says the NDC which was led by President Atta Mills before his departure was said to have given his burial place less attention by his successor and the party in general.
On Tuesday July 19, Samuel Atta Mills, brother of the late President John Evans Atta Mills accused Koku Anyidoho and the Coastal Development Authority of tampering with the tomb of the former president.
According to him, “A group calling itself Atta Mills Institute that the family doesn’t even recognize, and Coastal Development Authority, have gone to break the grave of President John Evans Atta Mills. They have removed the tomb, and they claim that they are rebuilding it,” the Member of Parliament for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo Abirem said at a press conference in Parliament.
“My question is that, we have a family tradition. Now that they have touched someone’s grave, is the body still in there? Who has the body? Why will you touch the body without informing the family head? Under whose authority?
“Why do they want us to always go through grief? This is a former president, why will the government allow this to happen? This is an insult to the family and the nation.”
Prior to his remarks, the National Democratic Congress has rejected invitations to partake in the inauguration of the Asomdwee Park.
The political party in a statement signed by the General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia explained that government decision to collaborate with Atta Mills Institute and its Chief Executive, Samuel Koku Anyidoho among other reasons formed their decision not to participate in the inauguration.
“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,” the response from NDC said.
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 deserved 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.
However, Koku Anyidoho has revealed that former President John Dramani Mahama intentionally refused to build the burial place of his former boss, late President John Evans Atta Mills.
He asked Samuel Atta Mills about the whereabouts of the autopsy report of his late brother as he wants the report made public.
Responding to the allegations spewed out against him by the brother of the late President in series of tweets, Koku Anyidoho said “Sammy Atta-Mills says I have stolen the body of President Atta-Mills??
“Is it a crime to remove the dirty black cardboard that used to shamefully cover the grave of President Atta-Mills, and replace it with, granite stones? Is, Sammy Atta-Mills talking about curses? The curses shall be upon his ugly head. John Dramani Mahama should bow down his head in shame for not building Asomdwee Park.”
He stressed “I will not use Asomdwee Park for partisan politics. It is a big shame that Sammy Atta-Mills has neglected the burial place of his brother, and is using the work the State is doing for dirty politics – in support of John Dramani Mahama.”
“I am happy that President Akufo-Addo has built Asomdwee Park. John Mahama deliberately refused to build it. Sammy Atta-Mills has NEVER celebrated his brother; he wants me to tell the story of his wickedness towards his brother? I am happy that Sammy Atta-Mills has opened the can of worms that I have been trying very hard not to open”, he said in the tweets.
By Vincent Kubi