India welcomes President’s relocation

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The Indian government has welcomed the decision by President John Mahama to move into the Flagstaff House and conduct government business from there.

The Deputy High Commissioner of India in Ghana, Mr Ajaneesh Kumar, told the Daily Graphic in an interview that the Flagstaff House was built to accommodate the president of the country and now that it was going to be used for that singular purpose, the government and people of India lauded the move.

He said the building and any decision relating to it was the preserve of the government and had nothing to do with India's bi-lateral relations with Ghana, which will continue to be excellent.

The Flagstaff House was formerly the seat of government of Ghana's first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, who was ousted in a military coup d'etat on February 24, 1966.

Subsequently, the premises was used as offices for various government agencies and departments, having also accommodated the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and  the Army Headquarters.

In 2005, the government of Ghana, with a grant of $30 million from the Indian government, started constructing a presidential palace on the site.

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It was completed and inaugurated in November 2008 for use as the seat of government.

Upon winning the general election in 2008, however, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) rather decided to continue to use the Osu Castle as the seat of government.

After winning the 2012 general election, President John Mahama decided to move the presidency to the Flagstaff House.

Story by Caroline Boateng