A cold and cloudy morning weather, capped by an afternoon drizzle, added more solemnity to the first anniversary of the death of President J. E. A. Mills in his home town, Otuam, in the Central Region.
After the pouring of libation by the Akyeamehen of the Ekumfi Traditional Area, the Otuam Asafo Company gave a rendition of drum appellation, after which there were the singing of Asafo songs and funeral dirges.
The acting President of the Ekumfi Traditional Council, Nana Impraim VII, in his address, expressed regret at the government’s lack of commitment to the promises made at the late President’s funeral last year.
He said the government did not involve the family in the planning of activities to mark the first anniversary of the death of President Mills either.
He also stated that the Museum and Research Library under construction in Cape Coast to immortalise the late President should have been located at Otuam to serve as a fitting memory and also open up the area.
According to him, the family was still awaiting the reconstruction of the family house at Otuam.
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The Central Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Sarpong, described President Mills as an epitome of peace which was manifested in his daily admonition to Ghanaians.
He compared the late President to icons such as Nelson Mandela, the late Dr Martin Luther King Jnr and Mahatma Ghandi, who lived lives worthy of emulation.
He described President Mills as a man with great passion for virtues, justice, transparency and accountability and also abhorred corruption.
Mr Sarpong urged Ghanaians, especially the youth, to be guided by his legacy in order to contribute their quota to society.
The District Chief Executive for Ekumfi, Mr Ibrahim Kweku Dawson, commended the government for creating the new district for the chiefs and people of the area to accelerate development.
Other speakers at the event, which included a delegation of Members of Parliament (MPs) from the region, called for peace and unity among the people of the area to facilitate development.
Apart from the family house which is yet to be reconstructed, the Esuehyia-Otuam road is yet to be completed.
Portions of the road have been tarred but a longer stretch remains untarred. That stretch is dusty, making travelling to the community still uncomfortable.
When the Daily Graphic got to Otuam on Monday, the community looked just as it was a year ago. Nothing seemed to have changed.
The family house of the late President, where we had been received by a few family members and the Ebusuapanyin last year had not changed. It looked even older.
The Head of the Odomna Clan of Ekumfi Otuam, Nana Akyerem Acquah, said although the government had promised them development, including a senior high school, nothing had been done.
He indicated that three months ago, the funeral committee inspected the land for the family house project but nothing had been done on the land.
“Ghana does not respect its heroes and that is very bad. After a year, nothing has been done in memory of President Mills here. This is bad,” he said.
He said the family at Otuam had asked for a meeting with the President at the Flagstaff House since March 19, 2013 but they had not been invited.
Nana Acquah called on the government to work to honour the promises made to the family and the town to honour the memory of the late President.
Nana Ayinfua, the Ebusuahemaa, reiterated the call on the government to honour its promises to the community.
By Joe Okyere & Shirley Asiedu-Addo