February 14, 2011

It has been one whole year since the former first family, the Rawlingses, lost their Ridge residence, a home they have lived in for almost 20 years in a raging fire.

February 14, a day widely acclaimed to be lovers day saw the Rawlingses last year bemoaned the loss of not only their home, but invaluable memoirs built within decades.

The problem seems to have been compounded with the government’s inability to provide a replacement within an appropriate and acceptable time.

This has led to the former First Couple living separately; Mrs Konadu Rawlings living with her mum in Accra, while Mr Rawlings lives in a “village house” in Tefle near Sogakope.

Debate on finding a suitable accommodation for the former President and his family has pitched the government against the Rawlingses with some interest group questioning the government’s commitment in finding a solution to the accommodation problems of the founder of the ruling NDC.

This has been the worry of NDC Member of Parliament for Manya Krobo, Michael Teye Nyaunu.

In an interview on the Big Bite show on Xfm 95.1, a privately owned commercial radio station in Accra, Mr Nyaunu categorically stated that it would have been appropriate for the government to say it was not going to build any new house for the former President than to wait for a whole year to elapse before starting work.

The Manya-Krobo MP sarcastically stated that the late start of work is a clear manifestation of how the government values Mr Rawlings, who is not only a Former President but founder of the NDC.

“It is just unfortunate that one year down the lane now, the founder of the party in government, an ex-president of this country for 19 years is going about without an official residence. It is very bad. It is so bad that we are in government and we have not been able to build the house. One year after, and we still say that we are drawing and that it would take time…If we are not going to give him any accommodation, it would be better we state it in black and white that ‘we are not going to give you the house; find somewhere else to live,” Hon Teye Nyaunu.

A reminder that work has begun on the Ridge residence and that the Rawlingses will have their house back in no time only made an unhappy Nyaunu more infuriated, chanting “dreams are dreams. Until they materialize, they remain dreams”.

To him, insofar as the house is not completed, the government’s commitment to rebuilding the house is questionable.

He also decried the slow pace of work, saying it only gives a foresight of how long it would take for the Rawlingses to have back their house.

“I know some work is going on; until they put up the building, there is nothing there. And if it would take one year before we start to do this, I only hope and pray that it will not take another two years before we finish with the whole building”.

Mr Nyaunu strongly believes the fact that the house in question belongs to Mr Rawlings, should be reason enough to have work done expeditiously. He says “having sympathized with him, people would endeavour to put themselves into his shoes and know what he is feeling, and transplant this feeling into practical action and try to put up this building for him very early. I can tell you, the house is not a complex building and it could have been executed within six months”.

Even though he concedes that the Former President has not been treated fairly by members of his own government, My Nyaunu prayed Mr. Rawlings would take this in his stride and stand by what he (Mr Rawlings) said last year after the fire had gutted that house “that we came with nothing into this world and we shall surely depart with nothing”.

Source: X fm