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Thursday, July 8, 2010

‘The Rawlingses rejected all government offers for accommodation’

Mr and Mrs Rawlings
Mr and Mrs Rawlings
Government has expressed utter surprise at claims by former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings which tend to suggest that her family has been neglected by the government with respect to their accommodation.

Mrs Rawlings shocked his host Evans Mensah and many Ghanaians on Wednesday’s edition of Joy FM’s Super Morning Show when she said the former First Couple are still living separately as they strive to find a place to rent after their Ridge residence got burnt in February this year.

She has been ‘perching’ with her mom whilst her husband stays at a "village house" in Tefle near Sogakope, a situation she says is not good enough for "married life".

But with the kind of efforts by the government to provide them with a temporal accommodation, the Deputy Minister of Information James Agyenim-Boateng has described Mrs Rawlings’ claims as “very much unfortunate”.

He said the Rawlingses have rejected all provisional accommodations provided by the government.

“Indeed we have tried to provide the former First Family with accommodation that is befitting, that can reasonably guarantee their safety and security pending renovation works on their Ridge residence which burnt down.”

Expatiating on the issue, Mr Agyenim-Boateng said they were first offered a residence at the AU Village, which is “pretty close to their burnt residence” as a holding place for them but they “turned down” the offer.

Another accommodation was sought for them at the residence of the former National Security Coordinator, Francis Poku, refurbished to befit their status, and yet, it was rejected.

"We felt that it was reasonably safe and secure for holding a former president and his spouse. The place was prepared to befit their status in terms of their safety and their security. Again the former President did like the place but the former First Lady did not like the place, based on that, it was turned down," he said.
Perching with mother

Myjoyonline Ghana News Photos |
The house as it stands after the blaze
The Deputy Information Minister revealed that it was Mrs Rawlings herself who proposed to stay at her mother’s house.

And to ensure the family’s safety, the government carried out “reasonable works” on her mother’s house and adequate security were also provided.

Touching on the burnt Ridge residence, Mr Agyenim-Boateng said the former First Family wanted the place constructed in a “certain way and by a particular contractor”, but government is still waiting for the “drawings from them [Rawlingses]” for works to proceed on it.

On accommodation for former President John Agyekum Kufuor, he said government is in touch with his (Kufuor’s) officials to get him one.

Story by Isaac Essel/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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