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Friday, July 27, 2012

Repair Mills’ Family House - Ekumfi Otuam Residents

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Residents of Ekumfi Otuam – the maternal home town of the late President John Evans Atta Mills – are calling on government to develop their community, especially the deplorable family house as a sign of respect to their departed illustrious son.

Ekumfi Otuam is a small fishing town in the Central Region of Ghana. It is 12 kilometers from Esuehyia Junction off the Accra-Cape Coast Highway.

The town had burst with relative expectations when the Electoral Commission had announced after the 2008 general elections that one of its own had won the general elections and subsequently will become the first gentleman of the country.

When Citi News visited the town after the sudden passing of the President on July 24, the village folks recalled that they made a promise to Mills that they would not be overly demanding from him, except that they would expect the very basic development projects like any other community.

Being a fishing community, one major project on the hearts of the indigenes is the provision of a landing bay to promote their fishing activities.

They had also expected that the Esuahyia Otuam road, which was in a deplorable state, would be rehabilitated and potable water supplied.

Family House
The immediate family members also had their own expectations - the rehabilitation of the family house which was unbefitting of a vice president-turned President.

Three-and-a-half years into the President’s reign, the people are yet to see massive improvements in their lives. The President, however, never deserted his people. According to them, President Mills constantly visited them and promised to provide their basic necessities including the provision of potable water, a landing bay and alternative jobs. He also promised his family the deplorable family house would be rebuilt.

On July 24, 2012, two days after the President had turned 68, news emerged that he had passed away at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra. This left his people devastated.

A visit to the town by Citi News revealed that the people, including children have been devastated by the news. At the family house, libation was poured in which the departed president was implored upon to inform his successor to develop the community.

The Esuahyia-Otuam road was under construction; but the community is nothing to write home about. The residents expressed concern about the fate of the community now that their only hope had died.
A fisherman, Kojo Frimpong, expressed his sentiments: “We are very hurt. We did not hear of the President being sick; all we heard was that he had died. He had promised to build the landing bay for us.”

“Someone should tell the President to reduce the price of fuel. All that president Mills has left undone, he should please complete them for us,” a woman fishmonger, Auntie Rose, added.

One woman we met at the seashore decried the deplorable nature of the shore and prayed for alternative jobs. She said, “There are no jobs for us to do here. We are going through too many hardships. We beg of the President to help develop our town so that our people can get jobs to do.”

President Mills was in the process of fulfilling the promises he had made to his people. Apart from the road under construction, pipes were being laid to supply water to the community.

However, the rehabilitation of the family house was yet to be started. According to the family, the President had last visited them twice in May this year and had promised to build the house.

Their concerns were “now that he is dead, who builds this house for us?”

The late president’s family house is a thatched house with some portions uncompleted. One distraught woman who said she was a nephew to the departed president could not hold back her tears. She said; “the president had promised to provide jobs for our children. He said he would build this house for us… he was our only hope.”

Children were not left behind in grief as the few we spoke to expressed sadness upon the demise of the president.
Source: Abena Asiedua Tenkorang/Citifmonline.com

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