A member of the Minority in Parliament, Nii Lante Vanderpuye says he will petition President Akufo-Addo over the demolition of portions of the Old Parliament House.
This follows widespread public condemnation of the move by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to pull down part of the structure for rebuilding. Cymain Ghana Limited was contracted to pull the building down.
The structure which accommodated Ghana’s legislators from the era of Dr Kwame Nkrumah till 1981 was pulled down on Monday, four years after a fire destroyed portions of the structure.
The Ododiodioo legislator who described the demolition as unfortunate said he’ll put his seat on the line and seek answers from the Presidency why the structure was pulled down.
According to him, he’ll first table a motion before the House and make sure they haul persons behind the demolition to parliament to answer questions on the demolition of the structure.
“I’ve informed the caucus, I’ve also informed the Ga-Traditional Council and if it demands that we should file a petition to the Office of the President, the Speaker of Parliament and any other important state organization, to seek answers we will do.
I am not going to allow this thing to go. I’m ready to put my parliamentary seat on the line to fight for this,” he told Accra-based Citi FM.
The building, which housed the Citizens Vetting Committee (CVC), the Judgement Debt Commission, the CHRAJ and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) caught fire in December 2013 and had parts of it destroyed, making it unsafe for people to occupy.
Situated exactly opposite the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in Accra, the Old Parliament House accommodated Ghana’s legislators from the era of Dr Kwame Nkrumah till 1981 when the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) ousted the government of the People’s National Party (PNP) under the leadership of Dr Hilla Limann.
Before then, it had housed the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly from 1951 when Dr Nkrumah became the leader of Government Business under British rule.
The Old Parliament House, during the revolutionary days, also housed the offices of the erstwhile Committee for the Defence of the Revolution under the PNDC.
On the day of the country’s political independence, March 6, 1957, the government invited functionaries, including the Duchess of Kent and the Prime Minister of Britain, Mr Harold Macmillan, to grace the occasion at the Old Parliament House.
On the eve of independence on March 6, 1957, Dr Nkrumah declared independence at the Old Polo Grounds, opposite the Old Parliament House.
Today, the edifice houses the offices of CHRAJ, while Parliament has been relocated to the State House.