After the unsuccessful attempt to appropriate his official residence as his end-of-service home, ex-President John Dramani Mahama has started packing his belongings out of No 3 Prestige Link – the official state bungalow at Cantonments – which he had occupied as vice president and president.
Mr Mahama is said to be relocating to the Airport Residential Area where he owns a property.
The residence is next to Gold House at Kawukudi where his brother, Ibrahim, also owns a house.
According to the Greater Accra Regional Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Anthony Nukpenu, the former president will finish packing his personal effects by the close of today, after which he will deliver the keys of the official residence to the government.
The former first family’s continued stay at the official residence, despite handing over power to President Nana Akufo-Addo became the subject of public discourse, with Ghanaians agitating for Mahama’s eviction from the house.
This, they claimed, would allow Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the current vice president, to occupy the facility, which is meant for vice presidents.
Even though the NDC said that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) side of the Transition Team had agreed in principle to allow the former president and his family to occupy the residence, no documentary evidence had been provided, making the case difficult to appreciate.
In the heat of the controversy, former President Mahama wrote to the new government indicating his willingness to vacate the house.
“You would recall, Mr. President, that contrary to the erroneous impression created by some persons in government and the interpretation given to the former letter submitted on my behalf by Mr. Julius Debrah, this was a follow-up of an agreement we had on my choice of accommodation and office. I had never requested to purchase the property; my request is therefore humbly withdrawn,” the letter, signed by the former president and copied to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, said.
Mr Anthony Nukpenu confirmed on Asempa FM’s ‘Ekosii Sen’ programme yesterday that John Mahama had started packing out upon his return from Nigeria where he represented the Government of Ghana in the Gambian negotiations.
“He is no more there (house), he has started packing out…this started occurring upon his return from Nigeria…,” he said.
He said the former president would finish packing out of the building he had occupied for eight years by this weekend.
Thus, the ex-president would likely hand over the keys to the Akufo-Addo government by next week.
Touching on where he is moving to, Mr Nukpenu said he (ex-president) was likely going to move to a house near the Gold House at Kawukudi.
He said that the residence near the Gold House was the exact location the former president hosted minority Members of Parliament who paid a visit to him on Thursday.