…Over Demolition of Old Parliament House
Hon. Kwame Governs Agbodza, Member of Parliament (MP) for Adaklu constituency in the Volta Region, has hinted at proceeding to the High Court to seek an injunction on the demolition of the old parliament house in Accra.
According to the lawmaker, the building, which currently houses the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), remained a historical edifice as a cultural heritage and future parliamentary expansion and must be protected.
Officials of CHRAJ yesterday pulled down the building, a portion of which as destroyed by fire four years ago, to pave the way for a new one to be constructed at a cost of GH¢15 million.
The amount is part of the budgetary allocation of GH¢37,816,401 approved by Parliament for the implementation of the activities and programmes of the CHRAJ.
But Hon. Agbodza told journalists in parliament yesterday that, the building ought to be preserved as a cultural heritage on the grounds that it was the place where Ghana’s parliamentary work commenced 60 years ago.
“We have to protect that building for the future. It is a culture heritage and it must not be demolished. The CHRAJ can look elsewhere and develop the new building to do their human rights and administrative matters. So I will seek advice from my lawyers so we can get stop this act (injunction), because it is a national heritage,” the Adaklu MP stated.
He added that he will also petition the Speaker of Parliament, Rt- Hon Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye, to intervene for the building to be preserved for parliament, adding, “Currently, parliament needs offices and possibly a second chamber and we need that building, not for only culture heritage but possibly for parliamentary work.”
Mr. Agboza said Ghanaians could not afford to lose such a historical building, which was constructed in the early 1950s, and had over the years housed the Citizens Vetting Committee (CVC), the Judgement Debt Commission, the Ghana @50 Commission and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).
The building, which is situated exactly opposite the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in Accra, known publicly as 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 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 Great Britain, Mr. Harold Macmillan, to grace the occasion at the Old Parliament House.
Additionally, 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.
It is out of this historical ground that the Adaklu MP said the building ought to be preserved for prosperity, as there are other alternatives for CHRAJ to move on.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyasba