Amissah-Arthur, JJ Rawlings were buried at Military Cemetery because Asomdwee Park was ‘stinky’ – Koku Anyidoho

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The founder of Atta Mills Institute (AMI) now known as Anyidoho Institute, has said the government chose not to inter deceased Ghanaian statesmen at the same place as Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills at the Asomdwe Park, due to the earlier conditions of the cemetery.

Speaking Friday, August 5, 2022, on Angel FM’s Anopa Bofoↄ morning show, Samuel Koku Anyidoho said the bodies of the late Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings, could have been laid to rest beside Prof Mills but were buried elsewhere because the Asomdwe Park was in ruins.

Until the recommissioning of the park by the AMI with the help of the government through the Coastal Development Authority, the burial ground had recurrently been the headline of many news outlets in the country.

The Asomdwe Park prior to its rehabilitation
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The site, a few years after the burial of Prof Mills, was reported to have been abandoned by the state which subsequently became a resort for hawkers and trespassers to rest after their activities.

Originally a mausoleum, the Asomdwee Park turned into a grazing site for livestock also, particularly cattle which left their dungs in the yard, worsening the situation.

The phenomena were attributed to an absence of security measures to protect the government’s mausoleum from invasion.

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Amid the development, two bigwigs of the NDC died. First was Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur who was the Vice President of John Dramani Mahama. He was pronounced dead at the 37 Military Hospital on June 29, 2018, after his collapse at the Airforce Gym in Accra during a workout.

On November 12, 2020, the nation was again saddened by the death of its Former President, Jerry John Rawlings whose demise occurred at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital after a short illness.

Ordinarily, it was expected that the two men would be buried at the Asomdwe Park since the cemetery was the government’s first mausoleum, but their bodies were instead taken to the Burma Camp Military Cemetery.

In his comments, Koku Anyidoho, who was an aide to Prof Mills, said the two were sent to the military cemetery because the Asomdwe Park was at the time unpleasant sight.

The renovated Asomdwee Park

“Why didn’t they take JJ Rawlings there [Asomdwe Park]? Why didn’t they take Amissah-Arthur there? The place was appalling. It was reeking [and] it was an eyesore. Who would inter his child at a stinking and repugnant place?” Koku Anyidoho claimed in the local Twi dialect.

Meanwhile, being encouraged by the new outlook of the mausoleum, the former NDC Deputy General Secretary in charge of operations is hopeful that statesmen would be buried at the site going forward.

“Today, by God’s grace the place has become nice. Tomorrow, someone else will also go there,” he said.

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