According to the Minister, though he acknowledges there were flaws in communication from government regarding the name, the official name is Flagstaff House.
“I take full responsibility for the anyone who works for me… The name of the Flagstaff house has not changed.”
The debate on the name of the seat of government took center stage in the nation’s discourse following two press statements that were released by the Executive Secretary to the President, Dr Raymond Attuguba which first gave indications of a change of name from ‘Flagstaff House’ to ‘Jubilee Flagstaff house’.
It will be recalled that the Kufuor led-administration, after unveiling the structure that was to be the seat of government, christened it the Golden Jubilee house.
The Flagstaff House was reconstructed and inaugurated with the name Golden Jubilee House in November 2008.
In January 2009, the Mills-led government of President Mills moved the office of the president back to Osu Castle and changed the name to its original form claiming that the previous government had not used a Legislative Instrument to effect the change as required by law.
Though Information Minister, Mahama Ayariga in an earlier interview had justified the name change, General Secretary of the party, Johnson Asiedu Nketia questioned the Minister’s position when he indicated in an interview that per the information available to him, no name change had been officially effected.
However, Hon Mahama Ayariga in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show noted “I am responsible for every government communication and have the ultimate say in whatever it is government seeks to communicate. Sometimes there are some mistakes in the way we carry out our respective assignments. Sometimes you have serious challenges trying to manage the situation. This is one such instance where there was a little misunderstanding when it came to the proper naming of the seat of government.
My friends and colleagues at the presidency understood things in a certain way and it turned out that our appreciation of the situation was not exactly what happened, so let me place on record that the official name is the Flagstaff house.
There have been lapses in terms of the proper naming. I’m not in the position to assign blame; being ultimately responsible for all government communication, the buck stops with me.”
Mahama Ayariga maintained: “This shows that when there is a mistake in government communication, someone will own up and take responsibility and make sure that the right information is put out there. We are going to get a system where ultimately, we will always get the right information and matters won’t be left hanging in a state of controversy and we won’t know who to hold responsible. I am saying hold me, Mahama Ayariga, responsible anytime there is a problem with government communication.
I am not saying I won’t ever make mistakes but that I will also take responsibility for other people’s mistakes and make sure I correct it and put it out there. I will continue to work with my colleagues because you can’t work if you cannot rely on your colleagues. Not everybody in the system is infallible. The key thing is for us to have confidence, honesty and sincerity to come out and say yes there was miscommunication but now these are the facts.”