JJ’s New Home - Burnt Ridge Property Rising....After Two Long Years
More than two years after the fire, former President Jerry Rawlings and his family can return to live at Ridge before close of this year.
A senior official in the Mills government has told The Globe “work to restore the property to its former glory is in full flight and we hope to see the former first family back at Ridge before the end of this year. When complete, the structure we are talking about will match up to the status of Mr. Rawlings as a former President of this country”.
“In the unlikely event that the project delays, we could have the former President move back into the property by early next year,” a government source told this reporter on Sunday without giving further details.
“All I can say is the contractor is on site and work is progressing seriously. It is a constitutional obligation to house the former President and we are doing just that. But, I am unable to tell you the total cost of the project let alone the number of rooms and the specifications,” the official said, when asked specifics about the project’s cost.
Two days earlier, from the interview granted The Globe, a former aide to the Rawlingses, Ambassador Victor Smith, said the project is at “lintel level as we speak”.
The former Ghanaian Ambassador to the Czech Republic made the comment in response to claims by critics that Mr. Rawlings has been consistently “maltreated” by the current administration.
“They said we have not treated him fairly. His house got burnt and we are building the House. It is a fact,” Mr. Smith said. “I didn’t go into the House. I drove pass there and you can see it.”
Information Ministry officials declined comment.
Security details guarding the property do not allow sight-seers onto the sprawling property, but evidence of building is visible just opposite the site of the burnt colonial building the Rawlingses once called home.
Former President was not available for comment.
The fine details of the project have been preceded by widespread controversy after allegations that the state was dillydallying over its obligation to house the former first family.