The John Evans Atta Mills Presidential Library which was commissioned two years ago still remains under lock and key as the contractor of the project has refused to hand over the facility.
According to the contractor, his work has not been fully paid for and he cannot hand over until that is done.
The library, in memory of late president Mills, has a 100-seater capacity auditorium, a 45-seater multimedia centre, seminar rooms and a museum which contains historical materials reflecting his life and works.
Situated opposite the Cape Coast Castle, the facility is also home to a virtual sound room that echoes the voice of Prof. Mills in his memorable speeches and images that bring to life his sojourn as a celebrated academic, keen sportsman, humble politician, devout Christian, servant leader, President and peace-loving Ghanaian.
Although not a typical book library, the two-storey edifice will preserve and make available the papers, records, collections and historical materials of President Mills and other prominent African intellectuals and political leaders.
The facility will be managed by the University of Cape Coast Libraries, and its research events will be coordinated by the university’s Faculty of Arts, with support from the Directorate of Research Innovation and Consultancy of the UCC.
Former president Mahama commissioned the memorial facility in 2016
At a commissioning ceremony on July 24, 2016, former president, John Dramani Mahama said the library will be a reference centre for knowledge in economics, politics, education, law and other tort forms to ensure “we build a better future, transform our country and change the lives of our people.”
But none of that is happening, at least not at the moment.
Joy News’ Joojo Cobbinah has been to the Central Region and reports that residents are unhappy that the facility remains unopened years after its commissioning.
“It is like a white elephant and I am very sad to see that. I am demoralized,” one of them told Joojo in an interview.
He proceeded with a call on the government to do something about the situation, “so that this place will be used as planned,” he added.
The 100-seater conference room in the library
Another sees the development as a disgrace to the memory of the former president, adding “they should put proper structures in place to enable this place work.”
But the government says there is little it can do about the situation because the facility is a purely private enterprise, therefore public funds cannot be allocated for running it.