Vehicle Saga: Ablakwa demands candour from Akufo-Addo

North Tongu Member of Parliament is calling for an amendment of the Presidential Transition Act to make it illegal for outgoing government officials to purchase state vehicles.

According to Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa if the practice is not outlawed, the possibility of it being abused by successive government is considerably high.

He was commenting on a directive given by the president Nana Akufo-Addo to his appointees not to attempt to buy their official cars.

The president had already issued a directive to his appointees not to buy new vehicles.

The directive is part of measures by the government to channel limited resources into fulfilling ambitious campaign promises.

Discussing the matter on Joy FM’s Newsnite programme, Monday, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa welcomed the president’s call for officials not to buy their cars.

He said it is his principled position that government appointees must not buy the properties they worked with whilst in office.

He had in 2009, taken the late Jake Obetsebi Lamptey to court over his decision to buy the state bungalow he lived in whilst serving as Minister.

According to Ablakwa, ex-president John Mahama also issued similar directive for outgoing state officials not to buy their vehicles.

However, during the period of the transition, he said it was agreed that the outgoing officials can buy their vehicles, a move some of them took advantage of but he did not.

Ablakwa said if the act is outlawed, there can be no negotiation on the matter by any president.

The North Tongu MP was however incensed by the president’s directive for appointees not to buy new vehicles.

Ablakwa said the president’s directive lacked candour. He said the president cannot now attempt to lock the stable door after the horse has bolted.

He insists some Ministries Departments and Agencies have already bought their vehicles and found it misleading that the president will now issue a directive stopping them from buying.

According to Ablakwa, only last Friday, Parliament approved a loan of $2 million for cars to be bought for Council of State members. He did not understand why such a loan will be approved in the face the directive by the president.

He said in the coming days the minority will hold a press conference to show Ghanaians which of the ministries have bought new vehicles, the president’s directive notwithstanding.

He asked the president to be open and transparent to the people and stop creating the impression that on assumption of office they have never bought cars.

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