•Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has reiterated his concerns about the alleged £15,000 per hour luxury jet the president used for his 9-day tour to some countries
•According to the MP for North Tongu, government’s refusal to respond to his statement only means he was right
• The Legislator has said no amount of insults will stop him from seeking for answers
The Member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudjeto, has reaffirmed that his allegation of the “flamboyant £15,000 an hour luxury jet affair” involving the President is true and clear.
According to him, government cannot and has until now not been able to clear his findings that government made unnecessary expenditures on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s trips to France, South Africa, and Belgium.
It could be recalled that on Friday, June 4, 2021, the MP in a Facebook post asserted that his side (NDC in Parliament) will demand accountability from the government concerning the alleged £15,000 per hour luxury jet the president used for his 9-day tour to some countries.
Speaking on the GhanaWeb’s ‘The LowDown’ Show with Ismail Akwei, he reiterated that government’s seeming silence on his statements meant officials have been exposed.
“So it is clear that government has been exposed, they don’t have any response. They cannot deny the information I have put out.
Mr Ablakwa believes that the NPP government have effective communicators that could speak or come at him should his allegations be wrong.
“We know that this government have effective communication strategies and so if I had missed a number, if I had overstated the charge or if I had got the aircraft wrong, you know how they would have descended on me.”
Mr Ablakwa furthered that, “it is again clear that they are shocked at the level of detail and the level of information that we secured and put out, adding that he had to resort to insults as a result of the truth.
The Legislator, on how government could have spent less on the recent travels the president embarked on his recent travels, noted on The Lowdown show that predecessors travelled in Ghana-owned presidential aircraft and not private jets that cost the country much.
In his words, former presidents, “John Agyekum Kufuor, John Evans Atta Mills and John Mahama all used to travel in the Ghana-owned presidential aircraft during their period in office” questioning why “Akufo-Addo has decided to abandon the presidential aircraft, causing the country to spend millions of cedis on a private jet.”
The MP is, however, adamant that no amount of criticism will prevent him from seeking the truth.
Below is the face book post
Today marks exactly a week since I published details of President Akufo-Addo’s unconscionable profligate luxury travels to France, Belgium and South Africa at taxpayers’ expense.
Government’s record-breaking dead silence and stonewalling on the ostentatious £15,000 an hour luxury jet affair has been most telling.
In the past, even when we have filed questions in Parliament, it has not stopped Government from issuing statements and speaking to the issues in contention – rightly so, because there’s no provision in Parliament’s standing orders stopping parties from public commentary when a question has been filed.
I do also recall how President Akufo-Addo himself made public pronouncements which many considered prejudicial during the bi-partisan parliamentary enquiry into the cash for seat saga. Similarly, President Akufo-Addo didn’t shy away from “premature commentary” when I raised the infamous Oslo Chancery deal in Parliament.
In this pinnacle-of-luxury-travels case — despite actively speaking to many national concerns in recent times from galamsey, culture of silence to a radio station’s perceived attack on Free SHS; the President has conveniently ignored the massive public outrage at the obscene penthouse in the skies Airbus ACJ320neo debacle reminiscent of how people avoid folks who test positive for coronavirus, particularly, before vaccines were developed.
The NDC in Parliament’s quest for full accountability will be vigorously and fearlessly pursued for that is what Ghanaians who have the country at heart expect of us. We cannot spend so much purchasing and maintaining a presidential jet (Dassault Falcon 9G-EXE) only to recklessly burden taxpayers by hiring the most expensive top-of-the-range wonder luxury jet whose purpose rather ironically was to ferry our President on a debt forgiveness-cum-additional borrowing diplomatic mission.
Media threats by Deputy Majority Group Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin that their side will not support my question is rather inconsequential because Order 66(1) is unambiguous: “Mr. Speaker shall be the sole judge of the admissibility of a Question.” The Speaker is not required to consult anyone or seek the support of both sides of the House before admitting a question. No MP can therefore usurp the Speaker’s authority so to speak.
As for the pathetic attacks on my person by minions and hirelings, it only affirms the maxim: “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
We shall stay focused, unperturbed and relentless in our pursuit for full accountability and the protection of the public purse as the President himself pledged to uphold. Failure in that constitutional and moral imperative cannot be an option. The job of an opposition MP in a functioning democracy and within checks and balances parameters is not to be quiet and sit idle when you can take genuine and concrete steps to stop the blatant rape and plunder of the national kitty, more so, in these harsh economic times. That will be tantamount to either complicity or dereliction.
In the pursuit of our lawful mandate of oversight, we eagerly await the day of full accountability rather sooner than later when the Defence Minister and the Minister responsible for Finance will appear in Parliament to respond to my two questions on this matter of utmost national interest.
For God and Ghana.
Watch the video here: