•Ken Ofori-Atta has deferred a question on President Akufo-Addo’s trip to France, Belgium and South Africa to the National Security Minister
•He claims it’s a national security issue
•Okudzeto Ablakwa says his actions amount to contempt of Parliament
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu is not pleased with the conduct of Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta over the issue of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s trip to Belgium, France and South Africa in May.
Okudzeto is fuming that Ken Ofori-Atta is treating Parliament with impunity with his seeming lackadaisical attitude in furnishing the house with the financial details of the trips.
He is incensed that Ken Ofori-Atta is slapping Parliament in the face as members of the house look on unconcerned.
Speaking in a Citi News interview, Ablakwa bemoaned that Parliament being the house of the people’s representatives ought to be treated better by the Finance Minister.
“It was a very embarrassing spectacle. This is a minister who was due to appear in Parliament on June 17. The question was published in the Provisional Order paper on June 16 only for him to come the next day and plead for time. He has subsequently requested for more (time)on a couple of times.
“It has been a struggle to get him and I had to write to the Business Committee of Parliament to remind them not to be complicit in the contemptuous treatment he was meting to the honorable house. Then he comes today (July 21) only to tell us that we should now look into the direction of the National Security Ministry as he doesn’t know and its now a National Security matter. At what point did he realize that he didn’t have the information.
“This is not how we protect the public purse. This is not how we promote good governance and accountability. Imagine if we were in power and conducted ourselves this way, what will President Akufo-Addo and the NPP MPs say? This is totally wrong. It’s contemptuous of Parliament and an insult to the people of this country,” he said.
Ken Ofori after weeks of postponements with the excuse of putting together the expenditure, turned up in Parliament on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 only to defer the question to the National Security Minister.
He told Parliament that it is not within his remit to make the disclosure as his ministry did not effect payment.
“Mr Speaker, the President’s domestic and international travels are matters to do with National Security. Therefore, the National Security Minister is best placed to furnish this Honorable House with the details needed,” he said.
Ablakwa believes that there is an attempt to keep that information from Ghanaians and has served a warning to the National Security Ministry not to show up in the house with the excuse that the details of the president trip is a ‘National Security issue.’
He has vowed to use the appropriate channel to ensure accountability and transparency from the government.