Seasoned Journalist, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, has punched holes in the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa's supposed urgent question before Parliament over what he considers as extravagant expenditure on President Akufo-Addo’s foreign travels.
The MP, in a Facebook post, challenged the President's foreign travels revealing the President has abandoned the State's Falcon jet for private jet travels.
He confirmed this in an interview with Citi FM's Presenter Umaru Sanda Amadu stating emphatically “I can confirm on authority” that the President charters a private flight for the trips.
Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa disclosed the President spent over a whopping 2.8 million cedis on his recent trips.
Okudzeto Ablakwa's Post
The North Tongu MP wrote; “The Airbus ACJ320neo owned by Acropolis Aviation based in Farnborough, UK and registered as G-KELT, is the most luxurious and the most expensive in the Acropolis fleet. The manufacturers describe it as “the most outstanding ambassador for Airbus Corporate Jets.” It costs the Ghanaian taxpayer approximately £15,000 an hour when President Akufo-Addo rents it.
''President Akufo-Addo undoubtedly has the greatest taste any Ghanaian President has ever had, but the question is, should that insatiable appetite for his creature comforts be at the expense of the suffering masses?
''Let’s further analyze President Akufo-Addo’s latest trip to Europe: per Flightradar24, the G-KELT aircraft left Accra with the President to Paris on the 16th of May — a 6 and half hour duration. Airlifted the President from Paris to Johannesburg for 11 hours on the 23rd of May. Then Johannesburg to Accra on the 25th of May was a five and half hour flight. This gives us accumulated flight travel of 23 hours; so at £15,000 an hour, it thus cost us a colossal £345,000. At the current exchange, that is a staggering GHS2,828,432.80.''
The MP stressed in the Facebook post; ''I have therefore filed an urgent question in Parliament to compel the Akufo-Addo administration to be accountable to the Ghanaian people on this matter and ultimately to prick their conscience to end this obscene profligacy at this time of considerable economic hardships. The African people deserve better from their leaders.”
Also during his interview with Umaru Sanda, Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa was asked whether the Falcon may have developed a fault, for which reason the government sought the services of Acropolis Aviation.
He responded; “That is why we are summoning the Defence Minister, who has oversight of the Air Force to tell us if the Falcon has developed a fault in these few days because we do know that the Falcon has been in pristine condition and that the other ministers have been using it. So we want to hear from the government on why the President chose that option.”
Okudzeto Ablakwa's Question Not Available
According to Kweku Baako, he would have loved to access the very urgent question by the MP but it is difficult to find it.
Speaking on Peace FM's ''Kokrokoo'', he revealed that the MP hasn't laid the question before Parliament yet.
''Last weekend, trying to access the text of the urgent question that the Member of Parliament, Mr. Ablakwa is said to have filed, I tried but all my sources at the Parliament House indicated that it's not available. Why, because, the Speaker is yet to admit it. You know, by the standing orders, the Speaker under order 66(1) or so has [the authority] the sole authority to admit a question and then takes steps to ensure that it's put on order paper and all those things.
''To my surprise, my sources for the first time, I think they failed me because whilst I understood that yes, officially the Speaker hasn't . . . admitted . . . whatever be the case, they can smuggle it. I've been a beneficiary of that over the years. Yes! We, journalists, we love leakages and drops here and there. We thrive on it; it's part of our business but you do it, over the years, you create sources. You cultivate sources . . . both in the public and private sector, in parties, in everything. So, regardless of the colour of the regime in office, you should be capable of accesssing, intercepting and being a beneficiary of leakages . . . I want to see the text of the urgent question; what is it that is in it," he told host Kwami Sefa Kayi.
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