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Akufo-Addo’s £15,000 per hour luxury jet trip: Ablakwa rushed in publicizing allegations – Afenyo-Markin.



Akufo-Addo’s £15,000 per hour luxury jet trip: Ablakwa rushed in publicizing allegations – Afenyo-Markin. 49



Alexander Afenyo-Markin, the Deputy Majority Leader has indicated that his colleague MP for North Tongu rushed in making his allegations about the president’s recent trip to Europe in an alleged £15,000 per hour luxury jet known to the public.

He stated that, since Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa claims he had filed an urgent question to the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, for purposes of fairness, he should have waited for the admission of his urgent question by the Speaker before publicizing the information.

“I would have thought that for purposes of fairness, he would allow his question to be admitted and then the appropriate response from the relevant agency will be brought to parliament.

“But for him to be going around trying to create a certain impression even before his question is admitted is quite unfortunate,” Afenyo-Markin told Joy FM in an interview monitored by GhanaWeb on Monday, May 31.

He said has always been a characteristic of his colleague, the North Tongu MP.

He cited Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa’s resignation from the Appointments Committee of Parliament in which a letter to the Speaker found its way in the media before the Speaker of Parliament could even have a word on it.

Afenyo-Markin advised, “appropriately we should wait on the Speaker whether the question is even admissible then we can take it up from there.

“…to be frank with you, I don’t think that he has any good basis for describing [the] official travel of the president as being lavish.

“Because I’m not too sure that he has access to receipts of payments made and the basis of his comparison and what is making him come to a certain conclusion.”

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the North Tongu MP, had accused President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of spending a whopping £345,000 i.e. GH¢2,828,432.80 at the current exchange rate on his recent 9-day visit to France, Belgium, South Africa and back to Ghana.

According to the MP, Akufo-Addo hired G-KELT aircraft which the manufacturers describe as “the most outstanding ambassador for Airbus Corporate Jets”.

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.

In a post on his social media timeline, Okudzeto Ablakwa wrote, “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.”

He explained, “aviation experts inform me it would have cost Ghana less than 15% of this 2.8 million Ghana cedis had President Akufo-Addo opted for Ghana’s available presidential jet which is in pristine condition. Alternatively, far more affordable travel arrangements are available which could have aligned with the president’s rhetoric for sympathy from the west for African nations.”

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa indicated that President Akufo-Addo has been a leading voice for debt forgiveness in the international arena but back home in Ghana, he has been imposing additional regressive taxes with the justification that the economy isn’t in a good place.

“Sadly, he consistently fails to lead by example in a period of austerity where his government is appealing to struggling public sector workers to lower-wage increase expectations.

“It is an outrage and a blatant betrayal for Ghana to own a presidential aircraft in perfect working condition which was ordered by President Kufuor, used by President Mills and President Mahama; and yet President Akufo-Addo chooses to charter a top-of-the-range luxury aircraft offered by Acropolis Aviation,” he stressed.