Alexander Akuorkor, the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) Parliamentary Candidate for the Bortianor-Ngleshie constituency in the 2020 general election has stated that the explanations given by the Minister of Defence on why the presidency spent tons of cash in renting a private jet for trips is out of place.
To him, the Minister was better off remaining silent over the issue than trying to justify it. “I don’t see sense in what Nitiwul said on the floor of parliament. His trying to justify this outrageous spending is not great.”
The Politician indicated that the leadership of this country should always remember that they are not the bosses of Ghanaians. “Leadership of this country must know that they are our servants and as servants, they can’t do anything they want.”
As maintained by Mr. Akuorkor, Ghanaians demand accountability from their leaders but “they are trying to act like they can find all the reasons to act without being questioned.”
Not a fan of the Minister of Defence, he noted that the Minister’s posture is not the best for the country and questioned why President Akufo-Addo still kept him at the post. “He has a bad posture and only makes foul comments when he chooses to speak. He should watch the way he speaks to Ghanaians as we are very discerning. The reasons he gave for the President renting a private jet for his trip holds no water.”
Speaking to Happy98.9FM’s Don Kwabena Prah on the Epa Hoa Daben political talk show Mr. Akuorkor furthered that the President’s spending may eventually lead to an aid freeze for the country. “The President’s behaviour is a reflection of the financial situation of the country. Seeing the President spend over 2 million cedis on jet bills is a bit dangerous as he is sending a signal that we have no problems as a country. If the world sees us as rich, everyone will cease to give us loans or aid.”
North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa claims President Akufo-Addo has spent an amount of GHS 2.8 million on his recent travels to only South Africa and France, using the services of a private jet.
“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”, the legislator alleged in a post on Facebook.
He accused the President of blowing the money “to satisfy his insatiable appetite and comfort at the expense of the suffering masses”.
“Let’s further analyse 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 rate, that is a staggering GHS2,828,432.80,” he posted.
The Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, responding to why the presidential jet was is not being used by the president noted the challenges with the current presidential jet such as the limited passengers it can carry, the number of times required for refuelling on a trip and luggage capacity among others, makes the aircraft not fit for purpose.
Answering an urgent question in Parliament from the North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on the airworthiness of the aircraft, Dominic Nitiwul indicated that, the president cannot even take his shower on the aircraft.