General News of 2014-01-02

Mahama “hijacked” Ghana’s Xmas to Dubai - Sir John

The main opposition New Patriotic Party’s General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, says President John Mahama “hijacked” Ghana’s Christmas for himself and flew with it to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“…I, together with lots of Ghanaians, couldn’t celebrate this Christmas purposely because the President has hijacked the Christmas and taken it to Dubai so we have been waiting for his return and so it’s been terrible for us”, Sir John as Mr Owusu Afriyie is known in the media, told XYZ Breakfast Show host Nana Kwaku Agyemang on Thursday.

His comment was in reference to the President’s Christmas holiday trip to the United Arab Emirates. The President left Accra on December 23, 2013.

A statement from the Presidency said: "The President and his family left Accra Monday morning to the United Arab Emirates for the Christmas holiday”.

The statement said: “In his absence, H.E. Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur will act as President”.

President Mahama took advantage of his holiday trip to meet UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in Dubai, according to a statement from the Presidency.

The discussions centered on the Mahama Administration’s efforts at modernising Accra.

President Mahama, at the meeting, said Ghana was willing to emulate the growth and development strategy of Dubai and said Ghana and especially Accra, could go the way of the Arab city.

“Ghana will draw lessons from Dubai's development model and benefit from its human expertise and energies,” President Mahama stated.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, who is also Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, stressed the need to enhance bilateral cooperation and exchange of expertise in areas such as tourism, oil and infrastructure development.

President Mahama is in the oil-rich country for “a short annual leave”.