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General News Fri, 18 Jun 2021

Kweku Baako clashes with Kwakye Ofosu over Nitiwul’s performance in Parliament

• Baako posited that Nitiwul should have stuck to the written answers he submitted

• Kwakye Ofosu says the Minister of Defence owed Ghanaians explanations over the state of the presidential aircraft

• Baako also criticized Okudzeto Ablakwa over his commentaries on the issue

Former Deputy Communications Minister, Felix Kwakye Ofosu and veteran journalist Abdul Malik Kweku Baako threw some verbal punches at each other on Thursday, June 17, 2021, edition of the Good Morning Ghana show on Metro TV.

The topic was the appearance in Parliament by Dominic Nitiwul, the Minister of Defence to brief members on the state of the presidential aircraft.

Kweku Baako in his submission posited that Dominic Nitiwul should have gone strictly to the questions filed by Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on the issue instead of veering into other areas.

Baako argued that Nitiwul courted trouble for himself with his decision to explain the issues instead of sticking to the written response he had already provided.

But Kwakye Ofosu disagreed, stressing that it would have been counterproductive for the government to offer brief and concise answers to the questions.

He said that the principles of accountability and transparency would have been disrespected had Nitiwul opted to go strictly to the questions.

Read the conversation below

Kwakye: Mr Baako has attempted to seek solace in brevity and limitation in the questions that were asked.

Baako: Not my fault.

Kwakye: Mr Nitiwul could have pretended not to be aware of the huge public interest in the matter being discussed and indeed because he essentially is the custodian of the presidential travel fleet, he is seized with knowledge many people don’t have. The Finance Minister could deal with the cost but in terms of the specific details, the Defence Minister has the Information.

Baako: That is not how Parliament works and [the] parliamentary procedure doesn’t allow that

Kwakye: Best practices, the need for transparency and accountability.

Baako: Then change the standing orders.

Kwakye: He did not flout any of the orders. I’m sure the speaker would not have allowed him.

Baako: He dares not.

Kwakye: I disagree with hiding behind brevity in a matter of huge public interest like this and I think that it is proper. As to whether or not his explanation makes or addresses the question is another matter. I do not think that he addressed the question.

The two public figures also disagreed on how Samuel Okudzeto, a Member of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee who blew the alarm on the high cost of the trip, has handled the issue.

Baako says his actions were irresponsible and unnecessary but Kwakye Ofosu believes his party fellow is just exercising his right to free speech.

Baako: “I heard Ablakwa talking about 200,000, 2.8 million and all that, it is needless. Completely needless at this stage. He ought to wait for the Minister of Finance to come to the house and give answers relative to the financial package. It’s a needless reaction that reflects what Ablakwa has been doing all along. He didn’t need the minister of Defence’s reference to cost. The Minister’s answer was not an answer to Ablakwa’s question which is tailored for the Minister of Finance.

“Parliament is not the only platform he could have used. There are other platforms that he can use as a Ghanaian and he did that,” Kwakye Ofosu replied.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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