The New Patriotic Party has scoffed at the official reason given by the Castle for the President’s sudden trip to the United States on Christmas Eve.
Speaking exclusively to the New Statesman on Christmas Day, Nana Akomea, the Communications Director of the opposition party, said, “The President should stop kidding with Ghanaians and tell us the truth. This Christmas meeting with US investors sounds like a story from the North Pole.”
The NPP suspects there could be more to this emergency visit than the Castle is willing to share with Ghanaians, “especially, when the President gave no prior public notice of this Christmas trip when he returned from America a week ago,” Nana Akomea said.
He said, “the NPP expected the President to spend, at least, the most important day on the Christian calendar here at home because even the New York Stock Exchange, the citadel of capitalism, does not operate on Christmas day.”
President John Evans Atta Mills left the country for the United States on a nine-day official visit on December 24, exactly a week after he returned from a month’s trip to North America, including a two-week holiday in the US.
Briefing journalists at the Kotoka International Airport last Saturday night, Mr. Koku Anyidoho, Director of communications at the Presidency, said President Mills was returning to America to meet with some investors as a run-up to his recent visit to the New York Stock Exchange.
He said a number of investors in the US had lined up to meet President Mills after his visit to the NYSE but he had to come home.
But, the NPP is not at all convinced. “The President, a professed Christian, chose Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to leave Ghana and travel to a Christian country to visit so-called investors. What kind of investors does he plan to meet? Santa Claus?” Nana Akomea said.
“We find the timing of this trip very strange. Is the President saying that US investors don’t celebrate Christmas?”
The NPP further stated that the President returned from his previous American trip without being able to “mention one specific investment deal he was able to strike whilst over there. He is returning to the US without any specific programme that he can confidently share with Ghanaians.”
The NPP Communications Director added, “Perhaps, it would not have raised such eyebrows if these frequent air miles were for trips to China, where we all know of multi-billion dollar agreements being negotiated. Are these American trips not for something else that they are reluctant to share?”
The Castle, he said, “must come clean on these US trips. Two official holidays in consecutive years to the US and now choosing the Christmas season of all periods to go on an investment drive in the US is most doubtful. We need more details than what Mr Anyidoho is willing to reveal.”
Mr. Anyidoho said on Saturday, “The President will use this opportunity especially in this festive season and to sort out some things to wrap up the action year.”
But Akomea jeered, “If Action Year is the measure and if that is anything to go by then there would surely be no serious investor action on this US trip. What are the some things the President is going to sort out to wrap up his action year?”
He stressed, “In fact, it seems to us the President of the Republic only returned to Accra to tell us he was not dead and put up that embarrassing defence for Alfred Woyome, the NDC financier who was given GH¢58 million of our money as compensation for a breach of a contract he himself admits to not having with government, only for the President to return to the US to continue with whatever it was that he was doing there.”
The president is expected back on January 2, 2012.
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