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Putting Akufo-Addo’s travel details in public wrong – Security analyst cautions

Thu, 22 Jul 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Security analyst, Adam Bonaa is asking the Minority in Parliament to exercise restraint in their attempt to uncover certain details pertaining to the travel history of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

His comment comes at the back of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta coming out to finally refer the Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa to the Minister for National Security for answers to his questions about the President’s recent travels.

Mr Ofori-Atta after seven weeks of the MP's formal demand via Parliament for the cost of the President’s recent three-nation travel to France, Belgium and South Africa; appeared in the house on July 21 but failed to provide answers to the question.

He however referred the MP to the Ministry of National Security as the appropriate quarters to provide answers on how much the President’s use of a private jet during the travel cost the country.

Speaking on this development Mr Adam Bonaa in an interview with GhanaWeb stated that despite the need to ensure accountability, it is also imperative that the security of the President is not comprised by making information pertaining to his travel history public.

“I will call for restraint and I think that I am not a finance person but the Finance Minister referring that to the National Security Minister is the right thing to do because however you look at it the President’s travel should be a matter of concern when it goes out there in terms of security.

He clarified his position saying, “I will go further to say that even when the Minister of National Security has to give any information, it should not be done in the public. I think it should be done in-camera and I am saying this from the security point of view because if we are going to look at this only from the point of view of expenditure without its security implications, then chances are that we are only going to create security challenges for us.

"I am not saying that if there are any wrongdoings it should not be looked at, I am only saying that the President’s security should be something paramount to all of us especially those of us who work within the space and know how volatile the entire sub-region has become. You don’t want this country to be thrown into any chaos in an event where something happens because we have released to much information into the public.”

Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa who is a ranking member of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee filed his question on the cost of the President’s travel after alleging that the decision to charter a luxurious private jet operated by Acropolis aviation for the President’s trip cost the nation a whopping GH¢2.8 million

According to Mr Ablakwa who described the move as a profligate spending meant to satisfy the President’s taste for luxury, the amount involved could have been put to better use to benefit Ghanaians.

The MP in a latest social media post has announced that he has filed another urgent question to demand answers from the Minister for National Security following the response by the Finance Minister.

“Let me be clear — we won’t give up, we won’t fret and we won’t relent. I have therefore immediately filed an urgent question under Order 64 of Parliament’s Standing Orders for the National Security Minister to appear before the House with a response.

"The palpably dishonest efforts to be evasive, elusive and engage in elaborate coverups under the latest guise of national security considerations would not be allowed to succeed.

"Parliament cannot be disingenuously stampeded from carrying out its constitutional mandate of financial oversight on executive expenditure.

"This entire episode now stands out as a monument in infamy on the deception about protecting the public purse and the levels of debauchery to satisfy creature comforts of President Akufo-Addo at the expense of suffering emaciated masses,” his post read in part.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com