Why Okudzeto Ablakwa’s question on Akufo-Addo’s luxurious aircraft ‘disappeared’ from Parliament

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

• Okudzeto Ablakwa had filed a question on the cost of President Akufo-Addo recent trip to France, Belgium and South Africa

• The question was admitted by the Speaker but on the day of Ofori-Atta's appearance, the question was omitted from the list

• It emerged later that Ken Ofori-Atta requested for time to answer the question

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu had reason to complain after a question he posed to Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, over the cost of President Akufo-Addo's trip to France, Belgium and South Africa was expunged from the list of questions to be answered by the minister on the floor of parliament on Thursday, June 17, 2021.

The question had earlier been advertised in the provisional order paper of parliament on Tuesday, June 15 and was due to be answered by Ken Ofori-Atta.

But on Thursday, when the Ofori-Atta appeared before the house, that particular question and another one posed by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, on payments by the Bank of Ghana to the government in the fight against coronavirus were missing from the order paper.

Okudzeto Ablakwa raised a question over the disappearance of his question but no answer was given as the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, was unavailable and had the second deputy speaker acting.

“Coming to the House today and looking at the order paper, the question that was advertised for the Honourable Minister responsible for Finance on the cost of the President’s recent trip to France, Belgium and South Africa is conspicuously missing on today’s order paper and Mr Speaker, I am wondering what is the cause of this rather strange development,” he said.

It, however, emerged that later the deletion of the questions was at the behest of Ken Ofori-Atta who had requested time to get the needed information to furnish the house.

“So, Honourable Ablakwa, I will persuade you that the question will be rescheduled and the Minister of Finance will come and respond to it, Mr Speaker,” Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu assured.

Ofori-Atta was expected to address the cost element of the trip after Dominic Nitiwul had justified why an aircraft was rented instead of the use of the presidential jet.

“Again, when he (Akufo-Addo) is travelling with more than 20 people for a business trip, as he has done and brought huge sums of money for this nation, he will need more than just a Falcon, otherwise, the others would have to go a day ahead before the President to prepare themselves,” he added.

“Also in this Covid era, when you are travelling to multiple destinations like the President’s recent trip, Falcon jet couldn’t have been taken because we would have had to do technical stops which is not desirable. When he is travelling with more than 20 people like he has been doing that has brought huge sums of money to this country, the President may need not just the Falcon.

“In fact, the President would also have to go a day ahead because no president can shower in this aircraft. He cannot move from this aircraft straight into a meeting,” he stated.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com