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General News of Thursday, 22 July 2021


Akufo-Addo’s luxurious trip: Ken Ofori-Atta’s response is ‘insulting’ – Ablakwa

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP, North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP, North Tongu

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa says Ken Ofori-Atta's response to his urgent question is 'insulting'

• He indicated that it has been a struggle getting the minister to respond.

• He said, he has filed an urgent question for the National Security Minister to appear and answer questions

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has described Ken Ofori-Atta’s response to questions posed to him in Parliament on the cost of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s luxurious foreign trips as “insulting”.

He said, he is very disappointed and felt embarrassed following the lackadaisical approach of the Minister of Finance towards Parliament’s call.

GhanaWeb monitored some comments he made on Citi FM stating, “this is a minister who was scheduled to respond to these questions on the 17th of June. It was duly advertised on the provisional order paper on the 16th of June. He then rushes to Parliament the morning of the scheduled date and informs the house that he needs more time to respond to these questions.”

“It has been such a struggle to get him to come to respond. Then he eventually comes on Wednesday, only to tell us that we should now be looking in the direction of the National Security Minister. These questions had been admitted since the 1st of June, at what point did the Minister realise that he did not have the answers?" Ablakwa questioned.

"He could have gotten the answers if he wanted to. You don’t treat Parliament this way. This is not how we protect the public purse, promote good governance and transparency. This is totally wrong. It is contemptuous of Parliament, and an insult to the people of Ghana,” he said.

The North Tongu MP had filed an urgent question in Parliament demanding answers from the Finance Minister about the chartered flights for the President’s foreign travel.

This was after the first part of his question was answered by the Defence Minister on the airworthiness of the presidential jet.

The Finance Minister had been delaying to appear before the House to answer the question the MP had asked until Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa threatened to initiate a vote of censure against the Minister if he fails to come to the Parliament this around.

Appearing before the Parliamentarians, the Finance Minister stated the Minister for National Security is best placed to provide Parliament with details of the cost of the trips.

He maintains that the cost of the President’s travels both domestic and international are handled by the National Security Ministry and not his outfit.

He said, he did not make any specific releases to the Chief of Staff for the President’s trips to France, Belgium, and South Africa.

Reacting to this, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said, he has filed an urgent question to get the National Security Minister to answer the questions.

“The Speaker was left with no choice but to accept his proposal. The next step is to get the National Security Minister to come and respond to the questions, and I can confirm to you that I have immediately filed an urgent question for the Minister to come and provide the answers.”

“I am expecting the Speaker to quickly admit it so that he [National Security Minister] will be dragged to Parliament soon. I hope that he does not come and hide under national security to evade some questions,” he added.

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