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General News of Saturday, 25 June 2022


Presidency 'hits' Ablakwa: Explains why Akufo-Addo travelled via chartered flight to Rwanda

Ablakwa has been monitoring presidential travels on chartered jets since 2021 Ablakwa has been monitoring presidential travels on chartered jets since 2021

The Office of the President has described claims by the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo travelled to Brussels and Kigali via a chartered luxurious flight as “not accurate.”

This was contained in a statement from the Presidency on Friday, 24 June 2022 in response to the North Tongu MP’s claims.

According to the Presidency, the MP should have been “factual and truthful in his claims and resisted the urge to engage in propaganda.”

It noted that prior to President Akufo-Addo’s trip, a notice about an impending strike in the aviation sector in Belgium had been sent by Ghana’s Mission in Brussels.

“This was going to result in the cancellation of over three hundred (300) flights, including those from Brussels to Kigali.

“In furtherance of this, Belgium’s largest airport, Brussels Airport, was compelled to cancel all outgoing flights on Monday, 20th June, the day President Akufo-Addo arrived in Brussels, because employees at the airport had joined in an aviation strike.

“With the Presidency having been given prior information regarding the strike action before the President’s trip to Brussels, the option to travel using direct commercial flight from Brussels to Kigali was not available,” the statement noted.

It added that the decision to have President Akufo-Addo travel via a chartered flight was to ensure that he arrived in “Kigali on time to participate in the ground-breaking ceremony on Thursday, 23 June 2022 for commencement of work on the Pan-African Vaccine Manufacturing Project.”

President Akufo-Addo’s current trip to Belgium and Rwanda beginning Sunday the 19th of June, 2022 to attend the 15th Edition of the European Development Days Forum in Brussels, Belgium, and the 26th Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations in Kigali, Rwanda is causing the tax payer some GHS4 million, the North Tongu MP had disclosed.

The cost is as a result of the President’s decision to hire another private jet for his travel.

President Akufo-Addo according to the lawmaker on this occasion abandoned his favourite LX-DIO and opted for the Airbus ACJ319 from a German-based private het operator.

The jet Mr Ablakwa alleged cost an astronomical €20,000 an hour.

In a Facebook post, he said some of the features of the jet include: Master bedroom with double bed and connecting bathroom with shower; 2 additional bedrooms; 3 washrooms; Master bathroom with walk-in shower; Air Humidification system; Airshow and 5 external cameras; Gogo 2Ku high speed Wi-Fi, up to 70 Mbit/sec for streaming and video calls (charged extra); Video on demand and DVD including a 55” screen; music streaming; PlayStation; external cameras with tailfin view; airshow and a satellite phone.

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