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General News of Thursday, 23 September 2021


Presidential trips: Kwakye Ofosu takes on Okudzeto over media criticism

Felix Kwakye Ofosu, a former deputy Communications Minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu, a former deputy Communications Minister

Samuel Okudzeto says the media should focus on the benefits of President Akufo-Addo’s trips instead of the cost of airplane

He was reacting to comments by North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on President Akufo-Addo’s trip to Europe

Ablakwa says the government has spent GH¢10million on President Akufo-Addo’s recent trips

Felix Kwakye Ofosu, a former deputy Communications Minister has hit out senior citizen Samuel Okudzeto over his criticism of the media regarding their coverage of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s foreign trips.

In a Facebook post, Kwakye Ofosu wondered if the same Samuel Okudzeto who was voice for accountability during the Rawlings regime is the one criticizing the media today.

“The NPP’s Sam Okudzeto says asking questions about the waste, extravagance and ostentation of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government in renting expensive luxurious aircrafts for the president’s travels despite our ownership of an equally luxurious presidential jet amounts to STUPIDITY of the media.

“This is one of the people held up as avowed critics of poor governance and misrule in the 70s and 80s,” he posted on Facebook.

Samuel Okudzeto told JoyNews that instead of focusing on the cost of the trips, the discussion should rather be centered on the benefits of the trips.

“When he was going to Germany, there was hue and cry. 'Why is he travelling? He takes these expansive planes? It cost so much per day.’ People do not understand what diplomacy is all about. Diplomacy is an expensive process, but there are always benefits.

“The President cannot sit down there in the Jubilee House and think all these [benefits] will just be coming to us. I don’t think it (attacks) is productive and helps the country,” the member of the Council of State said.

He argued further, “… We spend more time criticising than sometimes looking at the benefit that comes to us because we don’t even study the system.”

The veteran lawyer is of the view that, if there are concerns over the president’s travels, there are a lot of propositions that can be done to explore other ways he can travel rather than the “daily wholesale attacks” rained on him.

“That is why I am saying that as a nation we can agree on certain basic principles so that we all operate upon them instead of these attacks,” Sam Okudzeto stressed.

Sam Okudzeto was responding to a statement from Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Okudzeto Ablakwa in which he alleged that President Akufo-Addo’s last three trips abroad cost the country GH¢10million.

He revealed that President Akufo-Addo used a luxurious airplane in his recent trip to the United States of America.

“I can authoritatively confirm without a scintilla of doubt or any equivocation for that matter that President Akufo-Addo on his current trip to the United States of America has again chartered the same ultra-luxury aircraft he used to the UK and Germany — the Luxembourg-based luxury jet registered LX-DIO and operated by Global Jet Luxembourg. Same Boeing 737-900ER BBJ3 with Manufacturer Serial Number (MSN) 62515 and Line Number 5659.”

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