General News of Thursday, 11 October 2018
The wife of the Vice President, Samira Bawumia, has also come under fire over the number of people she intends to take along to Switzerland for a World Health Organization (WHO) conference slated for October.
According to the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Okudzeto Ablakwa, a list of names her office submitted to the Foreign Affairs Ministry shows that she plans to travel with some 20 people to the conference.
He said the move is not a judicious use of the country’s scarce resources.
In an article, titled, ‘Protecting the public purse; travel bans, guidelines and the Bawumias’ and copied to citinewsroom.com, Ablakwa said “Even before we see the dying embers of Dr. Bawumia’s ignominious UNCTAD delegation, the Vice President’s wife Samira who refuses to be outdone by her husband is also making the headlines for composing a huge 20 member delegation to the First WHO Conference on Air Pollution and Health slated for 30th October to 1st November, 2018” Ablakwa said.
He added that “Despite Hajia Samira’s invitation to participate in just two programmes – a panel debate on Clean Household Energy Access on 31st October at 11:30 to 13:00 and a Plenary Session on 1st November at 14:30 to 16:00, she appears like her husband to ensure that the Ghanaian taxpayer pays dearly even at a time their boss and our President has admitted that all is not well with the Ghanaian economy and that indeed times are hard.”
The controversy over Samira Bawumia’s entourage comes at a time when her husband, Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has also been criticized for traveling with a huge delegation to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 2017.
Many of those attacking Dr. Bawumia over the matter on social media say it is unacceptable for him to travel with so many people when all other countries sent at most five officials.
Dr. Bawumia according to the list, had his photographer, videographer, ADC and a valet as part of his delegation.
Although Dr. Gideon Boako, Bawumia’s economic adviser, who was also part of the delegation explained that they were only 16 and not 21, many still consider the number to be high.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who is also the Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency described the situation as “rape of scarce national resources,” indicating that it “cannot be allowed to continue.”
In his article, Ablakwa vowed that the minority in Parliament would continue to mount pressure on the government to provide an update on its earlier announced travel ban on its appointees which he believes is currently shrouded in mystery.
He further noted that he would raise the matter before Parliament when the house resumes sitting.