The government has allocated four vehicles, consisting of two four-wheel drives and two Mercedes Benz saloon cars, to former President John Agyekum Kufuor, for his use.
A statement issued Monday from the Office of the President and signed by Mahama Ayariga, Presidential Spokesman, said arrangements had been made to immediately deliver the two Benz cars while the other two would be delivered soon.
The statement followed media reports quoting the former President’s Spokesman, Frank Agyekum, that some state vehicles in the custody the former President had been forcibly retrieved.
The statement expressed worry over the misrepresentation of facts in the media over the retrieval of vehicles stating that “the Office of the President is unhappy about the negative media reportage on the retrieval of vehicles in the custody of the former President”.
It explained that there had been discussions between the Chief of Staff, John Henry Martey Newman, and staff from the Office of the former President, led by Kwadwo Mpiani, on the retrieval of the state vehicles and the allocation of new ones.
The Office of the President was, therefore, “surprised that the Spokesman for the former President, Frank Agyekum, is unaware of these arrangements.
“We would like to emphasise that we will not engage in any deliberate action to embarrass the former President,” the statement said.
Sections of the media reported Monday that some Ford vehicles in the custody of the former President were forcibly retrieved by operatives of the National Security on Sunday evening, but a reliable source at the Castle told the Times that the vehicles were retrieved by the State Protocol Department (SPD) without any rancour.
It said National Security was not involved in the exercise.
The source explained that the National Security wrote to inform the SPD that there was a need to have the vehicles back in the pool of the SPD vehiclrs; and the SPD informed the Office of the former President of the status of the vehicles, after which they were duly handed over without any disagreement.
Mr Frank Agyekum had told the Times Monday, that personnel of the State Protocol had taken away three Ford Expedition vehicles from former President Kufuor’s residents.
“By this action, former President Kufuor no longer has an official state vehicle,” he stated.
Asked if prior notice was given, Mr Agyekum said the former President was written to last week concerning the exercise but wondered why such an action was being taken.
He said the action was carried out at about 7 am Monday, but indicated that no reason had since been given.
Reacting Mr. Ayariga’s statement, Mr. Agyekum said it was incorrect for the president’s spokesperson to create the impression he put out some misinformation.
He said as at the time he put out the information, no arrangements had been made to replace the cars of Mr. Kufuor.
The meeting between the former and current chiefs of staff at which the arrangements were discussed took place at about 1:30 pm on Monday while his comment came earlier.
Source: Daily Graphic
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