MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has debunked arguments purporting that the Presidential jet is too small to carry the President and his entourage.

In his latest expose on President Akufo-Addo’s luxury travels, he stated that the President’s latest jet could only carry 19 people, a number rather close to the Presidential jet’s capacity to carry 17 people.

According to him, a difference of two was not enough justification why the government had to go and rent a jet “so luxurious it would make Arabian Kings jealous.”

Speaking on JoyNewsNewsfile, Saturday, September 4, he said, “Again that argument doesn’t cut it. It doesn’t make any sense. What’s the difference really between 17 and 19? What is the substantial, the significant difference that the Ghanaian taxpayer should be saddled?”

He further revealed on the show that while the President was away on his recent trip to Germany the Presidential jet was being used by an unknown person for an unspecified purpose.

“Whilst the President was on this luxury frolick, the presidential jet was flown to France on the 19th of July 2021 per my tracking and departed Kotoka at 8 minutes past 6 am and arrived in France at 14:30. It flew direct.

“Remember that when I put out the first expose on the ACJ 320 neo some NPP communicators said ‘Oh you know the aircraft cannot fly directly to France.’ On the 19th of July it flew directly, non-stop to France which confirms what we have always said that the Falcon can fly to Europe directly non-stop,” he said.

“Now I’m interested in who really took this aircraft to France or probably was it for servicing? They should let us know. Now whilst the President was in the UK, the Presidential jet was also spotted flying to Lusaka and then to Kumasi. That confirms that the Presidential jet is in good shape, is in pristine condition, and could have been used,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party, Yaw Buaben Asamoa has suggested that the government go ahead to acquire a larger Presidential jet.

“This is an old argument that politics has deferred till now. When President Kuffuor was leaving office, he tabled at the time that he wanted to buy a large presidential jet and two smaller ones to serve us better, and at the same time, he was building a presidential palace.

“Politics at the time dictated that these moves were condemned. So when the NDC came into power, they abandoned the large jet and acquired the smaller one. Now that decision has come to bite us today,” he said.

He added that “I think this is a straightforward matter, instead of looking at invoices generated by Okudzeto Ablakwa damning the President and his luxury and disrespect to Ghanaians and all that, it is time to take a decision.  And there are two decisions we can take.

“Should we bite the bullet and buy a large enough presidential jet that serves our purposes effectively? Or should we continue with a hybrid where we have the presidential jet which we consider insufficient for some times and therefore we use commercial means?”

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