NPP MP files urgent ‘counter’ question over Mahama trips abroad

The Dormaa East MP has filed an urgent question in Parliament asking for the cost of chartered flights used by former President Mahama between 2013 and 2016 in what is becoming a dogfight between the two leading political parties in Parliament.

“I have filed the question to enable us know how much it cost this country between 2013 to 2017, when our president [John Mahama] was on series of travels, using chartered flights.”

Paul Apraku Twum Barimah believes the question to the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta will address the current controversy over purchasing a presidential jet. His action he said is aimed at putting closure to a matter that he believes should be treated by the House in a non-partisan manner.

“It is, therefore, important that as a country we look at collectively how we can come together to resolve all these issues.

Mr Twum Barimah believes this would also assist the citizenry in making a “proper comparative analysis” and also to “understand what position we need to take as a country, if we are to purchase a new aircraft” for presidents or continue to use state funds to charter flights for elected leaders during their foreign trips.

The MP further dismissed claims that the question filed is an attempt to seek political equalisation over concerns raised by North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

The Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee filed an urgent question in Parliament demanding that the government explains why President Akufo-Addo did not use the presidential aircraft for a recent trip to France.

According to him, “It is an outrage and a blatant betrayal for Ghana to own a presidential aircraft in perfect working condition” and charter aircraft for Presidential travel.

In a Facebook post, mischievous Ablakwa said: “Let’s further analyse President Akufo-Addo’s latest trip to Europe: per Flightradar24, the G-KELT aircraft left Accra with the President to Paris on the 16th of May — a six and half hour duration – airlifted the President from Paris to Johannesburg for 11 hours on the 23rd of May. Then Johannesburg to Accra on the 25th of May was a five and half hour flight. This gives us an accumulated flight travel of 23 hours; so at £15,000 an hour, it thus cost us a colossal £345,000. At current exchange, that is a staggering GHS2,828,432.80.”

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