Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has expressed concerns over what he contends to be wanton dissipation of the public funds by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on luxurious foreign travels.
According to the North Tongu legislator, its beats his imagination that the president who promised to protect the public purse at his inauguration in 2017 and 2020 continues to embark on expensive trips out of the country.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa was commenting on his social media timeline after National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, declined to disclose the cost of the president’s travels over national security fears on the floor of Parliament.
The ranking member on parliament’s foreign affairs committee has however vowed to continue in his pursuit for accountability over the matter.
“This shall not be the end of the road in our quest for full accountability as is our constitutional right, and particularly as President Akufo-Addo obstinately continues to charter ultra-luxury jets at US$14,000.00 an hour when Ghana has a Presidential Jet in pristine condition.
Who would have imagined that the man who promised to protect the public purse now seeks refuge in national security as the public purse remains under unmitigated assault? How tragic!” he wrote on Facebook.
The Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference through its president, Most Reverend Philip Naameh, at a plenary assembly of the association in Wa called out the president for his failure to protect the public purse.
“Though poverty stares us in the face, it appears lost to those with power. The expressed commitment of the president of the republic to protect the public purse, a promise that citizens welcomed, seems to be an illusion now. Are those managing the public purse not concerned about waste and misapplication of resources that belong to all Ghanaians? Can this be referred to as irresponsible use of power or the lack of compassion and empathy?” he said.
But the presidency in a sharp rebuttal refuted the assertions, stating that the president remained committed to protecting the public purse.
“Inasmuch as this administration is extremely tolerant of divergent views and welcomes criticisms of its work, we believe that these criticisms should be well-founded and well-grounded in facts as this is the only way an honest conversation devoid of malice and propaganda can be held. You all recollect that he took the oath of office on 7th January 2017 and again on 7th January 2021 and on both occasions, he pledged to protect the public purse and that’s exactly what he has done and continues to do. Indeed the transformation that has taken place in all aspects of national life, points to an economy that has been well managed…a public purse that is being well protected and the benefits are showing.” Director of Communications at the office of the president, Eugene Arhin told the press on Thursday, November 11, 2021.