The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu says the private jet chartered by President Akufo-Addo which has become controversial was out of necessity and not luxury.
MP for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who blew the whistle summoned Defense Minister Dominic Nitiwul to answer questions on the matter.
Mr Nitiwul explained that the decision was borne out of the security of the President and lack of adequate space in the presidential jet.
Speaking at an engagement with core leadership of Parliament organized by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu questioned the basis for finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta’s refusal to answer questions filed by the North Tongu MP on the cost of the President’s trip.
According to the Tamale South MP, Mr. Ofori-Atta’s deferment of the question to the National Security minister is a breach of the Right to Information Act.
The Suame MP, however, noted that the presidential jet offers more protection than the chartered flight.
He said “why did we have to bring in this other plane, the construct of the presidential jet gives greater security to the president than the plane that the State had to hire? The presidential plane is much more secure, is much more stable than that plane, so why would the president go for that if there was no challenge.”
He went on “people should know what nearly happened in the US when the president traveled with that. The minister of national security will come to explain why we had to do that. It was not to satisfy or to provide luxury for the President, but as I’m saying the truth would come out.”
“Sometimes, I think it’s about information management and when there’s a communication gap, people fill in with all manner of …”
Mr Kyei Mensah-Bonsu explained “when it came and it got serviced somewhat and going to Mali, the President availed the plane to me. When the speaker had to use the presidential jet to travel to Nigeria, things are happening just to bring us together.”
“Colleagues, I think we need to speak to issues, not personalities. I think it’s important it is not always made to appear that anybody is hiding anything from anybody. If you want to build trust and confidence, no attempt to be made to hide anything away from anybody That will free space and also kill suspicions.”