The Foreign Affairs Ministry has described as normal practice the occasional use of Ghana’s Presidential jet by the Heads of State of other countries in the subregion.
It said such assistance is part of bilateral and multilateral diplomatic relations among countries, adding that Ghanaian leaders have in the past also benefitted from such gestures.
The Ministry is reacting to the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa’s quest for answers on why the President of Liberia, George Weah, was allegedly allowed to use Ghana’s presidential jet to attend an emergency ECOWAS Summit.
In a statement of response, the Ministry maintained that Mr. Ablakwa’s “insular posture comes as a surprise”.
“In the light of the strenuous and concerted efforts by ECOWAS leaders to broker peace in the region, the Ministry finds it rather unfortunate that Hon. Okedezeto Ablakwa would seek to deliberately muddy the waters with these negative comments.”
The use of the presidential jet has been in the news for some months now after the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, filed urgent questions demanding disclosure of the full cost of President Akufo-Addo’s recent foreign trips without the use of the official presidential jet.
In addition, he says he hopes to get answers on Mr. Weah’s use of the jet when Parliament reconvenes next month from recess.
But the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken strong exceptions to the position taken by Mr. Ablakwa who is also a ranking member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament.
“In the latest of such utterances, Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa sought to suggest that transporting the President of Liberia, His Excellency George Weah, abroad Ghana’s presidential jet to participate in the emergency ECOWAS Summit during the recent political crisis in Guinea, constituted and impropriety. Nothing could be further from the truth”
“It must be emphasized that the practice of sharing travel resources among West African Heads of State and high-ranking officials, is not a recent phenomenon. Indeed, in the past, some Heads of State have, in their capacity as Chair of ECOWAS, extended this courtesy”, the Ministry explained.