The Minority MPs in Parliament have been warned not to support the decision of the Akufo-Addo government to acquire a new presidential jet lest they incur the wrath of the youth of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
A former youth leader of the NDC in the Ashanti Region, Yaw Brogya Genfi who made this caution on Tonton Sansan on TV XYZ Wednesday morning kicked against the purchase of a new presidential jet, stressing the country did not need that luxury in the midst of austerity measures.
“We [the youth] will add the minority MPs to the Akufo-Addo government and rise against them if they allow the purchase of a new presidential jet,” Brogya Genfi told host Kwame Minkah.
His anger comes at a time President Akufo-Addo has come under fire for hiring “luxurious” jets for his foreign travels recently.
MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has launched a spirited campaign against the hiring of jets for Akufo-Addo’s foreign trips which he said will not cost the Ghanaian taxpayer some US$ 14,000 per hour whenever the president travels with it.
In the past month, Ablakwa has criticised the decision of the government to hire jets for president Akufo-Addo. His argument was premised on the fact that the country’s presidential jet is in good shape and can travel for long hours, contrary to the posture of the government that the Falcon 900 EXE is not fit for purpose.
To him, a new bigger ultra-luxury jet which by conservative market estimates would not cost the
Ghanaian taxpayer anything less than US$65million (GHS392.6million) is not needed now since the presidential jet can be used at anytime Akufo-Addo wants to travel.
Ablakwa, the Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, accused the Akufo-Addo administration of failing woefully to convince objective Ghanaians that the Falcon 900 EXE isn’t fit for purpose.
“…The Kufuor-led government informed parliament on the 19th of March, 2008 during the approval processes leading to the purchase of the Falcon (Ghana’s fourth presidential jet) that the lifespan of our presidential jet is for at least 20 years from the date of delivery being October 2010,” Ablakwa argued.
Buttressing his position, the MP said “Ghana’s current presidential jet is therefore barely 11 years old. The Namibian’s who use a similar presidential aircraft, albeit an older model— a Falcon 900B continue to use theirs after 30 years. (The Namibians purchased their Falcon in 1991).”
It is for this reason that Brogya Genfi has warned the leadership of the Minority not to agree to the proposal of purchasing a new presidential jet which was announced by Presidential spokesman Eugene Arhin.
“Buying a new presidential jet involves huge sums of money yet we have workers whose salaries are nothing good to write home about; Rotation nurses are crying over unpaid allowances but our government wants to buy a new jet. That does not make sense,” he fumed.
“I can assure the government..The Ghanaian youth and the youth of NDC will treat the NDC MPs like the government of Nana Akufo-Addo if they approve this reckless expenditure,” he fumed.