By Alexander Nyeneken
A member of the Ghanaian Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has publicly blasted President Nana Akufo-Addo for allowing the President of Liberia, George Manneh Weah to use the presidential jet of the Ghanaian President to attend the recently ended ECOWAS summit the Ghanaian Capitol, Accra.
According to a Ghanaian daily, the Ghanaian Parliamentarian Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa alarmed that his country’s Parliament must seek details on the travel expenses of President Nana Akufo-Addo who reportedly he claimed is using a more luxurious Boeing 737 jet instead of the taxpayer funded Falcon plane.
The Ghanaian Presidential Spokesperson declined to respond to the charge of luxurious presidential travels citing “national security”. The Ghanaian lawmaker slammed his country’s President over more extravagant travel while noting the confidence of the Liberian President in the use of President’s Akufo-Addo’s jet.
Ghanaian Presidential Falcon Jet Used by President George M. Weah According to the online news portal Joy News, the office of the Ghanaian President indicated that the Liberian President requested exclusive use of the Falcon jet of President Akufo-Addo to attend the ECOWAS Heads of State Emergency meeting on Guinea on Thursday, September 16th in Accra.
A Youtube video seen by African Star shows the Liberian President, dressed in white, disembarking from a jet emblazoned with “Republic of Ghana” shortly after it touched down at Kotoka International airport on September 16th. The same jet later transported President Weah and delegation back to Liberia landing at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) on Saturday, September 18th.
The Liberian leader regularly utilizes chartered jets for international travels. A wealthy Burkinabe business tycoon and friend of his has often allowed President Weah use of his private plane. It is unclear which Government was responsible for underwriting the expense of the use of the plane.
Former Liberian President Samuel Doe used a government purchased Presidential aircraft to conduct official and unofficial local and foreign travels. Rebel leader turned President Charles McArthur Taylor frequently utilized the services of Burkina Faso Presidential aircrafts throughout his rule.
Former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf contracted the services of a private jet that allegedly belonged to a businessman for her extensive foreign travels during her 12 year administration.
President Weah’s use of a private jet from a Burkinabe business man raises questions of conflict, especially when the owner of the jet allegedly has ongoing contractual arrangements with the Government of Liberia.
The inquiry that the member of of the Ghanaian parliament raised regarding the use of the Ghanaian Presidential jet by Liberian President Weah highlights sensitivity that some citizens of foreign governments are attaching to accountability.
A Ghanaian Government spokesperson confirmed that President Weah had used the jet but declined to explain further the conditions under which the Liberian leader gained access to the jet.
Source: African Star