The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has debunked claims the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa that President Nana Akufo-Addo’s unbridled proclivity for chartering ‘luxurious’ jets for his foreign trips, is raising concerns among the air force.
GAF, in a statement issued today and signed by Commander Andy La-Anyane, Acting Director Public Relations, stated "unequivocally that this allegation is untrue and without basis”.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the morale of personnel, not only in the Ghana Air Force, as is being alleged, but the entire Ghana Armed Forces, has never been at a very higher level”.
Akufo-Addo Engaged In Arabian-King-style Cruises
The NDC MP, has in recent times focused his lenses on the President's foreign travels, and believes the latter is wasting taxpayers money on his Arabian-King style cruise instead of using the existing presidential jet.
According to him, when President Akufo-Addo was travelling to the UK and Germany for the global education summit and G20 Compact with Africa summits respectively, he used ultra-luxury aircraft, LX-DIO Boeing operated by Global Jet Luxembourg.
He said this same aircraft was used by the President to the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in the United States.
Disquiet Within Air Force?
Hon Ablakwa further alleged that this decision by the Executive to sideline the "celebrated Air Force professionals with unquestionable loyalty" for the services of luxurious jets operated by foreigners has caused consternation among the air force.
“Ghanaians deserve and demand to know from you why you prefer alien luxury aircrafts operated by foreign crews when our celebrated Air Force professionals with unquestionable loyalty trained at significant expense to the taxpayer guarantee better security for our presidents — an action creating considerable disquiet within the ranks of the Ghana Air Force,” he said in a recent open letter to the president.
He also asserted that President Nana Akufo-Addo’s three recent foreign trips cost the taxpayer GH¢10 million.
Treat It With Contempt
But the GAF, in a strongly-worded statement, dispel any allegations of agitation among its ranks, and further cautioned against the tendency to drag the military into issues of partisan politics by some Ghanaians, including politicians.
"Ghana Armed Forces wishes to advise the general public to treat the allegations of disquiet within the ranks of the Ghana Air Force with the contempt it deserves.
"Additionally, we wish to entreat all Ghanaians, including politicians, not to drag the Ghana Armed Forces into partisan politics. Our mandate as captured in the 1992 constitution is to defend the territorial integrity of Ghana and we should be allowed to focus on our mandate," portions of the statement read.
Read the army’s full statement below:
RE: THERE IS DISQUIET WITHIN THE RANKS OF THE GHANA AIR FORCE – ABLAKWA ALLEGES
The attention of the Ghana Armed Forces has been drawn to a disturbing story carried on Ghanaweb on Tuesday 28 September 2021 which was sourced from the Facebook timeline of Honourable Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, alleging “there is some form of disquiet within the ranks of the Ghana Air Force with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s preference for luxurious aircraft operated by a foreign crew”.
We wish to state unequivocally that this allegation is untrue and without basis.
For the avoidance of doubt, the morale of personnel, not only in the Ghana Air Force, as is being alleged, but the entire Ghana Armed Forces, has never been at a very higher level.
Personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces appreciate the numerous additions that the government has made for the smooth running of operations, including accommodation for troops and their families, vehicles to enhance mobility, review of salaries amongst many others.
Troops also appreciate the efforts being made by the government in retooling the Force with the acquisition of a number of platforms including warships for the Ghana Navy, Armoured Personnel Carriers for the Ghana Army, various aircraft including a strategic lift for VIPs for use by the Ghana Air Force and many others.
It is also important to state that the fighter squadron of the Ghana Air Force is currently being retooled by the government to augment the professional posture of the Ghana Air Force.
The Ghana Armed Forces wishes to advise the general public to treat the allegations of disquiet within the ranks of the Ghana Air Force with the contempt it deserves.
Additionally, we wish to entreat all Ghanaians, including politicians, not to drag the Ghana Armed Forces into partisan politics. Our mandate as captured in the 1992 constitution is to defend the territorial integrity of Ghana and we should be allowed to focus on our mandate.
Finally, we wish to assure the general public once again that the morale of troops is very high.
Acting Director Public Relations
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