Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has accused government of creating an erroneous impression that the intention to purchase a new Presidential aircraft has to do with the limited capacity of the current aircraft.
According to him, ample evidence also abound to deflate the argument that Ghana's current Presidential jet is incapable of going on long journey foreign trips.
Speaking on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Morning Show, Hon. Ablakwa claimed that in the President's recent trips to Germany, the U.K and USA, all the chartered private jets were in the same range as the Presidential Falcon.
“The President, not once did he charter a bigger aircraft, say a 30-seater or 40-seater or even a 60-seater aircraft for his foreign travels because if you look at all the aircrafts he has chartered, they are a 17-seater aircraft.
"The recent chartered private jet is a 19-seater and not a 30-seater or a 40-seater aircraft. It is all within the same range of our Falcon, which is a 17-seater plus crew. So, nobody can convince me that the President went to charter these private jets because of their size and so he wants a bigger aircraft,” he argued.
Providing further particulars to buttress his point, the North Tongu MP added that the engine capacity of Ghana's Presidential Falcon is even bigger than the private jets President Akufo-Addo has been hiring.
To him, if it is luxury the president is interested in, a state of the art bathroom and private movie room can be fixed in the current Falcon aircraft to suit his taste.
“Our falcon is far superior to the rest of the private jets he has chartered so far. We can fix bathroom in the Presidential Jet and so all we can do is to reduce the number of seats in the aircraft from maybe 17 to 15-seater with crew to create a space for the bathroom for the President or even if he wants a movie room in the falcon. It can be done; reconfiguration is done all the time. There is a market for reconfiguration of aircraft,” he noted.
Hon Ablakwa further stated that the idea of the President traveling with his entourage at the same time puts him at risk as it is the practice everywhere in the world for the security and some of the ministers to travel ahead of the President to secure the grounds before his arrival.
“This business that they are going to buy a bigger aircraft, let’s not create the impression that it is because of the size. In any case, there is no President in this world who travels with his entire entourage with him at the same time. If our President is being treated this way, we are not being fair to this President; we are exposing him to danger,” he intimated.
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