Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has accused the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Bryan Acheampong of undermining the authority of parliament, with his comments on the cost of presidential travels.
Mr. Acheampong, had earlier indicated that based on national security considerations, he has advised the National Security Minister to classify the matter of cost of presidential travels as top secret.
Responding to the issue, the North Tongu MP insisted that the question must be answered, indicating that government cannot seek to raise new taxes in the budget when it cannot account for money spent on Presidential travel.
“Yesterday [Tuesday], we heard the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee claiming that he has advised the National Security Minister not to respond to the question. First, we want to make the point very clearly, that the statement is an affront to parliament, and it is undermining the authority of the speaker of parliament.”
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has consistently accused the president of wasting taxpayers’ money on hiring luxurious jets for his foreign trips instead of using the existing presidential jet.
He has thus filed two other urgent questions demanding disclosure of the full cost of President Akufo-Addo’s trip to the United States.
The government had explained that the current presidential jet was not convenient for long-hour trips, as it couldn’t take more numbers and had limited facilities for the comfort of a president.
However, Bryan Acheampong believes details of President Akufo-Addo’s travels should not be made available to the public.
This, Mr. Ablakwa is not enthused about and cautioned his colleague MP to be circumspect in his utterances on the matter.
“This is a question that has been admitted by the Speaker, so it does not lie in the mouth of the Chairman to advise the Minister who only last week was expected to answer the question, but the Minister sent a communication to parliament that he had had to travel. At no point did the Minister say that the information on the President’s travels has been classified as top secret. So the Chairman of Foreign Affairs is totally out of order and arrogating to himself powers that he does not have.”