-Blowing Another GHC 4 million on Flying Jacuzzi Plane
President Akufo Addo has for the third time in a row, chartered the luxury jet, equipped with an onboard Jacuzzi that had caused massive public outrage the first time he was exposed for the extravagant lifestyle amidst poverty in Ghana.
The 19-seater jet, considered one of the most luxurious in the aviation industry, was chartered for almost two weeks to transport the President to and from the ongoing 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Each hour on the super-luxury get is reportedly costing Ghana almost US$ 20,000 and would rack up close to GHC 4 million in bills by the time the President returns on September 27, 2021.
When widespread outrage greeted Akufo Addo, the first time he chartered the gold-plated luxury jetliner, the Jubilee House and the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul had argued that the existing Presidential Jet was not in a good shape for the status of President Akufo Addo.
However, while making this argument, the Jubilee House still saw it fit to give out Ghana’s Presidential Jet to the Liberian President George Weah to make his trips at the expense of Ghanaian taxpayers.
According to Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament for South Tongu and the Ranking Member on Foreign Affairs who blew the whistle on the latest luxurious junketing by President Akufo Addo, tracking of the Presidential Jet which the President should have been using was found being used by George Weah.
“Rather intriguing, it does appear other Presidents have more confidence in Ghana’s Presidential Jet than President Akufo Addo. While President Akufo Addo was engaged in his Arabian-King-style cruise…at our expense, our Presidential Jet was being used by Liberian President, George Weah,” Okudzeto revealed.
“Our Monitoring reveals that President Weah landed at the Roberts International Airport (Roberstfield) in Liberia onboard Ghana’s Falcon at 10.00 GMT on 18th September 2021. It was the second time in the same week the Liberian leader was exclusively using our presidential jet.”
President Akufo-Addo on Friday led Ghana’s delegation to the 76th UN General Assembly meeting. According Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa, he abandoned the presidential jet and hired Boeing 737-900ER BBJ3 operated by Global Jet Luxembourg and registered LX-DIO at US$14,000 per hour.
Ablakwa’s post on Facebook revealing the President had hired the luxurious plane again had been provoked by a bland denial by Presidential spokesperson, Eugene Arhin that indeed the President had junketed on the same jet to the UK and Germany in August.
“A presidential spokesman should not be desecrating what is expected to be hallowed precincts of the seat of government in this Goebbelian manner.
“I can authoritatively confirm without a scintilla of doubt or any equivocation for that matter that President Akufo-Addo on his current trip to the United States of America has again chartered the same ultra-luxury aircraft he used to the UK and Germany — the Luxembourg-based luxury jet registered LX-DIO and operated by Global Jet Luxembourg. Same Boeing 737-900ER BBJ3 with Manufacturer Serial Number (MSN) 62515 and Line Number 5659.”
The luxury monster he pointed out, comes equipped with multiple sections to guarantee exceptional comfort including a VIP lounge for relaxation, Five-Star dining facilities, a Royal Master Bedroom, Cinema in-flight entertainment systems, and of course complete with a luxury Jacuzzi.
“So Mr. Eugene Arhin doesn’t accuse me of fabrications ever again, may I provide some further particulars: the LX-DIO carrying President Akufo-Addo took off at 20:50GMT from Accra on Friday 17th September 2021; refueled at Lajes International Airport on the Azores Islands (North Atlantic) resumed flying at 04:00GMT; it finally landed at William Hobby Airport in Houston at 7 am Houston time on the 18th of September, 2021. Our unimpeachable real-time tracking continues,” Hon Ablakwa added.
The North Tongu MP lamented the double whammy on Ghanaians adding that what makes it even more shameful is that there are other African Presidents who are attending the same UN General Assembly meeting with commercial airlines like the newly-elected Zambian President, Haikainde Hichilema.
Also, the Namibian President, Hage Gottfried Geingob continues to use Namibia’s Presidential Jet, similar to the Ghanaian presidential jet, for all presidential travels. The jet known as NAM 001 flew President Geingob to the USA last Saturday.
A few months ago, President Akufo Addo junketed to the UK, France and South Africa with the same chartered luxury aircraft and had set the entire country on fire with outrage over the extravagant lifestyle of the Ghanaian President.
Hardly had the controversy died down that the President hop again into the same flight to Germany for a week-long trip. The latest trip to the UN is the third time the President will charter the exact same aircraft despite widespread Ghanaian agitation against the wastefulness of public funds.