Your comments were reckless & insensitive – Amaliba slams Eugene Arhin over new presidential jet

Eugene Arhin (R) is the Director of Communications at the Office of the President
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The chief legal advisor of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Abraham Amaliba, has described as “reckless” and “insensitive” the communication by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, over the government’s intention to procure a new presidential flight.

During an interaction with journalists at the Jubilee House on Monday, September 27, Mr Arhin disclosed that government has resolved to prosecute a move started by former President John Agyekum Kufuor to get a bigger presidential jet for Ghana.

“You would recollect that when the government of President Kufuor left office in 2008, it had procured two jets – the current Falcon and a bigger one.

“But for one reason or the other, the bigger jet was cancelled, and we were left with just one. That has happened, but you will recall that the Defence Minister stated clearly that the government has decided to buy a bigger jet to save us from all these troubles.

“I don’t want to go into the details, but I am sure that when the Minister gets the opportunity, he will give further information on what the government is doing in that respect, but I am sure of the fact that government is already in the process of getting a bigger jet for use,” Mr Arhin told the presidential press corps.

But speaking on The Keypoints on TV3/3FM on Saturday, October 2, Mr Amaliba insinuated that the presidential spokesperson should not have made that disclosure at all in the first place.

“I heard the Director of Communications speak at the Flagstaff House,” he noted.

“I think that communication to me was reckless and insensitive to the people of this country.”

Mr Amaliba said so far as Ghanaians are concerned, there is a presidential jet in good condition as announced by the Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, in June when he appeared in Parliament to answer an urgent question filed by Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the North Tongu member.

The current Dassault Falcon 90-EXE

He furthered that the current presidential jet was made judicious use of by previous presidents late John Evans Atta Mills and John Dramani Mahama and “none of these presidents complained about the inadequacies of this flight”.

But the current president is championing the cause for a new jet because “his taste for luxurious things is outside this world”.

Also in the studio to join the discussion was the Director of Communications of the ruling party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Yaw Buaben Asamoa, who backed the move by government, saying that is the expert advice given to the government.

“We don’t understand the range issues, we don’t understand the serviceability issues, we don’t understand the capacity issues. We are concerned about whether or not given our economic circumstances , we can afford a new jet.

He further stressed that “the decision in principle was decided long ago when we started buying presidential jets”.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana

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