The Convention People's Party (CPP) launched a scathing attack against President Kufuor's administration for it's lavish spending on the recent state visit to the United Kingdom(UK).
In a statement released to the press, CPP wrote:
".... we are compelled to bring a number of issues of concern to ordinary Ghanaians to the interest of the general public and media whose task it is to investigate these matters in the interest of Ghana's nascent democracy."
"The President of Ghana made a historic trip to the UK recently on a State Visit. Andrew Awuni, Press Secretary to the President on his 8th March press briefing at the Castle told newsmen that the President would be accompanied by his wife Theresa and other senior Government officials" the statement continued.
"The Press Secretary did not feel it necessary to share with Ghanaians the names of the Ministers accompanying the President or the precise number of 'senior Government officials' forming part of the President's entourage."
According to CPP's research the following persons joined the President for dinner at Buckingham Palace:
* Professor Adzei Bekoe (Chairman of the Council of State)
* Ms. Amma Busia (Member of the Council of State)
* Hon. Nana Akufo-Addo MP (Minister for Foreign Affairs)
* Mr. Peter Mac Manu (Chairman, New Patriotic Party)
* Ambassador Daniel Osei (Secretary to The President)
* Mr. Andrew Awuni (Press Secretary to The President)
* Ambassador Kobina Wudu (Director of State Protocol)
* Colonel Obed Akwa (Aide-de-Camp to The President)
* Dr. Bettina Andah (Medical Officer)
* Miss Rene Kufuor
* Ms. Patricia Boateng
* Mr. John Kufuor
* Miss Anne-Marie Kufuor
* Miss Helen Kufuor
* Ms. Messie Debrah-Karikari (Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
* Mr. Atta Krufie (Chairman, National Patriotic Party, London)
* Dr. Margaret Busby (Writer and Archivist)
* Mrs. Lesley Nyantekyi (Medical Officer)
* His Excellency Mr. Annan Cato (Ghanaian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom)
* Mr. Adolphus Arthur (Deputy High Comissioner)
* Mr. Ivor Agyemang-Duah (Minister-Counsellor, Ghana High Commission)
* Brigadier-General George Adjei (Defence Advisor, Ghana High Commission)
However, numerous other Government and NPP officials were in London, at government expense, although not at the dinner. They were
* Mr. Kwamena Bartels (Minister of Information and National Orientation)
* Mr. Joe Ghartey (Attorney General)
* Dr Akoto Osei
* Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah
* Various Government spokespersons
* The entire National Executive Committee of the NPP
* Various NPP members of Parliament.
"The important issue here is the cost to the Ghanaian tax payer of all these people in London" said the stetement
According to CPP, a number of very expensive hotels were used in central London during the President's visit including the luxurious London Landmark Hotel with prices ranging from US$900 to $2500 per night. The Landmark is quoted by Conde Nast as “one of the best hotels in the world”, and it boasts of its bedrooms as among the largest in London.
The Landmark was also the venue for the NPP's International Conference in a show of shameless opulence and arrogance, and exposing the NPP's elitist tendencies.
Sources close to the Landmark indicate that upto 20 Ghanaian officials were staying at the Landmark for close to a week. The total cost is estimated at Cedis2 Billion. excluding expenses.
You might reasonably ask if this is a sensible way of spending Ghana's scarce financial resources at a time when the average citizen of Ghana has a daily income of around $1.33, at a time when the country is plunged regularly into darkness, and at a time when many thousands of homes are facing dry water taps for days without explanation. , and at a time when many are hungry in Ghana daily.
You might also ask why this Government would choose a hotel where the minimum nightly cost is the equivalent of 2 years income for the ordinary Ghanaian. Perhaps they have forgotten that 73 per cent of government expenditure comes from aid.
The NPP government does not seem to have leant any lessons from the outcry over their lavish spending of $5million dollars on luxury cars instead of hiring cars` from Ghana's numerous Car Hire companies, or their decision to subsidize the Chinese economy rather than Ghana's Textile industry.
Whilst it is not clear what proportion of the NPP's junket in London was footed by the Ghana's impoverished taxpayers, a number of questions arise which our brave media now need to seriously investigate.