Our attention has been drawn by a largely irresponsibly informed publication by the CPP UK with regards to the above subject matter and we wish to correct certain erroneous facts therein.
Save as the President was in UK on a state visit, the NPP here in UK wish to make certain facts very clear to all the discerning reading public as follows:
A state visit is organised at the expense of the nation inviting the guest and not the guest nation. The British government is very prudent in its spending and it is not up to the CPP to tell them how they spend their money. The spending which is being talked about if “lavish” as the CPP are making us believe would not have come from Ghanaian coffers. The British government would have seen and approved of the delegation before they arrived. We state categorically for the benefit of our friends who are unaware of state protocol that state visits are funded by the host country- and in this case the UK government.
The part of this erroneous statement, with regards to numbers that accompanied the President, was based on the invitation list of persons who were invited to accompany the President to the Buckingham Palace or the Lord Mayor's Banquet.
The list of personnel does not necessarily mean that they all came from Ghana or indeed are or were in London at the government's expense. The list includes staff of the High Commission based here in UK and other private individuals who were invited by the High Commission to join the President for the dinner. These persons were not part of the government entourage or indeed do not stay in London at the government's expense.
One would naturally expect the President coming on a state visit to arrive with his wife, senior ministers of state, representatives of the Council of State, his secretariat, his security officers and his medical team. Are the CPP saying that this list is excessive? We believe that the President was very prudent in coming with his bare essential staff.
Save as the essential staff mentioned above, the rest of the people on the invitation list are people who live privately or work for the government here in UK and who went to the dinner from their own flats or houses and went back there to sleep after the dinner.
The NPP UK also hosted an International Conference in London, Royal National Hotel from Friday 16th March to Saturday 17th March and requested the President who was still here in UK to address the Conference which he kindly did. The International Conference which was attended by NPP branch representatives from USA, Canada, Italy, Holland, France, Germany, Ghana and many other countries, invited the ministers of state and party functionaries mentioned in the CPP statement to come and address it. They arrived here in UK on the Friday 16th March at their own expense and not as part of the government delegation which arrived on the Monday 12th March.
Names listed in the statement as:
• Mr. Joe Ghartey (Attorney General)
• Dr Akoto Osei(Deputy Finance Minister)
• Hon Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu (NPP Majority Chief Whip)
• Nana Ohene Ntow (NPP National General Secretary)
• Ms. Rita Asobayire (NPP National Women's Organiser)
• Mr. John Boadu (NPP National Youth Organiser)
• Kenwuud Nuworsu (Volta Region NPP Chairman)
• Mr. Sammy Crabbe (Greater Accra NPP Chairman)
• Various Government spokespersons
• The entire National Executive Committee of the NPP
• Various NPP members of Parliament.
were all in UK at the invitation of the NPP International Conference. These persons were not here at the cost of the Ghanaian taxpayer as our socialist friends who like us to believe.
The NPP also denies strongly the statement in the report that “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” and affirm that the Conference was held at Royal National Hotel in Russell Square and that was the same venue as we held our fund raising dinner dance on the night of the 16th of March.
We would like to advise our friends from the CPP to check and re-check their fact out before they come out with statements of this nature and they do not augur well for the peace and democracy our great nation is enjoying at the moment.