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Presidential jet undergoing long overdue repair works in France - Presidency

BY: Kweku Zurek
Ghana's presidential jet, the Dassault Falcon 900EX-Easy
Ghana's presidential jet, the Dassault Falcon 900EX-Easy

The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin has disclosed that Ghana's presidential jet, the Dassault Falcon 900EX-Easy is currently undergoing long overdue repair works in France.

This disclosure was in response to a Facebook post made by the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa regarding the use of the presidential jet. Mr Arhin said the only persons who flew the jet to France were the crew made up of pilots from the Ghana Air Force.

In a post on his verified personal Facebook page, Mr Arhin suggested that as a result of the repairs, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo could not have used the Presidential jet for an official visit to the Netherlands.

"Contrary to the insinuations being cast by the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, no one “used the Presidential Jet to France”, and no one is using the Presidential Jet in France. The only persons who flew the jet to France are the crew made up of pilots from the Ghana Air Force," he posted.

Return of Prez Jet

Mr Arhin further disclosed that the Presidential Jet departed Ghana on August 30, 2022, for major repair works and will be out of service for four months. He added that it will be available for use in December.

"Indeed, the Presidential Jet departed Ghana on 30th August to France for major repair works to be carried out on it - repair works which are very much long overdue. The Air Force has indicated that the Presidential Jet will be out of service for a total of four (4) months, and will return to Ghana and be available for use in December. It will be recalled that in May this year, the Minister for Defence, Hon. Dominic Nitiwul, alerted Ghanaians to the fact that the Presidential Jet would be flown to France for major repair works to be undertaken on it".

He further urged Mr Ablakwa to "minimize his penchant for engaging in propaganda regarding the Presidential Jet, to avoid further embarrassments to his person".

What MP Ablakwa said

The MP who has tracked presidential travels since last year, claimed in a Facebook post claimed that President Nana Addo Dankwa flew commercial on September 3 for an official visit to the Netherlands and later to France.

"President Akufo-Addo left Accra on the night of September 3, 2022, aboard KLM after delaying the commercial flight," Mr Ablakwa posted yesterday on Facebook.

The MP also expressed concern about why and how the Presidential Jet had been flown to France days before the President left Accra, he asked who had used it for the non-stop journey to Paris.

His post referenced an explanation by the Presidency about the ability of the jet to make long-haul flights.

"It is instructive to note that contrary to what Director of Communications at the Presidency. Mr. Eugene Arhin, would want us believe as per his earlier claims that the Presidential Jet is no longer fit to fly direct beyond 6 hours-a dubious claim which now stands discredited, the Presidential Jet on this latest trip was flown direct or non-stop for Ghours and 24minutes to Paris, France." the post added.

Read Mr Arhin's entire post below;

My attention has been drawn to a Facebook post made by Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa regarding the use of the presidential jet, and my responses are as follows:

1. Contrary to the insinuations being cast by the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, no one “used the Presidential Jet to France”, and no one is using the Presidential Jet in France. The only persons who flew the jet to France are the crew made up of pilots from the Ghana Air Force.

2. Indeed, the Presidential Jet departed Ghana on 30th August to France for major repair works to be carried out on it - repair works which are very much long overdue. The Air Force has indicated that the Presidential Jet will be out of service for a total of four (4) months, and will return to Ghana and be available for use in December. It will be recalled that in May this year, the Minister for Defence, Hon. Dominic Nitiwul, alerted Ghanaians to the fact that the Presidential Jet would be flown to France for major repair works to be undertaken on it.

3. In view of this, how Hon. Ablakwa expects President Akufo-Addo to return to Ghana on Saturday, 10th September, from his current trip to the Netherlands and France on board the Presidential Jet, which is undergoing major repair works and is scheduled to return to Ghana in December, beats my imagination.

4. I would urge Hon. Ablakwa to minimize his penchant for engaging in propaganda regarding the Presidential Jet, to avoid further embarrassments to his person.