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Thursday, June 20, 2024

BAGBIN DEFENDS FOREIGN JOYRIDES

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The Speaker of Parliament has justified the tens of thousands of Ghanaian taxpayer’s money he has been frittering on joyrides for himself and members of his family.

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He has stated that other public officials in his category spend even more than he does on these trips, and therefore it is justified and people should stop castigating him over the practice.

Hiding behind the Public Affairs Directorate of Parliament, which itself attributes the statement to the Office of the Speaker, Mr. Bagbin wrote, “What is intriguing is the focus on Mr. Speakers travel and the efforts at exaggerating the cost. Meanwhile, there is complete silence on the travels of other members of Government, the frequency of which is far higher than that of Mr. Speaker.”

This was contained in a press release from the Parliamentary Service yesterday. It was titled ‘’Speaker’s Travel – The Bare Facts’.

The statement said that the Office of the Speaker of Parliament has taken note of the publications in both the new and traditional media with respect to the travel of the Rt. Hon A. S. K Bagbin to Dubai for medical review. 

“We want to place the following on record:

“1. The Rt. Hon Speaker did not travel to Dubai with his children as being alleged. Indeed, Mr. Speaker has never included his children in any of his trips.

“2. Travel expenses for Mr. Speakers trip to Dubai is in accordance with what is prescribed for the speaker of Parliament long before Rt. Hon Bagbin became speaker, and also for analogous members of Government such as the President, Vice President and the Chief of Justice.

“3. The figures quoted in the story as per diem are false. The Speaker has no hand in the computation of his per diem and it is available as part of the official records of the State. It is part of the mischief that the publication is aimed at.

“4. For purpose of clarity, Mr. Speaker traveled with the medical doctor in charge of Parliament Medical Centre, his spouse as carer and two other officials of Parliament as the least in practice. There is no advance party, no children, and certainly no other member on his entourage.

“What is intriguing is the focus on Mr. Speakers travel and the efforts at exaggerating the cost.

“Meanwhile, there is complete silence on the travels of other members of Government, the frequency of which is far higher than that of Mr. Speaker.

“Even within the hierarchy of Parliament, there are members of the leadership whose frequency of travel is far higher than that of Mr. Speaker. It is also on record that Rt. Hon Bagbin in his 14th month as speaker, is the least travelled of all previous Speakers of Parliament within the same time frame.

“The public is advised to see in such publications the political mischief that is intended and ignore such publications with the contempt they deserve.

“ISSUED BY 

“SIGNATURE

“THE PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIRECTORATE 

“FOR THE OFFICE OF THE SPEAKER”.

(The Daily Searchlight appears every day on the newsstands and for sale 24 hours every day and all week on www.ghananewsstand.com. Visit www.ghananewsstand.com for a wide variety of newspapers published in Ghana and from across the world.)

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