Presidential Staffer, Dr. Clement Abas Apaak, has dismissed criticisms that the inclusion of Akua Donkor to President John Mahama’s entourage to Italy was a wrong move.
Dr Apaak insists the criticisms are designed to impugn the integrity of Madam Akua Donkor, Founder of Ghana Freedom Party (GFP).
“She has every qualification, so far as I am concerned, to be part of the delegation. First of all she is a Ghanaian citizen…she is in good standing and a national figure”, he said on Joy FM and MultiTV’s Newsfile Saturday.
Akua Donkor’s inclusion to Rome, where President Mahama held bilateral talks with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, generated a lot of furore, with many questioning the value her inclusion would bring to the nation.
Madam Donkor, who is popular for her comical comments on national issues in the media, was in the company of Ministers of state like Ekwow Spio Gabrah (Trade and Industry Minister); Fifi Kwetey (Food and Agriculture minister) and some institutional heads like Dr. Stephen Opuni of Cocobod and Kwadwo Twum Boafo of Free Zones Board.
Clement Apaak said that if for nothing at all there was no Constitutional breach or violation in the inclusion of the GFP leader on the trip and that the public criticism is unwarranted.
“The entity that represents us has the capacity to decide who becomes part of a delegation on a foreign trip [and] usually has to look at the reason for embarking on that trip and [select] elements within the society whose presence can be of benefit…it is entirely not unusual for people from various
backgrounds to be included in a government delegation abroad,” Dr Apaak said.
He added that Akua Donkor, who comes from a rural agricultural background, has made it to national prominence and commands attention and respect from a huge chunk of the society.
He said Madam Donkor has come back to Ghana with knowledge on farming and food processing, for instance, which she acquired during to trip. He said she would share that knowledge with the society for the development of the country.
However, Chairman of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, who was also on the show said Dr. Apaak’s explanations are porous.
According to him, Akua Donkor’s inclusion on the trip as a farmer is a misplaced priority.
“On the supply chain, from production, processing and marketing, where does Akua Donkor fall in this country?…When it comes to processing, we have the Association of Ghana Industries. Is she even a member? The President didn’t think about picking a member from the Association?” he asked.
According to Mr Agyemang-Manu, the selection of Akua Donkor on the Rome trip is another manifestation of how the Executive flaunts its power.