The new report however, has not brought complete closure to NPP’s missing government cars claims, as the incumbent government is yet to release any statement on the new development.
Amid the missing cars controversy, it was revealed on February 10, that (4) bulletproof cars, are available for use by the President and his Vice. Reports from Citifmonline stated the release of a document from the presidency detailing the list of 173 serviceable vehicles left behind by the NDC – a report which contradicts claims by Eugene Arhin, Director of Communications at the presidency.
The new report has brought some sense of calmness among perturbed stakeholders who have been seeking answers from government concerning the issue. The NDC is sure to have taken a sigh of relief with this report, having felt a sense of vindication on their side.
The report however has not brought complete closure on the matter, as the incumbent New Patriotic Party is yet to release any statement on the new development.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) had debunked earlier claims by the incumbent NPP that Ghana’s presidency has been rendered immobile due to unavailability of vehicles.
The NPP government claimed that since transition in January, there have been a huge difference in the number of vehicles available at the presidency and the number expected -a claim which according to administration, caused President Nana Addo to resort to his 10-year-old BMW for official use.
But the opposition party trashed the claims saying that the NDC administration left 4 bulletproof cars for Nana Addo. In a rebuttal to the incumbent government’s claims, the NDC released a statement saying it duly handed over all state vehicles to the new government. In the statement signed by the former Deputy Chief of Staff Johnny Osei Kofi, the NDC said that if Nana Addo is sticking to the single BMW, it is out of choice not scarcity.
The statement also emphasized on the quality and efficiency of the said cars which the present government claims to not have met at the Flagstaff. According to the NDC, both sets of bulletproof vehicles, as well as a fleet of Mercedes vehicles, are relatively new and in good condition for the transportation of the President.
The incumbent government maintain there are several missing vehicles at the presidency; and that such inconvenient situation has affected the mobility of government officials -hence, slowing down work pace at the Presidency.
The Director of communication at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin who made this known, had given a clear report on the number of cars expected at the presidency after the transition. According to his report which was reportedly culled from documents provided by the transport officer at the presidency; there were a total of 208 missing government cars. To clearly emphasize on the difference in the number of vehicles;
- A total of 196 Toyota land cruisers were expected -74 were found- 122 missing
- 73 Toyota Landcruiser Prado expected -20 found -43 missing
- 24 Mercedes Benz -11 found- 13 missing
- 28 Toyota Avalon -2 found – 26 missing
- 6 BMW -2 found -4 missing
But the NDC rubbished the claims, saying that all cars were accounted for by the erstwhile government.
Osei Kofi Accuses Gov’t of Playing Cheap Politics
Former Deputy Chief of Staff, Osei Kofi in the statement, also accused the incumbent government of unduly plotting to disrepute the image of the former administration. According to him Eugene Arhin’s report on the controversial issue, has exposed his (Arhin) intention or attempt to “demonize members of the previous administration, for cheap partisan propaganda purposes.
Expressing profound disappointment towards the new government, Osei Kofi said the NPP’s claim of missing government cars at the presidency is baseless and without merit.
Apart form Osei Kofi, some other NDC loyalists have also waded into the missing vehicles controversy which has attracted criticisms against the opposition party. Felix Kwakye Ofosu, former Deputy Communications Minister under the NDC government has also debunked the NPP’s claims of missing government cars.
The former Deputy minister says the NDC accounted for 641 vehicles; two of which are bullet-proof saloon cars at the President’s disposal. Mr Ofosu who maintains the NPP is aware there are no missing vehicles; has also called on the incumbent government to provide further information on the specific cars identified to be missing to enable proper checks and references and a possible search to find them.
Owing to the facts emphasized above; Ghana might just be in for yet another episode of counter accusations from the two administrations -NPP and NDC.