President John Evans Atta Mills has refuted claims that he has abandoned his official duty as President and is cooling off in the United States of America.
He said before he left the country on November 2, 2011, he had indicated to Parliament, as required by the Constitution, that he would be engaged in official duties in the US, after which he would take two weeksï¿½ leave.
Responding to media claims that the President is missing in action, a Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said although the President was on a two-week annual leave, he still combined his leave with official duties and had time to engage both foreign dignitaries and his appointees back home in ï¿½productive activitiesï¿½, some of which took place late in the night or early in the morning.
Outlining some of the activities that engaged the attention of the President while he was in the US, Mr Ablakwa said President Mills had solicited support from academic institutions and the corporate world in the US for Ghanaians to acquire knowledge in oil and gas management as the country entered into the group of oil- producing countries.
At a meeting with the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of International Education (IIE) in New York, Dr Allan E. Goodman, President Mills had said the future of Ghanaï¿½s oil and gas find must be in the hands of Ghanaians, hence his focus on the agenda of making sure that Ghanaians obtained the requisite training in the oil and gas sector.
Already, under the leadership of President Mills, over 100 Ghanaians are being trained in various fields of oil and gas management in universities in the United Kingdom, such as, Coventry University, the University of Dundee, the University of Aberdeen, the University of Edinburgh and the Herriot Wyatt University, under GETFund scholarships.
Mr Ablakwa said President Mills expressed surprise at attempts by some people to discredit his discussions with the United Nationï¿½s Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, at the UN Headquarters in New York at 11 a.m. on Friday, December 2, 2011.
He said it was at that meeting that the President had requested the UN to keep a close eye on Ghana as the country remained strongly committed to ensuring that next yearï¿½s general election was violent-free.
ï¿½The President, who continued to pledge to ensure that Ghana came out of next yearï¿½s elections more united to build a better Ghana, said the UN, as well as other international bodies, must support Ghanaï¿½s efforts to stay united and intact,ï¿½ he said.
He said for his part, Mr Ban assured President Mills that the UN valued very much the peace and stability in Ghana and would support every effort to make sure that the peace and stability of the country were sustained.
According to him, next yearï¿½s elections would afford Ghana another opportunity to fly high its democratic credentials and the UN would not sit idly by and allow the unacceptable to happen.
Mr Ablakwa said the President could not deceive Ghanaians if the meeting with the UN boss had not taken place and urged the ï¿½mischief makers to verify the authenticity of the fact from the UN Department in the US".
President Mills was accompanied by the Chief of Staff, Mr Henry Martey Newman, and Ghanaï¿½s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Ken Kanda, who was highly commended by the UN Secretary-General for doing a good job.
Source: Daily Graphic
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