A former Minister for the Interior, Mark Woyongo, has said he cannot find his diplomatic passport, for which reason he has been unable to return it after he exited office.
“I used to live in my official state bungalow at Cantonment in Accra. When I was packing out to my private residence I misplaced it, but immediately I find it I will return it,” Mr Woyongo stated.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, has hinted that members of the erstwhile Mahama government who refuse to hand over diplomatic passports will be stopped at the country’s airports during trips, as a last resort.
The minister indicated that the grace period for the former officials and appointees to hand over such passports has elapsed, yet some have refused to tender diplomatic passports issued to them while in office.
According to her, government will have no option than to halt the trips of culpable officials.
“Bring them in, the deadline is past and it might not be very good for such a person who should have handed in the passport who decides not to but to travel with it to be stopped at the airport. … It will happen, that is the next step and I don’t want any colleague, just because they are members of the past government, to go through such an ordeal,” she noted on Wednesday, May 24.
She revealed that most of the past officials have returned the passports “but a few who have not we have signalled them that very soon they will be put on a stop list if they do not return it”.
Subsequently, North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who also served in Mr Mahama’s government, has said, for purposes of transparency and full disclosure, it will be ideal for the government to publish names of past government appointees who are still holding on to diplomatic passports and those who have retuned theirs.
Even before that happens, Mr Woyongo has stated publicly that he has not been able to submit his diplomatic passport because he misplaced it.
“I haven’t returned my diplomatic passport to the state because I can’t find it and as soon as I find it I will return it to the appropriate quarters,” he told Adom News’ Abednego Asante Asiedu.
He further explained that he has not used a diplomatic passport on any of his trips since the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government came to office.
“I have travelled three times after the change of government and I used my regular passport, not my diplomatic passport. I recently travelled to Nigeria…and I didn’t use the diplomatic passport,” he added.
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