A long debate ensued on the Wednesday, October 26 edition of Peace FM’s Kokrokoo program with the host, Kwame Sefa Kayi, and Chief Executive Officer of the Environmental Protection Agency, Henry Kwabena Kokofu, on one side, and veteran journalist Kwesi Pratt on the other side, over the length of presidential convoys.
Henry Kokofu, who started the debate, was bemoaning the number of cars and demanded an immediate end to the practice.
He explained that the official convoy of the president usually has six cars and those other cars usually spotted are those of sector ministers, members of parliament, and chief executive officers of public institutions, among others.
In his narration, Kokofu claimed that the practice became normalized under the fourth republic and has existed since the days of the late president, Jerry John Rawlings.
“This convoy trend did not start under President Akufo-Addo. It has been around for a long time. Whenever the president is moving, there is a cutoff point, which is a police vehicle with sirens. Its mostly six cars. All the cars that follow are ministers, MPs, CEOs, and others. When the president is going on a tour, he talks about a lot of issues. If it’s about roads, the Road Minister will be around. He will talk about agriculture, roads, and even the MP will be part of it. “, he said.
Kwesi Pratt took issue with his statement, pointing out that “It is not true. It has not been the case always”.
But Kwame Sefa Kayi came in, corroborating Kokofu’s assertions that “from President Rawlings, Kufuor, Atta Mills, Mahama, and Akufo-Addo, it has always been there.”
This led to an over close to ten minutes of banter, between the three men, with Kwame Sefa Kayi eventually giving in and reluctantly agreeing to Kwesi Pratt’s assertion.
Below are excerpt of the conversation Pratt: It is not true that it has been the case under the fourth republic
Sefa Kayi: It is true, it has always been there.
Pratt: It hasn’t been there forever, and you know it is not true. Under President Mills, he directed that if they are all going to the same place, they must go by bus.
Sefa Kayi: It happened once, twice, and that was it.
Pratt: So it has not been there forever. It is not true.
Sefa Kayi: So why did President Mills make that directive? It is because that trend has existed and it hasn’t stopped.
Pratt: My argument is that it is erroneous to say it has been there forever.
Sefa Kayi: President Mills gave that directive because he realized it was a trend. Unfortunately, it didn’t last. Under Rawlings, it was there. Under Kufuor, all the way through the fourth republic and it was a trend. President Mills asked that it be stopped, and they did it a few times.
Watch a video of the debate below: