In essence, although the rapper is not a government official, he is not ruled out from requesting a diplomatic passport, as perceived by a cross-section of the public.
Unlike state officials who are highly entitled to hold diplomatic passports, regular citizens who intend to become holders must apply for them.
Per Mr Akanbong, a regular citizen’s application should “pertain to the conducts of official government business” — and this must be in the “opinion of the government”.
Mr Akanbong added that should a request come in, the law would be considered — where it would be determined whether the applicant is applying for regular travels, or for a specific event at which the government is invited, and in that regard, the applicant’s participation is “facilitated” by a diplomatic passport to represent the republic in a dignified manner.
This comes after Sarkodie re-echoed the French Ambassador to Ghana, Anne Sophie AVÉʼs suggestion during their “Accra in Paris” media tour in France.
According to Sarkodie, the French Ambassador said that musicians like him deserve to be given diplomatic passports to quicken their check-in sessions when travelling — a proposal Sarkodie supported.
Unfortunately, the CEO of Sarkcess Musicʼs corroboration with the French Ambassador did not sit well with fans on social media — where many suggested that the rapper does not qualify to become a diplomatic passport holder since he is not a government official.
To shed more light on the matter, Mr Akanbong of the Foreign Affairs Ministry said: “Sarkodie is not precluded from putting in an application to become a diplomatic passport holder, but it will be looked at on its merit based on the law,” he told Andy Dosty on Hitz FM.
Mr Akanbong went further to heap praises on the multi-award-winning rapper for his success and how the government reckons with his work within and beyond Ghana:
“With respect to the work Sarkodie does, which is phenomenal work, we all have to celebrate his success,” he urged. “Indeed, he is a worthy ambassador of our country, and he has taken us on the world stage and I think the government recognizes that,” he said via Daybreak Hitz.