A former Northern regional minister and government envoy to Angola in 2014, Moses Bukari Mabengba was escorted out of the Tamale International Airport VIP lounge Monday afternoon by a worker who said it was a decision from higher authority not to allow former NDC diplomats and heads of government departments to use the leisure room any longer.
Mr Mabengba narrated the incident by telephone after a successful landing in Accra, his destination before he was ran into, and requested it was documented for references.
“Since January we’ve been using this place until this morning I got to the place and a young man came to inform me that please you are no more allowed to come and use the VIP lounge, and I ask why and he said orders from above,’ he explained.
He was relaxing in the lounge with raft of other Very Important Personalities including an NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Ewutu Senya East Constituency and Minister for Special Development Initiative, Mavis Hawa Koomson whose pleas for the senior stateman to be spared was ignored.
Her other interventions wasn’t recognized and the airport worker who was sent to carry out the orders adamantly took Moses out to join private citizens at the public waiting room.
“Fortunately for me, I was sitting in the lounge with one of the NPP MPs and also a minister, Hawa Koomson, and I told her look at what your people are doing – they are asking me a former ambassador, minister, an MP not to use the lounge.
“Meanwhile I know that whiles we’re in government this place was free…I remember when we lost the vice president, I received them at the airport, all of them including non appointees of government, we were all allowed to pass through the VIP and today they did that to me,” he fumed.
The former ambassador was heard loudly protesting whiles being driven out of the hospitality facility.
“In fact, I wanted to refuse that order but I said if I do it that young man might lose his job because they would say he asked me to leave and I didn’t leave”, Moses said.
Another former diplomat, Joyce Bawah Mogtari -now spokesman for former President Mahama, was also seen rather waiting with pack of travelers at the public waiting room.
It is however not clear whether she was also denied access to the lounge.
Mrs Mogtari was unavailable for comments.
The VIP lounge patrons enjoy special privileges and do not go through tedious booking procedures.
The former ambassador to Angola said the decision to bar former NDC government staffs from accusing the lounge was “political” and would be retaliated.
He warned the clergy not to decry the next NDC government when it avenge the public ridicule.
“I told them, fortunately for me there was so many NPP people in the lounge with the minister that I will make case out of it not because I want redress but just wanted to be on record that after we left off, we were prevented from using some facilities so that if in future my party comes to government and the same measures are put in place, no sanctimonious pastor or civil society organizations or whatever should come and tell us that what we are doing are not correct”, the NDC executive warned.
However, authorities of the airport have responded denying issuing such orders and said they were yet to receive briefing on the Monday incident.
Airport manager Micheal Omane Mensah spoke to Ultimate News’ Eliasu Tanko saying “all former functionaries are allowed to use the VIP “I don’t know where that directive is coming from”.
Omane who said he was away from the region pledged to launch an immediate probe into the standoff.