By Maxwell Nkansah
The Social Democracy and Development Dialogue Forum Africa has said it is alarmed and is filled with revulsion over the Nana Akufo Addo-led government’s decision to procure a brand new presidential jet.
In the view of SDDDF-Africa, any process to acquire a new and bigger Presidential Jet is unnecessary and must cease forthwith because Ghana does not need it since the existing Falcon 900 Jet is in pristine condition and according to reliable Aviation sources has a 10-hour Air Endurance which is far more than the deceptive 4 – 5 hours that government propagandists would have us believe.
Also, a statement said, at a time Ghanaians are being told the Presidential Jet, Falcon 900 is not airworthy, it has traveled to Uganda, which is about 7hours journey, Zambia, also about 5 hours journey which is comparatively longer or just about most destinations in Europe, some of which President Akufo Addo recently visited.
According to them, It is as well important to state that the government’s decision to communicate the new Jet procurement plan even in the face of the myriad of real issues facing this country exposes President Akufo Addo and his regime’s heartlessness and gross insensitivity to the plight and real needs of the ordinary Ghanaian.
They further stated that a typical but very recent case is how Highlife Musician, Nana Ampadu had reportedly died. His own son’s chilling account to the media suffices. Another case in point is one we have seen in a widely circulated video – an Ambulance in an emergency had broken down on a deplorable road with the patient on board.
Now, as there was no other rescue option left for the Ambulance attendants, they resorted to first fix the broken-down vehicle to be able to continue the journey, and this was at a time the patient was sadly but visibly gasping for breath. This is not what we see in advanced jurisdictions. Life is arguably the most important value and deserves all the attention needed to save.
Aside from the above-named issues, the country is also faced with many others including bad roads and unbearable traffic; Accra, Tema motorway; Tema roundabout – Alien road; Accra, Mankessim, Cape Coast, Takoradi highway; Accra, Suhum, Kumasi highway, coupled with others such as government’s inability to pay contractors who sewed school uniforms for Free SHS students, lack of food to feed Free SHS boarding students, forcing some to become Day students, Nursing Training Colleges enrollment suspended, inability to increase the salaries of public sector workers, inability since 2018 to repay loans borrowed, according to the IMF data, all of which (issues) boil down to lack of funds.
The government has announced plans to purchase a new presidential jet for the president’s foreign travels. This was disclosed by the Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin at the Jubilee House Monday, September 27 during the Presidency’s weekly press briefing.
According to Mr. Arhin, the government of Ghana through the Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul has already started the processes for the procurement of the new jet.
“You would recollect that when the government of President Kufuor left office in 2008, it had procured two jets – the current Falcon and a bigger one but for one reason or the other, the bigger jet was canceled, and we were left with just one. That has happened, but you will recall that the Defence Minister stated clearly that the government has decided to buy a bigger jet to save us from all these troubles.” He added.