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Feature Article of Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Columnist: Prah, Prince

Open Letter to Gbevlo, Smith and the CDS

(Part 1)

With two weeks to elections, I wish to put it on record that I am saddened by the open and reckless show of power that has characterized your administration in the last four years.

To have a peaceful election, I as Editor of this newspaper, have conducted some investigations which need answers from your outfit.

I hope, in spite of the naked hatred shown me, you would let your conscience prevail and read this so that all the slates are cleaned in fashioning out new arrangement in making Ghana a peaceful country. I have no where to run to like some of you; so I care about Ghana.

Please read on

1. The under-mentioned are some useful information with its attachments to support my points to defuse the misinformation that is spreading out from the NDC Propaganda Team in the Barracks.

2. There have been so many propagandas going on in the Barracks such as, Dr. Bawumia comment on, when the NPP comes to power, soldiers Single Span Salary will be reduce and added to support the Free Senior High School Education Policy. Questions been asked from wives of soldiers is that, at the moment, their house keep monies cannot keep the house, why the reduction? Because of this misinformation, some wives have been asked to join the NDC meetings to diffused this evil plans.

3. Another comment is that, Nana has also said that, when he comes to power, he will send soldiers to the bush to farm. In that, at the moment there is nothing much for soldiers to do at home. Believe you me, this comment from your team has gone down well with some of the wives and even some soldiers who are on the other side. But I thought this community (barracks) is not used for politics or I lie? There are many ways you can win soldiers to your side but this is not one.

4. Those on the other side can talk of soldiers buying their own uniforms and boots. Right now, how to get uniform is a big problem. A particular Uniform for all Officers and Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) called; Number One Dress and a Stick which is supposed to be an initial issue to all Officers after commission and WOI when he/she is promoted from WOII is not available. In the Military structure, a WOI is a General of the Other Ranks and equivalent to a Major in the Officer Corp. To tell you the truth, every Officer receives his/her issue of the said dress, even those below the rank of a Major. Come back to the Barracks and see it yourself, what happened some years ago is going on again. What am I talking about? It was during Hon. Addo-Kufour’s administration that soldiers put on one uniform because the issued was been done regular. At the moment, every soldier wears any type of camouflage he/she come across. There is no offence on what you put on because no one can be question.

5. Per laws and regulations in the military, Parties are not to organized meetings within the Barracks. But right now, such things are going on in the Camp. One of such meetings is organized by the wife of Lt Col Robert Yaw Affram, assisted by EX WOI Brown’s wife (Sister Marrie) to pollute wives with negative things. They are linked up with MP for Dadekotopon and monies are being giving as loans. These meetings are mostly organized in a Drinking Spot at Recce Junction and at El-Wak Night Market, just opposite the Air Force Officers Mess.

Questions

For your information, Soldiers are not on the SSSS Pay Policy but rather on Pay Adjustment. Can you please ask them, who instituted the SSS pay policy?

During the Kufour Administration, soldiers were receiving their pay normal. Right now, Operational Allowance which was given to all troops whether on ground or in the mission area has been reduced from 33% to 20% of their Basic Pay. Risk Allowance which was paid to all soldiers has been removed from their Pay Roll. Can you tell them why all this reductions on our pay?

Talking about uniforms that are not available, soldiers put on any type of uniform they come across, which is not in uniformity. Can you tell them, whether you want them to go back to the 90’s when soldiers were dressing in different types?

Again, on the issue of soldier to the bush to farm, you should come out and tell the public where Nana stood to deliver such message?

To maintain the due respect between Officers and Men in terms of dressing, Command should tell troops, why those dresses are no more being issued to the WOI’s but to the Officers?

UNCOMPLETED ACCOMMODATIONS

6. During the construction of the Jubilee House at the Flag Staff House, the Kufour Administration deems it necessary to relocate all troops opposite the Jubilee House. Upon that, there came a plan of building a new Flat in Burma Camp to accommodate those families, so the location will be used as Presidential Escort Living Area. 14 Flats of 16 family occupants totaling 224 Living Room project was put in place and left at its finishing stage before the end of his turner. As we are talking, the said projects have been abundant in the bush. Again, a 1 x 16 family Flat project which was completed before Kufuor leaving office which is located at the Air Force Base, as am talking to you, has not been occupied, but their troops are now renting accommodations outside the Barracks. Due to this uncompleted project, the men are still been kept at the Flag Staff House.

7. Still on accommodation, due to strength increase of Officer, High Command thought of renting Hostels to accommodate them. Two apartments located behind Zenith University College just behind the Trade Fair Centre have been rented to accommodate the said officers. They are; URBAN and ECCLESIA Hostels. As if that is all, 14 Civil Landlords have also rented their houses to the GAF outside Burma Camp to accommodate other officers. Memo on Officers Allocation Committee Meeting held at Director General, Logistics Office on 24th July 2012 with the sub-heading Item 1 – Allocation of the Fifty-Two Rooms to Subalterns and that of Item 2 – Allocation of the Sixteen Flats to Majors and Captains.

Questions:

Can the Minster and his High Command tell us where these uncompleted projects has been left over the years in the bush and then going for the STX deal for the military as it was said?

Can they again tell the whole nation, how much is a flat for an officer per Month?

They should tell the whole public, whether renting of the 2 x hostel and the 14 Civil Rented Houses is not creating Financial lost to the State, since money used on the hostel and the 14 Civil Houses could have been used to complete the uncompleted projects in the bush for it to become the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) property instead of paying for the said rented hostels and the 14 Civil Rented Houses?

Information gathered indicates that, some few weeks ago, Armed Robbers raided the said hostels when they left for work, due to insecurity at that place. Can the Minister confirm the truth in the said story?

UN RENTED HELICOPTERS TO LA COTE D’IVOIRE

8. In the year 2004, H.E President Kufour purchased four (4 x MI-17 Helicopters) for the Air Force from the Republic of Russia, at the cost of Twenty Million US Dollars ($20m). That was the second biggest Helicopter in Russia with a 36 Seater capacity that can sling 5,000 tons cargo in addition to passengers. On 5th July 2012, Parliament approved and amount of Twenty Four Million, One Hundred and Ten Euro (€24,110m) loan to purchase same (4 x MI-17 Helicopters) from same country. Source from The Chronicle, Friday July 06, 2012 (Page 10).

9. In 2006, three (3) out of the said Helicopters were rented to the UN Operations in La Cote D’Ivoire for Peace Support Operations. The fourth one that was left in the country clash landed at Akropong when it was sending the mortal remains of the Late Air Marshal Otu leaving no helicopter at Base.

10. The UN has been paying the Ghana Government an amount of Two Thousand, Five Hundred US Dollars ($2,500.00) per hour. From 2006 to 2010, the 3 helicopters were flying Sixty (60 Hours) each per month, totaling (180 hours x $2,500.00 = $450,000.00). Beside the flying hour payment, information gather indicate clearly that January 2012 alone, two out of the three helicopters which were serviceable yielded an amount of Three Hundred Thousand Dollars ($300,000.00) to the nation.

11. Due to lack of servicing to the UN Rented Helicopters, two out of the three helicopters was grounded unserviceable and brought down to our home country. At the moment, only one helicopter is operating with the UN in La Cote D’Ivoire which is due for major servicing.

12. Upon series of warnings from UN HQ, New York to Ghana Government that, either the helicopters are changed or serviced to perform it duties, they will terminate the contract with the Ghana Air Force. Yet the Government has placed deaf ears to it and forced their way to purchase the CASA 295 Plane instead of the Helicopters which bring incomes to the nation.

Questions:

Hon Minister, can you please tell us why the same 4 x MI-17 Helicopters in 2004 have different cost to 2012 and what constituted the raise in cost?

Can the Minster tell the nation what advice he gave to the Government concerning the Helicopters that needed immediate action instead of the purchasing of the CASA 295 Aircraft?

Can you please tell the public why no priority was given to the state of the Helicopters in La Cote D’Ivoire which bring income to the nation?

Hon Minister, to the break-down of the MI-17, that tells, the whole country there is no Helicopter in operating. We are in election year; most of our brothers are living behind the waters, how will their electoral materials reach them?

COMMISSIONGING OF SURVEILLANCE AIRCRAFT RUNWAY AND LANDING LIGHTS

13. In March, 2012, the Air Force received quantity 4 x DA 42M Diamond Surveillance Aircraft from Austria for Maritime Patrol around the Oil Field Areas to monitor and observed situation. It is a 4 seater capacity aircraft. The aircraft has since being packed at Takoradi Air Force Base and has since been in used for the past 7 months.

14. During the CAN 2008, the Kufour Government refurbished the entire Airport and its Runway with Landing Lighting System around the country. A contractor was tasked to install the Landing Light Bulbs at Takoradi Airport. Unfortunately, the tenure of the NPP came to an end. The France Contractor which was at site during that time; was immediately asked to stop work which was at almost at the completing point with only bulbs to be fixed.

The said project has been completed including the fixed bulbs and will soon be commissioned with 2 new Aircraft Hangers or it has been done already?

Questions:

Hon Minister, what was the rational behind the four (4 x Diamond Aircraft) which has been in the country since March 2012 for almost seven (7) months and is yet to be commission?

Can you please tell the public the number of Airmen that the Diamond Surveillance Aircraft carried for such patrols?

What is the cost of 1 x Diamond Surveillance Aircraft and that of 1 x MI-71 Helicopter? With urgency to demand, among the two; i.e. the helicopters and the surveillance aircraft, which one is urgent?

Can you please let us know, when was the Runway and the Landing Light constructed?

Source: www. prahprince-prince.blogspot.com

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