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Politics of Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Koku Anyidoho agrees that Ghana needs a bigger aircraft and here is why

Koku Anyidoho was the Director of Communications under President Mills Koku Anyidoho was the Director of Communications under President Mills

Koku Anyidoho has waded into the discussions on the purchase of a new presidential aircraft

• He says President Mills also used chartered flights because of limited space

• He agrees with the move for a bigger aircraft to be bought


In the ongoing conversations on the expenditure of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during foreign travels and the revelation that the presidency plans on getting a new presidential carrier, Koku Anyidoho has agreed with the government’s position.

According to the former Director of Communications at the Presidency under John Evans Atta Mills, the current Falcon for presidential travels has limited spaces available for the kinds of entourages that travel with the president.

Besides, he said in a report by graphic.com.gh, there is already a challenge with the Falcon having to occasionally stop to refuel when on long haul travels.

He explained that this is the reason “President J.A. Kufuor wanted to buy two aircrafts, the Falcon and a bigger one, either an Airbus or a Boeing. Somehow, the second one was not procured and the Falcon became ‘an albatross around our neck," Graphic.com.gh quoted him.

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has lately been detailing what he says are the profligate expenses President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has been making from the tax payer’s money by using private aircraft for some of his foreign trips.

The government has justified this with the excuse that the country’s aircraft is not fit for such travels, coupled with the limited spaces it has for the presidential entourage.

This is an explanation Koku Anyidoho agrees with.

The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, also told journalists that there are plans for the government to acquire a new and bigger aircraft to serve the purposes of the office.

“Government is already in the process of acquiring a bigger jet for use,” he told journalists at the Jubilee House.

Koku Anyidoho explained that the move to get a bigger presidential aircraft is one that he completely supports.

He added that it is the reason that the late former president, John Atta Mills had to opt for a chartered flight on one occasion from USA to Venezuela.

Also, he said that in 2009, President Mills travelled with a chartered flight from Accra to Tamale and that since the flight was hired from Italy, the crew was not familiar with the Tamale runaway and nearly dropped President Mills on an old and an abandoned runaway in the Tamale area.

It was after this experience, he said, that the Ghana Airforce decided to take complete control over President Mills' air travels.

He added that when President Mills came into office in 2009, the Falcon had already been paid for, making it difficult for him to have abrogated the contract as that could have landed the country in another judgment debt.

“So, in the interest of the state, the Falcon was accepted… but to be frank, without engaging in NDC/NPP politicking, the Falcon had issues,” he said.

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