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Opinions of Tuesday, 26 October 2004

Columnist: Aidoo, Prince Junior

SHAME on Ghanair Workers

"GSDM will never be satisfied as long as the Ghanaian remains a victim of lies, hatred, nepotism, tribalism and Corruption".

"I have often been accused of pursuing a `policy of the impossible`. But I cannot believe in the impossibility of demanding freedom and justice any more than I could ever have thought of the impossibility of attaining Justice in Ghana".
Prince Aidoo.

Where on earth can a country like Ghana with all its potentials develop under circumstances such as: lies, wickedness, hatred, nepotism, tribalizm, selfishness, laziness and above all ?Corruption?.

I thought I was then dreaming to here that:

?Workers of Ghana Airways have called on the government to reconsider its decision to wind up the operations of the Airline. They said that if the workers were allowed to operate the airline, given a free hand tax target and dividend to paid the government, they would be able to turn the fortunes of the airline around?. Fellow countrymen did we hear them right?.

One may ask where were they were when the Airline was collapsing?. I think those of us who are deaf should get ready for our deaf ears to be cleansed so as to here what these wicked, selfish and irresponsible citizens of Ghana has to say after the governments decision to sell the assets of Ghana Airways and convert it into equity for its strategic partner, the Ghana International Airline (GIA). I don?t think any clear minded human being on this planet will bare a deaf ear to this ridiculous statement. Fellow countrymen, are these not the same workers who single-handedly ran the airline into the ground with their corrupted ways?. Today these wicked, selfish and irresponsible citizens are now blaming their government for the grounding of the airline?s operations and suspending the sale of tickets. Oh God have mercy on Ghanaians.

Someone with a clear mind should ask this so-called Senior Staff Association of Ghana Airways, Mr Roland Mosore, that he should first and foremost tell the nation what caused the downfall of the Airline. He will perhaps tell the people of Ghana that since the inception of the plane, it hardly made any profit because they flew often empty planes. In addition, the airline did not make cargo transport a priority. They employed very few workers to handle the plane. Against this background why do we expect them to make any profit?. Mr Roland Mosore should explain to the nation why it was necessary to operate 98 bank accounts all over the world whiles the countries that they operate does not exceed 20 countries?. Who were the signatories of these 98 bank accounts?. An Airline with at least 4 (four) planes, why do they need the 98 bank accounts?. Were the governments of those days not aware of the arcane mismanagement at Ghana Airways?. Mr Roland Mosore should tell the nation whether they employed well qualified workers to handle the Airline, and if yes why did the airline suddenly found itself in a deep hole that has led to its demise? And Mosore has the nerve to tell Ghanaians that the Airline will be better off in their hands despite their hopeless managerial knowledge. The incompetence of management is so astounding that in Germany it employed a manager whose credentials are suspect...fake. This manager is said to have applied for this job without an 'A' Level Certificate. Though the manager's lack of the requisite educational credentials was widely reported, he still remains on the job. Now, tell me, fellow Ghanaians, was management not aware of this?.

What have we been witnessing at the Airport?

Fellow countrymen you are all aware of the underhanded dealings that went on right in front of our noses, you saw Ghana Airways ground staffs collecting ?Bribes?. from passengers during check-in and at passport control check-points. You saw them collecting bribes during excess baggage control. One should ask Mr Roland Mosore where does these ?Extra? monies go to?. Are they going to the 98 bank accounts?. All over Europe, especially in Germany, you see so called ?Cargo Agents? collecting excess luggage from passengers using ?Priority? labels and passing it behind doors to the plane. They collect the money and share this ill-gotten bounty among themselves and the station managers. Where does these ?Excess? baggage monies go to?.

The crime at the airline does not stop here; it goes further. What about ?Cargo Handling?, Mr Roland Mosore? Here we see these same cargo handlers world-wide collecting luggage and manipulating figures and weights, and to conceal their thievery they insert lower weights in the airway bills. Their partners in crime, the station officers will then enter in the manifest that the total weight they collected is for example, 15 tonnes instead of 20 tonnes. Who accounts for the remaining 5 tonnes? The illegally obtained money is then shared among the pilots and the station mangers. Ask them if these allegations are false?. They condone and connive with hotel managers who charges special rates for stranded Ghana Airways passengers, ticket agents who sell above the control price and share the rest with the station managers and some staff. Most of these managers especially those that were posted to Germany, have built mighty hotels and some have built mansions. Ask them where they got their money from?. Flight attendants and the entire crew also engage in these shoddy deals, like money transfers, taking passengers excess luggage, declaring them as their own and collecting money. Let the government probe these managers and you will see the out-come of their wicked deals.

It is therefore an insult to say that the government?s decision to sell the assets of Ghana Airways and converting it into equity for its strategic partners, Ghana International Airline (GIA) to operate the airline would have a debilitating effect on the workers. It is a shame to say that apart from this, the timing was not appropriate because it would result in the redeployment of the staff of the airline, most of whom were bread winners of their families. Have they not have enough of the cake?. Have they not finished building their ?Hotels and Mansions?. Which is most important to them, the general interest and well being of the nation or their selfish interests ?

?SHAME ON YOU ALL? .

Fellow countrymen when have we ever in our history praised Ghana Airways operations?. Have they ever rendered better management and customer services to their passengers?. I think any present government and those who will be taking over the Airline will be a ?BIG FOOL? to ignore all these allegations and re-deploy these same ?Corrupt Staff? to operate the same Airline they milked dry. I hope Mr. Mosore will deny these allegations and say that they are all false and unfounded.

Fellow countrymen, to speak the truth, do we have to blame Ghana Airways management and its staff alone for the airline's woes? I say NO. The big blame should also be placed on those former hopeless governments who used their positions to condone and connive with these workers to "chop" this Airline dry by helping them operate the Airline as their own property without any control. These BIG irresponsible thieves should also be blamed for the downfall of the airline.

It is an insult for Mr Mosore to tell us today that he blamed the lack of commitment on the part of the government, the sole shareholder to make the airline a profitable organization right from its inception to date for the situation it found itself today. He said there was no need to inject capital into the airline as other countries did but failed to mention that most of the Ghana Airways top appointees had no expert knowledge of the airline industry nor were they even disposed to learn quickly on the job. This is what these thieves have got to tell Ghanaians today.

I wonder why people should always accuse me of pursuing a `policy of the impossible`. How can my mission be possible in a country full of lies, wickedness, hatred, nepotism, tribalizm, selfishness, laziness and above all ?Corruption??. How on earth can we lead and develop such a country like ours?

Fellow countrymen, we the youth in the Diaspora and the GSDM will not sit down unconcerned for Ghana airways liars and wicked workers to take the taxpayer for a ride. Our leadership will prove to our most senior and wicked managers and workers of Ghana airways that: "They can fool some passengers sometime, but they can never fool most of the passengers all the time." Those wicked staffs and management will run away and leave their sandals behind without anyone chasing them. We will smoke them out of their hiding holes without stones nor weapons, but with the fire of "Truth." Stay with us, and the youth will finish the job.

God bless Ghana. God bless you all.

Prince Aidoo Junior
Ghana Social Democratic Movement

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