Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings. A person with such a disorder can be seen one minute in high spirits or extremely excited about something only to be almost depressed about that same thing in the next minute.
The NDC has demonstrated such a disorder as evidenced by its eractic shift in positions when it was in opposition and now in government– or at least when it comes to aircraft purchases. One year they absolutely hate aircrafts; in another year they love them so much they cannot buy enough.
Not too long ago when President Kufuor had to make an impromptu decision to buy two aircraft or risk exposing our nation without any form of air defense, the NDC, led by now Hypocrite-in-chief, President Atta Mills, lambasted the NPP for being insensitive to the struggles Ghanaians were experiencing. The truth is that back in 2008 when President Kufuor made that decision, the nation’s need for military aircraft was more dire than today. Yet the NDC politicized what was a vital strategic need.
Interestingly, President Kufuor could have purchased the aircraft much earlier to render the purchase a distant memory by the time the 2008 election drew near. But given the broken economy that had been left behind by the previous NDC administration, certain priorities had to be met before making an election year aircraft purchase, making it a decision devoid of politics. The NDC fell into manic depression over the purchase and only a questionable electoral victory brought them back to life.
Fast forward to 2011, only 30 months into the NDC’s first and predictably only term. All of a sudden, their collective bipolar disorder has given them an inexplicable love of aircraft. This time, they are not buying one, two, or even three; they are buying five at an exploded price tag of well over $250 million. This about-face raises many questions.
Although as a nation we would clearly need additional aircraft, why increase our fleet by 150% within a span of 30 months? Given that we are not at war, what is the justification for that dramatic boost? What other sector in the entire country has enjoyed 150% progression besides inflated single-source contracts? If Ghanaians were hungry in 2008, are they well fed now? If Ghanaians were schooling under trees in 2008, are they schooling in modern classrooms now?
The NPP purchased two aircraft in a year of 8.4% economic growth; the NDC is buying five aircraft in a year of a forecasted 3.4% economic growth. The NPP purchased two aircraft in a year of moderate growth-targeted debt of $3.5 billion; the NDC is buying five aircraft in a year of reckless debt to the tune of $26 billion. If nothing else underscores the huge contrast between the frugal and sensitive NPP government and the inept and insensitive NDC government the two aircraft purchases alone should do the job.
And as bad a decision as it is to purchase FIVE aircraft at this time, it pales in comparison to the sheer lies that the President and his two deputy ministers of “misinformation” Okudzeto Ablakwa and Baba Jamal have been feeding to Ghanaians. On Friday July 22, 2011, Baba Jamal proclaimed that “the Casa 295 will be used to train military personnel and for countrywide surveillance, especially in areas where it is difficult to access during disasters and accidents since those planes could be deployed almost everywhere.” President Mills, when speaking to flood victims, added that the aircraft can be used “to rescue people during times like this.”
Here is the fact: The Casa 295 is NOT a helicopter, and it requires a minimum runway length of 320 meters. How then does the president and his lieutenants propose to use the Casa 295 to ferry victims of accidents that can happen in the remotest of places? Baba Jamal , the guy with schizophrenic logic, even suggested that the aircraft will be used to catch armed robbers. And he is a minister of state with a chauffeur and all the trimmings?
Meanwhile in 30 months, everything has regressed. Demand has diminished, forcing businesses to close down; the NHIS has been decimated; unemployment has skyrocketed; the school feeding program has been scaled back; Tema Oil Refinery needs massive repairs; “corruption has now been institutionalized,” Rawlings; “the nation is being badly run,”. Is this the time to purchase FIVE air planes?
The NPP is realistic. We know that as our nation grows, so would our needs. At the same time, nations grow by developing all sectors concurrently. The NDC government, in 30 months, has NOT built twice as many roads as were built under NPP; it has NOT built twice as many hospitals as were built under the NPP; it has NOT improved our electricity and water supply by two fold; and it certainly has NOT increased money in our pockets by two fold. Then why on earth would it purchase more than twice as many aircraft within 30 months of assuming power with grossly inflated price? Could this be the doings of bipolar politics?
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