Emmanuel Kotin, a Security analyst has called on the government to purchase a new presidential jet after President Akufo-Addo and his team escaped a near-fatal accident on Saturday.
The President and the delegation that traveled with him to the United States were returning to Ghana when the incident happened in Washington.
Reports suggested that the incident occurred after one of the engines of the aircraft went off 30 minutes after takeoff.
This was however confirmed by information Minister-designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah at a press briefing in Accra.
“After about 20 minutes into the flight from Washington to Accra, the aircraft developed a challenge with one of its engines. And the pilot informed the passengers including the President accordingly. A decision was made to land the aircraft in Washington Dulles airport, but they first required about one hour of flight to dispose of some of the fuel that was on board”, he said.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah also added that “Subsequently, the flight landed safely at Dulles Airport in Washington and the President and his delegation got onto a commercial flight, a South African Airways flight and arrived in Accra at 8:00 am this [Sunday] morning. The trip was successful all in all”.
However, Speaking on Accra based 3 Fm, Mr. Kotin underscored the need for a second aircraft, he insisted the current Presidential jet in its form and considering the experience with former President Mahama needs to be changed.
“The debate about a Presidential jet will always be with us as a people but am speaking from the security point of view because if you look at this current presidential jet, the former president had a near miss with it and the current president has also had a similar experience,” he said.
“Are we going to wait until a calamity befall us before we act? We know times are hard but more often than not, when these things happen, politicians are quick to rush to the media for political expediency. One would have thought that after this incident, there should have been something we call an evaluation of the presidential aircraft to see whether it is fit for the president to use or otherwise” he added.
Mr. Kotin also urged the public and most especially, politicians to desist from politicizing the need for a second presidential aircraft.
“The challenge is that last two years when NDC was in power and a proposal was made for a second presidential jet, the NPP kicked against it. Now they are in power and it’s staring at them and they are quick to say that it is not the president’s decision to have another one” he said.