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Sir John: I Wonder Who Advises President Mills   
 
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26-Jul-2011  
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General Secretary of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, aka Sir John, believes President Mills went completely off on a tangent for elaborating on his decision to purchase aircrafts for the military instead of concentrating on consoling flood victims in the Eastern Region when he paid a visit to some parts of the region to ascertain the extent of damage caused by the floods.

President Mills is touring some districts in the Volta and Eastern Regions which were ravaged by floods that have claimed lives and destroyed farm lands as well as displaced over 5000 people. Over 1,000 residents of Akyem Oda were rendered homeless when the Birim River overflowed its banks and flooded some 500 homes.

According to Sir John, President Mills, who had called for an impassioned discourse on and de-politicization of the acquisition of the jets, focused on why his administration decided to purchase the five jets for the military instead of turning his attention to the flooded victims.

Interacting with some of the flood victims, President Mills said the efforts of the military to rescue some trapped victims signals how important it is to equip them, adding that his government will not hesitate in providing similar support to other sectors of the economy.

“My brothers and sisters, let me talk about one thing: it appears some Ghanaians are protesting government’s decision to purchase some items to re-tool the army to rescue people during times like this. If the army is not provided with such items how will they support rescue operations such as this?...It is government's responsibility to address the concerns of all sectors of the economy,” President Mills said.

But speaking in an interview with Shamima Muslim on Citi Eyewitness news, Sir John said: “When Mills speaks sometimes I do not know who advises him; whether or not he doesn’t get it. The man is completely out of track. You have gone to visit people who have gone through a sad spectacle and you go and talk about purchasing jet fighters. You don’t need jet fighters to go to Abomosu or any of the towns who suffered from the rains. I don’t get the link of this to the jet. I don’t get it and it appears to me that the man is completely out of track,” he said.

The NPP Chief Scribe pointed out that under the Kufuor administration, the NPP ensured that the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) was up and doing and for that reason, they (NPP) were not opposed to the buying of the aircrafts for the GAF. He, however, reiterated that what they were opposed to was the attempt by the ruling government to lord it over everybody “just to steal money for their campaign”.
 





Sir John
But in a sharp rebuttal, Deputy Minister of Information, Baba Jamal, expressed astonishment at the comments by the NPP General Secretary saying: “I am very very surprised at Sir John’s statement because he is trying not to understand what the president meant by the statement that he made and it is deliberate because I expect more from him than what he is doing. You see, when the NPP see some of these things going on, they get worried because they think we will behave the way they behaved.”

Speaking on the same platform, he explained that the president touched on the acquisition of the five military jets because three of the flood victims were said to have perished after getting stucked up on a tree and help failed to reach them in time.

“Shamima, you need to see what has happened to the people in the flooded districts, where the President made his statement… When you go to Ada-Old town, the whole town is almost submerged under water…At a point no car can go to and fro. In view of this, a military detachment was deployed especially at Kade. Boats capsized and they had to rescue people and the president said that the role the military has played in this disaster needs commendation and for that reason he was justifying why we need to resource the military, since if the planes were available, they could have saved those three people easily,” the deputy Information said.
 
Source: Rebecca Quaye/peacemonline.com
 
 

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