So far, thousands, if not millions, have registered their displeasure in the way the country is been managed by the Nana Addo and Bawumia led government, which had promised to transform Ghana in just eighteen (18) months, but obviously, five (5) years on, cases of corruption, unemployment, worsening security, etc, are just what these #FixTheCountry campaign, has been asking to be fixed.
Whereas an on-ground demonstration has since been prevented, many observers believe that, this singular act by the Former President, John Mahama, may well be a political statement, to chide the present government, who criticized him most, but are been blamed for under performance and incompetence.
What did Mahama do this time around? Well, on Saturday, July 3, 2021, Former President John Mahama landed at the Ho Airport, one of his legacy projects, on board Domestic carrier, PassionAir.
Whereas according to information gathered, he was at Ho, for a three-day retreat organized by the National Communications Bureau of the NDC, at the Volta Serene Hotel, in the company of his Running Mate, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman and some Top party official, one can say that, he is choosing to break his silence strategically, to win the hearts of many once again.
For instance, after the Ejura unrest and many where asking the President to make a statement on it, as he is noted for, on the pornstar in the USA, George Floyd, who had been also murdered by a Police officer, Mahama was quick to issue an apt statement, that addressed both the grieving family and general security challenges facing the country.
In fact, at this program at Ho, he was emphatic that, "the unfortunate rising tensions and general state of insecurity in the country are reflective of President Akufo-Addo," as the Former President, John Dramani Mahama, expressed his concerns about what he calls the rising state of insecurity in the country, which has led to the loss of human lives.
Again, many will recall the debate about this Ho Airport, which he had commissioned and finished. On 18th September, 2015, the then President cut sod for the construction of this airport. Interestingly, after several barrage of political talks about its prospects and necessity, Mahama was adamant, as he saw to its completion.
At one time, a Former Managing Director of the Ghana Airport Company Limited, Charles Asare had to offer a spirited defense for this project, as many tagged it as a white elephant that cannot be used and his justification was that, one of the major reasons for the construction of the facility was to transform the Volta Regional capital into an airport city to attract investors and generate income for the overall development of the town.
Almost a year after the government announced that contractors have completed all major construction works on the facility for onward commissioning, the airport remained closed as at 2019, when Nana Addo was still in office. Mr. Asare took a swipe at critics adding that the construction of the airdrome was a plan well thought through by the Mahama government.
“There was a government policy to have it done. We knew what we were going to do. In addition to the infrastructure, we had a concept of an airport city. The airport city strategy has worked very well in Accra so we acquired land that we were going to attract investors to invest around the airport to be branded and copyrighted to the name Airport City. In all the regional capitals, Ghana Airport Limited owns the copyright to the airport city. So we were going to put in a strategy for airport city development in each of the regional capital which would have attracted the same level of private sector participation in Accra which would have generated income to buttress the little domestic passenger tax.”
According to the former MD of the Airport Company under whose watch the facility was constructed, he said all criticisms that the area does not need an airport due to the existing poor road networks were baseless.
He had said that, the airport was part of the national development agenda of improving flight travel across the sub-region. “When you look at all the domestic airport operations, they are all not purely commercial that you need to do feasibility based on passenger flow. You consider a whole range of factors. One was a national development agenda to have regional airports in all the regional capitals in Ghana. We also saw it as a way of feeding into our own vision of being an aviation hub in West Africa. So the infrastructure on the ground needed to be expanded because we needed to facilitate people’s movement to our hub. The airport was also to be used as a catalyst for development.”
Luckily however, the Ho Airport in the Volta Region eventually saw its maiden landing of an aircraft on Thursday, April 15, 2021. The historic landing happened to be of an Africa World Airlines test flight (a firm owned by Togbe Afede, a paramount Chief, well associated with the NDC) which was to make pave way for commercial operations of the airport. The first landing was witnessed by loads of people including the chiefs and other citizens of Ho and its environs.
Aside business options that was been explored by the renowned Chief, many therefore associated "politics" with his firm's choice. But fast forward, if there was any political statement, it is in this, as the man behind the construction of the the airport, uses it commercially for the first time, in the NDC's world Bank, in less than 3years, when many believe that, he will make a comeback, for the seat of President.