Does Jerry Rawlings own a private plane?

Mon, 11 Aug 2014 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Folks, former President JJ Rawlings said something about two days ago that seems to be raising a pertinent question as to whether he owns a private plane; and if he does, how he acquired it, when, and why Ghanaians haven't discovered so till now that he would be baring it all himself (whether inadvertently or caught up in a web and compelled by forces beyond his control to say so)!!

Here is the lead that Rawlings seemed to have given to give rise to such a question (in the news report attr9ibuted to Ernest Dela Aglanu and published by Myjoyonline.com under the heading "Stevie Wonder flew and landed my plane safely" at: http://www.myjoyonline.com/entertainment/2014/august-8th/stevie-wonder-flew-and-landed-my-plane-safely-rawlings-reveals.php):

"Former president Jerry John Rawlings has revealed that Grammy award winning musician, Stevie Wonder, who is visually impaired has successfully flown a plane.

According to President Rawlings, who is also reputed for his prowess in flying military jets, he handed over the controls of the plane to Stevie Wonder, who was then on a trip to Ghana, and Wonder miraculously flew the plane and landed safely...

... “Sometimes I would fly with people in the right seat, I would take off and I would give the controls to them and say ‘you fly’. I do that with a lot of people and they have difficulties flying straight and level through the air etc but on this day, when I took from the Akosombo bush, I handed over to him this blind man, who couldn’t see, flew that aircraft so well.”...

... “People on board the plane were clapping [and] it was a small 13-seater. I think my wife was on board then. There was a French television crew on board, they filmed it...."


This news report definitely raises eyebrows, even though it has a lot of loopholes:

• At what point in time did this event take place? When Rawlings was in power (I remember that Stevie Wonder had been a guest of the Rawlingses at that time), meaning that he might definitely have had access to such that aircraft (provided that it was a state property)?

• Rawlings said, in part, “when I took off from the Akosombo bush…”, which raises the question as to the part on “Akosombo bush”. Taking off from the “bush”? Why, especially given the fact that Akosombo doesn’t have an aerodrome or “tarmac” for aircraft? (A friend has this to say: "The Bush in Akosombo refers to Akuse near Akosombo which houses a private aerodrome now for small planes...... Rawlings used to love going to the VRA clubhouse in Akuse back in the day." My question is: Does Rawlings not know that Akuse aerodrome to mention instead of saying "Akosombo bush"?).

• Why would Rawlings talk about that issue at this time when it has nothing for Ghanaians to relate to? Who cares whether a blind man can fly or land a plane safely? (Of course, Rawlings is unpredictable when it comes to making utterances; but this one opens up many other issues for further probing).

• Where is that aircraft today?

I know that Rawlings has a stiff obsession for aircraft, but I find it difficult to understand what has come from him on this score. Many people are wondering about it too. Those opposed to him have seized his own utterance to confirm that he owns such an aircraft, which reinforces their allegation that he is corrupt and that he abused his office to mass wealth while taking draconian actions against those who did worse than him. Is Rawlings gradually opening the can of worms about himself and his wife? What else will he say next to cast doubts on himself, family, and others? I think that Rawlings needs to clarify issues. Tongues are wagging!!

I shall return...

• E-mail: mjbokor@yahoo.com

• Join me on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/mjkbokor to continue the conversation.

Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.