Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, today styled himself as a semantics teacher of sorts when he went on Accra based Joy FM to explain away contradictions between President Akufo-Addo and his Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia, over the curious plan to build an airport at Cape Coast-a city just 1.5 hours’ drive from Accra.
A day before Vice President Bawumia would make the grand announcement that the government has decided to build an airport for Cape Coast, President Akufo-Addo had said in an interview that an airport for Cape Coast does not make sense.
However, after the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) pointed out the antilog yesterday, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah today claimed the President’s words had been misconstrued.
According to him, the President “talked about the feasibility of an airport in Koforidua, which is just about an hour from Accra and said a study on Accra’s International Airport and that of Cape Coast are ongoing by the Aviation Ministry.”
Oppong Nkrumah maintained that the impression that the President had said an airport for Cape Coast was not feasible is due to people misconstruing the President’s words. President Akufo-Addo spoke English when he spoke in an exclusive interview on ATL FM in Cape coast.
The President was clearly referring to Cape Coast when he said: “We have to be able to decide for ourselves whether the need for the airport can be justified when you have Accra, you have Kumasi, you have Takoradi, you have Tamale whether on the coast with Accra’s presence, there’s the need for an additional airport.”
Meanwhile, critics have described as senseless the plan to construct an airport in Cape Coast, given its proximity to the capital city-Accra which hosts Ghana’s biggest international and domestic airport.
Mr. Kofi Bentil, Vice President of the think-tank, IMANI-Africa, has said for instance that an airport for Cape Coast would only be built by somebody who has “lost it.”
According to him, rather than an airport, what is needed is a dualization of the roads that lead to Cape Coast along with a complementation of train tracks.
“I come from Cape Coast. An Airport in Cape Coast is a patently bad idea and anyone suggesting that has totally lost it. You want to fly planes for the rich 1% when you have a dangerous road claiming lives every year,” he said.
“To fly to Cape Coast from Accra would cost you, 30 minutes to the airport, 1 hour at the airport checking in and boarding. 15 minutes of flight plus, 30 minutes to get your luggage and leave the airport. It will be faster to just drive!!!” Mr. Bentil wrote.
Since Mr. Bentil, experts, lecturers and the general public have agreed an airport in Cape Coast was a bad idea for now.