Ghana football legend Abedi Pele cheated death when a presidential jet he was travelling on made an emergency landing on a Libyan airstrip en route to Burkina Faso on Friday.

The aircraft, which was also conveying Ghana vice President John Mahama and other prominent persons for an engagement in Burkina Faso, was in Libyan airspace when an abnormality was detected in the engine.

Also on board the aircraft, the Daily Guide newspaper learnt was business mogul, and member of the Council of State, Alhaji Asuma Banda.

The pilot, according to credible information garnered, discovered what for him was unusual about the circulation of oil in the said engine and therefore reduced the altitude at which the aircraft was flying as the first line of precaution.

With a reduced altitude, he began hoping for an airstrip which was long detected.

The pilot was therefore able to bring the aircraft for the onward trip to Burkina Faso where he represented his boss, President John Evans Atta Mills, at a religious activity marking the 50th anniversary of the land-locked country.

Abedi Pele is said to be a special friend to the Burkina leader, Blaise Campaore, who recently won a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election.

Abedi was said to have introduced President Mills to President Campaore in the events of the 2008 elections.

All passengers were safe in spite of what could be described as a close shave with death. The technical shortcoming could prompt curious Ghanaians to want to know what could have happened to an aircraft whose purchase and eventual arrival in Ghana had been mired in controversy.

During his tenure, then President John Kufuor heeded a Ghana Air Force request that their ageing fleet be replaced. As the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, Mr. Kufuor approved the purchase of the Falcon 900 executive aircraft.

Upon assuming office, the NDC government finally succumbed to the purchase of the brand new jet plane.

The NDC position on the purchase was vividly captured by Defence Minister J.H. Smiths statement that executive travel had become a problem, a challenge which informed the approval by Cabinet for the purchase of the Falcon 900 presidential jet.

The latest in the fleet of the Ghana Air Force, the Falcon 900 cost $37 million, payment for which was initiated by the previous government and continued by the current one.

Source Daily Guide