Saturday, 19 October 2013

Woe on Politicians for riding in $130k cars - Kofi Wayo slams

Chuck Kofi Wayo
Chuck Kofi Wayo expanciates that a classic case scenario of what plain-talking is, ‘Ghanaians barbarism is up in the news as a 53-year-old peasant woman, who suffers acute buruli Ulcer on the face, is abandoned, while a little philanthropic money that has come her way is believed to have gone down the pocket of a big man.

Madam Agnes Yawson, who lives in Mankessim, has been totally disfigured by the ulcer on her face because she does not have GH140,000 that is required for surgery.

A front-page story on her condition by the Ghanaian Times newspaper, earlier this month, is believed to have yielded response from Cal Bank which, sometime ago, made some cash donation towards her treatment.

Prior to the Cal Bank aid, only Mr. Kofi Wayo, who is like Ghana’s big nagging Uncle, attempted to do something about it, including getting the Ghanaian Times, to do the front-page story requesting donations to pay for the surgery on the woman’s face.

As Wayo would put it, “none of the politicians who drive in 130,000 dollar cars would have time for such a citizen.”

Having occupied himself with issues of the well being of ordinary Ghanaians since he returned from the US decades ago, helping Madam Yawson was just the natural thing to do for Mr. Wayo. He stated off with a donation of GH700.

Unfortunately, Mr. Wayo and the family of the woman are alleged to have entrusted the big man (name withheld) in Mankessim, with the GH700. The said big man is described to be a smooth talker who boasts of being a brother of sorts to the late president Atta Mills.

The Enquirer newspaper could not confirm whether the big man sank the GH700 into his pocket after he had taken it from Mr. Wayo in the name of the woman’s sickness and has since not given a toss about the woman, as attempts to reach him proved futile.

On Tuesday, this week, Mr. Wayo was however full of digest for the suspected betrayal of trust by the big man after he had visited Madam Yawson at the 37 Military Hospital where the ulcer patient had been referred to by the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for further testing.

But Mr. Wayo was not too surprised about the alleged perfidy of the big man. “You have ministers in this country driving in 130,000 dollar cars while people like this sick woman can’t even afford surgery money to save their lives,” he sneered. Mr. Wayo, who is constantly in the villages of Ghana donating farming implements to peasants and reaching many with philanthropy, has helped over 30 people like madam Yawson undergo surgery.

But as an individual, he acknowledges that he cannot do it all alone and so he wants the government and corporate organizations to come to the aid of the ordinary citizens, starting from Madam Yawson Agnes.

“If the Government really cares about citizens like Agnes Yawson, who queued in the sun to vote for it, then let it do something about her plight,” he made the clarion call.

In the face of the plight of the likes of Agnes Yawson, the national health safety net, NHIS, seems a total joke.

Kofi Wayo says he would have loved to foot the full bill for the surgery required to save the life of Madam Yawson but, unfortunately, there are so many citizens welfare undertaking that he is occupied with, including the distribution of 200,000 cutlasses to farmers across the country at the moment.

While he waits for the government and corporate institutions to respond, he described Madam Yawson’s case as a big shame to Ghana.
Monday, 12 August 2013

Singer Tiffany dismisses Tattoo Critics

What makes some people think that Tiffany is a ‘bad’ girl? Could it  be the  tattoos she wears or her body-hugging clothes or having a child when she was just 20 years old?  These are questions that  musician Tiffany asks herself whenever anyone tags her as “bad”.
The 26-year old musician thinks people have a wrong perception about her. “Those who are not close to me have all sorts of thoughts about me. People who see my tattoos see me as a hardcore girl. Others also see me as a rude person but I don’t know why anyone should see me so”. Tiffany told Showbiz  last Friday.
According to the Fake London Boy hit maker, she wishes that people come closer to her and get to know her well before passing judgment about her.
“You really cannot judge a book by its cover. I have a lot of tattoos on my body and that should not make me a bad girl. All the tattoos on my body represent something. For example, I have my son’s name written on my neck and the other tattoos on my body are things that mean a lot to me”.
“I am not saying I am a perfect person. I drink  alcohol once in a while when I feel like but  I don’t club and I don’t smoke. I am usually at home minding my own business and thinking of how best I can push my music” Tiffany disclosed.
According to her, she doesn’t really mind what people think about her but all she wishes is that people come closer to her and find out the real Tiffany.
She explained that “I am crazy on stage because that is what I do for a living, I may wear a short skirt or a skimpy top showing my tattoos  but that is  not the real Tiffany you see on stage, I am a very different person outside”.
Talking about her six-year old son, Tiffany said she feels happy being a mother. She explained that most celebrities around her age would hide their kids from the public but she is never shy being a mother. As a mother, Tiffany said she has learnt so many things. “I am more responsible, I am home early to cook for my son, help with his homework and always there for him as a proud mother.”
Although she is not married, Tiffany said she is in a serious relationship with a lovely guy she met a few months ago.
Away from her personal life, Tiffany told Showbiz that though there are new crop of female rappers in Ghana she has never been afraid of competition.
Real name, Antoinette Tiffany Owusu, Tiffany who has worked with the likes of Castro, Yaw Siki, Fuse ODG, Efya, Stay Jay, Mugeez, Sarkodie and Jay So said the other female rappers are trying their best  but she is always on top of her game.
“ From How We Do It, Facebook Boy, Fake London Boy, Last One, Agyekum, Whatever, It’s Tiffany and Neke Neke, all my songs have been accepted by Ghanaians which goes to testify that I am good” Tiffany said.
About what she is currently doing, Tiffany who just came back home after touring  Niger and Burkina Faso with her hit songs said she just released her latest single Neke Neke and entreated everyone to listen to it.

Government To Expose NDC Troublemakers

The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, has said the government will not shield any member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who tries to create confusion in the party.
He said the leadership of the party was not happy with the recent unlawful behaviour put up by some youth in the party who had destroyed cars and offices in some parts of the country just because they did not agree with some nominations of President John Dramani Mahama for municipal/district chief executive positions.
Mr Aidoo made these comments when he addressed Muslims during a prayer session to mark Eid-ul-Fitr.
He condemned such negative incidents at Atebubu and some parts of the region during district assembly meetings to confirm the President’s nominees as DCEs.
The regional minister asked the youth of the party to be law-abiding and refrain from such anti-party behaviour.
Mr Aidoo also expressed worry about recent reported cases of armed robbery in the Atebubu-Amanten and Sene districts and gave an assurance that the Regional Security Council had instructed that security personnel be sent to the area to protect life and property.
He said the security agencies might not be able to work to expectation if people in the communities failed to complement their efforts by volunteering information to them.
On the ongoing election petition, Mr Aidoo said the government was fully prepared to ensure peace before, during and after the announcement of the verdict.
He cautioned those who had decided to cause mayhem, no matter where the verdict would go, to change their minds because the security agencies were adequately prepared to defend and protect the security of the nation.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Chief Imam, Alhaji Umar Abdul-Kadir, thanked Allah for a successful Ramadan and called on residents in Muslim communities to avoid being induced by any politician to engage in anything that would disturb the peace of the country.
 The Member of Parliament for Sunyani East, Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, said justice was associated with peace and called on Ghanaians to pray for the nine justices of the Supreme Court to be able to deliver the right verdict.
The regional minister donated 20 bags of rice and a bull to Alhaji Abdul-Kadir and asked him to share them among Muslim chiefs in the Sunyani municipality.

Judge Reverse Boy's Name From Messiah

A judge in Tennessee changed a 7-month-old boy's name to Martin from Messiah, saying the religious name was earned by one person and "that one person is Jesus Christ."
Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordered the name change last week, according to WBIR-TV. The boy's parents were in court because they could not agree on the child's last name, but when the judge heard the boy's first name, she ordered it changed, too.
"It could put him at odds with a lot of people and at this point he has had no choice in what his name is," Ballew said.
It was the first time she ordered a first name change, the judge said.
Messiah was No. 4 among the fastest-rising baby names in 2012, according to the Social Security Administration's annual list of popular baby names.
The judge in eastern Tennessee said the baby was to be named Martin DeShawn McCullough, which includes both parents' last name.
The boy's mother, Jaleesa Martin, of Newport, said she will appeal. She says Messiah is unique and she liked how it sounded alongside the boy's two siblings — Micah and Mason.
"Everybody believes what they want so I think I should be able to name my child what I want to name him, not someone else," Martin said.
Ballew said the name Messiah could cause problems if the child grows up in Cocke County, which has a large Christian population.
"The word Messiah is a title and it's a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ," the judge said.

Angry Residents Accost ECG Staffs

A couple of months ago, two technicians of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) arrived at Teshie Tsuibleoo in Accra to execute their job for the day, not knowing what was in store for them.
The two men, assigned to replace pre-paid meters with new split meters in some houses, were accosted by angry residents who tried to stop them from fixing the meters.
The reason: The residents had heard from others in the neighbourhood that the new split meters being introduced in the community increased the cost of electricity and they were determined to reject it.
The meter project
The meter replacement is a pilot project of the ECG under which the old pre-paid meters introduced about 15 years ago are being replaced with a new Split Metering System (SMAT).
The project, which began mid last year, was carried out in Teshie in Accra, including Tsuibleoo, Agblazah, the Spintex Road area and the Regimanuel Estates.
Thereafter, it was introduced in the Bortianor area, comprising Weija, Bortianor, Gbawe, Mallam and surrounding areas;  MaCharthy Hill, Awoshie, Anyaa, Ablekuma and then it moved to Achimota District.  The World Bank is also supporting a similar project in Kumasi. 
Residents in some of the pilot areas in Accra are fiercely resisting the installation of the meters in their homes.  They claim that after the installation of the meters, their electric bills had increased significantly.
Mr Maxwell Sowah, a resident of Teshie Tsuibleoo, said their expenditure on electricity had drastically increased.
“Our electric bill of GH¢24 a month has risen to GH¢100 since we started using the split metering system. It is really a big drain on our finances and many of our neighbours are also complaining.”
Another resident, Mr Emmnuel Addo, said his household’s electricity bill had doubled. “Previously, we paid GH¢25 for a month’s supply of power. Now, we pay GH¢50,” he said.
Aside the increase in power, he said the system was also not very convenient to use and explained that the meters had been placed on poles that were very far from the consumers’ homes, and that posed many problems.
Most consumers find it difficult to go out of their homes to reload the meters on the electric poles when their power runs out in the middle of the night.
Mr Addo cited an instance when his household had to sleep in darkness because everyone felt it was not safe to go out when their power went out at midnight.
They also contended that placing the meters on the poles makes it very easy for robbers to easily identify houses they intend to rob and cut of their power to make it easy for them to carry out their activities.
He added that following complaints about the long distances between the poles and the house, the ECG provided some households with a device to enable them to load the power they buy in their home.
“The device is not user-friendly, and besides, sometimes, soon after buying the power, it loads on the system even if the device has not been used, making it difficult for consumers to determine the amount of power that has been loaded,” said Mr Addo.
ECG’s response
Notwithstanding the numerous complaints, the ECG is convinced that the split metering system is an effective means for the company to optimise their network to reduce system loses.
Mr Daniel Azu, Divisional Manager (Regulatory & Governmental Affairs) of ECG, told the Daily Graphic that the main thrust of the project was to prevent theft of electricity and for “us to be able to account properly for the energy we sell.”
He stressed that the complaints of tariff increase could not be true, since the ECG had not changed its tariff structure.
“House-to-house checks conducted by the Loss Control Unit of ECG over the years unveiled tampering of meters by consumers who bypass some gadgets to reduce consumption,” he said.
He added that the ECG faced the challenge of penalising the offenders because people denied knowledge of the tampering and many claimed they did not know when it was done and who did it.
“As such, when we detect cases of tampering, we do not know who to penalise, so we said, ‘let’s take the meter out of the reach of customers and make it difficult for them to bypass some of their gadgets from the meters,” Mr Azu indicated.
He claimed that since the pilot projects started, ECG had reduced system loss from 19.5 per cent to 25 per cent and the failure rate of the meter had been low.
This trend, if sustained, will help the company to generate more money, and then the demand on the public to pay more for power will reduce.
Mr Azu explained further that the new meters use a communications system and load automatically. They are also technologically improved and weather-proof so they are able to withstand the weather changes.
The project is being executed by Benjeng Xianxeng Company (BXC), a local company with its parent in China. The contractor, Mr Azu indicated, was investing $70 million in the project and that would be paid back by the ECG over a 10-year period. 
Mr Azu further stated that for factories and industries, the ECG was introducing an automated meter reading system that enabled the company to monitor the reading at the factory. 
“With this system, we can immediately detect tampering and follow up,” he indicated.
He said the company introduced the system in the first quarter of last year and already it was yielding a lot of savings for the company. 
“The system affords us a good auditing process on transformers that feed customers and we are able to detect stealing,” he added.

Fake Military Officers Extort Illegal Miners

The Tarkwa police have arrested two men alleged to have posed as military officers and extorted money from illegal miners and some residents of Esuaso.
The two; Isaac Jackson, 21, and Isaac Kojo Biney, 28, allegedly claimed to be members of the Presidential Task Force checking illegal mining operations. They  harassed their unsuspecting victims and extorted money from them.
They were arrested together with a woman, Hilda Kojo, said to be the girlfriend of Jackson. Additionally, Jackson has been accused of defiling a 15-year-old girl in the town.
At the time of their arrest, the suspects were allegedly dressed in military uniforms.  Besides that, two more sets of military uniforms, GH¢120.00, a jack knife and a Takoradi Technical Institute ID card bearing the name of Jackson were retrieved from the suspects.
According to the police, Biney, alias Papa Abeka, was an employee of a private security firm in Sekondi, while Jackson, alias Ato, was said to be a civilian employee of the Western Naval Command in Sekondi.
The Tarkwa Divisional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Paul Ayitey, told the Daily Graphic that the suspects were allegedly assisted by two other persons, whose names were given to the police as Angu from Benso and Simon from Esuosu. Angu and Simon are currently on the run.
Mr Ayitey said the suspects were said to have not only extorted between GH¢1,000 and GH¢15,000 from the illegal miners, but also beaten them.  He added that  last Wednesday, the two suspects went to the assemblyman of the area in their military uniforms and introduced themselves as soldiers from the Sekondi Naval Base.
According to him, the suspects asked the assemblyman to notify them (suspects) anytime there was going to be an operation in the area to enable them to extort money from the illegal miners but when he declined their request, the two suspects angrily stormed out of his house.
He said while on their extortion and harassment expedition, the suspects met a 15-year-old girl, who had been sent from Benso to Esuosu to give money to her uncle. Upon seeing the girl, he said, Biney allegedly beat her up while Jackson defiled her.
Mr Ayitey said the conduct of the suspects compelled the elders and assemblyman to report them to the police. When Angu and Simon heard that the matter had been reported to the police, they bolted with their booty without informing Biney and Jackson.
The three suspects: Biney, Jackson and his girlfriend, were arrested by the police with the help of members of the community.
Saturday, 10 August 2013

Police Intercepts 50 Children On Trafficking

The northern Regional Police Command has rescued 50 children who were being trafficked from Nabdam in the Upper East Region to Kumasi.
Briefing The Mirror on how the children were rescued, the Northern Regional Co-ordinator of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), ASP Emmanuel Holortu, said the bus, conveying the 50 children and seven adults, was on its way to Kumasi from Nabdam.

According to ASP Holortu, when the bus got to Buipe in the Northern Region around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. the police at the road checkpoint detected that most of the passengers were children and decided to interrogate the driver.

He said the driver could not give convincing answers to most of the questions he was asked and the police decided to escort him and the passengers back to Tamale for DOVVSU to conduct further investigations into the matter.

ASP Holortu said preliminary investigations into the matter revealed that some of the children were as young as four years and the adults amongst them claimed to be relatives of the children who were escorting them to Kumasi to give them out to some relatives.

He said some of the children corroborated the stories of the adults, “but we know that trafficked children are usually coached to say that those trafficking them are their relatives and we cannot allow what the children are saying to convince us to let them go without conducting thorough investigation into the matter”.

ASP Holortu said the driver also claimed he did not know the children, as he only went to the lorry station in Bolgatanga to load passengers for Kumasi and officials of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) loaded his car with those passengers.

He said 37 of the children were females (most of them in their teens) and expressed apprehension that such children could easily be pushed into prostitution by the traffickers if they were allowed to get to Kumasi.

The DOVVSU Co-ordinator said if investigations proved that the children were indeed being trafficked to Kumasi, they would be sent back to Bolgatanga for the police there to help trace the communities they came from and re-unite them with their families.

According to ASP Holortu, those found to have breached any aspect of the law will be dealt with.

Supreme Court Summons Adorye & Sir John

The General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John and a member of the communication team of the NPP, Mr Hopeson Adorye, have formally been summoned to appear before the Supreme Court on August 14, 2013 to answer contempt charges.

The summons of August 9, 2013, is jointly signed by the presiding judge of the nine-member panel hearing the presidential election petition and the registrar of the Supreme Court, Mr Justice William Atuguba and Mr James Mensah respectively.

The two party men are alleged to have scandalised the court and lowered its authority as well as credibility in the eyes of the general public, “and exciting hatred and ill-will towards the 1st and 2nd respondents” in the election petition.

The first and second respondents in the presidential election petition are President John Dramani Mahama and the Electoral Commission (EC).

Sir John, a lawyer, was alleged to have accused the Bench of bias while Mr Adorye was alleged to have stated that the heads of members of the National Demoratic Congress (NDC) will be chopped if President Mahama is declared winner of the ongoing Presidential election petition.

First Female Registrar of University of Ghana Sworn In

The first female Registrar of the University of Ghana, Mrs Mercy Haizel-Ashia, has been sworn in.
The Chairman of the University Council, His Lordship Justice Dr S. K. Date-Bah, acting on behalf of the Chancellor, performed the swearing-in in accordance with the requirements of the university statutes.

Mrs Haizel-Ashia is a former Director of Human Resource and Organisational Development of the university of Ghana.

She takes over from Mr Joseph Maafo Budu who has proceeded on statutory retirement.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, paid tribute to Mr Budu after Mr Budu had symbolically handed over to Mrs Haizel-Ashia.

He said the university had benefitted a lot from Mr Budu and learnt from his virtues, which included patience.

Prof. Aryeetey, on behalf of the university management, congratulated Mrs Haizel-Ashia on her appointment.

In her first official statement after the swearing-in ceremony, Mrs Haizel-Ashia thanked the university council for appointing her as Registrar.

The new registrar promised to uphold the vision of the vice-chancellor in working towards the realisation of the strategic objectives of the university and upholding the needs of stakeholders by developing an efficient administrative and professional system.

Mrs Haizel-Ashia, 51, is a professional university administrator. She has extensive management experience within the administrative system of the University of Ghana, starting as a Junior Assistant Registrar and reaching her immediate past position of Director, Human Resource and Organisational Development in over a 25-year career.

Her previous tours of duty within the university include the Vice-Chancellor’s Office, the Public Affairs Directorate, the Academic Affairs Directorate, the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies, the Legon Centre for International Affairs and the Faculty of Law.

She is a product of the University Primary School in Legon, Achimota School and the Sixth Form of the Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, Legon.

An alumnus of the University of Ghana, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and an Executive Masters degree in Business Administration (Human Resource Management option).

In addition, she holds several management and leadership certificates. She is a fellow of Volta Hall.

Mrs Haizel-Ashia is married with three children. She worships at the Legon Interdenominational Church.

She loves cooking and enjoys nothing better than to host friends, family and colleagues to home-cooked dishes, served out on her lawn, on a Sunday afternoon.

Recalcitrant Politicians Warned Of Antoa Nyamaa Consequences

Politicians who are proving recalcitrant in reversing curses they invoked with the name of the powerful Ashanti river deity, Antoa Nyamaa, in the run-up to the December 2012 general election should watch out for the worse, the Otumfuo’s Nsumankwaahene has said.
Baffour Asabere Kogyawoasu Ababio lll, the Nsumankwaahene (the chief priest of the Asantehene), warned that the powerful river deity could strike the offenders any time from now for refusing to perform the necessary rituals to reverse politically-motivated curses using the spirit of Antoa Nyamaa.

In a chat with The Mirror in Kumasi on Tuesday, Baffour Kogyawoasu Ababio denied reports in a section of the media that some of the politicians had sneaked to reverse the curses.

The Nsumankwaahene, who is responsible for overturning curses and sanctioning persons who invoke the deities, said, “Let them be reminded that Antoa Nyamaa can strike any time from now and they better come forward to do the right thing.”

He said when Antoa Nyamaa strikes, the offenders could be afflicted with spiritual predicaments including protruding stomachs, swollen legs, skin diseases and madness, which eventually would lead to death.

“I don’t expect people to sit down and allow this to happen to them. Therefore, the best thing for them to do is to come forward and do the right thing,” the Nsumankwaahene said.

In reversing curses, the gods are propitiated. In that case the one who invoked the curse would pay a pecuniary fine, and present drinks and other materials to the chief priest to perform the rituals at Antoa.

The offender would also be made to strip sometimes to the underpants and be cleansed in the river before becoming ‘clean’ once again.

Asked who were the politicians involved, the Nsumankwaahene said “they know themselves and I am not the person to mention their names”.

Barima Kogyawoasu Ababio said the fact that nothing had happened to the invocators since the acts were committed last year did not mean they had been left off the hook.

In the run-up to the December 2012 general election, some politicians invoked the spirit of the dreaded river deity in the Ashanti Region to cast spells on their opponents.

Others also invoked the river to defend themselves over allegations by their opponents.

The development came to the notice of the Nsumankwaahene, who quickly asked the politicians in question to take immediate steps to revoke the curses.

Baffour Kogyawoasu Ababio said the gods did not act hastily and that they determined the merits of every invocation spiritually before acting.

The Nsumankwaahene (the head of all medicine men, priests and priestesses within the Asante Kingdom), who is also a member of the Gyaase Division of Asante, cautioned people who continuously use Antoa Nyamaa to curse others that the river god never goes to sleep.

On whether he has sent specific invitations to the politicians who invoked curses, he said his outfit would not invite any of the parties involved but said it would be in the interest of the culprits themselves to own up and do the right thing.
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