Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Ghanaians Ready For Epic Presidential Debate



The four Presidential candidates
Anxious Ghanaians will be glued to their television and radio sets to listen to the four presidential candidates of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Convention People’s Party (CPP), People’s National Convention (PNC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) as they battle it out tonight on the Institute of Economic Affairs Presidential debate platform.

Reports are that all is set for the crucial IEA Presidential debate as officials have already completed stage designs and decorations at the Radach Memorial Lodge main auditorium in Tamale.

On the front pages of some newspapers today are headlines such as “Nana clashes with Mahama over free SHS in Tamale”, “All eyes on Nana and John”, “Four face off at Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Presidential debate”, “Three gang up against Mahama” and “It’s one against three”.

President John Mahama of the ruling NDC, Dr. Abu Sakara of the CPP, Mr. Hassan Ayariga of the PNC and the NPP’s Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo have all arrived in Tamale awaiting the debate which some political pundits see as a monumental encounter.

Per the sitting arrangement and after balloting on who leads the debate, President Mahama of the NDC will start, followed by Dr. Sakara, Mr. Ayariga and Nana Addo.

The debate will be based on questions centering on the economy, the National Development Plan, job creation, employment, economic growth and the national debt.

Particular mention of some of the issues people from the North will expect the four Presidential candidates to talk about is their commitment to fully implement the pro-poor government policy, the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).

In the run up to the 2008 elections, the debate was between Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, Nana Akufo-Addo, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom then presidential candidate of the CPP and Dr. Edward Nasigre Mahama of the PNC.

After the 2008 debate, majority of Ghanaians rated Dr. Nduom the best and it is not surprising the party he is leading today, the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) is protesting against the IEA over his exclusion and three other Presidential candidates.

Tonight, the radar will be on President Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo.

VP Accommodation Move Jeopardised



Vice Presdient Paa Kwasi Amissah Arhtur
Circumstances surrounding the relocation of Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur from his State House base to the Flagstaff House where he would be perching till January have been marred by inconsistent communications by Presidential Spokesperson John Jinapor.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur was conducted round the white elephant by Commodore Steve Obimpeh (rtd), senior presidential advisor and chairman of the committee set up by President John Mahama to oversee the movement of the presidency from the Castle to the Flagstaff House.
He expressed satisfaction with his new office after it undertook a study at the facility.
He was hopeful he would be joined by President Mahama in February, 2013.
It is unclear what recommendation was used as a basis for the relocation of the Vice President on Monday morning because last Thursday, DAILY GUIDE spoke to Mr Jinapor about hints of a possible movement of the Vice President Amissah-Arthur to the Flagstaff House this week.
He gingerly confirmed the information, saying, “I think it is true” even though he noted that he needed to get official confirmation from his boss.
By Saturday morning, in an interview on Joy FM, Mr. Jinapor was heard dismissing the veracity of the information, saying it was a false alarm because the committee tasked to advise the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on the relocation had not yet presented its report.
Apparently, the committee had presented its report to the President last Wednesday- three clear days before Mr. Jinapor’s Saturday rebuttal.
Commodore Obimpeh told DAILY GUIDE in a telephone conversation yesterday, “The report was presented on Wednesday.”
When pressed to comment on why Mr Jinapor would dismiss the report, the retired naval officer and one-time Minister of Food and Agriculture said, “He [John Jinapor] wouldn’t be aware because he is not the convener.”
At the time DAILY GUIDE spoke to him, he claimed he was with the president and would get the confirmation, after which he said it was true but dismissed the story on Saturday.
Plot Thickens
DAILY GUIDE sources indicated that long before the Obimpeh report was presented to the presidency, it appeared the presidency had already made up its mind to move in phases to the Flagstaff House.
Official memoranda have been flying all over the Castle, detailing elaborate preparations about the planned relocation.
These preparations preempting the Obimpeh recommendations included protocol and security arrangements.
There are conflicting signals about the relocations while John Jinapor’s Saturday submission on radio and the subsequent relocation on Monday gave an impression of a hurried movement of the Vice President.
Information indicates that for months, the presidency had indeed settled on a decision to move to the Flagstaff House.
The presidential spokesman hinted that President Mahama was bracing himself to occupy the Jubilee House at an unknown date.
“The ultimate aim is that we should use the Jubilee House, so if the Vice President is going there, it is good. At the appropriate time, the president too will move there.”
DAILY GUIDE has learnt that President Mahama is lamenting that he is not happy passing by the final resting place of his former boss, Prof. Atta Mills, and therefore he would want a speedy end to that ordeal by moving to the Flagstaff House.
In August, the President set up a committee to advise him whether or not to move into the Jubilee House.
This is against the backdrop of intense opposition of the ruling NDC to the idea of occupying the Flagstaff House which it believed was wastefully constructed by the previous New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration led by John Agyekum Kufour.
The NDC contended that the over $80 million used to construct the imposing property was scandalous.
Some presidential advisors, including national security advisor Brig-Gen. Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, hade severally kicked against the use of the facility, preferring the head of state to use the Castle, citing security threats.

NDC Vs NPP In Presidential Debate



John Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo
Excitement has enveloped the Northern Regional capital, Tamale, ahead of tonight’s presidential debate organised by the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) for political parties with representation in parliament.
All eyes will be on the two leading contenders, President John Mahama, flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flagbearer of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Nana Addo arrived in Tamale by road on Saturday afternoon while President Mahama arrived by air yesterday.
Other participants are Dr. Michael Abu Sakara Foster, flagbearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Hassan Ayariga, flagbearer of the People’s National Convention (PNC).
They will tonight slug it out at the three-hour event scheduled for the Radach Hotel.
The main debate will be between Nana Addo and John Mahama over free SHS now or later as espoused by the NPP and the NDC respectively.
While the NPP presidential candidate said he wanted to extend secondary education to every Ghanaian child through free education, the NDC said such a move should be gradual.
Another hot issue will be on job creation for the teeming unemployed youth.
GH¢10m JECs Fund
Ahead of today’s debate, President Mahama has floated a GH¢10 million fund to support job creation, named Jobs and Enterprises Centres (JECs). It will be launched next week.
The GH¢51.2million Woyome payout is more than what has been earmarked to address the countrywide youth unemployment situation.
Security has been stepped up in the regional capital, with uniformed armed men virtually on every corner of the street of Tamale.
DAILY GUIDE has gathered that a number of plain-clothed men have also been deployed on the ground in order not to leave anything to chance in view of the significance of the event.
As at midday yesterday, organizers were busily putting finishing touches to the stage fittings and other decorations.
Papa Kow Acquaye, a worker at the IEA and a member of the organizing team, told DAILY GUIDE all was set for the event.
He indicated that the event was strictly by invitation and non-accredited individuals would not be allowed into the main auditorium.
Tonight’s debate, according to the IEA, would take the form of a policy dialogue engagement at which the presidential candidates would be provided the platform to present their viewpoints, plans and programmes and also point out the weaknesses in the policies of their co-contestants and give alternatives to those policies and programmes.
The debate, is believed, would enable the electorate, particularly the floating voters, to make an informed choice in deciding on which of the candidates and parties has the best policies and programmes.
The IEA has explained that following a balloting conducted by the four participating parties, the seating arrangements for the candidates would be President Mahama first, followed by Dr.  Sakara, Mr Ayariga and Nana Akufo-Addo.
Tonight’s debate would be based on the economy, social sector, foreign policy and finally private sector and industrialisation.
Under economy, the debate would touch on national development plan, job creation and employment, economic growth and national debt.
While the debate on social sector would touch on education, health, water and sanitation, food security, housing and electricity and power
Radio Ghana report quoted the Executive Director of the IEA, Jean Mensah, as having said that over 400 questions had so far been received by the organisers.
Samuel Abu Jinapor, aide to the NPP flagbearer, said Nana Addo was fired up and ever ready to outline his policies and programmes to Ghanaians.
According to Mr. Jinapor, the encounter was the right platform for Nana Addo to propagate his message of hope to the electorate and further expose the poor performance of the current government.
He explained that the NPP flagbearer would not back down on his vision of establishing a Northern Development Fund (NDF) with seed money of $1billion.
John Jinapor, Spokesperson of President Mahama, disclosed in a telephone interview that his boss was adequately prepared for tonight’s showdown.
According to him, the President, in view of his vast knowledge of happenings in all sectors of the economy, would answer questions in sincerity and honesty.
“He will try and do his best because he knows every corner of the country and what goes on.”
President John Dramani Mahama will be the first incumbent president to take part in a presidential debate since it began over a decade ago.
His spokesperson described this as an indication of maturity in the country’s democracy.
Meanwhile, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom’s Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has issued a news statement, grumbling that the party had been left out of tonight’s debate because it has no representation in parliament.
In 2008, Dr Nduom was part of the show when he contested under the CPP banner.

AG’s July Report Missing



Hon. Ken Dapaah and Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho
Parliament cannot trace the whereabouts of a 2011 report submitted by Richard Q. Quartey, Auditor-General since June, this year on the financial stewardship of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
An attempt by Albert Kan Dapaah, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to get the august House to lay the report about a fortnight ago was greeted with a big ‘I don’t know’ from Doe Adjaho, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, who indicated that he was not aware of the submission of such report to the Speaker.
According to reports, the Speaker of Parliament traveled outside the country at the time the issue cropped up and has still not returned.
After submitting the report in June, Mr Quartey complained bitterly about the refusal of MDAs and MMDAs to duly submit their financial statements to his outfit for auditing.
According to him, the unwillingness of the MDAs to submit their financial statements for auditing had created ‘an expectation gap’ that has not been filled since 2003 when Act 654 was passed.
Furthermore, he disclosed that the 2011 report he submitted to Parliament was replete with negative occurrences, adding that the report must be submitted six months after the end of the year.
Reports suggest leaders of the august House are deliberately dilly-dallying with the report in order to prevent the discovery of skeletons in the cupboard of MDAs and MMDAs which are headed by government appointees.
The Auditor-General said anytime auditors unearth malpractices and other breaches of the country’s financial regulations, auditee management committees handle the issues with kids’ gloves making the offenders to often go unpunished.
Additionally, he noted that the audit finding sometimes receives no attention from the seat of government.
Such apathetical attitude, he emphasized, continued to encourage the perpetuation of malpractices and irregularities in the public financial management.
“When the offenders are not within the audited entity, but are third parties that transact business with the entity, auditee staff sometimes collaborate with the third party and try to cover up the offence.”
The inability of MDAs and MMDAs to establish audit report implementation committees as required by Section 30 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 leads to the consequent perpetration of various internal control weaknesses and other irregularities in the public financial management system, he said.
This is about the second time this issue has been raised this year.
Monday, 29 October 2012

NPP Pledge Free SHS



Nana Akomea
The NPP has taken note of comments by Pastor Mensah Otabil on free education. We hold Pastor Otabil in the highest regard but, we disagree with his comments on state funding of free education.
Indeed our constitution provides that education should be progressively free. The state will pay for it, from the taxes it collects from everybody so parents of children in SHS would not have to pay fees; just as it pays for the roads, for the police etc. Some choose to spend the taxpayers money on paying gargantuan judgment debts, the NPP will choose to spend the taxpayer’s money to provide free SHS.
Our free SHS policy includes quality. There are plenty of living examples of those who have benefitted from free SHS and are leading lights of our society. These include President John Mahama who had Free SHS in the 1970s. Quality is key in the NPP Free SHS policy, with the teacher and infrastructure development and expansion at the centre of the policy.
Surely if every Ghanaian had a well paying job, there may be no need for free SHS. But when can we reach the state where everybody has a well paying job? And how about the millions of Ghanaian parents who are not in formal employment or any employment at all and do not receive salary? We do not believe free SHS will demean any parent.
We note also that if some of these comments had been given full sway, Dr. Nkrumah may not have been able to introduce Free SHS in the North of our country in the 1950s, which initiative has been so beneficial to our country.
The NPP remains committed to spending tax payer’s monies in a judicious manner. We remain committed to ensuring that every Ghanaian child has access to free SHS, including Senior Vocational/Technical High School. The vast majority of our people have warmly embraced the promise of the policy. We will not fail them.
……Signed……
Nana Akomea
NPP Communications Director

Ghana-China Trade Flagged Off



Some of the Chinese businessmen at the trade fair
A FOUR-day trade and investment fair aimed at promoting trade between Ghanaian businesses and their Chinese counterparts yesterday opened at the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre in Accra.
The exhibition is to offer a platform for Ghanaians and Chinese business operators to come together to showcase their goods and services for mutual benefits of the two economies.
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Nii Ansah-Adjaye, in a speech, called on businessmen and stakeholders to use the occasion to establish cordial relationship with the Chinese businessmen who have thronged the country in their numbers to partake in the fair.
“Trade between Ghana and China has been increasing over the years. In 2009, there was an increase of US$613,083,230. It increased to US$731,883,984 in 2010 and also US$1,109,427,949 by the end of the first half of 2011,” he said.
He noted that Ghana offered very generous investment incentives including guarantees against expropriation, which were provided for under the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act and the Ghana Free Zones Boards Act.
The third Ghana-Hubei China Trade and Investment exhibition is being organized by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Hubei Sub-Council (CPPCC), Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Zoomlion Ghana with sponsorship from the Government of the Hubei Province and Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The exhibition is expected to create a platform for companies from the Hubei Province of China to explore areas of collaboration with their Ghanaian counterparts in various business areas.
These include light industry, furniture, household appliances, mechanical and electrical products, hardware and building materials, agricultural machinery, auto parts, shipbuilding and maintenance, power generation equipment, medical equipment, solar water heater and solar energy products.
In all, over 89 businesses from the Hubei Province, one of China’s industrial and agricultural productions, base with eight large industries in the automobile, electric power, petrochemical, food, textile and equipment manufacturing are expected to participate in the fair.
Seth Adjei Baah, president of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), on his part, stressed that it was important for business operators from Ghana and China to have the opportunity to interact and also exhibit their goods and services.
He noted that Ghana and China had maintained diplomatic ties since 1960 and had exchanged high level official and trade visits.
“As the world globalizes and trade and non-trade barriers are progressively being dismantled, it is of essence that we open up and increase trade among ourselves through exhibitions like this,” he said.
Chairman of CCPIT, Zhon Caijuan, said Ghana had become an attractive destination for investment as a result of its conducive environment and relatively perfect infrastructure.
Sunday, 28 October 2012

Killer Robbers In Police Net



Armed robber
Police have arrested five suspected armed robbers who on the October 22, robbed passengers in three vehicles and killed one Nigerian lady, Rosaline Oguneleko on the Elubo–Samenye highway in the Western Region.
According to Superintendent John Ferguson Dzineku, Half Assini District Police Commander, those arrested have confessed that they undertook the robbery operations on October 22, 2012.
They were Charles Frimpong Abeiku, 20 from Mankessim; Kojo Ibrahim Brenya alias Lumba, 21, from Tafo Magazine in Kumasi; Kojo Anoba Faisal Abukari, 21, from Asafo in Kumasi; Mubarak Mohammed, 22, from Moshi Zongo in Kumasi and 18-year-old Osman Adam from Eyigya in Kumasi.
The police boss told DAILY GUIDE that following the robbery, police intensified their night patrols on October 24, 2012, and parked the police car at a place near the bush on the route where the robberies took place.
At about 10:00 p.m., the robbers who were in a Nissan Amira taxi with registration number AW 8062-12 passed by but did not observe the police patrol car which was almost parked in the bush along the road.
The patrol car followed the taxi, but the robbers, thinking the car following them was a commercial one, slowed down and blocked the road with their car.
As the robbers were about to alight, they realized it was a police patrol car and quickly sped off, but the police gave them a hot chase and intercepted them some two kilometers before the Ankasa Forest Reserve towards Elubo and arrested them.
The police found in the bonnet of their taxi one pump action gun, one foreign pistol with 16 rounds of bullets and a locally-manufactured pistol with 18 rounds of BB cartridges hidden in a corner.
Giving the background to the robbery, Supt Dzineku said about eight armed robbers attacked passengers on an Abidjan–Lagos bound passenger vehicle at Nyamebekyere on the Elubo-Samenye motor road in the Western Region, killed a female passenger and wounded others in three series of robberies.
The body of 31-year-old Rosaline Oguneleko, a Nigerian woman which was deposited at St. Martin de Porres Hospital at Eikwe for autopsy, was buried at Half Assini after autopsy, while those injured have been treated and discharged.
He said on October 22, 2012, at about 8:00 p.m., Driver Muftau Adenyi, 55, a Nigerian in charge of DAF bus with registration number XV 142 EKY was travelling from Abidjan towards Nigeria.
On reaching a rough portion of the road between Ankasa and Nyamebekyere villages along the Elubo–Samenye barrier motor road, the robbers with masks on their faces, numbering about eight, attacked them.
Three of them carried shot guns and others wielded machetes. They fired at the left rear tyre of the vehicle upon the driver’s resistance to open the doors to allow them entry.
They again fired at the rear windscreen, killing Rosaline Oguneleko, a 31-year-old female Nigerian passenger, instantly.
They robbed the passengers of their monies and valuables and moved to another section of the road where they stopped a Yutong bus with registration number 7776 FTO1 driven by Tidjane Koulibaly, an Ivorian with 57 passengers on board and attacked them as well.
They robbed the passengers and in the process shot one Kone Braimah, 43, an Ivorian, who sustained wounds and the pellets had to be removed at St. Martin de Porres hospital in Eikwe.
Another Benz articulated truck with registration number 894 EZO1 loaded with a quantity of Rexona soap driven by one Ouattara Adama of La Cote d’Ivoire, was also attacked by the robbers.
Unspecified amounts of money both in Ghana Cedis and CFA Francs were robbed from the victims and when the police rushed to the various scenes, they retrieved two empty shells.
The police then intensified their patrols and succeeded in arresting five of the suspected robbers, who are currently in police custody pending further investigations.

Nana Konadu In Despair But...



Jerry John Rawlings
Former President Jerry John Rawlings has showered praises on his wife Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, describing her as ‘a noble woman’ who fought to bring the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) this far.
He encouraged the former First Lady ‘not to give up’ her ambition to lead the newly-formed National Democratic Party (NDP), a party that has been disqualified from contesting this year’s presidential election.
“I want to assure her that even if it doesn’t work this time, her party has the qualities, the integrity that others will come back to; what the others don’t have,” Mr Rawlings said.
The NDP has been formed by disgruntled members of the ruling NDC and Mrs. Rawlings was elected as the party’s flag-bearer.
However, when she attempted to file her papers to contest the presidential election scheduled for December 7, 2012, she was disqualified by the Electoral Commission, compelling the newly-formed party to seek redress at the Human Rights Court.
Even before the court decides the fate of the NDC breakaway party, the NDP is running a series of radio commercials selling the credentials of Mrs Rawlings why Ghanaians should vote for her.
Addressing the Freedom Lectures on corruption, organized by the Centre for Freedom and Accuracy (CFA) in Accra on Wednesday evening, the NDC founder said, “I am not even talking in favour of the most noble woman here and her party that they are attempting to disqualify.
“For me, I see this party (NDP) as the party of the future. That is not to say that she should give up. This woman never gives up. A lot of them in the NDC know the role she played,” the former president said of his wife who is now seen as a political turncoat.
Mr Rawlings, who is the NDC founder, expressed faith in the NDP as “a party of the future” and it had the “qualities, the integrity that the others [political parties] don’t have.”
Bemoaning corruption that has permeated every fibre of the society, the former military leader said, “It is this willingness to tolerate the intolerable that gives the motivation or momentum for persons or institutions with influence to perpetuate acts of corruption within our society.”
Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings
He questioned the decision by MPs to award themselves salary increase in the face of difficult economic conditions and added that while the MPs had sought to justify the increment by referring to the fact that individuals in their constituencies besieged their offices daily to seek some financial support, the real solution did not lie in doing charity work.
The former president, known for pulling no punches, waded into the controversial judgment debt debate, saying, “It is clear that the Woyome case led to the exposure of multiple payments in millions to various individuals and organisations in what is now popularly referred to as the judgment debt saga.”
“It is strongly argued and perceived that some have demanded and received payments under fraudulent circumstances, with the excuse that contracts have been blatantly abrogated by a previous government and monies owed to individuals or organisations have been left outstanding for unholy lengths of time.
“It is also perceived that some members of government have quietly turned into front men for some of these aggrieved institutions and played influential roles in seeking out of court settlements leading to huge payments,” he added.
“Why did we allow the state to face so much legal pressure from individuals and organisations seeking compensation for so-called abrogated contracts, unpaid contractual fees and a host of others?” he quizzed.
Flt. Lt. Rawlings, the first president under the fourth Republic asked, “Why have we allowed the processes of state, as pertains to the award of contracts and subsequent payments, to be hijacked by political authority without due recourse to an institution of state that is independent of political influence?”
The retired Air Force officer called on President John Mahama, who once served as a Minister of Communications under him, to take steps to halt the private development of the lands situated opposite the 37 Military Hospital and use it rather to expand that health facility.
He also commended President Mahama for stopping the proposed sale of Merchant Bank.
However, DAILY GUIDE has learnt that at the time former President Rawlings was delivering his lecture, a team of officials of Merchant bank had just returned from South Africa where it met with the First Rand bank officials to seal a deal to sell the ailing bank.
Greet Muslims On Eid ul-Adha
Meanwhile, Mr Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu, yesterday, sent a message of goodwill to Muslims on the occasion of the Eid ul-Adha festival.
A statement from the office of the former President in Accra congratulated Muslims for the successful conclusion of the Hajj pilgrimage.
It called on all Muslims to use the period of sacrifice to pray for peace and unity as the country drew closer to the presidential and parliamentary elections.
The statement said: “Our dear brothers and sisters, as we pray, perform sacrifices and celebrate, let us seek guidance from Allah to protect us during this electoral season so we come out of the process successfully.”
It called on Ghanaians to join hands across all religious and political divides to ensure incident-free elections.
Friday, 26 October 2012

Abhor Corruption - JJ Advises The Media



Jerry John Rawlings
Former President Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings has said it is dangerous for the media to allow its ranks to be corrupted by power-seeking politicians, thereby abandoning its vital watch-dog role.
“Unfortunately, like many sectors of our society, the media have also caught the bug (corruption), and petty competition, monetary and material influences, open political bias and falsehood have eaten into our media practice,” he stated.
The NDC founder sounded the cautionary note at The Freedom Lectures organized by the Centre for Freedom and Accuracy (CFA) in Accra on Wednesday evening, under the theme: ‘Corruption: A Threat to Ghana¹s Democracy and National Development’.
He said under the guise of independence “responsible media has given way to irresponsible and sponsored reportage and this has to be curbed by the media fraternity itself if it is to win back the confidence of the ordinary Ghanaian who is often confused by the contradictions he is fed with daily”.
He stated that one of the institutions that had the inherent capacity to help expose and combat corruption, was the news media, adding, “Traditionally, they are known as watchdogs of society and also have a
gate-keeping role in ensuring that whatever information is delivered to the general public is responsibly couched, truthful and devoid of the potential to have a negative effect on society.”
President Rawlings said, “The media has to apply strict ethics in the distribution of news and should desist at all times from being under the influence of third parties as far as quality and balance of their reports are concerned.
“The Ghanaian media has for a considerable period been seen as vibrant with some excellent journalism exhibited in the not too distant past.”
He damned social commentators for unleashing on the public their uninformed opinions, thereby misinforming the public.
“The advent of talk radio has led to all sorts of characters with no capacity to discuss issues of national importance being given the opportunity to shout hoarse on our airwaves, throwing abuse and insults and feeding us with shallow arguments that further misinform our society.
“Given that we are looking for ways to combat corruption, it is imperative that machinery is put in place to raise the standards of our media practice and also tighten disciplinary procedures (through the Ghana Journalists Association and the National Media Commission,” he noted.
He called for more resources for the National Media Commission (NMC) to be able to operate like the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) in the United Kingdom.

'No Nana, No Vote’ Angers Mahama Boys



The car belonging to Tigo smashed by the Mahama boys
Supporters of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) who were part of the entourage of President John Dramani Mahama, on Tuesday, descended heavily on students of the Sefwi Wiawso Nursing Training College (NTC) in the Western Region during his campaign tour of the area.
The students, numbering about 400, were on a float on some streets in the town as part of their SRC week celebration.
A source at the school told DAILY GUIDE that while on the float, the students were approached by some security details of President Mahama who asked them to make way for the convoy of the President.
The students, who were then close to a fuel filling station, gathered in front of the station waiting for the convoy to pass.
Moments later, the presidential convoy was said to have shown up.
Upon seeing the students, President Mahama was said to have emerged from his open-top vehicle to wave at them.
Some of the students were said to have started yelling ‘no Nana, no vote,’ a situation that seemed to have angered some supporters of the NDC who had also gathered by the roadside to cheer the president who accused the students of throwing water at him.
They were therefore thought to have been hired by Dr Kwaku Afriyie, a former Health Minister in the New Patriotic Party administration and a native of the place, to hoot at the President.
There and then, a number of them pounced on the student-nurses.
The students, according to the source, had to abandon the float as they dived for cover.
The NDC boys scattered the float and vandalized some of the vehicles meant for the float.
The irate NDC supporters were said to have pursued the students to the entrance of the school in a bid to ‘teach them some sense’ but were prevented by the security men on campus.
In the process, one of the students, Veronica, was said to have been injured and had to be rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi for treatment.
Two other persons were said to have been stripped naked and molested by the angry mob.
The marauding NDC faithful allegedly vandalized a blue Nissan pickup with registration number AS 4824-11, belonging to Tigo, the event sponsors.
That led to a suspension of the SRC week celebrations which have since resumed.
An official complaint has been made to the police.
Students of the Sefwi Wiawso Nursing Training College, some of whom live in hostels in town, are said to be living in fear, since according to one of the students who confirmed the incident to DAILY GUIDE, “right now when you take a car, you are afraid; you don’t know whether you are safe or not because if they see you in a white La Coste or in the school uniform, you are dead.”
Another student-nurse, who pleaded anonymity for fear of being victimized, said, “This is not the first attack; something similar happened when we went to do the biometric registration exercise because they think when we register here, we will vote for Afriyie so they came with cutlasses and bottles to chase us to our school.”
The Western regional minister, Paul Evans Aidoo, who is the MP of the area, was said to be part of the President’s entourage campaigning in the area.
At the time, authorities of the school were said to have been compelled by circumstances to give the students a number of days to go and take part in the biometric registration exercise in their various towns so that they would not be disenfranchised.
“So they think all of us in the school are NPP,” she noted.

P Y Kagbrese II Elected New President




The President and Vice of the BA House of Chiefs
THE FORMER Vice President of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs and Omanhene of Yeji, Penampem Yaw Kagbrese II, has been elected as the new President of the House to lead the house for the next four years.
Pemanpem Kagbrese polled 25 votes to beat his contender Agyewodin Prof. Adu Gyamfi Ampem, Omanhene of Acherensua Traditional Area, who secured seven votes in the election.
Nana Bofobene Gyeabour, the Dwenemanhene secured 18 votes to become the Vice President beating Nana Fosu Gyeabour Akoto II, Paramount Chief of Bechem who obtained 13 votes.
After the elections three other paramount chiefs, Nana Ansah Adu Baah of Yamfo, Nana Kwame Korang II of Awuah-Dumase, and Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi II, Kukuomhene, the immediate past President of the House were elected to represent the house at the National House of Chiefs.
Penampem Kagbrese thanked the chiefs for the honour accorded him and pledged to work with the staff as a team to move the house of chiefs forward. He also called for cooperation and advice from the chiefs so as to succeed.
He urged the chiefs to remain united and preach peace in their various areas in the upcoming general elections.
The immediate past President of the House, Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi, in his opening remarks, he disclosed that their inability to complete the offices of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs and the deplorable state of the Centre for National Culture (CNC) in Sunyani made it impossible for the celebration of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC).
He has therefore called on the National and Regional Planning Committee of the NAFAC to look at their problem and solve it for them before next year’s celebration.
He disclosed that judicial cases pending before the house as at the end of his tenure of office were 52, with 44 petitions and eight appeals. He therefore called on the new president and his vice to work on judicial committee cases pending before the house so that absolute peace would prevail in the affected traditional areas.
The former president mentioned that during his term of office he made several attempts to settle some cases out of court by the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism (ADRM) but his efforts did not yield the needed result.
“It is regrettable to note that after parties had been met and settlement arrived at, the party found faulty would usually resort to the law courts to have the decision of the mediation committee quashed,” he lamented.
On the upcoming elections, the president mentioned that Ghana has gone through several elections which had ended peacefully and successfully to the admiration of the entire world so this election should not be different.
He called on the chiefs to play their roles as traditional leaders by educating their subjects to be very careful not to engage in any political activities that could bring conflicts in their traditional areas.
“It is my plea to all to avoid unguarded and intemperate statements that are likely to create trouble and disturbances that may derail the positive gains we have made as a country in our political history,” he said.

SSNIT Sues Top Indigenous Companies



Ghana Cedis
The Western Regional office of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has taken legal action to retrieve social security contributions and penalties to the tune of GH¢37 million from about 21 defaulting employers in the Western and Central regions.
This was after the expiration of the public notice given to the employers to honour their obligations under the National Pensions Act 2008, Act 766.
Confirming the story in an interview with CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE, Stephen Asamoah, Western and Central Regional Area Manager of SSNIT indicated that the amount owed by the employers was negatively affecting the operations of the Trust and administration of the Pension Fund.
Mr. Asamoah told the paper that the employers were obliged to submit their contribution reports by the end of every month and to pay the right contributions of their workers by the 14th day of every ensuing month to avoid the imposition of penalties on the unpaid contributions.
The Area Manager of SNNIT noted that majority of large paying establishments in the area failed to submit the contribution reports and the necessary payments.
He mentioned the heavily-indebted companies as Gold Fields Ghana Limited, GH¢125,634.70; Ghana Prime Wood Product, GH¢812,578.53; Intex Company Limited, GH¢98,096.43; African Mining Services, GH¢85,391.81; African Underground Mining GH¢33,649.94; Bly Ghana Limited, GH¢50,423.09; Drill Masters Africa, GH¢33,418.02 and Willstan Civil and Mining Limited, GH¢33,394.73.
The rest included Egem Services Limited, GH¢23,101.12; Initiative Consult Limited GH¢17,585.19; Philipson Enterprise, GH¢15,527.76; O.A Travel and Tours Limited, GH¢ 14,328.92; Short Body Engineering GH¢ 28,782.36 and Ref Engineering Limited, GH¢ 12,696.23.
Others were Amenfiman Health Insurance Scheme, GH¢11,022.44; Desicon Engineering Company Limited, GH¢7,223.25; B.B Motors and Enterprise Limited, GH¢ 13,896.46; Golden Star (Prestea), GH¢5,817.06; Western Hardwood Limited, GH¢33,047.79; Beach FM, GH¢28,872.15 and Yes FM, GH¢13,353.01.
Mr. Asamoah pointed out that submitted contribution reports were found to be inconsistent with the law, hence their inability to make the required payments.
“This challenge is as a result of employers’ continuous replacement of their SSNIT trained schedule officers with those who are not familiar with our system,” he noted.
He stressed that bench warrants had been issued against 14 other defaulting institutions who failed to appear before the various courts.
The 14 employers included Perseverance International School, GH¢1,369.42; Victory Preparatory School, GH¢1,450.60; Ghana Oxford Preparatory School, GH¢1,303.84; Deo Art Gallery, GH¢ 1,147.95; Disney International School, GH¢586.70; Wakson Cleaning Services, GH¢6,593.53 and Standard Financial Services, GH¢1,250.40.
Beach FM, GH¢ 28,872.15; Nazareth Preparatory/Junior High School, GH¢ 42,485.55; Western Hardwood Limited, GH¢33,047.79; Josewith Company Limited, Dud Cheque; Best FM, GH¢3,560.51; Bretuo Mba Enterprise Limited, GH¢1,997.03 and Entsil & Sons Limited, GH¢1,074.97.
On his part, the Takoradi Area SSNIT Prosecutor, John Oduro-Tanoh, indicated that his outfit’s doors were opened to employers who wanted to negotiate on their declared arrears for monthly installment payments.
He advised employers to attach the same level of importance to social security contributions just like Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and VAT payments.
“Plans are advanced to prosecute some employers at the District Court at Asankragwa to handle companies in and around Asankragwa, Enchi, Dadieso, Samreboi and Wassa Akropong,” he added.

Oblogo Murder Suspects For Prison Custody


THREE OF the fifteen Oblogo suspects standing trial for the murder of the late Chief of Oblogo, Nii Kwaku Bibini III will be transferred from police custody to prison custody where they would be remanded for sometime.

This was after Prosecuting Officer, ASP George Amega told the Accra Metropolitan Assembly Magistrate Court presided over Ali Baba that the three accused persons – Ibrahim Tetteh alias Hotcake, Moses Attoh and Abdul Rauf would have to be transferred because the police were embarking on a decongestion exercise.

He said the exercise had become necessary due to overcrowding and prayed the court to remand the three suspects into prison custody for the time being.

Counsel for the accused persons objected to the move on grounds that it would be difficult for them have conference.

However the trial judge noted that since the police were embarking on a decongestion exercise the accused persons should be sent to prison.

The other suspects Kofi Kpoh, Agenyega Amedeka, Comfort Aryeek, Samuel Kponmegbe, Otokunnor Sackey, Samuel Tetteh, Gabriel Aheto, Prince Sackey, Enoch Kofi, Joshua Tetteh, Joseph Laryea and Salifu Sumaila have been released on bail. The matter has been adjourned to November 6, 2012.

The facts of the case as presented by the prosecution are that in 2011, a certain Amadu Salifu was killed by one Alex Cudjoe (at  large),  adding that in the course of investigating the matter, the late chief was arraigned for abetment of murder at the James Town Magistrate Court.

He said the chief was granted bail at an Accra Human Rights Court on condition that he would not set foot in Oblogo pending final determination of the trial in order to ensure peace in the town.

According to him, the chief subsequently failed to appear before the James Town Court and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest but he appealed against the bail conditions at an Accra High Court which rescinded the decision of the Human Rights Court on grounds that it restricted his movement.

The prosecutor noted the chief was however bonded by the High Court to ensure there was peace in the town.

Mr. Amega said on April 8, 2012 the acting chief of Oblogo Nii Okine in the company of others went to the Weija Police Station to report that the late chief was seen in the company of others firing shots indiscriminately but the police rushed to the scene to find that the allegation was frivolous.

The police officer noted that the acting Oblogo chief and his alleged accomplices had earlier threatened that the unthinkable would happen if the deceased continued staying in the town.

He noted that a few days later, Nii Bibini was killed and investigations revealed that on the said date the deceased had engaged the services of a carpenter and mason to renovate some parts of his palace which was burnt.

Explaining further, the police officer stated that at about 4:00pm, a group of people including the accused persons stormed the palace of the deceased, chased him and killed him instantly.

Alarm from Users on High Prices of Flour

Flour User's Meeting in Ghana

The Ashanti Regional Branch of the Ghana National Flour Users Association (GNFUA) has expressed grave concern about the sharp increases in prices of flour on the market in recent times, calling on government to help save their businesses.

The President of the association, Comfort Akotua, noted that their businesses were collapsing at a fast rate lately because prices of flour on the market continue to escalate on a daily basis.

She spoke exclusively to TG shortly after the official launch of activities to mark the 10th anniversary of association in Kumasi.

Madam Akotua disclosed that a bag of flour was going for GH¢100, about three times the price of flour some few months ago.

She noted that prices of sugar, margarine and all items used to bake bread and other foods had been increased, a development which was negatively affecting the bakery industry.

Madam Akotua said several energetic Ghanaian youth had been employed in the bakery industry and consequently appealed passionately to government to implement policies and programmes that would halt the escalation of prices of products on the market.

To curb the increase in prices of various goods, Madam Akotua implored government to supply flour at affordable prices to the stakeholders.

Formed 10 years ago, GNFUA now has membership of over 600 most of whom bake bread and also provide jobs for the youth of the country.

Nana Kyei Baffuor, Asemhene, the special guest at the event, urged bread bakers to transmit their deep knowledge in the profession to the budding youth to help sustain the profession.

He expressed delight about the steady growth of the association over the years and tasked the members to remain united and work hard to develop the association in the coming years.

MacBaron Manager Kills Close Pal - Lifeless body of Arimi Issah

Lifeless body of Arimi Issah and Arimi before his death.
A MAN believed to be the Manager of Macbaron Hotel at Tema Community 11 has allegedly shot and killed his close friend. Community 1 District Crime Officer, DSP Reynolds Manteaw said Clifford Dziwornu Agbleze shot Arimi Issah after a brief conversation in front of the Vienna City Night Club at Tema Community 8 around 2:00am Monday.

DSP Manteaw told TG the suspect (currently at large) was being sought by police to help with investigations into the death of Arimi, a resident of Tema Community 12.

According to the crime officer, the suspect allegedly fired several warning shots in front of the night club after a male bystander supposedly hit the boot of his unregistered grey Citroen as he arrived at the entertainment center.

Still angry over the incident, the suspect was said to have walked over to the bystander and warned him not to hit his car again.

DSP Manteaw said it is unclear when Arimi arrived at the club, but he was said to have walked to the driver’s side of the vehicle and spoken to the suspect.

Checks by the paper later revealed the deceased was shot after unsuccessfully trying to calm his friend down following his earlier confrontation with the bystander.

The crime officer said the suspect shot his friend as he walked away from the vehicle then sped off.

Onlookers reportedly rushed the deceased to the nearby Crystal Hospital but he died on the way. He has since been buried in line Islamic practice.

Superintendent Gabriel Amankwah Dokyi, Commander of the Community 1 District Police Station said frantic efforts were being made to arrest the suspect and bring him to book.

He urged members of the public to assist the police with information that may lead to his arrest.

Some residents of the area told the paper the suspect who was also a pimp, often pulled pistols on persons who offended him.

Some alleged he was recently deported from the US for similar offences.

The residents said Clifford was very popular in Tema and was noted for hanging out with alleged prostitutes.

The deceased who was reportedly associated with the musical  group R2B was said to have recently returned from a trip to the US
Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Businessman Arrested Over $87,000 Gold Fraud

Nana Afriyie

NANA AFRIYIE, a self-styled businessman has been arrested by officers from the Documentation and Visa Fraud Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters for the role he played in defrauding a British investor while his accomplice, Jerry Williams is on the run.

The 38-year-old man, under the guise of partnering the investor in the export of gold, ended up defrauding him of a colossal amount of $87,000 being seed capital he received to run Express Capital Investment Ghana Limited.

A 2005 Toyota Sequoia which was assigned to the company was as well used for personal gains instead of office work.

The suspect has since not made any effort to either return the car to the investor or refund the $87,000 which was being contested in court.

Afriyie was arrested on Wednesday, October 15, 2012.

He has since been arraigned and remanded by an Accra Circuit Court to reappear on Wednesday October 24, 2012.

The British investor, developed interest in investing in the country and discussed his intention with one Nadine Hararaim in the UK, where he lived.

Nadine, after listening to his friend, introduced him to Nana Afriyie, who was now the suspect, as a royal from Ghana, suggesting he was capable of helping him to venture into any business in Ghana.

Armed with this information, the investor eventually came to Ghana to meet suspect Afriyie.

Afriyie discussed several businesses booming in the country to the investor.

The two finally settled on gold business because it was more lucrative.

With no qualms to worry about, the investor began to finance the incorporation of the Express Capital Investment Ghana Limited for the smooth running of the business.

Afriyie, on his part, introduced one Stella to the investor that she owned a gold concession and could supply them with gold for export.

The con man, allegedly, asked the investor to give him money for the purchase of gold with a promise to export to Americas for sale to yield more profit to run their business.

Even though he renegaded on his commitment, the accused, who got the investor convinced, kept asking for more money and took a total of $87,000 from him to buy 4kg of gold.

The amount was paid in two installments; the suspect took $45,000 while his runaway accomplice, Jerry Williams collected $42,000 on his behalf.

The investor, having suspected that he might be dealing with a fraudster decided to retrieve all his investments, including the car.

After several fruitless attempts, he decided to report to the police, leading to the arrest of Afriyie.

Afriyie has since made two appearances at the court and would re-appear on Wednesday.

The Deputy Director of the Documentation and Visa Fraud Unit, ASP Seth Sewornu confirmed the story and a said investigation into the matter was on-going.

Only 20 Pilgrims Left Behind. Hajj Spokesperson Declares

2012 Hajj Mecca

THE SPOKESPERSON for the Hajj Council, Alhaji Halidu Haruna says only twenty persons who paid to embark on this year’s pilgrimage failed to do so.

He was reacting to a commentary on Kumasi’s Zuria Fm by the News Editor of TG to the effect that the figure was in the hundreds as he gathered.

He said the Hajj Council cannot be blamed for the inability of the 20 persons to be airlifted because according to him “some of them were attached to males with whom they were expected to travel with as per Saudi regulations but such males had left them behind. Under such a situation the airlines are reluctant to carry them because of the challenges they could face at the hands of the Saudi authorities.”

Others too he said withheld airfare payments but quickly turned round to pay when they realized things were moving smoothly. Such persons he continued “are those who go and see highly placed persons to come and intervene creating problems for us.”

He took a swipe at those he said were trying to damage the image of the Hajj Council pointing out that “for airlifting 5700 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia we should be commended rather condemned as some people are trying to do.

Such people do not do the right things such as paying on time yet they go to radio stations and say all sorts of things against the Hajj operations.

Call such persons and ask them when they made payments,” he demanded adding “we are ready to refund those whose monies are with us.”

As a human institution he went on “we cannot be totally perfect.”

As to whether the curtains have been pulled over this year’s Hajj operations or not he said he could not tell because he was yet to receive briefings to that effect from the authorities.

The climax of the Hajj falls on Friday, a national holiday for Muslims in Ghana.

Those who could not make it to Saudi Arabia this year have returned to their various homes hoping that next year they may make it.

One of them who gave his name as Yahuza said “I have collected my money and I’m on my way to Yendi having spent 18 days in Accra.”
Saturday, 20 October 2012

Ballot Paper Position Twist



John Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo
The positions of the two major political parties on the ballot paper for the 2008 elections were reversed for the December 7, 2012 presidential polls as the Electoral Commission (EC) drew the ballot yesterday.
The NDC now occupies the first spot on the ballot, while the NPP takes the third spot.
The draw for the ballot position for the eight presidential aspirants who successfully filed their nominations was conducted at the EC headquarters yesterday.
The picture on the number one spot will be that of President John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC); at the second spot is the Great Consolidated Popular Party’s Dr. Henry Lartey.
On the third position is Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The Progressive People’s Party’s Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom will be at the fourth position while the United Front Party (UFP), led by businessman Akwasi Addei Odike, will occupy the fifth position. The sixth and seventh positions will be occupied by the People’s National Convention (PNC) candidate, Hassan Ayariga and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) flagbearer Dr. Abu Sakara respectively.
The last spot was automatically reserved for the independent candidate, Jacob Kwesi Yeboah.
Nana’s Reaction 
Nana Akufo-Addo said it did not matter where a candidate was.
“So long as I’m on the ballot, I think that’s what matters. The last time I was number one I didn’t win, former president Mills then was number three and he won. This time I am number three hopefully that’s a sign that I would win.
“But I don’t really think that where you are on the ballot really matters very much. We’ve seen it, people have won from different places on the ballot.
“President Kufuor won from the bottom… I really don’t think that is significant, what is significant is the message that you’re giving and how people are responding to that message.”
He intimated that “as far as that aspect of things is going, I’m very happy where we are at this stage of the campaign. We just had a rousing reception all over Brong Ahafo and this is largely because of the big disappointment of the NDC and secondly a sense of what we’re offering them.
“The school education policies, our health policy, our policies on the economic expansion and industrialisation, all those things are messages that are going down well with the people and I’m counting on that to take us through.”
According to the EC’s Vice Chairman responsible for Operations, Kwadwo Safo Kantanka, it was an age-long convention for candidates without any political affiliations to occupy the last spot on the ballot paper.
The Friday balloting came right on the heels of the close of nominations for presidential aspirants for the December 7 elections.
The atmosphere during the balloting was generally light with cordial interactions between representatives of the various political parties.
The presidential candidates of the two leading parties were not present but their representatives were.
The process was generally described as fair and open. “It was done very well, the approach was good,” remarked Eva Lokko, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom’s running-mate who drew the ballot for the PPP.
The process was that printed numbers on square-shaped pieces of paper were juggled in a simple transparent plastic bowl.
The Reversal
According to the NPP Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, the reversed position on the ballot paper “… is a position that God wanted us to have”.
When asked if the NPP anticipated being on the third spot, he said, “You don’t plan, you pray, you pray that whatever happens, it will be in God’s will.
“I prayed before I picked, I got number three. Last time I picked, I got number one; we lost. The person who picked number one in 2004, they lost, the party that picked number one in 2000, they lost. I think number three will do it.”
In 2004, the NDC’s Evans Atta Mills was on the number one spot and he lost the elections. In 2008, the NPP’s Nana Addo placed first on the ballot paper; he lost to Prof. Mills, who was third on the paper.
Jake believes this is the magic position.
The NDC’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, who picked the number one spot, disagreed. “By divine intervention, our plans are working. We are saying that NDC is going to win the election one-touch and our presidential candidate has been waving his finger in a symbolic one-touch, so it means that God agrees with us that we going to go one-touch.”
Numerology
Meanwhile, there are all sorts of number juggling and mystical interpretations being ascribed to the various positions picked by the contending parties. Some associate victory to the positions they picked.
Donkor Aiyifli, a member of the CPP, who drew the number seven slot for the party, concluded that the divinity of the number seven would bring victory to the CPP.
“The number I have picked is greater than any number in this room. In the Bible, seven is important in everything we do: the resting day which is number seven is the most important in the world…”
“My picking seven is telling Ghanaians that when you vote for us, you would rest: You rest from all your problems,” he noted.
Akwasi Addei Odike of the UFP, which occupies the number five position, said the number signified security which he wanted to make a key point of his campaign.
Eva Lokko of the PPP said, “It has no significance whatsoever. You see, it is very interesting. This is just a purely administrative process because you have to be put in a certain order on the paper. EC is doing it so that nobody says because you put me here that is why I had a problem. We should not try to read any tea leaves into an administrative process.”
Bernard Monarh, the General Secretary of the PNC, would rather want to focus on winning through hard work rather than relying on the science of numbers.
 
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