Wednesday, June 30, 2010

UTAG raise red flag over Single Spine

By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday June 30, 2010
THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE Committee (NEC) of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) says it would not be ‘rushed’ into accepting any “last minute” decision regarding the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) which is due for implementation from July 1.

“UTAG would like to use this opportunity to urge the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) to as a matter of urgency, invite UTAG to examine conclusions of the re-evaluation of job positions in public universities in connection with the implementation of the SSSS.”

At a news conference at the University of Ghana, Legon in Accra Friday, Dr. Samuel Kwesi Asiedu-Addo, National President of UTAG said “we need to resolve all outstanding issues before the implementation of the structure.”

He said “UTAG has submitted a proposal on the review of the Book and Research Allowances to government since 2009 but unfortunately no response have been received despite several reminders. UTAG is very uncomfortable with government's uninterrupted silence on this subject. Again, we would recommend that Government takes the obligatory steps for this issue to be resolved immediately.”

“In as much as UTAG lauds government for preparing the calendar for payment of all arrears due members, UTAG would like to implore government to adhere strictly to the schedule to evade any future misunderstanding.”

He said perennial problem of delays in the payment of book and research allowances is very disturbing to UTAG.

“The five-year roadmap ended successfully in 2008 with the agreement that the entry salary of the university lecturer be split into Basic Salary, Professional Allowance and Special Book Allowance. What this means is that part of the salary for university teachers of public universities and institutions of higher learning is hedged in the book allowance each year yet annually, UTAG spends enormous resources in time, money and energy to ensure the book and research allowances are paid.

“It would interest you to know that we are soon going to commence the 2010/2011 academic year, yet the Book and Research Allowances for the University Teacher for the 2009/2010 have still not been paid.”

“UTAG can no longer sustain the pressure and tension on our campuses. We therefore restate our standpoint in our earlier resolution to Government that if by Wednesday, July 7, 2010 the Book and Research Allowances for the 2009/2010 academic year is not paid, UTAG will unconditionally withdraw all its services effective Thursday, July 8, 2010.”

“We would also like to take this opportunity to remind government that for the past seven years when we embarked on the salary roadmap, UTAG and government have established an amiable relation that needs to be protected. We therefore, entreat it to respect UTAG’s resolution to avoid any damage that could be caused to the cordial relationship existing between UTAG and Government.”

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Support SMEs...Stakeholders told

By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday June 30, 2010
The Western Regional Minister, Paul Evans Aidoo has appealed to stakeholders in the Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SME) sector to help to address the challenges facing SMEs in order to grow them to expected levels.

Speaking at a two-day workshop at Takoradi recently, Hon Aidoo said the support ought to be extended to business associations to empower them to become proactive and support government’s industrialization drive.

According to him, “The concerns of the private sector as a major player in the economy are receiving much attention. The potential of business associations to contribute to a conducive policy environment would not be attained if business associations remain weak.”

He continued that “government considers SMEs as critical building blocks in the country’s industrialization agenda and therefore is determined to provide the enabling environment for their growth and development.”

“The establishment of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and other business development service agencies such as specialized technology centres and business incubators are among the numerous projects being executed by the government to practically support and make SMEs more competitive in the national industrialization programme.”

Kwesi Jonah, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon, who spoke on the relationship between social market economy and business associations, said the time has come for government to create conducive environment for the private sector.

He added that government should be able to “change gear when policy is going off-track and stick to what it can do best by maintaining law, order and provide security and welfare and build infrastructure to enable the private sector to create jobs.”

James Kainyiah, former Regional Chairman of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, who chaired the event, said SMEs should be given the needed support to promote economic development.

Isaac Owusu-Mensah, Senior Programmes Manager of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), noted that his outfit was committed to supporting government to introduce reforms into institutions towards accelerated development.

The workshop was organized by Private Enterprises Foundation (PEF) with sponsorship from KAS.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ya Na ‘killers’ indicted

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday June 29, 2010
Eight persons arrested by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government recently for their alleged involvement in the killing of Ya Na Yakubu Andani II, overlord of Dagbon were yesterday indicted by the Adjabeng District Magistrate Court in Accra.

The killing of the Ya Na in 2002 became a major campaign tool for the NDC in the run up to the 2008 general and even made it a manifesto promise to find the killers and prosecute them.

According to the NDC, its predecessor, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) did not do enough to prosecute those involved in the killing of the Ya Na and some of the late king’s elders.

Six of the eight suspects appeared before the court presided over by Ms. Patricia Quansah amid tight security at about 10:00 am yesterday.

They include Alhaji Baba Abdulai Iddrisu a.k.a Zohe, Kwame Alhassan a.k.a Achiri, Mohamadu Abdulai a.k.a. Samasama, Sayibu Mohammed, Alhassan Braimah and Alhaji Mohammed Habib Tijani, 45, former District Chief Executive of Yendi during the NPP regime as second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth persons respectively.

However, the first accused Iddrisu Iddi a.k.a Mbadugu currently on admission at the Police Hospital in Accra and Zakaria Yakubu a.k.a Zakaria Forest, the seventh accused person declared at large by the security agencies were not in court.

The presentation of the bill of indictment and summary of evidence of the case has now paved the way for a high court to try the accused.

When the case was called Ms Gertrude Aikins, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), prosecuting told the packed court “we are here for committal” but Mr. John Ndebugri, counsel for the Ex-DCE replied that “there is a problem with the indictment. The heading is wrong unless I am advised to the contrary.”

He said Section 182 (2) of the Criminal and other Offence Procedure Act was clear on how such a process should be titled.

Mr. Phillip Addison, counsel for Abdulai Iddrisu, Alhassan, Mohamadu Abdulai, Sayibu Mohammed and Braimah said there were errors on the document and there was no summary of evidence relating to the Ex-DCE.

Ms. Aikins then cut in to say “I am sorry it has to happen this way. I signed the document in the name of the High Court and the registrar of this court said he would not endorse it because that is not what is done here. These are petty technical errors which can be rectified.”

The court rectified the errors and asked the prosecution to go ahead with the committal. The DPP then read the facts of the case.

After the facts were read Mr. Addison in his reaction said “these are matters exhausted at the Wuako Commission. Nothing new has been said and we shall prove the innocence of the accused.

Mr. Ndebugri also said “if the commission’s report is the basis of this case then the prosecution has missed the road completely. They have lost their way.”

Ms. Aikins replied that “we have conducted further investigations on the basis of the white paper which was issued. It was the current Attorney General who authorized the police to start the investigation.

The judge then said “in the light of the bill of indictment and summary of evidence and in the opinion of the court the charges are maintainable. They are committed to the High Court for trial.”

Ms Aikins then tendered the statements taken form the accused persons by the accused to facilitate the preparation of the trial at the High Court.

Immediately, the court took the decision three other persons arrested by the police on Thursday in connection with the same case were also put in the dock to be tried.
They are Baba Ibrahim, Alhassan Mohammed and Mustapha Mohammed.

The court remanded them into police custody until July 7, 2010 to enable the prosecution to prepare their bill of indictment and summary of evidence for committal before a High Court.

The facts of the case as read by the DPP there are two Royal Gates to the Dagbon paramount skin called Andani and Abudu and succession to the skin has been on rotational basis.

However this system was disrupted in 1969 bringing about a protracted litigation between the two gates leading to the de-skinment of the Late Ya-Na Mahamadu Abdulai IV and the enskinment of the late Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II.

In February 2002, the celebration of the "Eidil Adha" festival brought about disturbances in Yendi and intelligence report indicated that arms had been smuggled into the township by both gates.

The District Security Committee (DISEC) imposed a curfew and placed a ban on the celebration of the Bugum (fire) festival. An approval of the imposition of the curfew was given by the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) on 23rd March 2002.

Whilst Abudu gate embraced the decision, the Ya-Na saw it as an affront to his position and on March 25, 2002 the Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II decided to invite his elders to the Gbewaa Palace by sending Ziblim Abdulai to call one Mbadugu, Dugu-Lana and whilst returning with Mbadugu, Dugu-Lana, he was attacked and assaulted by some Abudu Youths.

The attack was followed by sporadic shooting towards the palace later in the day and the attack on the Gbewaa Palace by the Abudus intensified in the evening leading to the death of some of the elders inside the palace.

About 30 people lost their lives with many others hospitalized for all kinds of injuries and the situation worsened on the subsequent days that is on 26th and 27th days of March 2002.

On March 27, 2002 the Gbewaa Palace fell to the Abudus. The palace was set ablaze and the shooting was intensified leading to many deaths and when some of the elders in the palace attempted to escape they were shot dead.

Zakaria Yakubu now at large was seen by witnesses in this case decapitating the Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II near a kraal, after he had been dragged there by Mahamadu Abdulai and one other now at large and Mohammed Habib Tijani the then DCE was deeply involved in the conspiracy.

After, Zakaria Yakubu had decapitated the Ya-Na, others now at large poured petrol on the king after putting used car tyres to set fire to the body.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Tarzan moves to halt trial

By William Yaw Owusu

Monday June 28, 2010
Dr. Charles Yves Wereko-Brobby aka Tarzan, a former Chief Executive Officer of the defunct Ghana @50 Secretariat on Friday moved a motion on notice to strike out charges preferred against him for the role he played in the celebration of Ghana’s 50th Independence Anniversary celebration and the 2007 African Union Summit hosted by Ghana.

Also in the dock is Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, former Chief of Staff in the erstwhile New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration who together with Dr Wereko-Brobby, are standing trial for allegedly causing financial loss to the state.

The two NPP stalwarts are saying that the charges preferred against them by the state “is a violation of their constitutional right under Articles 278 (1) (a) and 280 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) of the 1992 Constitution,” but the state insists the two men have a case to answer in the Ghana @ 50 celebrations.

At their first appearance, the two accused persons pleaded not guilty to four counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state and were granted GH¢ 35 million self-recognizance bail.

In the first count, the prosecution maintained that the two former NPP officials between May 2006 and December 2007 willfully caused financial loss of GH¢ 499, 995.63 by spending in excess of the amount of $31.8 million approved by Parliament.

The second charge says that the accused between February 2007 and January 2009 willfully caused a financial loss of GH¢ 2 .116, 906.91in the form of interest paid as a loan from the Prudential Bank Limited without authority.

In the third count, the two men stand accused for causing financ
ial loss of GH¢ 966, 048.52 being bank overdraft from the Prudential Bank Limited without authority in or about September 2006.

The fourth count says the two men between May 2006 and December 2008 willfully caused financial loss by expending GH¢ 935, 249.8 being the income of the Ghana @ 50 Secretariat without authority.

The application to strike out the charges should have been moved on June 14, 2010 but the court could not do so because the prosecution on that day had just filed an affidavit in opposition to the motion and that Dr. Wereko-Brobby and Mr. Mpiani were yet to be served with the processes compelling the court presided over by Justice Samuel Marful-Sau of the Court of Appeal to adjourn the proceedings.

Moving the motion, Mr. Alex Quainoo who stood in for Mr. Akoto Ampaw as counsel for Dr. Wereko-Brobby said Article 280 of the 1992 Constitution provided that where a commission of enquiry makes adverse finding against any person, the report of the commission of enquiry shall, for the purposes of this constitution, be deemed to be the judgment of the High Court, and accordingly shall lie as of right from the finding of the Commission to the Court of Appeal.

He argued that Article 280 (6) clearly defines the time frame within which persons affected by a commission’s report could act but in this case the state is trying to ‘ambush’ Dr. Wereko-Brobby and Mr. Mpiani, saying “they are trying to use the backdoor to take away the accused’s right of appeal.”

“Let due process prevail then the prosecution could go ahead to prosecute. If we do not follow due process we will be extinguishing the accused’s constitutional rights to appeal.”

“There should be fairness to anybody who has been adversely affected by the findings of the Douse Commission. We are asking this court to strike out this case or stay the proceedings because those affected have the constitutional right to contest the commission’s report.”

When counsel finished his submission, Mr. Yonnie Kulendi, counsel for Mr. Mpiani told the court that he expected Mr. Anthony Gyambiby, Chief State Attorney leading the prosecution to respond to Dr. Wereko-Brobby’s motion before he moved Mr. Mpiani’s application.

He had explained that Mr. Mpiani’s application was entirely different from the motion filed by Dr. Wereko-Brobby and must be responded to by the prosecution separately.

Mr. Gyambiby disagreed saying “not until they finished I cannot respond.”
The judge upheld the prosecutor’s position and adjourned the case to July 16, 2010, for Mr. Mpiani to also move his motion after which the prosecution would respond to both applications.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ghana Property Expo July 30

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday June 24, 2010
THE SECOND Ghana Property Expo comes off in Accra from July 30 - 31, 2010, under the theme “Spreading Home Ownership.”

Under the auspices of Smart Investors Group, the event would provide opportunities for prospective property owners to meet and assess players in the real estate industry and help them to access property related services, as well as expert advice.

Kojo Biney, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Smart Investors Group, who launched the exposition on Tuesday in Accra, told CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE that the real estate industry was facing ‘severe’ challenges as a result of the global economic downturn, which hit developing countries such as Ghana.

“The number of housing units sold continues to dwindle. People are not buying as they should and this is affecting the capital flow of real estate companies.”

He continued that “before the economic crunch, banks were giving loans to enable people to own their own houses, but now they are focusing their attention on giving loans for the purchase of cars. Something is going wrong and we all need to sit down and find solutions to it,” he added.

Mr Biney said, “The public needs continuous education so that they can see the need to own houses. We need to prompt people into action. We have got to prompt people to invest in properties.”

He disclosed that the time has come for players in the real estate industry to reach out to the public, adding “We need to let the public understand the need to buy property from real estate developers.”

“Property is an investment for the future. There is going to be a lot of competition in the industry very soon so we should be able to make our products attractive to the public.

“Property should be seen as a money making tool. We want to groom people to patronize the products of real estate developers and help to make the industry very vibrant,’ he said.

Apart from the exhibition, participants would get the chance to attend seminars on how to venture into home financing and to make profit from properties.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

SACK CEASER –NDC Footsoldiers

Mr. Kale Ceaser is the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister in Ghana

By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday June 23, 2010
A group calling itself “Concerned Youth of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)” is calling on President Mills to remove Kale Ceaser, Deputy Upper West Regional Minister for displaying “gross incompetence.”

This is not the first time NDC foot soldiers are making such demands, as the office of the President is inundated with series of petitions and calls for the removal of government appointees from office.

The news release was issued in Wa, the Upper West Regional capital on Monday and signed by Konnuba Joseph Kan-Saambayelle Koolongbe, leader of the group under the title “Appointment of a new Upper West Regional Minister.”

It said, “Your Excellency, we are hereby calling on you to remove urgently the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister from office as clearly he has shown gross incompetence in building a unified party and people.

“Do not listen to any suggestion to appoint Hon. Ceaser as the new Regional Minister for this will continue to make the party unpopular in the region. We will not also sit and allow such to happen as we have sacrificed a lot to bring the party to power.

“A section of the regional executives can come over to the Osu Castle trying to impress upon you to appoint Hon. Kale as the political head of the region. You have liberty of listening to them but please bear in mind that what the Upper West Region needs now is a unifier, peace maker and someone who relates well with the rank and file of the party and more importantly someone who has dully served the core interests of the party.

There is now a clear division in the party. The Deputy Regional Minister openly supports one side. Mr. President, to restore unity and sanity among the rank and file of the NDC in the region, Hon. Kale Caesar is no where near the right choice for the Upper West Regional Minister. He is a disincentive to achieving the needed peace and stability that is required for the NDC in the region as he clearly supports one faction.

“The Upper West Region needs someone who respects the youth, listens to the advice of the ever watchful and silent elders, believes in due process and will not stand for or tolerate hooliganism.”

“A section of the regional executives are not helping matters. Is it because they have been imposed on the NDC and they do not recognize that the will of the people must prevail? The Regional Chairman and Regional Secretary were declared unopposed even though more competent and qualified people were interested in those positions during the last regional executive elections in preparation for a moment like this. All this is the handy work of the Deputy Upper West Regional Minister.”

“Sections of the regional executives are on the move once again to force down the throats of the popular masses of the NDC, a Regional Minister after nicodamously removing Hon. Khalid Mahmud and attempting without success to soil his hard won reputation.”

“We understand and are sure that sections of the Regional Executives are in Accra once again pressing hard for the appointment of Hon. Kale Caesar as the new Upper West Regional Minister after the removal of his boss.”

“Developments after the removal of Hon. Khalid Mahmud have indeed implicated Hon. Kale Ceasar. It is now clear that he orchestrated the removal of his boss with falsified reasons. First of all, he has not shown any sorrow or concern for his boss after he was removed.

“He has however surrounded himself with law breakers who form a motorcade and lead him to office, blowing the horns of their motorbikes. It is reminiscent of the way and manner in which those people broke into the RCC and made way with state properties. This goes against the very core principles of discipline within the party.

“Our great party seems to have its core values again drugged in the mud. Where are the values of brotherhood? Where are the values of honesty? Where are the values of due diligence? Where are the morals of let the right thing be?

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NDC foot soldiers on rampage at Ga South

By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday June 23, 2010
A group of irate youth believed to be foot soldiers of National Democratic Congress (NDC) lastTuesday attacked the offices of the Ga South Municipal Assembly in the Greater Accra Region, manhandling the Chief Executive, Sheriff Oto Dodoo and some staff in the process.

Some of the staff had to run for cover while the MCE was later rescued by the police.
The MCE’s crime was that he did not use his position and influence to help the footsoldiers to be part of the trip to South Africa to watch the Black Stars play in the FIFA World Cup tournament currently underway.

A source at the Municipality told the Daily Guide that the NDC rampaging youth mostly from the Weija area started attacking the MCE and his staff at 10: 05 am on Tuesday when they were preparing to watch the Ivory Coast versus Portugal match.

“Some of them were holding offensive weapons and when they got to the premises they started attacking everybody they met. They shouted on top of their voices that the MCE is not helping them and that he failed to use his position and influence to get them on the government’s sponsored trip to South Africa.”

“Others went straight into the MCE’s office dragged him out and started manhandling him,” the source told Daily Guide.

“They even seized our phones and removed batteries from them so that we were unable to call the police. Me for instance they took my battery away. Some staff got injured in the process”

The incident was later confirmed in a news release which was issued on June 16, 2010 by the assembly and signed by C.N. Marbell, the Municipal Co-ordinating Director and copied to the Regional Minister Nii Armah Ashittey, the District Security Council the Greater Accra Regional Co-ordinating Council and all members of the municipality.

Mr. Marbell however refused to give details of the incident when contacted and only said “the matter was being investigated.”

In the release, the assembly said “we view with serious concern and regret, the unwarranted attack on the offices of the Municipal Chief Executive by a group of youths from the Weija Area”

“The attacks on the person of the MCE and the manhandling of some staff, resulting in injuries, were particularly unfortunate and uncalled for.

“The Municipal Security Council has directed the police to identify arrest and where appropriate prosecute those involved in the disturbances.

“The Municipal Security Council wishes to caution all individuals and groups in the municipality who have grievances, to direct such grievances through the appropriate channels for redress.

“The Municipal Security Council has further directed the security agencies to ensure that steps are taken to prevent future recurrence of such unwarranted attacks on public institutions in the municipality,” the release emphasised.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Angolan President visits Ghana

Presidents Dos Santos (Left) and JEA Mills (Right) at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday June 22, 2010
The Angolan President, José Edduardo dos Santos arrived in Accra yesterday on a two-day official visit.

He was accompanied by First Lady, Ana Paula dos Santos and was met on arrival at the Jubilee Lounge of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra, by President John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills and First Lady Ernestina Naadu Mills.

Accompanying the Angolan President and his wife were State Minister and Head of the President’s Civil House, Carlos Feijó, Foreign Affairs Assunção dos Anjos and Oil Minister, Botelho de Vasconcelos.

The Angolan President’s plane, A6-RJX touched down at 10:17 am and both Presidents took the national salute at 10:27 but could not inspect the guard of honour mounted because it was raining.

President Mills spotting a smart black political suit with the Angolan leader in
an ash suit after the national anthems exchanged pleasantries and went ahead to shake hands with Ministers of state, heads of security agencies and other departments as well as the diplomatic corps before leaving the airport to have a close-door meeting at the Castle, Osu.

The Angolan President was expected to lay a wreath at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in memory of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President.

The Angolan ministerial delegation was also expected to hold bilateral talks and sign two agreements, relating to permanent consultations between the Foreign Affairs ministries and economic co-operation, technical and cultural cooperation.

The two presidents are expected to meet again today for another, closed-door, after which a communiqué will be read.

The Angolan Head of State then travels to Brazil, for another official visit starting from 23-24 June, under the invitation of his Brazilian counterpart Luís Inácio Lula da Silva.

Angola, an oil-rich country gained independence from Portugal on November 11, 1975 with Agostinho Neto as leader of the Marxist Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) as President. When President Neto died in 1979, President dos Santos succeeded him and it was under his leadership that Angola became a multi-party democracy.

The most recent elections, held in 1992, re-elected President Dos Santos with 49 per cent of the votes. Dos Santos's opponent, Jonas Savimbi of the National Union for Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) party, claimed that the elections were fraudulent sparking a long civil war which only ended when Savimbi was killed in 2002

In January 2010, the National Assembly approved a new constitution, according to which the leader of the party with the most seats in the Assembly would become president, rather than a public vote taking place.

The new constitution also limits a president to serving two terms, although it does not count terms served to date, and abolished the post of Prime Minister, the responsibilities of which will pass to the vice-president

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Pressure Mounts On Police - To Drop Soldiers Assault Case

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday June 22, 2010
The Ghana Youth Movement (GYM), a pressure group says it has proof that the Ministry of the Interior together with the police and military high commands are mounting pressure on the police officers assaulted by some military personnel in Kumasi recently to drop complaints against the soldiers.

“It has come to the notice of the Ghana Youth Movement that the recent brutal attacks by some military personnel in the Kumasi Metropolis on some police personnel of the MTTU will come to a dead end due to the manner in which the Military and the Police command, including the Ministry of the Interior are doing everything possible for the case not to be pursued further.”

“Police officers who suffered some brutalities for two consecutive days by some military personnel in the Kumasi Metropolis, are being forced to accept mere apologies and some compensation to kill the case,” the statement which was signed by Nana Prempeh Agyemang said.

The statement said the GYM had conversations with some of the affected officers and they all confirmed that they are under pressure to accept the compensation and apology for the case to be dropped.

“Upon conversations that we had with the affected police officers, they actually confirmed on condition of anonymity that they as a matter of fact, have been contacted to drop the case, but they are not happy about the situation.”

“They told us that if such an action has been carried out by civilians or those in the transport sector such as commercial drivers, not even a bail could have been granted them.”

“We want to express our unhappiness at the turn of events which has national security implications. Such attacks are becoming rampant in the country.”

“The attack of the police officers in Kumasi by military personnel is not the first time it has happened in the country, and if the perpetrators who should have known better are not made to face justice; it will not deter others from engaging in similar acts in future.”

“We are calling on the Ministry of interior, the Military Commander, and the IGP to immediately make public the investigations which led to the unwarranted attacks and the perpetrators to be brought to book immediately to avert such situations in future.”

“We will not hesitate to demonstrate on behalf of the officers who cannot take such an action due to their nature of work to seek proper redress for them.

Later in a telephone interview Nana Agyemang claimed the Police MTTU in Kumasi is said not to be happy with the pressure from Accra to drop the case and would want to see it pursued to serve as deterrent to others.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Leave Kufuor Alone

By William Yaw Owusu

Saturday April 19, 2010
The office of Former President J.A. Kufuor says Mr. Kwame Pianim should mind his own business and leave the ‘gentle giant’ alone.

Mr. Pianim is quoted by the Africawatch Magazine as saying that Former President Kufuor once telephoned him while he (Pianim) was serving as Chairman of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), over some proposed increases in tariffs and accused him of working for the then opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

But Pianim reportedly took offence at the ex- President’s remark and pointed out to him that he Mr. Kufuor worked under the PNDC regime, the forerunner to the NDC, when he, Mr. Pianim was suffering under the same regime.

Reacting to Pianim’s comment, Mr. Frank Agyekum, Kufuor’s Spokesperson, in a telephone interview with the Daily Guide, said “I do not see where this is coming from. What is Mr. Pianim up to? What is he trying to prove? What he did does not serve any purpose. The comments made are unwarranted. There are a lot of important things happening in this country that we all need to talk about and build consensus for the country to develop and the Ex-President will not be distracted in anyway.”

Mr. Agyekum said that Ghanaians were currently faced with economic hardship, increases in tariffs and how to make a decent living, adding “these are some of the things that Mr. Pianim should help to address. If he has something against the Ex-President then that is up to him but I know very well that His Excellency Mr. Kufuor does not harbour any ill-feelings against anybody.”

On the issue of the Ex-President perceived to be backing a particular candidate in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearership race, Mr. Agyekum said “the Ex-President is a human being. He definitely will have a candidate he supports but what is not good is for him to openly declare his support for one of the candidates.”

Concluding, the former president’s spokesperson noted” “It is not a crime for the Ex-President to openly support a candidate. Mr. Pianim himself openly supported another candidate and he did not see anything wrong with that.”

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Friday, June 18, 2010

I DIED FOR NDC ... Alhaji Misbaw

Alhaji Bello Misbaw is an NDC activist

Friday June 18, 2010

By William Yaw Owusu

Alhaji Bello Misbaw, a popular National Democratic Congress (NDC) activist has lambasted the leadership of the party describing them as “selfish, ungrateful” and “people who are seeking their parochial interests” adding he “died” for the party but there is nothing to show for it.

“The majority of our leaders have neglected some of us who sacrificed our lives to get them there. They now ride in expensive four-wheel drives and do not even want to see your faces but we will teach them a lesson in 2012,” he said

Alhaji Misbaw who operated for the NDC mostly in Weija constituency in the Greater Accra Region and Ho Central in the Volta Region was speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily Guide in Accra Wednesday.

“The NDC is not a party worth dying for. If the leaders and ministers think they can neglect us and come for us when there is an election, then they better rethink that because we are going to prove we also human beings like them,” he added.

Recounting his ordeal, Alhaji Misbaw said on March 30, 2008 his house was burnt completely by suspected arsonists perceived to be NDC opponents because he was ‘deep’ in the campaign for the “Better Ghana” agenda.

“I had then brought suits worth GH¢3600 to the house and everything was destroyed by in the fire. Even pro-NDC newspapers, the Crystal Clear Lens and the Catalyst all reported this matter on March 17, 2008.”

“After the incident the NDC sent a delegation led by Jerry Acquaye Thompson to assess my situation and on May 5, 2008, then flagbearer Professor J.E.A. Mills invited me to his office at Kuku Hill in Osu to give me words of encouragement.”

“From then on our campaign to get the NDC back to power intensified and I was always part of those who organized people to meet our flagbearer and other NDC leaders.”

Alhaji Misbaw showed the Daily Guide proof of his involvement in the NDC campaign by displaying identity cards issued to him by the Electoral Commission as an observer and part of the NDC ballot box monitory team respectively.

“I was one of the men tasked by the party to cart posters, banners, T-Shirts and other party paraphernalia from Mr. Ato Ahwoi’s house in West Legon in Accra for distribution in the Volta Region. I served as an observer for the party in the region and during the run-off I led a team of NDC activists to the Ashanti Region to monitor the election where I even had problems with the Police Regional Commander, Mr. Opare-Addo.”

“A policeman even hit me with a baton when I tried to question why the police boss was not taking certain actions and I had to come back to Accra with a fractured head, all because I wanted to die for the party but I now realize the NDC is not worth dying for.”

He said “I sacrificed my life for the NDC with the hope that when they win the election they can help to make the lives of all Ghanaians better but events have shown that they are there for their own interests.”

“My house got burnt because I was working for the NDC so I have every right to ask them to support me. I am not begging them for anything. When I contacted Dr. Kwabena Agyei our party Chairman for support he snubbed me saying executives of the party are all sacrificing and no one was on a salary. He said this in the presence of Modestus Ahaible and Dan Abodakpi, Ambassadors to Benin and Malaysia respectively.”

“When you go to their offices their aides, secretaries and security recognize you but will not let you in because their bosses will not take kindly to your presence,” he added sadly.

“We worked hard to put them in office and now they sit in comfort and have turned their backs on us but we will all wait and see in 2012.”

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'Emile Short Is Not CHRAJ'

Justice Francis Emile Short is the Commissioner of Human Rights and Administrative Justice in Ghana (CHRAJ)

By William Yaw Owusu

Friday June 18, 2010
Coalition of Democratic Forces (CDF), a pressure group says the decision by the Human Rights Court to stop the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) from investigating Mabey and Johnson bribery scandal in which some senior officials of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) have been hauled before the commission is an ‘aberration’.

“We find Justice U.P. Derry’s judgement a total aberration and a curious interpretation of the law,” the CDF said in a statement issued in Accra and jointly signed by Marlon Anipa, Michael Omari-Wadie, and Nana Prempeh Agyemang.

The Human Rights Court had asked CHRAJ to stop the investigations into the Mabey and Johnson scandal because the officials mentioned in the scandal complained to the court that the Commissioner of CHRAJ, Justice Francis Emile Short had made statements on a Metro TV programme and those statements had the tendency to prejudice the Commission’s investigations into the matter.

But the CDF disagreed with the court’s decision saying “we did not know that suddenly, for some inexplicable reason, CHRAJ is now equal to Justice Emile Short. The last time we checked Justice Emile Short was on working sabbatical elsewhere for years whiles CHRAJ as an institution continued its work with Ms Anna Bossman as Acting Commissioner. So why throw away our case even if it is true that Commissioner Justice Emile Short erred?”

“We of the CDF are aware of the machinations of the current NDC administration who are placing bottlenecks in this matter at every twist and turn. We have hitherto called for all, including the current NDC government, to "hands off" the work of CHRAJ, but it appears our calls have fallen on deaf ears. We can assure Ghanaians that we of the CDF will not let the Mabey and Johnson investigation pale into oblivion. It could not be gotten rid of through some bizarre legal technicalities.

We will continue to insist on a CHRAJ public enquiry, as an enquiry will serve as an eye-opener to all public officials who think they can take our country for a ride.”
“Again, we of the CDF will not stand aloof and see the collapse of the rule of law in our beloved country Ghana. We have faith in the judiciary and reaffirm our faith in the courts including the Human Rights Court presided over by Justice Derry.”

“CDF, by this statement wants to state categorically and without any equivocation, that we do not intend to take this matter to the SFO as we are being advised by some quarters to do, nor are we calling for a presidential enquiry. Rather, we will await the measures currently being undertaken by CHRAJ, after which we will look at our options.”

“We of the CDF seek to send a strong message to our politicians, Ministers and businessmen that corruption will no longer be tolerated in high places. We wish to let them know that corruption does not pay and no matter how long it takes any corrupt official will be hounded and will one day face the full rigours of the law,” the statement said.

“That is why we brought the officials and politicians involved in the Mabey and Johnson bribery case to CHRAJ. We brought the case before CHRAJ. We need to emphasise again that the matter was brought before CHRAJ - an institution for administration of justice. CDF did not bring the case before Justice Emile Short.”

“In our view, it is one thing receiving a bribe but quite another, dealing with the allegation in a mature way. It is for this reason and that alone, that we take note of Peter Lloyd’s, (Mabey & Johnson's new managing director) statement, when he said: ‘We deeply regret the past conduct of our company, and we have committed to making a fresh start, wiping the slate clean of these offences’."

It said the landmark ruling of the Southwark Crown Court is of such magnitude that the Mabey & Johnson bribery scandal will simply not go away no matter how irritating some people, including unfortunately the current NDC administration, may find it.

“The Mabey and Johnson judgement is an innovation in English jurisprudence. It also marks a watershed to the rather dim and obsolete way of dealing with cases of corruption involving poor African countries and multi-national companies with the covert connivance of local agents typically local African businessmen, politicians and high ranking civil servants.”

The M&J scandal involves six current and former government appointees including former Finance Minister, Kwame Peprah; Alhaji Baba Kamara, Ghana’s High Commissioner to Nigeria; former Minister of State at the Office of the President, Alhaji Amadu Seidu; Dr Ato Quarshie, a former Minister of Roads and Highways, who allegedly received the largest chunk of the bribe money; former Water Resources, Works and Housing Minister.

The rest are Alhaji Saddique Boniface former Minister of Works and Housing in the Kufuor Administration; former Minister of Health, Dr. George Adja-Sipa Yankey; and Edward Lord Attivor, currently Acting Managing Director of Intercity STC. He was Board chairman of STC at the time he allegedly took the M&J bribe.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Women in governance build capacity

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday June 17, 2010
A WORKSHOP aimed at encouraging women to participate in governance has ended in Accra with a call on government and civil society organizations to intensify efforts to get more women into positions of authority.

The one-week training programme was organized by the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS) in collaboration with SEND West Africa and had 11 women legislators from Sierra Leone as participants.

It forms part of the implementation of the ‘Kailahun Women in Governance Programme’ spearheaded by SEND West Africa and ILGS to increase by at least 50 per cent the number of elected women to local councils and parliament by 2012.

All national women organizers of the various political parties in the country were at the workshop to share their experiences with participants while their counterparts from Sierra Leone had the opportunity to learn firsthand how Ghana is promoting women in governance.

Topics discussed included the decentralization process and district assembly concept, women in national and local governance, gender and advocacy as well as how to form networks to promote women’s participation in governance.

Speaking on the topic “Experiences in promoting women’s participation in politics,” Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin of ABANTU for Development said “the experience of election 2008 shows that powerful groups in society will on their own hardly move beyond the frontiers of power and self-interest.”

She said rather it was when the citizens pushed politicians and policy makers beyond that frontier and consistently worked towards the creation of an environment that foster principles of democracy, justice, equality, peace and development that the collective well-being will be safeguarded.

“Women will certainly continue to have their voices heard in the struggle against entrenched social inequalities, injustice and lack of efficient opportunities for their participation in politics and decision-making.”

She stressed the need to get “a critical mass of women in politics” so that effort to prevent discrimination against women in politics is sustained saying “women themselves have to strengthen their groups to provide leadership in women’s political participation.”

Dr. Mensah-Kutin also said development of the country and the consolidation of democracy could only be meaningful if it relied “on all the population for decision-making rather than half of it,” adding “other marginalized groups and the youth must also be considered for greater inclusiveness.”

Otiko Afisah Djaba, NPP National Women’s Organizer who also shared her experience with the participants said “in spite of our numerical advantage we have performed poorly in competitive politics because many of us are more comfortable with the opposite gender in politics than our fellow women.”

She admitted that promoting women’s participation in politics is not an easy task but it is a challenge should be embraced by every stakeholder so that there would be greater accountability, decorum, decency and diligence in the practice of politics.

“We urge all women to take greater interests in the administration and management of national resources. In spite of the tremendous obstacles and challenges that confront us, we do not have a choice but to involve ourselves in this noble duty to rescue our children from a future of poverty, conflict and hunger.”

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Emile Short fights Peprah, others

By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday June 16, 2010.
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) says it is dissatisfied with the Human Rights Courts decision to stop it from investigating the Mabey and Johnson bribery scandal in which some senior officials of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) have been hauled before the commission.

“While respecting the court in this matter, the Commission would like to register its dissatisfaction with the judgement which prohibits it from executing its constitutional anti-corruption mandate in relation to the M&J case”, the commission said in a release signed in Accra yesterday by Mrs. Comfort Akosua Edu, Head of Public Relations of CHRAJ

The release said “on June 11, 2010 the High Court, Accra (Human Rights Court), in the case of the Republic versus Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Ex-Parte Kwame Peprah and others, Suit No. HRCM 46/10 (Unreported) restrained the Commission from investigating the Mabey and Johnson (M&J) case for the reason that Commissioner Short made prejudicial statements in his interview with Metro TV on March 16, 2010”.

“The Commission believes that Commissioner Short never made any such prejudicial statements. The Commission would therefore, take the necessary steps to challenge the judgement,” the release concluded.

On Friday June 11, 2010 the CHRAJ was ordered by the Human Rights Court presided over by Justice UP Derry to stop any investigations into the alleged Mabey and Johnson bribery scandal in which some senior officials of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) have been hauled before the commission.

The court had ruled that although CHRAJ had the investigating powers to probe the NDC gurus, in this particular one, it could exercise its power because it was bound to show bias against the six officials who were under investigations following certain pronouncements made by Commissioner Emile Short on Metro TV, an Accra-based private television station.

Justice Dery, who described CHRAJ as an investigative body and not ‘quasi judicial’, indicated that it was prejudicial for Commissioner Short, who is also the chairman of the panel conducting the investigation, to have gone on air while the case was pending before the commission.

The judge had said for Commissioner Short to have made such pronouncements, it was possible that he would not give the applicants a fair hearing; therefore in the interest of justice, CHRAJ could not be allowed to hear the matter.

The judge dismissed the assertion by CHRAJ that irrespective of the interview granted, the commission would be fair to the applicants because there was a difference between the commission as an entity and the commissioner, indicating that Mr. Short did not act in his personal capacity but as the commissioner, and that whatever he does affects the commission.

The M&J scandal involves six current and former government appointees including former Finance Minister, Kwame Peprah; Alhaji Baba Kamara, Ghana’s High Commissioner to Nigeria; former Minister of State at the Office of the President, Alhaji Amadu Seidu; Dr Ato Quarshie, a former Minister of Roads and Highways, who allegedly received the largest chunk of the bribe money; former Water Resources, Works and Housing Minister.

The rest are Alhaji Saddique Boniface former Minister of Works and Housing in the Kufuor Administration; former Minister of Health, Dr. George Adja-Sipa Yankey; and Edward Lord Attivor, currently Acting Managing Director of Intercity STC. He was Board chairman of STC at the time he allegedly took the M&J bribe.

The NDC officials, who mostly served in the Jerry Rawlings regime and carried over to the Atta Mills Administration, were accused of taking bribes totaling over £750,000, when M&J took up contracts to build bridges in Ghana in the 1990s.

From the mid 1980s until approximately 1996, M&J’s interests in Ghana were represented by the late Kwame Ofori, also known as Danny Ofori-Atta, who controlled a Ghanaian bridge-building company, and apparently had influence within the circles of the then ruling NDC government then.

The Commission commenced public hearing into the case on March 15, 2010 and was stopped by the Human Rights Court on June 11, 2010.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Big clash AT Metro TV

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday June 15, 2010
John Abdulai Jinapor, spokesperson of Vice President John Mahama, yesterday threw all caution and decency to the wind when in a live television programme; he openly called a lady co-panelist “a whore, slut and prostitute.”

The Metro TV newspaper review programme hosted by Shamima Muslim had started well with Mr. Jinapor and his co-panelist, Ursula Owusu of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) congratulating the senior national team, the Black Stars, for walloping Serbia but the programme suddenly degenerated when the Vice President’s spokesperson made the comments.

He had made the comment in reaction to an earlier statement by Ursula that somebody within the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had used only six months to build a house.

John Jinapor, who is said to have built a mansion in a record six months, felt Ursula was referring to him but Ursula insisted that the Vice President’s spokesperson was appropriating her comment to himself.

“Shamima, before I continue, I insist Madam Ursula substantiates the allegation that I built a house in six months before I continue,” Mr. Jinapor said.

“I have not mentioned anybody’s name. You have appropriated my comment as referring to you. Who the cap fits, let them wear it. Maybe the cap fits him,” Ursula replied.

Then Mr. Jinapor said “I made genuine money. I did not engage in prostitution to
build my house. I did not sell myself to politicians to build my house. I did not sit on people’s laps. Not to be girlfriend to politicians to build my house.”

The hostess then tried to stop the hot exchange of words between the two, saying “no, no, no this is degenerating!” but Mr. Jinapor continued “I did not go about rolling around politicians to make money, I can say for a fact.”

Ursula then shot back, “I certainly do not sell myself. It is the pro-NDC papers that are calling me a slut and a whore and now you are also calling me a slut, whore and a prostitute?

“I think the Vice President who has this man as his spokesperson should advise himself. If you can sit on a public platform like this one and talk like this, then the Vice President should advise himself.”

The sound engineer then switched off the microphones so viewers would not hear the words being bandied on the show, but when it was restored, Ursula was heard saying, “I did not mention anybody’s name but he appropriated it to himself.

“If he sits here and calls me a slut and a whore, it is in keeping with the character of the NDC. If you do not belong to them, you are labelled all sorts of names,” an emotional Ursula said. She stated that she was not surprised because other women of substance had suffered the same attacks.

Ursula warned women and the younger generation to be prepared for “these kinds of things”, especially when they do not belong to the NDC.

“I want you to know that is not going to stop me. I have chosen this path. I will continue on it until the end that is destined for me.”

She warned further: “If you will not stop the labelling of women politicians we will never get the kind of quality that we want to sanitize the system you people have made so filthy.”

Mr. Jinapor who stood by his comments also replied “I did not mention names either. What I said was that much as we know of people who built a house in six months, we are also aware of ladies who sat on people’s laps and through that they built houses. If you live in glass houses you do not throw stones.”

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Ex-DCE in court over murder

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday June 15, 2010
The former District Chief Executive (DCE) for Yendi, Alhaji Mohammed Habib Tijani, 45, who was arrested for alleged murder was yesterday remanded into police custody by the Adjabeng Magistrate Court in Accra.

The court presided over by Patricia Quansah remanded the former DCE because a Principal State Attorney, Rexford Wiredu had told the court that counsel for the accused was not present.

The former DCE has been charged with two counts of abetment and murder.
His plea was not taken and was remanded to re-appear in court tomorrow.

He was said to have been invited by the BNI from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) where he is currently pursuing an academic programme.

Upon arrival at their offices at 10am last Saturday June 12, he was arrested and detained until at about 4pm when he was transferred to the CID headquarters where he is being held for questioning.

Information DAILY GUIDE has indicates he declined to write a statement insisting that he would only oblige in the presence of his counsel.

Tijani was DCE for the Yendi District at the time of the Dagbon crisis and received accolades from the Wuaku Commission which was empanelled to probe the murder of the Dagbon Overlord.

Factional fighting broke out in Yendi between 25th and 27th March 2002 during which Ya Na Yakubu Andani II was murdered alongside others.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

New judge for Tarzan, Mpiani

By William Yaw Owusu

Saturday June 12, 2010
A new judge has finally been found to sit on the case involving Dr. Charles Yves Wereko-Brobby aka Tarzan, former Chief Executive Officer of the defunct Ghana @50 Secretariat and Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, former Chief of Staff and Chairman of the National Planning Committee (NPC) for the celebration, who are charged for causing financial loss to the state.

The new trial judge, Justice Samuel Marful-Sau of the Court of Appeal was the same judge who handled preliminary proceedings when the case was first called on April 22, 2010.

Supporters and sympathizers of the two New Patriotic Party (NPP) stalwarts were shocked when on May 26, 2010; the original trial judge Justice Charles Quist told the packed court that he was declining jurisdiction of the case.

He had said “my spouse has worked with the first accused person, Dr Wereko-Brobby in a professional capacity when he was then CEO of the Volta River Authority”.

According to the judge, a code of conduct for magistrates and judges allows for a decline of jurisdiction in cases where there was likely to be “conflict of interest”.

Justice Samuel Marful-Sau entered the court room at exactly 10:04 am but the proceedings were cut short because a motion on notice to strike out the charges against the accused persons filed on May 24, 2010 by Dr. Wereko-Brobby and Mr. Mpiani could not be heard.

This was because the prosecution, led by Anthony Gyambiby, Chief State Attorney told the court that the Attorney-General’s Department had on June 10, 2010 filed an affidavit in opposition to the motion and that Dr. Wereko-Brobby and Mr. Mpiani were yet to be served with the processes.

“We filed the processes yesterday and I can confirm that the defense have not been served. There is nothing we can do. We have to wait for them to be served,” the prosecutor said.

The case was then adjourned until June 25, 2010 but the judge made it clear to both the prosecution and defense that he could preside on the case only on Fridays.

Dr. Wereko-Brobby and Mr. Mpiani are saying that the charges preferred against them by the state is “a violation of their constitutional right under Articles 278 (1) (a) and 280 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) of the 1992 Constitution,” but the state insists the two men have a case to answer in the Ghana @ 50 celebrations.

There was no crowd in the court yesterday.

At their first appearance, the two accused persons pleaded not guilty to four counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state and were granted GH¢ 35 million self-recognizance bail.

In the first count, the prosecution maintained that the two former NPP officials between May 2006 and December 2007 willfully caused financial loss of GH¢ 499, 995.63 by spending in excess of the amount of $31.8 million approved by Parliament.

The second charge says that the accused between February 2007 and January 2009 willfully caused a financial loss of GH¢ 2 .116, 906.91in the form of interest paid as a loan from the Prudential Bank Limited without authority.

In the third count, the two men stand accused for causing financial loss of GH¢ 966, 048.52 being bank overdraft from the Prudential Bank Limited without authority in or about September 2006.

The fourth count says the two men between May 2006 and December 2008 willfully caused financial loss by expending GH¢ 935, 249.8 being the income of the Ghana @ 50 Secretariat without authority.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

I Don't Know T.B. Joshuah

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday May 19, 2010
First Lady Ernestina Naadu Mills admits she has never seen Prophet TB Joshua but says there is nothing wrong for President JEA Mills to seek spiritual support from the maverick man of God from Nigeria.

She said it is ‘speculating’ to say President Mills seeks advice from the man of God asking “who and who were there when TB Joshua advised President Mills or who and who were there when President Mills travelled to Nigeria to seek advice from TB Joshua”
The First Lady was being interviewed yesterday by BBC Network Africa’s Veronique Edwards in a special project currently underway to give a new perspective on the leaders of the African continent.

The programme has already hosted First Ladies from Sierra Leone (Sia Koroma), Namibia (Penehupito Pohamba), Zambia (Thandiwe Banda) and Uganda (Janet Museveni).

When asked whether it was right for the prophet to influence President Mills, Mrs. Mills said “Are these people with my husband and TB Joshua? I mean it is speculating.”

“If for example I feel like seeing a particular preacher in America and I make it a point of going to him, what is wrong with it? Why not in Africa?”

“Oh yes, President Mills has seen TB Joshua in person. I have never met him. I see him on television. I watch TBN and various preachers come. I watch them. They all have their strengths and I am happy that TB Joshua is an African and he helps people. There is something that God has endowed in him.”

She said it ‘hurts’ when people criticize her husband unjustly saying “it hurts especially when whatever he is doing is given the wrong interpretation.”

“”If you have been a President before perhaps conditions were different during your time so let us give this new President the chance to do or put into effect what ideas he has. He is not taking Ghana anywhere. He wants the best for Ghana and we all should contribute to it.”

Mrs. Mills said she was happy when President Mills won the election after three attempts saying “he loves Ghana very much and he knew one day his message would get to voters.”

Looking back to the days when her husband entered into politics, she said “ there comes a time in ones life when after acquiring from society and from people you have to give back to society and moreover it was so at a time when my husband was invited as a running mate to join politics. He is a law professor you know and he was looking forward to retiring but love for country took him back into politics.”

She said she looks after the President very well saying “I am there for him. I make sure I know what he eats and he eats on time. I also studied home economics so I cook nutritious meal for him.”

Mrs. Mills said President Mills is a good cook and sometimes comes to the kitchen but “I do not allow him to clean up otherwise he will take the job from me.”

She said the President can prepare a cup of tea for her if she was indisposed.

The First Lady was concerned about the falling standards in girl-child education and assured that she would use her position to improve upon the situation.

She said her passion has been “to dress well in fitting clothes and matching colours” and said she love nature, admires the birds and looks after plants.

Mrs. Mills said she has four dogs in her home namely Tandy (T), Max, Candy and Sweetie Pie saying “they are German Shepherds and Alsatians.

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By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday May 20,2010.
“Ghanaians entrusted me all these years with their ailing hearts. Surely you can trust me with the heart of our great party and the heart of our nation at a time when we all need healing”, these were the words of Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng when he launched his campaign for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearership in Accra yesterday.

Professor Frimpong-Boateng is contesting the presidential race alongside Nana Akufo-Addo, Alan Kyerematen, Isaac Osei and Lawyer John Kwame Konduah.

He said: “Let the news go out to all the corners of Ghana, that a new generation has arrived on the political arena with message of hope and promise for unity, national transformation for social progress for all”, the celebrated heart surgeon told enthusiastic supporters of the NPP.

The campaign launch themed “Forging unity in the NPP family in the service of our great nation; a mission for modernization” was attended by NPP stalwarts like Harona Esseku, Daavi Ama, Nana Ohene Ntow, John Boadu, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Emmanuel Agyarko among others.

“I am offering myself as leader of the great NPP because I want to use science and technology to transform our nation by mobilizing the enormous human and natural resources of our economy for the benefit of the present and future generations of Ghanaians.”

He said, “I am in the race for leadership of our party because I want to fight corruption as the bane of our society. And I promise I will lead by example as I have always done. Corruption blinds; corruption distorts sound judgement; indeed corruption id very expensive. It costs our continent close to 148 billion dollars a year.”

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said “I am offering to lead the party because I believe I have the required technical skills for transforming our economy in the fight against corruption. I offer to lead in the fight against ineptitude and underdevelopment. I am offering leadership in the struggle against mediocrity, disease, drug, abuse, crime, filth, indiscipline and incompetence. I am offering leadership to create jobs for the youth.”

“I am offering to lead our great party in the 2012 presidential elections because I want to transform the way politics is done in Ghana. I want to unite our great party and guide it to rediscover the values, including love, respect and fairness towards each other that guided our founding fathers so they could survive years of sacrifice in the political wilderness”.

The professor said he would offer a ‘proactive’ not ‘reactive’ leadership and inspire Ghanaians towards greater achievement adding “I offer leadership made strong by vision, sustained by ethics, and revealed by political courage to tackle hard decisions, leadership that looks beyond the next election.”

He said that national prosperity was in sight if the NPP family united and moved away from what he calls “the looming disaster of our party being hijacked for the pursuit of personal ambitions and self-seeking adventure.”

He challenged the youth not to allow themselves to be used by self-seeking politicians saying “the youth should not allow anybody to climb over your head to power and toy with your future.”

“I want you young people to have the education that will equip you with the skills, vocation, knowledge and experience that will allow you to manufacture, fix and repair things and solve problems in this 21st century.”

He took a swipe at the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) for supervising an indisciplined society saying “thugs burn police stations and drive DCEs and MCEs from their offices and get away with it. The promise of ‘Better Ghana’ has become an illusion.”

Mr Painin, an Economist and a member of the NPP who was the chairman of the launch eulogized Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, describing him as an intellectual who is hard-working and can offer better solutions for the country’s development woes.

He said the NPP needs a leader who can ‘think outside the box’ and deliver to save the people from economic hardship saying “he can help to restore lost confidence and aggressively assault common problems of diseases and ignorance,” ,rather than an old fashioned person with outdated ideas.

“He can use modern technology to harness the human resource potential of the country for accelerated growth” warining that it will be a mistake to side-step
Professor Frimpong Boateng because any other Presidential Candidate would only entrench corruption “Criminals would have the freedom to dictate to the security agencies and corruption will reign freely if any other aspirant is elected into office,” Pianim said.

‘‘The NPP is not looking for a flagbearer because any idiot can hold the flag, so the NPP must go for a tried and tested person with lots of experience in leadership.

“He is the man of my choice, if you look at the people who are running, you can find a few of the new generation politicians. You can find people with good analytical brains, there are those who can charm the delegates but you are not just looking for somebody who can chant slogans, we are not looking for a pretty face, we are looking for somebody who can tackle life and death matters with calmness, creative listening, precision and also action.

Mr. Pianim in an interview with Citi News compared Professor Frimpong-Boateng to former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown who he said caused major developments in UK and also impacted Africa so much through the cancellation of debts as well as his pivotal role in tackling the global economic crises.

“The world has changed. Look around you. People are looking for something different. Nobody knows how to solve the problems of the world now. Even the World Bank and the IMF, they needed a Gordon Brown, somebody with a heart who thinks outside the box. Gordon Brown may not be the best, but it was he who thinking through outside the box brought debt forgiveness for Africa”.

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