Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nana Raps Mills


Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu, with additional files from Happy FM

Tuesday November 30, 2010
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has taunted President John Evans Atta Mills once again saying the President has not been able to fulfill a single campaign promise since his election as President of Ghana.

“President Mills in the run up to the 2008 elections said so many things and made a lot of promises but almost two years into his reign he has not been able to fulfill a single promise.”

Nana Akufo-Addo made the statement at Madina, a suburb of Accra at the weekend when the NPP held a mini rally by the Madina Abokobi Constituency.

Some of the party’s stalwarts were all present at the rally which forms part of the NPP’s strategy to assess its preparedness for the 2012 general elections.

Nana Akufo-Addo said former President John Agyekum Kufuor laid a solid foundation for accelerated development of the country but President Mills-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government has come to put aside all the good things of NPP administration.

“I know the level where President Kufuor took this country to but it is not the exact continuation that we see today under President Mills”.

He said “In the run up to the 2008 elections there were people in this country who said there was too much hardship but today what do we see under the same people who were complaining.”

Turning to the NPP family, Nana Akufo-Addo said it is not true that he has already made his mind about who was going to be his running mate for the 2012 contest saying he is ready to partner whoever is selected by the party.

He also said that since the NPP amended its constitution to enlarge its electoral college, there has been renewed energy by the members of the party to work harder and added that the only hurdle left to clear is select the party’s parliamentary candidates without any rancor so that Ghanaians would know that the NPP is ready to resume the reins of government.

“We should remain resolute and united and commit ourselves to working hard to bring the NPP back into office.”

Sheikh IC Quaye, former Greater Accra Regional Minister and MP for Ayawaso Central said the NDC does not have any real issue to talk about that is why they are engaging in smear campaign against the NPP flagbearer.

He said Nana Akufo-Addo can never be a drug baron as being peddled around by the NDC and called it wicked and dirty.

Ken Agyapong, MP for Assin North said despite claims by the NDC that it was working, the reality on the ground is that that ruling party has failed woefully and the situation of Ghanaians are worsening by the day.

“The NDC promised to take care of the less privileged in society but the situation is that the people are suffering. There is too much hardship.”

Scores of NPP stalwarts took turns to address the enthusiastic crowd.

Prosecution withdraws motion to re-open Ya Na Trial


Some of the accused persons leaving the courtroom yesterday

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday November 30, 2010.
The prosecution in the case of 15 persons standing trial for the murder of Ya Na Yakubu Andani II, overlord of Dagbon yesterday made another dramatic u-turn when they withdrew a motion they had filed to have the case re-opened to enable them call more witnesses to testify.

At court sitting, the prosecution led by Ms Gertrude Aikins, Director of Public Prosecution said they have backed down in calling more witnesses.

After failing on three occasions to present more witnesses, the prosecution on November 5, 2010, officially said it had closed its case in the trial prompting the defense to indicate to the court that it intends to file motion of “Submission of No case”, a request which was granted by the court.

The court presided over by Justice EK Ayebi of the Court of Appeal then ordered the registrar of the court to make available to the defense all the proceedings of the trial before November 12, 2010 and adjourned the case to Tuesday, November 23, 2010 for the defense to prepare the motion for “Submission of No Case”.

But when the case was called on November 23, 2010, Ms. Gertrude Aikins, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), told the packed court that “we have filed a motion on notice to re-open the case and call a witness we have been looking for all this while.”

The prosecution then promised to file supplementary affidavit to disclose more information about the witnesses they intended to call to testify, after the defense team lead by Philip Addison had complained to the court that they did not have any information to respond to the affidavit and the case was adjourned until yesterday November 29, 2010 for it to be done.

Yesterday in court Ms. Aikins said the prosecution has decided to withdraw the motion altogether and filed new processes, this time around very detailed, to get the case re-opened.

Mr. Addison then responded that the defense team did not have any objection to the withdrawal of the first motion but asked the court to adjourn the proceedings to enable them to file affidavit in opposition to the prosecution’s request which the court granted by striking out the first motion.

Counsel however alerted the prosecution that the deponent of the affidavit DCOP Robert Ayalingo, Director of Operations at the CID) may not be the ideal person to depose to the affidavit because he (the officer) is only giving second hand information saying “unless it is a foregone conclusion we may require the witness who gave out the information.”

The prosecution says it is seeking to re-open the case because it has in its possession a secret audio recording of Alhassan Braimah, the sixth accused person confessing to one Ben Nsor aka Atia that he (Braimah) killed the Ya Na.

In the new affidavit filed on November 29, 2010 the prosecution intends to bring five more witnesses including Nsor, an ex-security officer residing in Togo who took custody of the recording; Yakubu Mahamadu aka Anafo who did the recording; Mohammed Sumaila the man who translated the content on the secret tape; Robert Ayalingo, the officer in charge of the case and Professor John Peter French a forensic consultant specializing in the analysis of digital and magnetic recordings, speech and sound.

In the additional summary of evidence, the prosecution says Nsor, Anafo and Braimah were all Dagbon youth who were once trained in weapons handling in Togo in the 1990s to protect the Ya Na against Konkomba aggression.

Interestingly, none of new witnesses were included on the list of prospective witnesses presented by the prosecution before the trial commenced.

Daily Guide has learnt that Ben Nsor Atia was one of the 40 person arrested by the security agencies early this year in connection with the case but was left off the hook after the police had conducted identification and screening exercise.

The content of the purported confession statement which is urging the prosecution to re-open the case is among other things: “Father you trained us…the chief came to kill us and we killed him and cut off his head.”
Sitting continues on Thursday December 2, 2010.

Youth Icons Ghana looks into the future


Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa, Executive Director of Youth Icons Ghana

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday November 30, 2010
YOUTH ICONS Ghana, an NGO empowering the youth for national development, has dedicated 2011 to build the capacities of Ghanaian youth towards peace-building and non-violence.

“We still have flashpoints across the country where there are periodic conflicts and the youth are mostly used by our politicians and other opinion leaders to cause mayhem. We have to continue to sensitize them on the need to live in peace and harmony for accelerated development,” Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa, Executive Director of Youth Icons Ghana has said.

In an interview with DAILY GUIDE in Accra Thursday, Mr. Osei-Darkwa said as part of activities lined up for 2011, Youth Icons Ghana is collaborating with the Center for Peace and Non-violence and Peace Studies at the Rhode Island University, USA to organize a series of training workshops on non-violence for youth coordinators throughout the country.

He said the training programmes would be facilitated by Dr. Bernard Lafayette, an associate of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. and supported by Dr. Paul Bueno; Director of the Center for Non-violence and Peace Studies. Participants would get the chance to study the concept of non-violence, conflict analysis and management as well as the dynamics of social change.

Mr. Osei-Darkwa said Youth Icons played a significant role in ensuring a peaceful general election in 2008 using popular artists such as Byce Osei-Kufuor aka Obuor and others under the ‘One Ghana’ project to sensitize the youth to refrain from violence.

He said the Center for Non-violence and Peace Studies were impressed with their project and have consequently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to be collaborating with them to train more youth for peace-building.

The executive director said the Center for Non-violence and Peace Studies is planning to establish a West African Center for Peace and Non-violence in Ghana. It has been suggested that the center be established at the University of Development Studies in Tamale.

“With Ghana being the bastion of peace, freedom and development, we must be able to put our house in order so that we can continue to lead by example in peace-building.”
“We need to challenge the youth to channel their energies into productive ventures. We need to nurture them to become responsible adults.”

He said “we are committed to ensuring that the agenda for non-violence using the youth is maintained and pursued.”

Konrad Adenauer Foundation interacts with NPP Youth


Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday November 30, 2010
A SENIOR Programmes Officer of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), Isaac Owusu-Mensah has tasked the youth to work very hard towards the sustenance of Ghana’s democratic dispensation.

“The future of our country’s democracy depends heavily on how the youth carry themselves. We all have the responsibility to ensure that Ghana continues to set the pace in democratic governance and accelerated development so that others will always look up to us for inspiration and emulation.”

Mr. Owusu-Mensah was speaking at the opening of a three-day national youth conference of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) held in Tamale recently.

The KAS participated in the conference because the NPP and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party of Germany of which KAS is affiliated, share the same conservative ideals such as social market economy, liberal democracy and promotion of individual freedom.

According to Mr. Owusu-Mensah, the political system is the nucleus of all systems in the development of a country and said a breakdown of the political system would have a detrimental effect on education, economic, social and all other systems.

He underscored the need for the youth to eschew all kinds of influences that have the tendency to undermine the democratic process and urged them to rather work towards explaining the party’s ideology to the electorate.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the NPP flag bearer who was the Guest of Honor reminded the youth that it was their hard work and dedication to duty that would bring the NPP back into office and urged them not to relent in their efforts to campaign for the party.

“You constitute the highest percentage of the voter population and consequently you will determine the future of the party and the fortunes of our great country,” he said adding the youth have so many stakes in development that they cannot be apathetic in the affairs of the country.

“During Ghana’s struggle for independence from colonial rule, the youth of Ghana played significant roles in the process. They continued to play roles in various elections conducted in the country; the roles have not declined but must be rigorously and vigorously pursued.”

Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, NPP National Chairman challenged the youth to understand the party’s ideology saying the NPP has its core values of fairness in terms of access to basic social services.

He praised the NPP administration under President J.A Kufuor saying he brought various social interventions such as the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and School Feeding Programme among others.

He said championing the philosophy of property ownership in democracy must continue because under that philosophy, every human being whether skilled, semi-skilled and or unskilled could aspire to own one form of property or the other in life saying “the taxi driver has a vision of owing his own taxi just as the hairdresser apprentice also aspires to have her own shop or saloon in future. A farm hand will like to own his farm.”

Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John, NPP General Secretary encouraged the youth to work hard for the party and promised them the needed support to execute their programmes to ensure that their good intentions for the NPP do not remain on paper but are practically implemented to ensure victory in 2012.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ablakwa Raps radio presenters



Okudzeto Ablakwa (right) delivering his address. With him are, from left: Laari Bimi, Joe Baidoe-Ansah and Dr. Kuire

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Friday November 26, 2010
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a Deputy Minister of Information has taken a swipe at some radio presenters particularly morning show hosts, describing them as “pirates on the airwaves.”

“They are not seen robbing huge merchandise or kidnapping for ransom. They are seen robbing the good people of Ghana of peace, unity, truth and national cohesion,” he said.

The Deputy Minister was participating in a roundtable discussion organized by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in Accra yesterday to scrutinize the state of media freedoms and free speech in the country.

The topic for discussion was “Media freedoms, free speech and responsible expression in a multi-party democracy” and it was tackled exhaustibly by two distinguished discussants in the persons of Dr. Vladimir Antwi-Danso and Professor K. Ansu Kyeremeh, all of the University of Ghana.

Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa said even though the media are competing for news it was their responsibility to guard against utterances that have the tendency to disturb the peace of the nation.

The Deputy Information Minister noted “There seem to be lack of clarity about the frontiers of media freedoms and freedom of speech in this country. When issues of intolerance rear its head within our political parties then you hear about directives and guidelines but when one political party attacks another in the media we are all fine with it.”

He cited recent comments by Nana Darkwa, an NPP supporter who accused former President Jerry John Rawlings and one by Dr. Kwabena Adjei, National Chairman of NDC where he said there are many ways to kill a cat in reference to judges as two issues that were staunchly defended depending on the political divide that people belonged to saying “we should set parameters as to what would constitute responsible speech or irresponsible speech.”

He said the extent of damage and chaos that misguided statement can bring to should never downplayed and said it is becoming dangerous and reckless for the media to set agenda of regionalism.

When he took his turn Dr. Antwi-Danso who exhibited his lecturing skills said there was “hate propaganda, insipid lies, hatred” and “the creation of intolerance” being channeled through the media which should know better and called for media responsibility.

“As journalists, there is nothing wrong supporting a political party but you should not allow it to affect or influence your professional work. Go to Rwanda and see the handiwork of the media…it started as a result of writing what we want.”

Dr. Antwi-Danso said the media is exploiting the ‘gullibility’ of the Ghanaian public saying “institutions of state are cowed by media terrorism and the political landscape is littered with media landmine.”

“Dichotomization syndrome making every aspect of life to the extent that even crime, the bench and security have all been belted into NDC, NPP rubrics” adding that the political parties are all fighting over the process of development and it is the media that should shape the process.

“There should be limits to media freedom otherwise the social compact in the constitution makes no meaning.”

Prof. Ansu Kyeremeh appealed to the NCCE to constantly remind the media on its responsibilities towards the development and consolidation of the development and democracy.

He underscored the need for the NCCE to be given funds and resources adequately to live up to its constitutional mandate.

Kabral Blay-Amihere, Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC) said the commission was concerned about unethical and poor journalistic standards saying “we need journalists who will not be footnotes to the ambitions of politicians.”

Laari Bimi, NCCE Chairman said the media and judiciary are two institutions that must be supported to fearlessly protect the current democratic dispensation.
He said “there is so much partisanship in the press. The press is sharply divided and that is very dangerous for young democracy as ours.”

Dr. Kuire of the Attorney General’s Department who chaired the discussion said even though the media landscape was vibrant, there are aberrations.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

GBC Boss ‘Axed’



Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday November 25, 2010
The ‘cold war’ at Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), the state broadcaster took a nosedive yesterday assumed a different turn with a directive from the National Media Commission (NMC) that William Ampem-Darko, Director-General of GBC, should proceed on leave with immediate effect until further notice.

Also receiving a slap from the NMC’s axe is Professor John Aheto, Board Chairman of GBC who has been asked to sep aside and in their stead, Kwabena Sarpong Anane, Deputy Director-General and Edward B. Asare, a member of the GBC Board have appointed as acting Director-General and Board Chairman respectively.

A release issued in Accra and signed by George Sarpong, Executive Secretary of the commission said the NMC has observed with great concern recent development at the state broadcaster.

“In view of the obvious breakdown of mutual trust and confidence between the two principal actors of the corporation, namely the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Prof. John Aheto, and the Director-General, William Ampem-Darko and the deleterious impact these developments are having on the corporation as a whole, the NMC has found it necessary to direct that the Board Chairman steps aside as Chairman and member of the board in the interim. The Director-General is also to proceed on leave with immediate effect until further notice,” the terse statement said.

The release assured the two principal actors that the board, management and staff of GBC and the whole nation that it is investigating all the relevant matters affecting the operations of the GBC in order to re-establish normalcy in the operations of the corporation.

The power play at GBC between Mr. Ampem-Darko and Prof. Aheto dates back to last year when the latter was appointed as Board Chairman of the corporation.

However, what started the fresh row between the two was the disclaimer put on Kwadwo Kusi Boachie, Human Resource Manager who is seen as Prof Aheto’s ‘boy’.

Documents cited by Daily Guide show widespread alleged malfeasance, corruption and conflict of interests on the part some of the ‘big’ officers at GBC including Prof. Aheto and Mr. Boachie.

For instance Prof. Aheto’s consultancy firm called Aheto & Associates Limited was said to have provided training for GBC staff in July, directly contravening GBC Decree 1968 NLCD 226 sub section 8.

The six-day in house training programme for management was organized from July 12 to July 17, 2010 at the La’ Vikus Hotel, Kumasi and Prof. Aheto in a letter dated July 2, 2010 to the Human Resource Manager (K.K. Boachie) had accepted to provide training for the staff and action which amounted to conflict of interest.

It is alleged that the resources and facilities of GBC were used for the workshop by the A.A. Nyankrom Enterprise was submitted for payment triggering the setting up of a committee to probe the human Resource Manager, Mr Boachie. The Director-General in a memo set up a four-member committee on September 29, 2010 to investigate the issue and submit a report for sanctions.

The committee was to investigate payment of GH¢ 3871.25 to A.A. Nyankrom Enterprise for photocopying services and role played by K.K. Boachie, Human Resource Manager in the payment of the amount as well as the ‘tricking’ of the Deputy Director-General that the Director-General approved a new level of performance bonus for executive directors but before the committee’s report could be acted on, Mr. Boachie resigned.

In the report titled “investigations into payment of GH¢ 3871.25 to A.A. Nyankrom Enterprise for photocopying services”, the committee found among other things that the evidence of photocopying job carried out in GBC by GBC personnel and with GBC resources was ‘overwhelming’ and said the claim by AA Nyankrom Enterprise for the amount of GH¢ 3871.25 for the photocopying was fraudulent.

The report found Mr. Boachie culpable for processing the invoice he caused AA Nyankrom Enterprise to raise for him.

“The committee is satisfied from the evidence before it that the HRM colluded with AA Nyankrom Enterprise to defraud GBC which is an offence under regulation 16 (c) (ix) of the Management Staff conditions of service.”

The committee found out that some witnesses met and planned to obstruct the truth and Mr. Boachie tried to gag a staff from expressing himself freely before the committee but failed.

The committee also found out that the training programme in Kumasi was bogus and riddled with corruption and was approached in an unprofessional and haphazard manner.

When Mr. Boachie was asked to appear before the committee he rather questioned the legal basis of the committee, its composition and said the committee lacked representation of senior management staff association; nonetheless, the committee was able to complete it work.

When Daily Guide contacted the former Human Resource Manager, he rather accused Mr. Ampem-Darko of trying to fleece GBC.

According Mr. Boachie, the DG asked him for GHC5000 which he managed to raise GHC2000 but Mr. Ampem-Darko rejected it prompting the probing of the seminar in Kumasi.
According to the former HR Manager, similar seminar was held for top management officers including Mr. Ampem-Darko, and therefore does not understand why they had to probe him.

Women descend on Mills



Mrs. Elizabeth Akpalu (left) addressing the participants. With her are Gloria Ofori-Boadu (right) and Joycelyn Akorfa Ochlich-Dotse (middle)

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday November 25, 2010
In the heat of the 2008 general elections, all sorts of promises were made to the electorates by the various political parties.

One promise that echoed throughout the political landscape at the time was the promise by Professor John Evan Atta Mills then candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that when voted as President he would make sure that women get important decision-making positions in his government and this got the NDC to form the next government on January 7, 2009.

For instance, on Wednesday June 18, 2008 at the ‘Encounter’, an Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) organized programme designed to offer platform for presidential aspirants to share their vision with the electorate, Professor Mills promised that his cabinet will have a place for about 40 per cent of women saying “I am not doing them a favour. I am acknowledging the realities on the ground.”

Furthermore, on page 75 of the NDC manifesto launched on Saturday October 4, 2008, the social democrats as they preferred to be described stated: “We shall introduce major policy and legislative reforms, aiming for a minimum 40 per cent representation of women at conferences and congresses of the party and in government and public service; the promotion of increased female access to education, health, employment and other socio-economic infrastructure and services.”

Nearly two years after coming into office, women are still under represented at all levels of governance and gender advocates are harboring the feeling that the President Mills-led NDC government deceived women into thinking more women will hold key positions in the government.

Mrs. Elizabeth Akpalu, Executive Director of Advocates for Gender Equity, an NGO said at a forum in Accra yesterday that “President Mills’ government has not really committed itself to the 40 percent it promised women. The president in his state-of-the-nation address in February 2009 repeated this promise but up till now women are still under represented.”

The forum was organized by Women Assistance and Business Association (WABA) under its democracy and human rights education programme and it was aimed at sensitizing and empowering women aspirants for the upcoming District level elections slated for December 28, 2010 and also solicit the views of women to the ongoing constitutional review process.

Mrs. Akpalu who was visibly not happy about the way and manner women continue to be marginalized in the governance of the country said “it is clear that we cannot rely on politicians for this to happen. We should rather form lobby groups to push such legislations through.”

She said the time has come for the electoral laws to be changed to allow political parties to openly support candidates in the district level elections because the political parties are already behind most of the candidates asking “why are we hiding? We should make it open for them to support the candidates.”

She said that when political parties get involved it would help them to field women candidates to represent their people in the various assemblies.

Mrs. Akpalu said the lack of strong women activism in the country is affecting women’s participation in governance and cited sister countries like Sierra Leone, South Africa and Uganda as having very strong women activism adding “power is not given on a silver platter… we need to close our ranks and fight for what is right for women.”

She said the current electoral system does not encourage women to contest elections and called for it to be reviewed to make it more women friendly.

Gloria Ofori-Boadu, President of WABA said her outfit is committed to enlisting the support of women and all stakeholders to push for 50 per cent representation for women in governance.

She said the wording of certain provisions in the constitution including Article 214 (3) (b) (c) and (d) clearly discriminates against women and said that women are underrepresented in the various assemblies because the structures do not encourage them to actively participate in the process of governance.

Joycelyn Akorfa Ochlich-Dotse, Assembly woman for Mawuli Estates, Ho in the Volta Region who chaired the forum urged women to close their ranks and be assertive in demanding affirmative action.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ya Na Murder Trial: Prosecution pleads for another chance



The accused persons leaving court yesterday.

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday November 24, 2010
The prosecution in the case of 15 persons standing trial for the murder of Ya Na Yakubu Andani II, overlord of Dagbon during the intra ethnic conflict between Abudu and Andani gates in Yendi in 2002 has officially applied to the court to have the case re-opened to enable them to call another witness.

The witness is called Moses Nsor, an ex-security officer residing in Togo who claims he has secret recordings of Alhassan Braimah, the sixth accused person confessing to him that he (Braimah) killed the Ya Na.

Interestingly, Nsor’s name was not included on the list of prospective witnesses presented by the prosecution before the trial commenced.

Daily Guide has learnt that Ben Nsor was one of the 40 person arrested by the security agencies early this year in connection with the case but was left off the hook after the police had conducted identification and screening exercise.

Currently, Braimah together with others 13 including Mohammed Habib Tijani former DCE in the NPP administration have been charged with conspiracy while another person called Zakaria Yakubu aka Zakaria Forest, whom the prosecution says he killed the Ya Na is facing charges of conspiracy and murder but is at large even though he is being tried in absentia.

After failing on three occasions to present more witnesses, the prosecution on November 5, 2010, officially said it had closed its case in the trial prompting the defense to indicate to the court that it intends to file motion of “Submission of No case”, a request which was granted by the court.

The court presided over by Justice EK Ayebi of the Court of Appeal then ordered the registrar of the court to make available to the defense all the proceedings of the trial before November 12, 2010 and adjourned the case to today Tuesday, November 23, 2010 for the defense to prepare the motion for “Submission of No Case”.

Before the prosecution closed its case, it had brought 12 witnesses including two police investigators and the pathologist who conducted autopsy on the Ya Na’s body to testify in the case.

When the case was called yesterday, Ms. Gertrude Aikins, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), told the packed court that “we have filed a motion on notice to re-open the case and call a witness we have been looking for all this while.”

Mr. Phillip Addison, counsel for the accused person then confirmed to the court that the defense team received copies of the motion and the statement of case filed by the prosecution but said the document did not give enough information for them to reply.

“It is important for them to let us know what they are seeking to tender in evidence. They should give us an idea.”

Ms. Aikins then cut in to say that the prosecution would file supplementary affidavit to disclose sufficient information for the defense to reply.

The court then directed the prosecution to furnish the defense with information on what they (prosecution) want to do and adjourned the case until November 29, 2010.

CHRAJ marks World Children’s Day



Some of the school children in a group photograph with Ms. Anna Bossman (Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ), Richard Quayson (Deputy Commissioner in charge of Education CHRAJ) and Mrs. Rita Owusu-Amankwah.

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday November 24, 2010
A DEVELOPMENT consultant and child protection specialist, Rita Owusu-Amankwah has said the only way children’s rights can be effectively protected and safeguarded is to ensure that the Children’s Act is fully implemented without any compromise.

She noted that even though there was steady progress in the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) localised in the Children’s Act 560 of 1998, there was the need for all stakeholders to deepen their commitment to ensure the creation of a conducive environment for children to develop their future potentials.

Mrs. Owusu-Amankwah was speaking at a symposium to commemorate this year’s World Children’s Day which fell on Friday, November 19, 2010 under the theme “The Convention on the Rights of Children: Why is it time to make it work for all children?”

The symposium was organized by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) for school pupils within the Accra Metropolis. The commission used the occasion to highlight the need for the nation to prioritize the needs of children particularly the vulnerable and those in deprived communities.

Mrs. Owusu-Amankwah said the impact of the CRC on national law and practice has been outstanding saying the numerous laws in existence are helping to address the gaps and weaknesses in existing laws regarding child protection.

She said programmes should be designed that would make children strive to become responsible adults instead of rolling out programmes and events that tend to influence them negatively.

“Children’s rights are legally binding so we should not do anything that would thwart such efforts. Interests of children will be best served if all outstanding laws concerning children are passed.”

She identified poverty as the biggest obstacle in child development efforts and called on district assemblies and government agencies to strive to enforce child-centered laws and get children to partake in decisions that ultimately affect them saying “Ghana has made gains in all the targets set under the Millennium Development Goals but we have to intensify our efforts to get there.”

Ms. Anna Bossman, Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ bemoaned the high incidence of parental neglect in the country and said the enforcement of child protection laws is posing major challenges in the quest to create a conducive environment for child development.

“We have the legislations and other legal frameworks but the enforcement is weak. We should all help to make the laws work for our children.”

She called on adults to speak up against child abuse, vulnerability and neglect and praised single mothers for their contribution towards child development saying “they are the ones who are helping mostly to build this nation; that is not to say that some single fathers are also not helping.”

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nana consoles Makola fire victims



Nana Akufo-Addo inspecting the market destroyed by fire.

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday November 23, 2010
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s visit to Makola Number Two Market in Accra yesterday delayed for about two hours as a result of the police’s refusal to allow him entry.

Scores of anxious traders and some party supports thronged the market which was gutted by fire last Thursday night to meet the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer but the police was said to have attempted to block Nana Akufo-Addo from visiting the site because he did not give them five-days notice required under the Public Order Act.

Herbert Krapa, an Aide of the NPP flagbearer said the police had told them that apart from the notice, the place had become a crime scene but Nana Akufo-Addo’s office insisted the flagbearer was there to sympathize with those who lost their capital to the disaster.

Clearance was finally given and Nana Akufo-Addo and his entourage including Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson former Mayor and Sheikh I.C. Quaye former Greater Accra Regional Minister as well as other Greater Accra Regional NPP Executives entered the market at about 12: 17 noon amid cheers from the crowd.

He moved to inspect the damage caused by the fire before addressing the crowd which growing every minute in a brief speech.

He said the time has come for managers of markets and other public places in the country to take steps to nip incidence of fire outbreaks in the bud.

Nana Akufo-Addo said “we need to have new arrangements to curb rampant fires in markets and other public places”.

“There have been too many fire outbreaks in our markets lately, and it is high time we took serious steps to bring the situation under control.” Nana Akufo-Addo said to a thunderous applause from the large number of traders who had gathered to catch a glimpse of him and listen to what he had to say to them.

“I am making a passionate appeal to the relevant authorities, especially the Institutes of Engineers, Architects and Planners, to come out with innovative plans for the construction of modern prototype markets that will make it difficult for the recurrence of these fires,” he added.

Though unannounced, Nana Akufo-Addo’s visit to the Agbogbloshie market attracted a huge number of people who eventually abandoned their businesses to accompany him and his entourage during their nearly one hour walk around some portions of the market, mostly areas that were affected by the fire.

The policemen present at the market had a hectic time controlling the large crowd that remained adamant in their resolve to catch a glimpse of the man they see as Ghana’s hope for 2012.

He sympathized with the victims asked them to exercise restraint in the face these challenging moments and said he was with them in prayers.

Last Thursday, scores of shop owners at market in Accra could not contain the trauma of seeing the investments in ruins as they broke down in tears following a deadly inferno that swept through one of the modern markets in the country.

The intensity of the fire could be determined by the pockets of smoldering fire dotting the place as at yesterday and firemen had to come in again put them out.
The market was constructed with SSNIT funds with modernity as the watchword and sources say it had been insured.

However, none of the shop owners in the market are said to have insured their wares or goods.

Nana Akufo-Addo and his entourage later visited the Jamestown palace to sympathize with the chiefs and elders on the loss of one of their sub-chiefs.

Ya Na Trial Takes New Twist

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday November 23, 2010.
The trial of 15 men accused of killing Ya Na Yakubu Andani II, overlord of Dagbon has taken a new twist following a motion filed by the Attorney General’s Department to have the prosecution re-open its case.

After failing on three occasions to present more witnesses, the prosecution on November 5, 2010, officially said it had closed it case in the trial prompting the defense to indicate to the court that it intends to file motion of “Submission of No case”, a request which was granted by the court.

The court presided over by Justice EK Ayebi of the Court of Appeal then ordered the registrar of the court to make available to the defense all the proceedings of the trial before November 12, 2010 and adjourned the case to today Tuesday, November 23, 2010 for the defense to prepare the motion for “Submission of No Case”.

Before the prosecution closed its case, it had brought 12 witnesses including two police investigators and the pathologist who conducted autopsy on the Ya Na’s body to testify in the case.

However, just as the motion for “Submission of No Case” was to be moved, the prosecution on November 18, 2010 filed “an application to re-open its case and tender recording through witness.”

The affidavit, a copy of which Daily Guide has in its possession claimed the sixth accused person in the case, Alhassan Braimah is said to have been recorded by one Moses Nsor, an ex-security officer, confessing that he (Braimah) killed the Ya Na.

Daily Guide has learnt that Ben Nsor was one of the 40 person arrested by the security agencies early this year in connection with the case but was left off the hook after the police had conducted identification and screening exercise.

The affidavit deposed to by Robert Ayalingo, Director of Operations at the CID headquarters said he supervised the second investigation into the murder of Ya Na Yakubu Andani II and that during the investigation, the name Ben Nsor kept cropping up.

Mr. Ayalingo said Nsor who is ‘ordinarily’ resident in Togo was located on November 7, 2010; two days after the prosecution had closed its case and during interrogation, vital evidence in the form of audio recording of Braimah was recovered.

“I am advised and verily believe same to be true that the recording constitute fresh evidence in this case which despite the exercise of reasonable diligence could not have been obtained prior to or during the prosecution’s evidence-in-chief.”

Mr. Ayalingo deposed that the recording is relevant to the case saying “…the probative value of the proffered evidence substantially outweighs any prejudice that may be caused to the defense or the need to ensure a fair trial within a reasonable time if it is tendered in evidence.”

All the 15 accused persons, except Zakaria Yakubu aka Zakaria Forest, the seventh suspect who is currently at large, were in court.

They have all pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, with Forest (A7) facing an additional charge of murder.

They are currently on remand except Iddrisu Iddi aka Mbadugu, due to old age.
Those on trial are Iddrisu Iddi aka Mbadugu, Alhaji Baba Abdulai Iddrisu aka Zohe, Kwame Alhassan aka Achiri, Mohamadu Abdulai aka Samasama, Sayibu Mohammed, Alhassan Braimah and Alhaji Mohammed Habib Tijani, 45, former District Chief Executive (DCE) of Yendi as second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth accused persons respectively.

The rest are Baba Ibrahim aka Baba Zey, Alhassan Mohammed aka Mohammed Cheampon, Mohammed Mustapha, Shani Imoro, Yakubu Yusif aka Leftee and Hammed Abukari Yussif and Abdul Razak Yussif aka Nyaa as 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th accused persons respectively.

La Dadekotopon NPP plan for 2012



Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday November 23, 2010
As part of efforts to unseat the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2012 general elections, the La Dadekotopon Constituency of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has held a breakfast meeting to outline strategies to bring victory to the party.

Themed, “Setting the agenda for election 2012: Strategies, roles and responsibilities,” the meeting which is the first of its kind for the constituency was attended by NPP stalwarts together with some Greater Accra regional executives led by First Vice Chairman, Divine Otoo Agorhom while Jake Otanka Obetsebi Lamptey, NPP National Chairman stopped by briefly to show solidarity with them.

At the meeting it was clear the executives would be leading a campaign on three key issues. These were explained by Frank Davies, the Constituency Chairman as: conducting thorough research to identify the party’s problems, developing appropriate communication methods and concentrating on deprived electoral areas in the constituency.

Addressing them, Mr. Davies said “it is obvious that the battle to recapture the seat from the NDC is not going to be an easy task but once we were able to do it in 2000, I do not see why we should not resolve to recapture it.”

He warned the NPP family nationwide against complacency and entertaining the notion that because the NDC was struggling to deliver on its campaign promises, the 2012 elections would be mere a formality for the NPP saying “we should be careful and not be complacent. We should work constructively to beat the NDC.”

Mr. Davies, a lawyer by profession said the executives together with the party’s coordinators were busily activating structures within the constituency to make it very accessible to the constituents saying “we have to be very pragmatic in what we are going to do.”

He paid glowing tribute to the party former executives, particularly the chairman saying the new executives are going to involve everybody to attain victory for the NPP in 2012.

In a short speech, Divine Agorhom urged NPP sympathizers to re-invoke the 1999 spirit which sparked the nationwide enthusiasm that caused the NPP to defeat the NDC in the 2000 general elections.

He advised: “Let us go down to the people, let’s not have the people coming to us.
We should tailor our messages to suit the needs of the suffering masses. We should be able to tell them what the NPP stands for and what we can do for Ghana.”

He said the regional executives were working diligently to ensure the NPP defeats the NDC in 2012.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Makola Razed Down..Mills dashes to Market



Nii Armah Ashittey (left), Greater Accra Regional Minister briefing President John Evans Atta Mills. Looking on is Nii Tackie Commey (right), MP for Odododiodioo.

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

saturday November 20, 2010
Shop owners at Makola Number Two Market in Accra could not contain the trauma of seeing the investments in ruins as they broke down in tears following a deadly inferno that swept through one of the modern markets in the country on Thursday evening.
The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) was tested on its fire control capability again as the firemen were overwhelmed by the fire which teased them for several hours as onlookers wondered whether they were really primed for the assignment.
The fire which started at about 6:45pm remained untamable by the firemen with their tenders until around midnight leaving in its trail destroyed goods worth several millions of Ghana Cedis and collapsed traders.
Several public buildings and markets have seen one fire incident or the other sometimes leaving their trail deaths apart from destruction of properties.
Residents in the neighbourhood wondered why a nearby fire station, the Accra Central Fire Station not too far away from the location could not manage the fire for several hours and leading to the destruction of so much property.
The intensity of the fire could be determined by the pockets of smoldering fire dotting the place as firemen moved around to put them out with soldiers and policemen on standby to contain any act of lawlessness or outright theft when such situations arise.
A fireman told DAILY GUIDE that they have been working all night to bring the situation under control an indication of how serious the fire was.
The place had been thrown into a state of mourning and market women, even men wept uncontrollably over the loss of their wares and capital, with victims claiming that they cash in their shops.
The main gates to the market were said to be locked at the time of the fire outbreak, making it difficult for fire tenders to gain access to fight the fire a deficiency which prompted questions about such a modern market would be built without such access.

It took several hours for fire personnel to break through the market gates but their inability to get access to fire hydrants exacerbated the situation and about three traders were said to have collapsed upon hearing about the disaster
Eyewitnesses gave contradictory statements about how the fire started. While some said power outage triggered the inferno others claimed it was due to electrical faults.
At about 10:04am, President John Evan Atta Mills arrived at the scene to assess the extent of damage for himself.
The President who was visibly shaken by the turn of events assured the victims of the government’s commitment to assist them to get back into business and also said he would order an investigation into the disaster.
In a brief message he said “this fire outbreak is a bother to all of us so I came to assure you that we will investigate to know what exactly happened.”
“But I am appealing to the NADMO, AMA, and the Regional Coordinating Council to assist you. We as a Government will not turn our back on you. I know that most of you are wailing and weeping because you have lost your capital completely. So we will do whatever we can to help you,” he promised.
Nii Armah Ashittey, Greater Accra Regional Minister who was in the company of Nii Tackie Commey, MP for Odododiodioo advised the traders to observe basic safety rules to prevent disasters such as what had happened.
He said the Regional Coordinating Council will collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that the market was rebuilt.
Nii Tackie Commey also assured victims of the government’s support to get them back to business.
He appealed for fire hydrants and access routes in the various markets to forestall future occurrences.
The original Makola Market was also razed by a mysterious fire many years ago and the displaced market women transferred to the location which was torched last Thursday.
The market was constructed with SSNIT funds with modernity as the watchword.
But with impossible access for fire tenders and the absence of fire hydrants it is difficult not to condemn the engineering works of the facility.
Major markets have been scenes of fires in the past few months. The Kumasi Kejetia Market had its share of the mysterious fires having tasted it twice or so, as well as Kantamanto Market in the Central Business District of Accra.
However there was no report of life lost.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Amina ‘brother’ arrested over Mass Rape



Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu
The Amina mass sex story which resonated throughout the country, teasing many minds as to its veracity given also the politicization of the subject has resurrected again.

Just as dusts were settling on the matter, a man called Michael Frimpong; a resident of Kumasi who claims to be on the controversial Yutong bus has been arrested by the police and is currently languishing in jail at the Police headquarters cells in Accra.

He was picked up yesterday after granting an interview to Great FM, an Achimota based private radio station in Accra where he gave vivid description about what happened on that faithful on October 11, 2010, exonerating Amina from any blame.

In the interview, Michael claimed he was on board of the bus with registration GN 623-10 which he said was sprayed in ash and was bound for Bolgatanga when the incident occurred.

“We left Accra at about 10:30 pm and when we got to Kubease near Ejisu, I heard the driver shout ‘Jesus’ and applied the brakes.”

He claimed the armed robbers fire warning shots some of which hit the bonnet and as well as the side mirror of the bus and glasses splashed on the driver.
“The driver tried to move but because they had blocked the road with logs and therefore he had to pack.”

He said he saw four of the robbers two of whom were women and the women first entered the bus and ordered the passengers to surrender all their personal effects including mobile phones and money.

“They searched everywhere and after taking what they wanted, they ordered the women to step out of the bus first”.

Frimpong claimed that when the female passengers were asked to step out of the bus, they were all ordered to remove their clothing including the panties and braziers before the robbers lined them up beside the bus.

“The male passengers were also ordered out and I was ordered to lie on top of a woman who is more than 40 years and have sex with her.”

He claimed two females on the bus were spared in the sex ordeal because one was very old and another said she was in her menses and added that two white women who were on the bus were also forced to have sex with the men.

Frimpong further claimed that when he pretended to be having sexual intercourse with his ‘partner’ one of the robbers hit his waist with the butt of a gun and it put him into forced ejaculation and went ahead to have sex with the woman.

He claimed a man who was sending his daughter to school was forced to sleep with the 14-year old girl.

He said after the incident the driver sent them to Ejisu Police Station where they were all asked to stand in front of the office whilst the driver went inside with a police officer and after returning the police asked the driver to proceed to his destination and come back to report to them.

When asked why it had taken him so long to help the police unravel the mystery surrounding the matter, Frimpong said he was afraid the police would arrest him and treat him in the same way they have done to Amina.

He said nobody had given him money or influenced him to come to say what he is saying now.

Police had described the mass rape report as a “hoax”, putting Amina before court for causing fear and panic.

Amina Mohammed, 24, mother of three reported how armed robbers attacked their Bolgatanga bound Yutong bus and forced male passengers to have sex with their female counterparts, including a father who was supposedly forced to sleep with his 14 year old daughter.

Amina was picked up on Saturday, October 30, 2010 by the Police together with the reporter who broke the story on Adom FM to assist in investigations.

The reporter was released after several hours of interrogation but Amina was detained and finally charged on Tuesday November 2 for publishing false information to cause fear and panic and deceit of a public officer.

After initially being denied bail, she was eventually granted bail by a Human Rights Court in Accra on Friday November 5 in the sum of GH¢5,000 with one surety.

Group call for IMC for PNC




Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Friday November 19, 2010
A GROUP calling itself the Concerned Group of the Peoples’ National Convention (PNC) is agitating for an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to manage the party’s affairs until the next delegates’ congress to elect national officers.

According to the group, the composition of a National Executive Committee (NEC) and Standing Committee currently running the affairs of the party are illegal and unconstitutional.

A statement issued in Accra and signed by Bernard Bama-ame, Secretary of the group said those holding themselves as NEC executives have breached Articles 43 and 49 of the PNC’s constitution which says that such officers shall hold office for a term not less than the life of Parliament.

They claimed Dr. Edward Nasigre Mahama who has been the party’s presidential candidate since 1996 is violating Article 49 (1) and (2) of the PNC constitution by continuing to hold himself out as leader and as presidential candidate saying “It follows as a matter of logic that Dr. Mahama cannot be a member of the Standing Committee or chair a meeting of the committee as a leader of the party.”

“All sub committees of the party as provided under Article 58 of the party’s constitution which were set up by a meeting chaired by Dr. Edward N. Mahama is unconstitutional and illegal. Consequently all actions or decisions taken by any of those committees are illegal and null and void.”

They said “by the same line of argument, Dr. Edward N. Mahama cannot sit as a member of the National Executive Committee since he is not qualified to be a leader of the party. Therefore he continuing to sit as a member of the NEC constitutes a deliberate and reckless disregard of our own party constitution and should not be tolerated and condoned by any member of the party since we cannot run a party in violation of our own laws and that of the country.”

“We should not permit continuing reckless violations of our party’s constitution. We are further encouraged and emboldened to end this illegality by a comment of both the chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan and Dr. Edward Nasigre Mahama, the purported Chairman and Leader at a purported NEC held on Friday 5th November 2010, at the Party Headquarters in Accra, to the effect that at the next NEC meeting scheduled for Saturday November 27, 2010, any and all ineligible or unqualified NEC members would be flushed out.”

The group invited all PNC members to take “all reasonable and legitimate steps” to rectify the “constitutional defect” adding “in the alternative, we suggest that an Interim Management Committee be set up to run the affairs of the party until the next national congress to elect national officers as mandated by the party’s constitution.”

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Millionaire MP storms out of Live TV Show



Mr. Agyapong staging a walk-out yesterday.

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday November 18, 2010.
Kennedy Agyapong, the multi-millionaire MP for Assin North in the Central Region yesterday did the unthinkable when he walked out from a live television programme out of anger saying his views were being suppressed by the host of the programme and his co-panelist.

Mr. Agyapong, owner of Kencity Media was a panelist on E-TV’s early morning newspaper review programme, Awake, hosted by Bismarck Brown when the unfortunate incident occurred.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP was doing the news analysis at the Asylum Down based free-to-air commercial television channel with Alfred Agbesi, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Ashiaman in the Greater Accra Region.

Matters came to a head when the host of the programme asked Ken to stick to a specific issue put out for debate after the Assin North MP had referred to former President Rawlings' regime as ‘Jesus Christ and his disciples.’

The topic that generated the controversy was the Daily Searchlight's news report headlined “Mills is blind…says Arthur K”, capturing President Atta Mills recent pronouncements that Kufuor did nothing for eight years.

The Searchlight had quoted Dr. Kobina Arthur Kennedy, a leading member of the NPP as describing President Mills as politically blind since he could not see the achievements made by Ex-President Kufuor.

The Assin North MP insisted that he had not passed insulting comments about Ex-President Rawlings after the host had pleaded with him to mention the former President’s by his name but he (Mr. Agyapong) said he recalled the former President making statements in 1979 and 1980s making reference to him as such when he seized power through military coups.

“I am making my analysis and I am building a point, Rawlings when he came to Ghana was portraying himself as Jesus Christ so why are you interrupting my comment,” the angry MP charged.

Mr. Agbesi at this point tried to cut in intermittently calling on his co-panelist to retract the Jesus Christ description of the NDC founder and not bring JJ Rawlings’ name into the discussion but Mr. Agyapong replied that he (Mr. Agbesi) was not the host to tell him how to behave or what to say on the programme.

The Assin North MP then accused both the Ashiaman MP and the host of trying to question his integrity and suppressing his views shouting: “You are questioning my integrity and suppressing my views”, a statement the host could not challenged.

“If this continues, I am not going to come on this programme again. If I cannot express my views and you will (continuously) suppress my comments then, you are questioning my integrity,” he fumed.

The debate then degenerated with the panelists trying to outdo each other and Mr. Agyapong was heard saying "next time I'm not coming to your show...for me to drive all the way here from Burma Camp for you to just suppress my facts... I have not insulted anybody here," he said.

He then asked the host to change the topic saying "Change the topic. I'm not going to comment on that (the topic)...I don't want to put up any behaviour over here. If you like, I'll walk out."

When the host insisted the topic must be exhausted the firebrand MP removed the microphone from his dress, and walked off the set.

The host had no option than to sign off abruptly, apologizing profusely to viewers.

Gov’t tackles organized crime



Ebo Barton-Oduro, Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice in Ghana.

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday November 18, 2010.
The Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Ebo Barton-Oduro has reiterated the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government’s commitment to partner other governments in the West African sub-region to fight economic and organized crime.
He said the nature of crimes currently being committed had become sophisticated and noted that no country can fight such crimes alone.

Mr. Barton-Oduro was speaking at a three-day workshop to build the capacity of prosecuting state attorneys to be able to deal with challenges of organized crime in the law courts.

It is being attended by over 70 state attorneys from the Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone and topics they will tackle include money laundering, criminal asset tracing seizure, drug and human trafficking and cyber crime among others.

The Deputy Attorney General said organized crime particularly money laundering and other cyber frauds are posing “an increasing challenge to the criminal justice system across the world” and there is the need for prosecutors to build their capacities to be able to nip such societal ills in the bud.

He noted the activities of those involved in organized crime impede accelerated development but said with total collaboration and commitment, the menace can be tackled.

Mr. Barton-Oduro urged the state attorneys to take advantage of the workshop to equip themselves with the requisite skills needed in fighting economic and organized crime and pledged government’s commitment to fight the threat.

Roger Coventry, Criminal Justice Advisor at the British High Commission in Accra, one of the resource persons said the Ghana government should strive to implement its commitments toward global efforts in the fight against economic and organized crime.
He said those involved in organized crime look for countries and regions where there are weak laws and poor security networks to operate.

Mr. Coventry said the rush for money and power are the underlying factors of transnational crime saying “when tackling organized crime do not look at it from just the demand side…look at it from the supply side as well.”

He said for instance, more people are dying in the West African sub-region from counterfeited drugs saying “unless we do something about the situation, the region will continue to fall victim to transnational crime all the time.”

“These things cause damage to our society but once we have the laws we have to make them work.”

Turning to the state attorneys, Mr. Coventry said “you have public functions to perform regardless of the country you live in. Know about transnational crime and put yourselves in a better position to deal with it.”

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Essay Competition for Ghana’s oil



Wednesday November 17, 2010

By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday November 17, 2010
The Jubilee First Oil national Essay Competition was launched in Accra last week with a call on the government to strive to use oil revenue for accelerated development.

The competition is in two categories for pupils in Junior and Senior High Schools (junior) on one hand and students in tertiary institutions (senior) on the other hand.

It forms part of activities to get the youth involved and harness their ideas on how to manage Ghana’s oil for the benefit of the people. The competition has been designed to coincide with the pouring of the country’s first oil.

Under the competition, student entering the junior category will write on the topic “To what use should Ghana put its oil wealth” – (not more than 500) while these entering the senior category would tackle the topic “Ghana’s oil is for development; outline some developmental benefits of Ghana’s oil find” – (not more than 750 word), and entries should reach the secretariat by November 30, 2010.

The five-member panel to review all entries expects students to present ideas in balanced, objective, and also display integrity and resourcefulness and communicate ideas to make the issue relevant. They are expected to send the entries to firstoilessay@yahoo.com or firstoilessay@gmail.com or post it to P.O. Box CT 5976, Cantonments, Accra where winners will prizes including educational grants.

Launching the competition, Mary Quaye, Director of Pre-Tertiary Education at the Ministry of Education who represented Elizabeth Amoah-Tetteh, a Deputy Minister of Education said the competition offers the youth an opportunity to be part of an important national issue which is the discovery of oil.

She said “today marks a changing environment in corporate Ghana’s attitude towards the youth. This opportunity is a unique test to our young ones as they are put in the position to think as future leaders.”

She said the competition forms part of the efforts to ensure that the oil find does not become a curse, saying “through their research our youth will realise for themselves that we will reap the benefits of this industry as long as certain measures are observed.”

Dr. Mawuli Adjei, a lecturer at the University of Ghana, who is also a member of the judging panel, stressed the need for the youth to be given the opportunity to contribute significantly towards national development.

Elizabeth Bentil, a Manager at Tullow Oil, said the Jubilee Oilfield partners would continue to sensitize the youth on the oil find, saying “what we are doing is a form of exhibition to let the youth know how oil is drilled and the benefits for the country.”

The partners of the Jubilee Oilfield include Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, EO Group Ghana Limited, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Kosmos Energy, SABRE Oil and Gas and Tullow Oil.

TUC To Protect Domestic Workers



Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday November 16, 2010.
The Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) has initiated a series of advocacy programmes to formulate rules and regulations that would promote decent work and protect domestic workers in the country.

Data compiled under the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS) in 2005 show that domestic workers in the country are the least paid and mostly work under inhuman conditions.

The TUC, together with Global Network Africa, say the time has come for the rights of domestic workers to be respected.

At a workshop in Accra yesterday on ‘Social protection for domestic workers,’ participants from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), National Labour Commission (NLC), Ghana Employers association (GEA), Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare and TUC officials discussed pertinent issues affecting domestic workers.

Speaking on the topic: ‘Decent work deficit in the informal sector’, Clara Osei-Boateng, a researcher at the Labour Institute in Accra said certain provisions in the current labour laws made it impossible for domestic workers to enjoy the same rights as all other workers, describing the situation as “pure discrimination.”

She said research conducted on domestic work shows that public recruitment centres do not always ensure the enforcement of labour laws whenever people approach them for domestic workers, explaining that private recruitment agencies mostly adhere to the rules, saying “there is laxity in the public recruitment centres.”

Ms. Osei-Boateng also said that expatriates who approach recruitment centres for domestic workers tend to comply with the rules more than non-expatriates and added that most domestic workers prefer to work for expatriates.

She said the problem has come about because domestic workers do not realise that they have rights under the labour laws, saying “most of them have not even heard about the labour laws, let alone know where to seek redress.”

She said organized labour is seeking for a law that would protect both the domestic worker and the employer, adding that “there should be a situation where an employer can locate and seek redress against a domestic worker who goes against the rules.”

Togbe Adu Drayi II of TUC said the issue of domestic workers should be addressed, taking into consideration the socio-cultural settings of the people.

He said poor socio-economic circumstances are fuelling the situation where by people take up appointments as domestic workers saying “the right of domestic workers has become a major concern for the TUC and its needs serious attention.”

He noted that domestic workers render important services but their contributions to the economy are not recognized, explaining that the lack of protection for them was due to the kind of contracts they enter into with their employers.

Togbe Drayi called on government to partner the organized labour to develop standards that would regulate activities of domestic workers, saying we should have a comprehensive framework for domestic workers to be safe.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Spio jabs Kwabena Adjei over JJ’s House




Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Saturday November 15, 2010
Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, a first vice chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), is angry with his party members following a statement issued by their national chairman.

Dr. Kwabena Adjei is accusing Dr. Spio-Garbrah of abandoning a task given him to resolve former President Jerry John Rawlings’s accommodation problem.

Spio described portions of the chairman’s statement as “a sophisticated hoax”, as the section quoted was “totally false”.

Spio had castigated President John Evans Atta Mills for leaving ex-President Rawlings homeless, when he honoured an invitation to speak at a Tertiary Education Institution Network (TEIN) workshop in Accra on November 9, 2010.

This incurred the wrath of the NDC leadership, which expressed what some political analysts believed was a belated concern about the housing issue.

The statement condemning Dr. Spio-Garbrah, Dela Coffie, Communications Director of Friends of Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings (FONKAR) as well as the TEIN members, was signed by NDC national chairman, Dr. Kwabena Adjei whose ‘there are many ways of killing a cat’ statement, with reference to judges in the country, caused fear and panic among judges recently.

It had said among other things that “the FEC (Functional Executive Committee) wishes to state that Dr. Spio-Garbrah was appointed chairman of a three-member committee set up to resolve the former first couple’s accommodation problem. Unfortunately, Dr. Spio-Garbrah left Ghana for his UK base without calling a meeting of the committee. Indeed, he is yet to call a meeting of that committee.”

Reacting to the ‘falsehood’ put out by the NDC chairman, Dr. Spio-Garbrah said, “My attention has been drawn to a statement issued yesterday, purportedly under the signature of Dr Kwabena Adjei, the chairman of our party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC)…I hope that this statement allegedly put out by the party chairman is a sophisticated hoax, as the section quoted above is totally false.

“I wish to state categorically, without fear of contradiction, that I have not been appointed the chairman of any three-man NDC party committee to deal with the Rawlings house issue. Another vice chairman of the party was the one appointed at a NEC meeting at the KAMA Conference Centre about two months ago, where I was present, and the important issue of why Rawlings’ official accommodation problem was not even on the agenda to be discussed by NEC.”

He stated that earlier at another meeting of FEC, about four months ago, which he chaired in the absence of the chairman, he raised the issue of why “this important matter was not on the agenda.”

He noted that following the discussion of the subject, he was part of a large party delegation which met urgently at the Castle to discuss the issue with President Mills and other senior Castle officials, saying, “So, yes, I have been concerned with this matter, as one of several factors which in my opinion is detracting from party unity, and I have tried to use all internal party channels to have it addressed.

“In fact, it would have been awkward and inappropriate for the only vice chairman of the party who is known to reside outside Ghana to have been appointed as chairman of a committee that needed to urgently address such an important matter of state which affects the party, when there are four or five other vice chairmen who could have handled this matter.

“Indeed, closer scrutiny of the minutes of that NEC meeting, or even quiet conversations between the chairman and some of those present at that NEC meeting, would reveal that the party chairman has made what I consider to be simply a genuine and honest mistake, if indeed he issued the statement under his signature.”

Dr. Spio-Garbrah said there was no NDC party letter appointing him to the position with relevant terms of reference, time-table or deadline to report and no NEC resolution of the NDC giving him such an assignment, adding, “The unfortunate impression that the NDC chairman's statement may have created that I, a mere private citizen, and an elected party official with no executive power could have somehow commandeered the Presidency to give this or that house to former President Rawlings and his family, and I have failed to act, is simply incredulous.”

Dr. Spio-Garbrah said the whole spectacle and the blame-game over the Rawlings house issue was a shame, noting that there was not a single person at the Castle, the seat of government, who was not benefiting from the sacrifices made by former President Rawlings.

He said he had never denigrated President Mills “for this situation or any other matter”, even though he bore part of this collective responsibility and asked NDC members who could not maintain joint respect for both President Mills and ex-President Rawlings to explain their positions to the public, and not drag him into their problems.

He had told TEIN members at the workshop in Accra that the NDC government had not shown gratitude to Rawlings for all his sacrifices.

“I understand that President Rawlings cannot award contracts today and that is because he doesn’t make appointments anymore. He is not relevant and of no value to the party. Otherwise it is not possible that even when disaster victims faraway in Haiti can receive a donation of $3million but when a disaster befalls the founder of the party and former President of the Republic of Ghana who by the Constitution is required to be given official accommodation, till today he does not have official accommodation. And yet there are over one thousand Government bungalows in Accra and I personally have identified some of them and have recommended it to the people concerned.

“NPP don’t take us serious because they see that we are unable to house our own father and are aware that the party is not strong enough to face them in the 2012 election,” he said.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Konadu Stings Mosquito




Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu
The unprovoked attacks by Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, a National Vice Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that President John Evans Atta Mills has left Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings homeless is fast deepening the woes of the ruling party which is already struggling to paper the deepening cracks ahead of the 2012 general elections.

It has emerged that former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings who was also present at the controversial Tertiary Education Institution Network (TEIN) workshop in Accra which has been described as inciting accused the party’s national executives of hypocrisy and biased in favour of President Atta Mills.

The former first lady did not understand why NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia aka General Mosquito, should chastise her publicly when the party’s foot soldiers displayed her posters declaring their support for her presidential ambitions even though she had not publicly declared herself.

She said the same Asiedu Nketia and the party’s executives were silent when President Mills was said to have explicitly expressed interest in running again for the presidency in 2012 on more than one occasion, when nominations had not been opened for the NDC’s presidential slot.

The former First Lady did not understand why the provisions in the NDC’s constitution should be applied in a discriminatory manner saying “the party has a constitution that says that two years to the general elections we should have a congress and choose a flagbearer…the General Secretary says nobody should declare until the ban is lifted…so if this is in the constitution does it apply to one or two people or it applies to everybody.”

Unlike Vice President John Dramani Mahama who has publicly declared he would “never run” against President Mills, the former First Lady is yet to confirm or deny that she would contest to lead the NDC for the 2012 general election but she maintains that the only way to make the Mills administration perform was to be critical of the President and his functionaries.

“We have to be critical of the government, if that is what is going to make the government to properly work for us, because of handout the people are quiet, and because of small money the people are quiet” she said.

The open defiance and disrespect displayed by some TEIN members despite a directive from Ludwig Hlodze, the National Youth Organizer calling on the TEIN executives not to hold the workshop which was believed to have been sponsored by the Rawlings faction in the NDC shows how the party was struggling to deal with indiscipline.

Mr. Hlodze who had earlier tried to stop the workshop said “I still insist it was an illegal workshop. It does not have the blessing of the party or the youth wing of which I am the head. They did not have my consent to hold the workshop.

“Some people are trying to create power blocs in the party. People who claim to be members of the NDC must respect the rules and regulations of the party. We should not do things to undermine the very structures that we have all helped to put together,” he said.

He said Dr. Sunu cannot be a member of TEIN because he is a practicing medical officer and not a student and wondered how they came by the funds to organize the workshop and even camping some of the delegates, when the same people had been coming to him for chop money and rent allowances.

But Dr Sunu says members of the network have not in any way been incited by comments made by Dr Spio-Garbrah against the party at the workshop.

The Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the NDC expressed what some political analysts believe a belated concern about the activities of a group calling itself "Greater Accra TEIN".

The FEC said it was studying details of the TEIN workshop which was convened by one Dr. David Yaoga Sunu and would soon come out with an official position on it in a released signed by NDC National Chairman, Dr. Kwabena Adjei whose infamous statement “there are many ways of killing a cat’ in reference to judges in the country caused fear and panic among judges recently.

The statement issued in Accra condemned a speech by Dela Coffie in the name of Friends of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings (FONKAR), which attacked the integrity of President John Evans Atta Mills and Vice President John Dramani Mahama and distanced NDC from the publication since "the party does not recognize FONKAR or any of such groups and their purported executives".

"For the avoidance of doubt, the party shall fish out and identify the likes of Dela Coffie and deal with them in accordance with the relevant provisions of the party's constitution," the statement said.

Della Coffie who had since issuing the damming statement attacking the integrity of Vice President Mahama had received tongue lashing from Mills apologists had not kept quiet firing from all cylinders.

Della virtually thrown the integrity of Vice President John Dramani Mahama into question by describing him as somebody who has no ‘conscience’ and can easily be bribed, tainting the image of the number two citizens.

Tackling Spio’s attacks on President Mills for allegedly failing to provide accommodation for the former first family, the FEC expressed dismay about the statement and said Spio was appointed Chairman of a three-member committee set up to resolve the former first couple's accommodation problem, but unfortunately, he left the country for his UK base without calling a meeting.

Meanwhile the NDC youth in the Ashanti Region have asked the party’s executives to stand up against the persistent attacks by some leading members of the party on President Mills.

NDC Regional Youth Organizer, Kwaku Boafo, speaking to Nhyira FM in Kumasi said ‘disaster’ awaits the in 2012 should the leadership of the party fail to curb indiscipline in the party.

They vowed to resist any group or individuals who attempt to make President Mills unpopular saying “If we hear anybody insulting or castigating the President and the Vice-President so that they cannot achieve the Better Ghana Agenda then we the youths in Ashanti Region will stand against them. We don’t know where this is coming from.”

Ban Surface Mining-Catholic Bishops



Most Reverend Joseph Osei-Bonsu, Bishop of Konongo-Mampong and President of Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference.


Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday November 11, 2010
Catholic Bishops of Ghana have called on government to, as a matter of urgency, abolish surface mining in the country because of the devastating effects mining activities are having on the people.

Out of the 14 or more multi-national mining companies in the country, it only AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi Mine which is engaged in underground mining as the rest are into hot surface mining sometimes in forest reserves, which environmental experts say, is contributing to the rapid depletion of Ghana’s forest cover.

Interestingly, these multi-national mining companies would never be allowed to engage in surface mining in their parent countries and environmental advocates believe that these companies are taking advantage of what they call “relaxed mining laws” in Ghana to do their operations.

In the communiqué issued at the end of the annual plenary assembly held at Sefwi Wiawso in the Western Region from October 29 to November 5, 2010 under the theme, “If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation”, the Bishops said “we advocate the immediate abolition of surface mining because of its obvious harmful social and environmental consequences. In this connection, we commend those traditional rulers who are making great efforts to protect the environment.”

The communiqué, signed by Most Reverend Joseph Osei-Bonsu, Bishop of Konongo-Mampong and President of Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said even though mining has been going on for a long time, the country cannot affirm that the advantages derived from the mining activities are in any way commensurate with their disastrous impact on the natural environment.

“As pastors, we also want to single out for attention the worrying development of mining in forest reserves. It is gradually becoming the trend for the government and some traditional rulers to grant foreign mining companies the concession to mine in forest reserves. The clearing of natural habitats for mining, especially surface mining, oil and gas exploration and exploitation has led to the unprecedented loss of biodiversity in the ecosystem, threatening a sizable number of plant and animal species.”

They also expressed concern about the level of pollution that the country is experiencing saying “air, water and noise pollution is increasing at an alarming rate today so much so that it appears to have been taken for granted.”

The Bishops said it is very sad to note that many of rivers in the country including Ankobra, Birim and Pra are no longer potable due to excessive pollution and also attributed the escalation of prices of food items in the country to shortages in agricultural production as a result of poor soil fertility and erratic rainfall patterns due to deforestation.

“At present, according to reliable sources, the forest cover of the country is only 1.2 million hectares, down from 8.2 million hectares in 1957. The annual deforestation rate is 65,000 hectares per year and yet there are numerous officially licensed timber companies in addition to the illegal ‘chain saw’ operators still at work in our forests,” they said.

Apart from the concerns about the environment, the Bishops also touched on the oil find and the need to ensure national peace and security.

They urged the international community to insist on transparent, fair and accountable processes in the exploration and production of the oil as well as the management of revenue for the creation of wealth to enhance the quality of life of all people in the country.

TEIN demands legal backing



Dr. David Yaoga Sunu is the Greater Accra Regional president of TEIN.

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Thursday November 11, 2010
THE CONTROVERSIAL workshop organized by the Tertiary Educational Institutions Network (TEIN) that sparked a war of words in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC)has issued a communiqué asking the party leadership to give them legal backing in the NDC constitution without delay.

At the end of the workshop themed: “Resources untapped; harnessing the full potentials of TEIN,” participants issued a communiqué saying “as a matter of urgency, due legal recognition must be granted the Tertiary Educational Institutions Network (TEIN) as far as the NDC constitution is concerned.”

It was at this workshop held on Tuesday that Dr. Ekwow Spio Garbrah, a first National Vice Chairman of the NDC accused President John Evan Atta Mills of neglecting Ex-President JJ Rawlings, founder of the party and not making any effort to resettle him since his house was gutted by fire on Valentine’s Day.

Dr. Spio-Garbrah who is currently the Chief Executive of Commonwealth
Telecommunication Organization (CTO) in London said at the workshop that many believe was sponsored by the Rawlings faction with NDC matriarch, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings in attendance, that he does not understand why government was giving the former president a raw deal in spite of his role as party founder.

Spio-Garbrah noted the state’s inability to resettle Rawlings had given the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) the chance to ridicule the government.

“I understand that President Rawlings cannot award contracts today and that because he doesn’t make appointments anymore he is not relevant and of no value to the party. Otherwise it is not possible that even disaster victims far away in Haiti can receive a donation of $3million but when a disaster befalls the founder of the party and former President of the Republic of Ghana who by the Constitution is required to be given official accommodation, he does not have official accommodation till today.

And yet there are over one thousand government bungalows in Accra and I personally have identified some of them and have recommended it to the people concerned.”

“The NPP don’t take us serious because they see that we are unable to house our own father and are aware that the party is not strong enough to face them in the 2012 election,” he said.

The participants said the social democratic ideals and historical background of the NDC makes it the most ideal party which the youth of this country must join and work for and called for regular budgetary support for TEIN at all levels.

They noted the appointment of regional TEIN coordinators must cease immediately and that TEINs must be established at all regional levels across the country with elected executives. Participants added that a national TEIN must be established as the umbrella body for all TEINs with elected national executives.

“As a matter of urgency, a copy of the amendments to the party’s constitution adopted at the 2010 National Congress must be provided to TEIN through the Greater Accra Regional TEIN and all requests in the document of ‘TEIN Proposals’ must be provided for TEIN.”

The meeting was organized by Dr. David Yaoga Sunu, President of Greater Accra TEIN.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mills is Wicked – Spio-Garbrah



Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah is a leading member of the ruling NDC in Ghana.

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday November 10, 2010
A comment by Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, a first Vice Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that President John Evans Atta Mills is a wicked and callous person has sparked new war of words in the ruling party, causing fear and panic among the rank.

Spio who has penchant of dropping bombs in the Mills administration told a gathering of NDC student wing in Accra that he doesn’t understand while the government was giving former President Jerry Rawlings a raw deal inspite of his role as the founder of the party.

Addressing a controversial Tertiary Education Institution Network (TEIN) workshop in Accra yesterday, Dr. Spio-Garbrah who is currently the Chief Executive of Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization (CTO) in London said President Mills is wicked and callous because he had rendered Ex-President Rawlings a destitute, in the midst of thousands of state houses in Accra.

He had said among other things that even though there were over 1000s state bungalows in Accra alone the President Mills has not made any effort to resettle the founder of the party whose house was gutted by fire on Valentine’s Day this year.

Spio said that the government’s inability to resettle Rawlings had given the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) the chance to ridicule the government.

“I understand that President Rawlings cannot award contracts today and that because he doesn’t make appointments anymore he is not relevant and of no value to the party. Otherwise it is not possible that even when disaster victims faraway in Haiti can receive a donation of $3million but when a disaster befalls the founder of the party and former President of the Republic of Ghana who by the Constitution is required to be given official accommodation, till today he does not have official accommodation. And yet there are over one thousand Government bungalows in Accra and I personally have identified some of them and have recommended it to the people concerned.

“NPP don’t take us serious because they see that we are unable to house our own father and are aware that the party is not strong enough to face them in the 2012 election,” he said.

Spio took on members of the party who claim the term ‘foot soldier’ was a creation of the NPP and alien to the NDC.

According to him, the NDC has been hijacked by certain individuals - mainly CPP and NPP elements - to the detriment of loyal party members.

He expressed regret that National Executives of the party, who were begging foot soldiers for votes some few months ago, are now distancing themselves from them, claiming the concept is alien to them.

“Foot soldiers were not something created by the NPP as some people are trying to suggest. So we cannot alienate the foundation of our party being the foot soldiers and the Leader and Founder of our party being President Rawlings, and then be hanging in the middle and call ourselves a party that is going for an election,” he said.

He also re-emphasized that some of the appointees in the Mills government are incompetent and mourned over the fact that many others like him (Spio) had been sidelined and loaded the government with under age people which popularly refers to as ‘Team B’.

But the Dr. Spio-Garbrah met his match in Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, a Deputy Minister of Information who lambasted the NDC vice chairman, accusing him of inciting NDC youth against President Mills.

He said Spio wants to say that he is the most experienced politician who was not serving in the Atta Mills-government but the Deputy Minister said there were many ways that one can contribute to the party.

He reminded Spio that not everybody could be appointed by the President to serve in the government and compared governance to the game of football where there are substitutions.

“Alban Bagbin, Minister of Water Resources Works and Housing and Nii Afotey Agbo a Minister of State were all critics of the government yet President Mills appointed them as Ministers later on,” he told Joy FM last night in reaction to Spio’s bomb.

Okudzeto Ablakwa said what Spio-Garbrah was doing that to incite the youth against President Mills and his appointees and asked rhetorically that chasing officials with clubs and sticks, is that what Dr. Spio-Garbrah wants?

“He said President Mills is callous and wicked and when he was caught on tape he says he did not know the media were there,” the Deputy Minister queried.

It is now clear that misunderstandings and confusion that has rocked top echelons of the ruling NDChas trickled down to the youth wing of the party as the yesterday’s event was sponsored by the Rawlings faction of the party with NDC matriarch, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings in attendance.

The open defiance and disrespect displayed by some TEIN members despite a directive from Ludwig Hlodze, the National Youth Organizer calling on the TEIN executives not to hold the workshop shows how the party was struggling to deal with indiscipline.

A text message from Dr. David Sunu, the organizer of the workshop had asked the TEIN executives to report at the Teachers’ Hall aka GNAT Hall near the Ministry of Information in Accra between 8 am and 6 pm yesterday for a youth empowerment workshop which was believed to have been sponsored by the Rawlings camp.

Themed “Resources untapped: Harnessing the full potential of TEIN”, the workshop was to encourage the youth of the party to work hard for the NDC to achieve its goals but Mr. Hlodze released a statement on Sunday asking TEIN executives who received the message to disregard the content because it was a hoax.

However the TEIN members defied the directive and attended en masse.

But yesterday at the Teachers’ Hall where Dr. Spio-Garbrah dropped the bombshell in the presence of Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, the workshop was held with about 50 of TEIN members in attendance.

At the main entrance of the Teachers’ Hall, a large NDC banner with the inscription: “Our Road to Freedom” while the workshop was held on 4th floor of the GNAT complex.

The workshop details were that Dr. Benjamin Kumbuor, Health Minister who was at that moment taking his turn at the meet-the-press series was to speak on the topic: The historical antecedents, core principles and values of the NDC, while Kofi Kukubor, a patron of TEIN in the Greater Accra Region was to speak on the topic: Identifying, harnessing and improving the potential of TEIN.

Furthermore, Enoch Teye Mensah, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare was billed to speak on the relevance and place of TEIN in the NDC while one Mr. Shaw was to speak on the topic: Empowering the youth to take their destiny into their own hands/job creation.

Dr. Gameli Norgbe was to address them on: The succession plan – Preparing the youth for leadership while former first lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings was billed to tackle the topic: NDC youth participation in governance.

As at about 11:45 am, only Mr. Kukubor was present to address the participants and the youth took turns to bemoan persistent neglect of the party’s youth by the NDC leadership.

Spio later joined the workshop where he dropped the bombs saying that he did not know that journalist were in the hall.

When reached for his comments on the defiance by the TEIN, Mr. Hlodze said “I still insist it was an illegal workshop. It does not have the blessing of the party or the youth wing of which I am the head. They did not have my consent to hold the workshop.

“We are preparing for the TEIN national conference in Winneba and all those concerned are working towards it. We should not be distracted by anybody.”

“People who claim to be members of the NDC must respect the rules and regulations of the party. We should not do things to undermine the very structures that we have all helped to put together,” he said.

Later on Citi FM, Mr. Hlodze said some people want to create power blocks for themselves in the party but the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NDC will soon ask the Disciplinary Committee to bring such people to book saying “people must pay for the wrongs they do in the party.”

He said Dr. Sunu cannot be a member of TEIN because he is a practicing medical practitioner and not a student and wondered how they came by the funds to organize the workshop and even camping some of the delegates, when the same people had been coming to him for chop money and rent allowances.

But Dr. Sunu said it was Mr. Kukubor, some TEIN members as well as some officials in the government who sponsored the workshop.