Friday, April 29, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, April 29, 2016

Ghanaians resident abroad are putting pressure on the Electoral Commission (EC) to implement the Representation of the People Amendment Act (Act 699), popularly called ROPAA, to enable them to vote in the upcoming crucial November general election.

Under the ROPAA, eligible Ghanaians are entitled to vote at their various destinations outside Ghana; but since its passage in 2006, the EC has not implemented the Act, citing logistical and other constraints.

As the November elections approach, a New York-based group calling itself Progressive Alliance Movement (PAM), which claims to be non-political, has filed a suit at the Human Rights Court in Accra asking it to compel the EC to implement ROPAA without delay.

The five members of PAM resident in the United States who filed the suit are Kofi A. Boateng, Agyenim Boateng, Nellie Kemevor, Obed Danquah and Christiana Sillim. They were all represented by their solicitor, Samson Lardy Anyenini of A-Partners@Law.

According to the plaintiffs, their application is based on the fact that under Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution, “Every citizen of Ghana of eighteen years of age or above and of sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda.”

They complained that “General elections in 2008 and 2012 have come and gone. No CI from the EC to implement ROPAA has seen the light of day and we are in the dawn of the 2016 election.”

According to the plaintiffs, “It is incomprehensible that Ghana, a country that projects itself as the embodiment of democracy in Africa and uses that image to collect millions of dollars and pounds of donor grants for its elections and other purposes, will not deem it necessary to use portions of the same funds to be truly democratic by being inclusionary and addressing the enfranchisement of its important and growing constituency - GLAs.”

The plaintiffs said that on page 40 of the recently released Strategic Plan (2016-2020) of the EC, the Commission acknowledged the need for a roadmap for ROPAA implementation but turned around to say “there is currently no plan.”

According to PAM, when it wrote to the EC on the way forward for the ROPAA in August last year, they (Commission) did not reply it, saying, “PAM has no choice but to file the suit on behalf of GLAs who believe in nation first, politics second.”

They said that in the case of overseas voting, 115 countries out of 196 in the world had enabling legislations to permit the right to their migrant citizens while in Africa there are at least countries like Senegal, Cape Verde, Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, South Sudan, Mauritius, Lesotho, Mali and Liberia whose governments permit overseas voting.

“Ghana is late; and two more years for the EC just to begin to study a plan for ROPAA’s implementation will never place Ghana first,” they insisted, adding, “Voting through the immediate implementation is a hook that connects GLAs to their country.

“National existentialism makes ROPAA implementation a matter of national urgency - not something for which there are no plans and needs another two years to study after ten years of no action.

The plaintiffs further said that they were following President John Mahama’s advice to Ghanaians abroad that they should follow up on the ROPAA with the EC when he visited Worcester, Massachusetts on September 27, 2014, saying, “We are in court now with the EC.”

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Supreme Court has adjourned sine die the case in which two people are suing the government over the importation of two Guantanamo Bay detainees.

The case took a new twist on April 12 when the defendants made up of the Attorney-General and the Minister of the Interior filed a process averring that Ghana actually had an existing agreement with the United States government regarding the two detainees whose presence continues to generate public uproar.

The revelation by the AG was a sharp departure from the government’s widely-held position that the acceptance of the two Al-Qaeda footsoldiers: Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef, 36 and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, 34, was purely a “diplomatic arrangement exercised through an executive power by the President.”

Yesterday when the case was called, the Registrar of the Supreme Court announced that the case was being adjourned sine die.

Daily Guide later learnt that one of the judges to handle the case was said to be indisposed for sometime.

Unconstitutional Action
The suit filed by filed by Magaret Bamfo an 86-year old  retired Conference Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Henry Nana Boakye, a student of Ghana School of Law wants the Supreme Court to declare that President John Mahama acted unconstitutionally by accepting the Al-Qaeda terrorists to Ghana.

On page 7 paragragh  3 of the AG’s statement of case filed on March 16, the government said “we admit that there exist an agreement between the two Government, which was reached by the exchange of confidential diplomatic notes otherwise known as Note Verbales.”

Daily Guide has learnt that with the latest u-turn by the government, it is expected that DE MEDEIROS & Associates, lawyers for the applicants would be seeking to request that the said agreement be made available to them for scrutiny.

Proper Interpretation
The plaintiffs are  seeking among other reliefs a declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 75 of the1992 Constitution of Ghana, the President of the Republic of Ghana acted unconstitutional by agreeing to the transfer of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby (both profiled terrorist and former detainees of Guantanamo Bay) to the Republic of Ghana without the ratification by an Act of Parliament or a resolution of Parliament supported by the votes of more than one-half of all the members of Parliament.

They are further seeking a declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 58(2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the President of the Republic of Ghana who is under an obligation to execute and maintain laws of Ghana  breached the Anti-terrorism Act of 2008 (Act 762) and the Immigration Act of 2000 (Act 573), both being laws passed under the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

Gitmo 2 Arrival
It may be recalled that the Mahama administration early January announced that Ghana would for the next two years host the terrorists who were previously being held at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba by the United States.

The government had stated that Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef, 36, and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, 34, are being offered humanitarian assistance in Ghana under a deal signed by the Mahama administration and US authorities.

It has turned that the two detainees are hardcore terrorists who the US is looking for a place to dump them.

According US security report on the two suspects; Mohammed Bin Atef was “a fighter in Usama bin Laden’s former 55th Arab Brigade and he is an admitted member of the Taliban.

He trained at al Farouq, the infamous al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, “participated in hostilities against US and Coalition forces, and continues to demonstrate his support of Usama Bin Laden and extremism.”

The plaintiffs aside cost for court expenses and counsel fees also want the court to declare that on a true and proper interpretation of chapter 5 of the constitution the president by holding the two detainees under restricted conditions without a court order was breaching their fundamental human rights.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

President John Dramani Mahama has beefed up his security detail with sniffing dogs and uniformed bodyguards.

It is not clear why the sudden change of security arrangements of the president, but a presidency source says it might have been done in the wake of threats of possible terror attacks on Ghana and the president’s security being paramount, they needed to go that way.

The new security arrangements are visible in President Mahama’s ongoing nationwide tour dubbed, “Accounting to the People,” as soldiers could be seen with sniffer dogs at venues where the president has been meeting a gathering of chiefs and people.

The newly introduced uniformed bodyguards are also around the president as he embarks on the tour. Tomorrow he is beginning the Brong-Ahafo regional tour and the sniffer dogs would be part of the entourage.

Officials were tight-lipped about the introduction of dogs as part of the president’s security detail, but a Flagstaff House inside source says the dogs are meant to sniff the possible presence of bomb.

The dogs, seen with the military police, are said to be well trained to detect bomb in the wake of the terror alert by Al-Qaeda elements, particularly with the government hosting two foot soldiers of the terrorist group under an arrangement with the United States government.

Also, apart from the usual heavily armed military cum police presence, the president’s very close protection officers could be seen wearing what looked like a special uniform, mostly of various brands of khaki. They were seen in green, brown, blue and off-white khaki. 
The dressing of most of the members in the security detail looked as if they were a private protection team put together for the president.

The security dogs were first seen in the Krobo area when the president visited the Eastern Region. They were then taken to the Volta Region and according to sources, they had become part of the president’s daily movement, including being taken to church, according to the inside source.

In the Western Region, the bodyguards wore grey khaki uniforms while in Kroboland, they wore something close to olive green khaki tops with black pairs of trousers to match.

The National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), chaired by the president, recently confirmed imminent Al-Qaeda attack on Ghana.

According to the Security Council, Ghana is the next target after the attack on Cote d’Ivoire.

“Intelligence gathered by the National Security Council Secretariat indicates a possible terrorist attack on the country is real,” a leaked statement indicated.

According to the NSCS, “The threat is reinforced by information and confessions obtained from interrogating a Malian terrorist identified as the brain behind the Grand Bassam attacks in Cote d’Ivoire. The suspect is being investigated by the Ivorian security agencies for terrorism,” the Security Council posited further.

It said reports showed that “Ghana and Togo are the next targets after the attacks in Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire,” adding that “The choice of Ghana, according to the report, is to take away the perception that only  francophone countries are the targets.”


By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) says President John Dramani Mahama is not entitled to eight years in office as he has been telling Ghanaians on his ‘accounting to the people’ tour.

“President Mahama is telling obvious untruth. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana does not provide that the president is entitled to eight years. What the Constitution provides in Article 66 (1) is ‘A person elected as President shall hold office for a term of four years,’ Nana Akomea, NPP’s Director of Communications, said in a statement yesterday.

The NPP said that the president is not entitled to eight years as he has been claiming, but is eligible to stand for re-election for another four years. 

Crude Attempt 
“The president is engaged in a crude attempt to hoodwink unsuspecting Ghanaian voters that a  president is entitled to automatic eight years.

“The eight years of presidents Jerry Rawlings and Kufuor were not automatic entitlements.  Their mandates were renewed  by  a majority of Ghanaians based on assessments of their first four years,” the statement indicated.

According to the NPP, “Ghanaians should be told the truth that they have it completely in their power to vote to remove President Mahama after four years in 2016, and that President Mahama is not entitled to any automatic four years.

“Whether President Mahama gets another four years or not depends on whether Ghanaians believe his four years have  brought positive dividends or not to their welfare.”

Accounting Tour

The NPP said another big untruth being peddled by the president and his government that has been exposed is that he is only on some ‘accounting’ tour and not on a campaign tour. Nana Akomea queried, “If the president is on an  ‘accounting’ tour, and merely  commissioning and reporting on development projects, then, on this  ‘accounting’ tour, why is he telling Ghanaians to vote for him  because every president is ‘entitled’ to eight years?”

The statement continued, “Even  on his claim of a  four-year mandate,  why is President Mahama showcasing road projects that started in President Mills ‘ time, and therefore span more than four years? Why is he constantly telling Ghanaians he has done more than other regimes, or that other regimes did nothing in one region or the other? Why is he constantly asking Ghanaians on this ‘no campaign’ tour to vote for him?” 
The NPP said, “It is very clear from his own pronouncements captured everyday on radio and television that he is hiding under this so-called ‘accounting’ to engage in some furious political campaigning ahead of the 2016 elections.” 

Incumbency Abuse
The leading opposition party noted, “President Mahama is clearly engaged in a shameless abuse of incumbency. And it is even more a shame that his government will not admit to it but rather lie to the Ghanaian people.

“President Mahama has gone on to tell Ghanaians on his                   so-called ‘accounting’ tour that he lost part of his first year to the eight months election petition in 2013. The president cannot be sincere with this comment. In the period from January to August 2013 when the petition ran in the court, the president got sworn in, renovated and moved into the Flagstaff House,  drew up his budget and got it passed by parliament; nominated all his over 80 ministers of state and got them vetted and approved by parliament; collected taxes, including imposing  new ones (VAT hike); imposed massive  hikes in utility tariff, got $1 billion on the  Eurobond, etc.”

The NPP said that the performance of President Mahama’s government on crucial issues such as the deficit, inflation, the value of the cedi, among others, were markedly better in 2013 than in 2014, when there was no election petition.

“Indeed, on several occasions in 2013 when the president was asked whether the petition was affecting his governance, he always responded in the negative, and always assured that he was focused on his job. So how come he is now telling Ghanaians he lost one year due to the 2013 election petition? Why is President Mahama speaking from both sides of his mouth?” the party wondered.

It said he (president) had not given any figures on costing and value for money, which should be normal in any accounting process involving projects. 

Four Thematic Areas 
“More significantly, the NDC 2012 election promises to Ghanaians were on four main themes, found on pages 4 to 5 of their 2012 manifesto. These were: putting people first; a strong and resilient economy; expanding infrastructure and eliminating corruption and ensuring transparent and accountable governance.

“In ‘accounting’ to the people, how come President Mahama seems to be accounting for only infrastructure developments? What happened to accounting to the people on their welfare, stable and resilient economy, corruption, transparent and accountable governance?” the NPP asked


By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Ministry of Communications has made a sensational claim that the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration has created over 600,000 jobs, in spite of widespread public concerns about the lack of employment opportunities in the country.

According to a statement signed by the Communications Minister, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, the Mahama administration has been the biggest job creator in the history of the country. It said more people had been employed in the various sectors since 2013, despite the ever-soaring unemployment rate particularly among the youth.

However, a deputy Communications Minister, Ato Sarpong, has disputed the figure put out by his boss, saying that he could not quantify the jobs the government had created.

Mr Ato Sarpong conceded that he did not know how many jobs the government had created, even though several interventions had been put in place.

While Omane Boamah pegged employment opportunities at 600,000, NDC National Youth Organiser Sidii Abubakar, just last week on a radio discussion programme, said the Mahama administration had created 200,000 jobs since assumption of office, raising questions about the conflicting figures, which political pundits claim are a mere propaganda.

Graduate unemployment is all-time high, with unemployed graduates forming an association to raise concerns about their plights.

In the face of these harsh realities, the Minister of State at the Presidency, Rashid Pelpuo, had rhetorically asserted that job opportunities existed in the stone cracking business where unemployed youth could go picking stones and selling them for a living or engage in the cutting of grasses for animal livestock.

The government’s latest employment figures contradict what then deputy Minister of Information, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, once said during the President Mills/Mahama administration to the effect that it (administration) had created 1.6 million jobs within the short period in office.

Ironically, when then Employment and Labour Relations Minister E.T. Mensah was asked about the 1.6 million jobs at a news conference, he directed journalists to ask Ablakwa where the jobs were. 

Economic Expansion
Dr Omane Boamah’s statement maintained that Ghana’s economy was expanding rapidly and as a result, more jobs were coming in both the formal and the informal sectors, especially when the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) completed different projects and implemented new interventions.

According to the statement, between 2013 and 2015, the government, through the Export Trade Agricultural and Industrial Development Fund, supported local industries with GH¢245.4 million, saying, “This amount funded over 125 different projects in the pharmaceuticals, rice, sheanut, poultry and textiles industries, among others.”

It said the Skills Development Fund, implemented by COTVET, disbursed a total of GH¢150 million to 654 businesses, which in turn trained 93,600 people in vocational and technical skills and that a total of 43,485 businesses also received support under the fund.

The printing and distribution of over 100 million exercise books under the free exercise books initiative, the statement indicated, had created jobs since 2010 and added that the GH¢100 million worth of contracts for local printing of textbooks for schools would in addition create jobs for 4,000 people.

The statement also said the distribution of over two million school uniforms under the Free School Uniforms Programme had also created thousands of jobs, while 69 companies established under the Free Zones Board had created 16,372 jobs.

It said Youth in Agriculture programme employed 23,000 youth in 2013, bringing the total number of young farmers in the programme to 81,150, while the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), Integrated Community Centres for Employable Skill (ICCES) and Opportunities Industrialisation Centres (OICs) had created 21,802 jobs.

It further said the Graduate Business Support Scheme run by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations had engaged 2,000 people while the Department of Cooperatives registered a total of 1,757 youth co-operatives in 10 regions, with a total of 34,657 jobs created.

“The Rural Enterprise Project created 21,045 jobs across the country between 2013 and 2015; GRATIS foundation under the Ministry of Trade and Industry also created 500 jobs through the production of over 1,000 agricultural implements,” the statement added.

It said over 190,607 people had benefited from the Micro Finance and Small Loan Centre (MASLOC) between 2010 and 2015 and that it had distributed 953 vehicles for commercial transport and 25 tractors for agricultural use, among others.

The statement said state-controlled companies like Kumasi Shoe Factory (GIHOC) had created 200 jobs; Ghana National Gas Processing Plant – 265 jobs; the Oil and Gas Sector – 7,000 since 2010 while the sheanut processing plant at Buipe had 50 permanent staff and 2,000 sheanut pickers.

It said the Youth Entrepreneurial Agency (YEA) was in the process of employing a minimum of 100,000 youth under different modules while the Business Process Outsourcing Centre near the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, Accra, had been completed and would create 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, with another IT Enabled Services Centre at the Tema ICT Park in the Free Zones Enclave already employing about 250 people.

It further said the Komenda Sugar Factory would create 7,300 direct and indirect jobs – even though there is no sugar plantation anywhere near the catchment zone – the new fish processing factory at Elmina would create 2,500 direct and indirect jobs and both Tema and Takoradi Harbours expansions would create 3,000 jobs.

“Over 400,000 professionals such as architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, masons, carpenters, welders, steel benders, electricians and painters, among others, are currently employed at various sites where direct government investment in the construction of hospitals, roads, schools, water, energy, housing and market projects are underway,” according to the statement.

Monday, April 25, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, April 25, 2016

Some claimants listed to be paid compensation in the Volta Basin Flooded Area have jointly filed a suit against the government demanding a release of the rest of the package.

The claimants include chiefs and people of Krachi, Pai, Tapa, Afram Plains, Nkomi-Sene, Makango and Apaaso; and they cite the Attorney General (AG) and the Lands Commission as defendants.

They are suing because they claim that since 2013 the government has abrogated the payment schedule contract it had with them and as a result, no payment has been made since then.

Claimants’ Reliefs
The plaintiffs want a declaration that the negotiated settlement concluded in 2008 between them and the government under E.I. 98 of 1974 as amended by E.I. 67 of 1975 in pursuance of certain tranche compensation payments which were made by the government to them was still valid and legally binding.

They also want an order that “the government pay forthwith to the plaintiffs/claimants all tranche compensation to be assessed, due and owing under the negotiated settlement.”

Furthermore, the claimants want an order directed at the government to pay interest or in the alternative, “compensatory damages for the loss suffered by the plaintiffs as a result of the excessive or inordinate default by the government in making the agreed instalment payments that have become due and owing years back.”

Statement Of Claim
According to the claimants, vast stretches of ancestral lands were permanently flooded from 1961 following the construction of the Akosombo Dam being managed by the Volta River Authority (VRA), and were subsequently resettled at largely make-shift resettlement sites.

“Following the inundation of and loss of their ancestral communities and farmlands, the plaintiff/claimants, acting by their heads of families/clans and communities or other recognised representatives, lodged  claims for compensation with the then Lands Department because by the then governing law, particularly Section 27 (4) of the Volta River Development Act, 1961 (Act 46), no legal action could be maintained against the VRA as a result of the inundation of any land caused by the filling of the lake,” they averred.

According to the plaintiffs, the processing of the compensation to the claimants delayed for several factors, including massive conflicts of claims depicted by the official Proprietary Plan prepared and plotted by the then Lands Department.

The plaintiffs said the government eventually concluded a negotiated settlement agreement with them in August 2008 and the assessed compensation for approximately 952,900.20 acres amounted to GH¢198 million which was discounted by 30 percent to GH¢138 million to be done by phase payment schedule spread over eight years, commencing 2009 and ending in 2016.

The plaintiffs averred that the government had so far made only four annual instalment payments since 2009 amounting to GH¢71 million and had persistently failed to make any further installmental payment since 2013, “in clear breach of the agreement.”

Court Proceedings
During the proceedings last week at the Commercial Court, Accra, it emerged that the defendants just filed entry of appearance six months after the claimants had served them with the notice to sue.

As a result, counsel for the plaintiffs, Kwasi Owusu Yeboa, requested for GH¢2,000 cost each against the AG and the Lands Commission, but the court, presided over by Justice Anthony Oppong, awarded GH¢500 each against the defendants and also struck out the interlocutory judgement awarded the claimants against the defendants.

Cabinet, in July 2008, had approved a consolidated amount of compensation totalling GH¢138 million for various stools/families in the Volta Basin flooded area. An estimated 57 groups were said to have benefited from the amount.

So far, about GH¢71 million has been paid to the various claimants and the disbursement of the remaining GH¢67 million has been put on hold to enable the government deal with discrepancies in the payments.

Friday, April 22, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, April 22, 2016

Former Youth and Sports Minister, Mallam Ali Yusif Issah, who was jailed for stealing during the Kufuor administration, is up in arms against the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, Kojo Bonsu, for claiming that he (former minister) stole $46,000 belonging to the state.

Kojo Bonsu claimed on Starr FM on Wednesday that Mallam Issah kept the $46,000 which was to be used to pay the winning bonuses of the senior national team, the Black Stars, after a match in Sudan in 2001 but turned around to pretend that the huge sum of money had been stolen.

The utterance, which caught Mallam Issah flat-footed, has pitched the two NDC chieftains to lock horns in an acrimonious battle about to start.

The Kumasi mayor, who was a representative of Adidas, then kit sponsors of the Black Stars, and member of the delegation that took the team to Sudan where Ghana lost 1:0, said when it was time for the players to receive their bonuses, Mallam Issah kept changing his story about where the money was.

 “When we asked him (Mallam Issah), he said he left the money on his wife’s table…So every minute he would change the story… At one time he told me, Cudjoe Fianoo and the late Mr Owusu Ansah that the money was in Ghana and there was no cause for alarm,” he claimed.

Mr Kojo Bonsu averred, “But unfortunately, his suitcase never came and so he didn’t have any clothes and I took my credit card and I took him out and shopped for him…but the man was not telling us the truth. One minute he says it is there, another minute he says it was in his suitcase…and I found it very strange.
“I think that the money was with him...; the money was with him. Wherever the money went he knows it but I don’t think it was a set-up or a plan. He had the money so he knows better than anybody.”

Kojo Bonsu’s assertion has incensed Mallam Issah, who was brought from the People’s National Convention (PNC) by President John Agyekum Kufuor to hold a ministerial position. He has vowed to sue the mayor for defamation.

Mallam Issah has since defected to the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and even contested the NDC parliamentary primary at the Adentan Constituency. He reacted angrily, describing Kojo Bonsu’s claim as “shocking” and a “fabrication.

He is even calling on President Mahama to immediately dismiss the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive for contradicting his statement in court 15 years ago.

“I am at a loss. Kojo Bonsu has added a typical lie to it. There was no time that my wife was called and asked that I said I had left the money in the house… He was one of the prosecution witnesses and he had all the time on earth to tell Ghanaians this.

“What Kojo Bonsu is telling Ghanaians and everybody is that he is a liar… because he is giving a different account. I want him sacked because a mayor is equivalent to a deputy minister and he must be sacked for lying in court. What Kojo Bonsu has said is that he is a liar,” he said.

Mallam Issah received a four-year jail term in 2001 for stealing and was granted a presidential pardon in July 2003 on grounds of failing health.


By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, April 22, 2016

Unionized workers in the cocoa industry have accused Cocobod Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Stephen Opuni, of using a former staff of the company to weaken their front.

According to the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU) and the General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Dr. Opuni and his management have given a contract to a former employee called Harrison Idris Hassan, who is the past Chairman of Cocobod Head Office Local Union and Supreme Consultative Council of the cocoa industry; and the man is allegedly determined to destroy the long-standing union.

At a news conference jointly held by the ICU and GAWU seeking to correct what they termed ‘falsehood and deceit of workers in the cocoa industry,’ the unions said Idris Hassan was coercing the workers to join another illegal union with the tacit support of Dr. Opuni and the management.

“He is being aided by Cocobod Chief Executive and management to go round to coerce unsuspecting workers of Cocobod to sign unto an unregistered in-house union he is forming,” Solomon Kotei and Kingsley Ofei-Nkansah, General Secretaries of the ICU and GAWU said in the joint statement.

According to them, the ICU and GAWU had been the registered and accredited national unions that hold the Collective Bargaining Certificate for the conduct of negotiations and had operated for about 62 years; but since Dr. Opuni arrived at Cocobod, “there has not been any smooth negotiation.”

The unions further said that to facilitate Dr. Opuni’s plans, he offered Idris Hassan a contract which was even signed six months before he (Idris Hassan) retired and has since formed an in-house union “to serve his personal interest rather than the aspirations of workers.”

According to the General Secretaries, “Those who have questioned the credibility and the rationale behind this in-house union have been victimized through transfers from unit to unit and from one region to another, some within one month, having been transferred twice for no apparent reason, and this affected union leaders and other clerical staff who resisted the union busting tactics of the Chief Executive.”

ICU and GAWU said the question as to whether the in-house union could break away from them was a subject of litigation before a high court yet to commence, but Idris Hassan had allegedly been claiming he had already won the case.

They said Dr. Opuni had “blatantly refused to negotiate with the accredited unions” but “found reason to sit down with a retiree and imposed a 20% salary increase on the workers.”

The unions said Dr. Opuni is “earning a salary over and above any Public Sector Chief Executive in this country, including the Governor of the Bank of Ghana” adding, “in the period ahead we are going to come up with a full exposure of the rot and canker at Cocobod.”

Thursday, April 21, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, April 21,  2016

It has emerged that National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters at the Ayawaso East constituency rejected an amount of GH¢10,000 brought to them by key party officials during a meeting in Nima, Accra.

According to a source, the furious party foot soldiers questioned why the leadership of the party should share money instead of providing them with permanent jobs. They subsequently drove the delegation away from the meeting grounds.

The leadership of the party has reportedly instructed all the regional executives to go down to the constituencies and identify the key concerns at the grassroots and take steps to address apathy among the rank and file. The Greater Accra Region is reportedly one of the areas being given prior attention in the exercise.

There are agitations at the local levels of the party, resulting in the fear that they may lead to apathy in the coming elections, hence the attempt to use cash to calm tempers.

However, when the party’s delegation, which included NDC heavyweights like National Vice Chairperson Betty Mould-Iddrisu, a former Attorney General, Kobina Ade Coker, the Regional Chairman, and Dr Ahmed Mustapha, a former minister and MP for Ayawaso North, went to Nima, they were chased out of the venue by angry foot soldiers, an incident the party is trying very hard to sweep under the carpet.

Similar incidents reportedly occurred in the Klottey Korle, La Dadekotopon and Ashaiman constituencies recently. In the case of Klottey Korle, the Vice President, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, was also chased out, as a result of which he admitted that there was too much confusion in the party.

The source said the party had allegedly allocated GH¢10,000 for each constituency for the face-saving exercise but that the foot soldiers were beginning to feel they were always used and dumped later by the leadership, hence the unruly action.

The foot soldiers were of the view that the NDC leadership, from constituency to national level, only became approachable when there were impending general elections and therefore resolved to teach them a bitter lesson for their continuous deception.

They also said that many elected officers of the party, appointees and hangers-on had been enjoying at the expense of the grassroots, saying, “We see them riding in expensive cars yet they tell us things are not yet right.”

In Nima, they shouted in Hausa, “It won’t be possible this time around.”

“It is election period. We should utilise the opportunity to make our problems known and visible to our leaders. Sharing money won’t solve our problems,” an angry foot soldier charged.

“We prefer jobs to money because money wouldn’t last like the jobs which would provide us daily bread for a good living.

“I keep asking myself: ‘What has happened to our conscience? Why would I support a party that can’t give me a job? Why would I support a party that can’t guarantee my security in my own country? We should start worrying about our future,’” he added.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu,
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

President John Mahama has virtually endorsed the yet-to-be unveiled logo of the Electoral Commission (EC), describing the heated political debate being generated as a result of the commission’s decision as ‘needless.’

“Some parties have made it a penchant to continuously attack the Electoral Commission for reasons I can’t understand. This is the time to give the EC peace to do its work. …I mean how is a logo going to affect the quality of elections in this country?” the President said on Tuesday.

Addressing members of the Council of State at their quarterly meeting, President Mahama said “I don’t think it’s a discourse that we should be splitting heads on. I think that our electoral process has inherent safeguards in it that any serious political party can ensure that it polices that election and ensure the integrity of the election.”

The EC is sweating over its decision to replace the old logo of the commission with a new one that depicts foreign insignia, amid accusations that the new logo is even a plagiarised piece of work.

It has emerged that the design the EC intends to use as the new logo is that of an educational and career counselling centre in Turkey.

The EC has already parried concerns regarding the new logo and has started using it on their official documents including posters and leaflets announcing the opening of registration for qualified voters.

While some have said the logo is not original, of poor quality and does not communicate the functions of the commission, others have said the timing of the introduction of the new logo is improper since the EC has more pressing issues such as the tussle over the voters register to attend to.

The President and his NDC party members are always quick to chide anybody that criticises the EC and have virtually turned themselves into unofficial spokespersons for the commission.

PNC Reacts
The People’s National Convention (PNC) was the first political party to disagree with the President when its General Secretary, Atik Mohammed, told Citi FM in Accra yesterday that the EC should rather be blamed for causing the mess.

“The President’s call was rather misdirected. As a matter of fact, he should have been directing that same call to the Electoral Commission because it is they who are creating this situation and inviting everybody else to talk about it. If they themselves had decided to concentrate so much on the conduct of the election, I’m not sure the creation and launching of a new logo would have been a problem for them. But they appear to be very much interested in doing those things that would rather create controversy.

“We cannot stop talking about it because we feel that there are a lot of things the Electoral Commission should be doing which it is not doing so if the President is asking us not to talk about it, he might as well tell the Electoral Commission to stop creating these controversies,” he stated.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

It appears there are attempts to conceal the actual faces behind the gruesome murder of the ebullient New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa North in the Eastern Region, Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu aka JB.

According to the MP for Obuasi East, Edward Ennin, he suspects there is official cover-up of the real perpetrators of the heinous crime.

According to the vociferous MP, there is a video recording that appears to show the moment assailants of the murdered MP left the crime scene at his Shiashie, East Legon, residence in Accra.

A close circuit Television (CCTV) appears to have captured that moment when Mr Ennin said a white Nissan altima left the scene after the gruesome murder at the dawn of February 9, 2016.

The Obuasi East MP made the mind-blowing revelation on adom TV last week.

He said what he saw on the video clearly showed that the security agencies investigating the gruesome murder had not done enough to track down the perpetrators of the dastardly crime.

“I am telling you that I have watched a CCTV video footage. The assailant had dressed like someone ready to fight karate. He was in black attire. a resident in the area had his/her CCTV camera capturing the assailant.

There was a white car (altima K45) which is popular in town. What was the car doing in the area at that material moment?” he queried.

He insisted, “I’ve watched the video and i can confirm what i am saying,”

and even swore on the name of God Almighty that he had indeed watched the footage.

According to the Obuasi East MP, nobody should politicise the murder of his colleague because anybody could become a victim. “If the person involved is NPP or NDC, he/she should face the full rigours of the law, otherwise we are all vulnerable to some of these wicked acts,” he charged.

He said that when the East legon police arrested the suspect, he gave “a very interesting statement,” adding, “The moment he started mentioning names, the authorities quickly transferred the case to the Police Headquarters.

“When you have a case and it is transferred to the Police Headquarters then be reminded that it will be the end of that case because the facts will change.

“A whole MP has been stabbed to death in his own room and we can’t find the killers? I have told JB’s family never to let the case die. I have asked them what they are doing. Nobody should try to play politics in this. it is a murder case and we should find the killers.”

The MP asked, “When you go to the DVlA won’t they tell you the owner of that car?”

A 20-year-old mobile phone dealer at Madina Zongo Junction, Accra, Daniel Asiedu, has been arrested in connection with the murder.

Daniel Asiedu, aka sexy Don Don, has been charged at an Accra Central District Magistrate Court, awaiting committal to the High court for allegedly killing the MP.

However, the people he named initially as his accomplices before the case was transferred to the Police Headquarters, in the persons of one Avenger and Junior Agoogo, have still not been arrested.

The murdered MP, who left behind a wife and two daughters, was laid to rest at Akyem Old Tafo at the weekend.

Family Curses
At the funeral ground, the family rained curses on the killers of the MP and their collaborators and called on the gods to deal with those behind the gruesome act.

“I pray that the Good Lord forgives those who put my brother in that state. But for me, i say that may they go mad and walk the streets of wherever they are and make them naked and helpless,” depict the stance of the family of JB as conveyed by his brother, Frank Adu Jnr, when they bid him farewell.

Pained by the callous murder of the MP, who has been described by many as a philanthropist par excellence, the family could not come to terms with the incident.

Sexy Don Don, the murder suspect, had told the police investigators in his initial statement that he was contracted to kill JB for a fee of GH¢2,000 and that he used part of the money to buy shoes after leaving his slippers at the residence of the deceased.

He also claimed that the two other people who involved him in the assignment – Junior Agoogo and avenger – are all living at Pig farm, Accra.

However, when the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) took over the case, the storyline changed.
The suspect is being kept in solitary confinement at the BNI cells.


By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A group calling itself ‘The Social Democratic Forum of the NDC’ has described the chiefs and people who are saying President John Dramani Mahama has neglected the Volta Region as ingrates.

According to them, the region has witnessed unprecedented development under President Mahama and said the agitators were holding the President to ransom.

A statement that purports to set the records straight on the Volta agitations was issued and jointly signed by Manan Mustapha and Alhassan Issahaku who said they are spokes persons of the group.

“It is about time that Voltarians shed their tribal complex and consider issues as opposed to ethnicity. It is 2016 and such backward, ethnocentric, divisive thinking should be left where it belongs – in the dustbin of history. They cannot hold His Excellency John Dramani Mahama and the NDC party to ransom,” the group said.

“Considering that the Volta Region has benefited from the NDC’s benevolence, it is rather astonishing that many of its inhabitants continue to carp and wail about their lot under President Mahama. In fact their lack of gratitude is somewhat beguiling.

They claimed that under President Mahama, the Volta Region has received an unprecedented level of investment saying “roads, hospitals, clinics, schools, water projects and sanitary works have been completed at record levels.”

“Facilities such as the University of Allied Sciences and the Eastern Corridor Road are just two of the showcase projects in the region that have taken place under President Mahama’s watch,” adding “with the 12 Senior Secondary Schools that are being constructed, in addition to the construction of a regional airport, it would be absolute folly to conclude that the Volta region has been neglected.”

“In fact, with all the projects that have been green lit, never has the outlook for the Volta Region been more auspicious,” they boasted.

According to the group, in spite of the tremendous strides effort of the President “there is always some Voltarian, on one platform or another bemoaning their lot,” adding “whether it is a serial-calling, over-entitled, member of the public mouthing off on radio, or their increasingly deluded chiefs, it appears that complaining is now the regional disease of the Volta Region.”

They said “with the array of developmental projects taking place in the Volta Region, only a blind man would claim that the region has been neglected – either a blind man or an ignorant man.”

“It appears that Voltarians just do not want to acknowledge the obvious. Despite all that has been done for the region, the tide of verbal diarrhoea spewed by many of its inhabitants knows no bounds. No matter what is done for the Volta Region, it appears that many Voltarians always find a way to complain despite the projects and infrastructure springing up before their eyes. It makes one to wonder, why this cognitive dissonance?”

“Under President Mahama, more projects have been started than during the entire tenure of the erstwhile President JJ Rawlings. Yet, the latter was the Volta’s golden child - despite a rather unimpressive CV on which no tangible development of note took place in the region. Despite this lamentable fact, not a pipsqueak of complaint was raised as “Junior Jesus” paid plaudits and platitudes to his people, whilst doing very little.”

“On the other hand, all President Mahama has received for his achievements are constant opprobrium and sour grapes. One can only conclude that the constant carping that is His Excellency John Dramani Mahama is receiving is due to his ethnicity.”

“For why else would someone who has chalked up notable achievements in the region receive constant criticism and disrespect? It has now become obvious that because His Excellency John Dramani Mahama is not a son of the Volta, he could turn Ho into New York and Voltarians will still find a reason to belittle his achievements. It pains them that a Northerner has done more for their region than their hero Rawlings ever did. It really is pathetic!”