Friday, October 28, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, October 28, 2016

Moves to have credible, free and fair elections on December 7 received a major boost yesterday when the Supreme Court directed the Electoral Commission (EC) to supply all contesting political parties and candidates with Constituency Collation Sheets after the polls.

The court ordered that the parties should be given copies of both the presidential and the parliamentary Collation Sheets - which hitherto were never given to the parties - and that the documents should be duly signed by the Returning Officers and the party agents.
The court also ordered that pink sheets at the polling stations should be signed and copies given to the agents.

Original C.I. 94
The EC had prepared the Public Elections Regulations 2016, C.I. 94 such that the commission was mandated to give only the Parliamentary Collation Sheets to the parties but not the Presidential, the most contentious. But the Supreme Court held that the presidential tally sheets should also be given out.

Until the landmark ruling yesterday, there was no provision in the C.I. 94 requiring the Returning Officer to sign the important Collation Sheets - both presidential and parliamentary - and there were no provisions for agents of the candidates or parties to sign the documents.

Plaintiff’s Concerns
According to the plaintiff, Kwesi Nyame-Tease Eshun, a lawyer and former Director of Research in Parliament, because the law did not provide for the signatures of the Returning Officers at the Constituency Collation Centres and the candidates of the parties, any form could subsequently be changed and the commission’s officials could fill in what they like and send to Charlotte Osei, the EC boss for declaration.

The Supreme Court held that the signatures of the Presiding Officers and the agents are to authenticate those Collation Sheets.

The plaintiff had filed the suit against the EC and the Attorney General, pointing out the confusion, discrepancies and anomalies in the C.I. 94 and sought an order from the court to be corrected.

Panel’s Directive
As a result, the seven-member panel of judges, presided over by Justice William Atuguba, after hearing the arguments, ordered the EC, the AG and lawyers for the plaintiff to sit together and straighten the anomalies and present the final draft within two hours for adoption by the court.

The EC had insisted that it was only the courts that could do the corrections and the court gave the orders for the parties to meet and work out the corrections and report back to the court for a definite ruling for it to become the basis for the conduct of the 2016 general election.

The net effect of the court’s order is that if the parties have copies of both the Collation Sheets and the Polling Station (pink sheets) results, they could easily check what is recorded for each polling station on the Collation Sheet and therefore, what is transferred to the EC headquarters for the presidential election is accurate.

Defective C.I. 94
The plaintiff listed all the textual and inaccurate references  in the C.I. 94 and during the proceedings yesterday, Justice Atuguba said, “They are just drafting slips that could easily be corrected” before ordering the parties involved to make the corrections for the court to endorse it.

After about two hours of deliberations involving the EC, AG and the plaintiff’s lawyers led by Akoto Ampaw, the parties returned to the court with a well-prepared document to the satisfaction of the parties and for the adoption of the court.

In fact, Thaddeus Sory, counsel for the EC, told the court that he e-mailed the EC boss, Charlotte Osei, with the agreed corrected document for her approval.

Corrected Version
The court has ordered that Regulation 3 (1) (k) of C.I. 94 should refer to Form One EL 1 A at Page 36 of the constitutional instrument headed, “Part II Certificate to be endorsed on writ” for parliamentary election and not a reference to the Parliamentary Election Collation Form (Form One EL 23 A) on Page 37 of C.I. 94.

Also Regulation 3 (1) (m) refers to Part II Certificate to be endorsed on the writ (Form One EL 1B) to be found at Page 39 of C.I. 94 headed “Part II Certificate to be endorsed on writ” and not a reference to Form One EL 23B.

They also adopted that the reference to the declaration of results form provided for in Regulation 42 (1) (d) which does not refer to any form in the schedule shall be understood to be a reference to Form One EL 1A for the parliamentary election and for the presidential, the declaration of the result form shall be understood to refer to Form One EL 1B.

“Provision shall be made on the Parliamentary Elections-Result Collation Form (Form One EL 23A) and on the Presidential Elections-Result Collation Form (Form One EL 23B) for the names and signatures of the Returning Officer at the constituency collation centre, the candidates or their representatives or counting agents.”

The court further held that “the Returning Officer, the candidate or their representative or the counting agents shall sign Form One EL 23A (for parliamentary) and Form One EL 23B (for presidential).

The court indicated, “The Returning Officer shall give each candidate or their representative or the counting agent a completed and signed copy of Form One EL 23A (for parliamentary) and Form One EL 23B (for presidential),” adding, “the Returning Officer at the collation centre shall apply the same procedure set out in Regulation 42 (1) for collating the polling stations results for the presidential election.”

The court adopted that “Regulation 42 (1) (e) requiring the returning officer to name the person elected shall not apply to the presidential election.”

Finally, “the ‘Constituency Collation Sheet’ in Regulation 49 (1) shall be understood to mean Parliamentary Elections-Result Collation Form (Form One EL 23A) and Presidential Elections-Result Collation Form (Form One EL 23B),” according to the court’s order.

The Teams
Other justices on the panel were: Julius Ansah, Sophia Adinyira, Jones Victor Dotse, Kwasi Anin Yeboah, Paul Baffoe Bonnie and A.A. Benin.

Akoto Ampaw, Alex Quainoo and Kwaku Asirifi represented the plaintiff, while Samuel Tettey, Director of Electoral Services was in attendance with Mr. Sory for the EC.

Zainab Ayariga, Assistant State Attorney, represented the AG.


By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, October 28, 2016

Two Ghanaian academics have waded into the controversy surrounding what they call the ‘questionable’ doctoral degrees of the disqualified All People’s Congress (APC) flag bearer, Hassan Ayariga.

They are also insisting that the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service cannot gloss over a similar ‘fake’ doctorate degree allegedly conferred on the Inspector General of Police John Kudalor, if the police have to investigate Hassan Ayariga who has been reported by the Electoral Commission (EC).

The two dons, Prosper Yao Tsikata, PhD (Assistant Professor of Communication) and A. Kobla Dotse, PhD (Director, Chemical Research & Development) are saying that, looking at the circumstances surrounding the issue, the CID might not even have the capacity to investigate Hassan Ayariga. 

Lingering Doubt
A statement they jointly issued last week following publication about Ayariga’s certificate stated, “The only lingering doubts in our minds about the CID expediting action on this case are in multiple folds.

First, does the investigative arm of the Ghana Police Service have the capacity to investigate this issue effectively? This naturally leads to the second question. Even if they do, would the same proceedings apply to its head, the IGP (Dr) John Kudalor?”

 John Kudalor reportedly travelled to the United States to pick the degree from US-based Dayspring Christian University, a school not recognized by Ghana’s National Accreditation Board (NAB).
He has since been using the title, having organized a thanksgiving service for it.

The Dayspring Christian University is one of four universities listed by NAB as not meeting the Board’s accreditation criteria.

The Accreditation Board subsequently warned the public against such universities after they have conferred honorary degrees on some high-ranking individuals in the country.

According to Messrs Prosper Yao Tsikata and A. Kobla Dotse, the time has come for the Minister of Education, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, to act swiftly and “not sit back and watch the education system get infiltrated with these fake degree holders, especially those who are using the fake degrees to teach and get tenure and promotions as professors in our universities.”

They said the NAB declared some institutions as unaccredited and unworthy to issue higher degrees such as PhDs, but a state-owned newspaper as well as prominent private radio stations celebrated such individuals and their questionable awards saying, “What these institutions and their managers fail to realize is the fact that the negative impacts these acts have on our reward and honour systems can be far-reaching.”

Ayariga Analysis
Digging into Hassan Ayariga’s ‘fake’ degrees, the dons said, “In our appraisals of materials on Ghanaians who flaunt questionable doctoral degrees, we came upon the Great Achievers Institute of Theology and Seminary, located in Spain. From available artifacts, (Dr. Dr.) Hassan Ayariga received a doctorate degree (honoris causa) from this university. He also received a PhD from the Atlantic International University in Hawaii.”

According to them, Hassan Ayariga insisted in radio and TV interviews that he must be addressed a doctor, adding, “Since honorary doctorate holders are not normally entitled to be referenced as such in public communication, we turned our attention to his so-called earned PhD from the Atlantic International University.

“Our view was that it must be the institution that gave him the gravitas to insist on being addressed a doctor. However, this is where the problem is. The NAB declares the Atlantic International University unaccredited to confer doctoral degrees in Ghana. Rightly so, the Atlantic International University is a diploma mill.”

Ayariga Admission
“Now, for (Dr. Dr.) Hassan Ayariga to turn round to say that his PhD in Political Science was conferred on him by the Great Achievers Institute of Theology and Seminary, we can only think of the inconsistency of his own information, first, before delving into issues of accreditation, course content, and the recognition he so badly needs to project himself politically.”

The dons said that while it was a step in the right direction that the EC had referred the case to the CID, those canvassing for the reinstatement of disqualified presidential candidates, including Hassan Ayariga, “should not confuse (Dr. Dr.) Hassan Ayariga’s case with the others who might have committed genuine errors in their application forms, a situation that can easily be rectified by the courts.”

They asked the agitators to “steer clear of the Hassan Ayariga case and allow the investigative wing of the Ghana Police Service to do its job.”

“With regard to the person (Dr. Dr.) Hassan Ayariga, it is becoming clear that the man must be living in his own reality, a reality constructed on a delusion of grandeur—a psychological state in which the victim entertains false beliefs that he or she possesses superior qualities such as genius, fame, omnipotence and wealth,” admitting that “this has only been possible because he has been aided by media outlets that either lack the capacity to research these issues before publication or carry out publications that seek to celebrate what is questionable for economic gains.

“As we await the determination of the CID, we will also urge the CID to contact the NAB or contact us if they need help in unraveling some of the hidden aspects of the issues of accreditation and the flaunting of questionable degrees. We believe that the nature of the case, especially being election-related requiring expeditious investigation and determination, will set the stage for the police to begin to look into these issues of fraud. Our investigative report has details about the various issues in it.”

Meanwhile, Hassan Ayariga has threatened to sue the EC over the issue. The commission referred his case to the CID for investigation, claiming that his educational certificate appears to be fake.


By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, October 27, 2016

It has emerged that the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government has not paid the mandatory 5% Tier Two Monthly deductions of public service workers since the scheme commenced in April 2016.

According to the workers, the government was hampering the smooth operation of the 2nd Tier Occupational Pension Schemes in the public sector which has put the pensions of workers in danger.

The workers have therefore vowed to start a strike action from November 15 if the NDC government fails to comply with the statutory obligation by paying the money into the custodian banks that were nominated by the government even against the wish of the workers.

Mahama’s Directive
At the behest of President John Mahama, the leadership of the various workers group met the Attorney General and the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations in May 2015 to settle the case out-of-court which was initiated by the government against the workers over the Tier 2 scheme.

In what turned out to be consent judgement, the government, as the employer, agreed to ensure that effective April 1, 2016 it would transfer the 5% Tier 2 monthly deductions made by the Controller and Accountant General and pay directly to the pension custodian banks duly appointed by the government itself.

It was also agreed that the National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA) shall ensure that the transfer of funds currently held in the Temporary Pension Fund Account (TPFA) at the Bank of Ghana to custodian banks of the four schemes was completed by July 2, 2016.

The government again promised to reimburse the defendant workers “reasonable expenses incurred in setting up their trusts and schemes, as well as any reasonable legal fees incurred in the course of the litigation of the suit.”

Public Service Workers
However, the forum, made up of the Health Service Workers Union (HSWU), Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA), Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Ghana Physician Assistants Association (GPAA), Ghana Hospital and Pharmacists Association (GHOSPA), Ghana Association of Certified Registered Anesthetists (GACRA), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union (TEWU) of TUC, National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) and the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG), became incensed by the latest development and issued the strike notice at a news conference in Accra yesterday.

Isaac Bampoe-Addo, Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, who doubles as chairman of the forum for the workers said, “The delay in transferring the 5% Tier 2 monthly deductions to custodian banks nominated by the government itself is worrying.”

He said the leadership of the workers had made every effort to get the audited TPFA but the government has simply denied them, saying “As we speak we don’t know how much has accrued. The deafening silence on the part of the government concerning the transfer of funds is clearly in contravention of the court judgement.”

Mr. Bampoe-Addo said that the government with the promulgation of the National Pensions (Amendment) Act, 2014 (Act 883) postponed the implementation of the 2nd Tier Occupational Pension Scheme for five years and that cut out those who were 55 years as at January 1, 2015, but insisted that the workers will not accept any further amendment.

“The fact still remains that for those who fall under the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766), cumulative contributions from January 1, 2010 have not been transferred to the custodian banks of licensed schemes of the forum.”

He said the delay in the transfer of the funds to the various schemes for almost 7 years is going to affect adversely the level of lump sum or gratuity a retired officer is likely to receive in the 2nd Tier.

The workers rubbished the recent directive by Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrissu to the Controller and Accountant General to release the fund to various custodian banks, saying that it was only the President or the Minister of Finance, who had that power over the Controller.

“It is a ploy. When they got intelligence that we were going to expose them, they quickly got the minister to issue the directive to the controller,” the workers, who wore red bands, insisted.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Pressure group OccupyGhana says it’s monitoring closely the Attorney General’s latest effort to retrieve the GH¢51.2 million unlawfully paid to Alfred Agbesi Woyome.

The Supreme Court in July 2014 ordered Mr. Woyome to pay back the huge amount to the state following a suit filed by former AG, Martin Amidu but the order has fallen on deaf ears.

OccupyGhana issued a statement yesterday backing the step being taken the current A-G, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong to finally retrieve the money from Mr. Woyome, who is said to be one of the financiers of the ruling NDC.

Woyome is busily campaigning for President John Mahama in the Volta region, raising doubts about the ability of the relevant authorities to retrieve the huge money paid to the NDC financier.

Oral Examination
“OccupyGhana is gratified to read press reports about the latest step finally taken by the Attorney-General’s Department to recover the GH¢51m owed to Ghana by Alfred Woyome. This step was the application to the Court to order the oral examination of Woyome on his assets because of his abject refusal or failure to pay the judgment debt owed to Ghana, and the apparent non-availability of any assets against which the judgment may be executed.”

According to OccupyGhana, the step that the Attorney-General has taken “is based on the procedural rule that if after judgment, a debtor does not pay immediately, the creditor may apply to the court for an order that would bring the debtor before the court to be examined as to his means.”

“This step can be very effective because it is not only intended to be a mere examination of the debtor, but a cross-examination, of the severest kind, as to his means.”

“Thus, a debtor would be compelled by the court to disclose where all of his assets are, and if they have been sold or paid out, how that happened. If the debtor does not disclose the assets or tells lies, he could be imprisoned for contempt or worse tried and sentenced for perjury.”

Belated but brilliant
The pressure group described the AG’s action as “belated, yet brilliant,” saying “Woyome would be compelled to testify, not only as to where his assets are, but also where and how he spent the GH¢51 million that he received from Ghana and whether any of those sums are available for execution.”

They said “to the extent that any persons benefitted from Ghana’s monies, they also stand the risk of being pursued by the Republic on an action in tracing, which would track and trace the monies into the hands of every recipient, and possibly recover the monies from them.”

“We believe that for the people of Ghana, this will be an opportunity to discover exactly what happened to our monies that were wrongfully paid to Woyome and recover those monies.”

“We are aware that on 19th October 2016 the Supreme Court granted the order and set 10th November 2016 as the date when Woyome is to attend court for this all-important testimony on where his assets are, and possibly how he spent the GH¢51 million.”

OccupyGhana Notice
“While expressing our satisfaction with the latest and drastic step, however, belated it has been, we wish to notify the Attorney-General that we are monitoring this process and the execution of the court order very closely.”

“We believe that the Attorney-General is taking all of these steps, however belatedly, in a genuine attempt to recover the monies that Woyome still owe to Ghana.

“We also believe that this process will be followed through without fear or favour.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Electoral Commission (EC) has been sued once again, this time over the conduct of the special voting reserved for certain public officials, security agencies and other people who have election-related assignments on December 7.

The new court action against the EC is asking the electoral body to declare the results of the special voting ahead of the main elections to allay any fear of tampering with the ballots.

The plaintiffs, Dr. Kwame Amoako Tuffuor, Benjamin Arthur and Adreba Abrefa Damoa, argue that Section 23 of C.I. 94 - the law which regulates the conduct of the 2016 general election - is inconsistent with Article 49 of the 1992 Constitution.

There is a flurry of suits against the EC over the conduct of this year’s polls as many of the political parties which flag bearers were disqualified from the crucial electoral contest have already gone to court to compel the commission to reinstate their candidates.

Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom’s Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings’ National Democratic Party (NDP) are in court as well as Dr. Edward Mahama’s People’s National Convention (PNC), while the likes of Hassan Ayariga of APC and Dr. Henry Lartey of GCPP are threatening legal action against the commission.

Again, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on Thursday, October 27, in a case in which a former Director of Research at Parliament, Kwesi Nyame-Tease Eshun, is seeking to compel the EC to allow candidates or their agents to append their signatures on the constituency collation sheets and also be given copies.

Special Vote Count
In the instant suit, three individuals - Dr. Kwame Amoako Tuffuor, Benjamin Arthur and Adreba Abrefa Damoa - want the court to compel the EC to count ballots cast on the day of special voting as provided for by Regulation 23 of the Public Elections Regulations, 2016; CI.94  which is a part of public elections.

The plaintiffs, who cited the Attorney General as one of the defendants, want a declaration that “upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 49 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 1992, the ballots to be cast pursuant to Regulation 23(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9) and (10) of the Public Elections Regulations, 2016; CI.94 by special voters in the December, 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections, ought to be counted and announced there and then on the date(s) of the special voting by the presiding officers and the results at each polling station before communicating same to the returning officer.”

They want a further declaration that “Regulation 23(11) of Public Elections Regulations, 2016; CI.94 is inconsistent with Article 49 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”

Public Elections Regulations
The plaintiffs are requesting for a further order to strike down “Regulation 23(11) of Public Elections Regulations, 2016; CI.94 as being in contravention of Article 49(2),(3)(a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, and therefore unconstitutional,” as well as another  “order directed at 1st defendant to comply with the provisions of Article 49(2), (3)(a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana in respect of special voting for the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections and any subsequent public election in the Republic of Ghana.”

Special Voting Day
In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs aver that the EC has set aside a day for special voters for the December elections to vote prior to the day set aside as polling day as directed by Regulation 23(4) of C.I. 94. The commission has received applications from voters intending to vote as special voters and further set aside a date for them to vote before December 7.

“It is plaintiffs’ respectful contention that the ‘special voting’ procedure and provisions thereof are part of the ‘public election’ provided for at Article 49 of the Constitution, in the following words and is therefore subject to all constitutional injunctions relating to counting of votes, recording of votes cast, signing by polling agents and announcement of the results  at the polling station before communication of same to the returning officer.”

The plaintiffs posit, “All that Regulation 23(11) of C.I. 94 does is that it places itself above Article 49 of the Constitution and tramples on its provisions thereof with utmost impunity.”

EC Communication
They claim that C.I. 94 is subject to the constitution and is provided for in Article 1(2) and added that in the instant action, the conduct of the EC in communicating its intention pursuant to CI 94 not to declare the results of the special voting for the 2016 elections until polling day is unconstitutional in the light of the provisions of Article 49 of the Constitution.

High Stakes
The plaintiffs assert that the stakes in the December general election “are too high to leave matters of the nature which form the basis of this suit the way they are.” They point out, “The issue of special votes and where they would be kept until polling day without any tampering with same before same are added to the ballots cast on polling day for counting is likely to trigger yet another election petition.”

“To brazenly let any provision of C.I. 94 regarding special voting override Article 94 of the Constitution, in the name of an unprovable fear of victimisation of special voters is to assert that in spite of the strides made in over 20 years of constitutionalism, we still creep at the repercussions of our legitimate democratic choices,” the plaintiffs argued, adding, “Security officers vote for and against governments or opposition parties during elections. No fetish should be made about this fact.”


By William Yaw Owusu,with reports from Vincent Kubi, Ada; Daniel Y. Dayee, Sunyani; Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi; Eric Kombat, Tamale & I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi
Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Mahama-led NDC government’s promise to build 200 community day senior high schools (SHSs) before the end of 2016 is beginning to haunt the ruling party as the December 7 general election hits a homestretch.

The major campaign promise is becoming more of propaganda than reality as reports from the regions indicate non-existent of the school projects, eroding the credibility of the government.

President John Mahama on September 5 admitted during the commissioning of one of the newly-built schools at Abodom in the Central Region that he could not complete all the 200 community day schools he promised before his first term ends.

President Mahama who is feverishly campaigning for a second term had promised in 2012 that 200 schools would be built across the country.

Realising that the 200 was too high, he later changed the figures to 123, saying that he could complete all the 123 before the December 7 general election but many of the projects have been stalled. While some have not been started at all, a few had been commissioned by the president.

He said at Abodom in the Agona East District that “In my next term of office (from 2017), by the grace of God, we will complete all the 200 new senior high schools that I promised,” explaining, “As I said, currently, 123 are under construction, and that means that the Central Region will receive additional secondary schools among the remaining over 70 schools that we shall build.”

But, the reports from the regions paint a different picture, indicating that the president might have been misinformed about the reality on the ground.
Most of the schools have not taken off due largely to lack of bud to support the construction.

Ablakwa Contradictions
However, the utterances of Deputy Minister of Education Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on the construction of the schools nationwide as promised by President Mahama is giving some sections of the public calls to suspect the government has something to hide.

He has been making contradictory statements in the media since the debate on whether the government is capable of completing the projects on time came up.

Green Book
On page 15 of the NDC’s propaganda-induced Green Book, the ruling party claimed that a $156 million Secondary Education Improvement Programme (SEIP) being sponsored by the World Bank “has been launched and is progressing.”

They stated that under the programme, there will be:
Financing for the construction of 23 community day SHS, improvement in quality and facilities in 175 existing SHS, provision of scholarships to 10,400 needy students 2,300 of whom had already been awarded; and capacity building for 6,500 people as well as mathematics, science and ICT teachers and leadership training for secondary school heads.

Completed Projects
As at June, the Mahama-led government had completed and commissioned less than 20 out of the 200 community day SHSs it promised and the World Bank was sponsoring 23 of them, with the rest being financed by the government of Ghana.

Most of the commissioned schools were the World Bank-funded ones, while the Ghana government ones are struggling for completion because of unavailability of funds – the reason the president cannot fulfill his campaign promise of 200 schools – which has been pegged at 70 by Okudzeto Ablakwa.

Cost of Projects
Interestingly, the NDC government has not yet been able to tell Ghanaians the actual cost of each of the completed schools, not to talk of the entire 200.

In March 2014, when President Mahama amid NDC fanfare, cut the sod for the construction of the first 50 schools; as part of a total of 200 new community day senior high schools to be built across the country, he had insisted all the 50 was going to be completed before the December 7 elections.

Later at another function, Okudzeto Ablakwa confirmed that “there are ten ready, the Ministry of Education has to set the date (for the inauguration). We are building 123 as at now at various stages of completion. Some of them the sites have been handed over, they’ve started the profiling, but the early ones that we started, many of them are in advanced stages of completion.”

“So although we promised 200, we have 123 ongoing, many of them will be ready before elections. We are not waiting to finish all before we populate the schools and so as we are finishing the schools and we are handing over to the Ministry of Education, we are putting the children to school,” he added.

Ablakwa List
On Septemebr 29, after months of confusion on the existence of the number of community senior high schools actually completed, Okudzeto Ablakwa issued a statement claiming that the 123 schools had all been awarded on contract and were at various stages of the project completion.

Strangely, he released the list without indicating which ones had actually been completed and those at the various stages of completion.

Media Interviews
He was captured in a national newspaper recently as saying that 42 of community day SHSs are ready to open for admissions in the current 2016/2017 academic year.

He said 10 had already been inaugurated, while two (Agric Nzema Day SHS in the Ashanti Region and Nemonwora Day SHS in the Agona East District of the Central Region) will be inaugurated very soon and also said that 30 were at various stages of completion and would be done by October. We are in October and the signs are not good as the schools may not be able to admit students because those that have been completed have no teaching and learning materials as well as teaching and non-teaching staff.

Ablakwa was also quoted as saying that nine out of the remaining 30 will be completed before September ends and the remaining 21 will be completed before October ends.

Interestingly, On September 4, this same minister was on Citi FM saying he believes that about 70 of the schools will be ready to admit fresh students in the current academic year and this even contradicted President John Mahama’s 123 schools.

This raises questions that, in effect, only 42 schools may be ready by the end of the year to admit students, even that there are doubts.

Western Region
President Mahama has been able to commission only one out of the 13 schools that the government promised the people of Western Region so far. The commissioning was done at Bamiankor in the Nzema East Municipality (No. 46 on Okudzeto Ablakwa’s list).

At Whindo near Asakae in the Kwesimintsim Constituency at Sekondi Takoradi in the Western Region (No. 100 on the list), the land is lying fallow as there is no activity over there, not even a signpost announcing the project yet Okudzeto Ablakwa listed it as one of the schools which is at ‘various stages of completion.”

When DAILY GUIDE visited the community, it was revealed that there was no such project going on in the area. 

A former assembly member for the area indicated that the project was actually taking place at Whindo, about 15 minutes’ drive from Asakae. 

When DAILY GUIDE got to Whindo, it was raining heavily but the residents were eager to speak with the paper.
Some of the residents claimed that it was not true that the project was at any stage of completion. 

“In fact, we have heard that such a project is coming to Whindo but the truth is that the assembly has now acquired the land and had not even finished paying compensation to those whose farm produce are on it. No project has started on it,” the residents told DAILY GUIDE

Not more than three of the 16 schools promised the people of Brong-Ahafo Region have been commissioned. At Danyame in the Dormaa Central Municipality, the contractor had abandoned the project and left the half building to the mercy of the weather.

The project at Krobo in Techiman Municipality is almost completed as the building is receiving its final facelift when DAILY GUIDE visited, but in many other areas where the projects have been sited, there is either little work or no action at all.

Ashanti Region
Out of the 13 schools promised the Ashanti Region, four are said to have been completed, while eight are uncompleted and but the one at Manfo in Ahafo Ano North (No 52 on the list) has not started at all, yet Okudzeto Ablakwa is saying it is being done.

Easter Region
In the Eastern Region, the NDC government promised 13, but not more than one has been reportedly been commissioned.

At Abomosu in the Atiwa District (No 67 on the list), the site has been demarcated behind the Presby School JSS but there is no action over there. The Abomosu story is similar to that of many other projects in the region which are in limbo.

The contractor is said to be chasing money to undertake the job.

Central Region
In the Central Region, not more than three of the 13 schools promised have been commissioned.

Those officially commissioned by President Mahama include Abodom in Agona West (No. 20) and Ekumfi Otuam (No. 21) respectively.

Diaso in the Upper Denkyira West District (No. 19) is almost completed. However, at Kobina Ansa in Mfantsiman (No. 61) for instance, the designated land is covered by weed and there don’t seem to be any activity.

Volta Region
In the Volta Region, the NDC government promised the people 12 schools but not more than three have been officially commissioned.

At Avenorpeme in Akatsi South (No. 41), the project is almost completed, the one at Nkwata South (No. 43) has been commissioned but some parts of the building, according to media reports, are defective.

The Agblekpui project in Ketu South (No. 94) is halfway done, while the Damanko project in Nkwanta North (No. 42) is progressing, but also not completed.
At Kwamekrom-Abornukope in the Biakoye District, the school was inaugurated by the president, while in Abuadi & Tsrefe in the Adaklu, there is an appreciable progress, but in Ziope in the Avetime District, the buildings are now being raised.

Greater Accra
In the Greater Accra Region where the Mahama-led NDC government promised to build 10 schools, not a single one has been commissioned.

For instance, at Teshie in the Ledzokuku Krowor Municipal Assembly (LEKMA), Accra (No. 71), a giant billboard has been erected with the photographs of President Mahama and the MP for the area, Benita Okiti Dua, but there is nothing on site.

At Ada East District, the site for the school project has been located between Ashigbekope, Kpodokope and Kasseh (No. 73), but there is absolutely no ongoing construction at its site at Koluedor. 

The school is nowhere to be found, as there is no site for the project in the area because the leadership of the area are at loggerheads with each other over the location of the school.

Information gathered by DAILY GUIDE indicated that the former DCE wanted the school to be built in his village in Koluedor, as the MP for Sege, Christian Corleytey Otuteye, wanted it done at Agblabanya with the community, including the chiefs have also made their request for the school to be built in between Goe and Agblabanya.

The above misunderstanding had led the area to be without a site for the project to construct the school.

At Ashaiman where the school is located at Community 22, the project is at roofing level, but the administration block is yet to commence and plastering on the building has also not started.

In Tema Metropolis at Lashibi (No. 72), there is positive progress even though there is still more work to be done on the building, but at the Kpone Katamanso (No. 110), the building is at the foundation stage.

Northern Region
The president promised 14 schools for Northern Region and the government is yet to commence construction in majority of the lands reserved for the projects.

At Nasia (No. 78), the land remains fallow even though the people were told the school was going to be built within eight months.

 A visit by DAILY GUIDE to the area revealed that the project has been abandoned and left unattended to, and it has been covered by weeds.

The assemblyman for the area, Alhassan Salifu, told DAILY GUIDE that Nasia and its surrounding communities have had their hopes dashed by the failure of the members of parliament (MPs) and the contractor’s inability to start the building of the community day senior high school.

In a phone interview with DAILY GUIDE, the contractor of the project, Stephen Okutah, said, “Honestly, we started something on the site, we laid the pipes and cleared the land but later the funds were not flowing. We were later told to continue with the project if we have money and we don’t have money.”
Upper East
Few of the 11 schools for Upper East promised by the Mahama-led government are all at different stages of completion, but construction is yet to take place in majority of the sites.

Construction has started on the site for Gambigo Community SHS (No. 85) located at Zuarungu in Bolgatanga East Municipality and a similar situation at Bongo Azeem-Namoo (No. 87) in the Bongo District, but they are all yet to be completed.

Upper West
The president promised eight schools for Upper West, but there is no indication that any of them has been commissioned.

Majority of the projects have either been abandoned or at early stages of construction, with some no action at all due to non-release of cash.

Monday, October 24, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, October 24, 2016

Opinions continue to be divided over President John Mahama’s challenge thrown at his opponent, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for a debate before the crucial December 7 general election.

President Mahama, whose National Democratic Congress (NDC) party has always resisted any attempt to get him into a presidential debate, is suddenly claiming he is ever ready to go into a one-on-one debate specifically against Nana Akufo-Addo, standard bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Strangely, the NDC had rejected one-on-one debate proposed by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) - the think-tank with track record for organizing presidential debates.

However, the NPP, without mincing words, has said it would not let Nana Akufo-Addo debate a ‘flip-flop’ president who has exhibited inconsistencies in policy direction, including debates.

According to Mustapha Hamid, spokesperson for the NPP flag bearer, President Mahama’s sudden u-turn for a debate exposes the ‘insincerity’ of the NDC government as well as the president’s own ‘indecisive’ nature.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that the NDC has suddenly woken up to the reality that it is losing the December elections and therefore, need the debate to bolster its image.

South Africa Connection
The NDC is said to have recently contracted some experts from South Africa to conduct surveys after its internal as well as Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) polls had predicted massive defeat for the ruling party.

The South African report was reportedly not palatable and concluded that the president needed image-boosting programmes like debates to shore up the NDC’s dwindling support and that appeared to be the main reason why President Mahama has developed a sudden appetite for debates.

A senior lecturer at the Political Science Department, University of Ghana, Legon, Dr. Evans Aggrey-Darko, said last week on radio that although debates shape Ghana’s democracy better, it was too late for one before the general election.

IEA Platform
For a couple of years, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has been the reputable organization that is in the business of organising presidential debates; but the NDC, having participated in previous editions, inexplicably said it was no longer going to be part of this year’s contest which should have taken place by now.

On June 21, 2016, the NDC served notice that none of its candidates would participate in any debate organised by the IEA ahead of the general election, citing biases.

NDC Boycott
A statement by the party stated that the “NDC has, at its Functional Executive Committee (FEC) meeting on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, decided not to participate in any debate to be organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) as far as it is related to the 2016 General Election. All Party Structures (especially the Youth and Women's wings), are to take note and comply accordingly.”

The NDC had earlier raised red flags over the IEA’s decision to hold a separate debate for flag bearers of the two leading political parties - NPP and NDC.

With the IEA not likely to organize any presidential debate before December 7, there has been speculations over who or which institution is capable of staging a similar one for the candidates as being demanded by President Mahama.

Sources say if the NPP accepts the bait, NDC will then push for the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) to organize it, claiming that it is a national body, even though the NCCE is currently cash-strapped with the landlord allegedly threatening to eject it from its (NCCE’s) rented offices.

Joy FM’s Proposal
DAILY GUIDE learnt that after the NDC had rejected the IEA platform, Joy FM was said to have suggested that it was ready to partner GTV to stage one, which the NDC rubbished, describing the popular private radio station as ‘regime changers.’

Unfortunately for the NDC, the Joy FM idea came at a time President Mahama’s Ford gift issue was raging and the ruling party quickly shot the proposal down.
Sources said that Joy FM is trying to revive the debate following the desire by President Mahama that he wants to debate Nana Akufo-Addo and his (Akufo-Addo’s) running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on key issues of the economy.

NDC & NCCE Alliance
A DAILY GUIDE source says the NDC wants the NCCE to organize the debate where it (NDC) would have the chance to pull strings behind the scenes, but the NPP says it is even too late for such an exercise.

Bawumia’s Counter-Attack
Nana Akufo-Addo is yet to comment personally on the President’s request but Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has already fired a riposte asking President Mahama to take his debate to the ordinary Ghanaian whose life his government continues to render hopeless.

At Sangban in the Tatale-Sanguli Constituency of the Northern Region, Dr. Bawumia said, “Today John Mahama says he wants a debate on the economy. Now I want to challenge him to come to Sangban and debate with the people of Sangban on the economy; he should tell the people of Sangban what he has done for them in the last eight years – four years as vice president and four years as president.

"He should tell the people of Northern Ghana what he did with the SADA money; he should go and debate with businesses that have collapsed because of dumsor; he should debate with farmers who cannot buy fertilizers because of his policies. He should go and debate with businessmen who cannot access loans because of high interest rates.”

170 Questions
Dr Bawumia underscored, “The president should go and debate with the people of Ghana who are suffering. That is where the real debate is. When I presented my last lecture on the economy, I presented facts and figures. I made 170 statements at least in that lecture. Now instead of responding to that lecture, he and his vice president are running away from those facts.”

"If they want a debate on the economy, they should start with responding to those 170 facts in my lecture. They don’t want to because they cannot. They cannot stand the truth, they cannot stand the facts,” he noted.

 “The president says he likes evidence, which shows that since 2000 his tenure as president from 2012 to 2016, he has been the worst performing president in terms of Ghana’s economy; that is the evidence, as I showed in my recent lecture,” Dr Bawumia posited.