It’s been days since the Akyem Mafia & sakawa boys debate started.
There have been calls for the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama to apologize for validating the post by MP, Isaach Adongo.
A post which has been described by many as ethnocentric.
Charles Owusu of the Forestry Commission who feels Mr Mahama should have apologised immediately the criticisms started, asked Ghanaians to understand the former President because God has hardened his heart like Pharoah.
“I thought if you do something and a lot of people are speaking against it; you apologize or explain yourself but I’m not surprised; a similar thing happened in the Bible. With all the miraculous works God performed, you would expect that Pharaoh would have a change of heart but it didn’t happen. God hardened his heart and so Ghanaians should understand and be patient with Mahama. Because God wanted to shame Pharaoh and bring glory to His name he hardened his heart…You’ve been a president in this country…” he said on Peace FM morning show ‘Kokrokoo‘
ormer Sports Minister under the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah has advised Mr. Kurt Okraku, the President of the Ghana Football Association to learn from the mistakes of his predecessor, Mr. Kwesi Nyantaky.
He said Kurt Okraku should not repeat the mistakes of his predecessor Kwesi Nyantakyi.
Mr. Nyantakyi has been banned for life from all football-related activities by FIFA after he was caught in the Anas Number documentary.
According to the former Sports Minister, it will be too premature to judge Kurt Okraku as he has not even spent a year as the GFA boss.
“Kurt Okraku has not spent even a year as the GFA president so let’s give him the opportunity to prove himself,” he told Kumasi FM
“Let’s together support him with prayers to succeed but he must learn lessons from his predecessor and make sure he does not repeat those same mistakes.”
Kwasi Nyantakyi was the GFA boss for nearly 13 years.
The Managing Editor of the New crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako has questioned the research methodology of the committee that put together the NDC manifesto, specifically the educational sector.
According to him, had they done a good job, they would not have put the scrapping of the double-track system in the manifesto.
” . . truly, I thought the agitation on double track which I said was propagandist ought not to find its way into any serious manifesto if indeed the manifesto team was researching and knew that there’s a time frame; this thing is transitional…”
“It’s needless agitation but it’s borne out of the earlier targeting of double-track in order to devalue the free SHS policy . . . leading them to put it in the manifesto without seriously thinking thoroughly about it,” he indicated on Joy Newsfile programme.
The NDC says even though the free SHS has come to stay, the double-track system will be scrapped when they assume office.
In its 2020 People’s Manifesto, it indicated that, “we have every plan and desire to make the free SHS much better by ensuring that numerous challenges are addressed and that higher operational and academic standards are introduced and sustained. To do this, we will abolish the double-track system.”
Kweku Baako had mentioned on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo‘ that it will be wrong for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to scrap the double-track system.
He said even if they will scrap it, they should indicate a time frame because taking off the double-track system at once will mean ‘killing’ the free SHS policy.
“Double-track is essential, though a transitional feature of the Free SHS, you toy with the idea that you’ll cancel but you don’t give a time frame. I think this government gave a time frame (5 years) to phase out double-track system. This was a pragmatic reaction to a herculean task. The NDC should tell us when they will cancel the double-track system. What is the time frame, one, two, or three years? In fact, it is an unrealistic proposition, it ought not to be canvassed. If you put this in your manifesto and you proceed on that you’ll within a year collapse the system.”
The national youth organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Henry Nana Boakye has said over two million jobs have been created over the past three years under the Akufo-Addo-led administration.Giving the youth reasons why they need to retain the ruling NPP in power as the December poll approaches, Nana B, as he is affectionately called, noted the Akufo-Addo and Bawumia ticket is the safest pair of hands to keep the country’s economy on a smooth track.
Speaking at the NPP’s ‘The Youth Must Know’ series on Thursday, 10 September 2020, Nana B noted: “The NPP has created over two million jobs in three and a half years (2,055,010).
• Public Sector – 778,706
• Formal Private Sector – 267,939
• Government Job-Creation Programmes – 1,008,365.”
Giving a breakdown of the figure, he said jobs were created through five government programmes, which are: Planting for Food and Jobs (Annual Average): 762,300
• Nation Builders Corps: 100,000
• National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP): 92,000
• National Identification Authority: 35,380
• Out-grower Value Chain Fund (OVCF) (Annual Average): 7,254
• Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (Annual Average): 11,431
On education, the National Youth Organiser stressed that Akufo-Addo’s record is unmatched, especially with the coming into being of the Free SHS programme, which saved over 1.2 million students from staying at home.
“The universally-acclaimed Free SHS and TVET Education have seen 1.2 million beneficiaries. The government has absorbed registration fees for children sitting the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) from both public (391,318) and private (397,500) Junior High Schools in 2020. The difference this makes to both parents and their wards cannot be overemphasized! In addition, the government has also paid Ghc75 million as examination fees for 313,838 students sitting the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE),” Nana B remarked.
He added: “Unrivalled infrastructural projects in SHS and Basic Schools – 1,200 infrastructural projects in SHS and 557 at the basic school level. This development also encompasses libraries– the construction of 2 libraries and renovation of 10 existing libraries, including the Accra Central, Asokore and Hohoe libraries. The construction and establishment of ten (10) Training Centres of Excellence for the Council for Technical, Vocational Education and Training (COTVET).
“Restoration of Teacher Trainees Allowance to 48,000 teacher trainees which cost Ghc 357 million in the 2020 fiscal year alone, restoration of Nursing Trainees Allowance to 49,000 nursing trainees which also cost Ghc336 million in the 2020 fiscal year.
“Youth scholarships for over 30,000 brilliant and needy students via the District Level Scholarship Scheme in 2019, alone, projected to be over 60,000 students in 2020.”
Comparing the manifesto of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and that of the NPP, Nana B said that of the major opposition is full of contradictions and promising spree.
“The promising spree, contradictions and u-turns of Mr John Mahama and the NDC signal only one thing: that their singular aim is to say and do whatever it takes–including what the devil may himself frown upon– to capture political power,” Nana B stressed.
He concluded: “The NDC says they will create one million jobs in 4 years. What did they do in 8 years? Can we go and check their records? If indeed the NDC can create one million jobs in 4 years, it means they created 2 million jobs in 8 years. Since the answer to the above rhetorical questions are a big, fat NO, we can aptly say that Mahama and his NDC are back to their mendacity just to win an election.
“Still holding onto the idea that Ghanaians have short memories, Mr Mahama is now promising to maintain the Nursing and Teacher Trainee allowances. S3 kwaterekwa s3 ob3 ma wo ntama a, tie ne din. Was he not the same person who claimed they were not tenable and therefore cancelled them? Does he think he can lie his way to victory in the upcoming elections?
“Mahama and the NDC have promised to absorb 50% of fees of tertiary students for the 2020 /2021 academic year. For someone who vehemently opposed Free SHS and even claimed it was impossible to implement because he was bereft of innovative ideas, what can he do to tertiary education? We must ensure such a person does not come to power to mess up our education system!
“Must we really remind Ghanaians about the sordid reality of dumsor, the plethora of collapsed businesses and its concomitant hiked unemployment? How can such a person who could not stabilise the power supply for eight years do it in four years? Are we ready for another NDC term to turn back the hand of the clock to those dark days?”
As earlier indicated in Professor Ahwoi’s “Working with Rawlings” book that the likes of Dr. Omane Boamah, Felix Kwakye Ofosu and Hon Okudzeto Ablakwa were recruited purposely to speak ill of the founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), a former Deputy General Secretary of the NDC Koku Anyidoho claims he was asked to do a similar job.
According to him, while working as the Director of Communications at the Presidency under the late President Atta Mills, he was approached on two occasions by two different big men in the party to launch verbal attacks on Mr Rawlings and his wife Konadu Agyeman Rawlings.
“Ahwoi’s book claimed some people were recruited to insult President Rawlings, I was also called on two different occasions by two different big people that I should go and insult Rawlings,” he disclosed.
Speaking on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Morning Show, the Chief Executive Officer of Atta Mills Institute said that he shared that information with the late President Atta Mills about the intention of these NDC bigwigs.
He added that the late President Atta Mills warned him not to adhere to the stalwart’s wishes as that will end his political career.
“When I went upstairs to inform President Mills about it that some two persons want me to insult Rawlings and Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, he told me that I should not allow myself to be used as cannon fodder for someone’s cause; the day you will insult Jerry Rawlings, that is the end of your political career,” he admonished.
“Those people who are calling you to insult Jerry Rawlings, they have sought audience with me on several occasions to dispense with your services, but I told them I won’t sack you today, I won’t sack you tomorrow. So, this is their next modus operandi; immediately you insult Jerry Rawlings, they will come to me and say ‘you see what Koku has done?’” he said.
Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has waded into the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal, seeking for further and better particulars.
Martin Amidu has written to Parliament requesting for documents on the deal to aid in the prevention of any form of corruption.
“This office will be concentrating on any potential of the said transaction(s) to promote and facilitate the suspected commission of corruption and corruption-related offences and advise the government accordingly” a portion of the statement read. Agyapa deal The Agyapa deal generated lots of controversies and tussle between the ruling government, the opposition and some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). The deal which started in June 2018 when Parliament passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund (Act 2018) to manage the equity interests in mining companies and also receive royalties on behalf of the Government of Ghana generated controversy when on August 14, 2020, the Majority MPs secured the numbers to pass the agreement causing the Minority to stage a walked out. Meanwhile, government insists the deal is for the country’s own good
There have been some heated exchanges at the Public Accounts Committee(PAC) sittings on Tuesday, over the GNPC’s allocations to Okyehene, EOCO, Rebecca Foundation, and others.
During today’s sitting, Ningo Prampram MP, Sam George asked why the board of GNPC had to directly approve over 5 million cedis to be paid to the above-mentioned individuals and entities without routing it through the GNPC foundation.
Board Secretary, Matilda Ohene who was present struggled to answer the questions raised resulting in a follow up from Chairman for the Committee, James Klutse Avedzi.
This was however greeted with disdain from deputy ranking member for the committee, Mohammed Hardi Tufeiru.
The development brought proceedings to an abrupt end.
Dissipating Ghana’s Oil money
There was a public backlash against GNPC over the payment of GH¢5.42 million as sponsorships and donations to Okyenhene Amoatia Ofori-Panin, First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, and others by the institution.
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, a consumer advocacy group in November 2019 waded into the matter and called on President Nana Akufo-Addo, to, as a matter of urgency, initiate investigations into the processes leading to what it described as wanton dissipation of the taxpayers’ monies by the country’s national oil company, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
The call came in the wake of an internal memo which revealed how the corporation approved the said amount for a sponsorship package for some institutions including the 20th-anniversary celebration of the Okyenhene and Rebecca Akufo-Addo Foundation, a foundation owned by Ghana’s First Lady.
The General Manager-in-charge of Sustainability at GNPC, Dr. Kwame Baah Nuarko, who justified the approval of the sponsorship package at the time said, the GH¢120, 000.00 to First Lady’s Rebecca Foundation, the US1.8 million dollars for the celebration of Okyenhene’s 20th Anniversary, GH¢50, 000 to the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), US$30, 000 to Ghana Boxing Association, including a GH¢400,000 towards the preparations of the Damba Festival, were not new as they are in line with GNPC’s vision.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has urged communicators of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to remind Ghanaians of his government’s achievements in the past three-and-a-half years as the country goes into another general election.
In a virtual meeting with the party’s 2020 Campaign Communications Advisory Team via Zoom on Sunday, 12 July 2020 from the Presidential Villa where he is self-isolating over COVID-19 fears, the President said: “We need to set before the Ghanaian people clearly, the situation we inherited on the 7 of January 2017”.
“It is critical”, the President stressed, “because, without that reference, it is difficult to measure the quality of the achievement”.
“You have the records: dumsor, high rate of inflation, low rates of growth, widespread unemployment, a certain level of demoralisation in the country; and within three years, this very bleak economic narrative has been transformed”, he reminded the communicators.
President Akufo-Addo also urged the team to drum home the government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think there is a need to continue stressing the need for respecting the COVID-19 protocols. We are in government and it is very important that, that aspect of our concern about the need for our people to be safe comes out positively in everything we say. People have to take the protocols seriously.”
Ahead of the President’s virtual meeting, the Campaign team had issued a statement urging the communicators to focus on the government’s records.
The statement, signed by Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, Deputy Manager of the NPP’s 2020 Campaign Team, said: “The President of the Republic of Ghana and presidential candidate of the NPP and the 2020 campaign team, wish to remind its faithful that the party’s philosophy of positive engagement still holds valid”.
“We, therefore, urge all who speak for, or purport to speak for the party, to refrain from attacking political opponents. We specifically ask that no reference should ever be made to opponents’ ethnicity, religion or gender”.
“We shall campaign on our record and win. Indeed, there is enough to speak about with regard to our record. We cannot beat our opponents in the politics of calumny. Let us, therefore, refrain”.
The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) has estimated the value of product lost in a fire incident that occurred near its Buipe Depot at GHS194,760.00.
Initial reports suggested that three fuel tankers were consumed by fire at the truck park of BOST’s Buipe Depot in the Northern region on Friday evening, January 3, 2020, but a statement from the company said four Bulk Road Vehicles [fuel trucks] were instead affected.
The statement said three of the affected trucks belonged to the Ghana Oil Company Limited, GOIL, while one was for BF Energy.
The statement signed by Marlick Adjei, the Head of Corporate Communications and External Affairs at BOST noted that two out of the four BRVs “contained 36,000 liters of diesel (AGO) and 36,000 liters of petrol (PMS) respectively.”
“At the current price of GHS5.41/liter, the value of the product lost is estimated at GHS194,760.00,” the statement noted.
“The fire occurred at the truck park of the depot and not within the depot. It started late in the evening and took a combined force of the depot technical staff and fire officers from the Damongo and Tamale Fire Stations to bring it under control around 10 p.m,” BOST added in the statement.
Cause of fire unknown
BOST in the statement noted that “the exact cause of the fire has not been ascertained as at now and investigations are underway. We shall furnish the public with the details once the technical team completes the investigations.”
The Buipe depot is the central fuel holding point of BOST serving the Savannah, Northern, North-East, Upper East and Upper West Regions of Ghana.
It receives products through river barges (via the Volta Lake) and through Bulk Road Vehicles (BRVs) loaded from the Accra Plains depot of BOST.
The statement assured that “though a sizable volume of products loaded for OMCs, were destroyed in the incident, product supply in the northern regions and the general operations of BOST as a company will not be negatively affected.”
An Accra Circuit Court yesterday, ordered the Managing Director of Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) to produce audio conversation of Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament for Bawku Central and an officer of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The court gave the order at the request of Special Prosecutor (SP) Mr Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu.
Mr Amidu told the Accra Circuit Court “2” presided over by Mrs Ruby Naa Adjeley-Quayson that the Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP) had already obtained an order to conduct forensic examination on three mobile phone numbers from the Director General of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service.
He urged the court to exercise its powers under the Electronic Transaction Act, Act 2008(Act 772) of Section 100, 101 and 103.
Mr Amidu who is known for his tough stance against corruption recently hinted that he would soon start prosecuting corruption-related cases.
In moving the motion for an order directed at the telecom giant to produce the conversation between the lawmaker and the officer at GRA, the SP said the information he wanted was between December 2018 and January 2019.
Consequently, the Presiding Judge, Mrs Ruby Naa Adjeley granted the order and asked MTN to produce the said audio conversation dated December 1, 2018, to January 6, 2019.
It is not clear what Mr Amidu is seeking to do with the information, however, deep throat sources told the Ghanaian Times that the SP may press charges against the duo if he gathered enough evidence.
At the time of filing this story, a staff of the OSP was in court to take the order and serve on MTN.
In August 2018, Mr Amidu reported the legislator to the Economic and Organised Crime Organisation (EOCO) for allegedly attempting to block his investigation on him.
Mr Amidu alleged that the Bawku Central MP had sent chiefs, pastors and opinion leaders to intercede on his behalf.
The OSP was created by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in fulfilment of a key campaign promise to instil discipline in public office and protect the national purse.
On the eve of the nomination of the SP, President Akufo-Addo declared that the mere mention of the name Martin Alamisi Burns Kaiser Amidu would put fear in the heart of public office holders.
The establishment of the OSP generated controversy and heated debate about the necessity of the office as some have held that the office was created to witch-hunt political opponents.
In the 2019 Budget Statement, the government allocated GH¢180 million to the OSP to be used to resource it and strengthen it to fight against the canker of corruption.