The number of Ghanaian pilgrims who died at this year's Hajj has shot to 17, this was revealed in an interview with the deputy public relations officer at the pilgrims office.
Speaking with rainbowradioonline.com Mr. Mohammed Amin Lamptey said the total number of deaths through the stampede stood at 10 whiles 6 others died through natural occurrences and 1 other person died after he was run over by a car.
Some 17 other pilgrims are missing.
Over 5,000 Ghanaian pilgrims participated in this year’s hajj which forms part of their Islamic faith, it is the fifth and final pillar in Islam and every well to do Muslim is expected to embark on this Holy Journey.
About 700 pilgrims died through the stampede, the incident has been described as the worst in the last 25 years.
The pilgrim’s office had so far airlifted about 2,250 Ghanaian pilgrims back to the country with some others still in Mecca.
Prior to the stampede, 107 pilgrims lost their lives after a crane collapsed into the Grand Mosque, in the year 2006, 364 pilgrims died in a crush during the stone-throwing ritual.
In the year 1997, about 343 pilgrims were killed in a stampede and another 1, 500 injured through a fire outbreak, whiles in 1990, over 1,426 pilgrims were also killed in a stampede inside the tunnel leading to the holy sites.
Two-hundred and seventy (270) pilgrims were killed in a stampede, 1, 426 pilgrims died through a stampede inside the tunnel leading to the holy sites in 1990.
The year 1987 recorded 400 deaths through a confrontation between Saudi Authorities and pro-Iranian demonstrators.
General Secretary of ruling NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, has lambasted the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) for organising what he described as a forum that will create confusion among stakeholders ahead of the scheduled date for the Electoral Commission’s forum on the same issue.
According to the chief scribe of the governing party, the action taken by the IEA inviting political parties for the discussion is unfortunate, bad and an activity that should not be encouraged.
He revealed that the institution had been part of discussions with all stakeholders including the EC, to be part of the upcoming stakeholder discussion by the commission and therefore for them to organise one ahead of the EC, is not the best and they as a political party will not partake in the activity.
We cannot be part of an activity that seeks to undermine the authority of the Electoral Commission and create confusion. The Electoral Commission is mandated by the constitution to take the lead in such an activity, so why should you as an institution go through the back door to do this, he quizzed.
He was of the opinion that any interested party who intends to discuss or share his or her opinion on the voters' register should rather join the discussion been organised by the commission.
Speaking with Kwame Tutu host of the breakfast show on rainbow radio, the former legislator and chief scribe of the party in their admonished all stakeholders to allow the EC do their work.
He also criticised the NPP for acting in a bad faith after presenting their proposal to the EC, by organising demnonstrations.
Do not interfere them. You cannot be walking about shouting and making unnecessary noise over the same issue you have presented a proposal on, he added.
Commenting on the position of the two Former Presidents on their call for a credible register, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah said the position taking by the former leaders is not constitutional and that alone cannot warrant the compilation of a new voter’s register.
Our position on register has not changed
Johnson Asiedu Nketiah reiterated the party’s position on the on-going debate for the compilation of a new voters’ register.
He insisted that the party do not support the compilation of a new register and as a party they have documented their position and presented it to the EC and other institution. On the 29th October, 2015, we will defend our position when the EC meets with stakeholders and political parties..
Former First Lady Nana Konadu Aygemang Rawlings has said the choice of her daughter to contest on the ticket of the NDC is her personal decision but if she [Dr. Rawlings] had asked for her opinion before going to contest, it would have been different.
‘’If she had asked my opinion, it would have been different, but she took her decision and I think that she is entitled to that decision, she is an adult and she’s grown up in an open house,’’ she said.
According to the former first lady, the Rawlings' is a family with open minded persons and therefore every member of the family is allowed to agree and disagree with each other on any issues that comes up.
‘’We are a family of open mindedness, we do accept critic, we do accept correction and we do accept support,’’ she added.
Nana Konadu Aygemang Rawlings indicated that, although she will not stand on her daughters campaign platform, she will support her and give her the needed backing on how she can go about her campaign.
‘’Maybe I won’t stand on her platform, but I will give her a pat on the back of how to get to her destination,’’ she indicated.
Former mayor of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly and former Member of Parliament for Asokwa constituency, Hon. Maxwell Kofi Jumah has criticised the ruling government for failing to take measures in providing alternative for traders at the Kumasi Central Market before going on with the rehabilitation of the largest central market in the sub-region.
Speaking in an interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem, the former legislator explained that, it would have been best for government to create provisional shelter markets for the traders to trade in until the rehabilitation is done.
According to him, because these provision were not made it makes it difficult for traders to trade.
Hon. Maxwell Kofi Jumah indicated the process of the rehabilitation of the market started long time ago and therefore it is not rightr for the NDC to be givenall the credit.
He revealed to Nyankonton Mu Nsem that as a former mayor of the region, he created the shoe market, the yam market and other specialized market because of the plan to rehabilitate the market.
The outspoken politician indicated the rehabilitation of the market will not in any way give the NDC any chances of winning in the region, rather this will affect their chances of winning in the region.
You cannot win in the region because you are rehabilitating the Kumasi Central Market, it is impossible, in fact is not realistic, he added.
President Mahama joined the Asantehene yesterday to cut sod for the rehabilitation of the Kejetia market and the Kejetia Terminal Lorry Park.
The three-phased project is estimated at an amount of $298 million and it’s been constructed by Contrata Engaheria, a Brazilian construction firm.
The market has served as an economic hub for Ghanaians and the sub-region.
The president told traders to resist any fears of been evicted after the new market is constructed, he told them to be assured that they will be given priority when the project is completed, because the project after completion will be a double capacity market.
Prior to the sod-cutting, contractors had used 60 days to erect about 60% of the foundation for the project with more than 500 steel piles weighing 600 tonnes.
The committee set up by the CJ to probe some indicted judges and persons in the judicial scandal by Anas Aremeyaw Anas resumes sitting to continue with their hearing today, Monday October 19.
The committee suspended their sitting some few weeks ago pending the outcome of suits filed by some of the implicated judges who challenged the committee and its powers in probing them and the work of the investigate journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
Seven suspended High Court judges are thus expected to appear before the committee today.
The judges are Justices Ajet-Nasam, F. Opoku, Ernest Obimpeh, Ohene Essel, Ayisi Addo, K. Essel Mensah and Ivy Heward-Mills (Mrs).
Retired Justices Yaw Ansu Gyeabour and Mohammed Ahmed Mustapha, who were also caught on the video prior to their retirement, are being investigated by the police.
The judges are expected to report to the Committee from October 19, 2015, to December 11, 2015. Each of them has been given five days and a total of 30 hours to prove their innocence.
The implicated judges will have the opportunity to cross-examine Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
Anas and his Tiger P.I Team in the last two years conducted a painstaking investigations over alleged corruption and scandals in the judiciary, the 3-hour long video shake the very foundation of the country and the judiciary after the first premiere at the AICC.
The team captured some 34 judges, magistrates and some other 146 members of staff of the Judicial Service, police officers and state attorneys on camera allegedly taking bribes to influence their decision over some cases there were presiding over.
Executives of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Komenda Edina-Abirem Constituency has lambasted founder and leader of the Progressive People’s Party, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom for what they described as an unsavory comment he made against the President over his recent comment that it is God who chooses a leader and therefore Ghanaians should remain calm and peaceful ahead of the 2016 elections.
It would be recalled that President Mahama some weeks ago, went to Assemblies of God Church in the Western Region where he admonished Ghanaians to resist any form of violence ahead of the 2016 elections because ‘’God in his own wisdom chooses a leader’’ but that comments got the entrepreneur cum politician to ‘jab’ the president over his statements.
The KEEA executives described Dr. Papa Kwesi Ndoum as envious who wish to be in the position of the president.
Below is the group’s statement
When the President, John Dramani Mahama, at the Grace Assemblies of God Church, Effiakuma, Western Region, alluded to God’s power to choose leaders, it was expected that such a statement would be met with varying responses.
One response that has been thrown at such a universal assertion by the President has been ‘the prayer’ offered to God by the flagbearer of the Progressive People’s Party, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom.
The KEEA constituency executives in the central Region has expressed strong reservation about the statement by the Flagbearer of the PPP.
According to them, having followed Dr. Nduom and his utterances for some time now, the conclusion is that Dr. Nduom envies the President, John Dramani Mahama and wishes he were the one being called the president.
According to the KEEA Constituency Executives of the NDC, Dr. Nduom sought to discredit the words of the very Creator he was ‘praying’ to, whose words the President made reference to.
“This clearly implies that when it comes to citizens voting to select leaders, God has absolutely no hand in it.
He, however, fails to accept what the Bible says, “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings” (Daniel 2:21).
Again, the very God Dr. Nduom prayed to tells us, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1). It is vivid God establishes human powers. It is true the people of Ghana have been voting, but we need not forget that God rules in the affairs of men. If in God’s plans a person not destined to be a leader, he can’t be”.
The KEEA Constituency Executives believe the attempt by Dr. Nduom to insinuate that President John Mahama was not given to Ghanaians by God is a move to doubt the fact that God reigns in the affairs of Ghanaians.
“He is from KEEA and that is why we are asking him not to exhibit such behaviors that show that he envies the president and wishes he were him.”
The following were the words from Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom’s Facebook post:
I know you are a kind God.
You love your children so much that you forgive us our sins, again and again. I pray for forgiveness for all of our people, especially those who lead our nation.
You give us Grace in abundance daily. It is You who have given us a fertile soil, gold, oil, manganese, bauxite, and other minerals.
You have made it possible for cocoa, timber, maize, cassava and others to grow when we do the work. Energize our will to put these to good use.
My Lord, I know you did not choose Bokassa, Iddi Amin, Jammeh, and others for Africa or Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and their type for the world.
You my Lord God did not rain ‘dumsor’, poverty, corruption, HIPC, illiteracy or cholera on us. We did it to ourselves. Help us work to get rid of them.
I know you were not in the line to vote for Rawlings in 1992 and 1996, Kufuor in 2000 and 2004, Atta-Mills in 2008, or Mahama in 2012. We the voters, human as we are did the voting.
Master, I know you did not bring foreigners to vote in Ghana, nor did you carry minors to go and and vote.
You Lord, did not steal ballot papers or deny candidates votes that belonged to them.
As I continue to pray, Master, let not your people use your name in vain. Teach us not to bear false witness. Teach us all to pray for humility, incorruptibility, diligence and the courage to take the righteous path.
Teach our people to know that it is they who vote and that no free manna will fall from the heavens and that whom we give our vote to will determine our well-being on this earth.
My Lord God, make our hearts pure and our minds fertile for the truth and help us make wise choices so that we can vote for leaders who will help us make excellent use of natural gifts you have put here on part of the world called Ghana.
These and others I ask and pray for in the name of Jesus.
Report reaching Nyankonton Mu Nsem has it that, some nurses who have completed school but have not been posted are picketing at the Flagstaff house today to make their concerns known.
According to the nurses it’s about two years now since they completed school but have not been posted.
Meanwhile their colleagues from the Northern Region who applied to the Ghana Health Service have been employed and are receiving salaries.
Speaking with our news anchor, Kwabena Agyapong the National President of the Ghana Nurses and Midwifery Training Association, Emmanuel Geyevo said, they have on several occasions petitioned the Ministry of Health since 2013 but nothing has been done about their situation.
According to him they have ‘’relentlessly followed-up’’ on their issue but the Ministry keeps on giving them dates but that seems not to work.
He said: ‘’our interest is to save the country because our government admonished us to remain in the country and serve’’ but unfortunately we have not been posted to serve our nation.
Asked whether they had official permission to picket at the seat of government, he said no but they are there to press home their demand for the president to intervene on their behalf.
Emmanuel Geyevo said, he himself is not employed and as the president for group it is his duty to represent them to get what they want.
Although we don’t have the permission to be here, we feel that is the best thing to do because the situation is unfair, he added.
He revealed that they have written to the presidency but no response has come so they decided to picket at the flagstaff house.
‘’We are here as individual affected nurses and not as a group.’’ He stressed.
There is heavy security presence at the flagstaff house led by the Greater Accra Regional Police Commander, DCOP Teye Yehonu.
Former President JJ Rawlings has called on party supporters to kick out corrupt leaders within the party before the NDC loses its credibility ahead of the 2016 general elections.
The former president lambasted some people he claimed were corrupt within the party and by the action the party stands the chance of losing the elections if party supporters fail to do the right thing.
The founder of the party said, the NDC as a party was formed based on the core-values of accountability, transparency and unity therefore these traditions must be preserved for the new generation of party supporters.
I have always fought against corruption from the PNDC era till the NDC era, I fought against corruption and spoke about it even when I left office and Former President Kuffuor took over, I kept on speaking about corruption when the late Mills was in office and I keep on speaking about it, but I have been attacked for speaking about corruption in my own party, that should not happen, we cannot fight corruption if we have not fought the canker in our own party, he said.
You are the people, you need to tell the executives of the party that never again should we encourage corruption in the party, you have the power now, kick out all those corrupt leaders and evil people when you go to the polls, this is the time, you cannot continue to keep them there, no it is not right for them to be there kick them out now when you go the polls, he added.
Former President Rawlings said, why should Ghanaians suffer like this, why should Ghanaians go through hardship after all the good works and the foundation laid in the past by the PNDC and the NDC? The corruption is too much, Ghanaians are suffering because successive governments after the NDC left office failed to build on the very foundation we laid, there are some within my own party and they must be kicked out now, I am speaking with a new pain yes am feeling the pain of the suffering Ghanaian, but change is coming and that change must begin with you as party supporters.
‘’The very foundation of the NDC was formed with integrity, unity and strength and so let’s preserve this heritage,’’ he added.
The former President made these comments when he stormed the rally grounds of her daughter, Dr. Zanetor Rawlings’ campaign launch in Accra.
Parliamentary aspirant, Dr. Zanetor Agyemang Rawlings for the upcoming NDC primaries has lambasted his direct competitor and incumbent MP for the Klottey Korle constituency for incompetence and non-performance.
Speaking with party supporters at a mini rally in the constituency Sunday morning, Dr. Zanetor Agyemang Rawlings said, when you choose someone to represent you, that person must represent your interest and when the person fails to represent your interest you must kick the person out of office and get a new one into office.
Why should someone wait till its elections before sharing money to buy the people to vote for them? So it means there was enough money available yet you allowed the power to suffer without making provisions for them, that is bad, that is unacceptable and inhuman against the people you represent, she added.
According to her, politics is about changing lives and transforming individuals who have entrusted their hopes in you.
Dr. Rawlings admonished party supporters to consider their plights and challenges they face to choose a credible, reliable and a competent candidate to represent their interest because if they fail to elect a credible candidate to represent them, they will regret in the next four years.
The aspiring parliamentarian criticised her opponent for politicising her participation in a massive cleanup campaign after the June 3rd disaster, to her politics is about contributing to social change and helping the people.
She said: ‘’politics is the power to get you there, but we have to be empowered first, you are the power of the people, you carry the power, you are the ones, you have the power to choose, do not allow anyone to pay you to take away your power to choose somebody that you want, it is your right to choose.’’
My agenda for Klottey Korle
Dr. Zanetor Aygemang Rawlings outlining her plans to party supporters said, the needs of the constituency varies from community to community and so she will tackle the problems of the people by what they need.
We must create more jobs and not depend solely on government jobs, we must give a facelift to most of our schools especially those without places of convenience, we must also build state of the art toilet facilities for communities that do not have, another area that I intend to focus on is the construction of libraries for the constituency, she said.
One other challenge that I identified in the constituency is the deplorable nature of the antenatal facility which I intend to reconstruct to serve the people better, one other community needs a day care centre which I promise to build for them when am giving the mandate, she added.
Dr. Rawlings explained further, women in the constituency must be supported through skills training and support fund to set them up so they are able to have something doing.
She also indicated that companies within the constituency must allocate a quota of jobs to residents in the constituency and when she is voted into power that’s one thing she will pursue.
Dr. Zanetor Aygemang Rawlings is hopeful that all these can be achieved with commitment, and as an MP if elected will make sure she fulfil her promise to the people.
Presidential Candidate for the New Patriotic Party has criticised the Mahama led administration for their gross incompetence and debt owed N-Gas and the West African Gas Pipeline (WAPco).
The Managing Director of WAPco, Mr. Walter Perez over the week threatened to curtail gas supply to Ghana because the Volta River Authority owed them $103 million, a debt he said had affected their operations and the supply of gas to Ghana on scheduled.
WAPco initially planned of curtailing about 70% of gas supply to Ghana but a high power delegation led by the Power Minister went to hold meetings with N-GAS on how best Ghana could pay off its debt.
Government of Ghana is said to have paid $10 million representing 10% out of the total debt owed N-GAS.
However speaking at the International Conference of the NPP in Amsterdam, the presidential candidate of the party accused government of printing presidential diaries to the tune of $10 million yet he struggled raising money to defray its debt owed N-GAS.
“I listen to the disillusionment of the average Ghanaian with politicians who promise them relief and end up bringing them grief when they get into office. I listen to the journalist who is saddened by the revelation that a government can spend $10 million to print presidential diaries. Yes, you heard me right: $10 million. And yet we are barely able to scrape together $10 million as a down payment on our debt to Nigeria for the supply of a truly essential product – gas,” Nana said.
Nana Akufo Addo said the NPP is going to do things differently when they assume office in 2016.
“We have shown both with our philosophy and our policy actions that ours is the party that believes in the wellbeing of the individual. We believe in enterprise because we know that when business thrives society benefits from the profits of enterprise,” he indicated.
It is the duty of every responsible government to push for policies that will create more jobs, promote low taxes, ensure access to affordable and competitive credits and make investors feel comfortable on their investments, and that is what a Nana Addo led administration is bringing on board come 2016, he said.
“We will then create the hundreds of thousands of jobs that the young people of Ghana are yearning for… Ours is not to create, exploit and benefit from divisive politics. Ours is to sell equal hope to every Ghanaian. We are committed to a one, united Ghana because we believe in equality between ethnic groups; equality of rights and equality of responsibilities,” he stressed.
Nana Addo is currently on a three-day tour in Netherlands, he is expected to return toady.