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General News (10021)

The District Chief Executive of the Upper Manya Krobo District, Hon Felix Nartey Odjao has applauded The Hunger Project-Ghana’s commitment to fight poverty and hunger through sustainable community-based programs using the epicenter strategy. Speaking at the One-Day Stakeholders Orientation Workshop on early Child Marriage, The Upper Manya Krobo D.C.E described the Epicenter as one of the most important facilities in the Upper Manya District because of its diverse significance in empowering the lives of people in the district. The Hunger Project-Ghana on 13th June, 2018 organized a one day Stakeholder Orientation Workshop for Participants or members of the Konkoney Epicenter under the Her Choice Project. The Hunger Project Ghana has been working under the Her Choice Project to bring to an end early child marriage in eight other epicenters, adding on Konkoney as the ninth epicenter. The long term objective of this program which has been running since 2016 is to create a child marriage free communities in which young girls and women are free to decide if, when and whom to marry. Speaking at the Workshop, the Country Director of THP-Ghana, Mr. Samuel Afrane tasked parents to do all they can to support the girl child by providing their basic needs. The Upper Manya Krobo District Community Health-Based Planning Services (CHPS) Coordinator under the Ghana Health Services, Emmanuel Sackey shared with participants of the workshop the health hazards of early child marriage and teenage pregnancy. He cautioned that, this societal ill might lead to continuous mal-nutrition if not uprooted from our communities. The Project Coordinator of the Her-Choice program, Patricia Osei Amponsah took participants through the outline and objectives of the program. She also called on the various stakeholders to support the program in order to sanitize our communities of this canker which continues to breed poverty and hunger. Also present at the workshop were representatives from the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DoVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, department of Social development, Birth and Death, Ghana Health Service, Ghana Education Service, the Coordinating director of the Upper Many Krobo district, community leaders, teachers, nurses and some community partners. Story: Ekow Burt- Fletcher
The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has called on the Ministry of Health to ensure the successful implementation of the Accident and Emergency Services Guidelines developed in 2011 since it will help end the 'No Bed Syndrome'. This was contained in a statement issued by the association following discussions that have followed the death of the late Anthony Opoku Acheampon, the 70-year-old-man who died after being turned away by seven hospitals due to the ‘no bed syndrome’. According to the GMA, the phenomenon of ‘no bed syndrome’ has plagued the country for many years and has therefore requested the health ministry to take steps to resolve the challenge. The GMA in the statement described the situation as ''a constellation of both largely systemic and in some occasions individual factors.’’ The statement also made reference to other factors including lack of functional emergency departments in hospitals and clinics and lack of proper referral/feedback systems and inadequate ambulances and dysfunctional ambulance system; lack of proper intra and inter hospital communication, referrals and feedback; very limited bed capacities for emergency care; deficiencies in bed management systems and patient flow in hospitals; ill-equipped emergency rooms (ERs); inadequate number of trained ER professionals and other support staff, lack of clear guidelines for triaging and managing emergency cases and upfront payment for emergency services rendered.’’ On the individual factors, the GMA referred to poor attitudes of health personnel and frustrations of the ill motivated and understaffed health workers. In proposing solutions, the GMA called on government through the Ministry of Health to increase funding for the health sector and emergency services in particular; the training of emergency health personnel must be up-scaled to be able to man existing ERs and also new ones. The Ministry of Health they suggested as matter urgency expand emergency services and equip both old and new ones. The private sector must be encouraged to expand their emergency services. Currently, the private sector offers minimal emergency services. ‘’There must be improved linkages and referral systems between health facilities. The ministry should enforce its policy guidelines on emergency centres directly without going through the agreed levels of care; Internal policy and MoH guidelines must be strengthened so that payment would not be required before emergencies are rendered; Emergency room workers must be educated and re-oriented to maintain the attitude required for such personnel.’’ The statement which was signed by Dr. Titus Beyuo, Assistant General Secretary urged the media to exhibit circumspection and sensitivity to the ethical and socio-cultural norms in reportage on healthcare issues. ‘’The sensationalism and vilification of healthcare professionals in these reports without recourse to the root causes these unfortunate heath outcomes have the tendency to create despondency in otherwise dedicated staff and cause demoralization.’’
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye has given the strongest indication that the House will not lower its standards in the recruitment of research assistants. The MP for Adaklu, Kwame Agbodza Governs first raised the issue and asked when research assistants were going to be employed for legislators. But responding to the issue, Majority leaders, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu observed that, some members compromised on the requirement of a minimum of second degree for these assistants and this is not good for the legislators, he lamented. Delivering a ruling on the floor of the house, Prof. Oquaye directed the clerks of the house to issue letters to the research assistants who meet the qualification threshold by next week Wednesday. “This must be compatible with the overall interest of Parliament because we want to complement people…The work of these assistants will impact on the overall work of Parliament so please find a person who falls within the standard as clearly laid down. It means therefore that Parliament as an institution is not going to compromise over that standard,” the Speaker indicated.
The Director of Corperate Affairs for the National Service Secretariat, Mr. David Prah, has warned the Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to shut-up or he will be arrested again and be made to face firing squad. David Prah was commenting on the brouhaha surrounding the criteria for registration and issuance of the Ghana card and comments passed by Mr Anyidoho. The Deputy General Secretary of the NDC has posited that, the Coalition for Sovereignty of Ghanaians will resist any attempt to exclude the voter’s ID card as a document for registration of Ghana card. Koku Anyidoho said, ‘’ ‘’On Tuesday we shall put our deep thoughts and position on the matter and follow up with actions beyond the press conference. We shall keep the agitation alive and the whole idea is that, we shall resist oppressors rule with all our will and might forevermore. Any attempt to make some Ghanaians more Ghanaians than others, shall be resisted. All Ghanaians are equal. We are not going to have any animal farm type of Ghana; four legs good, two legs bad…This attempt by the Akufo-Addo administration to create an animal farm; four legs good, two legs bad-some Ghanaians are more Ghanaian than others; an elitist society. No it will not happen. It shall be resisted with all our will and might forevermore.’’ ‘’We shall keep the agitation alive and make sure that, we build bigger and better consensus going forward to resist this thing- That only passport and birth certificate; it is not that we are against the principle of the Ghana card. All we are saying is that, let us broaden the space for greater inclusion and stop creating confusion,’’ he said. But reacting to the claims by Mr. Anyidoho, Mr. Prah cautioned him to shut-up or risk being arrested. ‘’Koku Anyidoho is not someone we have to take serious. He does not make sense when he talks. He talks just like the size of his stomach.’’ When he was told he was attacking his opponent personally, Mr Prah said, ‘’it is a personal attack because what he said was an attack on Ghanaians. His comments were senseless. He is a joker. We will arrest him again. We will not entertain his unguarded statement. We will arrest him and make him face firing squad for inciting Ghanaians against the government. The constitution of Ghana does not allow violent displays that will led to the distraction of property. His comments were unfortunate and senseless.’’ He further took his gun at the NDC for engaging in unnecessary political tension in order to paint the ruling government black after robbing the state. ‘’We don’t have to entertain these criminals. We don’t have allow them to deceive Ghanaians after their mismanagement, corruption and incompetence,’’ he added.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has inaugurated the “Ghana Beyond Aid” Charter Committee to give substance to the Ghana Beyond Aid concept, as promised during this year’s May Day Celebration in Kumasi. Pursuant to this, the President said, the committee “will set out a charter which will present the true meaning, purpose and also the calendar of implementation that will allow the country to reach her goal.” The committee, chaired by Senior Minister Hon. Yaw Osafo Marfo was inaugurated on Wednesday, 13th June, 2018 at the seat of the presidency, Jubilee House. Delivering his remarks, President Akufo-Addo stated that once the charter is developed, it “will be subjected to the scrutiny of Parliament, so that it becomes a policy document that will guide the actions of government, as well as the actions of the various stakeholders in our society.” The members of Committee drawn from varying sectors of the governance structure also include the Minister for Finance, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta; Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, MP; Minister for Planning, Hon. Prof. Gyan Baffour, MP; and the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Hajia Alima Mahama, MP. The rest are drawn from the Trades Union Congress, the Private Enterprise Foundation, the Ghana National Association of Teachers, as well as the Association of Ghana industries. Notwithstanding this composition, the President charged the committee to, in the course of their deliberations, co-opt other relevant stakeholders into the deliberations of the committee. He said “It cannot be right that sixty years after Kwame Nkrumah hoisted the flag at the old polo grounds, the budgets of our country are still dependent on external assistance largely because we have not been able to develop our economy to an extent that we are unable fund things by ourselves.” The President continued, “We should be in a position to fund our own activities, then, we will have control of ourselves.” He stressed that “for the sake of dignity and pride, as a country, as a people, we need stand up for ourselves and say that we are looking up to ourselves. This is important for our self-esteem.” President Akufo-Addo was hopeful that the charter will be drawn in such a way that all the estates and social groupings of Ghana will be able to find resonance from it, “and that it will become a mobilizing instrument to be able to develop Ghana.”
The Minority in Parliament is claiming the government’s deal with Identification Management System (IMS), a subsidiary of Margins Group, for the issuance of the Ghana Card may be suspicious. Speaking to the press, the Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Mr. Ato Forson said, the legal issues associated with the deal are enormous. “The minority in parliament look forward to effect certain processes to resolve these legal issues. Until we resolve these legal issues, we will not champion this course”, he stressed. Mr. Ato Forson maintains that the cost for the issuance of the Ghana Card is grossly overpriced. Elaborating, the Minority Spokesperson said, the money involved is $168 million of which the IMS will be investing only $33 million. The remaining $135 million will be debt to be paid by Ghana. The collateral and all necessary documents for IMS to secure $135 million loan will be provided by Ghana. With only$33 million, the overwhelming aspect is the $678 million interest for IMS. The finances associated with the Ghana Card is disgusting. We will not allow for such monies to go down the drains. Details provided clearly shows that Margins Group is taking advantage of the state, he emphasized. “Note that the Minority in Parliament exists to criticize the unproductive decisions in government and serve as a check on the government in power. We not against the Ghana Card. Until all these issues are resolved, we will not be a part of this”, he added. By: Priscilla Obeng Asantewaa (Intern, Rainbow Radio)
The Member of Parliament for Adenta constituency, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, has said the National Identification Act is explicitly clear that, bearers of the Voter’s ID card cannot use same for the registration of Ghana card. The legislator said the Voter’s ID card system is fraught with irregularities and challenges and so it would be impossible for holders of such cards, to register onto the national identification System. Mr Asamoah was reacting to claims by Tamale Central’s MP, Inusah Fuseini that, the Act passed by parliament did not exclude the Voter’s ID card and Section 3 (e) of Act 950, allows the NIA to permit individuals to use the card as a document for registration. ‘’If you don’t have birth certificate, passport and resident permit, your SSNIT card can serve as your proof of citizenship because when you fill you card, it shows where you come from. And so, you can accept the Voter’s ID card on the basis of Section 3 (1) (e) of the law. But the NIA is saying no. If you read Article 42, it is the only occasion that the constitution says a citizen of Ghana of 18 years and above and of sound mind is entitled to register to vote. So Article 42 already sets the criteria which clearly interpreted will mean, anybody holding a Voter’s ID is prima facie is citizen of Ghana, Inusah Fuseini said. But reacting to the explanation, Yaw Buabeng Asamaoh stressed the Voter’s ID card cannot be used as proof for the national card registration. ‘’The Voter’s ID was initiated for a purpose and currently, there are challenges and irregularities associated with the system and so we cannot allow people to use the card to register and be issued with the Ghana card. The criteria are passport and birth certificate.’’ He has advised the Minority to use the appropriate processes to address the challenges they have raised and stop being petty. ‘’This not the registration for Voter’s ID. This is the registration for Ghana card and we have to have a clean and new system. There are criteria for the registration and so we have to use and accept the criteria. They can go to court if they want to. They are entitled to that,’’ he said.
The Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Inusah Fuseini, says the National Identification Act does not exclude Voter’s ID card as criteria for the registration and issuance of the Ghana card. Act 950, otherwise known as the National Identification Amendment Law 2017, is what empowers the issuance of new identity cards to Ghanaians by the National Identification Authority (NIA). Only birth certificates and passports would be accepted for the registration as per the National Identification Law. Concerns have been raised over the criteria and the Minority in Parliament, has boycotted the exercise demanding for the consideration of the Voter’s ID. But the legislator told Rainbow Radio that, ‘’parliament did not pass a law to exclude the Voter’s ID card. Parliament never did that. Whoever is telling you that is misleading you.’’ The NIA he noted requested to exclude the use of the National Health Insurance Card because the Supreme Court had ruled that, it could not be used as proof of citizenship when they appeared before parliament’s legal committee. ‘’The NIA led by Ken Attefuah made a request and the request was to exclude NHIS card. We accepted the request because it was a Supreme Court decision.’’ In explaining further he said, the error appears at the proof of citizenship because they said, Voter’s ID, Baptismal Certificate and the rest cannot be used as proof of citizenship consistent with the Abu Ramadan’s case. But Abu Ramadan cannot decide that Voter’s ID cannot be used. When he [Attafuah] came to parliament, I showed him the error. I explained to him that, the Amended Act (Section 3) requires that, to proof your citizenship you have to present your passport, birth certificate, resident permit, evidence of naturalization and any other documents. So for me, reading it on, the E gives you an omnibus clause because there could be other documents to establish your citizenship. ‘’If you don’t have birth certificate, passport and a resident permit, your SSNIT card can serve as your proof of citizenship because when you fill you card, it shows where you come from. And so, you can accept the Voter’s ID card on the basis of Section 3 (1) (e) of the law. But the NIA is saying no. If you read Article 42, it is the only occasion that the constitution says a citizen of Ghana of 18 years and above and of sound mind, is entitled to register to vote. So Article 42 already sets the criteria which clearly interpreted will mean, anybody holding a Voter’s ID is prima facie a citizen of Ghana.’’ He described as scandalous the attempt by the NIA boss to misinterpret the law because the law made provisions for the Voter's ID to be accepted. ''We never said NIA should exclude the Voter's ID card. The omnibus clause can allow them to allow people to use the Voter's ID to register... It is a deliberate conscious effort by the NIA to make it difficult for Ghanaians to register.''
Deputy General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho, has hinted of demonstrations against the criteria for the registration and issuance of the Ghana card. The maverick politician said the law which allows the National Identification Authority (NIA), to request for only passport and birth certificate for the registration is a bad law. The NIA registration recognises only passports and birth certificates for identification. The government’s presentation to Parliament on Tuesday indicated that the only alternative to this will remain the swearing of affidavits. Over 2700 personnel are being trained by the Judiciary to administer oaths and certify Ghanaians without the required identification. But Koku Anyidoho says the law is a bad one and accused the NIA boss, Professor Attafuah, of hiding behind the law to have his way. The party he told Kwame Tutu is in full support of the boycott staged by the Minority over the registration of legislators which started this week. The request for digital address system he lamented is not only frustrating but an attempt to deprive Ghanaians to register and be issued with the Ghana card. He believes only 7 million Ghanaians will have the opportunity to register per the current requirement hence the need for the NIA, to make provision for people to use the Voter’s ID because it is a valid ID that makes one a Ghanaian. ‘’If they [NPP] are questioning the legitimacy of the Voter’s ID card then we should also question the legitimacy of the current government. That is their logic,’’ he posited. The Coalition for Sovereignty of Ghana he announced will hold a press conference next week Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 to stress the need for the NIA to address the concerns raised. ‘’On Tuesday we shall put our deep thoughts and position on the matter and follow up with actions beyond the press conference. We shall keep the agitation alive and the whole idea is that, we shall resist oppressors rule with all our will and might forevermore. Any attempt to make some Ghanaians more Ghanaians than others, shall be resisted. All Ghanaians are equal. We are not going to have any animal farm type of Ghana; four legs good, two legs bad…This attempt by the Akufo-Addo administration to create an animal farm; four legs good, two legs bad-some Ghanaians are more Ghanaian than others; an elitist society. No it will not happen. It shall be resisted with all our will and might forevermore.’’ ‘’We shall keep the agitation alive and make sure that, we build bigger and better consensus going forward to resist this thing- That only passport and birth certificate; it is not that we are against the principle of the Ghana card. All we are saying is that, let us broaden the space for greater inclusion and stop creating confusion,’’ he said.
Former Gender, Children and Social Protection Minister, Nana Oye Lithur has described the claims raised against her by husband, Tony Lithur, as untrue. The lawyer in a statement wondered why the petition to file for divorce by the husband leaked to the public. Lawyer Tony Lithur has filed a case at the Divorce and Matrimonial court seeking a divorce. The lawyer among other allegations is accusing the wife of being abusive and engaging in acts of infidelity. But Oye Lithur in her statement debunked the allegations and called on Ghanaians to pray for her and the family. ‘’It is unfortunate that a private family matter should now become a subject of public discussion,’’ the statement read. The statement added, ‘’everyone who knows me, and everything I stand for will know that the unfortunate allegations against me cannot be true. ‘’There is no doubt that these are trying times for my family; and I would like to count on your prayers, especially for our children.’’ ‘’As a lawyer of 25 years standing, I have a firm belief in the legal system and in God Almighty to vindicate the truth.’’
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