The National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Mr. Paul Afoko has said that he is still the party’s chair discharging his duties as required by the constitution of the NPP.
In a release copied to the media, the embattled chair refuted claims that the party has scheduled a meeting today, to suspende him as the party's chair.
According to him, the 1st Vice-Chair in the person of Freddie Blay has no such powers to call for a meeting by the constitution of the party.
He has also called on party supporters to remain resolute and calm as he Paul Afoko still remains the Chairman of the NPP.
Below is the Press Statement
FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF THE NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY
TO ALL MEDIA HOUSES
DATE: 23RD OCTOBER 2015
It has come to my notice that an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee of the party has been called for today Friday the 23rd of October 2015 at 10am at the Party’s Headquarters. I hereby state categorically that no such meeting of NEC has been scheduled and that members should disregard any such notices they might have received.
I am informed that the said meeting is being called by the Party’s 1st Vice Chairman, Mr. Freddie Blay. By the provisions of our constitution, Mr. Freddie Blay has no vested authority to sanction such a meeting, especially when I the chairman, the constitutionally mandated person to call and preside over such meetings have not authorized Mr. Blay to call any meeting.
I wish to further state that I am in the jurisdiction, available and capable of discharging my constitutionally mandated functions as chairman of the NPP.
I also wish to serve notice, and notice is hereby served that the meeting called by Mr. Blay is an illegality and a breach of our party’s constitution.
Thank you very much. Long Live the NPP!
PAUL AWENTAMI AFOKO
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has charged the Electoral Commission to engage the services of a competent, credible and external organization to conduct independent investigations into allegations of bloating.
This was revealed in a communiqué issued by the IEA after the forum held few days ago.
The IEA indicated that, although ‘’Article 46 of the National Constitution protects the EC from direction or control, it is nevertheless accountable to the citizens because it is a public organization which draws its funds from the Consolidated Fund. It must therefore ensure full transparency and accountability in its work’’.
The IEA through the release admonished the EC to take to consider working all the stakeholders involved in resolving the irregularities identified in the voters’ register.
Below is the full communiqué:
GHANA’S VOTERS REGISTER – IEA BROKERS SOME KEY CONSENSUS
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A NATIONAL DEBATE ON GHANA’S VOTERS’ REGISTER ORGANIZED BY THE IEA ON TUESDAY, 20TH OCTOBER 2015 IN ACCRA
As part of its commitment to promote good governance and entrenched multiparty democracy for sustainable national development in Ghana, The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA-Ghana) organized a National Debate on Tuesday, 20th October 2015 in its conference hall. The Debate was under the theme: “Towards a Credible and Peaceful 2016 Elections: A Review of the State of Ghana’s Voters Register and the Way Forward”. It brought together over 100 participants from Parliament, Civil Society, Political Parties, Development Partners, Traditional Authorities, Statesmen and Media.
The 2012 Election Petition at the Supreme Court recommended an overhaul of Ghana’s electoral system. Justice Atuguba, Presiding Judge of the Election Petition, stated as follows: “this petition has exposed the need for certain electoral reforms”. In the lead up to next year’s elections, discussion on Ghana’s Voters Register has taken centre stage, with wide public concerns expressed over its credibility.
Even though it is generally agreed that the Register is flawed, there is disagreement on the magnitude of the irregularities in the Register and the approach to addressing the problem. While some have argued for purging the existing Register, others have called for compilation of a new Register.
The IEA recognizes that if this issue is not resolved in a timely manner, the nation will be further polarized, and the peace of Ghana will be threatened. It is against this background that the Debate was organized to provide an objective, non-partisan platform for a discussion of the issues in order to find common ground.
Two presentations were delivered as follows:
Towards a Credible Election 2016 – Compiling a New Voters Register by Prof Mike Oquaye (Former Deputy Speaker of Parliament)
Towards a Credible Election 2016 – Purging Ghana’s Current Voters Register by Dr. Ransford Gyampo (Senior Lecturer, Political Science Department, University of Ghana)
The current Register is bloated with illegal entries (minors, foreign nationals, doctored photographs, etc.).
The need for empirical evidence to prove allegations of bloating.
The capacity and credibility of the Electoral Commission to undertake effective audit of the Register.
The specific methodology to be used for auditing the Register. How will the Register be audited? What principles will guide this process? How effective will the methodology be?
The empirical soundness or reliability of the source data for a new Register. How does one prove to be a citizen of Ghana? What form of identification is authentic and acceptable?
Cost implications of cleaning the existing Voters Register. How will it be funded?
Cost implications of compiling a new Voters Register. How will it be funded?
Political parties and citizenry have not taken full advantage of existing processes to ensure periodic reviews of the Register.
Ghana currently does not have a codified body of electoral laws to deal with electoral offences.
It was agreed that there are irregularities with the current Voters Register. All stakeholders must work towards a consensus position on addressing these irregularities. The two main schools of thought on how to resolve the problem of illegal entries in the Register are not mutually exclusive. This is because purging the Register will ultimately result in a new Register, while compiling a new Register will rely on some existing data from the old Register. What is critical is that the final output of this exercise must be a Voters Register with an acceptable margin of error.
The Electoral Commission should demonstrate proactiveness and leadership on this important national issue. It should engage the services of a competent, credible and external organization to conduct independent investigations into allegations of bloating. Though Article 46 of the National Constitution protects the EC from direction or control, it is nevertheless accountable to the citizens because it is a public organization which draws its funds from the Consolidated Fund. It must therefore ensure full transparency and accountability in its work.
It was agreed that there was the absence of a single codified body on laws dealing with electoral offences in Ghana. The incidence of electoral fraud is rife in Ghana because of this deficiency in its legal regime. Ghana should emulate the example of Kenya by codifying a set of electoral laws which adequately deter electoral fraud. Having adequate electoral laws will ensure that elections are conducted without repeated incidents of illegal registration, ballot box snatching, etc.
The cost implications of auditing the existing Voters Register or compiling a new Register should not take away from steps to provide a credible and acceptable Register for the 2016 elections. This is because the cost of managing a national crisis resulting from a flawed electoral process will be potentially higher than that of having an acceptable Register.
Ghana should renew its efforts towards an authentic national identification system for all citizens. This is crucial going forward as it will feed into the process of providing a robust and credible Voters Register.
Mrs. Jean Mensa
(Executive Director, IEA)
20th October, 2015
The Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, President John Mahama has admonished newly commissioned officers to exhibit a high sense of moral integrity as they undertake their duties.
This he said will help them achieve greater heights in their line of duty.
In an address at the 2015 graduation parade of the Ghana Military Academy in Accra on Thursday, President Mahama charged the officers to be selfless, dedicated and be committed in their line of duty at all times.
President Mahama indicated that, Ghana’s Armed Forces is touted as one of the best in the sub-region with an heritage that needs to be preserved, he charged the newly graduated officers of be proud of themselves.
“Our armed forces have a heritage and tradition that we can be proud of. From the colonial area, Ghanaians as part of the West African frontier force saw action in many theatres which we now only recall in the names of or various barracks. Domestically our troupes have emerged in times of natural disaster ensuring marine time safety and security and at all times working to assure the territorial integrity of our nation. This is indeed a proud tradition,” he said.
President Mahama further encouraged the newly graduated officers to be mindful of the respect the Armed Forces has gained over the years and be guided by the tenets of integrity of the Armed Forces, so they serve the nation with a high sense of moral integrity.
“Ghanaians are proud of our Armed forces. Let me therefore remind you, graduating officer cadets, that you are gaining entry into a force with a proud tradition of service. You must therefore not just behave with the highest professional efficiency but you must also display a sense of moral integrity,’’ he said.
In all, 75 officers regular Cadet Officers and 19 Short Service Commission and Special Duties Officers were commissioned.
The sword of honour for the all-round best cadet went to SUO Rodney ODOI.
Former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev. Dr. Frempong Manso says he has not resigned as a member of the PCG but rather he has resigned from active ministry of the PCG.
The former Moderator indicated that he has been misunderstood by the public because his letter he wrote was to inform the church to resign from ministry and not as a member of the church.
According to him the way and manner in which the church treated him was not fair, respectful and indecent on their part.
In his resignation letter he had this to say:
‘’In view of the current misunderstanding of the PCG concerning the extension of my call to the service of the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church through the Presbytery of New York City and the clear understanding of the PNYC of the PC(USA) polity regarding transfer of my membership to the Presbytery and for that matter under their jurisdiction in their letter of September 24, 2015 to you, I have decided with the support of my family to resign from the Ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana with effect from October 31, 2015. I wish you all the best in the LORD’’.
The former Moderator refuted claims that he resisted to come down to Ghana after the church parted ways with the Presbyterian Church in the USA.
According to him, the church in question the Ghana office refereed to, had not accepted the ordination of gay pastors because the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in the USA consist of Ghanaian Presbyterians, who are not gays or lesbians and so he would not accept to preside over a gay church.
Rev. Dr. Frempong Manso has denied any claims by PCG to resend his decision, he described it as a blatant lie.
“I will say it’s a total lie. If they have taken that decision, I have never heard about it. Nobody has called me personally on phone to speak to me about this matter.
“What you are telling me is totally news to me, I want to emphasis clearly that the best thing is for people to be truthful. Nobody has written to me to resend my decision, I have not had anything through the email, telephone or anything,” he stated.
Speaking in an interview with Citi FM, he asked the leadership of the church to communicate with him appropriately if they claim they want him to resend his decision.
Ghanaians must embrace themselves for an intensified power outage in the coming days. If that becomes possible, we could be experiencing 12 hours power supply and 24 hours off.
Electricity Company of Ghana may be forced to shed 590 megawatts because of some technical challenges that affected a fuse at N-GAS pipeline in Nigeria which caused a drop in gas supply of about 100 million cubic feet.
The incident is affecting the smooth flow of gas supply to Tema gas enclave where Asogli power plants are stationed.
Current information we are picking indicates that, the situation in Nigeria is delaying in repairing, leaving only one unit of the Asogli power plant running.
Some other repair works are been conducted on some power cables and equipments which was affected by heavy rainstorms.
ECG shed about 300 megawatts last week but the erratic situation is set to worsen as they plan to shed double the amount this week.
The situation will leave Accra without 210 megawatts and Kumasi with 120 megawatts.
Ghana’s industrial hub, Tema will be down by 100 megawatts whiles the Central and Eastern Regions will lose 40 megawatts each.
The Western Region will go down by 60 megawatts.
The Volta region will suffer a 20 megawatt shortage.
Government and all stakeholders are currently working around the clock to manage the situation and possibly work out a new round of loadshedding exercise.
High Court Judge, Justice Ajet Nasam has for the third time this week failed to appear before the Judicial Committee probing the latest Anas judicial scandal video which he and some other six judges were allegedly captured on camera taking bribes to influence their decision on some cases they were presiding over.
The seven member committee could not proceed with their sitting because Justice Ajet Nasam failed to appear before it.
All attempt to reach him have proven futile after the committee through the mass media to notify him to re-appear before it today to commence sitting.
Currently the National Security is conducting a serious search for the implicated judge.
The implicated judges will be given five days to defend themselves, they are also expected to call in witnesses and be represented by a counsel.
The seven suspended High Court judges are Justices Ajet-Nasam, F. Opoku, Ernest Obimpeh, Ohene Essel, Ayisi Addo, K. Essel Mensah and Ivy Heward-Mills (Mrs).
Two other retired Justices, Yaw Ansu Gyeabour and Mohammed Ahmed Mustapha, are being investigated by the police after they were captured on camera for allegedly taking bribes in the Anas videos.
Anas and his Tiger P.I Team in the last two years conducted a painstaking investigations for perceived corruption in the judicial service, they captured some 34 judges, magistrates and 146 members of staff of the Judicial Service, police officers and state attorneys.
The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the most effective way the Electoral Commission can regain the confidence of Ghanaians will be the through the compilation of a new voters’ register ahead of the 2016 elections.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, Ghanaians are no longer interested in resorting to the courts to settle electoral disputes, but, rather, prefer a reformation of the country’s electoral process.
The NPP flagbearer made this known in separate meetings in Washington DC, with the Centre for Global Development and the National Endowment for Democracy, all leading think tanks, on Wednesday.
Quoting from the CDD’s Afrobarometer report in 2014 which reported that public trust in EC has gone down from 80%, before the 2012 elections, to 42% in 2014, Nana Akufo-Addo explained this shows that public confidence in the EC is at an all-time low.
Additionally, the NPP flagbearer read from the damning report by the UNDP on Ghana’s Electoral Commission (“Conduct of an Institutional Assessment and the Development a Strategic Plan for the Electoral Commission of Ghana”), issued 2 months ago (16 August 2015) which stressed that: “the EC used to be the most trusted institution in the country; but not anymore.”
The UNDP report, according to Nana Akufo-Addo, concludes by categorically stating that “substantial amount has been invested on the biometric registration and verification; however, there is still no reliable voter register.”
Don’t be blinded by flaws
Kofi Annan, the NPP flagbearer indicated, had also, in the aftermath of the 2012 election petition, urged the EC “not to be blinded to the flaws in Ghana’s electoral system,” and that “all concerned need to work energetically to ensure that these flaws are addressed through the necessary institutional reform.”
To this end, three of the five main political parties in Ghana, who accounted for nearly 50% of the presidential votes in 2012, have called for a new register and proposed measures to tackle the flaws encountered in compiling the 2012 register.
We’re awaiting the response of the Electoral Commission to the mounting pressure, which seeks to address these critical problems. We have presented comprehensive proposals on electoral reforms. A consensus has been built on many of them. But, the one issue that is threatening confidence in the 2016 race is the stubborn refusal of the ruling party to the compilation of a new, credible register,” he said.
Advise to EC Boss
Nana Akufo-Addo, however, urged the new EC boss, Mrs Charlotte Osei, “to know that she can call on such renowned organisations like The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), National Democratic Institute (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to support Ghana resolve this matter early for the budgetary considerations to be also looked at, hand in hand, timeously.”
He continued, “Other countries in the region, such as Tanzania, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Kenya, have all ditched their similarly young but defective registers for new, credible ones. Why can’t Ghana do the same?”
The NPP flagbearer was convinced that the simple explanation why the NDC government and President Mahama want the flawed register of 2012 maintained for 2016 is because “the government believes a suspect register is the only way to guarantee victory. After all, if the administration of President John Mahama was to compete based on its record alone, its re-election would be almost unconceivable.”
The National Youth Organiser of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Mr. Divine Nkrumah has accused the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo of creating fear and panic ahead of the 2016 elections in his recent speech read at the Heritage Conference in the Netherlands.
It would be recalled that Nana Addo in his speech to a gathering called on the International community to intervene in the call for a new voters’ register because he [Nana Addo] suspect that there were attempts to rig the elections.
However the national organiser of the PPP has described Nana Addo as a confused person who is on a double standard trail.
How can you at one point call for the independence of the Electoral Commission and at another point call on the International community to intervene in our electoral process, he quizzed.
Divine Nkrumah said, Is Ghana for somebody? I can see Nana Addo, is confused, Nana Addo who wants want to become president is creating fear and panic’’ by telling the International community to Intervene in Ghana’s electoral process, so we don’t experience turmoil in 2016 like other African countries. How can you claim or make such ridiculous statements, how can you Nana who seeks the mandate to be president, say such a bad thing?
‘’I am telling Nana Addo that Ghana will not die for him and his cronies all because he wants to become president,’’ I am telling Nana Addo today, Ghana will not die for him to achieve his political ambition, Ghana will not die for President Mahama and any other person who wants Ghana to be destabilised because they want to become president. If because of your political ambition Ghana should be unstable, ‘’fire burn you,’’ I say it again if anyone wants Ghana to be unstable because of their political ambition ‘’fire burn them,’’ Divine Nkrumah stated.
Speaking in an interview with Kwame Tutu, host of the breakfast show on rainbow radio, he indicated that there will be no blood shed in 2016 because Ghana is not for anyone and nobody from any political party can hold the nation to ransom.
He admonished Ghanaians to resist any attempt by NPP and NDC to cause mayhem in the country.
Nana is unfit to manage Ghana
Divine Nkrumah described Nana Addo as unfit to manage Ghana because he has failed, to manage the internal wrangling in his own party.
The NPP is currently going through very serious challenges and their presidential candidate has failed to manage the crisis in his party, he said.
'‘’Managing a small party like the NPP he can’t, not to talk of the whole Ghana, he cannot simply manage the internal wrangling, and internal fighting and he wants to mange Ghana, this is impossible he stressed.
Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo Addo has revealed that his decision to accept the 2012 Supreme Court verdict on the landmark election petition was for the sake of peace and stability.
He indicated that, the interest of the nation was paramount and so he his supporters accepted the disputed verdict to avert any turmoil in the country.
‘’In 2012 as you may recall, Ghana was on the misiege as a result of the Supreme Court Ruling of 5-4 rejecting the opposition challenge of the presidential election results. As a leader of the opposition I decided that the peace, that the interest of peace and stability requires that my supporters and I accepted the disputed verdict to prevent any possible turmoil,’’ he said.
Nana Addo was speaking to a gathering at the Heritage Conference as part of his European Tour in the Netherlands.
The presidential candidate has therefore admonished the International community to intervene in Ghana’s current debate over the call for a new voters’ register to avert any violence in the future.
‘’The hope is that the global community takes notice and urge its change before the elections, rather than looking back at the 2016 elections shaking their heads saying how did this happen? We are telling you exactly how it’s going to happen, all the pieces are in place for a rigged elections,’’ he stated.
Nana Akufo-Addo explained that some election related violence has tear some African nations apart and therefore Ghana should not join that fray of such countries.
‘’As Africans we’ve witnessed election related violence tear countries apart, we know what we risk should this problem not be addressed,’’ he stressed.
Flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party has said Ghana’s democracy is currently under serious threat because of the current fraudulent voters’ register.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who was addressing a gathering at the Heritage Conference in Netherlands explained that, the voter register we have today is bloated and therefore cannot be used to conduct a credible election.
He said, Ghana will experience a crooked election if we fail to compile a new credible register.
Ghana’s democracy is under threat, with “our fraudulent voter register” constituting the biggest issue facing the country’s young democracy, he stated.
The voters’ register is bloated, as it contains millions of extra names, adding that “it is estimated that upwards of 10% of the registered voters are bogus. It is packed with ineligible underage voters, and foreign and fake identities.”
According to the flagbearer the situation is unacceptable, for a country where a margin of 40,000 votes can determine who wins an election.
“This is a real problem, the kind that cannot be brushed under the carpet,” he stressed.
Nana Addo revealed further that the 2012 compilation and biometric process was flawed, with over 13 million Ghanaians captured on the register which the EC promised Ghanaians that they will clean the register but unfortunately the number shot up to 14 million.
Additionally, with Ghana’s median age being 20 years and 8 months, and with over 2 million of population being foreigners, it is shocking that the country has over 55% of the population registered to vote, explaining that “this is by far the highest in the whole of Africa and its young population,” Nana explained.
The flagbearer told the audience, that he has presented evidence of tens of thousands of cross-border registration of non-nationals on the register to the EC, and with its case further strengthened by three of the big five political parties, who have also called for a new register.
“Our two living former heads of state, religious leaders, Imams, Christian Council, Catholic Bishop Conference, etc, also want a changed register,” he added.
He continued, “Ghana has worked incredibly hard to preserve her democratic character, one administration shouldn't be allowed to undermine it. The hope is that the global community takes notice and urges change before the election. Rather than looking back at the 2016 election, shaking their heads saying ‘how did this happen’? We're telling you exactly how it's going to happen. All the pieces are in place for a crooked election.”
The gathering was attended by former senior White House officials, US ambassadors, CEOs of major corporations, and Steve Forbes of Forbes publications, Nana Addo concluded by stressing that “as Africans, we have witnessed election-related violence tear countries apart. We know what we risk should the government refuse to address these problems.”