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General News (10021)

The Electoral Commission of Ghana will respond to the various claims made by the political parties on the state on our voters’ register before the five member panel in the ongoing stakeholders forum, to determine whether the call for a new voters’ register is valid or not. The Electoral Commissioner in her statement before the start of the forum assured Ghanaians of the EC’s commitment to ensure transparent and accountability in the ongoing exercise. ‘’The Commission decided to engage the interested parties at this public forum, in order to assure a transparent and accountable process for examining and determining the petition. The Electoral Commission constituted a panel of eminent Ghanaians that have today to lead the hearing on the matter. It is our belief that the panel will conduct the hearing in a free, transparent, fair and objective manner.’’ According to Madam Charlotte Osei, the Electoral Commission upon receipt of the petitions from the NPP, has conducted internal investigations into the claims made in the NPP petitions. She revealed further that the Commission have made significant progress with their investigations. Madam Charlotte Osei, the Electoral Commissioner said the EC has further requested from the NPP for additional documentation to help them conclude their investigations. The EC prior to the forum received over 30 submissions form civil society groups, political parties, clergy, individuals on the need for whether a new register was what we needed or not. The Commission also received submissions via mail, text messages and other means through individual and institutions according to Madam Charlotte Osei.   Final decision The Commissioner stressed that ‘’the final decision on whether or not we will have a new register, or to audit the register will be taken by the EC in line with and on the authority of our [EC] constitutional mandate.’’ Madam Charlotte Osei indicated the debate on the register has raised critical and fundamental issue in the public domain and for an independent body like the EC to take decisions on such an important issue, they must be guided by three principles which are: The Rule of Law; Conscience and National Interest. The overwhelming interest of the nation, after listening to all parties and giving all parties a right to be heard and conscience which must guide the Commission. She insisted, the decision on compiling a new register should not be based merely on allegations or claims which have not been conclusively investigated. She added the Electoral Commission cannot take their decisions based on demands by groups or parties without taking all other requisite views into account or take their decisions based on suggestions by eminent citizens of the land. Madam Charlotte Osei said ‘’such a path may be setting a very dangerous trend for democratic stability in Ghana.’’
Former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and Director of Elections for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Hon. Samuel Ofosu Ampofo has lambasted the flagbearer of the opposition NPP of trying to run the nation down because of his quest to become president of the Republic of Ghana. According to him the presidential hopeful together with the NPP are trying to destroy the nation with their selfish and evil machination.  ‘’You want to run this nation down because you want to become president, you want to destroy this nation because you want to be president, this is unacceptable,’’ he said. He criticized Nana Addo for going round alleging that the voters’ register is bloated with over two million voters, in his view that is an unfortunate allegation. ‘’How can the register be bloated by 2 million people? We are talking about a biometric register. Why would he go outside and say that the voter register is bloated by 2 million people? In your quest for power you want to destroy this country, why? Hon. Osei Ampofo quizzed. He added ‘’am so sad for this country, that for an individual’s insatiable desire to become president the nation should be run down. Because the NPP and an individual wants to become president, they want everything to go in their favour and when it does not satisfy their desire it is not correct. Take a look at what is going on in their own party, they cannot manage their own party, how can they manage this nation.   NPP have no case Hon. Ofosu Ampofo insisted that the NPP have no case in alleging that the five member committee set by the EC are members of the NDC. He called on the NPP to respect the panel since they were selected based on their credibility and knowledge over the issues surrounding the register. To him if the NPP feels they will not appear before the committee that is their own problem because they are not the only political party in Ghana. ‘’We [NDC] will go the Electoral Commission and present our case. They are an independent body mandated by the constitution to work and we will accept the decision by the EC as a political party and so if the NPP will not come that is their [problem, they are not the only political party in this country and they cannot dictate to this country what it should. Let us all respect constitutional and state institutions, we undermine everything in this country and is creating a situation as if the country is not working but Ghana will work and Ghana will continue to work.’’ Hon. Ofosu Ampofo was hopeful that the public hearing will be successful and under no circumstance will the NPP have their way out. ‘’If it is not in favour of the NPP, if it is not what they want then it means nothing should happen in this country, and this country must be on fire because NPP’s Nana Akufo Addo wants to be in power.’’ Hon. Samuel Ofosu Ampofo was commenting on the allegation by the NPP that the five member committee set by the EC to hear public views on the voter register were members of the NDC on the breakfast show on rainbow radio, hosted by Kwame Tutu.            
Director In charge of elections for the opposition New Patriotic Party has described the five member panel set up by the Electoral Commission to hear the public on the voters’ register as bias and one sided and therefore it will be useless for the NPP to participate in the public hearing. The Electoral Commission over the weekend set up a five member panel to conduct a public hearing on the various proposals for the call for new voters register. The panel members are His Lordship VCRAC Crabbe, Co-chair the coalition for Domestic election observers (CODEO). Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana, former Professor of Law and former Electoral Commissioner of Ghana. The others are Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, former Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana and chairman of the National Peace Council. Dr. Grace Bediako, a former Government Statistician and former member of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC). Dr. Nii Narku Quaynor, a renowned computer scientist, chair of National Technology Agency (NITA). Board of Director and President, Internet Society of Ghana and Maulvi Bin Salih, Ameer of the Ahamadiyya Muslim Mission of Ghana. However the director in charge of elections for the Elephant family in an interview with Kwame Tutu, host of the breakfast show on rainbow radio, described the exercise as a useless one since it is politically bias and a deliberate attempt to shoot down the NPP’s call for a new voters register. According to him with Justice Crabbe and Nii Narku on the panel, the exercise will be in one sided because the two have public declared their stance on the voters’ register. In his view, Justice Crabbe do not support the call for the compilation of a new register ansd so it will shroud his judgement on the public hearing, he also revealed that Nii Narku is a known NDC member who had represented the party at a number of IPAC meetings and so he do not qualify to join the panel. The NPP has taken the pain to engage experts to conduct an exclusive investigation into the flaws in the voters’ register, the evidence is very technical in nature, with an exclusive expose of foreigners and existence of minors in the register. Our expectation was for the EC to conduct a thorough investigation into our allegation to establish whether it has any merit or not but not to try and shoot down our case, he said. Martin Adjei Mensah Korsah added ‘’what will be the reason for us to go, is a useless exercise. Why would we have to go there, what for? We have to speak the truth in this country as some point in time, we should not pretend that this exercise is useless. For me this is a useless to want to pursue this cause and if this is how they [EC] want to go about it then it is rubbish and we have to be straight about it, why do we want to pretend in this country? This are clear facts with people clearly stated positions, clearly affiliations to parties, I mean how?’’ He accused the EC of an attempt to use the public hearing to sweep the evidence of the NPP under the carpet. Going before the panel will defeat our purpose and interest as a party calling for a credible register and so we will cross the bridge when the time comes but for me I think that it is an exercise in futility, he stressed.
Former President John Jerry Rawlings, was among nine personalities awarded at the Pan African Leadership Summit and Merit Awards (PAMA) 2015 at the British Council Auditorium in Accra over the weekend. Rawlings  who could not attend the function to receive his award,  was recognized as “Africa’s Foremost Agent of Change.”Three of the personalities, one Nigerian and two Ghanaians  who were present, also received their awards.   Dr (Sir) Ferdinand Ikechukwu Anikwe, Director-General of the Centre for Black Arts and African Civilization Culture (CBAAC), was adjudged “Africa’s Most Outstanding Personality in Arts and Culture.”   Superintendent Cephas Arthur, Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, received the “Excellence in Outstanding Leadership”  award, while Victoria Michaels, a model and fashion icon, grabbed “Ghana’s Fashion Modelling  Personality  of the Year” award.   The PAMA was instituted by the National informer Magazine, to bring together past and present African Leaders, policy makers, giants of industries, top CEOs, outstanding inspirational religious leaders, foreign investors and others, to share ideas, strategies, and create platforms that will instigate the socio-economic development and revival of the continent. It also honours outstanding Africans, organizations and institutions, in various fields of human endeavour, that have contributed immensely to the growth of Africa and Africans.   Apart from of the nine personalities, 12 organizations were also recognized for awards.   Four of them were present to receive their awards.   They were Union Savings and Loans Ghana Limited (Ghana’s Most Outstanding SME Development Bank); Opportunity International Savings and Loans Ghana Limited (Ghana’s Most innovative SME Financial Institution); Goldman Capital Micro Finance Ghana Limited (Ghana’s Most Efficient Micro Finance Institution of the Year); and Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (Financial Regulator of the Year).   Speaking at the function, Prince Ike Onwuka-Smarty, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the National Informer, underscored the need for Africa  to fashion its own economic models to sustain growth on the continent.   Prince Onwuka-Smarty was of the view that the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises would be the foundation of Africa’s economic stability, if properly guided and harnessed.   In a presentation on “Re-thinking Cultural Pan-Africanism for Africa’s Reconstruction  and Development, ”Dr Anikwe, Director-General  of the Centre for Black Arts and African Civilization, and an award winner,  pointed out that the future of Africa lies in the hands of Africans.   Dr Anikwe said as key to development, Culture must acknowledge the virtues of cultural diversity and respect for individual human rights, and the promotion of sustainable  environmental  management practices.   He was of the view that with Africans first and foremost developing  their various cultures, all other aspects of development would be added unto the continent.   Source: GNA    
Founder and leader of the Progressive People’s Party, Dr. Papa Kwesi Ndoum has disagreed with President Mahama over his recent statement last Friday at the 40th anniversary celebration of the IIorin University in Nigeria. President Mahama in his address said “what I have noticed is that, it is our tendency in Africa to speak of what we do not have, how we are lacking in this or that, why we have not got where other more developed continents are, and who might possibly be to blame for this.” However the former president candidate of the awake party has disagreed with President Mahama saying ‘’should we be satisfied with dumsor, regular labour unrests, unemployment even for our university graduates, high level of debt, one of the highest interest rates in the world, filth, illiteracy, preventable diseases like cholera, malaria etc.? My answer is NO!’’ Dr. Ndoum stressed that as Africans ‘’we should aim for a better standard of living, a cleaner environment, greater prosperity, a minimum high school education for our children, etc. This means we should work harder, be more disciplined, manage our economy better and vote for competent, incorruptible leaders. We have a lot of work to do and we must all pitch in to get it done.’’
Deputy Communications Director of the opposition NPP, Mr. Adomako Baafi has advised suspended National Chairman of the Elephant party to accept his suspension in good faith if he really loves the party. Speaking in an interview with Nyankonton Mu Nsem on rainbow radio, he encouraged Mr. Paul Afoko to remain calm and avoid any action that may tarnish his own image. According to Adomako Baafi the suspension of Paul Afoko is a constitutional provision in the NPP, and therefore it will be in the interest of [Paul Afoko] to remain disciplined because the party loves and admires him a lot. He also admonished party supporters to remain resolute and support the decision of the party, so they forge ahead and unite their front since the unity within the party is more than before. He stressed that the constitution that mandated him to be elected as chair is the same document that suspended him so if he feels he has been treated unfairly he should go to court.   NDC should mind their business Mr. Adomako Baafi chastised the ruling NDC for their unnecessary comments over the suspension of Paul Afoko. Do not take advantage of our situation to engage in any tribal politics, stop saying that we suspended Afoko because he is coming from the north. When the NDC suspended Kofi Adams, did they sack Ewes, when they suspended former first lady, did they sack Asantes, when they suspended Obed Asamoah did they sack Ga’s? The NDC should give us a break with their tribal politics and concentrate on governing the country after showing gross incompetence and mismanagement, he said. The deputy communication director stressed that never again will Ghanaians be governed under ‘’this senseless, corrupt, wicked and irresponsible administration.’’ To him Nana remains a better candidate with better policies and vision to transform the challenges Ghanaians are going through now. Nana is a credible leader, strong, firm and committed to work for Ghana, he stated. We are coming in strong, prepared and courageous to take over government from the NDC so they should be prepared, he added.      
The chairman of the Council of Elders in the NPP, Mr. CK Tedam has said the decision to suspend the national chairman Mr. Paul Afoko was a decision that was brought before the National Executive Committee after careful deliberation among the leadership of the party. He said “having observed the way things were going, we were going into disaster so we petitioned to the Disciplinary Committee.” CK Tedam was speaking to some journalist at his private residence following the suspension of Mr. Paul Afoko. He revealed that the party tried on different occasions to allow Paul Afoko to defend himself before the party but he refused to do so, and to the party that is arrogance.  ‘’We’ve been asking him [Paul Afoko] to be in his own judgment..Because of that, we sent it to the right place; the disciplinary committee. They intend invited Paul Afoko just like the Council of Elders invited him and he refused. I went to talk to him myself, he refused to come. We wrote to him officially so that he will reply officially because our idea is to bring peace and harmony to the party.” According to CL Tedam, it was not the intension of the elders of the party to impeach the national chair but the decision was taken in the interest of the party sine any delay may have disorganize the party. “As fathers and mothers of the party, it was not our intention to impeach him because we thought that will take time and it will disorganize the party a little so we asked him to come and explain why he is not cooperating,” he stressed. He added, since he [Afoko] “took power, he is not been going to the party office. He said he is afraid of his own shadow. We  have done everything possible and the Disciplinary Committee also did all that they could with our support to bring him for discussions and he himself did not cooperate at all.” I have personally called on some influential leaders in the Northern region to advise him but he [Afoko] ‘’said no.’’ The Chairman of the Council of Elders indicated further that the party had a strong conviction that the NEC was the best to handle the matter sine Afoko cannot judge in his own case. “And we believe that the only way we can handle this matter is to let the Disciplinary Committee take it upon themselves because he can’t be judged in his own case and we only asked that he should be disciplined and should be asked to wait until things are put in shape. We planned to bring peace, but Chairman Afoko would not just cooperate,” he said.   P
According to Musa Superior, the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa-Akufo-Addo remains a better leader than President Mahama because President Mahama is incompetent, lacks leadership and the vision to manage the nation. According to him Nana Addo is by far the best candidate who has been tried, tested and proven to be incorruptible whose vision is to lead this country in a transparent and accountable manner. He described the Mahama led administration as corrupt and unfit to manage a country like Ghana were the ordinary Ghanaian are suffering because of the poor leadership of the NDC. Musa Superior said, ‘’the presidential candidate is doing his best working for the party, he is traveling to Europe and other parts of the world, seeking the views of the Ghanaian people on how best we can manage the economy of this country and how we can get a credible register for the elections..’’ He stressed that a vote for the NDC will throw the country into a more difficult times and so Ghanaians should not allow the NDC to deceive them by scoring political points with the internal challenges of the party. He posited that Ghanaians needs a more credible leader with better policies to save them from their difficulties. ’There is no proper social policies framework that can look after our people who are mentally unwell, that look after our people who cannot find economic security. Ghanaians are concerned about the deep corruption in this government and Ghanaians are concerned about the lack of leadership by President Mahama that what Ghanaians are concerned about,’’ he said. He made this comments in an interview with Kwame Tutu, host of the breakfast show on rainbow radio.  
The first power barge to produce 225 megawatts of electricity to alleviate the rolling power cuts is expected to set sail to Ghana tomorrow after a brief commissioning ceremony.   According to the initial arrangement, the barge was scheduled to set sail yesterday but had to be rescheduled to tomorrow.   Government officials and selected media practitioners are in Turkey for the official commissioning ceremony before the barge sets sail.   When the vessel finally docks in Ghana, another vessel is also expected to dock close to the power barge to supply it with fuel. This vessel will fuel the barge until such a time a fuel pump is connected for the barge.   A source close to the Power Ministry said Karpowership, the company that built the barge, has test fired it, and everything is functioning efficiently.   Under normal circumstances, the journey from Turkey to Ghana should take 21 days (three weeks).   However, The Finder understands that considering the urgency of the situation, a fast boat, called a Semi- submersible vessel, has been contracted to pull the barge for it to arrive in Ghana in two weeks.   Government has also instructed Karpowership to increase the capacity of the second barge from the initial 225 megawatts to 400 megawatts.   This means government has increased the power expected from the two barges by an additional 175 megawatts, from the initial 450 megawatts to 625 megawatts.   Officials told The Finder that when the barge arrives, it would take about two weeks to connect it to the national grid.   Ground works at the location where the power barge would dock in Tema is expected to be completed by the end of this month.   The second barge to produce 400MW is expected to be delivered by the end of the first quarter of 2016.   The power barges were originally scheduled to dock at Tema Port in the first quarter of this year.   It was rescheduled to September 2015, but government failed to meet the first two timelines for the arrival of the barges.   The first contractual 225 megawatts power ship was scheduled to be delivered in Ghana in September this year, and the second one was to be subjected to clarification but will be delivered at least 60 days earlier than contracted, Karpowership told journalists who went to Turkey to witness progress of work on the barges.   Source: The Finder
Aide to the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Musa Superior has refuted claims that the NPP is not ready to manage the affairs of this country. In an interview with Kwame Tutu, host of the breakfast show on rainbow radio, he described those statements as false and sheer propaganda to deceive Ghanaians by their political opponents. To him what Ghanaians are worried about is what he described as lack of leadership by President Mahama. ‘’There is no proper social policies framework that can look after our people who are mentally unwell, that can look after our people who cannot find economic security. Ghanaians are concerned about the deep corruption in this government and Ghanaians are concerned about the lack of leadership by President Mahama, that is what Ghanaians are concerned about,’’ he said. He added, '’what is happening in the NPP is a life cocosm of what is happening in this country.’’ Musa Superior explained that, there is a clear evidence that Ghanaians have given them an assurance of their massive support, but the only thing left is for the party to address their challenges. He lambasted the NDC for engaging in a false propaganda to play around the happenings in the NPP to score political points. In his view, the NDC had gone through this in the past and now they are in power, so they should stop deceiving themselves over what the NPP is going through. ‘’Any propaganda by the NDC that we are challenged by our internal wrangling and therefore we cannot manage the country is false. The NDC had been challenged by internal problem, they sacked their party national chairman, they sacked the general secretary, they suspended their national organiser and at one stage every young person in the NDC was speaking trash to the founder of the party. Today the NDC is in power so what is the NDC talking about, it is falsehood, it is propaganda.It hasn’t got a life span and Ghanaians will not accept this bonk,’’ he stressed. However he accepted that the NPP as a party is facing some challenges but they will come out stronger. ‘’I also accept that the party has a responsibility to present a credible front to the people and that is what the disciplinary committee has done and hence forth I believe the whip will be cast. Any party member who misconduct himself should I call the disciplinary committee to be fair to everybody and that is where I will be recommending  the next few days that someone like Arthur Kennedy who has been making very lose statement and public comment about the party should hauled to the disciplinary committee,’’ he said.   Ghana is in crisis not NPP Musa Superior opined that the crisis in Ghana now is worst than what the NPP is going through and it is the Nana Led administration that can change the prospect this country. ''We are not in crisis, we have a challenge and we are addressing the challenge. The nation is in crisis and the nation is not going to reject a party that has a bigger vision and more comprehension programme just because they have a little internal crisis, no that is what the Ghanaian people is thinking. The Ghanaian people is telling us to resolve our challenges and go out there and mobilize the votes we are behind you. This propaganda of the NDC doesn't  fly, Their performance is the worst in  record times and no Ghanaian citizen will want to be governed on the walls of President John Mahama in 2017 but what we have to do as a political party is to access the kind of things we do and when we elect a  flagbearer all officers, members, supporters have to work directly to the flagbearer and if that is done am sure there would be any problem. If you are a chairman general secretary or national organiser your job is work for the flagbearer, you must project the flagbearer and defend him, no rivalry, no person is elected to rival the flagbearer. The flagbearer is the leader of the party. the flagbearer must be respected, he must be projected, supported and defended by the members of the party,'' he said.
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