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Apr 29, 2017
The Aburihene Otubuor Gyan Kwasi II who slammed the Okyehene and other traditional leaders and accused them of engaging and supporting galamsey activities has made a u-turn on his claims.   The traditional leader in an interview granted Accra based UTV chastised his colleague chiefs and placed at their doorstep the activities of illegal mining.   In that interview, the chief was emphatic and called on the president to invite the chiefs and warned them to stop the activities or the lands under their jurisdiction would be taken over by government.   He said in the interview that, ''the chiefs in Akyem are behind galamsey. That is true because the lands are not for anyone but families and the chiefs are the custodian of such lands in these areas. It is disgraceful for the chiefs to allow such an illegal activity and if no one can say it to their faces, I am saying that it is a shame for them to front for illegal miners.''   But in a separate interview with Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, the Aburihene rendered an unqualified apology to the Okyehene and stated that his comments were misconstrued. According to him, he was only admonishing the chiefs to support the fight against galamsey.   He said, since President Akufo-Addo has supported the fight, the chiefs should do their best and support him in that regard. The apology comes after the Okyeman Youth Association had demanded the Aburihene to withdraw the accusation against the King of the Akyem Abuakwa Kingdom or face their wrath.
Apr 29, 2017
The Foreign Affairs Minister, Madam Shirley Ayokor Botchway has hinted that the four sitting Members of Parliament cited for visa fraud maybe stripped off their diplomatic passports if found culpable.Four sitting Members of Parliament have been cited a visa fraud. This was contained in a letter from the UK's High Commissioner to the Speaker of Parliament.The MPs according to the letter used authorised persons and their diplomatic passports to apply for visas for persons who travelled to the United Kingdom and did not return as stipulated by their visas.The MPs cited are: Richard Acheampong, MP for Bia East in the Western Region, Joseph Benhazin Dahah, MP for Ntotroso in the Bono Ahafo region, Johnson Kwaku Adu, MP for Ahafo Ano South West, in the Ashanti Region and George Boakye, former MP for Asunafo South in the Bono Ahafo region.Commenting on the issue, the Minister said,  the allegations were very serious and “if it indeed it happened, we will do what we have to do concerning this.”She explained that her Ministry was only waiting on the Speaker of Parliament because he was the one petitioned by the British  High Commission, and also “Members of Parliament answer to the Speaker.”“I will wait for Mr. Speaker to deal with the matter and I will act on the findings. Just as a Minister has the discretion to issue a Diplomatic Passport, so does the Minister have the discretion to withdraw a passport. So that can be done if indeed it is found that the persons in question used the passport to do something that shouldn’t have been done.” The Minister indicated that the Ministry will investigate the matter pending the conclusion of Parliament’s inquiry, and noted further that her ministry will ensure some changes to prevent similar occurrences.“As a ministry, we are doing what we need to do and that is looking at the law again and making sure we do something in terms of amendments to ensure that these things don’t happen again.”
Apr 29, 2017
Former presidential staffer and National Democratic Congress' (NDC's) Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak has slammed President Akufo-Addo for failing to name his cabinet.He has described the failure of the president almost four months after he was sworn in, as unhealthy.In his view, this  defeats the claims by the president- that he is a democratic leader who upholds the constitution of Ghana.He said the president having fulfilled his constitutional obligation in the appointment of his Ministers and Deputies who are currently at work, should do same to name his cabinet.''The constitution shows clearly that there shall be a cabinet which shall consist of the President, Vice President and not less than 10 or more than 19 Ministers of State...It is very clear,  the constitution is very specific in requiring the president to have a cabinet. We all know that, the president has appointed his Ministers, they have been vetted, and approved and they are at work. So one would have expected that, having fulfilled that part of the constitution that gives him the right to appoint the Ministers, he would have gone on to satisfy Article seventy-six-two.''The delay does not speak well of Akufo-Addo he lamented adding, it has smacked his  democratic credentials given that his predecessor, John Mahama announced his cabinet members immediately after swearing in his ministers.He asked for  those assisting the president and government in the implementation of his policies and making decisions  as far as governance of this country are concerned.''It is a matter of public interest. It is a requirement by the constitution that a cabinet is formed, and indeed in current practices of good governance,  It is customary that a president announces publicly the composition of his cabinet after which he then submits a memo accompanying the list to Parliament for proper documentation. That is what happened when we were in government and that is what has always happened.'' The Ministers under the current administration he concluded are wondering who is going to make the list...All of these have implications for good governance, transparency and accountability,'' he opined.'
Apr 29, 2017
Controversial marriage counselor and man of God, Rev Counselor Cyril George Carstensen Lutterodt has said, some journalists, bankers, students and professionals practice prostitution.He was emphatic that, some professionals and students practice prostitution along some major streets in the capital after closing from their usual jobs.According to him, prostitutes are not supposed to allow their faces to be seen but because they have no shame, they allow their faces to be seen.''Nobody should see your face when practicing prostitution. Prostitution which is a noble profession; when practicing it, nobody should see your face. But today, the girls including receptionists, choristers, reporters and I am stressing on it, your reporters are engaging in prostitution,'' he said. He was speaking ON the viral story of France's president to be-who has married his school teacher.Emmanuel Macron's victory in the first round of the French election has sparked global interest in Brigitte Trogneux, the frontrunner's wife and former teacher.Macron, now 39, met Trogneux, now 64, when he was in high school in the northern French city of Amiens. By the time he was 17, he said he would marry her.Commenting on the issue, the maverick counselor slammed France's next president to be for committing a sacrilege and WARNED that the marriage will collapse or suffer.He said, this is a big curse because that is not the order of God.The man of God speaking to Kwame Tutu threatened to pray and invoke the hunger of God on all those sleeping with young people like their their biological children.He described such individuals as murderers and we must pray for such persons to die mysteriously.
Apr 29, 2017
President Akufo-Addo will be voted out in 2020 should he refuse to appoint the District Chief Executive (DCE)     from Elubo, a group calling itself, Concerned Youth of Elubo has threatened.According to the group, the appointment will also be a fulfilment of a promise made by the Jomoro MP, Paul Essien, that he was going to ensure that for the first time, a DCE is selected from Elubo, which has always decided the winner of elections in that area. ''The NPP, prior to the 2016 elections, through its parliamentary candidate, Hon. Paul Essien promised to facilitate the nomination and subsequent approval of Mr. Moses Andoh, a native and one of the two assembly members of Elubo, to be the DCE for the district. The condition precedent was for the people of Elubo to help deliver the MP seat to the party’s parliamentary candidate,'' a statement signed by the group's president, Adjasoo Benjamin said.The statement added: ''Upon the strong assurance from the NPP relative to the DCE nomination, we the people of the area voted massively for the NPP and the wide gap that always characterised the outcome of elections in favour of the NDC reduced to only 87 in 2016. This gave the golden opportunity for the NPP to win the seat for the first time since 1992.''Below is the statement from the Concerned Youth of EluboWe, the Concerned Youth of Elubo, have been watching the current political space in the country and our own Jomoro District with keen interest, and we wish to state our position on current happenings with regards to the DCE nomination for the district.The NPP, prior to the 2016 elections, through its parliamentary candidate, Hon. Paul Essien promised to facilitate the nomination and subsequent approval of Mr. Moses Andoh, a native and one of the two assembly members of Elubo, to be the DCE for the district. The condition precedent was for the people of Elubo to help deliver the MP seat to the party’s parliamentary candidate.As a matter of fact, Elubo remains the most populous town in the district, and has always decided who wins the parliamentary seat since 1992.Indeed, in the 2016 elections, the records show that once again massive votes from Elubo decided the election in favour of the NPP Presidential and Parliamentary candidates, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo and Paul Essien respectively.The FactsThe current Member of Parliament and Deputy Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Hon. Paul Essien won the elections with a difference of some 4000 votes. The vote’s difference between the NDC and the NPP has always been above 3000 in the Elubo area in favour of the NDC.Upon the strong assurance from the NPP relative to the DCE nomination, we the people of the area voted massively for the NPP and the wide gap that always characterised the outcome of elections in favour of the NDC reduced to only 87 in 2016. This gave the golden opportunity for the NPP to win the seat for the first time since 1992.The MachinationsThe Concerned Youth of Elubo are privy to the manoeuvrings and arm twisting currently ongoing in the constituency and at the Presidency with the tacit approval of the current MP, Hon. Paul Essien, and other party big wigs to deny Mr. Moses Andoh the nomination for DCE. This we consider as a wicked stab in the back, and a betrayal of monumental proportions.The current MP allegedly mobilized some unknown youths in the district purporting to hail from Elubo to petition the President and the party that they do not endorse the nomination of Mr. Moses Andoh. We have cited a copy of the so-called petition, and upon our thorough investigations, we wish to state in unequivocal terms that the petition never came from any group or person(s) in Elubo. His Excellency the President and the Party should therefore treat the so called petition with the contempt it deserves.Let it be known, that the people of Elubo are united behind Mr. Moses Andoh whose selfless and diligent service to his party and his electoral area has been commendable.We are clear in our minds therefore, that he will be a great DCE for the district.The WarningThe significance of Elubo in the Jomoro district can never be overemphasized. Beyond its decisive role in determining who wins elections in the constituency, Elubo remains the leading revenue center for the Jomoro district. The Elubo border is also a key revenue source for central government. That notwithstanding, the town has never benefited from any political appointment both at the national and district levels since 1992.Let the records also show that, there are three major blocks in the district: the Half Assini Block, the Tikobo Block and the Elubo Block. Political appointments have always gone to the first two blocks leaving the Elubo block as the odd one out. This injustice, we think must stop. This political denial must end. It is counter-productive. It’s not good for political and social cohesion in the district. The youth of Elubo have resolved that enough is enough.To conclude, we are very much aware that it is the President’s prerogative to nominate who should be the next DCE. We are also aware that the President rewards hard working people. We therefore appeal to him that in keeping to his party’s sacred promise to the people of Elubo, the President should nominate Mr. Moses Andoh as DCE for Jomoro District. Any other decision will be considered as a wicked stab in the back.The President should respectfully bear in mind that, his party’s chances of maintaining the Jomoro seat in 2020 rests on this singular decision.Notice is hereby served.Thank you.Adjasoo BenjaminPresident, Concerned Youth of Elubo
Apr 29, 2017
Four sitting Members of Parliament have been cited a visa fraud. This was contained in a letter from the UK's High Commissioner to the Speaker of Parliament.The MPs according to the letter used authorised persons and their diplomatic passports to apply for visas for persons who travelled to the United Kingdom and did not return as stipulated by their visas.The MPs cited are: Richard Acheampong, MP for Bia East in the Western Region, Joseph Benhazin Dahah, MP for Ntotroso in the Bono Ahafo region, Johnson Kwaku Adu, MP for Ahafo Ano South West, in the Ashanti Region and George Boakye, former MP for Asunafo South in the Bono Ahafo region.  Below is a copy of the letter,Dear Mr Speaker.The British High Commission (BHC) would like, in confidence, to bring the following matters to your attention, regarding the apparent involvement of three serving MPs and one former MP in visa fraud directly affecting the United Kingdom.In doing so, we note the powerful words in your impressive inaugural address as Speaker, to the effect that, for Members of Parliament, holding a Diplomatic Passport is both a privilege and responsibility which should not be abused: and that those who abused that trust would be appropriately dealt with.In that regard:1. On 11/09/2012, the then Honourable and now former MP for Asunafo South George BOAKYE applied for visas for himself and his 37-year old daughter, Joyce BOAKYE to visit a friend in London for 17 days The visas were granted on 14/09/2012. On 17/01/2013 Joyce BOAKYE travelled to the UK with her Honourable father. Joyce BOAKYE did not leave the UK with her father, but remained until 06/01/2017. In other words, she finally returned to Ghana just this month, having been in the UK illegally for over three years, and only then at our strong urging of Mr Boakye to bring her back. Mr Boakye is highly unlikely to be issued any further visas to visit the UK in the next ten years for his role in facilitating his daughter's travel to the UK, including should he be re-elected to Parliament in a subsequent election.2. On 27/11/2015 the Honourable MP for Bia East Richard ACHEAMPONG applied for a UK visa using Diplomatic Passport number DX001490. The Hon ACHEAMPONG stated in his application form that he would travel to the UK for a two week holiday with his “wife" Esther TIWAA. On 10/12/2015 Mr ACHEAMPONG and Ms TIWAA were issued with UK visas. On 24/12/2015 Esther TIWAA travelled to the UK, but alone: the Hon ACHEAMPONG did not accompany her as both his and her visa applications said that he would. She has hot left the UK since that time, and is therefore now there illegally. The Hon ACHEAMPONG did not declare the illegal presence of his wife in the UK until he was challenged with the facts by us on 10/10/2016 He then repeatedly promised me personally that he would bring documentation to prove that Esther TIWAA was, indeed, his wife, but has consistently failed to do so Neither has he been prepared to share any useful information to help us track down Ms TIWAA's current whereabouts. Should Mr ACHEAMPONG now apply for another UK visa at any point up until 08/12/2025 his previous actions with regard to Esther TIWAA will weigh heavily against his application and he is likely to be refused.3. On 06/04/2016, the Honourable MP for Ntotroso. Joseph Benhazin DAHAH applied for a UK visa using Diplomatic Passport number DX001459 to go on a two week holiday. The Hon DAHAH slated that he was travelling with his wife Gloria DANSU and his niece Beatrice MENSAH On 11/04/2016 the visas of the Hon DAHAH and Gloria DANSU were issued; the visa of his niece Beatrice MENSAH was refused. On 13/05/2016 the Hon DAHAH applied in another country for a visa to travel to the Republic of Ireland with his wife and daughter. The identity of his wife had changed from Gloria DANSU in the UK application to Ruyling APPAU in the Irish one. More significantly, a birth certificate was submitted showing that Beatrice MENSAH was now his daughter and not his niece as she had been described when applying to visit the UK. The Hon DAHAH's UK visa was cancelled and a 10-year UK visa ban has been imposed on him. He has been informed of this.4. On 20/06/2016 the Honourable MP for Ahafo Ano South West, Johnson Kwaku ADU applied for visas for himself, his wife Grace YEBOAH and their 16-year old daughter Emmanuella ADU in order to visit London for a ten day holiday. The Hon ADU applied using Diplomatic Passport number DX002267; all three visas were granted on 07/07/2016. The family of three travelled to the UK on 25/07/2016. The Hon ADU left the UK just two days later on 27/07/2016 leaving behind his wife and child, if that indeed is what they are, who have not left the UK to date and are therefore now illegally resident there. This is in some ways the most serious of the cases outlined in this letter, given the possibility that Hon ADU knowingly facilitated the movement of a minor - who cannot currently be traced - into the United Kingdom. That has been noted with alarm by UK authorities.The British High Commission considers the actions outlined above to be completely unacceptable. In some cases, these behaviours may arguably be criminal in nature. As already outlined, administrative measures have been taken to ensure that the Honourable members mentioned here will most likely not be granted visas for the UK within the next 10 years. I should add that the Party affiliation of these MPs is, in this context, irrelevant to us: we simply state the facts as we have discovered them.We are continuing to investigate whether any other current or former MPs have engaged in similar behaviour and will inform you, if we discover any further such cases.Furthermore, the British High Commission has information that points strongly to some of the aforementioned Honourable members having used the same unofficial visa agent (also known as a‘Goro boy’) in their applications, specifically a gentleman called Appiah. We are sure that Mr Speaker shares our view that an institution as respected and vitally important as the Ghanaian Parliament should not be a location where unregistered visa agents approach Honourable Members and act as a conduit for them to participate in visa fraud. The British High Commission will happily cooperate fully with any parliamentary and law enforcement investigation into such agents operating in the vicinity of the Ghanaian Parliament.Given what has transpired, the British High Commission would request the Ghanaian Parliament to be aware of the following:a) we will henceforth only entertain and prioritise requests for visas from MPs, if they are made through the parliamentary protocol office who should verify that there is an official, parliamentary reason for the proposed visit;b) however, MPs wishing to make private visits to the UK or to be accompanied on official visits by non-official relatives must apply online and through our Visa Application Centre at the Movenpick Hotel like any other applicant;           c) could you kindly confirm whether and why it is legitimate for ex-MPs to continue to possess and use diplomatic passports, in some cases for many years after they have ceased to be parliamentarians? In that regard, we would humbly like to ask, Mr Speaker, what procedures are in place to ensure that diplomatic passports are removed forthwith from all those 133 former Members who have just ceased to be MPs?d) the net effect of such visa fraud by a very few Honourable MPs as outlined in this letter is to raise the bar of suspicion against all such applicants, which is of course regrettably to the huge disadvantage of those very many MPs who do act honourably at all times.The British High Commission looks forward to a constructive relationship with yourself, your officers and the new Parliament in general and on specific issues, such as the work currently being sponsored by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy to bolster Parliament's research capacities. We hope, at the same time, that measures taken by us all collectively will prevent any repeat of the sort of cases described in this letter. We would warmly welcome your views on the issues raised in this letter, both in regards to the specific cases and generic issues.I am copying this letter to your Protocol Office, and to the Executive Secretary and Chief-of-Staff to the His Excellency President; and to the Ministers-designate of Foreign Affairs and National Security. We are also circulating this letter widely to other Diplomatic Missions which issue visas in Ghana in the expectation that some of them will consider similar action to ourselves against the above-named individuals.May I take this opportunity to repeat to you assurances of our very high regard for you and your office; and to wish you, Mr Speaker, every success in your new role. Please be assured of our commitment to collaborate with you, and through you with Parliament, wherever we can usefully be of assistance. Signed,Jon BenjaminBritish High CommissionerFour sitting Members of Parlimanet have been cited a visa fraud. This was contained in a letter from the UK's High Commissioner to the Speaker of Parliament.The MPs according to the letter used authorised persons and their diplomatic passports to apply for visas for persons who travelled to the United Kingdom and did not return as stipulated by their visas.The MPs cited are: Richard Acheampong, MP for Bia East in the Western Region, Joseph Benhazin Dahah, MP for Ntotroso in the Bono Ahafo region, Johnson Kwaku Adu, MP for Ahafo Ano South West, in the Ashanti Region and George Boakye, former MP for Asunafo South in the Bono Ahafo region.  Below is a copy of the letter,Dear Mr Speaker.The British High Commission (BHC) would like, in confidence, to bring the following matters to your attention, regarding the apparent involvement of three serving MPs and one former MP in visa fraud directly affecting the United Kingdom.In doing so, we note the powerful words in your impressive inaugural address as Speaker, to the effect that, for Members of Parliament, holding a Diplomatic Passport is both a privilege and responsibility which should not be abused: and that those who abused that trust would be appropriately dealt with.In that regard:1. On 11/09/2012, the then Honourable and now former MP for Asunafo South George BOAKYE applied for visas for himself and his 37-year old daughter, Joyce BOAKYE to visit a friend in London for 17 days The visas were granted on 14/09/2012. On 17/01/2013 Joyce BOAKYE travelled to the UK with her Honourable father. Joyce BOAKYE did not leave the UK with her father, but remained until 06/01/2017. In other words, she finally returned to Ghana just this month, having been in the UK illegally for over three years, and only then at our strong urging of Mr Boakye to bring her back. Mr Boakye is highly unlikely to be issued any further visas to visit the UK in the next ten years for his role in facilitating his daughter's travel to the UK, including should he be re-elected to Parliament in a subsequent election.2. On 27/11/2015 the Honourable MP for Bia East Richard ACHEAMPONG applied for a UK visa using Diplomatic Passport number DX001490. The Hon ACHEAMPONG stated in his application form that he would travel to the UK for a two week holiday with his “wife" Esther TIWAA. On 10/12/2015 Mr ACHEAMPONG and Ms TIWAA were issued with UK visas. On 24/12/2015 Esther TIWAA travelled to the UK, but alone: the Hon ACHEAMPONG did not accompany her as both his and her visa applications said that he would. She has hot left the UK since that time, and is therefore now there illegally. The Hon ACHEAMPONG did not declare the illegal presence of his wife in the UK until he was challenged with the facts by us on 10/10/2016 He then repeatedly promised me personally that he would bring documentation to prove that Esther TIWAA was, indeed, his wife, but has consistently failed to do so Neither has he been prepared to share any useful information to help us track down Ms TIWAA's current whereabouts. Should Mr ACHEAMPONG now apply for another UK visa at any point up until 08/12/2025 his previous actions with regard to Esther TIWAA will weigh heavily against his application and he is likely to be refused.3. On 06/04/2016, the Honourable MP for Ntotroso. Joseph Benhazin DAHAH applied for a UK visa using Diplomatic Passport number DX001459 to go on a two week holiday. The Hon DAHAH slated that he was travelling with his wife Gloria DANSU and his niece Beatrice MENSAH On 11/04/2016 the visas of the Hon DAHAH and Gloria DANSU were issued; the visa of his niece Beatrice MENSAH was refused. On 13/05/2016 the Hon DAHAH applied in another country for a visa to travel to the Republic of Ireland with his wife and daughter. The identity of his wife had changed from Gloria DANSU in the UK application to Ruyling APPAU in the Irish one. More significantly, a birth certificate was submitted showing that Beatrice MENSAH was now his daughter and not his niece as she had been described when applying to visit the UK. The Hon DAHAH's UK visa was cancelled and a 10-year UK visa ban has been imposed on him. He has been informed of this.4. On 20/06/2016 the Honourable MP for Ahafo Ano South West, Johnson Kwaku ADU applied for visas for himself, his wife Grace YEBOAH and their 16-year old daughter Emmanuella ADU in order to visit London for a ten day holiday. The Hon ADU applied using Diplomatic Passport number DX002267; all three visas were granted on 07/07/2016. The family of three travelled to the UK on 25/07/2016. The Hon ADU left the UK just two days later on 27/07/2016 leaving behind his wife and child, if that indeed is what they are, who have not left the UK to date and are therefore now illegally resident there. This is in some ways the most serious of the cases outlined in this letter, given the possibility that Hon ADU knowingly facilitated the movement of a minor - who cannot currently be traced - into the United Kingdom. That has been noted with alarm by UK authorities.The British High Commission considers the actions outlined above to be completely unacceptable. In some cases, these behaviours may arguably be criminal in nature. As already outlined, administrative measures have been taken to ensure that the Honourable members mentioned here will most likely not be granted visas for the UK within the next 10 years. I should add that the Party affiliation of these MPs is, in this context, irrelevant to us: we simply state the facts as we have discovered them.We are continuing to investigate whether any other current or former MPs have engaged in similar behaviour and will inform you, if we discover any further such cases.Furthermore, the British High Commission has information that points strongly to some of the aforementioned Honourable members having used the same unofficial visa agent (also known as a‘Goro boy’) in their applications, specifically a gentleman called Appiah. We are sure that Mr Speaker shares our view that an institution as respected and vitally important as the Ghanaian Parliament should not be a location where unregistered visa agents approach Honourable Members and act as a conduit for them to participate in visa fraud. The British High Commission will happily cooperate fully with any parliamentary and law enforcement investigation into such agents operating in the vicinity of the Ghanaian Parliament.Given what has transpired, the British High Commission would request the Ghanaian Parliament to be aware of the following:a) we will henceforth only entertain and prioritise requests for visas from MPs, if they are made through the parliamentary protocol office who should verify that there is an official, parliamentary reason for the proposed visit;b) however, MPs wishing to make private visits to the UK or to be accompanied on official visits by non-official relatives must apply online and through our Visa Application Centre at the Movenpick Hotel like any other applicant;           c) could you kindly confirm whether and why it is legitimate for ex-MPs to continue to possess and use diplomatic passports, in some cases for many years after they have ceased to be parliamentarians? In that regard, we would humbly like to ask, Mr Speaker, what procedures are in place to ensure that diplomatic passports are removed forthwith from all those 133 former Members who have just ceased to be MPs?d) the net effect of such visa fraud by a very few Honourable MPs as outlined in this letter is to raise the bar of suspicion against all such applicants, which is of course regrettably to the huge disadvantage of those very many MPs who do act honourably at all times.The British High Commission looks forward to a constructive relationship with yourself, your officers and the new Parliament in general and on specific issues, such as the work currently being sponsored by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy to bolster Parliament's research capacities. We hope, at the same time, that measures taken by us all collectively will prevent any repeat of the sort of cases described in this letter. We would warmly welcome your views on the issues raised in this letter, both in regards to the specific cases and generic issues.I am copying this letter to your Protocol Office, and to the Executive Secretary and Chief-of-Staff to the His Excellency President; and to the Ministers-designate of Foreign Affairs and National Security. We are also circulating this letter widely to other Diplomatic Missions which issue visas in Ghana in the expectation that some of them will consider similar action to ourselves against the above-named individuals.May I take this opportunity to repeat to you assurances of our very high regard for you and your office; and to wish you, Mr Speaker, every success in your new role. Please be assured of our commitment to collaborate with you, and through you with Parliament, wherever we can usefully be of assistance. Signed,Jon BenjaminBritish High Commissioner
Apr 29, 2017
Special Aide to former President John Dramani Mahama has lambasted the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) for accusing her boss of working against the implementation of the free Senior High School policy. The NDC is being accused of holding secret meetings with staunch members who are  district coordinating directors in most of the assemblies in the country, to work clandestinely to kill the policy.A Daily Guide Newspaper report has it that the NDC’s teams have had a series of meetings with regional and district directors of education as well as heads of educational institutions in the three northern regions, geared at sabotaging the programme. But a statement from the former Deputy Transport Minister has discounted the claims and asked that former president Mahama should not be blamed.The statement said, ''How is it possible, for a person who does not control government’s kitty to make it impossible for the government to implement its policy initiative?It is obviously evident, as previously noted by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament, that government has no plans and has outlined none on how it is going to fulfil the many promises it made to the people of Ghana.The publication and circulation of this syndicated story, which has no merit, is concocted, and which also debases the intelligence and character of officials of the GES and BNI, is nothing but a diversionary tactic.''Read the full statement below Blame not Mahama for your failuresA statement by Joyce B. MogtariA government-sponsored attack has been launched on HE John Dramani Mahama, former President of the Republic of Ghana, based on a deliberately concocted lie, that the former president is working to scuttle the government’s free secondary education policy.Two pro-government and pro-NPP newspapers, Daily Statesman and Daily Guide, together with sponsored leaflets in circulation in the Ashanti Region claim that Mr. Mahama is working with some officials of the Ghana Education Service (GES), the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and some faceless South Africans to make it impossible for the Nana Akufo-Addo Government to implement its free SHS promise.How is it possible, for a person who does not control government’s kitty to make it impossible for the government to implement its policy initiative?It is obviously evident, as previously noted by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament, that government has no plans and has outlined none on how it is going to fulfil the many promises it made to the people of Ghana.The publication and circulation of this syndicated story, which has no merit, is concocted, and which also debases the intelligence and character of officials of the GES and BNI, is nothing but a diversionary tactic.Government has huge challenges with implementing a campaign promise to make education at the Senior High School level free for all students, both day and boarders, and starting from the next academic year.But this attempt to begin a careful process of accusing the former President and hopefully blame him for what was a clear deceit of the Ghanaian Voter, SHS students and their parents will not succeed.Did government make adequate budgetary allocations in its 2017 Budget for the implementation of the promise, and the many others it made during the campaign period?How can it be HE John Mahama’s fault that government has failed woefully to align its lofty promises with practice and adequate financial allocation?Will all Ghanaian students in SHS and those who will be entering SHS One in September enjoy free education? Government should boldly answer that question and find answers for parents instead of plotting and sponsoring attacks on the former President.As President, HE John Mahama demonstrated his commitment to an accelerated and multi-faceted development of our nation.He had a clear focus on expanding the country’s economic and social infrastructure, and also worked to actualise his vision of expanding access to secondary education and also to quality healthcare across the country.The start of work on 200 Community Day Senior High Schools, implementation of a $156 million Secondary Education Improvement Programme (SEIP), implementation of a Progressively Free S.H.S. Programme in 2015, start of work to expand infrastructure in our technical and vocational institutions among others are evidence of his work.These critical interventions in access, quality and affordability ensured both increased enrollment and enhanced performance in the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) results.I will not want to delve into concerns that President Nana Akufo-Addo may have embarked on a deliberate game of deception and actually lacks commitment to the things he said during the campaign.The government-sponsored syndication of this concocted story by two newspapers aligned to President Nana Akufo-Addo as a person, coming just days after his meeting with all living former Presidents of Ghana is yet another demonstration of a betrayal of trust by the President.Like every good leader, HE John Mahama remains a true Ghanaian and will support any efforts towards the growth of our country.The John Mahama legacy of rapid economic and social development, gradual transformation of the economy, the impressive and massive revamping, and expansion of infrastructure across the country, is solid, has been proven and recognized by all Ghanaians and many outside our country.Joyce Bawa MogtariSpecial Aide to HE John D. MahamaAccra- April 26, 2017#TakingOver
Apr 29, 2017
A member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Mr. Kennedy Kwasi Kankam, MP for Afigya Sekyere East, has posited that, the committee is ''far behind''.According to him, the committee should be discussing the 2016 last quarter report but we are far behind. However, history has it that, were are seven years behind.He noted that the committee would do its work as expected of it.''We are trying our best to catch up and with God's help and the media, we will do our best,'' he added.According to him,  the new Public Financial Management Act has given authority to the Ministry of Finance and the Institute of Chartered Accountants to put in place audit committees in the various ministries to follow up on the recommendations of the PAC to ensure that the recommendations made by the committee and approved by the plenary are enforced.He was speaking to Kwame Tutu following the failure of the Bank of Ghana to capture  a transaction involving the export of 40,000 tonnes of bauxite by the Ghana Export Company Limited in its audited accounts for 2015.The committee chaired by Mr. James Klutse Avedzi, consequently directed the Central Bank to furnish PAC with the report today [Wednesday].At its sitting yesterday the MP for Efutu, Mr Alexander Afenyo Markin, who drew the committee's attention to the anomaly, said he knew for a fact that more than 40,00 tonnes of bauxite valued at $41 million were exported in 2015 and yet it was not captured by the audited report of the Central Bank.The BoG appeared before the committee to respond to questions raised by the Auditor-General in respect of Foreign Exchange Receipts and Payments from January, 2015 to June, 2015.The legislator confirming the story noted that, the bank has been given time to respond to the queries because they did not have the information when they appeared before PAC.''We have given them more time to furnish the committee with the needed information. We are doing this to ascertain the truth and also to ensure that the interest of citizens in demanding accountability is met.''
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