Ambassador of the United States to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson has debunked claims of maltreatment against the deported 63 Ghanaians who touched down at the Kotoka International Airport last week.
The 63 illegal migrants arrived in Ghana last week in handcuffs.
They arrived at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra on Wednesday, 14 June in handcuffs.
The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and the Ghana Police Service screened the deportees upon arrival.
The deportees, most of whom had no records on them, are the second batch of immigrants to be brought back since Donald Trump became president of the US.
Some International Relations Experts slammed the action and called on government to engage the US government on the matter.
Appearing before Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, the US Ambassador those Ghanaians were deported involuntarily due to their attempts to resist deportation, although they were staying in the US illegally.
According to him, the US government had identified about 7,000 Ghanaian citizens who were staying in the US illegally, and that plans were underway to have they brought back to Ghana.
“The 63, who returned recently, arrived in a chartered flight, refused to board a civilian aircraft and return voluntarily. I do not consider the conditions under which they were returned inhumane. They were fed, they had some freedom of movement on the flight. It is not as if they were chained to their seats,” he said.
The Ambassador added that “It is true that 7,000 Ghanaians who have overstayed their visas or are staying in the US illegally are in various stages of the deportation processes. There will be additional deportations because the 7,000 people who are under deportation orders have either committed crimes in the United States or long overstayed the visas on which they entered.”
Award winning young Ghanaian actor, Abraham Attah, has been out doored as the ambassador for government’s flagship Free Senior High School programme.
The ‘Beast of No Nation’ actor was out doored at a ceremony by the Ministry of Education, Thursday, June 22, 2017.
Abraham Atta, 15, now resides in the USA for his career and high school education.
He made his feature film debut in Beasts of No Nation (2015), playing a leading role of child soldier (Agu).
He was awarded the Marcello Mastroianni’s Best Young Actor Award at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival.
The policy is expected to be rolled out in September, 2017 and the will ensure that Ghanaians who qualify for SHS are not burdened with financial difficulties.
The president recently said: “By free SHS, we mean that, in addition to tuition which is already free, there will be no admission fees, no library fees, no science centre fees, no computer lab fees, no examination fees, no utility fees; there will be free textbooks, free boarding and free meals, and day students will get a meal at school for free.”
He further stated that, the “free SHS will also cover agricultural, vocational and technical institutions at the high school level. I also want to state clearly again that we have a well-thought out plan that involves the building of new public Senior High Schools and cluster public Senior High Schools”.
The General Overseer and Founder of the Trinity Revival Ministry-Upper Spring Temple, Father Tony, also known as Fada 1, has called for serious prayers against planned assassinations against Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong; Minister for the Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey and Education Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh.
The man of God who prophesied about a month ago has stressed that, the lives of these three politicians were at skake especially the fire brand politician, Kennedy Agyapong.
According to him, some individuals within the party who are threatened by the way the MP speaks the truth about corruption and thievery, want to assassinate him so they can have their peace of mind.
‘’Some individuals are planning to assassinate Kennedy Agyapong because of the way he exposes rot and corruption. They want to kill him because he speaks the truth. They want to kill him so they can have their way by stealing and corrupt the government. I gave the prophecy in London and through prayers, God revealed to me that his assassinators will butcher him to death and kill his driver but his personal bodyguard will manage to escape the attack.’’
‘’They will kill him and his driver but they will assault the bodyguard. This is a serious issue I am talking about. We should not joke with it. We have to pray against it,’’ he added.
Father Tony went on to state that, he has been threatened by those who are playing to assassinate the MP and the two other state Ministers because of his prophecy.
He said, an unknown number called to warn me to stay away from my prophecy. They threatened to kill me if I don’t keep mute. The caller told me that he knew the location of my church and will send people to come and kill me in place of the three if I don’t keep quite.’’
The man of God refuted claims that he wants to ride on the politicians to become popular but he wants to speak the truth so the MP will be very careful. He should be very careful with his own party members. They have planned to kill him, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey and Matthew Opoku Prempeh. He [Kennedy] should be very cautious with his own party members because some of them are planning to kill him,’’ he said.
The Supreme Court has ordered the government to send the agreement that brought the two ex-detainees from Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) to Ghana to Parliament for ratification.
The apex court said this should be done in the next three months else the government should send the two detainees back to the United States.
The court gave the consequential orders when it ruled on the case on Thursday morning.
The Supreme Court declared that the transfer of the two Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) ex-detainees to Ghana was unconstitutional.
Two Ghanaian citizens, Margaret Bamful and Henry Nana Boakye, sued the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, together with the Minister of Interior, accusing then-President John Mahama of illegally bringing in the two former Gitmo detainees, without recourse to the laws of the land.
The plaintiffs were seeking, among other reliefs, a “declaration that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the President of the Republic of Ghana acted unconstitutionally by agreeing to the transfer of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby.”
US President Donald Trump has told supporters that his proposed wall along the border with Mexico could have solar panels fixed to it.
Addressing a rally in Iowa, he said the panels would provide cheap energy and help to pay for the controversial wall.
He suggested the plan was his own, saying: "Pretty good imagination, right? Good? My idea."
However, solar panels have been included in designs for the wall submitted by companies.
During his campaign, Mr Trump pledged to build a wall along the Mexican border to stop illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
He insisted he would make Mexico foot the bill, but President Enrique Peña Nieto has dismissed the idea.
Mr Trump told cheering supporters at a campaign-style rally in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday that he would "give you an idea that nobody has heard about yet".
"We're thinking of something that's unique, we're talking about the southern border, lots of sun, lots of heat. We're thinking about building the wall as a solar wall, so it creates energy and pays for itself. And this way, Mexico will have to pay much less money, and that's good, right?"
He added: "Solar wall, panels, beautiful. I mean actually think of it, the higher it goes the more valuable it is. Pretty good imagination right? Good? My idea."
More than 200 companies have reportedly responded to an invitation from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to submit designs for the wall.
Among them was one from Gleason Partners in Las Vegas that proposed a wall of steel, cement and solar panels.
In April, US media reported that President Trump had raised the idea with Republican Congressional leaders in talks at the White House.
Two academics also suggested the idea of a solar panelled wall in an article for the Wall Street Journal in March.
Ghana Cocoa Board has taken a swipe at the Minority in Parliament over claims that it was cheating cocoa farmers.
The Minority at a press briefing yesterday [Wednesday] took a swipe at the for scrapping the free distribution of fertilizer for farmers.
“Surprisingly, the NPP government on assumption of office has replaced the free fertilization programme with a programme under which farmers pay (GHc80) for a bag of fertilizer. This is unacceptable, we cannot sit aloof for the government to cheat our cocoa farmers.” “Under the free fertilization programme, the cocoa farmer was entitled to 7.5 bags of granular fertilizer per every hectare of cocoa farm. So a farmer who has 100 hectares of cocoa farm was given 750 bags of fertilizer free of charge. Today under President Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government, the same farmer is to pay (GHc60,000) for the same 750 bags of fertilizer. This has exposed the Ghanaian cocoa farmer to intolerable levels of penury. We are therefore urging the NPP government to be sensitive to the plight of the Ghanaian cocoa farmer by halting the sale of the fertilizer and revert to the NDC’s free fertilization programme for the 2016/2017 cocoa season,” the Minority said.
But in a statement released in reaction to the Minority’s statement, Ghana Cocoa Board said its decision to do away with the free fertilizer policy was in response to requests and complaints by farmers.
“The free fertilizer policy created a lot of loopholes for diversion and smuggling of the inputs to the detriment of our cherished cocoa farmers.’’
COCBOD said “it is therefore in response to the several requests and recommendations from farmers that management decided to re-introduce the fertilizer subsidy programme. The minority will be surprised to know that the very farmers they seem to be crying for have overwhelmingly embraced the programme.”
The decision to move to subsidies COCOBOD said: “will ensure that the fertilizers will be readily available at all sales outlets across the cocoa growing areas, where interested farmers will buy and apply them accordingly.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo’s nominee for the position as Administrator for the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF), Irene Naa Torshie has been approved by Parliament.
The former Member of Parliament for Tema West Constituency, will replace Kojo Fynn, the former administrator who was relieved of his post by President Akufo-Addo earlier this year.
“This honourable house has approved the nomination of Mrs Irene Naa Torshie Addo for appointment as Administrator of the District Assemblies Common Fund in accordance with Article 252 (4) of the Constitution. May I take the opportunity to congratulate her on your behalf,’’ Speaker of Parliament, Mike Oquaye said when the House approved the nominee who was vetted few days ago.
It is with considerable pleasure that I welcome you formally to Accra, and to the seat the Ghanaian Presidency.
I recall fondly my participation in the 2011 London and 2014 Seoul Party Leaders’ meetings of the International Democratic Union. On both occasions, I attended in my capacity as leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the then main opposition party in Ghana.
Nearly three years down the line, by the generosity of the Ghanaian people and the grace of Almighty God, I am hosting you to lunch in a different capacity, as President of the Republic of Ghana. Akwaaba, as you know by now, is our word of welcome to all of you, old and new friends. I hope you enjoy your stay amongst us, a people who pride themselves on their sense of hospitality.
I applaud the IDU for the decision taken to hold its Executive Meeting and IDU Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Meeting in Ghana. This is the first time such a meeting is being held in the country of a member party south of the Sahara, and, dare I say, it is right that you chose Ghana for this meeting.
After all, we were the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence in 1957, which led rapidly to the liberation of our continent from colonial rule, and we are, today, in all humility and modesty, the beacon and symbol of democracy in Africa.
We are, indeed, privileged to host such a gathering in our country.
When the members of the United Gold Coast Convention, UGCC of blessed memory, the first nationalist party of Ghana, the party which gave birth to the NPP, gathered in the historic town of Saltpond, some 150 kilometres west of Accra, in 1947, to lay the foundation for a democratic and prosperous Ghana, free of colonial rule, they did so against the backdrop of the emerging Cold War.
The promise that freedom would lead to a significant improvement in the quality of life of the African peoples was, however, cruelly subverted by decades of authoritarian rule in post-colonial Africa.
Yet, through it all, democratic forces in Africa, like my party, the NPP, continued to believe that the application of democratic principles and the operation of strong, private sector dominated market economies, with good, honest management of public finances, provided the most effective platform for Africa’s development.
Hence, the NPP’s motto: Development in Freedom. These beliefs, in our view, have been vindicated by today’s paradigm.
In West Africa, we have made significant progress in our regional body, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). For the first time in the 42 year history of ECOWAS, all 15 member states have democratically elected leaders.
This is an indication that democracy, equality of opportunity and respect for human rights, ideals which have stood the test of time, have now found firm anchor in our collective body politic. Indeed, this evolution inspired the decision by ECOWAS to intervene, earlier this year, in the electoral impasse in the Gambia, which ensured the enforcement of the rule of law and the assumption of the reins of government by the rightfully elected leader.
It is now generally accepted that we, who are gathered here and other like-minded people, have won the ideological battle that raged for much of the twentieth century. But, the war to build a better world, by strengthening freedom and democracy and improving the living standards of the citizenry, is far from over.
It is for this reason that the Ghanaian people, dissatisfied with their living conditions, and unhappy with the direction in which the country and, indeed, the economy was headed, voted decisively for change on 7th December, 2016, by the overwhelming victory they conferred on the NPP and my modest person. That is why I am here, today, as President.
They voted for us to fix the economy and put our country on the path of progress and prosperity.
To deliver on the wishes and aspirations of the Ghanaian people, I have put before them the most ambitious programme of social and economic transformation of any government in the history of Ghana’s 4th Republic, if not in our entire history.
This programme is hinged on restructuring the institutions of our governance, modernising our agriculture to enhance its productivity, a clear industrial policy, and rationalising the financial sector so that it supports growth in agriculture, and growth in manufacturing and industry. To this end, my government has, in our first budget in March, introduced measures to stimulate the private sector.
A monetary policy that will stabilise the currency and reduce significantly the cost of borrowing, in addition to a raft of tax cuts, has been put in place to bring relief to and encourage businesses. These interventions are already lowering the cost of doing business, and shifting the focus of our economy from taxation to production.
We aim also to enhance further the business atmosphere and make Ghana an easier place to conduct business through paperless transactions at our ports, and the removal of all internal customs barriers by the beginning of September. Our flagship programmes, “One District, One Factory”, and “Planting for Food and Jobs”, have been launched. We aim to reach our target – to make Ghana’s economy the most business friendly on the continent of Africa, and, why not, in the world.
This process of economic and industrial transformation is going along with ensuring that the most basic elements of social justice are met – making quality basic education and healthcare accessible to all – to promote a culture of incentives and opportunities.
We have been in office barely five months, but we are taking concrete action to fulfil our manifesto pledges and commitments.
We are determined to build a new Ghanaian civilisation, a Ghana beyond Aid. It is a Ghana where we aim to be masters of our own destiny, where we marshal our own resources for the future, breaking the shackles of the “Guggisberg” colonial economy of a producer of raw materials, and a mind-set of dependency, bailouts and extraction. It is an economy where we look past commodities to position ourselves in the global marketplace at the high end of the value chain.
It is a country where we focus on trade, not aid, a hand-up, not a hand-out. It is a country with a strong private sector. It is a country that recognises the connectedness of its people and economy to those of its neighbours. It is a country that is governed according to the rule of law, respect for individual liberties and human rights, and the principles of democratic accountability.
Our global village is being buffeted by some stormy, adverse winds – vicious terrorism; religious extremism; resurgent populism in the Western democracies; potentially devastating climatic and environmental changes; and growing inequality between the North and the South.
In my view, never has the necessity to organise, mobilise and articulate clearly our values and message been greater. I have no doubt that, in doing so, we shall prevail here on this continent and around the world, and create harmony, serenity and progress for our common planet and our common humanity, and, thereby, banish global poverty and hunger.
My expectation, at the end of this meeting, is that we share best practices in governance, marketing strategies for winning elections, and refining the tools needed to ensure that we continuously gain and maintain the support of our electorates with each other. Our political parties are at the helm of some of the biggest and most successful economies and emerging markets in the world, and are having a positive impact on this generation.
We must ensure that, with the aid of science and technology, the promotion of enterprise, innovation and creativity, and the spread of democratic values, we offer the prospects of a constructing a new era of prosperity in freedom for all the peoples of the world. I am confident that we can work together to achieve this noble goal.
Thank you, welcome to Ghana, and may God bless the IDU and us all.