Renowned Ghanaian Poet, Professor Atukwei Okai has passed on at the age of 77 after a short illness at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
The Secretary-General of the Pan African Writers Association of Ghana died at the Korle Bu Teaching hospital, Friday after a short illness.
Prof Akilakpa Sawyerr on behalf of the Odoi and Okai families confirmed the death of the late poet.
The late poet was noted for his excellent poetry recitation and is believed to be one of the first real poetry performers to have emerged in Africa. His performances on radio and television include an acclaimed 1975 appearance at poetry international at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London where he shared the stage with US poets Stanley Kunitz and Robert Lowell, and Nicolas Guillen of Cuba. Prof Okai was survived by a wife and five daughters.
The Minority in Parliament has vehemently rejected a loan agreement between the government of Ghana and the export - import Bank of Korea for an amount of US$ 90,000,000.00 to finance the establishment of the university of environment and sustainable development UESD, Bunso Campus.
The minority argue that the process is in breach of Act 898 (3) 2015 which which provides that a university campus should be established in Somanya, Donkokrom and any other places as maybe determined by the council.
Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Mr Okudjeto Ablakwa said, if the government wants to site a new campus in Bunso other than the already mentioned in the Act, they should come back to parliament to amend the Act.
He posited that, , it will be unfair for the NPP government to build a third campus of UESD in Bunso Akim Abuakwa land leaving the original one in Kwahu Afram plains.
But the chairman of the finance committee Dr Mark Assibey Yebaoh justified reasons for the establishment of the campus in Bunso.
He revealed that, the decision to site the campus at Bunso was arrived after a series of negotiations with the EXIM Bank of Korea.
The negotiations with Korean commenced in 2015 as part of the negotiations, the Korean EXIM undertook a six -months feasibility study on possible sites for the campus, the outcome of the study recommended sitting the campus in Somanya, he explained.
He added that before the negotiations could be completed, parliament approved a buyer credit facility in November 2016, to finance the construction of the Somanya campus .
Following this development and the recommendations of the feasibility studies, the EXIM Bank of Korea agreed to finance the construction of a campus for the university at Bunso.
According to him, the Bunso site is located within the research catchment area of a number of agricultural agencies including the cocoa research institute, the cocoa college, university college of Agricultural and environmental studies and the council of scientific research & industrial research.
Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah told the house that, the minister has disclosed that the location would help to establish the campus as a centre for excellence.
Also speaking, the minority leader, Mr Harruna Idrissu, declared his support for the president's view of expanding tertiary education but advised that due process must be followed.
The legislator said, he as a representative of the people will be the last person to debate education matters in political lines but he is calling on government to come to parliament and amend Act 898 (3) 2015.
The majority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu suggested that, there was nothing wrong with the decision to relocate the campus.
Former Foreign Affairs Minister under former President John Dramani Mahama’s administration, Hanna Tetteh has been appointed as Director for UN’s office in Nairobi.
The announcement was made by UN’s Secretary General, António Guterres
Ms. Tetteh succeeds Ms. Sahle-Work Zewde who has been appointed as Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU).
Ms. Tetteh most recently served in the cabinet of the Government of Ghana as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Trade and Industry.
She is a practising lawyer and holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Ghana.
Dr. Okoe-Boye has been appointed Board Chairman for the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
Other members of the board are Dr. Radha Maria Odua Hackman (Gov’t appointee), Mr Jerry Ahmed Shaib (Gov’t appointee), Dr Patrina Tekyi-Ankrah (Gov’t appointee), Prof Margaret Lartey (Dean, School of Medicine and Dentistry) and Dr Samuel Asiamah (Director of Medical Affairs/ Ag. CEO), a letter dated June 28, 2018 from the Chief of Staff, Frema Akosua Osei-Opare said.
The rest are Mrs Elizabeth Bruce (Director of Pharmacy), Mr Bright Korkoryie (Director Of Finance), Mrs Rita Aryee (Director of Nursing Services) and Mr Nurudeen Mohammed (Director of Administration).
The Ministry of Youth and Sports has rubbished claims that Ghana has been stripped off the rights to host the Africa Under 17 tournament.
The Ministry through a statement indicated that Ghana never bid for the hosting of the tournament left alone be stripped off that right.
The statement read: ‘’The attention of the Youth and Sports Ministry has been drawn to widespread reportage, that the country has been stripped of its rights to host the Africa Under 17 tournament. The Ministry will like to place on record that the country which is fast becoming the preferred destination of hosting CAF tournaments and is currently preparing to host the Africa Women championship in November, never submitted a bid to host the Under 17 tourney, let alone to be stripped of any rights. Indeed, when the offer was made to host the tournament, the Ministry respectfully declined the offer due to the impending women championship. The Ministry therefore finds it strange that a section of the media will report without cross checking this news with us. The Ministry will like to assure all and sundry of its open door policy and is committed towards enhancing the sporting image of the country.''
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu has given an indication that, their side will not accept the appearance of a Deputy Minister before the House questions.
Haruna Iddrisu stressed that, unless it is compelling, the House should not entertain Deputy Ministers in the House when their Ministers are supposed to be the ones to appear before the House on matters.
‘’Mr Speaker I want to indulge you that from henceforth, maybe from now till the House will ,rise; unless its compelling, we will not accept a Deputy Minister standing in the seat of a Minister. We will not,’’ he warned.
The legislator said, the President recently placed a ban on foreign travels to allow appointees have time for their core duties hence the House will not accept any excuse that a minister is not able to appear before the House and so, the deputy is made to appear.
Reacting to the concerns raised, Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah described the mode by the Minority as a threat.
According to him, the Minority Leader cannot issue that threat.
‘’I am saying the Minority Leader on his own cannot issue that threat. It has to be a collective decision by the House. You cannot on your own get up to say that, the House is not going to allow it. He should be told that he doesn’t even control one half of the House. He [Iddrisu] may have his say but I represent the entirety of the House. Notwithstanding, I appreciate the issues that he has raised,’’ the Majority Leader said.
He admonished the Minority Leader to be in communication on matters like this instead of saying things on his own.
Residents at Agona East in the Central Region has expressed fear the in the rampant cases of social vices that has risen in their area and have further pleaded with the Ghana Police to come to their aid.
Speaking on Nyankonton Mu Nsem today (Friday), Rainbow Radio’s Nana Yaw Asare said, some alleged criminals is said to be Sakawa boys have invaded the area and are claiming human lives in the area.
They wake up to witness the dead bodies of people whose parts such as leg, head and genitals have been chopped off.
They have pleaded with the police in the area to take drastic measures to bring these criminals to book, he explained.
“If our plea is not heard, we would be compelled to find gadgets and security tools to rid the area of these criminals”, they complained bitterly.
By: Priscilla Obeng Asantewaa (Intern, Rainbow Radio)
Member for Parliament for Builsa South, Dr Clement Apaak has taken a swipe at the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) over an attempt to change the narrative regarding the Auditor-General’s report.
The legislator is arguing that the NPP then in opposition slammed the Mahama administration based on the report released by the Auditor-General. However, the NPP is trying to change the goal post after that of 2017 was released.
The public accounts of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the financial year ended December 31, 2017 have revealed that the overall financial impact of weaknesses and irregularities discovered by the Auditor-General amounted to over GH¢892 million.
The breakdown is: tax irregularities GH¢655 million; cash irregularities GH¢190 million; stores/procurement irregularities GH¢41 million; payroll irregularities GH¢1.7 million; outstanding loans/advances GH¢2.6 million; and rent irregularities GH¢195 million.
The Finance and Economic Planning Ministry recorded the highest irregularities, amounting to GH¢697 million. It is followed by the Employment and Labour Relations ministry with GH¢l35 million.
Reacting to the report, the former presidential staffer under former President Mahama said: ‘’Corruption and the Auditor Generals (AG) Report - The NPP in opposition accused us of corruption on the basis of the AG report, the 2017 report is out and suddenly they seek to change the narrative. The AG report is the AG report, it has not changed. ‘’
He also raised concerns about the commitment of government in the fight against corruption and wondered if President Akufo-Addo is committed to the fight as he promised.
He added: ‘’Is it not interesting that the 2017 report, the 1st under NADAA'S NPP and the Special Prosecutor, shows the Finance Ministry topping the charts with 697 million cedis! The infraction indicated as responsibility for the inability of the Finance Ministry to justify the expenditure of 697 million is irregularities! In total, a gargantuan amount of 892 million cedis can't be justified by MDA's in the year ending 31st December 2017. So much for prudent management and fight against corruption!’’
The successful operation between officials of Ghana Nigeria has led to the arrest of 22 persons by the Nigerian drug enforcement agency , NACOB of Ghana and the Ghana Police Service as well as their respective donor agencies.
The joint press statement indicated that the operation involved two periods of activities over the past two months, with a total duration of 15 days, code-named ‘Operation Eagle’.
The operation resulted in the arrest of 22 suspects, the seizure of substantial quantities of drugs, namely: 15.7kg cocaine, 9.21kg heroin, 8.17kg methamphetamines, 596.338kg cannabis, 4kg of khat, 267 tramadol pills(225 mg) and$22,000 USD cash.
Read Below the full statement:
Joint Press Release
Operation Eagle – Law Enforcement Working Beyond National Borders
12 July 2018 – Simultaneous counter-narcotics operation in Nigeria and Ghana with the support of UNODC bringing operational results.
To tackle drug trafficking activities of organized crime groups operating in Nigeria and Ghana, simultaneous intelligence-led counter-narcotics operations targeting the movement of drugswere undertaken in both countries, supported bytwo United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) led projects, namely ‘CRIMJUST’ and ‘Response to Drugs and Organized Crime in Nigeria’,both being funded by the European Union. This joint operation was conducted between the Drug Law Enforcement agencies in Ghana, namely Narcotics Control Board (NACOB), Ghana Police Service-Drug Law Enforcement Unit (DLEU) and Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The operation involved two periods of activities over the past two months, with a total duration of 15 days, code-named ‘Operation Eagle’. This operation resulted in the arrest of 22 suspects, the seizure of substantial quantities of drugs, namely: 15.7kg cocaine, 9.21kg heroin, 8.17kg methamphetamines, 596.338kg cannabis, 4kg of khat, 267 tramadol pills(225 mg) and$22,000 USD cash.
In addition, the operational effort also generated knowledge and intelligence related with other forms of organized crime namely: the identification of 20 potential victims of human trafficking; circulation of travel documents for potential use in illicit activities;movement of high value assets linked to money laundering;tax evasion modalities; new methods of drug concealment and suspected cyber-related offences.
129 law enforcement personnel were involved in the operation. Following detailed analysis and planning, law enforcement actions against drug trafficking and related organized crimeswere intensified at key cross border points of both countries comprising land borders and airports, including postal and courier services.
To respond to the illicit activities of criminal groups that are not limited by national boundaries, both countriesenhanced the responsesthrough this actions in this joint operation to detect, seize, arrest and prosecute those involved in the trafficking of drugs and related organized crimes.The interceptionof illicit drug consignments bound to Europe, USA and Asia, either directly or via transit zones in Ghana and Nigeria was one of the main objectives to boost enforcement responses. Throughout the operation, UNODC supported the planning processes, as well as the deployment of liaison officers that facilitated real-time information exchanges and coordination between both countries.
Based on the lessons learnt from this pilot joint-operation, it reinforced the need to align actions and share intelligence between both countries to tackle the clandestine operations of organized criminal groups in order to enhance the efficiency of law enforcement responses. This operation has demonstrated that working in close partnership among law enforcement agencies has proven to be highly effective in generating operational results and intelligence dividends. It is expected that this type of operation will be replicated and expanded in the near future.
The CRIMJUST Project funded by European Union Cocaine Route Programme, UNODC and its partners (INTERPOL and Transparency International) aim to assist Member States to enhance their capacity and integrity of criminal justice institutions to detect, investigate, prosecute and adjudicate illicit cocaine trafficking cases, and to foster cooperation at the interregional level for effective action to tackle drug trafficking and related organized crime.
The UNODC implemented and European Union funded project “Response to Drugs and Related Organised Crime in Nigeria” commenced in 2013 and has been working closely with counterparts with the objective of supporting the Nigerian Government “in its efforts in fighting drug production, trafficking and use and improved access to quality drug prevention, treatment and care services in Nigeria.”