Wednesday, September 30, 2015

President John Mahama has directed the police administration to investigate the  brutalization of some members of the Let My Vote Count Alliance and others during a demonstration a week ago.

According to Interior Minister, Mark Woyongo, the president, who condemned the “unfortunate” actions of the police, wanted a thorough investigation into the matter.

On September 16, the Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMCA), in collaboration with Movement for Change (MFC) and the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), planned to picket at the premises of the Electoral Commission (EC) at Ridge in Accra to present their petition to the EC boss stressing the need for a new voter register for the 2016 general elections.

The demonstration turned bloody when the police clashed with the protesters, hurting some of them in the process.

Mr Woyongo, who was speaking to journalists in Accra on Tuesday, said the police administration had assured him of a thorough investigation into the incident.

“The response of the police to the recent LMVCA demonstration has received mixed reactions from the public. In one breadth the police contended that the approved route for the demonstration was violated by the demonstrators, thus compelling them to use all means necessary to protect the EC, even after the court of competent jurisdiction had issued an injunction that barred the demonstrators from marching to the premises of the EC.

“In another breadth, members of LMVCA have accused the police of using excessive force in dispersing the crowd and in the process inflicted injury on some of their members,” Mr Woyongo stated.

He continued, “The general public should note that we are in a democratic dispensation where the rule of law must be adhered to. Demonstrators should follow the agreed routes. If we demonstrate because we want the right thing done, we should also do the right thing.”

LMVCA’s resolve to picket at the EC headquarters in Accra has suffered a setback. After receiving the green light for the demonstration from an Accra circuit court, the police quickly secured an ex-parte motion and succeeded in stopping the group from the demonstration which had been scheduled for yesterday.

The police alleged that they had picked intelligence from a source that suspected hardened criminals had planned to attack, rob and cause panic in Accra and other regions. They also said they were going to carry out an operation in some criminal hubs in Accra and other regions from September 25 to 30 to arrest suspected criminals hence, the motion.

Prisoners To Get Parole

Meanwhile, Mr Woyongo has hinted that the Ghana Prisons Service would soon introduce a parole system into the administration of justice to promote effective rehabilitation among prisoners.

According to the interior minister, the parole system would enable prisoners with good character and successful rehabilitation be released earlier than their jail term into the custody of a legally mandated body.

Mr Woyongo said though the introduction of the parole system into the Prisons Service was at the proposal stage, it would require the necessary legislative backing to bring it into force.

“The Service, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, has received funding from the Centre for Distance Learning and Open Schooling (CENDLOS). As a result, the junior high school (JHS), senior high school (SHS) and the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) programmes at Nsawam Medium Security Prisons, Kumasi, Tamale and Wa prisons, are on course.”


He added, “18 inmates presented for the 2014 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) recorded 100 percent pass. Some inmates who also sat for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) also passed and if the parole system is brought into force, some of them could benefit from it and attend university.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Nii Akai Nettey
The Ga Dangme Youth Association (GDYA) has expressed worry over the low political representation of Gas in Parliament and government positions, saying that the situation does not work in their favour.

According to Herbert Nii Akai Nettey, IMC Chairman for GDYA, the voices of the Ga Dangmes need to be well represented in places that matter in order to protect their interests and get the necessary support to advance a development agenda.

Speaking at the 2nd Youth Development Forum for GDYA in Accra on Saturday, Mr Nettey stated that Gas need to start participating in politics to make their voices heard.

He added that a high representation of Ga Dangmes in government would mean educating the youth about the responsibilities of public service so that they enter into political office to serve their communities and not to enrich themselves.

Mr Nettey disclosed that if steps are not taken to arrest the situation, the future of Ga Dangme would be in jeopardy.

Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joseph Nii Ayikoi Otoo, said though Greater Accra is a cosmopolitan area, it is a legitimate concern to have a fair representation of Gas in both Parliament and government positions.

“Unless you do a kind of an affirmative action where you promote the indigenes of the area, you have a problem because everybody has a right to contest and if the person lives in the area you cannot prevent him from taking part. While it is a concern that the indigenes are not visible in other places, I think we also need to help ourselves so that we can compete fairly and get to wherever we want to,” he said.

Mr Ayikoi Otoo pointed out that government needs to fulfill the constitutional provision that suggests that “we should have respect to regional balance when it comes to government appointments.”

Loss of Ga Dangme Lands

Mr Nettey attributed the loss of Ga Dangme lands to the Land Development (Protection of Purchasers) Act, 1960 (Act 2) and the short-sighted actions of some Ga Dangme chiefs and individuals who sell stool and family lands.

He, therefore, called for the repeal of the Land Development (Protection of Purchasers) Act, 1960 (Act 2) otherwise known as the ‘Lintel Law’, stating that the Act was discriminatory and detrimental to the interests of Ga Dangme stools and families.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Abdulfatah Alsattari
Abdulfatah A. K. Alsattari, Ambassador of the State of Palestine has appealed to the Ghanaian government and the rest of the world to petition the Israeli government to cancel the administrative detention law and release the over 5,000 Palestinian prisoners in her jails.

Speaking to the media in Accra on Monday, the Palestinian Ambassador stated that for the past 15 years, the Israeli government under the Administrative Detention Law had arrested over 20,000 Palestinians.

The Administrative Detention Law which has been branded illegal according to United Nations (UN) resolutions, allowed Israeli government to arrest Palestinians without a charge and put them in prison for an unknown period of time.

It would be recalled that various peace talks had been held between the two countries, aimed at ending the perennial conflict between them but to no avail. Israel withdrew from the peace talks.

“More that 500 administrative Palestinians prisoners are still in Israeli jails without any charge and about 5,000 more in Israeli prisons. More than 15 prisoners went on hunger strike since 40 days ago, asking for the cancellation of this law as anti-human rights law, and their lives are threatened by death at any moment,” Mr Alsattari said.

He added that the Palestinian government found the arrest of her citizens without any charge discriminatory and has therefore called on all governments in the world to kick against the Administrative Detention Law and put pressure on the Israeli government to release Palestinian prisoners from jail.

“The responsibility of the lives of these prisoners are on the neck of the Israeli government. The Israeli government is an extremist government and everything about the Israeli government is against peace,” the Palestinian envoy posited

“As you know, after two days the Palestinian flag will be raised on the UN building. It will be a special day for the Palestinian people. We will also raise our flag in each city, village and house in Palestine. Through this our people will be united,” Mr Alsattari revealed.


He commended the government of Ghana for the sustained support for Palestinians search for freedom.
Nana Osei-Bonso
Nana Osei-Bonso, Chief Executive of the Private Enterprise Federation, has advised government to partner the private sector in order to successfully achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to him, government can tap into the resources of the private sector to achieve the SDGs.

SDGs are successor frameworks to Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

They are expected to complement the aims and objectives of the MDGs to address development challenges of the world.

The SDGs are expected to be rolled out fully in January 1, 2016.

Nana Osei-Bonso, who was speaking at the Social Good Summit 2015 in Accra, said the private sector would invest bountiful if government brings the SDGs to the policy level.

“We have the tools and all we have to do is to bring the SDGs to the level where investment can take place. The private sector would invest to help achieve these policies,” he said.

Nana Osei-Bonso said the partnership between government and the private sector is what is going to move the SDGs to the level where we can influence livelihood.”

He stressed the need for government and civil society to start a campaign on the SDGs in order to educate individuals on the roles they have to play in achieving them.

He urged government to create conducive environment, which would attract private investors into the economy to partner government in achieving the SDGs.

“The private sector is willing and ready but if the economic conditions and investment climate are not conducive, the private sector would not invest,” he said.

Mulugeta Abebe, Deputy Country Director for UNDP, disclosed that SDGs, which comprises 17 goals and 169 targets, had been adopted by all 193 UN member states to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice and tackle climate change for everyone by 2030.


“The new goals matter to all of us as we have a shared responsibility for our future. We call on all meaning Ghanaian citizens, private sector, the media and civil society to support government in the implementation of the SDGs and join forces with the UN System to promote SDGs,” he said.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Julius Owusu-Kyerematen
Vodafone Ghana has launched the Vodafone Appstore to help developers and users to showcase their relevant apps.

The Vodafone Appstore is expected to promote Ghanaian innovators and local developers who publish their apps on the portal.

The Appstore was launched by Vodafone Ghana in collaboration Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST).

Speaking at the event in Accra recently, Julius Owusu-Kyerematen, Director of Strategy and Innovation at Vodafone Ghana, said the main aim of the App portal is to promote Ghanaian innovators and developers who have worked so hard for years on their applications and looking for a way to market their apps to relevant audience.

He said there were hundreds of locally developed apps that do not get the visibility that they deserve.

“It is for this reason that Vodafone Ghana decided to come up with an Appstore that is developer-friendly with focus on local, relevant content while giving subscribers the opportunity to still have access to a global range of popular apps.

“As you know, the Google and Apple stores are huge and it is easier for your apps to get lost in there but with the Vodafone Appstore we actually showcase them permanently on the home screen. We believe that this would help the developers and the Ghanaian community,” Mr. Owusu-Kyerematen stated.

He added that the Vodafone Appstore has developer portals at the backend where developers could access and publish their apps, adding that Vodafone would conduct checks to ensure that the apps met all the required standards before there are finally published.

According to him, subscribers who use the Vodafone Appstore would also have the opportunity to participate in contests and win numerous prizes including smart phones and free data bundles.

“Consumers’ needs are increasingly becoming very sophisticated and as a company we have made it our business to always be ahead of the competition in ensuring that customers are truly satisfied,” he noted.

AkuaOdoom, Head of MEST, encouraged developers, including students of MEST to take advantage of opportunities offered by Vodafone to showcase their technological capabilities.

The Vodafone Appstore is accessible on all major mobile platforms like Windows, IOS, Android and Java, among others.


To access the appstore, smartphone users would have to visit appstore.vodafone.com.gh.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hanna Tetteh and Christine Evans-Klock
Hanna Serwaah Tetteh, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, says Ghana has taken the necessary steps to incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the country’s 40-year development plan.

Speaking to journalists in Accra recently on Ghana’s participation in the 70th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly which kicked off yesterday at New York, US, the foreign affairs minister said the National Development Planning Commission was working to adopt the SDGs into the  country’s development plan.

The SDGs are successor frameworks to Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which are expected to end by December this year. SDGs are expected to complement the aims and objectives of the MDGs and achieve the implementation of a higher level of ambition in addressing the development challenges facing the world.

According to Madam Tettey, a Ghanaian delegation led by President John Mahama would be at the General Assembly to participate in a high level event on the operationalization of the Post-2015 Development Agenda for African industrialization

“The event will bring together African leaders, heads of UN organizations and key development actors to discuss concrete partnerships for the effective operationalization of the Post-2015 Development Agenda in Africa with particular reference to building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and innovation.

“The discussion is expected to focus on how to forge stronger regional, inter-regional and global cooperation for inclusive and sustainable industrial development, especially through south-south cooperation and new partnership models,” she said.

The UN General Assembly is expected to be chaired by President-Elect of the 70th Session of the General Assembly, Mr Mogens Lykketoft.

UN Resident Coordinator to Ghana, Christine Evans-Klock, said the idea behind the SDGs is to finish the unfinished business to recommit the world to meeting the MDGs that had not been fully met.

She added that the SDGs also have higher aspirations like “eradicating poverty instead of reducing it.”

“Globally, some 800 million people still live in extreme poverty and suffer from hunger, but also higher aspirations in terms of meeting our obligations to future generations as well as to this one. The new agenda has been developed after years of hard work, through consultation that stretched across 193 countries and gave voice to civil society and the private sector and sought the views of millions of young people,” she said.


Madam Evans-Klock disclosed that Ghana had been vital in developing the agenda and was one of the countries selected to host a national consultancy on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) yesterday fired the accountant who released presidential nomination forms to George Boateng, the man who has vowed to unseat President John Dramani Mahama at the party’s presidential primary.

Another party officer, popularly called WO, an administrator thought to have had a role in the nomination forms brouhaha, has also been showed the exit from the party.

But George Boateng insists he will go ahead with his campaign for endorsement with the same forms because they are authentic.

The party’s action is the culmination of a flurry of activities, including an emergency meeting held on Wednesday to decide on punitive measures to dish out to whoever made it possible for George Boateng to lay hands on the nomination forms.

NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia aka General Mosquito, in his continuing duel with George Boateng, the man he had described as ‘mad’,  told the media yesterday at the party’s head office in Accra that the nomination forms were fake.

George Boateng, who is the Youth Organiser of the party at Oyarifa near Accra, has denied that the nomination forms he picked are fake, claiming that “there is a grand scheme to make it impossible to challenge the president.” He insists that he is determined to carry out his ambition of contesting President Mahama.

Asiedu Nketia said the purported sale of presidential forms to George Boateng was fraudulent and was not recognised by the party because he (Asiedu Nketia) had not authorised the issuance of the said forms.

In the case of the presidential nomination forms, we indicated that the forms must be picked from the General Secretary of the party. I have always been in-charge of the nomination forms and I haven’t issued them to anyone; the party’s national treasurer, who should also confirm payment for the forms by anyone, has no such records.

“Our forms come in our party colours embossed on them. To maintain utmost security of the forms, at anytime anybody buys the forms we also emboss our party’s official seal on them and all the pages are initialled by the General Secretary so that nobody can fake the forms or make copies and present them to us as our official documents,” he said.

He also disclosed that the forms sold to Mr Boateng by the said accountant, who had been working at the party headquarters for more than 20 years, was a draft which was in black and white.

He urged all party members who have the ambition to contest in the party’s presidential race to carefully weigh themselves before declaring the intent.

He said apart from the requirements imposed by the party,  including one being a party member of good standing for not less than 10 years, the 1992 Constitution of Ghana also imposes additional requirements such as a minimum age of 40 years and the need for the person to be of sound mind.

George Boateng was in the news this week after picking nomination forms at the NDC’s headquarters to challenge President Mahama for the presidential nomination of the NDC for the 2016 election.

He pledged to legalise the cultivation and exportation of marijuana (wee) to raise foreign exchange to fast-track the country’s development.

Mahama Picks Forms

Meanwhile, Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has picked nomination forms on behalf of President Mahama for the latter to contest the party’s presidential primary come November 7.

Mr Amissah-Arthur picked the forms at the party’s multi-million dollar head office at Adabraka, Accra, with a team made up of Dr Edward Omane-Boamah, Communications Minister; Haruna Iddrisu, Employment and Labour Relations Minister and Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, Greater Accra Regional Minister.

The Vice President, who appears to maintain his position as running mate upon the confirmation of his boss as NDC candidate for the 2016 polls, was met by Mr Asiedu  Nketia; Vice Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo; Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, an elder of the party;  the Treasurer, Alhaji PMC Abdulai and the Deputy General Secretary, Koku Anyidoho.

He was also welcomed by a multitude of party supporters who were clothed in party colours and chanted (party) songs.

The supporters seem elated about Mahama’s decision to lead the party in the next elections.

Asiedu  Nketia briefed the vice president  on the procedures involved in filling and submitting the nomination forms and asked him to make a cash payment of GH¢1,000 for the forms.

The vice president, after picking the forms, said the president was ready for any internal contest.

He was optimistic that the president would beat any contender on November 7.

General Mosquito made it known that President Mahama was the first to have approached his office to pick up nomination forms.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

(from left) Prof Martey and Dr Omane Boamah
Rt Rev Prof Emmanuel Martey, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, has called on devotees of the various faiths in Ghana to coexist peacefully in order to foster religious tolerance and unity among one another.

According to Prof Martey, who is also the Chairman of the Christian Council Ghana (CCG), devotees for the various faiths in Ghana need to learn how to live, work and walk together in harmony and peace to avoid the any form of religious turmoil that could destroy the country.

Speaking at the launch of the maiden edition of the ‘Interfaith Harmony Week’ in Accra on Wednesday, he stated that religious fundamentalism is a major challenge facing the world today which has led to the loss of lives and properties.

“We are also aware of religious extremism, excessive atrocious attacks and terrorist acts committed in the name of religion. It is among Christians and other religions. A question about how to foster harmony among all people in the world regardless of their faith keeps cropping up,” the CCG chairman said.

The week-long event slated for September 28 to October 4 is designed to bring together the various religious sects to engage in activities that would promote religious tolerance.

Ghana, a nation touted as one of the most peaceful countries in the world, has recently recorded some pockets of tension among Christians and Muslims in some parts of the country, he mentioned.

Prof Martey added that it was in response to those pockets of tension that the Council of Churches in Ghana took the initiative to create a platform that would enable constructive engagement among the various faiths with activities that would foster religious tolerance, unity and peaceful coexistence in our society.

Minister for Communications, Dr Edward Omane-Boamah, disclosed that no meaningful development could take place in a nation with people of different faiths living in acrimony.

He commended the various religious leaders in Ghana for teaching their followers to respect people of other faiths, which had become a source of pride for many.

“Interfaith harmony is very important issue in the life of every nation. There cannot be a society without interfaith cohesion, because our society is made up varied people with varied beliefs and cultural values.

“In our country, we have had some religious tensions in the past. These tensions led to the destructions of several properties and the loss of lives. Innocent children and socio-economic activities have hugely been affected as a result of religious clashes in the past.  The story is better today,” he said.

Dr Omane-Boamah urged devotees of the various religious groups to be precautious of any action that has the tendency to create religious tensions


The event brought together a host of religious leaders, including Sheikh Armiyawo from the Chief Imam’s Office, among others.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The district level elections held yesterday recorded a depressingly low turnout in some major polling stations in Accra and beyond.
A visit by DAILY GUIDE to several polling centres in the metropolis revealed that just a handful of people were turning up to vote, with some centres managing an average of one person per hour.
While the low turnout was a major hallmark, demonstrations and chaos also characterised the polls in some parts of the country.
A polling agent at the Bimbilla Senior High School polling centre in the Nanumba North District of the Northern Region was slapped by a voter when the former tried to stop him from voting twice.
Reports say that Tahidu Aremeyaw stopped one Adam Hanan from voting for his friend after he (Adam) had cast his ballot.
But Adam did not take this kindly. He demanded that he be allowed to vote and gave the polling agent a heavy slap for consistently barring him from voting again.
There was no security agent at the polling station at the time the incident occurred.
In the Western Region, residents of Kansaworodo in Sekondi-Takoradi staged a protest against the elections.
Angered by the last-minute disqualification of one of the aspirants, Nana Adjei, residents took to the streets and set tyres on fire.
At the Roman Catholic School polling station, Nima East in Accra, the presiding officer stated that from 7am only 50 out of 926 people had turned up to vote as at 1pm.
Officers at Association International School polling centre, Ayawaso West Wuogon, reported that the turnout of voters was low.
At the Airport Police Barracks, Burma Camp (B), the presiding officers stated that the turnout was not encouraging.
The presiding officer at Prisons 1&2 JHS polling station, Roman Ridge in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency, said just a handful of people had turned up to cast their votes.
At the Dunia Cinema polling station, Nima West, the presiding officer reported that as at 1pm only 60 persons had turned up to exercise her franchise.
Most officers attributed the low attendance to the postponement of the exercise from March 3 to September 1, as well as poor publicity on the part of the Electoral Commission and the Local Government Ministry.
Over 18,000 candidates contested in the district assembly elections, made up of 1,102 females and 17,783 males.
A total of 43,585 candidates contested the unit committee elections, comprising 12,000 female candidates and 31,585 males.
Voter Apathy
In general, voters across the country displayed apathy towards yesterday’s assembly polls.
Visits to a number of polling stations along the Akuapem Ridge and Adentan in the Eastern and Greater Accra Regions revealed that polling stations recorded poor voter attendance.
At the Tutu Methodist Primary School polling station in the Akropong constituency, one Kwadwo Ahenkora told DAILY GUIDE that the station received all the necessary logistics for the exercise.
He averred that turnout at the station was rather very slow.
Kofi Larbi, presiding officer at the Aburi Presby “A” polling station, said voters came in trickles and seemed unaware of what was happening.
Eric Yeboah Appeadu, a candidate, blamed the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) for the non-sensitisation of the public on the elections.
Mr Appeadu said his campaign team and those of his opponents were out in the communities getting eligible voters to come out and vote.
He also indicated that the late start of the exercise at the centre made the working population residing in Aburi to leave for Accra and Madina to work.
At the Gbantaana Electoral area in Adentan, voters did not come out to vote in their numbers.
A candidate in the area, Nana Agyeman Duah, had to withdraw his candidature following intimidation and harassment from the opponents.
Vote Buying
Isaac Opare Kwafo, a voter at the Brukuase polling station, told DAILY GUIDE that it was unfortunate the manner in which some candidates were engaged in vote buying.
He stressed that there was the need for religious bodies and civil society organisations to educate the public on the duties of a voter, adding, “The fact that a candidate has given out money does not mean such a candidate will perform when voted for.”

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The fifth edition of Vodafone Icons music reality show has been officially launched with a focus on talents from senior high schools.

Speaking at the launch in Accra recently, Chief Marketing Officer at Vodafone Ghana, Agnes Effah, said the idea is to offer contestants a solid foundation in what could be a potentially commercially viable career.

According to her, the Vodafone Icons – high school edition – would offer high school students skills to prepare for a future in music composition and engineering, among others.

“We will be seeking to discover, groom and showcase high school musical bands to give them the needed exposure and foundation to realise their musical dreams. This also falls in line with the vision of the Ghana Education Service to provide relevant and holistic education that will enable students acquire skills to assist them in developing their potential,” she said.

Auditions would be held in the northern, southern and central parts of Ghana. Successful contestants will undergo further grooming by the judges, professional voice coaches and choreographers.

The winning band for this year’s event would get a music studio with a complete band set and laptops with audio editing software.

“The winning band will represent Ghana at the Global High School Musical Contest organised by Vodafone in Turkey, and each member of the band will also receive an educational scholarship.

“Consolation prizes (9 finalists): Each school will receive a PA system, shopping vouchers, mobile phones, tablets and Vodafone souvenirs/hampers,” Mrs Effah said.

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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