Friday, May 29, 2015

Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter has been re-elected president of Fifa, football's world governing body, in a vote overshadowed by arrests and corruption allegations.

Mr Blatter's rival, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, withdrew after the first round of voting.

Mr Blatter fell seven short of the two-thirds needed, but Prince Ali opted not to contest further.

Seven top officials were arrested in Switzerland on Wednesday as part of a US prosecution that indicted 14 people.

Mr Blatter, 79, has faced calls to resign, including from UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who said in Berlin on Thursday that Mr Blatter should quit "the sooner the better".

'Current storm'

The vote took place at Fifa's congress in Zurich.
A candidate needed 140 votes to win in the first round.
The two candidates had earlier delivered final appeals to the electors.

Sepp Blatter

Analysis: Matthew Kenyon, BBC Sport

If you read most of the world's media, Sepp Blatter's ability to hang on to power at Fifa is nothing short of miraculous.
After years of negative headlines, the frenzy has reached fever pitch in the wake of the US allegations of corruption - even though Mr Blatter himself has not been implicated. And running through all this is a theme - bemusement that much of the football world keeps voting for him.

Nowhere is Sepp Blatter's support stronger than across Asia and Africa. So why do most of the representatives from those two continents appear to be voting for him again?
Here's about as succinct an answer as you're going to get - from the president of the Nigerian Football Federation: "Blatter feels Africa. What Blatter pushes is equity, fairness and equality among the nations."

We're talking about two things - the first is concrete investment, often literally so. The second is respect.

Source: BBC
The Ministry of Education says government has not taken any decision to force students in tertiary institutions to pay utility bills. 

According to a statement signed by the deputy minister of education in charge pre-tertiary, Alex Kyeremeh, government’s policy regarding subsidy on water and electricity for tertiary students still remains the same. 

Rumors of government’s  decision to make students to pay utility bills emerged on March 25 at meeting attended by stakeholders in tertiary education in an auditorium of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).

But the deputy minister asked students to disregard any such rumour about the payment of utility bills. 

It can be recalled that students of the University of Ghana, Legon last Wednesday accused government of trying to use diabolic means to force them to pay utility bills in order to generate revenue to address economic challenges.

The directive comes at a time when the tertiary student body had threated to embark on a nationwide demonstration to register their displeasure over government’s impervious and insensitive intention to shirk its responsibility of payment of utility bills.

The demonstration was also to protest against the implementation of the policy which would have increased the fees of students by approximately GH¢500.00.

Meanwhile, Cabinet has also issued a new directive that all educational and health institutions be exempted from the disconnection exercise currently on-going in some tertiary institutions in view of critical services they provide to the citizenry.
ECOWAS Commission for Finace Mrs Ramatu and Ibrahima Thiam
The ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA) has launched the ECOLink project to boost transparency and accountability in the management of resources for institutions and agencies in the ECOWAS region.

Speaking at the launch of the project last Friday in Accra, El Hadj Ibrahima Thiam, Chairman of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA), stated that ECOLink project would enable ERERA to integrate applications that access standardized enterprise data for all ECOWAS institutions, agencies and offices.

The ECOLink project was initiated by the ECOWAS Commission to harmonize and improve business processes across all ECOWAS institutions and agencies.

“The project is a modernized management system with various parameters, including automated payment transaction that permit electronic processing of requisition, vetting of documents, quotations from vendors, technical evaluation and purchase orders,” the ERERA Chairman said.

Some of the significant benefits of the project for ERERA include streamling time-consuming business processes, improving control over documents, reducing paper work and easing access to information.

He added that through the main development vector that Electricity Power represents, ERERA was promoting interlinks between ECOWAS Members’ production and distribution plants in providing regulatory services, thereby ensuring economic efficiency and investment relevance.

“It is therefore with pride and honour that on behalf of the president of the ECOWAS Commission and all my colleague Statutory Appointees, I wish to pay tribute to our Council of Ministers for its contribution to the initiation, conceptualization, funding and implementation of the ECOLink project, amongst other institutional reforms in the ECOWAS Agenda,” Ibrahima Thiam said.

He disclosed that the project was an Integrated Management System that would reshape administrative, financial, procurement and human resources management in ECOWAS institutions and agencies, adding that it would certainly strengthen ERERA in fulfilling its crucial mandate for the benefit of the respective economies in the region.
Prince David Osei
Actor Prince David Osei joins the league of Ghanaian screen actors-turned producers with his upcoming first production titled, Last Night.

The new movie which is expected to hit the big screens very soon is a one-cast movie directed by Andy Boyo and stars the award winning actor, Prince David.

Last Night is a psychological thriller about a radio presenter called Bright Mensah, a drug addict married with a son. He’s a dodgy guy who also deals in drugs but uses his radio programme, ‘Truth and Consequence’, as a front.

He’s not who he really claims to be. After his normal radio session, he is on his way home when one of his numerous girlfriends calls him to pass over for a quickie.

His pregnant wife is kidnapped, same time his girlfriend is locked up in police custody, whilst the mum gets a heart seizure same time.

As if all these were not enough, he is involved in an accident and the next thing, he’s buried alive in a casket. The story begins…

The movie directed by Andy Boyo was shot with crew from South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana.

Last Night will soon be released from the stables of the actor’s PDO Production.

The movie is obviously re-launching Prince David’s career into different areas of the movie industry and catapults him to extreme heights.

By Francis Addo (Twitter: @fdee500 Email:
Henry-Seidu-Daanaa, Chieftancy Minister
The Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs has asked members of the various traditional councils to disregard any directive from any government machinery which seems to interfere with who is a member or not, of a traditional council.

According to the ministry, government, under the 2008 Chieftaincy Act 759, does not interfere as to who qualifies to be a member of a traditional council or not.

This was contained in a statement issued by the ministry in reaction to an earlier report in which the Regional Co-ordinating Council, led by Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, had ordered Nii Tetteh Otu II, the paramount chief of Kpone near Tema, to remove certain names from the Kpone Traditional Council (KTC) .

The names included Albert Narh, Williams Nuertey Josiah, William Nii Addo and Nii Tetteh Ashong II.

The statement, signed by the ministry’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Gloria Holm-Graves, urged anyone who had an issue with the membership of any person in the Traditional Council to take the matter to the Judicial Committee of KTC or the Judicial Committee of the Regional House of Chiefs or any other competent court of law in Ghana.

“So far as the chieftaincy administrative structure is concerned, the Greater Accra Regional Security Council (REGSEC) is responsible for the provision of security of the region including its thirteen (13) traditional areas, one of which is Kpone, but not at all the change of membership,” the ministry stated.
James Asare Adjei
The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has slammed government over the recent nine percent increment in the prices of petroleum products.

According to the association, the increment could totally collapse industries in Ghana if steps are not quickly taken to address the problems.

The AGI made this known in a statement signed by James Asare-Adjei, its president.

It particularly called on government to, as a matter of urgency, “take steps to prevent business activities from grinding to a halt.”

“The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) is deeply worried about the nine percent increment in price of petroleum products, particularly coming in the wake of a worsening economic situation. Businesses are currently under serious pressure from the 22 percent policy rate, erratic power supply, cedi depreciation and the difficulty in accessing bank credit, among others. Businesses can hardly survive under these conditions,” the association stated.

Business operators across the country currently buy fuel at high cost to run their generators, and this would increase the cost of doing business.

The association noted that Ghana was rapidly losing its competitiveness to other sub-regional economies.

“It is worthy to note that the net change in world crude oil prices over the last six months points to a decline. Industry believes a sound monetary and fiscal policy coherence that takes cognizance of the business climate will ensure a stable macro-economic environment to enable private sector growth in the Ghanaian economy going forward,” the association said.

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) on Sunday announced an increase in the prices of petroleum products.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam
Executive Director of the Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam has called on Ghanaians to hold government to its promise to end the current power crisis.

According to him, government’s plans about a long-term solution to the energy crisis in the next five years should encourage Ghanaians to mount pressure on them and ensure that they deliver on their promise.

Dr Adam made this known at a workshop last Friday in Accra to educate journalists on the issue of corruption in the oil and gas sector and how contracts in that sector are handled, among others.

“Governance is about social contracts. You give them power and you hold them to their promise. The president stood in parliament during the State of the Nation Address and announced about 3,800 megawatts of power he wants to bring in after five years. I beg Ghanaians lets demand accountability. We will not be given excuses in the next five years while we are still in power crisis,” he told a team of journalists at the workshop.

He added that the power crisis would only become a thing of the past if government makes the necessary investment to find other sources of energy and stop relying on Akosombo hydroelectric dam.

“As far as we continue to rely on plants that breakdown all the time and switch between gas and light crude oil, I say that the energy problem will not be solved. We can manage it but we cannot solve it without the necessary investment that we need to move away from Akosombo to bring in fuel-efficient plants and more generation capacity. Governance is about social contracts. You give them power and you hold them to their promise,” the ACEP boss stated.

Earlier this year, the NDC administration announced plans to procure two power barges from Turkey that would generate about 450 megawatts as part of short-term measures to help stabilize the situation.

The workshop brought together journalists from various media houses, as well as  Journalist Against Corruption (JAC), a network formed by Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC).
Gene A. Cretz
United States Ambassador to Ghana, Gene A. Cretz has called on government to undertake reforms in the agriculture sector to make the country a major producer of food.

According to him, some changes in the agriculture sector could make Ghana a major exporter of food products to West Africa and the world in general.

The US envoy made this known at the launch of the Programme for Food Across Borders in West Africa (PROFAB) in Accra last Thursday to highlight the benefits of free movement of agricultural products in West Africa.

“Why is it that US$ 1 billion worth of food products are imported into Ghana every year? I think there is a need for some kind of changes in the agricultural sector. Ghana could become a major producer of food products and hopefully those products that are most wanted by European and American markets, Ghana can become an exporter as well,” Mr Cretz stated.

The PROFAB seeks to promote the harmonization and consistent assessment of the impact of national and regional trade policies in the ECOWAS region.

He added that PROFAB is a great initiative which would strengthen ECOWAS as an institution and foster change in the sub-region.

“By starting this initiative to overcome the obstacles in trade and to address the border issues, the region will be able to become better integrated. We have seen what an integrated group can do- look at the European Union (EU). When countries get together and collectively decide that they want to mutually improve their situation, these are the kind of steps they take. I think this initiative, which would especially result in strengthening ECOWAS as an institution that can really help foster this kind of changes, is very valuable, and we are very pleased and very proud to have worked on this and to participate in future,” he said.

He disclosed that the success of the PROFAB programme would reduce barriers among nations in West Africa and “once you reduce those barriers and allow free flow of goods, the agricultural sectors of those countries will automatically derive the positive benefit from the overall practices that we hope to improve among these countries.”

Dr. Lapodini Marc Atouga, ECOWAS Commissioner in-charge of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, for his part, commended Ghana for playing an important role as a stakeholder in the regional agricultural transactions.

“The development of intercommunity trade in agriculture is envisaged to take up the challenges that West Africa  is facing. First of all, there is a need to strengthen the regional market integration which is considered as a most important element in agro-pastoral produce with the view to improving their productivity and their competitiveness,” he noted.

The PROFAB was put together by the USAID, the Trade Hub and African Partners Network and ECOWAS.
Ghanaian Rapper, Sarkodie has commended his colleagues for holding a successful protest against the crippling power crisis.

Sarkodie, who was one of the main organisers of the event and had supported Yvonne Nelson since she began her campaign on social media had to trade the ‘dumsor’ vigil to record an album with famous American rapper Ace Hood in the United States.

The two time VGMA artiste of the year  in a statement explained that : “a rather tight working schedule in the United States made it impossible for me to be physically present at the gathering.”

Below are details of the statement released by Sarkodie 

Yesterday a bold statement was made. #dumsormuststop went from being just a social media awareness creation campaign to something we are all now proud of.

History has been created, your way, our way.

To Yvonne Nelson, my other colleagues who joined, and the rest of the team that put this together, I want to say a big congratulations.

A rather tight working schedule in the United States made it impossible for me to be physically present at the gathering.

Long live the good people of this country.

Together let’s continue to push for an end to the current electricity supply crisis.

Michael Owusu Addo (Sarkodie)

Sarkcess Music

By: Marian Efe Ansah
On Thursday, May 28, there will be no sale of movies anywhere in Ghana as film makers in the country embark on a nationwide strike and a demonstration to be held in Kumasi to protest government’s dismal handling of the continuous electricity crisis.

The demonstration cum sit-down strike is being spearheaded by the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FiPAG) and will be attended by members of the Ghana Actors Guild (GAG), members of the Creative Arts for Change, as well as some of Ghana’s popular actors, movie and stage directors, scriptwriters, editors, producers, makeup artists, soundtrack singers & producers, acting guilds’ members, retailers, marketers, and distributors among others.

“We have decided there would be no production, no acting, no shooting, no directing, no editing, no sale of movie, no distribution of movies and we shall be converging at the Cultural Centre in Kumasi to tell government we are fed up with the mishandling of the power crisis and that it is killing our business,” Executive Director of Movie Africa Productions and member of FiPAG, Socrate Safo, told NEWS-ONE.

Michael Kwaku Ola, Public Relations Officer for FiPAG, has also explained that the May 28 demonstration is strictly apolitical and that organisers would not want any politician to attend in party colours or make partisan statements.

“The film making industry in Ghana relies directly on electricity and this irrational power rationing is killing us. Already government has not helped our industry and if we have toiled to bring our industry this far, what is the sense of government destroying it. Who buys movies when there is no light? How can you shoot by using generators and expect to get the right sound? How can you edit when there is no light? How should we get money to cater for our families? Mind you, we are not like the politicians who get end of service whatever. We live on our own and we are simply asking government to bring back our lights now,” Mr Safo said.

By Halifax Ansah-Addo
Two of Ghana’s award winning musicians, Sarkodie and Stonebwoy, have been nominated for this year’s Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards.

The two are among a long list of acts who received nominations in the 2015 edition of the awards which comes off June 28 in Los Angeles, USA.

The list of nominees for this year’s event, which will officially kick off on June 25 and climax on June 28 with the awards night, was released Monday.

Sarkodie and Stonebwoy, both Artiste of the Year winners in Ghana, will face some of the continent’s biggest acts for the Best International Act: Africa award.

They will battle AKA (South Africa), Fally Ipupa (DR Congo), Sauti Sol (Kenya), The Soil (South Africa), Wizkid (Nigeria) and Yemi Alade (Nigeria) for the award.

Sarkodie and Wizkid are hoping to make their second BET award win after jointly winning it in 2012. Nigerian musician Davido beat Sarkodie to win the award in the 2014 edition.

Three UK-based musicians of Ghanaian descent have been nominated in the Best International Act: UK category of the awards.

Fuse ODG, Lethal Bizzle and Stormzy, all of Ghanaian parentage, will face FKA twigs, Little Simz, and MNEK for the award.

Dr. Kwame Amezah
Dr. Kwame Amezah, Director of the Extension Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), has called for more extension officers to bridge the gap in the agriculture sector.

According to him, the current farmer to extension officer ratio, which is about 1,500:1 falls far below requirement by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN).

The FAO requires that the ratio of extension officers to farmers should be 1: 500.

Dr. Amezah, who was speaking at the Agricultural Extension Policy Forum in Accra said, “The ratio depends on what you are looking at but currently it is one extension officer to 1,500 farmers.

He said the Ministry was unable to employ more extension officers to assist farmers across the country because of a ban on public sector employment.

Dr. Amezah said MOFA had embarked on a project to build the capacity of the private sector extension officers to ensure that farmers gain sufficient knowledge on new farming techniques.

“MOFA has the responsibility to make sure that farmers have knowledge to go to the farm. We are getting money from the donor bodies to help us train private sector extension providers so together we can deploy more extension service to the farmers. These are the ways we are trying to bridge the low numbers,” he stated.

He disclosed that as part of measures to help resolve the situation, MOFA had adopted technology to help address the demands of the farmers.

“A lot of people now own smartphones and if my extension staff are on Whatsapp platform, there is nothing I cannot send to them. I can even do the training on Whatsapp.

“If you register your farmer with the telecommunication networks, you can also send audios to the farmer during the farming season. You can send the required farming technology once you have their numbers,” Dr. Amezah said.
Dr. Seidu Dannaa
Minister for Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs, Dr. Henry Seidu Dannaa has condemned the gruesome murder of two African-Americans by unknown assailants at Akosombo in the Eastern Region.

He expressed happiness that chiefs in the Akwamu Traditional Area were helpingthe law enforcement agencies to find the culprits.

So far five people, including a fetish priest, have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Dr. Seidu Dannaa, who was speaking at a press conference in Accra last Friday, said murder is a crime which should be punished by the law, appealing to the Ghana Police Service to speed up investigations to ensure that the culprits are brought to book.

He said the arrest of the culprits would deter others who have such diabolic plans.

“Ghana is a peace-loving country that is why she was the first country to welcome back our relatives from the Diaspora. It is rather unfortunate that this gruesome murder has occurred. Let nobody confuse criminality with chieftaincy. Crime must be punished and I’m happy that the chiefs there are helping to get to the bottom of this. I’m appealing to the police that they should speed up so that we punish the culprits and like-minded people are not encouraged to do a similar thing,”he said.

The deceased – Mamelina Diop, 75, and Nzinga Khaliya Janna, 69, reportedly posed as chiefs illegally under an unregistered traditional council called  ‘Fihankra Traditional Council’ and were ordered by the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Traditional Affairs to stop.

“All we are saying is that we must at the same time respect the laws of Ghana. The Fihankra constituency started in the 1970s but it is because of the running of the traditional council that started this. In the earlier report, it mentioned that the minister for chieftaincy  accused  one of those killed by those murderers as if there is a link, but what I’m saying is that there is no link between what we did and the gruesome murder.  We are a ministry implementing our chieftaincy act, making sure that every traditional council in Ghana is registered,” Dr. Daannaa stated.

He disclosed that his ministry was not in anyway supporting any of the parties in the issue before the murder of the African-Americans, adding that “let’s distinguish crime from chieftaincy.

“The true story should be told that the ministry wasn’t supporting anybody in the issue. What we are saying is that you can’t have an unregistered traditional council in Ghana. But if somebody should go and take somebody’s life that is criminal. We have chieftaincy disputes all over Ghana, does that give you the right to take somebody’s life?” he quizzed.

The Ministry supervises 10 regional houses of chiefs, the national house of chiefs and over 270 traditional council in Ghana.

It is mandated to ensure that traditional festivals are well organized to showcase the rich tradition.

The ministry has been tasked to ensure that chieftaincy institution contributes to the socio-economic development of the country.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Students of the University of Ghana, Legon have accused government of trying to use diabolic means to force them to pay utility bills in order to generate revenue to address economic challenges.

According to the Junior Common Room (JCR) Presidents of the University, the Mahama administration started losing credibility with all students when it gave hint of the payment of their own utility bills.

The JCR Presidents, led by Adams B.H.W Hussein, at a media briefing on Wednesday dubbed ‘Yen tumi ntua’ – meaning we cannot pay–disclosed that if government goes ahead to impose the utility bills on students, they would not hesitate to vote out the administration in 2016.

It would be recalled that the decision to make students to pay utility bills was made on March 25 at meeting attended by stakeholders in tertiary education in an auditorium of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).

“The burden on students and parents as a result of the current economic challenges is understandable enormous; therefore any attempt to worsen the plight of students and parents will hurt and incur the wrath of the people. Government is all about making decisions to better the lives of the people but when such decisions are rather going to degrade the situation and make the cost of education expensive and gradually make it a preserve for the rich at the expense of the poor and vulnerable, it is incumbent on us as students to act and act now,” Mr Hussein stated.

He added that the implementation of the policy would increase the fees of students by approximately GH¢500.00.

“As per our school’s modus of determination of fees, it incorporates the prevailing rate of inflation plus a 2 percent margin. Owing to the preceding, we are expecting fees to increase by not less that 20 percent since government has failed in its bid to maintain macro-economic stability by not keeping inflation rate low. The ordinary student must not be made to pay for the failure of government,” he noted.

Mr Hussein disclosed that tertiary students across the country would vehemently oppose any attempts by government to force them to pay utility bills of the universities as a result of government’s failure to pay.

He hinted that on May 11, students would embark on a peaceful demonstration and display intellectual maturity to “register our displeasure over government’s impervious and insensitive intention to shirk its responsibility of payment of utility bills.”

“We are aware that the president and most of the people in government enjoyed free education so why are they trying to make it so expensive for us? We won’t pay,” an angry student quipped.
Kwame Pianim 
Renowned economist, Kwame Pianim has derided the base rate formula introduced by the Bank of Ghana (BOG) in 2013 to help streamline Ghana’s macro-economy.

According to him, the base rate competition formula put together by BoG only normalized the abnormal and excessive borrowing habit of government.

“We started by saying Bank of Ghana (BoG) should do something about the cost of credit and they came out with a base rate competition formula. Econometrically, the formula is elegant but practically useless,” he said.

Dr. Pianim disclosed this while speaking at a forum organized by the Ministry of Trade & Industry (MOTI) in collaboration with the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Accra yesterday under the theme, ‘The high cost of credit: Implications for Ghana and the way forward.’

He attributed the recent high cost of credit to the bad economic management by government.

“The elephant in the room is the bad macro-economic management that we have had for so long.  High cost of credit is bad economic management because it doesn’t lead to growth; it leads to high exchange rates. In the past, sardines, carbolic soaps, Ovaltine and all these foolish things were deemed essential goods. Now, we are so stupid we deem petrol as essential and government is oxidizing it. As far as I am concerned, we should move away from price controls,” Dr. Pianim noted.

He added that “government needed steady macro-economy, good management and fiscal loans, and contribute to domestic savings and then the cost of credit will come down.”

“In 2013, Bank of Ghana came out with a base rate and if you go through, 44 percent of the base rate was attributable to profit margin represented by return on equity and general provisioning. What BoG did in that formula was normalize into the pricing equation the high cost of Treasury bills, which was around 22 percent. Some 34 percent of the pricing was operational expenses and some 18 percent was contributed by the cost of funds to the bank, represented by weighted average cost of funds and that took into consideration the cheap current account which is 0 with savings 3.”

High Interest Rates

Meanwhile, Dr. J.K Kwakye, a senior economist at IEA, disclosed that the Central Bank, commercial banks, government as well as borrowers were to blame for the high interest rates in the country.

Currently, Ghana’s lending rates are considered to be among the highest in the world.
The high rates negatively affect the business community.

Average lending rates of banks in the country hover around 30 percent while that of microfinance institutions are around 70 percent on the average.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Most Rev. Prof Emmanuel Asante presenting a plague to Chief Imam Nuhu Sharubutu

Religious Leaders across the world have asked devotees to live peacefully in diversity, love and tolerance with each other.

The conference which was held at the Accra International Conference Centre  was used to urge the various religious sects in the world to use religion as a tool of peace. 

Speaking at a conference under the theme ‘Love & Tolerance: Peaceful Co-Existence in Diversity’, spokesperson for the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Armiyawo in his address said religious diversity was a fact that needed to be accepted by all since  most religious scripture provide the necessary foundation for acknowledging it as a part of our nature.

Sheikh Armiyawo
The event which was organized by the National Peace Council in collaboration with the Ghana- Turkey Cooperation and Development Association (TUDEC), Great Volta Foundation Dialogue Centre and Fountain Magazine brought together various religious sects including Christians, Muslims and Jews among others to dialogue relevance of love, tolerance and acceptance.

“I have a problem when I see a Muslim who cannot appreciate and understand diversity and out of our differences we fight among ourselves. So therefore religion- something God given for man to connect to his source and to give peace to the world -has become guilty. I associate myself to an epistle that was written by the national chief Imam. In the introductory part, he indicated that with each passing day as information comes t him about the atrocities that are visited on humanity in the name of religion makes it hard and sorrowful. That makes him preoccupy with the concern present situation of the world,” Sheikh Armiyawo stated.

He added that in spite of the various Muslim and other non-Muslim extremist groups who have turned religion into a tool for human destruction, Ghana stood tall and unique because of the peace that we were enjoying. 

According to him, the holy Quran 32: 17 states that ‘Verily those who believe the prophets and those who are Jews and follow the Jewish scripture and the Christians, verily Allah will judge between them on the day of judgment for Allah is witness of all things’ and as such  “ If the various verses referred to are anything to go by, then it stands to reason  and to indicate without any fear of contradiction that Islamic scripture has provided the necessary foundation for acknowledging diversity as a part of our nature and by implication allowing a free manifestation of such diversities.” 

Archbishop Charles Palmer Buckle disclosed that passion for peace building stems  from the fact that all  3 sons of Abraham –Jews, Muslims and Christians- all pray to one God but unfortunately at the  bottom, all 3 sons fight each other in the land called Jerusalem. 

“My remark could be found in Psalm 122: 6 which says pray for the peace of Jerusalem .My confession is that I am a Christian and catholic priest, an Archbishop by the shear Grace of God.  For absolutely no merit of mine that is also what leads me to want to understand who God is because the deeper I get to know God the closer I come to my brothers and sisters irrespective of their race, colour and religion because one thing is clear to me , God is creator and father to us all.  As long as the 3 sons were not at peace, how can Jerusalem be for you and I,” he quizzed.

He noted that Jerusalem as we know it does not stand for a geographical location but stands for a city of peace and for the civilization of peace and the culture of love that should come from tolerance. 

“ You and I are citizens of Jerusalem and there can only be peace if there is peace in our hearts. How then can I in the name of the same God raise my hand against sons and daughters of God . that is what I’m seeking to understand, how I can love God and through God love my neighbor, how I can love my neighbor and through my neighbor love the same Lord God,” he added.

The conference was inspired by the book ‘Towards a Global Civilisation of Love and Tolerance’ written by Fethullah Gulen, a famous Turkish Cleric who is an authoritative mainstream Turkish Muslim scholar thinker and opinion leader who supports interfaith and intercultural dialogue and opposes violence. 

The event brought together diginarites like Shiekh Nhuhu Sharbutu –National chief Imam- , Dr Khalid Abubakur Aliyu- Nigeria Jaamatu Nasril Islam Secretary General-  and Prof. Scott C. Alexander –Drector of Catholic –Muslim Studies at Catholic Theological Union Chicago among others. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Professor Kwesi Yankah
Professor Kwesi Yankah, the president of Central University College, has stated that the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government has lost the fight against corruption.

According to the linguistics professor, the spate of corruption had become a security issue and government needed greater determination to fight the menace.

Strong perception

“Over time, despite a slight decrease from 2012 to 2014, the proportion of Ghanaians who think their leaders are involved in corruption has witnessed remarkable percentage-point increases – up to a 36-percent gain in the negative assessment of the President and officials in his office,” he said.

Prof Yankah was speaking at a corruption conference organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a policy think-tank, in Accra yesterday under the theme, “Purging the nation of corruption: demanding accountability from public institutions.”

Hard questions

“But why would the presidency in Ghana be so unfavorably positioned in such perceptions of corruption?” he asked.

That, he said, was because “in other dispensations, that alarming perception verdict would have been grounds for a plethora of emergency meetings by Councils of State, and other advisory bodies and institutions constitutionally-mandated to promote public morality and probity – for the fish apparently rotten from the head, is likely to infect the rest of the body politic.”

Take the blame

He said when public appointees are cited for embezzlement and corruption and no machinery is set in motion for investigation, prosecution, or indictment, the President should be prepared to take the final blame, since he (President) wields so much constitutional power to act.

Prof Yankah, who is also a former Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, said the public perceived the presidency to be corrupt because “the presidency is perceived to have become a comfortable refuge for officials suspected to have been involved in corruption and are under investigation.

“The transfer or promotion of bad nuts to the presidency, rather than their demotion or indictment, tends to defile the dignity of the presidency and taints its image,” he explained.

He said the government “squandered or lost opportunities to prosecute presidential appointees suspected of embezzling public funds, but who have been merely transferred to other portfolios, as if with the aim of enabling a quicker spread of the virus.”

He observed that the shelving in the presidency of several reports on probes and investigations, in which public appointees had been fingered for corruption, embezzlement and procurement deals, was “counter-intuitive.”

“I need not cite here the long list of items currently in the corruption headlines, where mega culprits appear to be walking scot free. Neither do I need to cite specific examples in past and present regimes, where insiders, including the Chairman of a party, have alleged corruption on the part of their own presidents,” he stated.

Batidam factor

He questioned the commitment of anti-corruption campaigners in government in the corruption fight and specifically mentioned former Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) boss Daniel Batidam, who he said had failed woefully.

He said the posture of such persons in the corruption fight left much to be desired.

Luxury cars

Prof Yankah also questioned the propriety of spending $1.8 million on luxury cars only for the country to grope in darkness a few years later, saying, “we can’t foolishly” spend $1.8 million of a budget meant to extend electricity into rural areas on luxury vehicles, only to have children study in the dark because there was load shedding.

Pressing solution

He advocated the need for “more action and lesser exhortation, indeed fewer excuses in the rhetoric of probity and accountability.

“Let presidents and leaders in general simply take initiatives submitting themselves and their offices to probity and accountability before expecting any national compliance, since the buck stops with the Leader.”

He said “responses like ‘corruption is as old as Adam,’ ‘Provide evidence that I am corrupt,’ as well as ‘I cannot fight corruption alone,’ uttered by past and present presidents are signs of weak leadership.”

Representatives of key institutions – including, Parliament, the judiciary, government, police, civil society groups, faith-based organisations – came together to brainstorm on the issue.

Some of the eminent personalities who attended the conference were former CHRAJ Commissioner Justice Emile Short, former GBA President Sam Okudzeto, CPP Chair Samia Nkrumah, NDC General Secretary, Asiedu Nketia, Archbishop Palmer Buckle, Ahmed Ramadan, Albert Kan Dapaah, Obed Yao Asamoah, and Brig Gen Nunoo-Mensah among others.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Lulama Xingwana
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has accused the John Mahama-led government of adopting a nonchalant, carefree and lackadaisical attitude towards the continuous xenophobic attacks that have led to the massacre of several African nationals in South Africa.

According to the NPP, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government’s inability to unreservedly condemn the attacks and exert pressure on the South African authorities to act swiftly and decisively to end these “barbaric and inhuman attacks on other Africans, shows how  unserious they are in handling the happening in South Africa.”

In a statement signed by Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, the party’s General Secretary, the NPP pointed out that government’s meek response to the xenophobic attacks was clearly manifested in its inability to communicate any measures it was putting in place to assist Ghanaians living in South Africa, neither could it outline plans to evacuate them, if necessary.

“Even more damning is the posture of the Foreign Minister, Hannah Tetteh,  who blatantly refused to speak to a local radio station on the issue and arrogantly posited that she will only do so on Radio Gold, a known NDC radio station.  Her conduct is as reprehensible as it is insensitive, especially in a matter involving people’s lives and emotions. The president should act decisively on her indiscretion. The party shares in the pain and suffering of the many Ghanaians, whose loved ones have been caught up in this unfortunate situation,” the statement posited.

The xenophobic attacks are being fuelled by South African nationals who ignorantly think that foreigners have taken over their jobs, leaving them unemployed.

So far 10 people have been confirmed dead in the horrific attacks, with several others badly injured.

The NPP therefore urged President John Dramani Mahamato carry out his sworn obligation under the 1992 Constitution to protect the lives and safety of every Ghanaian, whether home or abroad.

Arson Allegation At SA High Commission

Meanwhile, South Africa’s High Commissioner to Ghana, Lulama Xingwana, has alleged that some four people had threatened to burn down the South African High Commission in Accra.

Ms Xingwana did not give details of the alleged arson threat but said the Commission had reported the case to the police for investigations.

Ms Xingwana told journalists in Accra yesterday that the said four unnamed men stormed the High Commission’s premises Friday and attempted to invade its offices, but their effort was thwarted by the security attachment at the facility.

“They threatened that they will be coming back to burn the High Commission’s offices,” Ms Xingwana claimed.

She condemned the xenophobic attacks, stressing that South Africans who want jobs must go through the proper channels to secure them.

Causes Of Four Dead Ghanaians

The High Commissioner said the deaths of the four Ghanaians, including a two-week-old baby, was not as a result of xenophobic attacks but out of suffocation.

The names that have been given are G. Owusu, born in Nyamebekyere on April 1, 1984; Cynthia Awon, the wife, born in Huni Valley; their two-week-old daughter, Emmanuella Owusu, born in April 2015; and their relative, Charlotte Osei-Tutu, who was born in Fomena, on November 26, 1986.

“They were found dead locked up in a salon in Heibron. So far, no Ghanaian has died from xenophobic attacks in South Africa,” she said.

It would be recalled that Emmanuel Quarcoo was found dead by the roadside in Durban last week before the recent four deaths in the salon, but the South African police have ruled out xenophobic attacks as the cause of his death.

About Me

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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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