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NDC activists attack Zabzugu MP, injure wife

NPP Member of Parliament for the Zabzugu constituency of the Northern Region, Hon. John Jabaa was on Thursday night, allegedly attacked by NDC activists as he escorted two buses meant for two senior high schools into the Zabzugu township.

His private Nissan double cabin pick up with registration number GW9650 Z, was vandalized and his wife who was with him at the time sustained injuries.

Eyewitnesses told Citi News the police scared the attackers away with warning shots and managed to rescue the MP.

According to the witnesses, but for the timely intervention by the police, the confrontation would have led to a major clash between NPP and NDC supporters in the Zabzugu constituency.

The Zabzugu MP said he successfully lobbied for two 30-seater Cruiser buses for the Zabzugu and Tatale Senior High Schools which he was sending home to be handed over to the beneficiaries when he was attacked.

He said the buses were delivered in fulfillment of a promise made by the former Minister of Education, Alex Tetteh-Enyo in 2010.

According to him, when they were approaching the Zabzugu Township, some known NDC youth activists mounted a road block and demanded the keys to the buses.

This request, Hon. John Jabaa resisted and that resulted in the incident he describes as “political sabotage.”

The Zabzugu MP alleged that some of the assailants used a motorbike owned by the District Chief Executive, Hon. Moro Wahab.

In recent times, Government has been criticized for not bringing to book NDC activists who have engaged in such activities.

But Hon. John Jabaa says as a legislator, he will use every legal means to get the perpetrators apprehended to serve as a deterrent to other evil minded persons in the Zabzugu constituency.

Mills invitation to Kufour was a populist act- Balado Manu

The Member of Parliament for Ahafo Ano South, Stephen Kweku Balado Manu, has described President Attah Mills’ invitation of ex-President Kufour to the Osu Castle as an act of populism which is meant to score cheap political points.

He said the President has become known over the years for doing such public stunts that paint him as a good person in the eyes of the public.

Prof. John Evans Attah Mills yesterday invited former President John Agyekum Kufour to the Osu Castle to engage in discussions on national and international issues. The two statesmen however kept the details of their discussion in confidence.

Speaking on e.tv Ghana’s Breakfast TV show, the Member of Parliament for Ahafo Ano South, Stephen Balado Manu, who sounded very passionate, said he would not have honored the invitation if he were President Kufour, after President Mills and his government had treated him with contempt as they have refused to comply with the constitutional provision for ex-Presidents.

‘’ Where was President Mills expecting ex-President Kufour to come to the meeting from? When they have not provided him with a house, which car was he to travel on, when he (President Mills) has not given him any’’, he said.

‘’ How long did it take the then President Kufour to provide President Rawlings with a state building, it just took exchanges of letters and that was settled. It has taken Prof. Mills two years and more and still he has not paid ex-President Kufour’s ex-gratia and other entitlements due him, and Prof. Mills wants to pretend he likes him and has invited him to the castle’’, he asked.

Hon. Balado Manu urged President Mills who is a law Professor to demonstrate good faith by complying with constitutional requirement for ex-President, and not engage in such needless face saving exercise like he has just done.

Story by: Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

NPP MPs for Supreme Court over 10% oil fund for Western Region

Some New Patriotic Party MPs will soon go to the Supreme Court to try and overturn a ruling by First Deputy Speaker of Parliament over a request for 10 per cent of oil revenue for the development of the Western Region.

Four minority MPs – MP for Bimbilla, Dominic Nitiwul; Manhyia MP, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh; Gifty Eugenia Kusi, MP for Tarkwa Nsuaem and Mr. Okyere Darko Mensah, MP for Takoradi will challenge Doe Adjaho’s ruling in court.

They had filed for an amendment to the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill seeking the establishment of a Western Regional Development Fund into which 10 per cent of the oil revenue will be put for the exclusive development of the region.

But after weeks of debate on the matter, the First Deputy Speaker ruled out the request on Wednesday.

He explained that the kind of amendment which seeks to impose financial obligation on the consolidated fund can only come from the President of the Republic or on behalf of the president or a minister.

“It is my considered opinion that this amendment has not been introduced by the members on behalf of the president having been a charge on the public funds of this country.”

“We cannot proceed to go into it,” he said, adding “it must be introduced by a minister or a member on behalf of the president.”

But proponents of the amendment say they have no option than to proceed to the Supreme Court for an interpretation.

MP for Takoradi, Kwabena Otchere-Darko, one of those heading to court told Joy News; “we are going to the Supreme Court for interpretation because clearly when Hon Doe Adjaho spoke you realized there was a predetermined agenda to stop us from moving that motion on the floor.”

The Deputy Energy Minister and MP for Elembelle, Kofi Armah Buah without saying categorically whether he supports the intended writ to the Supreme Court, said he will back any action that will lead to the road and other infrastructural development of the Western Region.

Source:Joy News

Ghana needs only 3 political parties – Mike Ocquaye

The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Ocquaye says it is not in Ghana’s interest to have more than three main political parties.

He said the country’s democratic system can manage just three main parties namely, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP). According to Prof Ocquaye, this system will help electorates decide which of them is responsible for their well being.

The NPP MP for Dome-Kwabenya opines that the proliferation of several small political parties confuses the electorate during elections and prevents them from making the right choice.

Speaking to Citi News after delivering a lecture on the struggle for democracy in Ghana, organised as part of the William Ofori Atta centenary celebration, Prof. Ocquaye said the proliferation of political parties does not help in political stability.

“Look at America, two main parties, Britain – three parties and so on, it helps not only the political process but in terms of making it clear to the electorates who is who and who is saying what. So if we have a strong NPP, a strong NDC and a strong CPP I think it would be good for Ghana”.

However, a research fellow with the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Victor Brobbey, has warned against any attempt to restrict the proliferation of political parties in Ghana to just three.

Mr. Victor Brobbey told Citi News that it will be undemocratic and unproductive to limit options for people during elections.

“I can’t agree with that, I think it would be extremely undemocratic and ultimately counterproductive and almost frightening to have a two party system.”

Invite Nana Addo for talks too – Akomea urges Mills

The Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akomea, MP, has called on President Mills to pick up the challenge of the NPP flagbearer and engage him on critical matters of national concern.

Speaking on the day after former President Kufuor honoured an invitation to the Castle to dialogue with the President on several issues, the NPP Communications Director said, President Mills, should do more to show that he is sincere about fostering unity and addressing the concerns of the NPP.

“We welcome the cordial and frank discussions the President had with the former President. But, really, Nana Akufo-Addo is the current leader of the biggest opposition party in Ghana. He has repeatedly raised concerns about the victimizations of his party people and his fears about the 2012 elections.”

Nana Akomea said the President has a responsibility to call the NPP flagbearer to “have a frank and cordial discussion with him about how to address these critical issues. We are urging the President to make that call.”

He said, “Already, with his Monday speech, Nana Addo has sent a very clear message to the President and the entire nation that the NPP remains utterly committed to defending and enhancing Ghana’s democracy. We are committed to ensuring a peaceful contest in 2012. We want the President to be active in joining to send a clear message to the country that we all want peace, fairness and justice.”

Such an invitation will render unnecessary the decision to put the security forces on ‘red alert’, Nana Akomea argued.

Nana Akomea quotes from his boss, “Nana says our supporters know that we are not calling on them to initiate violence. It is a defensive exhortation. Our members and supporters are responsible citizens and we are very proud of them. Nana took the Monday opportunity to urge our supporters to continue to be law-abiding citizens and play by the rules of the game. He also urged the President to send a similar message to his supporters.”

Nana Akomea said the commitment from the NDC must be genuine. “We are ready to get the two men to work together and lead the importance task of ensuring a clean and peaceful elections, alongside the EC and other major stakeholders.”

He said further, “We insist that there is a greater responsibility on the party in power to set the stage and take active steps in this direction. We want the President to give a clear, unequivocal commitment to ensuring a peaceful atmosphere, devoid of violence, for the 2012 elections.”

“As our flagbearer said, “By his deeds the President can make redundant the slogan, ‘All Die be Die’. Nana Addo has also assured of the NPP’s commitment to ensuring that the next general elections are held under an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. He also called on the leader of the NDC and the President of the Republic to join us on this crucial enterprise to protect and strengthen our democracy.”

In Nana Akufo-Addo’s speech at Ho last Monday, addressed to the President, he stated, “Over the last two years, we have detailed a catalogue of savage attacks against our party activists, which have gone unpunished. We have protested the apparently selective manner in which the law is being applied by the state against those perceived to be political opponents of the current government. With the able support of the media, we have tried to bring the President’s attention to the impunity with which so-called footsoldiers of the ruling party have spent the last 25 months attacking people and property.”

The President can meet his counterpart in the NPP and begin dialoguing on these issues, Nana Akomea said.

Nana Addo had said, “We have repeatedly called on the President to take decisive action to protect Ghanaians, including our party members who have suffered such barbarity, like the victims of Agbobloshie. We have expressed our extreme worry about violence as an electoral strategy, as was evident in all three parliamentary contests held under his (President Mills) watch, namely, the completion of the Akwatia election, and the Chereponi and Atiwa by-elections. The deplorable incidents in these elections were unknown in the Kufuor era, which saw the conduct of at least ten by-elections.”

Nana Addo stressed his party’s commitment, “For us in the NPP, democratic governance and the peaceful transfer of power, after elections, are not negotiable. We urge all political parties and Ghanaians committed to promoting peace and deepening our democracy to work with us in securing these ends.”

Nana Akomea, stated, “There can be no greater message of his commitment than what Nana Addo gave Monday when he said ‘In the 2008 elections I said repeatedly that I would not want a single drop of Ghanaian blood to be spilled for me to become President. I am still committed to that.’

“It does not mean he would shirk his duty as a political leader not to speak out to the followers of his party to stand up and defend those shared beliefs. I think that is something that Opposition Leader Mills could empathise with. Now let us chart a way forward in finding solutions with candour.”

Source: NPP Communications Directorate

Tarkwa residents angry with MP

Some mining communities in Tarkwa in the Western region are unhappy with the MP for Obuasi Edward Ennin. His crime is that, he’s been defending mining giant, AngloGold Ashanti.

The MP had early on lashed out at mining NGO, WACAM for instigating the presentation of the Black Eye award to Anglogold.

The company received the most irresponsible company award on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

The MP says WACAM’s action damaged the reputation of both the company and the country. At a press conference Wednesday the communities condemned the MP for his comments.

Spokesperson of the residents, Emelia Amoateng said they were angry with the MP for asking WACAM to withdraw the nomination which culminated in the Black Eye award conferred on Anglogold Ashanti. But the MP has dismissed the claims he was backing the mining company.

He told Joy News he did not support Anglogold Ashanti but rather criticized the mode WACAM used in seeking to address the perceived wrongs by Anglogold.

He said the country has laws and statutory bodies which enforce those laws, adding that WACAM had every right to seek redress from the Courts, Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice or from the Environmental Protection Agency if it is the institution’s considered opinion that Anglogold Ashanti had contravened the laws of the land.

He said WACAM’s decision to by-pass all these institutions to seek redress from an outside agency is inappropriate.

That, he said, cannot be interpreted as support for Anglogold.

Source :Joy News

Adenta MP defends re-zoning exercise

The Member of Parliament for Adenta, Kojo Adu Asare has defended the decision by the Adentan Municipal Assembly to re-zone the suburb of Adenta.

The re-zoning exercise of the Adenta municipality which forms part of the new districts created in the year 2007 and inaugurated in 2008 will mean an increase in property rates.

The announcement of re-zoning and subsequent elevation of Adenta to a first class residential status was met with stiff opposition from the residents who were surprised at the move.

They contended that the constituency has seen little development and as such, did not deserve to be re-zoned, a situation they claimed would culminate in higher property tax rates.

However speaking on Joy FM Thursday morning, the Member of Parliament for Adenta, Kojo Adu Asare stated that he was all for the re-zoning exercise.

According to him, communities within Adenta such as Adjiringanor and Trassacco estates had been demarcated into different economic groups and as such, there was the need to charge commensurate rates.

‘’ How can you have people residing in Adjiringanor and Trassacco estates paying property rates between GHc35 to GHc 80 cedis, obviously they should be made to pay the right rates’’ he said.

Hon. Kojo Adu Asare noted that the re-zoning exercise was an avenue for the Adenta Municipal Assembly to generate enough revenue to ensure development of the Assembly and urged the residents to cooperate.

Story by : Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Nana Akomea: Kufour’s response to ”all die be die” is right

The Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party’s 2012 Campaign team, Nana Akomea has debunked claims that the refusal by former President J.A. Kufuor to comment on Nana Addo’s “all die be die” statement, is a clear indication that he does not support Nana Addo’s position.

Former President Kufuor declined to comment on the statement when asked by the Castle Press Corp after his meeting with President Mills at the Castle on Tuesday.

“Why don’t you go and ask him…..ask the maker of the statement?” former President Kufuor said in his response to the question.

But Nana Akomea said the former President did not go to the Castle to discuss the ‘all die be die’ statement, but rather national issues pertaining the development of the country.

He said Nana Addd did explained what he meant by the statement in his recent news conference in Ho so it was of no significance for Mr. Kufuor to again explain the statement.

“Kufuor is a matured person, at least he has been president for this country for eight years, so he knows how to discuss issues in the public”, Nana Akomea told Adakabre Frimpong Manso on Adom Fm’s Dwaso Nsem on Wednesday.

Nana Akomea stressed that former President Kufuur was right in telling the media to go and ask Nana Addo the meaning of his ‘all die be die’ statement if they still have issues with it.

Nana Akomea however said he believed the former President will at the appropriate time, come out with his views on the controversaial “all die be die” statement.

Source: Adom FM

The issue of quorum is in bad faith – Avoka

The Majority Leader, Cletus Avoka on Tuesday said the issue of quorum raised by Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Takoradi that sent the House into an untimely adjournment was raised in bad faith.

He said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency moments after the House was forced to adjourn by the ruling of the Speaker Mrs Joyce Bamford Addo in accordance with the Parliamentary Standing Order 4 8 (2).

Proceedings in parliament were derailed when Mr Kwabena Okyere raised the issue of quorum at about 10:45 hours when about 45 MPs were in the House. Mr Avoka said: “We are losing a valuable day, we have a lot of work to be done, adding that the day was supposed to be used to complete work on the consideration stage of the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill.

“We are producing oil but do not have the legal framework to be able to determine the revenue we are raking in,” he said. He said debates on the State of the Nation address, the Petroleum Commission Bill and other businesses of the House would delay by this adjournment.

He argue that there was nowhere in the world that parliament had to have the full House before it transacted business and cited the example of Britain where the issue of quorum was not allowed to stall parliamentary business.

He said currently the Ad-hoc committee working on the problems encountered in District Level Election was in Kumasi taking views from people, adding that the Public Account Committee was currently in Togo, whiles the Health Committee was touring the country. On whether he saw the move as sabotage by the Minority, the Leader of Government business rejected it on the grounds that the Minority leadership was not in agreement with him.

He, however, said what he expected them to do was to ask him to withdraw his call for the quorum. Mr Isaac Osei, NPP MP for Subin, said adjournment was in accordance with the law, adding however that the Majority side did not help matters as they were trooping out of the chamber at a time the House needed a quorum to transact business.

He said the House needed about 70 members to be present to transact business and described the incident as unfortunate. Dr Yakubu Ahmed Alhassan, NDC MP for Mion, said “I feel sad for what has happened today,” adding that parliament must have a critical view on the rules of the House.

He noted that it would be extremely difficult to have four different committees performing off-House duties and still expected a quorum for the business of the House to continue.

He said even if the House attained its maximum level of attendance, business was only done by a critical majority who were well informed about the business, citing the example of the consideration stage of bills, which needed the presence of those who proposed amendments.

Parliament halted business abruptly when Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah demanded for a quorum and the Speaker asked the House to wait for 10 minutes after which time the quorum would have been formed according to the provisions of the Standing Orders.

The Speaker was, however, forced to adjourn the house because no quorum was formed after the 10 minutes in accordance with Standing Order 48 (2) which states: “If at the time of sitting a member takes notice or objection that there are present in the House, besides the person presiding, less than one-third of the number of all the members of parliament and after an interval of ten minutes a quorum is not present, the person presiding shall adjourn the House without question put until the next sitting day.

Public express anger at MPs

A section of the public has expressed their indignation at the lackadaisical attitude of some Members of Parliament towards their work as legislatures.

They are highly incensed by some MPs refusal to attach importance to their work by constantly absenting themselves from their duties in parliament without notifying the leadership of the House.

The “concerned” members of the public’s resentment stem from the poor attendance of parliamentarians to the House on Tuesday 22nd February 2011, which forced the Speaker of Parliament to adjourn sitting because the House could not form a quorum.

This follows a motion filed earlier by the MP for Takoradi, Kwabena Okyere Boakye-Mensah to stop proceedings.

A total of not more than 60 Parliamentarians had showed up for deliberations on the Floor. At least 77 MPs are needed for fruitful deliberations.

The Majority Leader, Cletus Avoka who tried to convince the Minority to rescind its decision and allow for the day’s agenda to proceed was not successful.

Some members of the public who spoke to ghanamps.gov.gh stated that they find it difficult to understand why MPs who are voted by their constituents to represent them in Parliament will continually stay away from parliament not because of official duties but to enable them prosecute their own agendas.

‘’ Some of these parliamentarians are taking Ghanaians for a ride, you don’t want to work but yet you want to be paid with the tax payers hard earned money’’ a student said.

“Even the Bible states clearly that whoever does not work should not eat, these MPs cannot demand for an increased pay when they laze about and don’t want to work’’ a teacher stated.

Another person said, “this is ample evidence why some of us are strongly against any pay rise for the MPs, you just don’t see what they do in parliament, they don’t contribute to discussions on the floor of parliament, not even at the Committee level’’.

Story by : Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh