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Ghana not ready to deal with natural disaster – Adu Asare

The Member of Parliament for Adenta Kojo Adu – Asare, has questioned Ghana’s capacity and preparedness to deal with an unanticipated natural disaster.

He says governments over the years have not demonstrated enough commitment to deal with natural disasters, as they have failed to adequately equip the relevant state institutions including the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and the National Ambulance Service.

Hon. Adu Asare’s comment comes in the wake of a massive earthquake that has hit the north-east of Japan, triggering a tsunami that has caused extensive damage.

Japanese television showed cars, ships and even buildings being swept away by a vast wall of water after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake.

The quake has sparked fires in several areas including Tokyo, with over a 100 people aboard a ship reportedly missing.

A tsunami warning was extended across the Pacific to include the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hawaii, the Pacific coast of Russia and North and South America.

Commenting on the issue on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem show Friday, the Member of Parliament for Adenta Kojo Adu –Asare, who sympathized with the tsunami victims emphasized the need for Ghana as a country to attach more seriousness to providing logistics to deal with natural occurrences.

“In the advanced countries, there are tricycles designed as ambulances which are very effective, whereas in Ghana our ambulances carry one person at a time, what happens when there is a huge disaster that requires mass of people to be carried’’? He asked.

Hon. Adu-Asare noted that adequate resourcing of the relevant institution will ensure the reduction of fatalities in the event of a natural disaster.

A report of an earth tremor occurrence in parts of Accra last month could not be confirmed by the Geological Survey Department as the nation did not have the equipment to measure incidence of earthquakes or tremors. A new equipment is yet to be purchased to replace the obsolete one.

Story by : Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Akufo Addo’s claim is cheap political talk – Alfred Agbesi

The Member of Parliament for Ashaiman, Alfred Agbesi says the Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party’s claim of his party preparing a comprehensive programme of industrialization and modernization that can transform Ghana’s economy in ten years is a cheap political talk.

He says the NPP flag bearer’s assertion is an act of a face-saving exercise which is meant to redeem his image after he was criticized for making the infamous “All die be die” statement.

Nana Akufo Addo while addressing the closing ceremony of a workshop organized for NPP researchers from the ten regions on Wednesday stated categorically that Ghana can emulate the exploits of Brazil and Taiwan and develop within ten years with “Dedication, Discipline and Determination.”

He opined that Ghana must first do away with the “Guggisberg economy” of exporting raw materials into a more refined system of adding value to the raw materials here in Ghana.

“What Ghana needs is a structural transformation of her economy. We cannot improve the lives of the mass of our people if we remain a raw material producing nation,” Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo stated.

However speaking on e.tv’s morning show on Friday 11th March 2011, the Member of Parliament for Ashaiman, Alfred Agbesi stated that Nana Akufo Addo’s statement stament contains nothing new as the incumbent NDC government is currently do exactly what he has put out.

“Adding value to raw materials in Ghana is ongoing, even quite recently the President has commissioned a new cocoa processing plant at Takoradi and many of such projects are in progress.’’ He said.

Hon. Agbesi questioned why Nana Akufo Addo has suddenly realized that Ghana’s economy could be transformed in 10 years when he had been a cabinet minister for 8 years and could not contributed these ideas.

He urged the National Development Planning Institute to come out with a national development plan that will be strictly followed and implemented by all future governments to develop the country.

Story by : Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

PC Ofori loses fight against corruption; bows out of Parliament

Member of Parliament for Asikuma Odobeng-Brakwa PC Appiah Ofori, is bowing out of Parliament heavily disappointed for failing to fight corruption.

Worse still, he is convinced there are no signs the fight against corruption will be won anytime soon.

Ofori is among a number of veteran New Patriotic Party MPs who announced they will not contest the upcoming 2012 Parliamentary elections.

The MPs have adduced several reasons, but that of the Asikuma Odobeng-Brakwa MP is all the more intriguing.

He said he is tired of fighting a losing battle against corruption and will not waste any more of his precious time.

“I came to Parliament for a purpose to involve myself in the fight against corruption because corruption has been the bane of the national economy.

“People in positions of responsibility milk the country and the money which the government must use to engage in activities that will make life better for the people is lost.

“So I came to assist; to play a role; I have not succeeded. Corruption slips from bad to worse every passing day so I don’t want to waste my time,” the frustrated MP said.

He charged his colleague MPs to shelve their partisan interests for the supreme national interest and help fight the canker.

PC Appiah Ofori rubbished claims that he will not be able to win the party’s primaries even if he contested so had to throw in the towel in anticipation of a heavy defeat.

He said: “If I contest elections in my constituency 20 times I will win 20 times. Even when I said I was not going the communities were begging, pleading with me to rescind my decision. So anybody who says that is simply stupid.”

“If I am there and I am doing it and not achieving anything then why do I bother myself again,” he added.

Source: Joy News

Dr Akoto Osei to contest unopposed

The former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, and Member of Parliament for Old Tafo Hon. Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei will contest the upcoming NPP parliamentary primaries slated for 30th April 2011 unopposed.

Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei became the MP for Old-Tafo/Pankrono Constituency on 7th January, 2005, after winning the NPP primary elections in August 2004, and the Parliamentary elections on 7th December 2004 respectively.

In the last primaries conducted in the Ashanti Region he  beat his contestant, Mr. Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie (now NPP General Secretary), by a margin of six (6) votes.

He thus stood on the NPP ticket for the newly created Old Tafo constituency and polled 34,174. He was subsequently elected unopposed in the run up to the 2008 general elections to once again represent the constituency on the ticket of the NPP.

Speaking on Metro TV, Dr Akoto Osei states that he has done enough to merit a second term in the constituency, and hopes that his tenure would unite and benefit the people in the constituency.

He points out that the Old Tafo constituency has undergone massive transformation in the areas of roads, education and infrastructure, which he said was unprecedented in the history of the constituency.

“I have built schools using my share of GETfund and HIPC fund, provided infrastructure for Tafo Hospital, with the second largest maternity block in Ghana nearing completion, I have also provided a canteen, ambulance and there is on-going work on two semi-detached bungalows for doctors in the Tafo Hospital, while a massive infrastructural transformation is ongoing at the Pankrono Health Centre,” he noted.

The former Finance Minister said his decision to contest the seat again is not borne out of self interest, but rather the will to serve the people.

Story by :Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

NPP Parliamentary aspirants pick nomination forms

A total of 45 New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary aspirants in the Western Region have picked up nomination forms to contest the party’s parliamentary primaries slated for 30th April 2011.

The Western Regional Secretary of the party, Mr. K. K Sam, told the Ghana News Agency that the number included four women. Some of the MPs in the region who have picked nomination forms are the MP for Sekondi, Papa Owusu Ankomah, MP for Takoradi, Mr. Kobena Okyere Darko Mensah, Mr. Joe Ghartey, MP for Essikadu-Ketan, Madam Catherine Affeku, MP for Evalue Gwira, Mr. Samuel Johnfiah, MP for Ahanta West and Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, MP for Amenfi East.

Mr. Sam said if by the close of nominations on March 18 no other aspirant pick up nomination forms at Essikadu-Ketan, Evalue Gwira and Amenfi East, the candidates would be returned unopposed. Mr. Sam noted that four parliamentary aspirants had picked nomination forms at Shama Constituency.

They are the former MP, Madam Angelina Baiden-Amissah, Mr. Samuel Erickson Abakah, a lawyer, Mr. Joseph Cantamanto Gabrah, a Human Resource Manager at the Ghana Rubber Estate and Mr. Ato Panford. At Sekondi, apart from the Papa Owusu Ankomah, two other aspirants had picked up forms. They were Mr. Andrew Mercer, a lawyer and Kwaku Sam Amoah.

At Takoradi the MP, Mr Kobena Okyere Darko Mensah, would battle it out with Madam Edna Nyame, a gender advocate. At Ahanta West constituency the MP, Mr Samuel Johnfiah, has four other contenders to battle with. They are Mr. Ebenzer Kojo Kum, Mr Charles Bissue, Mr John Kwesi Nyankey and Madam Henrietta Mary Eyison, a lecturer at the University of Cape Coast.

Mr. Sam appealed to the aspirants to conduct decent campaigns devoid of acrimony, mudslinging and bickering. He said the primaries would be conducted on a level playing field to ensure that the outcome of the result is accepted by all.

Mr. Sam appealed to aspirants who might be disqualified to use the appropriate channel to address their concerns rather than resorting to the court.

He said the party had instituted Vetting and Appeals Committees to deal with issues that might crop up during and after the vetting.

Hot race for NPP parliamentary seats

Kade Lower West Akim, Ofoase/Ayirebi, Abirem and Oda constituencies will witness fierce contests in the forthcoming New Patriotic Party (NPP) primaries in the Eastern region, as a record number of prospective candidates have picked forms to contest the seats generally considered as ‘safe’ for the NPP.

At Kade, six prospective candidates including the incumbent MP have picked forms to contest the primaries, while four each have picked forms for Lower West, Ofoase/Ayirebi, Abirem and Oda constituencies.

Those who want to contest for the Kade ticket are the incumbent, Ofosu-Asamoah, C.O. Mintah, Ofori Ampofo, Ohene Tenyaase, Obeng Yeboah and Oduro Frimpong, while Lower West Akim has the incumbent, Gifty Klenam, the former DCE, Kwabena Sintim-Aboagye, Stephen Duah and Kofi Appiah Koranteng all ready to vie for the NPP ticket.

In New Abirem, which has been one of the controversial constituencies in the region, the incumbent MP, Esther Obeng-Dapaah, still has ambitions of retaining her position, with Grace Omaboe aka Maame Dokono, Osei Frimpong and one Afrifa all coming into the race to vie for the ticket.

In Oda, the incumbent, Yaw Owusu-Boakye, William Quaitoo, Augustus Attafuah and Dr Kwarko Puni, have picked forms to contest the primary.

The Ofoase/Ayirebi incumbent MP, Oppong-Kusi, Victor Owusu-Ahenkora, Emmanuel Akwasi Asiedu and Samuel Tuffour, have all picked forms.
Three former NPP MPs are staging a come-back as they picked forms to contest the current MPs.

They are Magnus Opare-Asamoah who would be contesting O.B. Amoah for the Aburi/Nsawam slot; Godfred Otchere who would be contesting Samuel Ayipeh for the Ayensuano slot and J.B. Danquah Adu, who would be contesting Prof Samuel Amoako for the Abuakwa North slot.

Four people will be going unopposed. They are Hon Atta Akyea for Abuakwa South, Kwasi Amoako-Atta for Atiwa, Dr Kofi Asare for Akwatia and Jeffery Amaglo Konadu for Afram Plains North.

One constituency that will witness another fierce contest is Suhum where the incumbent, Frederick Opare-Ansah, will slug it out with his old ‘foe’ Bryan Acheampong. Their last primary in 2008 stole the show with the famous ’51-51′ verdict.

Three persons each including the incumbents will be contesting for the New Juaben South, Mpraeso, Akropong, Abetifi and Upper Manya.
Fanteakwa, Suhum, Abuakwa North, Aburi/Nsawam, Yilo Krobo, Lower Manya, New Juaben North, Asuagyaman, Okere, Ayensuano, Afram Plains South constituencies and Akim Swedru will have two people each contesting.

It is only Nkawkaw constituency that no one was allowed to pick a form because the primary has been put on hold.

The incumbent MP there is Seth Adjei Baah popularly called Shaaba, who is an independent candidate but has a soft heart for the Minority NPP.

The vice chairman of the party in the region, Alhaji Umar Bodinga, who released the information to the press, said as per the directive by the national executive council, any member who was in good standing and had ambition to contest the primary should not be prevented from doing so.

He said the regional party executives would be fair to all contestants. He asked the prospective candidates to conduct a clean campaign.

Even though the sale of nomination forms closed on Sunday, March 6, nomination itself will close on March 18.

Source: Daily Guide

Kennedy Agyepong questioned by CID

The Member of Parliament for Assin North Mr Kennedy Agyapong has been questioned by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

The MP was invited to the CID headquarters following a complaint lodged against him by Editor of the Al-Hajj newspaper, Alhaji Iddrisu Bature.

Alhaji Bature says the Assin North MP threatened to kill him following a heated radio discussion.

The two were engaged in hot exchanges on loacl FM station Asempa FM some few weeks ago, where the editor had accused the MP of dealing in narcotics trade, a charge that angered the MP that made him threaten the editor with death.

Mr Agyepong who said the police were cordial with him told journalists after his meeting with the CID officials that he was only asked to submit a written statement.

Story by: Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Discrimination against women on the increase – Parliament

Discrimination against women is soaring, though some levels of progress have been made in women empowerment, Hajia Mary Salifu Boforo, National Democratic Congress (NDC) member for Savelugu and Deputy Majority Chief Whip said on Tuesday.

She said women were often confronted with sexual harassment in the quest to secure and maintain their employment status.

Hajia Boforo expressed these in a statement she presented to Parliament to mark the International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8 every year. The Day is on the theme: Equal Access to Education Training and Science and Technology: Pathway to Decent work for Women.”

Hajia Boforo, who presented the statement said, Lack of quality health care and violence against women are still part of our everyday life.” She said in education, the country did not fully implement the affirmative action policy, which started several years ago, which according to her resulted in the high illiteracy among women as compared to men. She indicated that making education accessible to women was a means to securing the future of the nation.

Hajia Boforo urged all stakeholders to work towards the realisation of the vision 2020 declared by the African Union.

Commenting on the statement, Mrs Elizabeth Amoah-Tettey Deputy Minister for Education, said women formed the highest percentage of illiterates in the world, adding that empowering them was the best for the country. She said women did not sit idle but contributed financially in running the home.

“It is sad that when women grow, they are rather given bad names such as witches,” and added that old age in the past was a sign of blessing but turned against women. Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, NPP member for Bantama, said science authors must demystified science in their writings by making science so practical and employment-oriented to attract more women into the science related courses.

She said women must be given the right place in organisations without which the country could not achieve the Millennium Development Goals. “Women are great economists because they manage homes well,” she said and added that some were single parents but fended for children singlehandedly. Citing the example from other countries, Ms Dapaah said out of 400,000 workers in the textile industries in Lesotho, majority of them were women because they were highly qualified.

She called on the Government to continue to pursue its promise of 30 per cent ministerial position for women because it was not too late. Ms Dapaah said it was unfortunate that the Gambaga witch camp is headed by a man. Mr David Tetteh Assumeng, NDC member for Shai Osudoku, congratulated women for occupying critical positions in Ghana using the Speaker, Mrs Joyce Bamford-Addo as an example.

He stated that there were many women in the farm working daily contributing to the economic development of the country and called for a financial assistance to encourage them to produce more. Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, NPP member for Ayawaso West-Wuogon, hailed all women in secondary and tertiary institutions stating that their training in such institutions would enhance their future.

She noted that the affirmative action adopted by tertiary institutions in admitting women, increased the number of women in many of the tertiary institutions. She, however, said government must ensure that more residential facilities were provided. She called on organizations, which did not employ women because of their reproductive roles, especially on issues of maternity leave, to reconsider their stands.

Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, NPP member for Weija, called on African governments to work hard at women empowerment by ratifying all gender charters to make them enforceable. Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka said the role of women was very important in administration, politics and all sphere of life, but only 20 per cent of the top post across the world was given to women unlike Thailand that had a lot of women in top positions.

He argued that even the advanced countries were not able to succeed in giving deserved positions to women. Alhaji Muntaka stated that the Ghanaian education system did not favour women as it failed to give those, who did not succeed in their first attempts of examination, a second chance.

He said situations that a man impregnated a girl in school, the man always had the chance to continue but the girl in most cases had limited or no chance to continue her education. He said in most cases women were their own enemy by meting out bad treatment to each other and cited the example of nurses, who treated their fellow pregnant women with contempt.

Source: GNA

NPP did not boycott Independence day event – Dan Botwe

The Member of Parliament for Okere Dan Kweku Botwe, says the absence of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) officials at the 54th Independence anniversary celebration on 6th March 2011 in Accra on Sunday cannot be said to be a deliberate boycott of the event.

Government is accusing the opposition NPP of deliberately boycotting the 54th Independent celebrations, despite an official invitation.

According to the Deputy Minister of Information Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, checks at the State Protocol Department, the outfit with the statutory mandate to handle invitations for such an occasion indicated that the invitations were signed for by one Kojo Opare Hammond on the 28th of February, 2011- one clear week before the event.

The NPP General Secretary Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie had earlier stated that the party received the invitation very late on Friday 4th March, at a time he had left the office- a situation he described as “no invitation for which reason they could not attend.

However speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana show on Tuesday, the Member of Parliament for Okere, and former General Secretary of the NPP, Dan Botwe states that though the absence of the leading opposition party (NPP) from the event is very unfortunate, their non attendance can be attributed to an administrative lapse at the party Headquarters which happens occasionally.

“I have worked in the party national office before and you realize that sometimes one receives a letter on your behalf and keeps it, he remembers to hand it over to you only when an issue concerning the letter comes up.’’ He said.

He notes that the NPP will never deliberately boycott such a national event as it will not serve their interest in any way.

Hon. Dan Botwe, added that he expects the Steering Committee of the NPP to quickly deliberate over the issue and finally come out with an appropriate response.

Story by: Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

CID Invites Kennedy Agyapong

The Chief Executive Officer of Kencity Media, and Member of Parliament for Assin North Kennedy Agyapong, has been invited by the Criminal Investigations Department, CID, following a report by Alhaji Bature Iddrisu, an NDC apologist, about a threat to death on him.

Mr. Agyapong is to report to the Commander of the Homicide Unit of CID this morning, according to the letter of invitation. The invitation letter from the CID, signed by a certain I.J.T.O Terkperty for the Director of CID, headed ‘Re:- Case of Threat of Death’, reads, “The CID headquarters is investigating a threat of death reported by Alhaji Bature Iddrisu who alleged that on 18th February 2011, you threatened to kill him when both of you were called on phone to contribute to a programme on Asempa FM.

“On the basis of the allegation, you are invited to report to the Homicide Unit Commander at the CID headquarters on 9th March 2011 to assist investigations.” Hon. Ken Agyapong, also the MP for the Assin North in the Central Region, is a vocal politician when it comes to defending his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP). He clashed with Alhaji Bature, a National Democratic Congress (NDC) sympathizer known for his no-bars defence of the party, during their encounter on Asempa FM recently.

It was a fiery encounter, during which the couple exchanged tirades. Alhaji Bature allegedly attributed the source of his opponent’s wealth to his dealing in drugs, an allegation which charged the atmosphere in the station’s studio.

The MP said he was going to refer the matter to his lawyers for legal redress. Alhaji Bature reportedly marched to the CID headquarters to lodge a complaint about a threat of death by the Assin North MP at the end of the scathing encounter.

Mr. Agypong said Bature had been making incessant, unprovoked and unsubstantiated allegations against his person and family. He said he would rather use the same media Bature, until recently a co-editor of the Bilingual Free Press newspaper, used in tarnishing his reputation in returning his salvos.

Mr. Agyapong said he had been a victim of daily insults and allegations from Alhaji Bature, who insists on calling him a drug dealer without providing a shred of evidence. He claimed he only had to respond when Bature made uncharitable comments about his mother.

Source: Daily Guide