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Decentralize Ghana Policy Fair – Mensah Woyome

The Member of Parliament for South Tongu, Komla Mensah Woyome, has called for the Ghana Policy Fair to be decentralized and replicated in the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) across the country.

The second Ghana Policy Fair to showcase policies, projects and activities of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) opened in Accra on Tuesday.

The fair on the theme: Empowering the People as We Build a Better Ghana,” was to afford the citizenry the chance to interact, made inputs or critique about government policies to expedite Ghana’s development.

The five-day fair will create the platform for dialogue between policy makers, implementers and the citizenry.

Speaking on e.tv’s Breakfast TV show on Wednesday 27th April 2011, the Member of Parliament for South Tongu, Komla Mensah Woyome, commended the government for the laudable programme that will bring governance to the door step of the ordinary Ghanaian.

He said the government should explore the possibility of explaining the policies and functions of the various MMDAs to Ghanaians in the local dialect to enable the uneducated people well appreciate the essence of the Policy Fair.

Hon. Mensah Woyome called for the Policy Fair to be sustained as it serves as a feedback mechanism for the various institutions as questions asked by attendees will be effectively answered, which is a vital tool for the nation building exercise.

“ This is when the Monitoring and Evaluation department of the various Ministries, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) will get to know whether the policies which are being implemented really impact positively on the people’’ he said.

Story by :Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Begin reconciliation talks now – Tain MP

The Member of Parliament for Tain, Ahmed Ibrahim, has urged the National Executives Council of the ruling NDC party to immediately begin to structure and implement a detailed program that will ensure the unity of the party post the impending July 2011 congress.

The NDC goes to congress to elect its presidential candidate, an event which political analyst envisage will be a fierce battle between the incumbent President John Evans Attah Mills and the former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings.

The party heads for a historic congress where in the first time of the political history of Ghana, a sitting President will be challenged at his/her party congress and also the first time a woman is contesting for a presidential candidate slot of a party.

The MP’s concern stems from the belief by political observers that the cracks (Pro Mills/Nana Konadu factions) in the party could be deepened after the historic congress if the grievances of the losing candidate and his supporters are not handled well.

Speaking on Adom FM’s morning show on Tuesday 26th April 2011, the Member of Parliament for Tain Ahmed Ibrahim stated that it is important that the leadership of the NDC begin a reconciliation process as the winner of the impending congress is already known.

Though the MP failed to state who in his view the winner was, he noted that the unity of the NDC party remained cardinal for the success of the 2012 general elections which would be keenly contested.

Hon. Ahmed Ibrahim, stated that the rift between the Mills and Konadu groupings in the party is greatly affecting the growth of the party and to a large extent the government as quality air-time is used to discuss the internal party wrangling.

“We spend quality air-time discussing this Mills /Rawlings/Nana Konadu issue when we should be talking about the good works of the President as he delivers the better Ghana Agena, if we don’t project the NDC, who will do that for us’’ he asked?

Story by : Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Minister John Tia takes on the Rawlingses

The Minister of information, Mr. John Tia Akologo, has advised Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings to abandon her wish to challenge President John Mills at the July 8-10, 2011 congress to elect the 2012 flagbearer of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Mr. Tia who is also the NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Talensi, gave this advice when he spoke to the ‘Africawatch magazine in an interview which covered many subjects.

On Mrs. Rawlings’ ambition, the Minister said “Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings is the mother of the NDC; her husband is the Founder of the Party – I admire and respect them but I think that for the sake of the survival of the NDC and for the sake of the future of this country, she should put an end to her presidential intentions at this crucial time. It will be in her political interest not to challenge Mills for the 2012 nomination.

On the criticisms of the Party’s founder, ex President Jerry Rawlings towards the government of President Mills, Mr. Tia said although Rawlings says his criticisms are for the interest of the Party, he felt words from the founder are “very harsh”. Mr. Tia, who is in his fifth term as an MP, was also asked to comment on the Jerry Rawlings criticism that the Mills government was slow delivering on electoral promises. Mr. Tia disagreed, “we are not slow and our Better Ghana agenda is very much on course.

The President does not want to rush and fall into a ditch…We inherited a messy economic situation and huge debt left behind by the previous NPP administration. But today, we have stabilized the economy and now inflation is at an all-time low.

SOURCE: Daily Dispatch

Haruna Iddrisu fetes with deprived children

Communications Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, has tagged the annual Joy FM Easter Soup Kitchen as the most touching social intervention event by any media station in the country.

Thousands of revelers were Easter Sunday fed, screened by medics and provided medication, clothed and treated to good music at the 2011 edition of the Easter Soup Kitchen.
Easter soup kitchen 2011e

Commending Joy FM and its 2011 partner, Unibank, as well as the many collaborators who sponsored the 2011 edition at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra, Haruna Iddrisu said the sight of the many deprived thousands who participate in the annual feast remains a scar on his conscience.

And while admitting that the government, society and families may not have done enough to provide them better lives, he also urged them to try and acquire skills that will see them earn more economically and take themselves out of the deprivation they find themselves.
Abodam 2011 Easter soup

“You may be touching a lot more lives with this initiative and I trust that a lot more of the people benefiting from your support programme will accept to engage in other skills which will gradually see them migrate from this deprivation of an economic activity into something more respectable or acceptable in society,” he said.

“I want to make a confession that what I see remains a scar in my conscience and only reflects the failure of government, the failure of our family structure and institutions and the failure of other institutions that must be caring for very deprived people.”

Haruna Iddrisu called for a close analysis of the push-and-pull factors influencing rural/urban migration, a factor he said highly induces many youths from northern Ghana to go south in search of greener pastures. He was convinced that with the provisions of intervention programmes such as the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), the tide will be stemmed.

He urged them to stay away from violence and other forms of lawlessness.

Source: Joy News

NPP suspends primaries in 10 constituencies

The New Patriotic Party says it is postponing parliamentary primaries in 10 constituencies.

Come next Saturday, April 30, the party will hold primaries across the country to elect parliamentary candidates for Election 2012, except in the 10 constituencies.

The affected constituencies are Zebila, Talensi, Abuakwa North, Sisala East, Sisala West, Sege, Nkawkaw, Bosome Freho, Obom-Domeabra and Bekwai.

Party officials say the decision to delay the primaries in the 10 constituencies is strategic and is in the best interest of the party.

Deputy Communications Director of the party, Perry Okudzeto said members at the constituency level are satisfied with this decision .

He explained that a level playing field would have been created for all interested candidates by the time the primaries are held in those constituencies.

About 516 persons are set to context the 220 constituencies on April 30.

Tamale Central MP Looses Wife

The Member of Parliament of Tamale Central, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini has lost his wife.
The wife died on the morning of Wednesday 21st April, 2010 at the Police Hospital in Accra during child birth.

Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, who is also the Deputy Minister of Energy was said to have broken down completely when he heard the news.
The family says she might have died out of negligence on the part of the hospital.
The family is therefore demanding immediate postmortem before Mrs Fuseini is buried, even though it is against its Islamic belief.

Expressing the family’s disappointment to Joy News, a member of the family Alhaji Sumani says nobody in the family “is satisfied” with the conduct of the hospital.
He explained that if the hospital authorities had allowed a “competent gynaenacologist” to handle her, instead of a midwife, the woman would have survived through expert’s inducement – probably would have recommended a caesarean birth when she was in difficult labour.

Meanwhile, sympathizers have gathered at the family’s house near the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre to console the bereaved family.

Mrs Fuseini is survived by one child.

Source: Myjoyonline

2011 Paragliding Festival Starts

Ms Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Tourism and Member of Parliament for North Dayi, is expected to perform the official opening ceremony of this year’s paragliding festival, at Kwahu Atibie, in the Eastern Region tomorrow Friday 22th April 2011.

About 32 pilots from seven countries including, Germany, USA, Switzerland and South Africa are expected to take part in event.

A statement issued by Mr Boakye-Boateng Prince, Director of Public Relations, said the event in its 6th edition, has included a durbar of chiefs from the Kwahu Traditional area, which would be held
on Saturday, April 23rd.

“The event which promises to be extra exciting has a host of participants from as far as the Northern Region expected to be present,” it said.

The statement said the Ministry and its agencies, especially the Ghana Tourist Board, entreat Ghanaians to cultivate the habit of taking a vacation by partaking in the celebrations.
It appealed to all visitors to the event to exercise the highest level of morality, decency, and moderation in all activities during the period.

The statement appealed to all road users to drive with care, avoid over speeding and unnecessary overtaking, avoid drink-driving, and adhere to road traffic regulations.

It encouraged all who would not be at Kwahu to find a tourist attraction elsewhere to relax and enjoy the rich natural and cultural heritage sites of the country.

Story by: Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Blacklist defaulting contractors – Dan Botwe

Dan Kweku Botwe, Member of Parliament for Okere is calling for the blacklisting of contractors who fail to complete government contracts even when they are given the needed resources.

He says some contractors are in the habit of abandoning government contracts awarded them half way through the execution of projects, even though they have been duly paid to complete those projects at a specific deadlines.

The MP, comes in the wake of the Ministry of Education abrogating the contracts of six construction firms working on the upgrading of some senior high schools in various parts of the country.

This is due to delays in the execution of the contracts which were awarded in 2006 and shoddy works done by the firms.

Several government contracts over the years have not been executed with the urgency that they deserve despite the fact that government has source loans to ensure their completion.

Speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana show on Thursday, the Member of Parliament for Okere Dan Kweku Botwe, bemoans the attitude where some contractors do shoddy works and in some cases completely abandon the projects simply because those projects are government sponsored.

“There is this sub-culture among some Ghanaians concerning government works, no serious attention is given to government projects, in some cases they are left to deteriorate, a behavior which must be strongly condemned” he said.

Hon. Dan Botwe states that blacklisting of culpable contractors and supervisors will serve greatly as a deterrent for other contractors who are of the same ilk.

“Have you ever heard that a contractor has been banned or blacklisted for non-performance when carrying out a government project?, that is why they keep on doing what they do, government cannot afforded to look for huge monies to fund projects, only for projects to be poorly done’’ he noted.

Story by : Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh

Bawku MP Supreme Court case adjourned

An application seeking to invoke the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to bar the continuous stay in office of the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Adamu Daramani Sakande, was yesterday adjourned.

The MP has been sued by Sumaila Bielbiel, a cattle breeder.No reasons were assigned for the adjournment but it is believed one of the justices sitting on the matter was indisposed. When the case was mentioned, only Yoni Kulendi and Dr. Raymond Atuguba, counsel for the MP and Mr. Bielbiel respectively, were called to the judges’ chambers, after which the case was adjourned to May 19, 2011. Mr. Bielbiel and the MP as well as some of his supporters were in court.

The court, by a six to three majority decision at the last hearing, ruled that the MP for Bawku Central should file his response and statement of case in an application filed by his accuser.

The MP’s accuser believes the continuous stay of the MP in parliament, while he is being tried at the Fast Track High Court, is a breach of the constitution because the law bars foreigners from contesting elections in Ghana, among other reasons.

The presiding judge, Justice S.A. Brobbey, who read the verdict of the justices, did not immediately give reasons but said their decision would be embodied in the final judgment of the application filed by Mr. Bielbiel.

Other members of the panel were Justices Julius Ansah, R. O. Owusu, Jones Dotse Anin Yeboah, Paul Baffoe-Bonnie, B.T. Aryeetey, A. Gbadegbe and Akoto-Bamfo.

Mr. Bielbiel, after losing two applications at the Court of Appeal in a case in which the MP filed, challenging his capacity to sue, turned to the Supreme Court to invoke its original jurisdiction on grounds that the Appeal Court’s decision had left him stranded, leaving him with no choice than to go the Supreme Court.

Yoni Kulendi, counsel for the MP, raised a preliminary objection, saying that the applicant could not cease the original decision of the Court of Appeal simply because he was stranded, but the Supreme Court justices believed otherwise and ordered the MP to file his response and statement of case in the matter.

The MP had earlier won a case in which he challenged the capacity of his accuser to sue him before a High Court over an election issue.

He floored Bielbiel when a Court of Appeals ruled in his favour in an application he filed challenging the decision of the High Court judge who refused to allow him to open his defence.

The three justices of the Appeals Court, in a ruling which lasted less than 10 minutes, said they were in agreement with the judgment delivered by their colleagues last week, describing the legal action taken by Bielbiel as wrong in the face of the law.

The MP had been accused of nationality fraud at the time he contested the 2008 parliamentary elections and had pleaded not guilty to nine counts of illegal voting and having multiple nationals.

According to him, he is innocent of the charges as he denounced his British citizenship at the time he filed his nominations as a parliamentary candidate.

In the trial, both Mr. Bielbiel and the investigator in the case who claim the MP has multiple nationalities are yet to see any of the alleged passports, with Mr. Bielbiel claiming that he only saw one passport of the MP in the national dailies.

Last year, Mr. Sakande was ordered to vacate his seat by an Accra High Court in a default judgment, but the Court of Appeal ordered that he should be allowed to continue representing his constituency until the final outcome of his appeal.

NPP to hold elections in 154 constituencies

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) is to hold its parliamentary primaries in 154 out of the 230 constituencies across the country on the 30th of April 2011.

The election in those constituencies will see the selection of new NPP parliamentary candidates to contest in the upcoming December 2012 general elections.

Already seventy three (73) incumbent Members of Parliament will be contesting the elections unopposed.

Elections in three (3) remaining constituencies including Bekwai, Bosome Freho and Nkawkaw have been postponed indefinitely.

The three MPs, who were very confident of winning their seats during the 2008 parliamentary primaries had to contest as independent candidates when they felt some ongoing t in the party then, put them in a disadvantage position.

The last primaries with its attendant wrangling had a negative effect on the electoral fortunes of the NPP in the 2008 general elections as disgruntled NPP supporters did not actively campaign for the party.

In an interview, the Director of Communications of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akomea stated that the NPP has put in place an efficient mechanism that will ensure successful primaries come the 30th of April 2011.

He said the party is guided by the experience of the last primaries and has laid down party mechanisms to deal with any grievances from the party supporters adding that NPP will not do anything that will disunite it particularly as it readies itself for the 2012 elections.

Story by: Kwadwo Anim/ghanamps.gov.gh