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It’s sad Ghanaians now know the true character of Mills only after his death- Adenta MP

The Member of Parliament for Adenta, Hon. Kojo Adu Asare has said it is regrettable but warming that Ghanaian had gotten to know of the true character of ex-President John Evan Atta Mills only after his death.

He said the harsh nature of Ghanaian politics ensured that all manner of persons attacked President Mills’s character in manner that was highly reprehensible.

Contributing to Asempa FM’s “Ekosii Sen” show, Hon. Adu Asare single out opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) stalwart Kwame Pianim for publicly vouching for integrity of Professor Mills to the chagrin of most NPP members.

Mr. Pianim at a public event nearly 2 years ago extolled the virtues of Professor Mills for his incorruptible nature saying he could bip his fingers in fire to vouch for the integrity of Professor Mills when it comes to ending corrupt practices, a comment which drew strong condemnation from his own party members.

He said Kwame Pianim showed bravery for that public comment about his opponent, an act which was and indeed real in modern Ghanaian politics.

Touching on the issues of the public disclosure of what killed ex President Mills, the MP objected to that call by a section of the public saying in the Ghanaian custom, the family reserve that right to keep it secret.

“what will Ghanaians gain from knowing what killed ex President Mills, the man is gone and we must allow him rest in peace, disclosing what killed him will spark needless argument” he said .

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps

MPs pay tribute to Ex President Mills

Lots of tributes continue to pour in for the late Ex President Mills who died on Tuesday at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra on July 24, 2012.

Some MPs who had the opportunity of working with him have also paid their glowing tribute to the Ex Leader.

The NPP MP for Aburi-Nsawam O.B. Amoah who had the unique opportunity of being a student of Prof. Mills at the Law school and later worked with him at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) where he (Mills) served as a commissioner had fond memories of the man who was so loved by many Ghanaians.

He described the late Ex President as a person dedicated to his work and discharged his responsibilities efficiently.

He said though Ex President Mills headed the IRS he never Lord it over his subordinates but had a very good relationship with all his colleague workers.

“This is a man who never held anything against any person, he had a forgiving heart and that is a quality of a good man,” he said.

Hon. O.B. Amoah noted that as a teacher Ex President Mills ensured that his students left his class understanding whatever he had taught them while also cracking jokes to make his class very lively.

Hon. PC Appiah Ofori MP for Asikuma Odoben Brakwa on his part extolled the virtues of Ex President Mills who he described as a great son of Ghana who served his country with his all.

He said Ex President Mills was one of the very few politicians who conducted his politics in a civil manner and never said anything negative against the personality of his opponents.

A virtue he urged other politicians to learn from.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanadistricts.com

NDC MPs to incur huge cost following death of Ex Prez Mills

Information gathered by GhanaMps.gov.gh has it that most MPs and aspiring ones on the ticket of the NDC who have already printed their campaign materials prior to the general elections with images of themselves and the late Ex. President Mills may incur huge loss.

As a tradition for every campaign season, MPs print T-shirts, caps, and stickers with pictures of themselves and their presidential candidates and the NDC MPs are not exempted from this.

GhanaMps.gov.gh has it that a sizeable number of NDC MPs have already printed such materials with pictures of themselves as parliamentary candidates and that of former President Mills as the presidential candidate for the NDC in the upcoming general elections.

Others have also mounted huge bill boards which cost hundreds of Ghana cedis with their pictures and the late President.

But following the death of President Mills, which happened on July 24 2012, the MPs have no choice than to reprint new T-shirts and stickers and mount new billboards with pictures of themselves and possibly that of the new President John Mahama who is likely to be the Presidential Candidate for the NDC in the upcoming general elections which comes on barely 4 months from now.

This will undoubtedly be a great drain on the coffers of the MPs as it is common knowledge that they raised huge funds from well wishers, businessmen, and family members to run their electioneering campaigns.

Kwadwo Anim/GhanaMps.gov.gh

Parliament adjourn sitting as it mourns Ex Prez Mills

A day after the death of former President Mills, Ghanaians continue to mourn his demise and members of parliament are no exception in this period of grief.

In view of this, the House was unable to conduct public business on Wednesday due to the sorrowful state of the whole country.

MPs from both sides of the House were clad in black with red bands fastened around their wrist and their neck signifying their state of distress.

Barely 50 minutes after the speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon Bamford Addo assumed her chair to preside over business of the House and prior to the commencement of public business the Majority Leader Cletus Avorka moved a motion for the adjournment of sitting as he describes the House not to be in a good mood to transact business.

The motion was however seconded by the Minority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu who shared the same view.

The House was scheduled to have the Minister of Education attend Parliament to answer certain questions posed by various MPs and also to start the debate for the approval of the supplementary budget presented to the House exactly a week ago.

Kwadwo Anim/GhanaMps.gov.gh

Mills orders pay rise for MPs

President John Evans Atta Mills has written to Parliament, notifying the House that he has accepted the recommendations of the Professor Ewurama Addy Committee, which he set up in June 2010 to review the Conditions of Service of Article 71 office holders.

In his letter to Parliament, the President – according to a senior Castle source – said he was accepting the recommendations of the Professor Ewurama Addy Committee subject to some adjustments.

It came after Ghanaian MPs, who are among the most poorly paid lawmakers in Africa, objected to a portion of the Committee’s report which they argued could make legislators “worse off.”

The source will not give details of the proposed new pay level of lawmakers but said “enough work has been done to give MPs a lot to smile about.”

Speculations are, however rife that lawmakers could soon be taking nearly twice the ¢2,500 consolidated pay – made up of allowances and salaries for drivers and other household staff – they currently earn.

Investigations by The Globe established that conventionally, Ghanaian MPs have been on the same salary level as High Court Judges. But, by the recommendations of the Prof Ewurama Addy Committee, High Court Judges will earn much higher than lawmakers if the proposals of the Committee are enforced.

“The leadership of the MPs made it clear to the President that the recommendation was not acceptable to them,” the source said, adding “The MPs argued strongly that at least they should be put at par with High Court Judges on the salary scale.”

“In practical terms, what it means is that the President will be debasing MPs if the Ewurama Addy Committee recommendation is accepted,” said one senior lawmaker. The unnamed lawmaker will not disclose details of the heavily-guarded report of the Committee, except to say, “We are still negotiating with the President on the matter and in due course a final decision will be made.”

On Friday, Speaker Justice Joyce Bamford Addo ordered the House to move into Close Sitting to discuss what Majority Leader, Cletus Avoka called “welfare matters.” The Globe understands that details of the outcome of Friday’s Close Sitting may never be known. Standing Order 45 of the rules of the House Provides:

1) “Mr. Speaker may in consultation with the House and having regard to public interest order the House to move into close sitting to discuss a particular subject or for the remainder of the Sitting.

2) “When the House is in Close Sitting no stranger shall be permitted to be present in the Chamber, side lobbies or galleries.

3) “The Speaker may cause the proceedings and decisions of a Close Sitting to be recorded or issued in such manner as he thinks proper.

4) “No person other than a Member or a person acting under the authority of Mr. Speaker shall keep a note or record of proceedings or decision of a Close Sitting whether in part or in full.

5) No person other than a person acting under the authority of Mr. Speaker shall issue any report of, or purport to describe the proceedings or any decision of a close sitting.”

More so, Standing Order 45 states: “Disclosure of proceedings or decisions of a close sitting by any person in any manner shall be treated as a gross breach of privileges of the House.”

Castle officials who have seen the details of the Ewurama Addy Committee report say MPs will no longer take bank loans to buy their own cars to do official work. Per the new proposal, the State will supply official vehicles to all members of the legislature. The proposal, if finally accepted, will affect the next Parliament of Ghana, which will be sworn in on January 7, 2013.

News of pay rise for MPs is coming at a time the House is considering a controversial Constitutional Instrument seeking to increase the number of seats in the 230-member Legislation to 275.

For the past few years, lawmakers have not been on a regular salary, after public uproar over the sheer size of hefty ex-gratia for former President John Kufuor and legislators who served in the fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic President. There have been calls on President Mills to freeze pay levels set for MPs in the Mary Chinery-Hesse Committee report.

President Mills inaugurated the Prof Ewurama Addy Committee on June 8, 2010 to review the conditions of service and emoluments of Article 71 office holders, taking into account Ghana’s economic circumstances.

The Constitution says in part, “These being expenditure charged on the Consolidated Fund, shall be determined by the President on the recommendations of a committee of not more than five persons appointed by the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State.”

Leadership of Parliament will not publicly discuss the proposed new conditions of service for lawmakers because such a discussion will violate standing order 44 and 45 of the House.

Early this year, an unprecedented threat by some lawmakers to boycott President John Mills’ State of the Nation address to Parliament over poor working conditions forced a hurriedly organized meeting between the Ghanaian leader and the leadership of the House at which they reportedly discussed proposals for pay increase for MPs.

Source: The Globe

Anger boils in Parliament as Mills cuts MPs’ emoluments

President Mills last week stirred Parliament and riled Members of the legislative body by reportedly cutting their emoluments.

Insider information indicate there was anger and trepidation in the House when the cut was announced.

Parliament had a closed door sitting last Friday to consider a number of urgent matters, with the issue of the emoluments being obviously the most topical.

For their ex gratia, MPs were entitled to four months’ salary of each year served but that, according to sources, has been cut down to three months now and MPs are livid about the move.

House Speaker Joyce Bamford-Addo said there was nothing she could do about the situation.

MPs are said to planning to retaliate by cutting the emoluments of the executive.

MP for Lower Manya Krobo, Mr Michael Teye Nyaunu told Joy News he is prepared to join his colleague to oppose the decision.

He said the president had set himself on a collision course with Parliament.

“The benefits that the executive arm enjoys, Parliamentarians do not enjoy half of it…and this is just not good,” he stated.


Ashaiman MP wants AG’s Department to make submissions on homosexuality

Mr Alfred Agbesi, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashaiman, has appealed to the Attorney General’s Department to come out with a submission on homosexuality to Parliament to be passed into law.

He said this would provide a concrete stand on homosexuality, which was gradually gaining grounds.

Mr Agbesi was contributing to a discussion on the report of the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) and the Government White Paper on the report, in Takoradi.

The Ministry of Information held a two-day encounter with journalists from the Western and Central Regions to solicit media assistance in educating the public on the report, and to seek views for the government to take a second look at issues raised.

Mr Agbesi made the suggestion after journalists at the encounter had expressed concern that the CRC could not declare a stand on homosexuality.

The CRC indicated in its’ report that the issue on homosexuality was left for the Supreme Court to interpret, and explained that its’ stand to abolish it could raise criticism from certain quarters, which was likely to be submitted to the same court to deal with.

Mr Agbesi said “if the Holy Bible condemns homosexuality then Ghana must equally abhor the practice and must not be left to escalate.”

Touching on criminality, Mr Gabriel Pwamang, a legal practitioner, said there was the need for the country to differentiate between political crime and social crime, to prevent political parties from supporting their members, who committed crimes that were not linked to politics.

Dr Raymond Atuguba, Executive Secretary of the CRC, said that the Commission executed its work within the mandated framework and cautioned that people must avoid submissions based on emotions.


Saboba MP donates 20 canoes to fisherfolk

The Member of Parliament for Saboba constituency, Joseph Bukari Nikpe has supplied a total number of 20 canoes to communities sited around river banks within the district.

This is to facilitate their movement in the area, and also ease the stress and difficulty in crossing nearby rivers.

This was made known in an interaction with Ghanadistricts.com by the District Chief Executive for the area, Ali Adolf G. John.

He was discussing the efforts made by the NDC government to cushion the social difficulty of residents of the area within the period of two and half years of administration.

He further unveiled that a considerable number of fishing nets have also been provided to fishermen in the district.

He said this was also undertaken by the MP from his share of the Common Fund to improve the fishing industry in the area.

According to him, this effort by the MP with support from the Assembly is to consolidate the “Better Ghana” agenda in the district.


PPP is just engaging in media politics – Kojo Adu Asare

The Member of Parliament for Adenta, Kojo Adu Asare has launched a scathing attack on the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) describing it as a party that carries no ‘political weight’ which no serious party like the National Democratic Congress (NDC) should waste its time and energy on.

According to him the PPP is not well grounded in Ghanaian politics and only engages in media politics, just interested in putting out issues in the various media platforms.

He made the comments in reaction to a comment made by a PPP activist Mr Samuel Longdon who was was on the same panel with the MP on Peace Fm’s Kokrokoo show on Monday 23rd July to the effect that the ruling NDC party has woefully failed to improve the lives of Ghanaians after preaching a Better Ghana message which won them power in the 2008 elections.

Hon. Adu- Asare noted that the PPP is just adding up to the number of political parties in Ghana and can not in any way make a meaningful impact in the upcoming December elections, saying ”that is why the NDC does not bother itself to respond to attacks and condemnation from the PPP’s Presidential Candidate Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom and other party activists”.

“We were in Ghana in 2008 when Dr PaPa Kwesi Nduom then the Flagbearer of the Convention Peoples Party(CPP) told Ghanaians that he had registered one(1) million people all with party cards, but at the end what was the results, abysmal performance by him, should we take such people serious’’ he said?.

Hon. Adu Asare added that the NDC government would not be destructed by any diversionary statements from opposition parties but remain focus on continuing Its good deeds of improving the lives of Ghanaians, which he claimed the government had done remarkedly.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Gov’t committed to reducing graduate unemployment – E.T Mensah

Government has reiterated its commitment to reducing further the huge numbers of graduate unemployment in the country.

The Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare has accordingly established a Public –Private Partnership initiative known as the Graduate Business Support Scheme which will build capacity and provide support to 10,000 unemployed graduates from tertiary institutions for self employment.

According to the Deputy Minister of Employment, Antwi Boasiako Sekyere made this known on the floor of Parliament on Monday while answering a question on behalf of the substantive Minister E.T Mensah which was asked by the MP for Agona East, John Agyabeng about the intended establishment of the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Employment and Innovation Initiative (CEEII) to address the growing graduate unemployment.

He stated that currently the scheme is in its implementation stage and has over 2,500 unemployed graduates registered to benefit all the 10 Regions.

Hon. E.T Mensah said over 200 of the 500 beneficiaries trained have submitted business plans of which 76 have been updated for possible funding by financial institutions.

He noted that the programme has a financial scheme backed by 7 insurance companies to provide sustainable funding for the programme, adding that the ultimate objective is that through this scheme , graduates coming out of the universities will set up one hundred trans-generational businesses each year that can compare with the best in the world.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh