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‘I never said i’m not wiseman’ – Bagbin

The Member of Parliament for Nadowli South, Alban Kingsford Sumane Bagbin has cleared the air on a statement he made on the floor of Ghana’s legislative House sometime back that seems to suggest that he is not a “wise man”.

According to the former health minister under the late President Mills administration, he uttered those words in reaction to a derisive reference to him as “a wise man” by a colleague member of the House on the floor of parliament.

He said, per parliamentary practice and the standing orders of parliament, MPs are called by either their names or their constituencies, “so when my colleague Dr. Mark Assibey referred to me as my colleague ‘wise man’ on the floor, I drew the speaker’s attention to it that the member was out of order, that is not to say that in general am not a wise man.”

“I made that statement to correct my colleague that we don’t use such designations on the floor of Parliament…certainly, I wouldn’t have said I’m not a wise man if my colleague had referred to me as such outside parliament…if I’m not a wise man, then what am I” he amusingly quizzed.

Reacting to a front page publication of The Al-Hajj on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 with the headline “I’m not wiseman…Bagbin breaks silence” the Nadwoli South MP, who has also served as a Majority leader under the administration of the late President Mills, explained that his statement on the floor was not to express his indignation at the “wise man” tag bestowed on him together with two others by President John Mahama.

Hon. Bagbin, Hon. E.T. Mensah, former Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing and Hon. Cletus Apul Avoka, also a former Majority Leader, were appointed by President John Dramani Mahama to superintend over the implementation of his government’s priority projects including the building of 200 Senior High schools and healthcare centers.

Considering the rich experience of the three legislators in politics and governance, they were nicknamed “three wise men” apparently in reference to the enormity of the task the president had given them.

The three wise men tag since it was bestowed on them had relatively become their second name to the extent anytime their names are mentioned, their accolade come to mind, a name they have not declined to respond to.

Hon. Bagbin’s public resistance to the name was when the MP for New Juabeng South, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah during a debate on a loan agreement on the floor of the House, referred to him as “my colleague wise man,” a situation the Nadowli South MP drew the Speaker of Parliament’s attention to as a title that falls outside the standing orders of the House.

Clarifying his position on the matter further, Hon. Alban Bagbin stated that “maybe the journalist did not get the full import of what I was trying to put across that day, as I said; parliamentary practice is guided by the standing orders, if you have ever been to the house, anytime a member makes a statement that is not in conformity with the orders, other members of the house draw the speaker’s attention to it in order for the member to be ruled out, and in my case that was what I did… that does not mean am not a wise man.”

The Al- Hajj

Gov’t moves to reshape Tarkwa- Prestea roads – MP

The Member of Parliament for Prestea-Huni-Valley, Hon. Francis Adu-Blay has indicated government’s intention to complete various ongoing high-way projects as part of efforts to improve transportation in the area.

Speaking in an interview with GhanaMPs.gov.gh, Hon. Adu-Blay however noted that few, such as the Tarkwa –Bogoso high-way had already being awarded on contract with works on the said project expected to be completed soon.

According to the soft spoken MP plans are far advanced to get other “rough road networks” including the Tarkwa Junction,-Abooso-Damang road face lifted to ease transportation difficulties faced by commuters and motorists who ply the road.

He continued that residents of Prestea, Himan and Ankobra will also not be left out off the hook as efforts are being made to ensure that roads leading to these communities will soon be reconstructed to boost transportation.

In other related developments, the MP has donated two brand new ambulances to the Bogoso Health Directorate and Aboso Clinic to assist emergency health situation in the area.

He said the two vehicles which were procured through his own share of the National Health Insurance fund is expected to go a long way to eradicate instances where patients or accident victims are carried in taxis and other private vehicles when referred to other hospitals treatment.

The legislator however, stated that quality health care has been a major priority on his development ladder, adding that all was set to get health officials with the requisite equipment needed to enable them discharges their duty.

Emmanuel Frimpong Mensah/GhanaMPs.gov.gh

Nana Akufo Addo is behind Ghanaian demo abroad – Akandoh

Member of Parliament for Juaboso, Kwabena Mintah  Akandoh has accused 2012 Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akufo Addo of being behind the recent demonstration by Ghanaians abroad over worsening economic hardships.

According to him, Nana Addo as a statesman should refrain from acts that have the potential of tarnishing the image of Ghana in the eyes of the international community.

Ghanaians in the United States of America (USA) last Wednesday held placards near the Ghana Embassy in Washington DC to express anger at “the policies of the Mahama administration in Ghana that has resulted in untold hardship among the people of Ghana.”

The demonstration under the auspices of Ghanaians Against Bad Governance (GABG) saw about 150 young men and young women congregate at the Embassy to drum home their protest.

Speaking on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo show on Tuesday, Hon. Mintah Akandoh said he watched Nana Akufo Addo on TV while addressing Ghanaians abroad, urging them to pile pressure on the government as that is the only language the government understands.

He noted that the comments of Nana Addo, spurred the demonstrators on to hit the streets to express their displeasure about the current economic condition in the country.

“For someone who is fighting hard to become the President of Ghana one day, Nana Akufo Addo should have known better and not speak the way he did, we expect leaders to always preach peace and ensure order with their public utterances” he said.

Hon. Akandoh added that Nana Addo is someone who very respected and has a great of deal of appeal among Ghanaians and as such he must be mindful of his language in public discourse.


Mahama must ensure Accra stadium is reverted to Ohene Gyan stadium

Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko has challenged President John Mahama to ensure that the Accra Sports Stadium is reverted back to the Ohene Gyan Stadium.

According to him, President Mahama would do the memory of the great sports Administration, Ohene Gyan if the stadium once again bears his name.

Hon. Agyarko’s comment comes on the back of President Mahama apologizing to the illustrious daughter of Ghana, Theodocia Okoh whose name was on the National Hockey Stadium but was taken off by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly last week and renamed it after the late President Mills.

The act by the AMA generated a lot of public outcry forcing the President to reversion the name change and apologized unconditionally to Madam Okoh.

Speaking on Peace FM’s Kokrokoo show on Monday, Hon. Agyarko condemed the AMA for the perchant of renaming national monument without due consultation with stakeholders just as it did in the year 2009 when it took Ohene Gyan’s name off the stadium.

He said the great Ohene Gyan has done more for Ghana sports than any other person and deserves to have his named maintained on the stadium.

Hon. Agyarko emphasized the need for national heroes to be recognized and honoured.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Energy sector in crisis -Minority

The opposition New Patriotic Party has described the energy sector as one in crises and so riddled with corruption, ineffeciency, self-interest and misguided policies that has become a drag on the economic transformation of Ghana.

According to the party, it is obvious that under the NDC government, the energy sector of Ghana has clearly become unfit for purpose and in need of a massive outbreak of sanity.

Addressing a press briefing in Accra, the Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy, Hon. K.T Hammond stated that the Takoradi 3 Thermal plant had not produced absolutely no power whatsoever since about May, only a few weeks after the plant had been commissioned.

He said right at the outset of the construction of the plant, the Canadian contractors expressed concern over the VRA’s ability to handle efficiently the new generation of gas turbines which were to be installed.

Hon. Hammond stated that these were manufactured by Mashproekt and of a different class from the GE turbines which VRA is used to. The contractors had therefore requested that VRA entered into a technical support agreement with them to train its workers to be able to handle the equipment efficiently, however this was never done and as at now no such agreement had been signed.

” Thus with absolutely no idea on how to handle them the turbines promptly broke down when operation was handed over to VRA. As we speak, a massive blame war has broken out between the contractors and VRA and they cannot even decide on a neutral contractor to determine what went wrong. The Takoradi 3 sits idle and generates nothing, while we sleep in darkness and manufacturing is folding up. And this plant was built at a cost of US$ 245.3 million, the original contract price of US$ 186.3 million having been varied by the NDC government by a further US$ 60 million” he noted.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

Pokuah Sawyer cuts sod for educational projects

The Deputy Central Regional Minister, Mrs Queenstar Pokuah Sawyer, has cut the sod for the construction of two projects totaling GHC150,000 at the Kwanyako Senior High School and Gyasikrom primary school in the Agona East District.

The projects are being financed by the GETFUND and would be completed in nine and six months respectively.

Addressing the chiefs and people of the two communities at separate ceremonies, Mrs Sawyer who is also the Member of Parliament for Agona East said the two projects were in fulfillment of her campaign promise.

She said the dining hall at Kwanyako SHS costs GHC90,000.00, and that, the six classroom block at Gyasikrom valued at GHC60,000.00 would be completed in six months.

She said girl-child education is priority on her development agenda and appealed to parents to send their children to school.

Nana Kwame Donkoh, Chief of Mankrong-Junction, appealed to the Minister to use her office to assist in the development of the area.


Ahead of election petition verdict, Markin cautions party supporters

Ahead of the verdict by the Supreme Court on the 2012 election petition case, the Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo Markin has cautioned grassroots supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Party (NDC) not to take to violence after the declaration.

He said it is not just enough to make pledges and declarations about peace after the verdict but emphasized the need for party supporters who most of the time become over exuberant and engage in negative acts to ensure the peace that the country is currently experiencing is observed.

Counsel for the parties to the 2012 election petition case are expected to file their addresses to the Supreme Court by the end of today 30th July 2013 after which further directions will be given by the court as to when the verdict will be announced.

Ahead of the verdict, there have been several talks of the need to eschew tendencies that will disturb the peace in the country as Ghana is the only country we have as Ghanaians.

Speaking on TV3 News Stand Pogramme on Tuesday, Hon. Afenyo Markin implored party supporters of the two largest parties to draw lessons from the petitioners decision to go to court to settle their case,and avoid any action that will mar the peace of the nation.

He said there was no enmity between politicians of the two great parties and that there should not be any basis to fight themselves.

‘’Political leaders are not at war, we debate ourselves and retire, but when we are back we resume back our good relationships and forge on together in the nation building exercise.

Hon. Afenyo Markin expressed confidence that the Justices sitting on the case would give a judgment that would be acceptable to all Ghanaians.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghaana mps.gov.gh

Salaries of Ghanaian MPs….3rd Highest in the world

An independent body’s suggestion that British lawmaker’s salaries should rise from £66,396 ($105,400) to £74,000 in 2015 has prompted a media firestorm, even though perks such as a generous pension scheme would be slimmed down.

British MPs earn around 2.7 times the country’s GDP per person, on a par with many rich countries. But their basic pay is parsimonious by other states standards, and defining fairness is tricky.

Lawmakers in poorer countries in Africa and Asia enjoy the largest salaries relative to GDP. Voters have noticed.

Earlier this year, furious Kenyan demonstrators burned 221 coffins outside parliament in a row over the pay and benefits awarded to Kenyan MPs (known for their self-indulgence).

Last month MPs lowered their salaries but still managed to secure themselves a $58,000 car grant.

Italian legislators enjoy one of the lushest deals in Europe, including free transport. Indian MPs are ill-paid, but rewarded for their work with beautiful but decrepit bungalows in the swankiest parts of Delhi; these are a far cry from uninviting dormitories in which Japanese lawmakers from outside Tokyo must live.

An odd feature of Thai politics is that the governing party’s MPs are paid more than those of the opposition.

America appears notably stingy. Senators have had no pay rise since 2009, though this is perhaps less tragic when their often staggering personal wealth is considered. What about payment by results: salaries go up when GDP does?

Source: The Daily Dispatch

Kwadwo Baah eyes Kotoko top job

Member of Parliament for Asante Akyem North Constituency of the Ashanti Region, Kwadwo Baah Agyemang has expressed interest in Kumasi Asante Kotoko’s top job.

This follows the resignation of former Tema Oil Refinery boss, Dr. Kofi Kodua Sarpong who until a week ago, occupied the top post of Kotoko for the past three seasons.

Dr. K.K Sarpong resigned after coming under a barrage of criticisms from teeming fans for the clubs who accused him of failing to hold on to the Club’s most prized assets. He is also blamed for the Club’s poor showing in the continental club competition – CAF Champions League.

The Club’s Board of Directors on Monday announced the appointment of Paul Adu-Gyamfi, a legal practitioner as Acting Chairman.

But the MP for Asante Akyem disclosed on Agokansie, the sports segment on the Badwam programme Tuesday, his desire to lead Kotoko and move it to the next level.

According to him, Kumasi Asante Kotoko is a pride of the Asante Kingdom and as somebody who believes in promoting and espousing the invaluable things of the region, serving the club will be a step in the right direction.

The Media Consultant and Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Sports, also played down the difficulty in combining his parliamentary duties and the demanding responsibilities of Kotoko Chairman.

He explained that the hallmark of a good manager is to communicate clearly his vision and rally the people he is working with around, to achieve the set goals.

Having been vetted and certified by the Members’ Holding Office of Profit Committee of Parliament, Mr. Kwadwo Baah Agyemang said he is ever ready to fill the huge shoes left by Dr. K.K Sarpong.

“I will gladly serve Kotoko if the Life Patron, Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II gives me the opportunity to do that and if interested persons are also asked to apply, I will gladly send my application,” he announced.

Meanwhile, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has dissolved the entire management and board members of Kotoko with immediate effect.

These members are former captain of the club Opoku Nti, Coach Didi Dramani and CK Poku. The Asantehene, who is life patron of the club, has also cancelled the appointment of Mr. Adu Gyamfi as Acting Chairman.

Asempa Sports

Publish GYEEDA Report, Annor Dompreh urges gov’t

Member of Parliament for Nsawam/Adoagyiri constituency, FRANK ANNOH-DOMPREH has described as ‘’laughable and childish’’ decision by the president to form a team to review the report on the operations of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA).

‘’President Mahama and the NDC administration are just trying to buy time so that eventually Ghanaians lose interest in this matter.’’

According to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP, the general public has shown keen interest in the GYEEDA saga and the presidency should hence make the report public for everyone. ‘’We have unabated interest in this matter and our interest will never wave, all we are seeking to ask the presidency is to make the report public to Ghanaians.’’

Mr. Annoh-Dompreh said investigations have been made already and therefore they is no need to form another team to review the committee’s report. ‘’They have done the investigations already; what is it in that report that is making the NDC administration become so consistent in appealing to Ghanaians to be patient…?’’

‘’It is preposterous for them to form another team to review the committee’s report,’’ he reiterated.
He asked the government to be confident and show they are committed to fighting corruption. ‘’It is an opportunity for President Mahama to redeem his image…; we need to know the content of the report first.’’

‘’I think it is wrong for them to form another committee and say that they are going to study the report without making it public; this committee will not make us lose interest I this matter,’’ he concluded.

President Mahama has handed over the report on the operations of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) to a team led by his senior advisor, P. V. Obeng, for review.

They are expected to advise the President in line with the Committee’s recommendations and government’s own stated plans to review the Program.