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Minority will cooperate with government – Deputy Minority Leader

Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) have indicated that they would reconsider their decision to boycott government related business in parliament after the Supreme Court declared President John Mahama as validly elected.

The Minority MPs boycotted business in Parliament saying they did not recognize President John Dramani Mahama as the legitimate President at that time.

But following the Supreme Court’s declaration on Thursday, the Deputy Minority Leader Dominic Nitiwul in an interview with Citi News said the “National Council has given us the go ahead to more or less cooperate with government in whatever they want to do.”

He revealed that at the meeting on Friday “the National Council has recommended that the party moves forward as a united opposition and play the role that we are supposed to play as an opposition party.”

He further stated that they would be a meeting next week to finalize the party’s decision adding that the MPs would not disobey the council’s decision.

According to him, the decision by the MPs to boycott certain business of Parliament was not wrong.

“If the decision was 9-0 I would have apologized to the people of Ghana and said that we got it all wrong. But what we have done has deepened our democracy” he added.

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader in parliament Hon. Alfred Agbesi has welcomed the decision by the Minority MPs.

“We will resume in October and so it means what you are saying now will be a reality and add much weight to the house” he added.


Minority owes Mahama an apology – Majority

Deputy Majority Leader of Ghana’s Parliament, Alfred Agbesi, says the minority in the Chamber must render an apology to President John Mahama for disrespecting his administration for the past eight months during the election petition case.

The Minority boycotted President Mahama’s inauguration and State of the nation address in protest to what it described as a rigged 2012 elections.

They also boycotted the vetting of the president’s nominees for various ministerial portfolios at the Appointments Committee hearing.

They resolved not to participate in, or recognise any national event of which the president was involved until the Supreme Court had come out with its verdict.

The only exception was the reading of the 2013 budget.

Now that Ghana’s Supreme Court has upheld Mr. Mahama’s presidency as “valid”, Alfred Agbesi told XYZ News in an interview that the Minority must say “sorry” to the president for disregarding his authority for the past eight months.

“I believe that the honest thing is to say Mr. President we are sorry”.

According to him, the Minority must apologise because they were not justified in not recognising the president’s authority during the election petition hearing.

NPP executives to meet over court case – Minority Leader

Top executives of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will hold an emergency meeting on the outcome of the court case.

The meeting will among others, seek to chart a new course for the party following the end of the 8-month court dispute.

Speaking to Citi News, the minority leader in parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said “since petitioners sought permission from the party before taking the issue to court, they were responsible for reporting proceedings that went on in court to the party. ”

“After deliberations, the party will come to a consensus and know the next line of action.”


MPs Pledge to abide by verdict

Members of Parliament have pledged to abide by the decision of the Supreme Court on the election petition.

They have also agreed to collaborate to address the numerous problems which confront the nation, now that the matter has been brought to closure.

In interviews with the Daily Graphic, MPs on the side of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) expressed their disappointment but said they had no choice but to respect the decision.

Members on the side of the Majority, however, were elated and said the ruling was in line with their long-held position that the President, Mr John Mahama, was duly elected and that the 2012 general election, although faced some challenges, was largely free, fair and transparent.

The member for Sekondi, Papa Owusu Ankomah (NPP), said he was looking forward to reading the judgement to ascertain why the judges ruled the way they did and how the decisions they arrived at would impact on future elections.

The fact that the decision of the court was not unanimous, in his opinion, was a pointer to the fact that the NPP’s case was not frivolous or vexatious.

“I urge all our supporters to stand firm. The decision we took to go to court was in line with our party’s philosophy. It was in line with our belief in the rule of law,” he said.

The outcome of the petition, in his view, would strengthen the resolve of the NPP to be more vigilant in subsequent elections.

On relations between the two major parties in Parliament, Papa Owusu Ankomah said although the Minority refused to partake in the vetting of appointees of President Mahama, it had collaborated effectively with the Majority on all other issues and added that members on the side of the NPP would continue to co-operate with the NDC to confront the challenges facing the nation.

The member for Nhyiaeso, Dr Richard Anane (NPP), said with the ruling of the court, all Ghanaians, including members of the NPP, should consider the President, John Mahama, as having been duly elected and accord him all the respect he deserved.

He considered the verdict as “the divine will of the Lord” and urged all members of the NPP to respect the decision and “let Ghana live”.

“As a party, we believe in the rule of law, that is why we resorted to the courts. We must all go by the decision of the courts. All members of the NPP must calm down,” he said.

The Member for Ashaiman and Deputy Majority Leader (NDC), Mr Alfred Agbesi, described the decision of the court as welcome news “which we have all along expected”.

“The country can now have peace. John Mahama can now have peace and run the nation.

For eight months now the country has been at a standstill as a result of this case. From now we are going to work,” he said.

He advised NDC members to jubilate in moderation.

The member for Asawase and Majority Chief Whip, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak (NDC), said all Ghanaians needed to be congratulated on not resorting to violence but using the most civilised means to resolve the electoral dispute.

Now, he said, the government could concentrate on solving the myriad of problems which confronted Ghanaians such as lack of potable water supply and power shortages.

He called for an end to the “winner-takes-all” politics being practised in the country, “so that all can participate”.

He said MPs, when the House resumes sitting, needed to consider amendments to the 1992 Constitution to address the issue.

Alhaji Muntaka said the narrow election margins experienced in the last few years were perhaps a pointer to the fact that Ghanaians wanted a united government.

Daily Graphic

Frederick Fredua Anto’s comments were personal – Deputy Minority leader

Deputy Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for Bimbilla, Dominic Nitiwul said comments made by the party’s Ashanti Regional Chairman, Frederick Fredua Anto were his personal views.

According to him, ‘’once the party has come out with a definite position through the national council that is it…’’

The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Thursday has criticized the party’s 2012 flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo,for failing to consult the party executives before accepting the verdict of the Supreme Court on the petition challenging John Mahama’s presidency.

But speaking on Eyewitness News, the deputy minority leader said views by the Ashanti regional chairman was ‘’an individual view’’.

According to him he sat behind F.F Anto during a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting and he didn’t disagree with the position of the party.

‘’It is not the official position of the party, the official position of the party is very clear; that is what the flagbearer said yesterday [Thursday].’’


Baba Jamal donates to community

Mr Mohammed Ahmed Baba Jamal, Member of Parliament (MP) for Akwatia, has donated a total of 260 bags of cement to a number of churches and communities in his area towards the construction of their projects.

The MP, who is also a Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, said the gesture was in fulfillment of promises he made to the recipients.

Among the beneficiaries were the Hands of God Church, the 12 Apostles Church, and Redemption Church at Akwatia, Topreman clinic, mosques at both Akwatia and Boadua and Asubone Presbyterian Church among others.

Mr Jamal said he provided the cement with money from his own pocket and not from the MP’s Common Fund which he is yet to receive.

He was hopeful that soon the construction of the Anglican and Methodist Junior High Schools at Akwatia would begin.

Reverend Father Sackey Addo, Chairman of the Akwatia Local Council of Churches, on behalf of the recipients thanked the MP for the donation.

He asked priests and Imams to continue to pray for the sustenance of peace and harmony to accelerate progress and development of the country.

Asante Akim North MP organizes classes for SHS students

The Member of Parliament for Asante Akyem North Constituency, Hon. Kwadwo Baah Agyemang has initiated a free vacation classes for Senior High School (SHS) students as part of efforts to adequately prepare students towards the next academic year.

The three weeks vacations classes which started on August 26, is expected to end by September 12, 2013.

Speaking in a brief interview with GhanaMPs.gov.gh, the MP further stated that exercise books among others teaching and learning materials has also been procured to help boost teaching and learning during the three weeks period.

According to the soft-spoken MP, the classes w is been held in two separate communities with students around Agogo and Hwidiem expected to hold theirs at the Agogo Ramseyer School whiles the second part is held at the Dome Presbyterian Junior High School to cater for students around Dome and Juansa.

Hon. Kwadwo Baah was however optimism that the move could go a long way to sharpen continuing SHS students for the next academic year and also equally prepare candidates who sat for the Basic Education Certificate Examination and are awaiting their results and placement into various second cycle institutions.

Meanwhile, the classes is however noted to cost around GHs 8,000 including allowance for teachers and the procurement of the exercise books among other and learning materials for the students.

Emmanuel Frimpong Mensah/GhanaMPs.gov.gh

Universities will not be closed down – Ablakwa assures

Deputy Minister of Education In-Charge of Tertiary Institutions, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has given the assurance that public universities will not be closed down despite that the prevailing circumstances warrant a closure.

University teachers have been absent from the classrooms for 21 days now and law requires that the schools be closed down under such circumstances.

But Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa said government was confident that the authorities of the mainly public universities will make a positive announcement at the end of a scheduled meeting Wednesday, August 28, 2013.

It is exactly three weeks since the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) and the Federation of University Senior Staff Association (FUSSAG), announced indefinite industrial actions to demand better conditions of service.

Speaking on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Mr. Okudzeto Ablawa maintained that government had secured a commitment from the Vice Chancellors of the public universities that the institutions will not be closed down.

“We are confident things will go according to plan, and we do not anticipate closure [of the universities],” the Deputy Minister emphasised.

The stalemate between the government and the university teachers has left thousands of students stranded in their campuses.


Be fair in business dealings – Fifi Kwetey

Mr Fiifi Kwetey, Minister of State at the Presidency in Charge of Financial and Allied Institutions said on Wednesday that the short-term profit making business ventures were bane to the national drive for development.

He was speaking at a Stakeholders Forum organised by the Money Lenders’ Association Ghana (MLAG) ahead of the Association’s Annual General Meeting held in Accra.

Mr Kwetey reminded members of the Association of their responsibilities of assisting operators in the informal sector to have access to credit facilities at a cheaper rate and cautioned the members not to exploit the lenders.

Mr Kwetey who is also the MP for Ketu South said members of MLAG could roll out innovative and quality ways of creating sustainable profit on a larger platform.

Mr Fidilis Bazaanaa, Deputy General Manager of Operations with the Co-operative Union Association called on the money lenders to apply due diligence to avoid delinquent loans.

He proposed improved internal control measures such as hiring honest and integrity-keeping staff, good record and accounting system as a means of checking and avoiding delinquent loans.

Mr Charles Mintah, Acting Chairman of the MLAG stressed that it was critical for money lenders to reduce lending rates in the interest of the informal sector.

As a way to achieve this, MLAG has proposed an inclusive and collaborative approach, that would benefit all. “We have thus called for papers from all stakeholders to a working committee yet to be set up to delve into the above issue,” he added.

The MLAG was incorporated in 2010 to bring members under one umbrella to develop conditions and regulations that would best serve the interest and enhance operations of members and to help members to develop and improve their capacity building and advocacy.

They also provide acceptable operating standard of practice for members and to internally monitor and regulate operations of members.


Mahama Ayariga wants ban on riding in Bawku reviewed

Member of Parliament for Bawku, Mahama Ayariga has said it was time a review that will possibly ensure the lifting on the ban on motor riding in Bawku is carried out.

According to him, the ban has had a toll on both the social and economic lives of the residents as motor riding is the most patronised means of transportation among the people.

National Security imposed a temporal ban on Thursday, April 8, 2010, which was geared towards reducing the spate of lawlessness and murders in the area.

Bawku until the ban had known little peace and was breeding ground for ethnic blood-bath between Kusasis and the Mamprusis.

Many of the killings were done with the help of motor bikes because the gun men immediate flee from the crime scene.

Speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana show on Friday, Hon. Mahama Ayariga who is also the Minister of Information stated that though there have been series of discussion on how to lift the ban and ensure that it does not trigger any conflict in the area, the Security Council has resisted that move.

He noted that, Bawku is generally calm and peaceful with people relating very well across ethnic groups and also having their economic activities without fear or favour and have come to realization of the need to work together to promote peace in the area.

Hon. Ayariga added that the fact the 2012 electioneering campaign and the election proper in Bawku went on peacefully has given him the confidence that peace has really come to stay in Bawku.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh