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Kwabena Agyapong’s actions derange party’s constitution-Titus Glover

The internal strife in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) appears to be deepening with MP for Tema East, daring the General Secretary to attempt to remove his name from the list of party communicators.

The opposition party’s General Secretary, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, has been under fire from party executive and supporters over the unpopular decision to remove officers serving in various capacities.

The latest to fall on Mr Agyapong’s sword is Acting Director of Communications, Perry Okudzeto, who was last Friday asked to proceed on two years’ accumulated leave.

The directive followed a similar one to the Director of Finance, Opare Hammond, removing him from office, which some executive council members are challenging.

The directive to Mr. Okudzeto to proceed on leave has angered many in the NPP.

Speaking on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM, Monday, the MP for Tema East, Daniel Nii Kwatei Titus-Glover said the move was unacceptable and injures the party’s constitution.

“If you have such behaviors…you don’t expect to have the support of your steering committee members,” he said

Mr. Titus-Glover suspects the changes being made reflect a grand plan to give an advantage to one of the contenders in the party’s flagbearership race, Alan Kyerematen.

He therefore wants the General Secretary to be checked as a matter of urgency or the party risks suffering colosal defeat in the next general elections.

“If we don’t reverse this decision, the next to follow are Director of Elections, Agyei Mensah Korsah and the Director of International Relations, Martin Owiredu.

“In this time that you are working so hard to come to power you are telling your deputy director who is acting for you, to proceed on leave,” he wondered.

The MP also claimed he had credible information suggesting that Mr. Agyapong plans to remove his name from the list of the NPP’s communications team.

“I’m told that he [Agyapong] doesn’t want to see my face…and he wants to take my name out of the communications list. I was a member of the communications team when he was working at the Castle…and today if he wants to take my name out of the communications list, I dare him”, the MP stated.

Expressing similar sentiments on the Show, the Coordinator of the Nasara Club of the NPP, Kamal-Deen Abdulai said the General Secretary is dealing with trivial matters such as removing party officers and making new appointments without consulting the National Executive Council.

Kamal-Deen wants Kwabena Agyapong to concentrate on organizing the special delegates’ congress in October to prune the number of candidates in the flagbearership race from seven (7) to five (5).

Being the first time the party would be organizing such forum as a precursor to the national deleates’ congress, the focus of the General Secretary and for that matter the National Chairman, Paul Afoko, should be on how to organize it successfully, the Nasara Coordinator advised.

“Kwabena Agyapong is occupying himself with trivialities…We have never had a single steering committee meeting to discuss how the special delegate’s congress should be conducted,” he regretted.

He insisted that the General Secretary’s actions contravened the constitutional provisions of the NPP which require him to take advice from the NEC and Steering Committee in all actions.

Flagbearership race: Akufo-Addo contenders not riped for the job-Atta Akyea

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Abuakwa-South constituency in the Eastern Region has urged members of the party to support the candidature of Nana Akufo-Addo if they have the party’s progress at heart.

Speaking on behalf of some Members of Parliament who have declared their support for Nana Akufo-Addo during his tour of the region, Samuel Atta-Akyea explained that the time has come for every single member of NPP to throw their weight behind the 2012 flagbearer to once again become the party’s presidential candidate.

Stating claims that none of the other flagbearer aspirants was ripe for the job, the Abuakwa-South legislaotor categorically stated that persons within the party, especially those from the Eastern Region, who do not support Akufo-Addo’s candidature, are highly possessed by witchcraft.

He said if after all the suffering the current National Democratic Congress (NDC) government has brought on Ghanaians NPP members wouldn’t support a president from the region to enable him and other MPs to become ministers then the extent of their witchcraft is indeed serious. He spoke twi.

Mr. Atta-Akyea further claimed that the other persons contesting Nana Akuffo-Addo are aware that they will lose the congress, but are still begging for votes.

He urged party members in the region score at least 96% for Nana Akufo-Addo and share the 4% for other aspirants.

He said NPP members should not be deceived by anybody, stressing Nana Akufo-Addo must get 96% at all cost.

He urged the region to do it big for Nana Akufo-Addo at the special delegates congress, to tell the rest of the party that the Eastern Region is ready for a president.


The National Vetting Committee of the opposition New Patriotic Party approved the candidacy of all the seven presidential aspirants it vetted early this month.

After completing the two-day vetting exercise held on July 24-25, a statement signed by NPP’s General Secretary Kwabena Agyei Agyepong said all the seven aspirants were qualified to lead the party into 2016 general elections.

Consequently, the party has set Tuesday 5th August 2014 at 11:00am for balloting by all aspirants for positions on the ballot paper at the NPP Headquarters.

The aspirants are: the 2012 flagbearer of the party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; a former Trade Minister, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen; Member of Parliament for Mampong, Francis Addai Nimo; and Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, a former MP for Offinso.

The rest are: a former Information Minister, Stephen Asamoah Boateng; Joe Ghartey, MP for Essikado-Ketan; and Asuogyaman MP, Osei Ameyaw.

“The Committee recommends that all seven (7) aspirants duly qualify and be made to contest the election,” the statement said.
A Special Electoral College has been fixed for August 31, 2014, which is aimed at whittling the number down to five as the party’s constitution demands.

“We wish to remind all aspirants, their spokespersons, agents and assigns to strictly respect, abide by the guidelines, rules and regulations governing the presidential primaries,” the statement cautioned.

Source: Kofi Siaw

Spio will have difficulties working with ”Team B” min. – Baba Jamal

Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations Baba Jamal has said the minister-designate for Trade and Industry will have a difficult time working with other ministers of state after he slighted them by labeling them as “Team B”ministers.

Dr Ekow Spio-Garbrah, who has been nominated by President John Mahama as minister for Trade and Industry at his vetting told Parliament Appointments Committee that his comments were misconstrued and that he never intended to insult the ministers.

The former Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States of America and former Communications Minister suffered the wrath of his party members in 2009 after he described appointees of the former President Mills led government in a statement as “Team B” when he was not appointed as a minister.

The nominee had a difficult time acquitting himself during the vetting as members of the committee grilled him on that issue which compelled him to openly apologize over the comment.

Even after his apology, Hon.Baba Jamal who is also the Member of Parliament for Akwatia believes that his apology will not heal the “wounds” that his unfortunate comments caused some of the serving ministers.

He wondered how Dr Spio Garbrah would work freely with his other colleague ministers, who might not have forgiven him for his comments.

Dr Ekow Spio-Garbrah will know his fate as to whether he would be passed or rejected when Parliaments convenes to sit on the report of the Appointment Committee.


Rawlings treated Kufuor like ‘toilet paper’ – MP

A Ghanaian Legislator has said his country’s former President, Jerry Rawlings, treated his successor, John Kufuor, like “toilet paper”.

Wondering why Mr Rawlings, for a long time, failed to comment on the country’s worsening economic crisis, despite his (Rawlings’) harsh criticisms against the Kufuor and Mills administrations during similar circumstances, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh told private local language-speaking station, Asempa FM on Thursday that he was surprised it took the former Military Leader so long to speak on Ghana’s dwindling economic fortunes.

Mr Rawlings, after a long silence, recently conceded that “times were very hard” and bemoaned the rising cost of living.

Ghana is going to the International Monetary Fund as part of measures to infuse international confidence in her economy. The oil-producing country’s local currency, Cedi, has fallen by 23%, according to the Government. Inflation for the month of July also hit 15.3%. Fuel and utility prices have also been soaring on a regular basis.

The “harsh” economic conditions, caused Organised Labour to hit the streets with a series of demonstrations and boycotts, to force the government to fix the economy.

Dr Opoku Prempeh said in Thursday’s interview that it was good news for all Ghanaians that Rawlings finally broke his long silence on the country’s economic crisis, especially, since he treated former President Kufuor as if he were toilet paper, and also, often took late President Mills to the cleaners at the least opportunity over similar concerns.

Source: Ghana/ StarrFMonline.com

Don’t corrupt YES fund – Effutu MP

The Member of Parliament for Effutu Constituency, Alex Afenyo-Markin is admonishing government to ensure fairness and utmost transparency in the selection of persons who will benefit from the GHC 10 million youth fund.

The President launched the Youth Enterprise Support (YES) fund to assist young entrepreneurs with bright but struggling businesses with capital to run their business.

Many Ghanaians fear the initiative will suffer the same mismangement that collapsed the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) and the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) did.

Some members of the GYEEDA and SADA management teams and individuals who benefited from contracts are currently in court or under investigation.

Speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana show, Mr. Afenyo-Markin commended the President for setting up the fund for the youth.

He however cautioned government against favouring party members to the neglect of qualified applicants.

The Effutu MP said valuable lessons must be learnt from past experiences which stalled youth development.

“My question is, what lessons did we learn from our past failures and have we incorporated that into this module such that people will have the attitude of paying back?”

He advised the youth not to view the support they will get from the fund as give-aways because that mindset will hinder the prompt payment of funds received.

According to him, the current economic crisis is partly due to the fact that “government invested so much and they’ve not had the needed returns and these monies that were invested were funds that were borrowed and government is paying at a cost.”

Afenyo-Markin lamented the possibility of the fund being used to gain political points from citizens since the 2016 general elections is just two years away.

This, he said is going to be at a great cost to the nation, and therefore called for “proper orientation” and “utmost transparency that people are carefully selected.”


Ghana version of Iraq is NPP’s Headquaters – Okudzeto

Member of Parliament for South Tongu in the Volta Region , Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has equated the National Headquarters of the opposition New Patriotic Party to the Gaza Strip in Palestine and war-ravaged Iraq.

Okudzeto Ablakwa asserts headquarters of the largest opposition party in the country, has made its way to the front pages of newspapers with some catchy headlines in recent times, for all the wrong reasons.

“…when you are looking for Gaza and Iraq in Ghana, the Address is the NPP Headquarters…the last time, we were told the police had to be called in when the old guards at the party HQ were being replaced. There was bloodletting. This time, thugs stormed the HQ again to disrupt a Press Conference being addressed by the Chairman, Paul Afoko,” he recounted.

But to him, what is more worrying besides the violent issues, are the allegations of corruption bandied about by the NPP’s National Chair.

“I find it disturbing that a secret dollar account would be opened` in the name of the party but elected executives are not signatories to it. Another level of corruption is the award of contracts by party executives and functionaries to themselves”

“…if that is what they are doing with the contribution and dues of over four million supporters, what would they do to the taxes of Ghanaians, should they be voted into power?” the South Tongu Law Maker quizzed.

Okudzeto Ablakwa, who also doubles as the Deputy Education Minister in charge of Tertiary Institutions, was contributing to a panel discussion on Radio Gold’s “Alhaji and Alhaji” Programme on fallout of the Press Conference organized by Paul Afoko and the NPP’s General Secretary, Kwabena Agyapong last Tuesday.

A press conference called by the two turned bloody when some unknown thugs wielding cudgels and machetes stormed the NPP Headquarters and disrupted the press briefing. It took police intervention to calm things down.

The newly elected National Executives were deemed to be scheming to scuttle the presidential ambition of the party’s 2008 and 2012 presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo.

Speaking to the issue, the NDC MP for South Tongu called for the immediate arrest of the perpetrators who nearly caused mayhem and subsequently punished in accordance with the laws of the land.

“…We must not create a situation where at the NPP HQ, laws do not apply. You cannot come with machetes and guns to cause mayhem and be walking free,” Okudzeto Ablakwa maintained.


Osei Ameyaw berates EC

The Member of Parliament for the Asuogyaman Constituency, who is aspiring to become flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, is accusing the Electoral Commission (EC) of stopping NPP agents from taking records at the registration centres.

He suspects the move by the EC smacks of plans to rig the 2016 elections.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Osei-Ameyaw said he was saddened by what he witnessed during his visit to some of the registration centres in parts of Accra, the Volta Region, as well his own constituency, the Asuogyaman Constituency.

According to him, the EC has decided to prevent the NPP polling station agents from collating their data, describing the situation as unacceptable.

He explained that the data collected by NPP agents was to be used to cross-check data to be churned out by the EC at the end of the exercise in order to help prevent fraud.

The MP accused the EC of preparing the grounds for rigging the 2016 elections.

Osei-Ameyaw said the operational lapses would not be allowed to stand, and therefore called on all like-minded Ghanaians to prevail on the EC to allow the polling station agents of the NPP to collate the data at the registration centres.

He said the party was not ready in any way to lose the 2016 elections, and stressed the need for his party to be vigilant during this time of the revision of the voters’ register.

Osei-Ameyaw said the registration has the tendency to change the fortunes of Ghana, which he said was not in a good state of health under the ruling National Democratic Congress.

He charged the NPP to resist the EC from giving unfair advantage to the NDC once more.

He said the NDC was in government today because of the incompetence of the Electoral Commission, and re-echoed a statement made by Dr Kojo Afari-Gyan that elections are won at the polling station.

The MP reiterated that the registration prior to an election is of great significance in the electoral process, and any act of omission or commission on the part of the officers of the EC or agents of the political parties could jeopardise the chances of winning power by any political party.

He said it is against this backdrop that the NPP, including him, have decided to embark on the path of doing what is right to assist the EC to collect and collate a voters’ register which is credible and which can be relied upon in future elections.

Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, says officials of EC must be blamed for the violence which has characterised the ongoing limited voter registration exercise.

Mr Asiedu Nketia told Citi News that violence erupted at some centres because the lawful means for agents to address challenges are sometimes blocked by registration officials.

He indicated that the laws only permit individuals to challenge the eligibility of an applicant, but no one has the power to prevent another person from registering.

Mr Asiedu Nketia stated that party agents feel helpless when “you have registration officers with not-too-holy intentions, and they are registering people who ought not to be registered; you cannot force those people out and you cannot also get forms to challenge that registration.”

He added that such a situation forces the party agents to resort to violence, “which is also against the law.”

The NDC general secretary maintained that the violence at the registration centres is caused by officials of the EC.

“They compromise themselves by whatever means,” he said, adding that their failure to follow laid down rules set by the EC instigates violence.

OB Amoah blames EC for low turnout

A Former Deputy Education and Sports Minister in the erstwhile Kuffour administration and NPP Member of Parliament for Akwapim South, Dr. Osei Bonsu Amoah has attributed the low turnout in the just ended limited voter registration exercise to poor publicity of the exercise in the local media by the Electoral commission.

The Electoral Commission (EC) last week began its limited registration exercise as part of preparations towards the 2016 general elections.

The exercise was open to Ghanaians who have attained the age of 18 and above since the compilation of the 2012 Voter Register, as well as eligible Ghanaians who were above 18 years during the last registration but did not register.

The exercise, which was expected to take place in June was rescheduled to take place in August after the National Youth Organizer for the People’s National Convention (PNC), Abu Ramadan filed a writ to the Supreme Court to place an injunction on the exercise.

However, speaking on Badwam morning show programme on Multi TV today, Hon. O. B. Amoah condemned the EC’s lackadaisical attitude when it comes to organizing such exercises in the country. He said, his regular visit to some centers in his constituency registered a host of challenges including the breakdown of biometric machines and printers, therefore halting the whole process.

He blamed the EC for no or less education and training of its staff before organizing any electoral process. He said the trend has on several occasions affected the work of the EC but wondered why the EC is still addicted to its obsolete ways of conducting electoral processes, hence called for an improvement before the next general elections.

“I wonder why they always wait till we are close to organizing general election or registration exercises before they train their staff……and how can move on with such attitude” he said.

He stressed that the country spends much money in conducting such exercises, hence the EC should ensure effectiveness and efficiency in their dealings to avoid causing financial loss to the state as he claimed this registration has done with its recorded low turnout.

The MP however, applauded Ghanaians for ensuring a smooth and successful exercise in all the six thousand registration centers.

Emmanuel Frimpong Mensah/ Ghanamps.gov.gh

Ebola scare: Govt to ban public gatherings – Ablakwa

Government is to put a freeze on international conferences and public gatherings as part of measures to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus into Ghana, the Deputy Minister of Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has hinted.

According to him, the move was necessary to ensure that the disease does not spread into Ghana.

In a radio (Joy FM) interview Tuesday morning,the Deputy Minister said whiles health institutions were ready and on high alert to handle any outbreak, all tertiary institutions across the country were to postpone re-opening as part of measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

This, according to Mr Ablakwa was to prevent foreign students from travelling from affected West African countries into Ghana.

He said the closure will happen for a while until such a time that surveillance and screening at entry border points have been strengthened.

Already, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has suspended re-opening of the 2014/2015 academic year in view of the Ebola scare as well as the strike action by the University Teachers’ Association of Ghana (UTAG).

“It is very likely that re-opening of all tertiary institutions will be postponed while the inter-ministerial task force put in place measures to ensure that students from the affected countries do not enter Ghana with the Ebola virus,” Mr Ablakwa said.

“Yesterday we were invited to join in the deliberations of the inter-ministerial committee and we discussed this matter at length. We looked at the possibility of students coming from the affected countries in the sub-region and how we can put in place screening mechanisms and ensure that these students have not contracted the deadly Ebola virus and that they are not coming to spread the virus on our campuses,” he added.

According to Mr Ablakwa, the inter-ministerial committee was working out with the various health directorates in the various tertiary institutions to ensure that there can be immediate reporting of any symptoms that look suspicious.

Nearly 1,000 people have died and 1,800 have become infected in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria since the outbreak of the disease in February.

The Ebola outbreak – the worst ever – is prevalent in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, but has spread to other countries such as Nigeria in recent months.

The Ebola virus is transmitted among humans through bodily fluids.

In Ghana, a total of 37 suspected cases have since been evaluated and proved negative.

Credit: Graphic Online

Reforming Energy sector is doable; Second MCA compact will be motivation

The Member of Parliament for Pru East has played down suggestions by the Minority that the country may not be able to access the second compact of the Millennium Challenge Account.

While agreeing that a lot of work is needed for Ghana to access the fund, Dr Kwabena Donkor remains highly optimistic that it can be done.

Ghana’s President John Mahama signed the agreement with the US last week to access the $498 million second compact of the Millennium Challenge Account but the West African country would have to meet certain conditionalities before the amount is disbursed.

The Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei on Tuesday raised doubts about Ghana’s ability to access the $498 million second compact of the Millennium Challenge Account due to what he said were the stringent conditionalities Ghana had to meet. One of the key conditionalities is reform of the energy sector.

Dr. Akoto argued the country had for decades attempted to reform the energy sector but has achieved very little.

He wondered how, the Mahama-led administration will be able to reform the energy sector in the next few months to enable it access the fund on which an agreement was signed at a colourful ceremony in the US last week.

“The conditionalities are such that I will be surprised if the grant comes. So don’t say we did not tell you so. We are being asked to reform in the energy sector which is the difficult reform anybody can do,” he stated.

In a reaction, Dr Kwabena Donkor admitted the task ahead is quite herculean but was quick to add it was doable.

He said a great deal of work has started already in a bid to reform the energy sector, citing the creation of GRIDCO, the introduction of Independent Power Producers (IPP) as some of the interventions.

He also admitted an apparent lack of commitment by governments to see to a complete overhaul of the energy sector.

Dr Kwabena Donkor however said the MCA second compact is just the right motivation for government to ensure it carries out a comprehensive reform of the energy sector in order to access the second compact.

The Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam who was contributing to the discussion, stated that reform in the energy sector should not be an impossible task.

He stated that steps have been taken at all levels in the energy sector to ensure private sector participation .

He would rather the government improved on its management of the economy, stating that with the rate at which the cedi is falling, no private sector will be interested in investing in the sector.