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Muntaka must run unopposed – Asawase NDC urges members

Constituency Executives of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Asawase in the Ashanti Region have asked members not to endorse the nomination forms of any aspirant for the seat except for the incumbent Member of Parliament, Muntaka Mubarak.

The constituency Chairman Alhaji Musah Abubakar and the Municipal Chief Executive for Asokore Mampong, Nurudeen Hamidan told a large crowd who followed them to pick nomination forms for the Majority Chief Whip to rally behind him.

According to them, the MP has brought a lot of development to the area and deserves to remain in parliament.

They also said the party has drawn a succession plan and it is Alhaji Muntaka’s turn to run and pleaded with other people who are planning to run to rescind their decision.

The NDC primaries are scheduled to come off in November.

Meanwhile the leadership of the NDC has stated that no region or constituency has the mandate to vary the filing fees and election procedures agreed by the National Executive Committee, for both the Parliamentary and Presidential Primaries.

A statement signed by the General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketiah warned there would be sanctions if any region or constituency fails to stick to the rules.

It follows the imposition of a so-called development levy on all aspirants seeking to challenge NDC incumbent MPs in some regions.

Extremist gruops in Ghana must be monitored – Parliament

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Interior has emphasized the need for the intelligence agencies to closely monitor all extremist and fundamental groups in the country.

According to the Chair of the Committee, Fritz Baffour, it is important that the activities and movement of such groups are critically observed to avert these scoundrels engaging in acts that could easily threaten the security of the state.

Ghanaians woke up to worrying news of Nazir Nortei Alema, a graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) with a degree in Geography and Rural Development, joining the dreaded Islamic extremist group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

He is said to have begun his fateful trip to joining the terrorist group on 2nd August 2015, soon after his completion of the mandatory National Service in Ghana, which he undertook at the Statistical Service.

He reportedly sent a whatsapp message to the family indicating that he was on his way to Prestea from where he would proceed to Takoradi on an official assignment.

He later sent another message indicating that he had lied to the family and that the truth was that he was on his way to join the ISIS.

This prompted further investigations in the matter which revealed that there were potential ISIS recruits in Ghana who hold regular meetings at a specific house around Palm Wine Junction in Accra.

The meetings are said to often take place on Fridays and Wednesdays, but occasionally meet on weekends.

Mr Fritz Baffour told Fiifi Banson on Anopa Kasapa on kasapa 102.3 FM that he was not surprised by the development but was quick to add that the security agencies had the capacity to crush the springing up of such grouping in the country.

“We should be very vigilant, but I know there are strategies to combat this phenomenon. These groups are not mainly Islamic as many think; it will be unfair for anyone to think it’s a Moslem problem. We also have a lot Christian groups that are fundamentalists who are prone to violence and so we need to cast our searchlight wide to monitor very broadly. The Security agencies are aware of the existence of persons will call non state actors in destabilizing countries for their parochial interests”.

He further added that this issue has brought to the fore the need to find employment for the youth and have their future secured, adding that “if we continue to do things they way we are doing now, then we’ll be in trouble in the nearest future’ he noted.

Kwadwo Anim/GhanaMPs.gov.gh

Speaker consoles family of late Jones Kugblenu

The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, Thursday visited the family of the late Jones Kugblenu who was the Director of Public Affairs of the legislative house.4

He was accompanied by his deputy, Hon. Ebo Barton-Odro, Clerk of Parliament, Mr. Emmanuel Anyimadu, Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Deputy Minority Leader, Dominic Nitiwul, Minority Chief Whip, Dan Botwe, deputy Director of Public Affairs, Kate Addo, some members of the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC) including the Dean, Andrew Edwin-Arthur and some other staff of legislature.5

Having gone round to extend his condolences to the wife and children as well as some extended family members of the deceased, the Speaker then spent some time to pray with them.

He later signed the book of condolence in honour of the departed soul who he described as a “friend and a brother.”

Mr. Kugblenu died in the United Kingdom on Monday, August 24, 2015 after battling with a kidney problem.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh

‘Some MPs are mere spectators’ – Ursula

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Ablekuma West Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has taken a swipe at her colleagues who do not contribute to debates in the lawmaking chamber.

The assertive human rights activist categorically stated “some Members of Parliament are making up the numbers” because they do not add to any discourse in the House which could go a long way in shaping the future of Ghana.

“Some are working and others are not… some are there for the ride… I know my colleagues won’t be happy but I will say it,” the outspoken lawmaker said on Joy FM’s personality profile show Thursday.

According to her, those who see parliament as a money-making venture end up regretting because it is “a place to serve”.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful advised prospective MPs to come to Parliament with an aim to serve the nation.

The lawyer-cum-MP has been described as “an arrogant” personality, but she parried such assertion, arguing people confuse “confidence and assertive with arrogance.”

Touching on the frequent blackouts which have hit the nation, the women’s advocate said “anytime the light goes off I curse my good friend President John Mahama.”

She called on the government to speed up plans being implemented to solve the power crisis since it is affecting several businesses.

Ghana could become ISIS training grounds if…- Nkoranza MP

A member of Parliaments Defense and Interior Committee, Major Derek Oduro says the nation must be troubled by reports that a Ghanaian graduate has joined militant group in the Middle East, ISIS.

“We should be very much troubled if we have a situation where graduates from Ghana who have no work here are trooping to join terrorist groups, we have cause to worry.”

A 25-year- old Ghana graduate from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Nazir Nortei Alema is said to have sent a message to his family announcing his decision to join the dreaded group.

His father, Abdul Latif Alema has appealed to the media and security agencies to help locate his son.

He said the messages they received from Nazir suggests that he may be mentally challenged.

According to Latif Alema, several other graduates have been reported missing in the last few months and are believed to have also joined ISIS.

Speaking on Eyewitness News, Major Derek Oduro who is also the Member of Parliament for Nkoranza North noted that the matter poses a great threat security threat to Ghana.

This he said is because “when they go and succeed, one day they may come back and it will be a bad situation for Ghana.”

“It is either they will bring the terrorist group here or this place could be turned into a training ground or recruitment centre for terrorists. So either of these situations will not be good for Ghana so we have cause to worry about that.”


Ghana’s over reliance on oil & gas hurting agriculture- Minority

The Minority in Parliament has urged the government to make swift interventions in the country’s agriculture to help boost production levels which have for the past six years experience a dip.

They contend that the government’s overreliance on the emergence oil and gas industry is hurting other sectors of the economy, especially, the agricultural sector.

That aside, proceeds from the country’s oil industry meant to finance agriculture has not been forthcoming as expected.

“The Petroleum Management Act (ACT 815) requires the Minister of Finance to select four economic priority areas for allocation of the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA). Since the allocation of the ABFA started in 2011, only 8.5% of the total has so far been allocated to Agriculture.”

“With the initial allocation of GH₵204million in 2015, only GH₵26.2million of the ABFA had been released to Agriculture at the end of June 2015. This was to settle the debt on the 2013 fertilizer subsidy program. This clearly indicates the level of priority government gives to the farmers and fisherfolks of this country,” they contended.

To them, growth in agriculture is stagnating, a case they noted, has resulted in the dwindling fortunes of the economy and left many households in abject poverty.

Addressing a press conference in Goaso on Tuesday, the Minority Spokesman on Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu-Afriyie Akoto, said government has over the years been implementing misguided policies and poor projects in the sector which employs about 60% of the Ghanaian population.

“Ghana’s agriculture is not growing. If agricultural growth is stagnating then it means industry, especially the agro- industry cannot grow. The combined effect of this is that employment cannot be generated. Farmers make up about 60% of the country’s populace. If agriculture is not growing, then it means the poverty of the people will not be alleviated,” he said.

According to Dr. Akoto, growth in the sector declined from 7.4% in 2008 to 7.2% in 2009, and further experienced a dip to 5.2% in 2010.

Growth in 2011 was nothing to write home about as the sector recorded 0.8%.

In 2012, the sector recorded 2.3% growth and partially recovered in 2013 and 2014 by attaining 5.2% and 5.3% respectively.

“The growth experienced in 2012 and 2013 was in large part, on account of unprecedented growth in forestry and logging activities.”

“If logging activities are dramatically increasing without commensurate growth in reafforestation, the obvious implication is that we are further degrading our forest cover and opening the country up to the invasion of savanna and sahelian conditions.”

The crop sub-sector which engaged most of the 4.5 million farmers in the country, according to Dr. Akoto, recorded growth of only 3.6 per cent in 2014.

The 2015 Budget Statement expects a 5.8 per cent growth in agriculture; however, Dr Akoto said that target was overstated because there was a sharp decline in cocoa production to less than 700,000 metric tons in the 2014/2015 cocoa season coupled with the rising retail price of fertilizers and other farm inputs.

Kwadwo Anim/GhanaMPs.gov.gh

I’m the only one to retain Adentan seat – Ashie Moore

Member of Parliament for Adentan, Emmanuel Ashie Moore is warning the National Democratic Congress could lose the seat if he is not retained as the party’s parliamentary candidate.

The governing party goes to the polls on November 7 to elect parliamentary candidates ahead of the 2016 election.

Adentan MP, Nii Ashie Moore is seeking reelection.

“If we change the candidate of Adentan today, what is the new candidate going to talk about in (terms of achievement),”? he quizzed

“In our party you get two-three people saying ‘contest because Ashie Moore hasn’t done anything.’

“But you also have to do a sober reflection on your candidature….You have to look at it and say ‘where are my strengths, where are my weaknesses’?

“Other than that I tell you, my brother, most of the incoming, they are going to waste their money.” The Adentan lawmaker told JOYNEWS.

“I have been there. I mean in 2011 primaries I went to some of the candidates’ homes and told them listen, you don’t stand any chance. I am begging you. Save the little that you have,” Mr Ashie Moore said, recounting his experience from the 2011 contest

“I am a member of parliament and so I can pay school fees for 1000 people every quarter.

“That is what I am getting. I have my allowances, I have my salary. I have my transport allowances. I have my sitting allowances. I have my per diems…..We need somebody who is really ready and I think I am the only one who is ready…The certificate of apprenticeship is ready and I will give it anybody who is ready to learn on the job.” The trained marketer added Adenta is one of the constituencies considered a swing seat. Both the NPP and NDC have held the seat since its creation in 2004.​

No MP has however managed to retain the seat.

Three key names have emerged ahead of the governing party’s primaries in November

Incumbent MP, Nii Ashie Moore will be seeking re-election after defeating former legislator for the area, Kojo Adu Asare at the NDC primaries three years ago.

He believes his track record since assuming office in 2012 will do the trick for him.

Mr Ashie Moore says Adentan’s perennial water problem is now a thing of the past due to his leadership.

Many homes now have water running through their taps after years of complaints from residents.

Another man hoping to represent the people of Adentan in 2016 on the NDC’s ticket is Mohammed Adamu Ramadan.

The management consultant is a presidential staffer at the flagstaff house. Mr Ramadan is from a political family as his father, Alhaji Ramadan is currently chairman of the PNC and his younger brother, Abu Ramadan the youth organizer of the same party.

Interestingly, his sister, Samira is also married to the NPP running mate, Dr Mahmudu Bawumia. Mr Ramadan, however says quote, “I will campaign on my own record in the party and as an individual.

I will not rely on my family’s political history’’ Unquote. He is campaigning on message of Unity and Progress.

The only woman whose name has emerged in the race so far is former MCE for Adentan, Kakra Vanlare.

Her disagreements with Mr Ashie Moore while in office are well documented. She is expected to campaign fiercely on her achievement during her 4 year tenure.

Parliament’s Public Affairs Director Jones Kugblenu is dead

The Director of Public Affairs for the Parliament of Ghana, Mr Jones Kugblenu is dead.

The unfortunate incident occurred Tuesday at an unknown hospital in the United Kingdom (UK) where he had been seeking health care.

Mr Kugblenu has been on sick leave for over a year now, battling a kidney problem.

Prior to assuming his position as spokesperson to for Parliament, Mr Kugblenu worked with Ghana Television for several years.

Kwadwo Anim/GhanaMPs.gov.gh

I laugh over my grammatical errors – Ashie Moore

Member of Parliament for Adenta constituency, Emmanuel Nii Ashie Moore, says when he hears his grammatical blunders in Parliament being played on radio he laughs over it.

According to him, “Life is too short to keep such things in me so when I hear my mistakes in Parliament, I just laugh”.

Hon Ashie Moore insists he is not perturbed by the comments people make about him because everybody makes mistakes.

Speaking on an Accra based radio station Monday, Hon. Moore who claims to speak more than four international languages said he is not the first to make mistakes in Parliament and will not be the last either.

Mr. Moore, since being elected to the House, has had difficulty expressing himself.

In 2014, he sought to know from the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing when the acute water shortage at Adentan would be solved.

His question read: “I want to know from the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing when the acute perennial water shortage endured by the people of Adentan would be solved.”

But he failed to pronounce “endured” correctly and Speaker Doe Adjaho asked him to repeat the question.

He proceeded to pronounce perennial as “perential” and “endured” as “endoiled”, provoking laughter from his colleagues and subsequently the general public.

He is also renowned for for uttering phrases such as “Did you spoke..?” Instead of “Did you speak..? and “Did you attributed..?” instead of “Did you attribute…”? while questioning persons who appear before the Privileges Committee of the House.

Some radio stations have since joined the various voices and play them as part of their content but the Adentan MP says he is not bothered in the least.

Students must exchange ideas – Nkoranza South MP

A Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (MLG&RD) Emanuel Kwadwo Agyekum, has urged students to exchange ideas as part of their learning process.

Mr Agyekum, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza South, said this in an address read for him at the basic schools super zonal festival of arts and culture held at Nkwabeng in the Nkoranza Municipality of the Brong-Ahafo Region.

The week-long festival held under the theme: “Peace, Unity and Hard Work, was to Promote National Development” and covered disciplines like choral music, traditional dancing, drama performance in English language, poetry recital, drum language and story telling.

He also called on all workers in the education sector to avoid playing politics with their work and rather work to build a peaceful and stable country.

Mr Agyekum said there was the need for students and the youth to be self-disciplined and lead exemplary lives to become role models in their communities.

Mr Godfred Axolu, the Nkoranza Municipal Director of Education, said culture is a way of life, as it is portrayed in our dressing, language, types of food, peculiarity of drumming and dancing in the country.

He called on students to respect the cultural values of all tribes since they were all part of creation.

Mr Akrapim Baffoe, former Presiding Member of the Nkoranza Municipal Assembly, said the culture of every country makes its people unique and different from others and called on Ghanaians to be proud of their culture.

He urged Christians not to regard culture as “evil or idol worship” and asked parents, teachers and other stakeholders to unite to promote cultural activities in the schools.