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Banda MP cautions students against electoral violence

Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, the Deputy Majority Chief Whip of Parliament, has cautioned students to resist attempts by politicians to use them as political thugs to cause violence towards the November General Election and thereafter.

“The youth must say no to any form of election violence; it is an ill-wind that must be eliminated in society in order to sustain and strengthen democracy in the country,” he said.

Mr Ibrahim, who is also the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for the Banda Constituency, in the Brong Ahafo Region, gave the caution in Accra at a seminar on Peaceful Elections, organised by the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).

The seminar, which formed part of the SRC Week Celebration, was on the theme: “Ensuring Peaceful Elections; The Role of Students”.

The MP said ahead of the forthcoming general election the role of students was to engage themselves in issue-based debates, and not in personality attacks.

He cited an instance during his school days, where they were asked to vote against the NDC over the introduction of school fees.

He said they voted at that time for a new government but the promise was never fulfilled, hence there was the need for students to interrogate issues and push to establish a logical conclusion.

He said researching into policies and ideologies of political parties would enable students to debate and analyse issues prudently.

He said as budding intellectuals, they could contribute, and propose alternative policies, subject politicians to debates and convincing arguments.

Mr Ibrahim said the culture of the youth involving themselves in violence were mostly attributed to unemployment, however, the challenge had always been that most universities in the country were not concentrating on building entrepreneurial skills.

He suggested that in order to manage the rate of unemployment, as a measure to discourage youth involved in violence, entrepreneurial development should be a core subject across all universities.

He explained that the missing link between academia and industry was that the academia was not able to produce students with the practical know-how who could occupy the critical positions in industry.

He suggested that to manage this missing link, academia should research to know the needs of industries.

He cited a case where Ghana was into Oil and Gas, but still needed the services of expatriates, saying, “We need the engineering aspect, we need oil and gas engineers who will be doing the drilling”.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, Mr Frank Antwi Frimpong, the General Assembly Speaker for GIMPA SRC, said the seminar, which was organised to climax the SRC Week Celebrations, aimed at sensitising students to involve themselves in constructive arguments, rather than insults.

He said all and sundry, particularly students, should speak against election violence, stating that, “Intellectuals must not engage themselves in electoral malpractices, by snatching ballot boxes and causing mischief”.

He urged the youth across the various tertiary institutions to come on board to ensure that the principles enshrined in the 1992 Constitution were adhere to in the conduct of the elections.

Gov’t would address problems facing Ankobra Community – Buah

Member of Parliament (MP) for Ellembelle, Mr. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah has outlined a number of developmental projects to improve the standard of living of the Ankobra community.

He intimated that as part of the Better Ghana Agenda, government was in constant touch with communities at the grassroots to solicit their views on problems confronting them and to adopt pragmatic measures to tackle them.

Mr. Buah who doubles as the Minister for Petroleum, was speaking at a meeting with the Odikro, elders, opinion leaders and the Ankobra community as part of his town hall meetings.

The MP said an ultra modern six-classroom block valued at GH¢ 300,000 was to be built for the Ankobra community as part of his commitment towards good quality education delivery in the Constituency.

Mr. Buah said government will construct a defence wall as a barricade between the community and the River Ankobra which forms a confluence with the sea at the outskirts of the town.

Government will also assist fisher folks to get access to pre-mix fuel to boost their fishing expeditions and improve the economic life of people in the community, he added.

The MP also gave the assurance that he would ensure that the fishing community was secured with street lights to enhance their activities during the night, as well as liaise with the District Assembly to offer the enabling environment for children of school going age to pursue education.

Mr. Buah said the elder care center project, popularly called the AYA Community Center, was on course to take care of the vulnerable in the District, especially the aged who have nobody to cater for them.

He asked them to be peaceful and law-abiding especially as the November 7 general election drew near.

The Odikro of Ankobra, Mr. Ngonloma lauded the MP for his developmental drive in the constituency and asked the Ankobra community to rally behind him to do more.


Apologize to Wontumi or else… – gruop warns Manhyia North MP

A group calling itself ‘Wontumi Fun Club’ is demanding an unqualified apology from Member of Parliament for Manhyia North, Collins Owusu Amankwa to the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Bernard Antwi Boasiako.

The group noted that the NPP lawmaker must do so on OKAY FM the platform they claim the lawmaker tarnished the image of the party chairman on.

This comes after Collins Owusu Amankwa had accused Chairman Wontumi as affectionately called in politics of mismanagement of party funds– he is also believed to have tarnished the image of his regional chairman in the media.

Although Mr Amankwa has been remorseful for his actions and apologised to Chairman Wontumi privately – the group says he should replicate the same apology on OKAY FM publicly.

“We have learnt from a credible source that, Hon. Collins Owusu Amankwa has rendered an apology to Chairman Wontumi and we understand Chairman has accepted his apology. We wish to state it clearly that, Hon. Collins Amankwa will only get our side of forgiveness as he wishes, if he apologize to Chairman Wontumi and us on the same media platforms he accused chairman wrongly,” – Ibrahim Alhassan chairman of the group said in a statement.

The statement also read – “We never had anything against him till he ventured into that act which seems to tarnish the image of our able chairman and we shall never forgive him as he wishes if he does not apologies through that same media he pressed his allegations against chairman.

“ . .Per our source, we understand, chairman Wontumi has decided to let it go, but, for us, we can’t forgive him, if he does not apologize on the same OKAY FM and other media stations he attacked chairman.

“ . . We want to state it clearly that we duly wish for a united front to wrestle power from the incompetent Mahama-led administration, but, we’ll deal with persons or individuals who want to take advantage of this our wish,” the statement said.

Let the next President appoint Governor of BoG – Economist

An Economist and MP for New Juabeng South, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, has urged President John Dramani Mahama not to appoint a new Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) until a new President takes over the reins of the country next year.

“Any appointment now will tie the hands of the next President. President Mahama himself stated in his State of the Nation Address that you cannot sack a Governor until he exhausts his term”.

“Looking at happenings at the Bank, we need a fresh face but the next President must be given the opportunity to come in with his new Governor. The mess has been too much. The economy is bleeding”, he noted.

According to him, the economy under the management of Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah suffered a lot monetary challenges, resulting in the depreciation of the Cedi against the major trading currencies (Dollar, Euro and British Pound Sterling) in the world.

Lending rate has also increased astronomically under his tenure.

For example, under Wampah’s watch, the Ghanaian Cedi depreciated by 31.5% in 2014 and 22% in 2015. His exchange control measures could not save the currency. Inflation also remains astronomically high even under the IMF’s rescue program. His management of the microfinance sector has also seen many of those institutions folding up with depositors bearing the brunt of such action.

In the view of Dr. Assibey-Yeboah, the economic challenges experienced under the outgoing Governor must not be repeated, stressing that it was about time to appoint someone who “really knows and understands the workings of a central bank”.

“For Wampah’s successor, we need a very stong Economist; someone who is well-noted in monetary and exchange rate policies. He should also be on top of macroeconomic issues”, he noted.

He said it would be in the interest of the country to see the next Governor of the BoG restore confidence to the central to give it credibility.

Wampah was due for retirement this August but is likely to exit office Thursday, March 31, 2016.

Deportation of SA nationals an insult – Atta Akyea

An NPP lawyer Samuel Atta Akyea says the party will cite the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) for contempt after the security agency refused to release his clients even though a court had granted them bail.

He told Joy News’ Raymond Acquah that by their actions, the BNI has told the court that its authority “does not matter”.
Major Chris Hazis (rtd), WO Denver Dwayhe and Capt. Mlungiseli Jokani had been detained for almost a week and charged with unlawful training and conspiracy to commit crime.

In a shocking move, the BNI took them back into custody despite a Circuit Court in Accra granting them bail in the sum of ¢20,000 to each of them.

But before the case could be called again on April 12, the three foreigners were seen Tuesday morning, boarding a South African Airways flight bound for Johannesburg at the Kotoka International Airport.

Joy News’ Raymond Acquah reports that before the deportation, the state had dropped all the charges brought against the three ex-cops.

But the lawyer noted the party is undeterred by the deportation and wants the BNI punished. “When it is contempt, it is contempt…we are going to court very soon”, he stressed.

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) which hired them had explained they were in the country to train the bodyguards of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the party.Atta Akyea has, however, described the deportation has belittled the seriousness of the country’s security systems.

He said if the state really believes that the SA nationals were criminals, it should have prosecuted them in court because that is what properly governed societies do.

The deportation, the lawyer said, indicates that the charges brought by the state against the three were all a ‘farce’.

I will force BNI to release ex-SA Police – Atta Akyea

Lead Counsel of the arrested Ex-South African Police Officers Samuel Atta Akyea has revealed that he will compel the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to respect the order of an Accra Circuit court to admit his clients to bail.

An Accra Circuit Court on Thursday granted bail to all 3 SA ex-police officers, but they were immediately whisked away by the BNI after court proceedings.

This, Atta Akyea observed, is an affront to the legal proceedings as well as an embarrassment to the state considering the manner in which the BNI conducted itself, threatening to cite them for contempt.

He, therefore, stated that he will start the processes to enforce the court’s order for the release of the ex- police officers from BNI custody.

“One state institution cannot disregard the order of a court in modern times. I will go back to the same court that granted them bail to let the BNI respect its order. We as Lawyers were willing to stand surety for them which is normally not the case,” he disclosed to Prince Minkah on the Ultimate Breakfast Show.

Major Ahmed Shaik Hazis (rtd), 54; Warrant Officer Denver Dwayhe, 33 and Captain Mlungiseli Jokani, 45 have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime and unlawful training.

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) maintains that there was no wrongdoing in soliciting the services of the three to train the party’s internal security on crowd management and VIP protection.

Source: Ultimate1069.com

I do not fear being suspended – Klottey Korle MP

Nii Armah Ashietey who contested last November NDC parliamentary primaries and lost to Dr. Zanetor Rawlings is currently in court challenging the legality of her candidature on the grounds that she is not a registered voter.

He’s praying the court to stop Zanetor from holding herself out as the NDC candidate for the Klottey Korle constituency.

According to Nii Armah Ashietey who once served as Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, he is not in court because of sour grapes but only to ensure that the law is complied with.

“The truth is only one and it stands tall. What has happened this morning shows that I’m on the right path. If there will be sanctions against me as a result of my being in court on this matter, then so be it. I’m not afraid to be suspended, we are not there yet …let us get there and we’ll see.”

An Accra High Court today (Tuesday) dismissed a motion filed by Dr Zanetor to strike out the injunction against her. This is the second time the court has thrown out her motion.

Meanwhile, the National Organizer of the NDC, Kofi Adams in an earlier interview with Kasapa FM, said Nii Armah Ashietey proceeded to court on the matter without first exhausting all remedies provided under the party’s constitution.

“Per the guidelines provided for by the NDC constitution, If you’re dissatisfied with the outcome of the election you are required to petition and deal with the issues internally.

“Two committees were set by the party to receive and deal with petitions from across-board those candidates who were dissatisfied with the outcome of the vetting we conducted and the elections as well and there are no complaints whatsoever made by anyone in respect of the primary from Klottey Korle.

“The Alhaji Huudu Yahaya committee that was set to look into matters regarding the elections is even still operating at the moment and no one has come out with any issue that has to do with elections at Klottey Korle.


Do not fear ‘Spy’ Bill – Speaker tells nation

Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho, has assured the public of the legislature’s commitment to ensuring that individual’s rights to privacy are not abused, especially, with the introduction of the Interception of Postal Packet and Telecommunications Messages Bill, 2015.

The Bill, popularly known among the Ghanaian populace as the ‘Spy Bill’ is currently before Parliament for consideration and approval.

The House has accordingly, placed a publication in the media inviting memorandum from the public on the Bill.

Even before the House will discuss its content, there has been hue and cry over it with a cross section of the populace, entertaining fears that the Bill when passed into law will allow the State to invade their privacy.

The public is also worried about the intent of the Bill which aspects seeks to counter terrorism and money laundering when there are existing legislation that deals with them as well as others.

However, the Speaker in his closing remarks to the august House for the end of the First Meeting of Parliament, 2016, which was read on his behalf by his First Deputy, Ebo Barton-Odro urged the public not to harbor any fear in them since the legislature will work in an open manner to protect their interest while safeguarding national security.

“As Speaker of Parliament, I am fully aware of the Provisions in Article 18 of the 1992 Constitution and other enactments which guarantee which guarantee the protection of a person’s right to privacy including noninterference in his correspondence, or communications except in accordance with the law as may be necessary in a free, fair democratic society for public safety and economic well being of the country as well as for the prevention of disorder and crime”.

“What is useful in considering this Bill is for this august House to navigate the fine contours on the populace’s constitutional legislative needs to establish a delicate balance between the individual’s rights to privacy vi-sa-vi the rights of the public to live in safe and secured environment devoid of fear or crime”, he noted.

He added “I would like to reiterate my commitment and that of the leadership of this House to assuring that in addition to pre-legislative steps that has already been taken, this House will carry out its task of scrutinizing the Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages Bill, 2015, in an open and transparent manner so that all stakeholders and members of the public will be given an opportunity within our rules to raise issues of concern and make input to the work of the House so that we can have a satisfactory and wholesome legislation on the prevention and suppression of crime in the national interest”.

The ‘Spy Bill’ is seeking to enact legislation for the purpose of fighting crime, suppressing organized crime including money laundering, terrorism, and narcotic trafficking and identity theft.
It is generally for the protection of national security.

Parliament approves 89 m Euros loan for the construction of district hosp.

Parliament, Friday, approved two financing agreements worth €89,935,500 for the construction, equipping and furnishing of five new district hospitals and a polyclinic.

Among the beneficiary communities are Somanya, Buipe, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, Wheta and Tolon.
Bamboi is the beneficiary community for the polyclinic.

The projects when completed are expected to bridge the gap in accessing health facility, especially, in rural communities in the country.

The financing agreements comprise an Export Credit facility of €77,935,500 and a Commercial Credit Facility of €12,000,000.

Among the major components of the project to be constructed are; civil works, mechanical & electrical works for the five district hospitals and one polyclinic which would also entail;

i. Out Patient Clinic (Ophthalmology, Dental Clinic, Pharmacy, Laboratory)
ii. Theaters
iii. Adjunct Clinical Service (Diagnostic: Radiology/X-ray, ECG, Dental, Ultrasound)
iv. Accident and Emergency Unit
v. In-patient Services – General Wards (medical and surgical)
vi. Maternity
vii. Reproductive Child Health (RCH)
viii. Surgery
ix. Central Sterile Department
x. Laundry
xi. Maintenance and Technical Services
xii. Mortuary
xiii. Stores
xiv. Relatives’ Hostel
xv. A total of 110 staff housing units for all health facilities and
xvi. Construction of parent hostel.

The package also includes supply and installation of medical equipment; transport and ambulances; warranty management for one year; technical assistance; and the provision for expenses under client’s obligations and project administration.

The Bamboi health facility would also boast of OPD services; Public Health and Outreach Services; Maternal Care and Child Services; Provision of two-bedroom semi-detached staff accommodation (1 building); Provision of utilities (water, solar power, telephone and internet plug); External works and Inpatient ward.

Chairman of the Finance Committee, James Klutse Avedzi, who moved the motion for the adoption of the report of the Committee, urged the House to fully support initiative because the facility will help extend health facilities to rural communities and help the country attain its goals under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN).

Health Minister, Alex Segbefia, commenting on the deal indicated that there are currently 126 districts (including those the credit facility has been approved for) without districts hospitals even though government policy is to provide every district with at least, a befitting hospital.

He was certain that the successful completion of the projects together with twelve other district hospitals being constructed in other parts of the country would help reduce the above problem and enable the Ministry to partly fulfill the Government’s policy.

He further told the House that the successful completion of the projects “will improve access to health care services for rural dwellers who will now have to spend less time traveling to adjoining districts to access hospital services.

That aside, there will be an improved access to comprehensive emergency obstetric care and a reduction in mortality, especially, of pregnant women and children under five years.


IGP commissions new Police Post at Parliament House

Inspector General of Police John Kudalor has assured parliament that his men will leave no stone unturned to ensure that lawmakers are protected.

He said MPs must support the service as it works to secure the institution of parliament and its members.

IGP was speaking at a ceremony to commission the new police post at the western gate of parliament.

He assured the gathering that the Police service has the full complement of men and resourse to secure the country before, during and after the November general elections.

He charged the law-abiding public to support the service in its quest to protect all and sundry

On his part, the Minister of Interior, Prosper Bani stated that government is committed to enhancing security at all major national installations.

“While I will continue to work with Parliament, government will like to assure citizens that it will continue to enhance security at all major installations, our major milestone structures and institutions to ensure that what we have been invested in will be protected for the benefit of people using it now and for posterity”.