The Mfantseman Municipal Chief Executive,Mr Henry Kweku Hayfron has asked Ghanaians to examine dispassionately the education policies of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The Presidential Candidate of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Dr Michael Abu Sakara, has stated that under his administration the various government institutions will be made to work effectively to enable Ghana regain her past glory as a beacon of hope for Africa.
A Former Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Wednesday told the Financial Division of the Fast Track High Court that he was unaware of anything relating to the bidding process for the CAN 2008 stadia project.
Investigations conducted by Graphic.com.gh indicate that the
Asantehene’s anger over comments suggesting that he could be destooled for the
theft of his crown jewels, was directed at sociologist and traditional ruler,
Nana Obiri Yeboa.
A Former Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, Tuesday told the Financial Division of the Fast Track High Court in Accra that Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome had been issued with an introductory letter to enable him to raise funds for the rehabilitation of stadia for the CAN 2008 tournament.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo,
has sworn in a municipal and four district chief executives (MDCEs) appointed
by the President in the region on behalf of the President, John Dramani Mahama.
BY: Story: Political Team, Tamale with additional file from News Desk
The Ghanaian electorate were Tuesday night given another
opportunity to make up their minds on who to vote for on December 7,when four presidential candidates of
political parties with representation in Parliament engaged in a battle of wits
and policies in a national debate in Tamale.
The sale of smock and poultry (guinea fowl), traditionally associated with the Northern Region, soared as supporters of the various political parties invaded Tamale, the regional capital, for the first Presidential Debate to be organised in the metropolis.
While smock, a special hand-woven, hand sewn men’s wear has become a national swear, guinea fowl, which is a healthy lean poultry has also become a delicacy across the country.
The Ghana National Gas Company has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence In Flaring Reduction by Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR), an international organisation.
GGFR, a World Bank sponsored public-private partnership, said the certificate was awarded in recognition of the GNGC’s ability to utilize gas from Ghana’s Jubilee field to produce electricity and petrochemicals.
The presidential candidates of the four political parties with representation in Parliament will, this evening, square off in a contest of ideas at the first 2012 Presidential Debate in Tamale in the Northern Region.
The unveiling of Mrs Helen Matervi, running mate of Hassan Ayariga, the presidential candidate of the People’s National Convention (PNC), at the party’s campaign office last Thursday, gave the strongest indication yet of the party’s intention to win the December 7, 2012 elections.
The NPP Parliamentary Candidate for the Awutu Senya Constituency, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, says defeating the National Democratic Congress parliamentary candidate in the 2012 polls is going to be easy because her constituents are fed up with the NDC.
The Independent People’s Party (IPP), one of the political parties disqualified by the Electoral Commission (EC) from taking part in the December polls because of irregularities in their nomination forms, has gone to court to seek an order to compel the EC to register Mr Kofi Akpaloo as its presidential candidat
The flag bearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, has promised that in four years, the party will transform the social and economic fabric of the country, to create the jobs Ghanaians are looking for if the party is voted into power.
The running mate to the presidential candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Madam Eva Naa Merley Lokko, has challenged the Ghanaian electorate to vote for an incorruptible and competent leadership that will transform the economy of the country.
“It is time all Ghanaians accepted incorruptible and competent leadership if our governance process is to enhance the living standards of the Ghanaian,” she stated.
Madam Lokko was addressing members of the Editorial Conference of the Daily Graphic when she paid a familiarisation visit to the offices of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) in Accra Wednesday.
In her view, “It is high time Ghanaians realised that we are not going anywhere in terms of national development.”
Madam Lokko, who is a former Director-General of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), said there was competition out there in the global community and pointed out that “a country that lacks good negotiating skills will be left behind and eventually lose out”.
She disclosed that the PPP, as a mass political party, was not interested only in gaining political power but also in the functions of government.
“That is why we in the PPP talk of competent, incorruptible leadership,” she stated, adding, “Our message is not a party; our message is Team Ghana.”
According to Madam Lokko, who is a broadcast engineer, development was based on productivity and any country that had too many young people not working was not into productivity.
“That is why we in the PPP are pushing for job creation and committed to ensuring that every single Ghanaian benefits from Ghana’s resources,” she stated.
She said the PPP was determined to build a country where the stages of life would actually work, “so that mothers are not worried about children, children are not worried about jobs and the aged not miserable; a society where the family unit is back again and working happily”.
She said a PPP government would ensure free, continuous, compulsory and quality education for all schoolchildren to enhance the country’s human resource, saying that way, every employable person in the country could secure a job.
She cited the case of the Soviet Union, where it is almost illegal to be unemployed, explaining that it was so because the Soviets had invested heavily in education so that every person could be employed.
She also called for a sustainable approach to development, saying, “We can plan the development of the country, but first we must feel ownership in every single thing we do.”
The Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Ransford Tetteh, gave an assurance that the GCGL, as a policy, was ready to engage all political parties in free, fair and equal coverage of this year’s elections.
He said as part of efforts to meet its constitutional mandate of providing equal coverage for the activities of all political parties and their presidential candidates, the management of the GCGL had decided to engage with the political parties in more meaningful ways.
In line with that, he said, it had decided that the Daily Graphic offer a page every week to each political party to send its campaign messages to the electorate.
“We have reached a stage where, if our democracy is to endure, we must open up our news pages for the Ghanaian electorate to make their own choices,” he stated.
Mr Tetteh, who is also the President of the Ghana Journalists Association, called on the political parties to support the effort of the GCGL to meet its constitutional mandate of giving equal coverage and opportunity to all parties.
He enjoined the political parties to endeavour to make this year’s campaign active and interesting and pledged that “we at the GCGL will be open, welcome criticisms and be engaging to correct ourselves, as well as to improve our society”.
The Chairman of the PPP, Nii Allotey Brew-Hammond, said the party had a competent and progressive running mate to complement the flag bearer, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, for the 2012 elections and stressed that the PPP was ready for the elections.
Accompanying the running mate were leading members of the party, including Mr Mike Eghan, Mr Jojo Grant, Mrs Mary Ankomah Boakye Boateng, Ms Adisa Isa and Ms Ruth Quaye.
The Independent People’s Party will hold its national delegates congress in Kumasi on Saturday, September 29, 2012.
Key highlights of the congress, expected to be attended by 2,400 delegates across the country, will be the election of the party’s flag-bearer for the 2012 polls.
It would also be used to elect national officers including the Chairman, General Secretary, Organiser, Treasure, Women’s Organiser, Youth Organiser as well as the Chief Evangelist, who will operate as the Communication Director.
The Electoral Commission, early this year, issued a final certificate to the IPP to enable it to operate as a fully-fledged party.
The IPP has pink and white as its colours, with a desktop computer in the middle of a circle as its symbol. The party’s slogan is “Yenko nkoaa”, to wit, no retreat.
According to Mr Kofi Akpaloo, the leader and founder of the party, IPP would also use the occasion to launch its campaign and manifesto for the 2012 elections.
Already, he disclosed, the party had opened nominations for all the contesting positions including the flagbearership.
He said since the IPP was a new party, it was opened to everybody and new members could contest for any of the positions so far as one could convince the delegates.
Mr Akpaloo, a 41-year-old chartered accountant, described the IPP as a centrist party with an agenda to create wealth and jobs.
He said the party’s manifesto, which is on the theme, “Creating Wealth and jobs,” has several thematic areas covering good governance, economy, corruption, education, gender and women’s issues, among others.
He said it was the focus of the party to place premium on savings and investment to raise the needed capital for national development.
He said an IPP government would also provide quality health infrastructure to attract patients from other countries in the sub-region and beyond while educational infrastructure would witness massive improvement.
Ghanaians, he said, would be encouraged to pool their resources in order to generate enough to embark on business ventures.
As a “Ghana-centred and Ghana first” ideological political party, Mr Akpaloo said the IPP aimed at grooming an independent-minded people determined to work hard to raise the living standards of all.
Mr Akpaloo, who is also a flag-bearer aspirant of the party, said he would win the 2012 presidential election if his party elected him as the presidential candidate.
He was confident Ghana under his presidency would witness tremendous improvement which would impact on the lives of all.
He disclosed that the party was working hard to mobilise the necessary support to cause an upset in this years crucial polls.
Mr Akpaloo stood as an independent candidate to contest the Manhyia seat during the 2004 elections, he garnered as much as 10,704 votes to place second ahead of the NDC candidate who had about 9,000 votes.
THE National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has entreated the youth to champion the cause for peace and tolerance before, during and after the elections.
It has also entreated Ghanaians, political party leaders, agents and members of political parties to desist from activities that will incite violence in the general elections.
Those activities include insulting opponents and destroying their party banners and posters; removing opponents’ posters and flags; use of provocative language against opponents during rallies and meetings; transporting people to opponent camps to destroy their items and multiple voting, among other activities that would hamper peaceful elections in December.
The Senior Civic Education Officer of the NCCE in the Greater Accra Region, Mr Albert Odoi Anim, made this known at a press launch of the “Yes for Peace: Role of the Youth in peaceful Election 2012” project last Saturday in Accra.
The “Yes for Peace” project seeks to engage youth leaders across the country to inculcate into their minds the necessity of responsibly leading their fellow youth through a peaceful and serene election season.
It also sought to sensitise the youth to understand that violence would only destroy their future and the future of their friends if they allowed themselves to be used as agents of destruction in the election season.
The project, which has attracted some participants in the Kennedy-Lugar YES programme in the United States of America, would take place across the country in Kumasi, Kpando, Hohoe, Tamale and Yendi.
Speaking at the press launch on the topic: “The importance of Voting in National Elections”, Mr Anim observed that the youth needed to live up to their civic rights and responsibilities to ensure peace in the elections.
“You should know that while laying strong claims to your rights and freedoms, you should allow others to enjoy their rights and freedoms without any hindrance. It would be morally and legally wrong to intimidate anybody from exercising his or her franchise,” he opined.
In addition, Mr Anim discouraged the use of violence, pressure, fear and intimidation as political tools to struggle for power, recommending that the best form of politicking was the one that addressed issues such as education, health and agriculture through dispassionate, critical and objective analysis of facts and figures.
He indicated that human emotions, desires and expectations were involved in elections. Due to that, every election situation would become volatile unless caution, circumspection and tolerance were exercised.
He, therefore, urged all citizens to exercise tolerance in their homes, workplaces, churches (in general social interactions) and in the election period so that Ghana would go through its democratic process of election peacefully.
The Greater Accra Regional Police Commander, DCOP Patrick Timbilla, advised the youth to stay out of trouble and conduct themselves peacefully at all polling stations. He called on them to assist the police positively in ensuring peaceful elections and report any abnormalities, problems or lapses they would find at polling stations to the appropriate authorities, and also respect electoral laws. “You are the vibrant element of the society and everybody would want to use the youth but do not allow yourselves to be used as agents of destruction”, he advised. The regional commander also assured them that the police were ready to ensure a peaceful elections, adding that there was the need to strengthen the capacity of the police and urged all stakeholders to make an input in that direction in ensuring peaceful elections.
The leader for the “Yes for Peace” project, Mr Urmar Mohammed, used the occasion to appeal to all political individuals to desist from taking advantage of the jobless youth in the country to set them on the path of destruction.
“As young people of the country, we have given ourselves the task of doing our best to avert the eruption of political violence because we cherish the fragile peace we have in the country”, he observed.
THE National Security Coordinator, Lt Col Larry Gbevlo-Lartey (retd), has exonerated the National Organiser of the ruling party, Mr Yaw Boateng-Gyan, over a controversial leaked tape in which he (organiser) was plotting to infiltrate the National Security with party loyalists.
He told Joy News yesterday that the controversial Yaw Boateng-Gyan tape “has nothing of value worth investigating.” Lt.Col. Gbevlo Lartey confirmed preliminary interrogation of the National Organiser of the ruling party but said they found nothing wrong with the contents of the tape.
The National Security yielded to the calls by civil society groups and began investigations but Gbevlo Lartey said having listened to the tape not less than five times he was convinced there was “nothing criminal” in the tape which warrants any investigation.
He said if there are questions to answer, it is the sections of the media who he said fabricated stories about the controversial tape.
"I have listened to the tape not less than five times"... and "have not found anything wrong with it.”
“If there is something to investigate we will investigate,” he noted but National Security will not be lured to go fishing for something which has no security implication on the country, he added.
He said contrary to claims on the tape, the National Security at no point issued ID cards to persons who were not entitled to them, adding, even the National Organiser of the party was not informed on how recruitment is made into the Special Forces of the Ghana Army.
When he was asked if he was bothered by the part of the tape that had the loyalists tracking the movements of the NPP member and former Attorney General, Lt. Col Lartey said he has not listened to that part of the audio.
He said Ayikoi Otoo is at liberty to proceed to court if it is the case that he considers the content of the tape a threat on his life Lt. Col Lartey is also yet to listen to another tape involving the Member of Parliament of Assin North Kennedy Agyapong who is allegedly boasting of recruiting over a thousand thugs ahead of the 2008 elections.
He said he was not in office when the alleged recruitment was made but assured that nobody will be able to recruit any thug in the upcoming elections. A tape recording purported to have the voices of Mr Yaw Boateng Gyan, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) National Organiser, and some unidentified persons stirred the political waters last week.
The 35-minute tape was suspected to have been recorded in a meeting with some unidentified party foot soldiers and had Mr Boateng-Gyan discussing plans to draft them into a Special Force of the Ghana Armed Forces whose members would later be given National Security identification cards to enable them to infiltrate the ranks of some parties especially the National Democratic Party (NDP).
The plan, according to the voices, was to find information about the strategies of the NDP and its likely impact on the fortunes of the NDC in the December elections. It also made reference to issuing the operatives with National Security identification cards but was not sure about the support from National Security, since in the past such provisions had been abused by those the party recruited for a similar exercise.
The recording also made references to the motivational package for the persons to be engaged which included a GH¢5,000 for the wives of the people to start a business.
Mr Boateng-Gyan has confirmed that the voice of the recording is his, prompting calls from several quarters including the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for his arrest.
THE Council of Elders of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has approved the Vice-President, Mr Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, as the running mate to President John Dramani Mahama for the 2012 presidential election.
The approval followed his nomination by President Mahama, an unimpeachable source close to the Presidency told the Daily Graphic yesterday. The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NDC is expected to meet today (Tuesday) to confirm him.
Vice-President Amissah-Arthur, will then be officially outdoored by the NDC at the National Theatre at 4pm by President Mahama during which he (President Mahama) will also make some campaign pronouncements..
The source, however, declined to say when the official outdooring would take place but indicated that it would be pretty soon.
Mr Amissah-Arthur, an economist and then Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), was nominated on July 31, this year, by President Mahama to be considered by Parliament as the Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana.
Mr Amissah-Arthur’s nomination and approval by Parliament as the Vice-President was in line with Article 60 (10) of the 1992 Constitution. His nomination followed the swearing in of Mr Mahama as the President following the death of President John Evans Atta Mills on July 24, 2012.
Mr Mahama was sworn into office in fulfilment of Article 60 (6) of the 1992 Constitution, which states: “Whenever the President dies, resigns or is removed from office, the Vice-President shall assume office as President for the unexpired term of office of the President with effect from the date of the death, resignation or removal of the President.”
Prior to Mr Amissah-Arthur’s nomination as Vice-President, many names had made the rounds in the rumour mill, prominent among them being the renowned economist and Minister of Finance during the Rawlings administration, Dr Kwesi Botchwey; the current Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Hanna Tetteh; the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo; the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Mr Kwesi Ahwoi; the Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Mr P.V. Obeng, and the Volta Regional Minister, Mr Henry Ford Kamel.
After Mr Amissah-Arthur’s nomination, there were speculations that President Mahama had nominated him only to assist him to complete the term of the late President Mills and that he might nominate another person to partner him for the 2012 elections.
The source said the nomination of Vice-President Amissah-Arthur by President Mahama and his subsequent approval by the Council of Elders of the NDC had settled the matter.
Mr Amissah-Arthur is said to have been the late President Mills’s preferred choice for the Central Bank’s highest position because of the former’s involvement in the team of technocrats who had impressively managed Ghana’s structural adjustment programme which turned the country’s economic fortunes around in the 1980s.
Mr Amissah-Arthur’s management of the nation’s coffers started when he became the Special Assistant to the PNDC Secretary for Finance from 1983 to 1986.
When the Fourth Republican sun, rose with former President Rawlings still at the helm of affairs, he was appointed the Deputy Minister of Finance from 1993 to 1997, during which he worked with Dr Botchwey.
Mr Amissah-Arthur, who was also the Deputy Chairman of the Transition team on the Economy, is a protégé of Dr Botchwey. He also accumulated a great deal of experience while involved in structural adjustment programmes which enabled him to move into an international consultancy business.
When he was the Governor of the BoG, Mr Amissah-Arthur was named the most influential personality in 2010 by the Ghanaian think tank, IMANI Ghana. Before his association with the management of the country’s economy, Mr Amissah-Arthur’s first appointment was at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana, Legon, where he was a research assistant from 1974 to 1975.
From there, he took to the classroom at the Department of Economics of the same university as a teaching assistant from 1977-1978, became an assistant lecturer in 1979 before becoming a lecturer from 1980 to 1988.
He also lectured at the Anambra State College of Education in Nigeria from 1981 to 1983.
Mr Amissah-Arthur was born in Cape Coast in the Central Region on April 29, 1951. He had his GCE Ordinary and Advanced level certificates at Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast in 1969 and 1971, respectively.
He then proceeded to the University of Ghana where he was awarded a B.Sc degree in Economics in 1974 and an M.Sc in Economics in 1980.
PRESIDENT John Dramani Mahama has appealed to cocoa farmers to take advantage of the Cocoa Rehabilitation Project and replace all their old cocoa plants with hybrid ones.
He said whereas the old cocoa trees did not produce beans early, the new hybrid seedlings being distributed under the Cocoa Rehabilitation Project could mature within two years after they had been planted.
He has, therefore, asked cocoa farmers to register with the Cocoa Rehabilitation Project to enable them to benefit from the project. President Mahama made the appeal at a durbar marking the Akwanbo festival of the chiefs and people of the Agona Traditional Area at Nyakrom in the Central Region.
It was a delight to watch the chiefs, immaculately dressed in their rich clothes and ornaments, sitting in state with their subjects at the durbar ground. President Mahama announced that the government would distribute test stones to cocoa farmers by the end of October, this year,. Test stones are meant to regulate the weighing of cocoa and protect cocoa farmers against cheating by unscrupulous cocoa buyers.
He, therefore, urged cocoa farmers to make good use of the test stones when they receive them, and compare them to the weighing scales provided by cocoa buyers and ensure that their measurement was correct before they sell their cocoa. On the forthcoming election, President Mahama reiterated his commitment to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections in fulfillment of the promise made by President John Evans Atta Mills.
He expressed the hope that God would bless Ghana with another peaceful election, making it the sixth successive election since the country’s return to the democratic governance in 1992.
He urged Ghanaians to promote peace during the elections, and not to vote for those who had the penchant for insulting their perceived political opponents but rather vote for those “who can lead the country to the promised land”.
Okofo Eku X Paramount Chief of Agona Traditional Area commended the government for tarring many roads in the area and constructing school buildings in the area.
He also appealed to the government to assist the area with more school buildings to enable it to absorb the increased number of students and ensure the tarring of the untarred roads in the area to improve the movement of people and goods.
Responding to the requests made by Okofo Nyarko Eku, the President said he would instruct the Inspector General of Police to allocate a vehicle to the Nyakrom Police Station.
He said that the government had provided school facilities, clinics, teachers and nurses quarters, and provided more street lights in the area. He promised to improve the roads and construct a community centre and more school buildings and clinics in the area.
PRESIDENT John Dramani Mahama says he is convinced God will grant the National Democratic Congress (NDC) victory in the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections to continue to implement the unfinished policies under the Better Ghana Agenda.
Therefore, he said, the NDC would not do anything to disrupt the election, since the party was sure of winning the election. “I have hope in God that it is the NDC that will emerge victorious in the election. With the help of God, the election will be held once,” he said to cheering NDC supporters and sympathisers at the Swedru Town Hall in the Central Region.
The NDC members, most of who were in NDC T-shirts with President Mahama’s pictures inscribed on them, trooped the venue to catch a glimpse of the President and flag bearer of the NDC for the 2012 and listen to his message.
The hall was so packed with supporters that they had to be asked to come out of the hall to be addressed by President Mahama at the forecourt of the town hall.
President Mahama said political contest was like a football match where it was only the losing side that employed rough tactics to disrupt the match. He said the winning team always wanted the match to proceed peacefully to the end, because it had the conviction that it would get the goals and win the match. Likewise, the President said the NDC was sure of victory and so the party wanted the election to travel the full time without any hitches. He stressed that this year’s election would not be an “all die be die” affair, and that it would be one of the most peaceful and successful elections to be held in the country.
The President, therefore, urged Ghanaians, especially NDC supporters, to avoid acts that could disturb the electoral process and, by extension, the prevailing peace in the country.
He said it was only God who would select the best person to lead the country, adding that “it is God who installs chiefs” and that “the voice of the people is the voice of God”.
President Mahama promised the people of Swedru that a comprehensive work would begin soon on their bridge which collapsed following the flooding in the area last year.
Again, he said he would complete all projects started in the area by late President John Evans Atta Mills and initiate new ones. A veteran actor and citizen of Swedru, Asonaba Kweku Darko, better known as Super O.D., predicted that come January 7, 2013, President Mahama would be sworn in as the President of Ghana.
He said President Mahama’s victory in the election would be a reward from God to President Mahama because of his generosity to the poor and vulnerable. For instance, Super O.D. said President Mahama gave him a car in 2010 when he went to his (President Mahama’s) house and requested that he needed a car because his knee problem made it difficult for him to walk for far distance.