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President and Executive Chairman of Eurostar Global Limousine Limited, Mr. Oscar Yao Doe has strongly condemned how the British High Commissioner in Ghana is handling the alleged visa fraud case against four Ghanaian Members of Parliament.
 
According to the Ghanaian Business Mogul, the British High Commissioner must treat our MPs with respect and follow basis diplomatic rules and stop criminalizing the issue.
"Our MP'S Deserves Respect, Oscar Doe : Ghana News Media Please Do Not Encourage This Nonsense From the British High Commissioner in Ghana!
 
 Our MP's What's Wrong When An MP Apply Visa For His Family Members? There is No Case of Fraud Here Not There! 
Did The British High Commission Notified The MPS About the Overstayed Situation of Their Family Members Before Going Public?
 
 It's About Time Ghanaians Stand Firm to Fight The Numerous Nonsense That is Going From Some of Our Development Partners. 
This Disrespect to Our Honourable Men of Parliament Is Unacceptable. PLEASE GHANA MEDIA IGNORE THIS NONSENSE FROM THE BRITISH HIGH Commissioner to Ghana".
 
Mr. Doe also said the British High Commissioner and other Diplomatic entities needs to be Educated about Ghanaian Culture:
"For Example in Ghana Every Member of Parliament takes their whole Constituency members as family and sometimes cater for their Education, health, and others. So our culture needs to be respected by all regardless of your Nationality and that no Diplomatic mission can change our unique culture of bounding together as family".
 
Mr. Doe asked how can you cancel a member of Parliament diplomatic passport because his or her family member has overstayed in another country?
Mr. Doe also appeal to the Foreign Minister not to waist her time on discussing the MP'S Diplomatic status because it's not the fault of the MP'S that their family members overstayed in the UK. 
 
He Said Ghanaians are not the first to overstayed their visa duration? Even Americans, British Citizens, European citizens does same and that is not the fault of any person it should be purely the fault of the individuals involved.
 
"The Commissioner  just feels he can push Ghanaians around because he realized Ghanaians are peace loving people. Our MP'S goes through a lot of pressure in their constituency. 
 
They cater for people's school fees, hospital bills, pocket money, and also request for visa assistance, etc this is nothing new all the MP'S experience same am surprised non has come out to defend their colleagues", Mr. Oscar Doe emphasized.
 
He questioned why Ghanaian leaders seat idle and our MPs treated with so much disrespect.
"Can you imagine a Ghana High Commissioner to UK Subjecting Members of the UK Parliament to this kind of humiliation? Where was High Commissioner Jon when multiple British MP'S were involved in a massive spending claim scandals? This issue here is if our MP's are not perfect we cannot rely on a Foreign diplomat to drag their reputation into the mud whiles prominent Ghanaian leaders seat idle"
 
The Eurostar Limousine boss also admitted that there was some discrepancies on their visa forms but he insists that, it still does not merits such disrespectful treatment.
"It is possible there could be some discrepancies on their visa forms and if that is the case, it is not a big deal because it could be that the who person filled the form could be the MP's assistant or secretary. 
 
The British High Commissioner has a responsibility to notify the MPs to come and rectify any discrepancies they may have noticed on their visa application. 
As a veteran travel agent these are normal travel occurrences and it has nothing to do fraud. 
 
The fact that they are even Members of Parliament they could have being given the due respect and honour to have notify them to rectify it because they are MPs" .
Below is a copy of the letter from the British High Commissioner to the speaker of Parliament:
Dear Mr Speaker.
 
The British High Commission (BHC) would like, in confidence, to bring the following matters to your attention, regarding the apparent involvement of three serving MPs and one former MP in visa fraud directly affecting the United Kingdom.
 
In doing so, we note the powerful words in your impressive inaugural address as Speaker, to the effect that, for Members of Parliament, holding a Diplomatic Passport is both a privilege and responsibility which should not be abused: and that those who abused that trust would be appropriately dealt with.
In that regard:
 
1. On 11/09/2012, the then Honourable and now former MP for Asunafo South George BOAKYE applied for visas for himself and his 37-year old daughter, Joyce BOAKYE to visit a friend in London for 17 days The visas were granted on 14/09/2012. On 17/01/2013 Joyce BOAKYE travelled to the UK with her Honourable father. Joyce BOAKYE did not leave the UK with her father but remained until 06/01/2017.
 
In other words, she finally returned to Ghana just this month, having been in the UK illegally for over three years, and only then at our strong urging of Mr Boakye to bring her back. Mr Boakye is highly unlikely to be issued any further visas to visit the UK in the next ten years for his role in facilitating his daughter’s travel to the UK, including should he be re-elected to Parliament in a subsequent election.
 
2. On 27/11/2015 the Honourable MP for Bia East Richard ACHEAMPONG applied for a UK visa using Diplomatic Passport number DX001490. The Hon ACHEAMPONG stated in his application form that he would travel to the UK for a two-week holiday with his “wife” Esther TIWAA. On 10/12/2015 Mr ACHEAMPONG and Ms TIWAA were issued with UK visas.
 
On 24/12/2015 Esther TIWAA travelled to the UK, but alone: the Hon ACHEAMPONG did not accompany her as both his and her visa applications said that he would. She has hot left the UK since that time, and is therefore now there illegally.
 
The Hon ACHEAMPONG did not declare the illegal presence of his wife in the UK until he was challenged with the facts by us on 10/10/2016 He then repeatedly promised me personally that he would bring documentation to prove that Esther TIWAA was, indeed, his wife, but has consistently failed to do so Neither has he been prepared to share any useful information to help us track down Ms TIWAA’s current whereabouts.
 
Should Mr ACHEAMPONG now apply for another UK visa at any point up until 08/12/2025 his previous actions with regard to Esther TIWAA will weigh heavily against his application and he is likely to be refused.
 
3. On 06/04/2016, the Honourable MP for Asutifi North, Joseph Benhazin DAHAH applied for a UK visa using Diplomatic Passport number DX001459 to go on a two week holiday. 
The Hon DAHAH slated that he was travelling with his wife Gloria DANSU and his niece Beatrice MENSAH On 11/04/2016 the visas of the Hon DAHAH and Gloria DANSU were issued; the visa of his niece Beatrice MENSAH was refused. On 13/05/2016 the Hon DAHAH applied in another country for a visa to travel to the Republic of Ireland with his wife and daughter. 
 
The identity of his wife had changed from Gloria DANSU in the UK application to Ruyling APPAU in the Irish one.
 More significantly, a birth certificate was submitted showing that Beatrice MENSAH was now his daughter and not his niece as she had been described when applying to visit the UK. 
 
The Hon DAHAH’s UK visa was cancelled and a 10-year UK visa ban has been imposed on him. He has been informed of this.
4. On 20/06/2016 the Honourable MP for Ahafo Ano South West, Johnson Kwaku ADU applied for visas for himself, his wife Grace YEBOAH and their 16-year old daughter Emmanuella ADU in order to visit London for a ten day holiday. 
 
The Hon ADU applied using Diplomatic Passport number DX002267; all three visas were granted on 07/07/2016. The family of three travelled to the UK on 25/07/2016. 
The Hon ADU left the UK just two days later on 27/07/2016 leaving behind his wife and child, if that indeed is what they are, who have not left the UK to date and are therefore now illegally resident there. 
 
This is in some ways the most serious of the cases outlined in this letter, given the possibility that Hon ADU knowingly facilitated the movement of a minor – who cannot currently be traced – into the United Kingdom.
 
 That has been noted with alarm by UK authorities.
The British High Commission considers the actions outlined above to be completely unacceptable.
 In some cases, these behaviours may arguably be criminal in nature.
 
 As already outlined, administrative measures have been taken to ensure that the Honourable members mentioned here will most likely not be granted visas for the UK within the next 10 years.
 
 I should add that the Party affiliation of these MPs is, in this context, irrelevant to us: we simply state the facts as we have discovered them.
We are continuing to investigate whether any other current or former MPs have engaged in similar behaviour and will inform you if we discover any further such cases.
Furthermore, the British High Commission has information that points strongly to some of the aforementioned Honourable members having used the same unofficial visa agent (also known as a‘Goro boy’) in their applications, specifically a gentleman called Appiah. 
 
We are sure that Mr Speaker shares our view that an institution as respected and vitally important as the Ghanaian Parliament should not be a location where unregistered visa agents approach Honourable Members and act as a conduit for them to participate in visa fraud. 
 
The British High Commission will happily cooperate fully with any parliamentary and law enforcement investigation into such agents operating in the vicinity of the Ghanaian Parliament.
 
Given what has transpired, the British High Commission would request the Ghanaian Parliament to be aware of the following:
a) we will henceforth only entertain and prioritise requests for visas from MPs, if they are made through the parliamentary protocol office who should verify that there is an official, parliamentary reason for the proposed visit;
 
b) however, MPs wishing to make private visits to the UK or to be accompanied on official visits by non-official relatives must apply online and through our Visa Application Centre at the Movenpick Hotel like any other applicant;
 
c) could you kindly confirm whether and why it is legitimate for ex-MPs to continue to possess and use diplomatic passports, in some cases for many years after they have ceased to be parliamentarians? In that regard, we would humbly like to ask, Mr Speaker, what procedures are in place to ensure that diplomatic passports are removed forthwith from all those 133 former Members who have just ceased to be MPs?
 
d) the net effect of such visa fraud by a very few Honourable MPs as outlined in this letter is to raise the bar of suspicion against all such applicants, which is of course regrettably to the huge disadvantage of those very many MPs who do act honourably at all times.
 
The British High Commission looks forward to a constructive relationship with yourself, your officers and the new Parliament in general and on specific issues, such as the work currently being sponsored by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy to bolster Parliament’s research capacities.
 
We hope, at the same time, that measures taken by us all collectively will prevent any repeat of the sort of cases described in this letter. We would warmly welcome your views on the issues raised in this letter, both in regards to the specific cases and generic issues.
 
I am copying this letter to your Protocol Office, and to the Executive Secretary and Chief-of-Staff to the His Excellency President; and to the Ministers-designate of Foreign Affairs and National Security. We are also circulating this letter widely to other Diplomatic Missions which issue visas in Ghana in the expectation that some of them will consider similar action to ourselves against the above-named individuals.
 
May I take this opportunity to repeat to you assurances of our very high regard for you and your office; and to wish you, Mr Speaker, every success in your new role. Please be assured of our commitment to collaborate with you, and through you with Parliament, wherever we can usefully be of assistance.
 
 
 
Source: peacefmonline.com

Threatened with an imminent ban on their worship in Russia, Jehovah’s Witnesses are responding with a direct appeal to Kremlin and Supreme Court officials for relief through a global letter-writing campaign. The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is inviting the over 8,000,000 Witnesses worldwide to participate.
 
On March 15, 2017, Russia’s Ministry of Justice filed a claim with the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to label the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia as extremist and liquidate it.
 
The claim also seeks to ban the activities of the Administrative Center. If the Supreme Court upholds this claim, the Witnesses’ national headquarters near St. Petersburg will be shut down.
 
Subsequently, some 400 registered Local Religious Organizations would be liquidated, outlawing the services of over 2,300 congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.
 
The branch property, as well as places of worship used by Witnesses throughout the country, could be seized by the State. Additionally, individual Jehovah’s Witnesses would become subject to criminal prosecution for merely carrying out their worship activities.
 
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the claim on April 5.
“The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses wants to heighten attention to this critical situation,” states David A. Semonian, a spokesman at the Witnesses’ world headquarters.
 
“Prosecuting non-violent, law-abiding citizens as if they were terrorists is clearly a misapplication of anti-extremist laws. Such prosecution is based on completely false grounds.”
 
The Witnesses’ global campaign is not without precedent. Nearly 20 years ago, Witnesses wrote to defend their fellow worshippers in Russia in response to a smear campaign by some members of the government in power at the time. Additionally, Witnesses have initiated past letter-writing campaigns to motivate government officials to end persecution of Witnesses in other countries, including Jordan, Korea, and Malawi.
 
“Reading the Bible, singing, and praying with fellow worshippers is clearly not criminal,” adds Mr. Semonian. “We hope that our global letter-writing campaign will motivate Russian officials to stop this unjustifiable action against our fellow worshippers.”
 
 
Source: JW.org

President Akufo-Addo

Politics

The ten deputy regional ministers nominated by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo have been approved by Parliament following their vetting by the Appointments Committee.

The include:


1 Elizabeth Sackey: Greater Accra

2. Amidu Issahaku : Upper West

3. Elizabeth Agyemang: Ashanti Region

4. Adongo Fusieni : Upper East

5. Evans Opoku : Brong Ahafo

6. Joseph Tetteh : Eastern Region

7. Eugenia Gifty Kusi : Western region

8. Thomas Agyei Baffour : Central Region

9. Maxwell Blagogee : Volta region

10. Solomon Boar Bunkpurugu MP: Northern region

Nana Obiri Boahene, Deputy General Secretary - NPP

Politics

The Deputy General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party has justified the takeover of the Kintampo Waterfall by the Invisible Forces, a vigilante group affiliated to the governing New Patriotic Party.


Nana Obiri Boahene is suggesting the takeover is nothing more than sweet revenge for what happened to him in 2009.


According to him, his company managed the Kintampo Waterfall in 2008 until hoodlums in the NDC forcibly took over the facility in 2009 when the party won elections.


"Those who want to probe further should find out what happened in 2009... NDC activists, NDC hoodlums, NDC sympathisers invaded the place, chased my workers out, beat them up, vandalised the place, broke into offices and they used the police. No police man was able to touch them," he said.


The management of the Kintampo Waterfall has become a subject of debate after 19 people lost their lives under bizarre circumstances on Sunday.
A tree was said to have crashed the revelers, mostly students, who had gone to the Waterfall for an excursion.


Questions have been raised about the competence and the professionalism of the managers of the facility during the incident.
It emerged that the Invisible Forces, a militia group within the NPP had added the Waterfall to the list of assets it took over immediately the NPP won power in 2016.


Without any training and competence in managing a tourist facility critics have blamed the militia group for last Sunday's national disaster.
But Obiri Boahene has mounted a spirited defence for the militia group even though he claims the party did not sanction the takeover.


"We don't know anything about it. The party is not involved. The party has never directed, instigated, encouraged, facilitated any individual to takeover," he said.
"Personally, speaking for myself, and what happened to me in 2009, I don't think there is anything wrong if for one reason or another some NPP sympathisers have taken over in a tit-for-tat affair," he added.


He argued those questioning the competence and professionalism of the Invisible Forces to manage the facility should have done same when the NDC hoodlums took over in 2009.


The Waterfall has however been shut pending further investigations into the circumstances surrounding the disaster.

 

Source: Myjoyonline.com

 
The accident at the Kintampo Waterfalls in the Brong Ahafo Region which claimed 18 lives could have an adverse effect on the country’s tourism sector, Frank Siaw-Otu, PRO of the Ministry of Tourism, has said.
 
“We believe and know that it will affect us, but as a ministry and GTA, we will do our best to assure that our sites are safe,” he said on Class FM’s Executive Breakfast Show.
 
The dead, together with some 22 others who are seriously injured, were swimming at the base of the Kintampo Waterfall when a tree fell on them following an earlier rainstorm in the area. The incident is said to have happened on Sunday March 19 at about 4:30pm.
 
Fifteen of the deceased are from Wenchi Methodist Senior High School and three from the University of Energy and Natural Resources.
 
But Mr Siaw-Otu maintained that tourism sites in the country were safe and “we don’t often hear about this happening at our tourist sites and it is a plus for us”.
 
He told the host Moro Awudu: “This (the accident) is a natural occurrence, something that happened out of the blue and it is not something we envisaged and did nothing about it.”
 
Meanwhile, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Catherine Abelema Afeku, has expressed her condolences to relatives of those who lost their lives in Sunday’s Kintampo Falls accident.
 
Mrs Afeku, in the aftermath of the incident, has issued a statement, saying: “We extend our condolences to the families of the dead and pray for the injured who have been rushed to the Kintampo and Techiman General Hospitals.”
 
The Evalue Gwira MP further assured that the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) “will work closely with the Ghana Police and the Kintampo district assembly to ensure the families receive the needed support and information” while urging the media to be “circumspect” in their reportage on the matter, especially in the “sharing of images of the dead and critically injured”.
 
 
 
 
Source: classfmonline.com

President Nana Akufo-Addo has been criticised widely for appointing 110 ministers

Politics

The National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has urged critics to spare President Akufo-Addo of any backlash concerning the number of ministerial appointments he has made.


According to NUGS, “it is very premature in lambasting the government since it is still under formation and the Union wishes to call on stakeholders to remain calm and reserve all ammunitions for the appropriate time”.


The union said what was important was for students “to have better living standards by way of government delivering on its campaign promises”.
This was contained in a statement released by the leadership of the union on March 16.


Mr Akufo-Addo has appointed a record 110 ministers to help him govern the country for the next four years. His critics, mainly from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), have said the size of the government is too huge and will affect the country’s finances, but NUGS thinks otherwise.

Below is the full statement:

Thurs, 16th March, 2017

NATIONAL UNION OF GHANA STUDENTS (NUGS)
BETTERMENT OF STUDENTS' WELFARE IS MORE IMPORTANT TO US THAN THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT -- NUGS OPINES


The debate as to the size of government is rather inappropriate and too early for Ghanaians and stakeholders. We believe strongly that what really matters' to Ghanaian students is to have a better living standards by way of government delivering on its campaign promises.


It is very premature in lambasting the government since its still under formation and the Union wish to call on stakeholders to remain calm and reserve all ammunitions for the appropriate time.


HUGE GOVERNMENTAL PROJECTS AND PROGRAMMES


We can agree Nana Addo's administration has come up with so many projects and programmes aimed at bringing about radical transformation that would be felt at every corner of the nation. This naturally calls for the deployment of a lot of resources including human resources with respect to skills, experience and Numbers.


HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND DIVISION OF LABOUR


Strategically identifying key skills needed to execute the future success of government business. That is why some companies poach employees from other organizations at a huge cost. There are people with some specialities whose skills and experience are urgently needed for specific and Strategic tasks towards speeding up the Ghana project.


Division of labour is highly required for effectiveness and specific tasking. People can be held accountable and responsible for their performance.


OUR MAJOR CONCERNS


As a Union, we have several concerns and what really matter to us are as follows;


1) The unemployed graduate, teachers, nurses and midwifery trainee being employed


2) Reduction of taxes that will ease the tax burden and encourage us into entrepreneurship hence not relying on government for employment.


3) The needy but brilliant student benefiting from free SHS to be able to further his or her education at the second cycle.


4)The poor patient being able to access quality health care at an affordable cost courtesy NHIS reducing child mortality amongst others
FALL OUTS

We however, charge the government to check corruption likewise misuse of state funds since that will go a long way to affect the vision of the government.
We wish to state emphatically that we shall never relent on lambasting the government if impacts are not felt by the ordinary Ghanaian.


CONCLUSION


There is a clear cut difference between a LEADER and a MANAGER.


Managers maintain the status quo but Leaders adjust to suit the situation at hand. Managers act to the rules and lines set but Leaders take bold decisions and always ready to take responsibility.


Nana Addo has shown leadership by not being afraid to take radical decisions that are necessary to achieve results though appear unpopular and we recommend him as we seek for great results that impacts lives.


ALUTA CONTINUA!!! VICTORIA ASCERTA!!


.............signed……...


KWASI FRIMPONG


Press and Information Secretary


YIADOM BOAKYE EMMANUEL


Coordinating Secretary


LUQMAN ABUBAKARI


(PRESIDENT)

Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide

Politics

Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Kwaku Baako Jnr has hinted that renowed undercover Journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, will soon expose influential persons including chiefs, politicians and persons in the security services who are neck deep in galamsey (illegal mining) in the country.


According to him, the sort of extensive investigative work done by his protege (Anas) is so ‘explosive’ and will blow the minds of Ghanaians after seeing the extent to which, big men in the country have been unfair to Ghana by supervising the destruction of the environment for that selfish interest.


He said the magnitude of the exposé on the Judges bribery scandal, comes no where near what has been unearthed in the galamsey investigations.
The issue of galamsey has been an age old problem with successive governments finding it very difficult to fight.

The Lands and Forestry Minister, John Peter Amewu recently disclosed that government will start using drones to augment its efforts to effectively combat illegal mining to ensure the protection of the country’s water bodies.


Galamsey has destroyed the country’s water bodies, resulting in the drying up of these water bodies.


This has resulted in the pollution of the water the Ghana Water Company Limited treats and supplies to the populace.
But Kwaku Baako Jnr, believes the naming, shaming and possible prosecution of these big men who are behind the practice of galamsey will go a long way in fighting the illegal activity.


“Members of the NDC and NPP are neck deep in this mess, they manipulate the system and have their way in the galamsey business, but pretend they are fighting the menace. I’ve stopped short of mentioning names because the time we’ll name and shame people is almost up and it will be very explosive.

I don’t think we care who will be mentioned or fingered, because really their bad actions are too much…what sort of money at all are they looking for. I mean people in top position and those at the bottom are all part, they are destroying the environment and they don’t care.

If you arrest them (especially the Chinese) today, tomorrow they are released because of their political connections.

He added: “What is annoying is that right after they are released they go back to the galamsey site to continue with the illegal deeds.

There is a certain Chinese woman based in Kumasi who is all over the place showing impunity, she goes about snapping pictures of some big men in Ghana and circulating them on social media to show how politically connected she is.

She’s very insolent because some party gurus in the NDC were dealing with her while in power and now some NPP party gurus are also dealing with her, so for her, head or tail she’s a winner. I just don’t understand how come she’s so powerful.

But sooner than latter all of this will stop. We should stop all these things…that’s all I’ll say, very soon Ghanaians will realize that the even Anas’ exposé on the Judges is chicken feed.”

 

 

Source: kasapafmonline.com

Ernesto Yeboah, National Youth Organiser of CPP

Politics

President Akufo-Addo has been criticised for setting up Ghana's largest government with 110 ministers and deputies.


The National Youth Organiser of the Convention People's Party Ernesto Yeboah has used the NPP's campaign slogan 'the Battle is the Lord's' to ground a belief that the President can do with a leaner government.


His criticism is part of an uproar on social media after the President released a list of 54 ministers of state and deputies to add to 56 others.


The figure is a 30% increase in the previous government's size of 84 ministers and deputies. The president has created at least six new ministerial portfolios - Special Development Initiatives, Monitoring and Evaluation, Business Development, Zongo and Inner City Development, Regional re-organisation and Planning.


These new positions were criticised as unnecessary because overlapping functions with existing ministries.
The criticisms notwithstanding, the President in his fresh list has nominated a Minister of State for Tertiary Education and a Minister of Education.


The President has also nominated as many as three deputies in five different ministries - the Energy, Information, Finance, Agric and Local Government ministries.


For information and government communication, there is a Communication Director at the Presidency and a deputy plus an Information minister and three deputies.
Choosing a Biblical story to make his point, Ernesto Yeboah referred to Israel's war with the Midianites in which God cut down an army size of 32,000 to only 300.


The story, recorded in Judges 7, says, "And the LORD said to Gideon, 'With the 300 men who lapped I will save you.'" Israel routed its enemies to emphasise that it is not by numbers that a war is won but by the Lord.


Posting on Facebook, the Nkrumahist wants the NPP to give true meaning to its 2012 and 2016 campaign mantra ' The Battle is the Lord's'
"Even in the Bible GOD went for a lean Army to fight the battle. If you say 'the battle is the Lord's' then let it be truly His".

 

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Nana Akomea

Politics

Former Information Minister, Nana Akomea although concedes that agitation over the number of the president’s ministers is legitimate, the clamoring would soon be overshadowed by the output of the ministers.


“There can be no doubt that president Akufo-Addo’s government is the largest in the Fourth Republic,” he acknowledged in a Facebook post.
Nonetheless, Nana Akomea pointed out, “For now, these numbers are an issue, and the concerns being raised about them are legitimate, expected, and in order, just as the NPP in opposition raised them.


If he indeed begins to deliver concretely on his transformational agenda, then the numbers will cease to be an issue.”
The president named a long list of 50 deputy ministers and four ministers of state on Wednesday that brought his ministerial appointees to unprecedented 110.


Government’s spokespersons have made strenuous attempts to justify the large number following public resentment. Mustapha Hamid, the substantive Information Minister who has been assigned three deputies suggested that the number does not matter in the scheme of things.


“Nowhere did we ever promise a lean government because in our view it is not the leanness or bigness of a government that determines its output or its ultimate performance,” he told journalists yesterday.


But Nana Akomea who is the New Patriotic Party’s Director of Communications admitted, “Numbers of ministers in all the previous administrations have never crossed 90.
Even with that, there was always a clamor that the numbers were too large for a small poor country like Ghana.”

Noting that the number “will surely alarm and disappoint Ghanaians”, he however said President Akufo-Addo needed the 110 ministers to confront challenges bedeviling Ghana’s progress.


“There is also no doubt that president Akufo-Addo’s vision is the boldest and revolutionary of any president in the Fourth Republic,” he said as he mentions a tall list of promises made by the NPP-led government.


“The vision of one factory per district, comprehensive free SHS, comprehensive irrigation in the north, one million extra dollars per constituency, special prosecutor, etc., offers the country the real chance to industrialize, provide jobs to the teeming youth on a sustainable basis, move agriculture from peasant levels to real agric business, stabilise the cedi on a sustainable basis, aggressively meet the basic developmental needs of our deprived communities, tame inflation, tame corruption, and generally move this country onto the cherished new paradigm of progress and development.”


FLASHBACK


Nana Akomea in 2013 on Accra-based Asempa FM criticized the close to 90 ministers appointed by the Mahama government.

He had argued that the number will drain the public purse. “How can he (Mahama) name six Ministers at the presidency alone? He (the President) should realign his ministers.


How do you tell teachers and doctors to tighten their belt if you have named close to 90 ministers. Ghanaians never benefitted from the previous ministers under Mills administration.


We are facing erratic power supply, rationing of water and no gas for the past years. What we need is institutional reform not appointing of ministers,” he said.

 

Source: 3news.com

MP for Akwatia Constituency, Ama Sey

Politics

 
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Akwatia Constituency in the Eastern Region, Ama Sey has revealed that she dropped out of school in Form 4 at Akwatia Presby.
 
The lawmaker insists she has no regrets reading the Independence Day speech on behalf of the president that has gone viral on various social media platforms.
“I dropped out of school in Form 4, it is not that I cannot read or understand when you speak English.
 
I can do all except that I have a deficiency in the flow of the Queens language which is not my mother tongue. People should be very patient with me, very soon I will speak English and it will shock many”, she said.
 
According to her, she has been encouraged by the criticisms to strive for the best while others are praising her for the splendid performance appealing to those making a good laugh of the issue to rather help her to do her best.
 
The Hairdresser turned MP made headlines last week with her speech which has gone viral on social media with section of the public wondering how she would be able to communicate in parliament.
 
But she has allayed fears insisting she is working on her knowledge of English Language to become abreast with issues and procedures of the house in order to give off her best.
 
 
Source: mynewsgh.com

 
A member of parliament for Kumbungu in the Northern Region, Ras Mubarak says the Akufo-Addo government will not be able to achieve the numerous campaign promises made to Ghanaians in the run up to the 2016 general elections.
 
According to him, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his party made so many promises to the extent that they nearly promised ‘one-man, one-wife’ during the electioneering period.
 
He claimed those promises the call explained that the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) hauled several promises to Ghanaians which compelled them to vote for the NPP but most of them are not achievable in the next four years.
 
“The NPP should come and apologize to Ghanaians on where they cannot perform because the NPP nearly promised one-man-one wife”, the MP told Ghana Dadwene on Onua FM on Wednesday. Ras Mubarak said notwithstanding the sweet promises by the NPP, the Akufo-Addo government is currently “wobbling”.
 
He said though change is good because it helps one to see the difference, from how things are going the NPP cannot deliver on those promises.
 
“They can’t construct factories in all the districts. They can’t construct dams in all the districts [every village] in the three northern regions so they should start apologizing”.
 
He added: “if they will do it, it will help all of us but we know they cannot do it and they should apologize to Ghanaians so that we can forgive them”
 
 
 
Source: 3news.com

File photo of bribery act

Politics

 
A survey conducted by the Ghana Integrity initiative anti-corruption Consortium, has confirmed that bribery is actually taking place at the customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), the passport office and the Ghana Police Service.
 
The survey, which was to assess citizen’s understanding of corruption, their perceptions and actual experiences of corruption, show that Ghanaians still perceive the police, political parties and the judiciary as being corrupt. It however revealed that Ghanaians do not regard the payment of what is commonly called facilitation fee as a form of corruption. 
 
Nearly two thirds of the close to eighteen thousand respondents in the survey believes corruption is on the rise in Ghana. The US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, said corruption levels in Ghana are at a point where US companies looking to do business in Ghana, have mostly been frustrated with requests for the payment of “facilitation fee” – which he simply described as another language for bribe. 
 
Speaking with the media after launching the GII Consortium survey report, the US Ambassador said “We are looking at a government official that is demanding an action or a fee for doing the job that he or she is supposed to do. Secondly, we want to identify those institutions are actually taking bribes.
 
Even now, people perceive that the Ghana Police Service for example is corrupt; in fact the DVLA, passport office, and the Ghana Revenue Authority are more corrupt in terms of actually taking bribe. 
 
My purpose in highlighting them is no to point fingers. My purpose in doing that is to make people aware, that individuals in those institutions have been profiting illegally, and we need to make people think before they pay fees for the services they are already paying for.” The US Ambassador said Ghana has lost lots of business opportunities to acts of bribery and corruption.
 
“Corruption inhibits free enterprise and slows economic growth, and it is compromising the quality of much needed services that safeguards health, creates opportunity and save lives. I often hear stories of struggling families having to pay bribe for basic services.
 
Regional monitors report that a typical agricultural exporter in Ghana faces more than forty check points between Accra and the border with Burkina Faso. Check points that add up to 100 dollars or more in what is called facilitation fees.
 
What are facilitation fees? That’s a very diplomatic word. We are talking about bribes; absolute bribes,” he said. “There have been specific complains about lack of transparency in tenders. 
 
We have seen several cases of that reported to us. I have met with company executives. However OI hear time and again that companies are asked to pay facilitation payments in order to get approval or get things done; and they finally just walk away; they say this is just too much trouble; we are going to another country to invest.”
 
Corruption is very worrying – Ambassador Jackson Ambassador Jackson noted that, “Corruption is very worrying; it’s worrying in my country and every country. We have seen countries like Chile, Rwanda; make huge strides in combating corruption. We have seen countries like Botswana which have relatively limited corruption throughout their history. 
 
Now, part of that is cultural, and part of it is about what the culture allows. My worry and my purpose in highlighting this report, is that Ghanaians and Americans perceive that corruption is getting worse in both of our countries. 
 
It’s time to speak up, it’s time to take action, and I urge everyone who hears about this report or reads it, to take action, to speak out when they are asked for bribe; to stop paying facilitation payment and to make certain that their friends and neighbours don’t pay.”
 
He said there was the need for citizens to stop emboldening bribery by refusing to pay. “I want people to stop and think, do I need to pay for this service or am I already paying for it? If I am already paying for it, why should I pay again? I cited an example of school teachers; it is one of the most repulsive forms of corruption to be demanding sexual favours for better grades or admission. It shouldn’t be happening; let’s stop it. 
 
Is this how we want our society to evolve? I don’t think it is.” Ghana has overpaid millions for projects The US Ambassador confirmed the long-held perception that several government projects are bloated for purposes of corruption, causing the state to lose millions of dollars. “I cannot, but I can tell you this, Ghanaians have overpaid for projects to the tunes of hundreds of millions of dollars, and we are talking about every kind of infrastructure that Ghanaians think about every day.
 
There have been many examples of overpayment.”
 
 

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the inauguration of the museum

Politics

The Ga Dangbe Youth has kicked against the decision by President Akufo-Addo to transform the Osu Castle into a museum for past presidents, describing it as useless.
 
The president on Sunday, March 5, 2017, commissioned the former seat of government, the Christianborg Castle as part of “legacy projects” identified by government to mark the Ghana at 60 celebrations.
 
The project when completed is expected to transform the entire Castle into an Exhibition hall that will project Ghana’s statesmen, particularly Heads of State.
But the Ga Dangbe Youth are unhappy with the move, describing it as unnecessary.
 
“We don’t even need a presidential museum. For me I don’t think we need a presidential museum because you can’t compare slavery to a presidential museum in the Christianborg Castle,” Nii Maama Marquaye, a leading member of the group told Bernard Nasara Saibu Tuesday, March 7, 2017, on Starr Today.
 
He said those advising the president to convert the Christianborg Castle into presidential museum lack understanding and appreciation of the country’s history.
 
“Like I said,” stated Marquaye, “if they have to do anything as the presidential museum, they should look at somewhere…because at least what are we going to exhibit about our presidents. If you take Nkrumah out, the rest of the presidents what have they done so much that we have to build a museum for them.”
 
 

Prophet Isaac Owusu-Bempah, leader of the Glorious Word Ministry

Politics

 
Prophet Isaac Owusu-Bempah, leader of the Glorious Word Ministry, has asked Ghanaians irrespective of their political affiliation to pray for the Akufo-Addo-led government to succeed.
 
According to the outspoken man of God, President Akufo-Addo will be able to deliver all his promises to Ghanaians if “we all give him the necessary support”.
 
Speaking in an interview with DAILY GUIDE, Prophet Owusu-Bempah revealed that there are some people in the current government who are working tirelessly against Nana Addo, explaining that the detractors’ aim is to enrich themselves and not to support the president to achieve his aim for Ghana.
 
He warned government officials who have started taking bribes from businesses to desist from the act or he will expose them one after the other.
“Nana Addo is not corrupt so we will not allow officials in this government to engage in corrupt practices and go scot-free. They should learn from their leader. Nana has a good heart so his followers must also have a good heart and be truthful,” the man of God stated.
 
Prophet Owusu-Bempah expressed worry about the unjustified criticism against President Akufo Addo, stating, “It is even too early for anyone to begin judging Nana Addo.
“I am not saying nobody should criticise Nana Addo, what I am saying is that the criticism should be constructive. We should stop criticising unnecessarily,” he added.
 
The leader of the Glorious Word Ministry assured Ghanaians that whatever President Akufo-Addo has promised, he will fulfill to make Ghana a better place for all, urging all religious bodies not to cease praying for Nana Addo and a prosperous nation.
 
 
 
Source: dailyguideafrica.com

EC Chair - Charlotte Osei

Politics

 
Chair of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei says she is not perturbed by comments suggesting that she may have traded sex for the position she currently holds.
Speaking for the first time on the issue since she was appointed boss of the electoral commission by former president John Mahama, she said the comments don’t bother her.
 
“My sense of self should not come from somebody who does not know me. If the person thinks I got my job through sexual favours, surely, there are other more rewarding and less difficult jobs I could use that sexual favours for.
 
“And in any case, this is man who is sleeping with other women, so why didn’t he give the job to those women,” she queried.
After Mrs Osei was appointed EC boss, Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong said she was behaving as if she got her job by exchanging sexual favours and advised her to “bring your derriere in exchange for the EC Chair position”.
 
Mr Agyapong was roundly condemned for the comments which he later said were taken out of context.
On the day set aside to celebrate women – International Women’s Day – Mrs Osei responded to the issue.
 
She was answering a question posed by Samira Bawumia, wife Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, who hosted the International Women's Day edition of Joy FM's Super Morning Show.
 
Samira wanted to know how Mrs Osei felt when she heard the comments.
In response, the first female head of Ghana's elections governing body, the EC, said although it was unpalatable, she saw it as a challenge to do better.
 
In her view, men generally tend to prevent women from coming into their space, so once a woman is given the opportunity to be like them, they do all they can to bring her down.
 
“So they are going to throw everything at you to just to get you out of that space. Once you recognise that, then you recognize those comments for the distractions that they are and you just focus on doing what you have been called to do and to do an excellent job,” she said.
 
Instead of letting this get to her, Mrs Osei said she draws strength from God and does only what she’s been told by Him.
“That’s all that matters to me. If God tells me, 'go and do this assignment', I may not like the assignment, but I have to trust that there is a reason why I have been asked to do it. And also you believe that the person who has sent you, will empower you to do it.
 
“So for me, that is my starting point, and so I go in with that confidence that comes from the person that has given me the assignment.”
She bemoaned the societal attitude which tends to vilify all women and discriminate against them because one woman has failed at a particular assignment.
 
"We don’t have the right to fail, to make mistakes or to be mediocre, men have been failing throughout history, but they do not think that other men should be judged by the failures of one man," she said.
 
She encouraged women to psyche themselves up that men will not give them the chance, but they must show up prepared to deliver and also give off their very best at all times.
 
“So you know that you need to apply yourself, you need to work really hard, you need to be very diligent in what you are doing and you need to constantly add to your knowledge base and your skills.”
 
Mrs Osei challenged women to acknowledge that they cannot excel at everything they do at the same time and should not be hard on themselves when they fail at a particular thing while they juggle with their roles as mothers and career women.
 
She advised that women watch out for each other and "be more supportive and less judgemental of other women."
 
 
 
 
Source: Myjoyonline.com

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