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Insist on Your Right to Education

Uneducated citizenry is like a pitch any game can be played on it. Illiteracy is what has given the politicians in Ghana the chance to fool so many people for so a long a time.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Oil find: Ghanaians deserve to know what gov't is doing - Bright Simons

Bright Simons is unhappy with the haphazard and insidious manner in which Ghana's oil find is being managed.
Bright Simons is unhappy with the haphazard and insidious manner in which Ghana's oil find is being managed.

A Research Fellow at IMANI Ghana, Mr Bright Simons has expressed disappointment at the insidious way and manner in which the country's oil resource is being managed.

He said the opaque clouds that have enveloped the processes relating to the management of the resource and the role government is playing should be of a major concern to all Ghanaians.

“The lack of transparency is unbelievable,” he told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah.

Mr Simons averred that if the government stops obfuscating its management of the process, “I will mark government very high.”

But what transparency does he want to see, to which he responds; “Go to the GNPC website, go to the Ministry of Energy website and see for yourself whether as an independent observer you have any understanding whatsoever what the government’s policy on oil and gas is. My point (is) that government has to publish at least a paper (explaining) its decision to interfere with the process of Kosmos energy offloading its stake in the Jubilee fields to Exxonmobil.”

He said the government was not running a private business and that if it is intending to invest huge public money in the oil industry, the people of Ghana deserved to know why and also contribute to that decision.

“We have been told consistently that there are about 30 proposals that are being considered, put all of them on the internet,” he charged.

“If you take the four billion dollars that is being bandied around and if government is raising four billion dollars to invest in an enterprise, that will probably be the biggest single Ghanaian state sponsored venture we’ve seen, since the days of Valco and Akosombo Dam, don’t you think we have to contribute to (making the decision)?

Analyzing complex figures, the IMANI associate said there was the possibility that the stake the government was contemplating buying was over-valued and wondered why the government wanted to participate in a venture with a high risk.

He stated that it was dangerous to assume that the people at the helm of affairs would manage natural resources in the best interest of the people because “we have seen mismanagement of natural resources before.”

Story by Malik Abass Daabu/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

NDC youth accuse chairman of embezzlement

Some National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters from the Ledzokuku constituency in Accra are accusing the regional chairman of embezzling funds for party activities.

They say Danny Annang has failed to account for over 31,000 euros sent from an NDC member in Austria during the 2008 elections.

The group, which came to Joy FM with receipts covering the said money, said several attempts to get some explanations from the chairman have proved futile.

Spokesperson Ernest Frimpong disclosed to Joy News that Mr. Annang is not fit to seek re-election unless he accounts for the monies received last year.

“I have in my hand documents that tell me that during the elections [2008], he was sent money from Austria to support the party’s election,” Mr Frimpong said.

The supporters allege Mr Annang is using the money to put up a storey building in the constituency, a situation they say gives cause for suspicion.

But Mr Annang has denied receiving any monies for party activities. Speaking to Joy News, he said such malicious stories fabricated by his opponents will not affect his chances in a pending elections.

“I have not received anything from any quarters, whatsoever,” he told Joy News’ Elvis Adjetey.

He shot down suggestions that the accusations could affect his chances in the elections slated for Tuesday 29 December.

Source: Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

Political scientist applauds Mills' rule of law

President John Mills
President John Mills
A Political Science lecturer at the University of Cape Coast Kingsley Adjei has observed that the greatest achievement of the Mills Administration in its first year is the adoption of the rule of law.

According to him rule of law is the basic tenets of democracy and its adoption shows the president commitment to moving the country forward.

He was speaking to Nhyira FM’s 'Gwaso Nsem's host Kofi Asante in Kumasi

He said the policies and programs of the Mills administration if continued can help strengthen the country’s democracy.

Mr. Adjei in analyzing the recent comment by the Attorney General to dramatically prosecute officials under the NPP administration said it should be considered as a statement made out of pressure.

He described as immature the reaction by former President Kufour and believes it could create unnecessary tension in the country.

Mr. Adjei advised the AG to always be guided by the rule of law and not succumb to any pressure to act.

Story by Kofi Asante/Nhyira FM-Ghana

Court rulings good for democracy

An Accra-based legal practitioner, Ace Ankomah says one of the greatest highlights of the year 2009 was the robustness of the judicial system.

He said some of the rulings of particularly the Human Rights and Appeals Courts have been phenomenal.

“In many of the high profile cases where concepts like the right to counsel are now so firmly hit in our books that no government agency can deny a person the right to counsel, the freedom of movement, the fact that the mere statement in your passport…that the passport belongs to the state doesn’t mean the state can by that ownership of the passport deprive you of your freedom of movement. That has been established,” he told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah.

He said the rulings were “major landmarks in our human rights jurisprudence and general legal jurisprudence that cannot go without mention.”

Mr Ankomah expressed the hope that judges will continue to dispense justice without fear or favour. That, he emphasised was necessary for the development of the country.

For, “if we don’t continue in our stride to be a nation that is governed by law, then we are not getting anywhere.”

According to the legal practitioner, 2009 was a foundation year which has to be built on, but he cautions that if in 2010 we are still building the foundation, them we are lost.

Story by Malik Abass Daabu/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

Dan Lartey is dead

Daniel Augustus Lartey
Daniel Augustus Lartey
Mr. Daniel Augustus Lartey, presidential candidate, leader, founder and chairman of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) is dead.

Dan Lartey, also called Uncle Dan or Domestication, passed away on Monday, December 28, at his residence in Accra after a short illness, according to family sources. He was 83.

Henry Lartey, son of Mr Dan Lartey, confirmed the death to Adom FM.

He said the family was meeting Tuesday morning over the bad news but said the family would celebrate the life and death of their father because he had achieved a lot for himself and for Ghana.

Dan Lartey, a staunch vestige of Kwame Nkrumah’s Convention People’s Party and an Nkrumahist adherent, has run for national president on the ticket of the GCPP on two occasions since breaking away to form the GCPP as a splinter of the CPP.

After the 2000 and 2004 elections, he was only stopped from having a third bite at the 2008 presidential race when the Electoral Commission disqualified him for submitting his nomination papers late. He had just managed to beat an October 17, 2008 deadline for the exercise and paid the stipulated GH¢5,000 nomination fee only to be told of errors in his documents. The documents and money were returned to him but it was too late already to beat the deadline.

A former publisher and labour unionist, Dan Lartey's name became a household one following his 2004 mantra of domestication, a political thought of growing Ghana from Ghana rather than depending on foreign aid and investments.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Immorality is sinking The World says True Faith Pastor

The head pastor of True Faith Church in Koforidua in the Eastern Region of Ghana, Pastor Samuel Amoako has said the whole world is sinking under the weight of immorality and that the judgement of God is at hand for those who engage in immoral activities. He said the spate of infidelity among married couples, homosexualism, pornography, alcohol and drug abuse seen throughout the world is a sign of the decadence of our society and warned people to change their behaviour and accept Christ before they face the wrath of God. He said throughout history God has punished disobedient people who follow sexual and other pleasures against doing the will of God.

He emphasized that if the people of the world continue with the direction they have taken there is no doubt that God's wrath will be poured against them. He advised Christians and all true worshipers of God to eschew all behaviours and manners that put the name of Christianity and the ministry of Jesus into disrepute.

He says God will reward all those who adhere to the teachings of Christ including those who abstain from fornication, lies, adultery, idolatry, alcoholism, fits of anger, enmities, divisions, sects, envies, jealousy, practice of spiritism and other loose conducts.

Quoting from the book of Galatians 5:19-23 he encouraged Christians and true worshipers of Jehovah to embrace love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness and exercise self control and put on the armour of God (prayer, fasting, faith, study of the gospel,) in order to withstand the snares of Satan which he says is sinking the world and inviting the wrath of God upon mankind.

By Lord Aikins Adusei

KNUST, Deputy Registrar Convicted Of Contempt

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and its Deputy Registrar in charge of Legal and Welfare, Mr Richard Appiah-Kubi, have been convicted for contempt in a case in which two second-year Law students challenged their dismissal from the university for alleged examination malpractice.

The Kumasi High Court, presided over by Mr Justice G.H.K. Debrah, which convicted them, made a number of orders against the university and the deputy registrar which should be carried out within one week.

Among the orders were the payment of GH¢1,000 into government chest and the withdrawal of an advertisement on the dismissal of the students, Messrs Alfred Obeng Boateng and Ato Kwamena Sam Ghartey.

The court said the withdrawal of the advertisement would correct the impression that the students had been dismissed from the university.

Again, the court asked the KNUST and the deputy registrar to apologise to the bench and undertake not to repeat their behaviour again.

In 2007, the KNUST dismissed the two students for allegedly engaging in examination malpractice. The students did not take kindly to their dismissal and sought redress at the court.

The court upheld their application and consequently declared their dismissal illegal. However, the university refused to re-admit them to continue with their programmes of study and went ahead to place newspaper advertisements to the effect that the students remained dismissed, in spite of the court ruling.

Consequently, the aggrieved students filed an application for contempt against the KNUST and the deputy registrar, which was upheld by the court.

Source:Daily Graphic

'Disruptive' passenger prompts 2nd alert on Detroit-bound jet

Police met a Northwest Airlines jet in Detroit, Michigan, after reports of a disruptive passenger.
Police met a Northwest Airlines jet in Detroit, Michigan, after reports of a disruptive passenger.

The passenger spent about an hour in the bathroom and got upset when he was questioned by the crew of the flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, according to government sources. Law enforcement agents were questioning the man Sunday.

The jet had the same designation -- Flight 253 -- as the one on which a Nigerian man is accused of attempting to set off an explosive device Friday, said Scott Wintner, a spokesman for the Wayne County Airport Authority. Winter told CNN the flight "requested emergency assistance and was pulled aside upon arrival in Detroit."

The jet was taken a long distance from the terminal and "completely engulfed" by emergency vehicles and heavily armed police once it landed, said Don Graham, who was waiting for relatives to arrive at the airport.

The flight arrived about 12:34 p.m., said Susan Elliott, a spokeswoman for Delta Air Lines, which owns Northwest. The 257 passengers were allowed to leave the aircraft about an hour after the jet landed, she said.

Source: CNN

Kufuor concerned about A-G's threats of "dramatic" prosecutions

Former president Kufuor bemoans threats to prosecute appointees under his administration
Former president Kufuor bemoans threats to prosecute appointees under his administration
Former President Kufuor has expressed concern at suggestions that appointees under his administration will be aggressively pursued next year, describing the comments of some government officials in relation to prosecuting members of his government as unfortunate.

His comments follow recommendations by the Ghana@50 probe commission that the two main architects of the golden jubilee celebrations be prosecuted and statements by Attorney-General Betty Mould-Iddrisu at a recent news conference that the Mills’ administration would embark on a “dramatic” prosecution of officials under the NPP administration.

The commission which was appointed by the President to investigate the erstwhile Ghana@50 Secretariat recommended the prosecution of the Chief Executive of the Secretariat, Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby and the chairman of the National Planning Committee Kwadwo Mpiani who was also Chief of Staff at the Presidency.

Madam Betty Mould-Iddrisu at a recent press conference said the Mills administration inherited a “difficult situation,” citing the turnouts at the courts in cases between her office and certain individuals and warned of more “dramatic” prosecutions of former officials “who actually, allegedly, committed criminal offenses.”

But speaking in an interview with Accra-based TV3, Mr Kufuor said any such prosecution announced by the A-G would be unacceptable without ample evidence.

“If we say we are living under the rule of law, then when a person alleges, that person has a duty to prove. Not until the proof is established, nobody has the right to begin to threaten; 'we’ll put Kufuor’s men in prison' and that sort of thing – that will not be acceptable,” the former president said.

“If Kufuor had done that then, perhaps, most of the people threatening would be in jail already.”

Mr Kufuor said “we didn’t go into politics to be hated, to make enemies; we went into politics to try to serve our nation. Let it be so.”

He said the ruling party must “accept that they are there to serve all of Ghana” and that they must be guided by the fact that “partiality is not the way forward for us.”

Former president Kufuor wished Ghanaians “a very good and prosperous new year.”

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mills warned of uprising precursor

Mr Herbert Mensah advises leaders against being self-centred
Mr Herbert Mensah advises leaders against being self-centred

Mr. Herbert Mensah, a businessman and football administrator, has cautioned the Mills administration to be mindful of the way ordinary Ghanaians are treated, since the success and survival of the government depended on them.

“If the average man on the street cannot make it, cannot pay his fees, take care of his medical bills, look after his welfare; one day he will rise up against the people who think they have power and this is what some of us want to prevent.”

In an interview with Luv News, Mr Mensah, however, appealed to Ghanaians to exercise restraint to enable the new administration find its feet, and hoped things would be better in the coming years.

“We should not be disturbed, maybe it is the first year; next year we will see a change in gearing, in a different philosophy.”

He urged President John Evans Atta Mills to involve the youth in decision making so that they can contribute effectively to national development.

The former CEO of Kumasi Asante Kotoko Football Club noted that for the government to be successful in its development programmes, the youth must be given the needed attention.

Mr Mensah blamed the high unemployment rate on the African continent on selfish ideas pursued by most African leaders, adding, most past African leaders have used their influence to benefit themselves causing hardship among the citizenry.

“The youth represent the most important part of Ghana, 70% of the population is under 30; the average age of our rulers is mid 60s going upwards. They are disconnected from the people. I think the people should keep hope; people should not react because the politicians have disappointed them. People should not react because people about 50 and 60 are not thinking about their future.

"People should understand that their reactions should be based on something objective and creative to take us forward.” He told Luv FM’s Elton John Brobbey.

Herbert Mensah also cautioned President Mills to do away with ethnicity, if he wants to be a successful leader.

“The reaction against the system should be as Ghanaians, not based on ethnic lines. I have lived and worked since 1983 in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Angola, and I have seen them all disintegrate because politicians do not look after, do not care for the man on the street and the working classes, which is why I advocate for the philosophy of social democracy. Where it is the capitalist, our harnesses are checked and the capital flows can be dispersed and distributed to the have nots.”

Story by Isaac Essel/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

Nigeria: Ex-Heads of State to Meet over Yar’Adua

Thirty-one days after President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s
departure from Nigeria for medical treatment in Saudi Arabia,
former heads of state have scheduled a meeting for next
week to discuss the state of the nation.

THISDAY learnt that the meeting, which may hold in Abuja,
will be attended by Gen. Yakubu Gowon, who was head of
state between 1966 and 1975, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, civilian
president between 1979 and 1983, ex-President Olusegun
Obasanjo who ruled as military head of state from 1976 to
1979 and as civilian president from 1999 to 2007, and Gen.
Abdulsalami Abubakar, who ruled the country from 1998 to 1999.

It was not clear last night if Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and
General Ibrahim Babangida will be part of the meeting. Sources close to Buhari, who ruled from 1983 to 1985, told THISDAY last night that he was yet to be invited. “I know there are moves being made but I can confirm that he (Buhari) has not been invited yet and I can assure you he will not invite himself to the meeting,” the source said. Babangida, who ruled from 1985 to 1993, is currently in the United States following the ill-health of his wife, Maryam.

The details of the agenda of the meeting were not very clear, but THISDAY learnt that the meeting is principally on the current political situation in the country arising from the President’s medical condition, which has kept him out of the country since November 23.

The former heads of state, who are members of the National Council of State – an advisory body which meetings are usually convened by the President – are set to look at the issues surrounding the President’s failure to write a letter to the National Assembly to inform them of his absence from office, a situation that has not allowed Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan to assume the role of Acting President in line with Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution.

After the meeting, THISDAY learnt, the former heads of state will hold a meeting with Jonathan to offer him counsel and inform him of their position on the issues occasioned by the current situation in Aso Rock. Various groups, including the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), have declared that the constitution must be followed in the event of a vacancy in the office of president, meaning the Vice-President should be sworn.

This contrasts sharply with the position of the Northern Union, led by Dr. Olusola Saraki, which said recently that constitutionalism should be sacrificed for political expediency – suggesting that a Northerner should be allowed to complete Yar’Adua’s tenure since a Southerner (Obasanjo) had ruled for eight years in line with the power rotation arrangement of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The former heads of state are expected to deliberate on the issue and the way forward. Buhari has already made his position public – that the constitution must be followed in case of any eventuality. Yar’Adua had been flown to the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on a medical emergency on November 23.

The Chief Physician to the President, Dr. Salisu Banye, had said in a statement that the President was being treated for Acute Pericarditis – an inflammatory condition of the covering of the heart. His four-paragraph statement read: “At about 3pm on Friday, November 20th, after he returned from the Abuja Central Mosque where he performed the Juma’at prayers, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua complained of left sided severe chest pain.

Preliminary medical examinations suggested acute pericarditis (an inflammatory condition of the coverings of the heart). “It was then decided that he should undertake confirmatory checks at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where he had his last medical check-up in August. “The medical review and tests undertaken at the hospital have confirmed the initial diagnosis that the President is indeed suffering from Acute Pericarditis. “He is now receiving treatment for the ailment and is responding remarkably well.”

Source: Thisdayonline.com

Father alerted US about Nigerian plane bomb suspect

The father of a Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a transatlantic jet on Christmas Day had voiced concerns to US officials about his son.

The father, a top Nigerian banker, warned US authorities last month about 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's extreme views, say officials.

US sources confirm a file was opened, but say the information did not warrant placing the accused on a "no-fly" list.

Airports worldwide have beefed up security after the alleged attack.

Mr Abdulmutallab was formally charged by a US federal judge at a Michigan hospital where he is being treated for burns after allegedly trying to detonate a device.

'Sewn in underpants'

The detainee reportedly smiled as agents brought him in to the room in a wheelchair, dressed in a green hospital robe and with a blanket over his lap.

High explosives are believed to have been moulded to his body and sewn in to his underpants.

He was immediately overpowered by passengers and crew aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253, minutes before it was due to land in Detroit from the Dutch capital Amsterdam.

The suspect was charged with placing a destructive device on the Airbus 330, which was carrying 289 passengers and crew, and attempting to destroy the jet.

His father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, is a prominent banker well-connected in Nigeria's political world, the BBC's Caroline Duffield reports from Lagos.

In recent months Mr Mutallab is said to have become alarmed about the political views of his son, who is a former engineering student at University College London.

He approached the US embassy in Abuja in November to voice concerns about his son, according to American officials.

How the accused, who had a valid US travel visa, boarded a flight in Lagos to Amsterdam, despite being on a database listing individuals of concern to the authorities, is a key question, our correspondent says.

Anti-terrorist measures in Nigeria's airports are haphazard and corruption among police, customs and security officials is endemic, she adds.

Officials in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, told news agencies that Mr Abdulmutallab's name had been added to a security watch-list of more than half a million individuals, known as Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (Tide).

But there was apparently not enough information to include his name on the smaller Terrorist Screening Data Base, which includes a no-fly list.

It is understood that members of Mr Abdulmutallab's family are travelling to the Nigerian capital Abuja on Sunday to meet police and government officials.

'Nice and polite'

A preliminary FBI analysis has found that the device allegedly found attached to Mr Abdulmutallab contained the high explosive PETN, also known as pentaerythritol.

PETN was used in the device worn by British "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, who is serving a prison sentence for attempting to blow up a Paris-Miami airliner in Christmas week of 2001.

Mr Abdulmutallab allegedly tried to detonate a device using a syringe, but it failed to go off.

The suspect has reportedly told investigators he had links to al-Qaeda and had received the explosives in Yemen for a suicide attack, after a month of training.

Mr Abdulmutallab went to the bathroom for about 20 minutes before the incident, court documents say.

When he got back to his seat, he said he had an upset stomach and he pulled a blanket over himself, the affidavit continues.

"Passengers then heard popping noises similar to firecrackers, smelled an odour, and some observed Abdulmutallab's pants, leg and the wall of the airplane on fire," the Department of Justice said in a statement.

Dutch tourist Jasper Schuringa, credited with tackling the suspect first and helping crew members to restrain him, is being hailed as a hero by fans on the internet.

The 32-year-old Dutch filmmaker has said in media interviews that when he heard a bang and smelled smoke he felt immediately it was a terrorist attack and did not hesitate to intervene.

Mr Schuringa added that the alleged bomber had not become aggressive after the alleged bomb failed to detonate.

"He was actually a normal person, he was very scared, he had a very frightened look, he wasn't resisting or anything," he told the BBC.

"I also spoke later to one of the Dutch people who was sitting next to him and they said he was a really nice and polite man. So he was someone you wouldn't expect to commit a crime like this."

Meanwhile, delays have been caused to transatlantic flights after airlines flying in to and around the US tightened security.

Measures include cutting down on hand baggage, extra frisking of passengers at passport control and allowing more time to board.

Source: BBC

Africa Yes We Can but only If We are United

“We cannot be kept into a limited space by African leaders who are holding on to petty little states” President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal.

For decades the dream of an African continent united under one leadership, one government with a prosperous people with shared values, shared interest, common citizenship and with a common destiny and taking their place in the world community of nations has alluded the leadership in Africa. On the 12th of February 2009 Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade is quoted as saying: “The United States of Africa will be proclaimed in 2017, to allow for the time needed to work out the different African institutions," Source:Pan-African News Agency, 12th of February 2009.

If the United States of Africa is realized it will be a milestone for many who want to see a united Africa with a common foreign policy, trade policy, common agricultural policy, common environment, immigration and economic policy. There are many skeptics who doubt Africa's ability to achieve unity but I strongly believe it is possible to achieve unity if we work together. Unity in Africa is achievable if we eschew the bickerings and the misunderstandings that characterized earlier effort to unite.

African leaders must first and foremost recognize that unity in Africa is in our best interest and the only option we have if we want to attain peace, stability and economic development. We all must recognize that we can only make progress if North, South, East, Central and West Africa come together as one, act together as one and speak with one voice. Unity is the only key to our economic success. We can only make progress if we dismantle the artificial boundaries that have divided our peoples for quite too long. We can never develop if we continue to hold on to the artificial colonial divisions that divided tribes, peoples and regions without considering the needs of the people. We must unite as one people if we are to guarantee the future survival of our continent, its people, its resources. We can only guarantee the rights of our children and their children’s children to be the owners of our great continent if we take steps to unite our countries.

There can never be peace and development if we are not united. Africans must remember that it was our disunity in the past that enabled Europe to exploit our continent for centuries and even today it is being exploited by the so called super powers to our own disadvantage. We have had our people carried into slavery because of disunity, we have had our resources looted by foreigners because of disunity, we have had our countries invaded, and even today we are under siege from foreign powers and their corporations who are raping the continent of its valuable resources for their own selfish gains. We are helpless because we are fragmented. We are helpless because we cannot speak with one voice. We are helpless because we are disunited. We cannot act together to bring peace to Somalia, Sudan and DR. Congo because some of our leaders with the connivance of foreign defence companies and contractors are benefiting from those conflicts.

If Africa is going to make it then the leaders must act together as one, eschew their personal interests and put the needs of the continent first.

Julius Nyerere in an interview about Africa’s unity said this:

“Kwame Nkrumah and I were committed to the idea of unity. African leaders and heads of state did not take Kwame seriously. However, I did. I did not believe in these small little nations. Still today I do not believe in them. I tell our people to look at the European Union, at these people who ruled us who are now uniting. Kwame and I met in 1963 and discussed African Unity. We differed on how to achieve a United States of Africa. But we both agreed on a United States of Africa as necessary... After independence the wider African community became clear to me. I was concerned about education; the work of Booker T. Washington resonated with me. There were skills we needed and black people outside Africa had them. I gave our US Ambassador the specific job of recruiting skilled Africans from the US Diaspora. A few came. Some stayed; others left. We should try to revive it. We should look to our brothers and sisters in the West. We should build the broader Pan-Africanism. There is still the room – and the need Julius Nyerere interviewed by Ikaweba Bunting, The Heart of Africa, New Internationalist Magazine, Issue 309, January-February 1999.

There are many African leaders who are dragging their feet and are drowning the Africa Union initiative. Such leaders are only interested in the power and titles that they have in their own countries. They are not asking the hard question as to why Europe is uniting and what will it be for Africa if we are not united. They are not asking why Mexico, US and Canada are uniting to form the North American Union and they are not asking why US is seeking to establish military bases in Africa through the Africa Command (AFRICOM) project. All these countries are strategising for the next phase of global politics which will centre on who controls what vital resources and in which area. This underscores the reason why US is seeking military bases in Africa to protect her interest and to ensure that its resource needs are met at all cost. How will a small country like Gabon respond if her oil becomes a target of US occupation? Does Equatorial Guinea has the military capability to withstand an all out invasion by Europe if they decide to take her resources by force as America has done in Iraq?

The shortage of resources in Europe and America and its abundance in Africa means in the near future Africa is going to be a battle ground by these countries for the control of the resources. US has projected that by the end the next decade 85% of its oil needs must come from Africa. China too wants Africa's oil. India wants it and the EU is not staying idle either. How is the US going to ensure that the 85% target is met don't you think her Africom project makes sense? How do we respond if we are not united? How do we ensure that Western countries will not exploit our weak and insignificant countries to their own advantage? Currently there are signs that Africa is going to be a battle ground between Europe, US, China and Russia. All of them are vying for control and influence in Africa. It may get very nasty: it may mean wars between these superpowers, it may mean coups in resource rich countries, it may mean civil wars, it may mean assassinations, blackmail, arm twisting all of them tools used by these super powers during the cold war. What are we going to do in the face of these threats and don't we also need these resources ourselves and what are we going to do to protect them if we are not united?

There is strength in unity and that is why Europe is uniting, that is why North American countries are uniting.

Fearful of what Africa could achieve if united, Europe led by France one of the beneficiaries of Africa disunity is proposing what they term ‘Mediterranean Union’ an association that encompasses all nations bordering the Mediterranean Sea including the five north African countries, a move largely seen as an attempt by Europeans to weaken Africa’s effort to unite. This is the divide and rule policies of Europe that has ensured that continental Africanever gets united to do things central to their own people.

“The Mediterranean Union project is also rife with hidden agendas, including the promotion of French national interests, while ignoring some of the biggest dangers in the former European colonies in West Asia and Africa… France’s real motive, though, is to establish a French southern sphere of influence to counter Germany’s dominant position in central and Eastern Europe”.--www.livemint.com, Fri, 1 Aug 2008.The secrecy and the hidden agenda of the Mediterranean Union project was rightly noted byPresident Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal:

But of course there are other obvious goals behind the Union for the Mediterranean initiative like Algeria's oil and gas and Libyan oil,". The same secrecy and hidden agenda surrounds America's Africom. It can never be about any other thing than the resources in Africa.

We must fight this divide and rule policies if we are ever going to make it as a continent and as a people. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt can never be called Europe and will never be accepted as Europeans no matter what Nicolas Sarkozy says and the earlier the leaders in North Africa realise it the better. We must resist and fight every attempt to weaken and destroy our effort to unite. We must be very wary about US, Europe, China, Russia and their intentions.

Today Europe is moving forward with political and economic integration while it is making effort to weaken Africa with the hope that a weakened, fragmented and disunited Africa will make it easier for the resources of these countries to be exploited and looted as is currently going on in Nigeria, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, DRC, Angola, Congo where American and European multinational corporations are paying close to nothing for the resources they take.

Leaders in Africa who are dragging their feet and only interested in the sovereignty of their insignificant countries must recognise that a united Africa is in their best interest and those of their children and their children’s children.They may be less concerned and not interested in Africa unity because they may be enjoying power in their respective countries but how can they guarantee the future of their own countries, the future of their children and their children's children when they are weak economically and continue to rely on foreign aid for the survival of their governments?

I believe President Abdoulaye Wade was right when he said: “We cannot be kept into a limited space by African leaders who are holding on to petty little states”. By any margin each of the countries in Africa is weak politically, economically and militarily to stand on its own and it is only by uniting and integrating our economies that we can stand on our feet and be recognized as people. We must not hold on to our small, weak and powerless states in the name of sovereignty, we must unite for the good of Africa and its people.

"Sovereignty also masks the weakness of Africans at a time when other people have pooled political power in vast territories like China, India,Brazil, Russia and the United States of America. The very colonial countries that were the "foreigners" against whom independent African states wished to protect their sovereignty are themselves building the European Union as a bigger source of power in the global arena”--http://allafrica.com/stories/200908061022.html, 6 August 2009. Where as there is common sense as why Europe is uniting, there is no common sense as why Africans who are weak in every sense of the word are not uniting. If the powerful are uniting definitely, the weak must be uniting too.

We must achieve unity at all cost. There are many in East and South Africa that favour United States of Africa through the regional groupings whereas those in the North and West favour a more rapid integration. We can not allow this to delay and detract our effort to unite. Therefore I suggest we allow our diplomats, intellectuals to dialogue and negotiate as which approach suits us best but the 2017 deadline must be met.

We stand to gain if we are united. Unity has the added advantage of defeating the the divide and rule policies of Europe. It has the advantage of ending the wars that continue to ravage many parts of the continent. It has the advantage of helping us to pool resources together to tackle the many challenges facing the continent. Unity will end the disputes between Nigeria and Cameroon regarding the ownership of the Bakasi Peninsula. It will end the near escalated tension between Kenya and Uganda that we saw this year over the Migingo island in Lake Victoria. Unity will end the 9 km stretch of land in Yumbe that has brought dispute between Uganda and Sudan, it will end the Katuna and Mutukula border area dispute between Rwanda and Tanzania. If we are united as one people and as one country there will be no need for the many border disputes including the one between Morocco, Algeria and Western Sahara. Unity will make it unnecessary for Uganda and Rwanda to cross several times into DR. Congo to take resources for the development of their countries. Unity will enable us to speak with voice, deal with Europe, America, China, Russia and India through the government that will represent all of us. We can harness the resources in Africa for the good of all us so that Niger, Mali, Rwanda, Ethiopia and other resource poor countries will not have to go to war before having access to resources that they need.

Hutus, Tutsis and other tribes in the Great Lake region will not have to fight each other for control of land and resources since they will not be bound by space. They can come to Ghana live anywhere, farm and enjoy their live. That is what unity can bring us.

To make the unity of Africa possible we must stop thinking in terms of Anglophone, Francophone and Arabs or Mediterraneans. We must think as Africans not as French or English or German or Dutch, Spanish or Portuguese, or Arabic speakers. There can never be a United States of Africa so far as we are divided into Anglophone and Francophone. These divisions and categorisations only serve France and Britain’s interest not us. These categorisations have been exploited by those who want to see Africans poor. Those who for centuries manipulated us, exploited our resources, imprisoned our leaders, overthrew our governments and assassinated our leaders still want to control us. If we do not unite against the external forces bent on seeing us weak and fragmented then we have ourselves to blame. Unity must be achieved at all cost.

There is no doubt that there are differences in languages, religion, and traditional or cultural practices among our peoples but that should not be a source of division, wars and hatred but rather they must be a source of inspiration that drive us together. We cannot refuse to acknowledge the various types of political systems currently evidence in Africa: monarchies, democracies and autocracies however if we put the interest of the continent and its people first I am confidence these challenges can be solved no matter how difficult it is.There are other challenges such as the huge size of the continent, the high level of illiteracy, wide infrastructural gaps, poverty, but all these can be solved if we commit our hearts to it. We need not agonise about these. All that we need is for our political leaders to commit themselves to the idea of United States of Africa, get the people sensitised, have a sense of purpose and direction as to where we want to go, when we want to go and how we want to get there.

It is important that we make the United States of Africa a reality by the 2017 deadline. It therefore important that some countries make economic and political sacrifices if we are to get there. South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Kenya, DRC, Botswana, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Angola must make political commitment to bring peace and stability in Africa. The unity of Africa depends on the cooperation of these countries.

"Together we stand, together we fall" that should be our motto. We are all God's children. We are all Africans and Africa is our home and we must all work to make it good for ourselves, for our children and for our children’s children. The people of Southern Sudan, Northern Sudan, and Darfur must see themselves as Africans not as Southerners, Northerners or Darfurians. Those categorisations only serve the interest of those who want the wars to continue so they can exploit our resources while we are busy fighting. We must know that there is no Nigeria but Africa; there is no Egypt or Algeria, Libya or Sudan or Kenya, Tanzania,South Africa but Africa. If we think as Africans and work together we can accomplish a lot for our peoples.

Individually we cannot deal with the United States, the European Union, Russia or China, we cannot because we do not have the strength to act and bring pressure to bear. If we want to make our influence felt as the world’s natural resource power house then we must unite and speak with one voice, unite and have one foreign policy, unite and have one economic policy, unite and have one agricultural policy, unite and have one trade policy.

Currently at the United Nations there are more countries from Africa than from Europe and North America combined yet we do not have any say on what goes on in there because we are not united, we do not speak with one voice.

China which is just one country makes a lot of impact at the United Nations than all the over 50+ countries from Africa. If we want to change this unfavourable balance of power, take the destiny of Africa into our own hands, protect its people and resources from external exploitation, develop the economy to benefit its people then we have no option than to unite.

Yes we can but only if we are united.

By Lord Aikins Adusei

Gaddafi is a traitor, a betrayal of the Africa Union and the Africa course

Like the rest of his colleagues in Gabon, Congo and Angola who have sold their birth rights, dignity and sovereignty to multinational corporation for dollars, Gaddafi has signed a land mark deal with Italy that will allow Libya to receive 5 billion dollars in investments from Italy over the next 25 years. For his part Gaddafi will arrest every African who tries to reach Italy by boat to seek greener pasture despite Gaddafi and his friends making life unbearable for the ordinary African.

In an act that resembles African traditional leaders selling their subjects to Europeans as slaves Gaddafi did not only agree to arrest Africans who want to cross the Mediterranean into Europe, he has also agreed to accept those arrested by Italy. His agreement withItaly is an indication that he is only seeking his selfish interest and is using the Africa Union for his own personal aggrandisement.

How on earth can the Chairman of Africa Union arrest people that he is suppose to protect on the orders of colonial power? If he is not a traitor then what is he? So far over thousand Africans have been arrested by Italian authorities and deported to Italy and we still do not know what has happened to them whether they have been released, deported or are in the notorious Libyan gulags.

He has shown that like his corrupt cohorts in Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Uganda, Congo, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Zimbabwe he is much more interested in money that human life. He has shown that he cannot be trusted as an African. He is the modern day slave collaborator, modern day slave guide who will guide the slave raider to where their unsuspecting victims live. Gaddafi who is a lifelong dictator should not have been made Chairman of AU in the first place. How can a dictator be made a chairman of a body as important as the AU? How can a person who oppresses his own people and denies them freedom of speech, association be made Chairman of a whole continent? I do not blame him. I blame the people of Libya who have tolerated his misguided government for quite so long.

While he and his corrupt friends in Africa are making life miserable for the ordinary African he is busy signing deals with European colonialists to arrest and maltreat the very people he and cabal of blood suckers, vampires and saboteurs have denied any hope of development and future. He does not deserve to be AU Chairman and should be shunned by the leaders who believe in defending Africa, its people and their interest. He should be shunned like he was shunned by the Arabs. He is a traitor, inward looking collaborator who does not deserve to have any role in the Africa or have any association with AU whatsoever.

He can go ahead and arrest Africans to please his colonial masters in Europe. He can go ahead and let his colonial masters rape his country of its oil wealth while he continues to preside over a poor, disunited and fragmented continent as a Chairman.

For now at least he does not represent me, or my country and I know he does not represent Africa or its people. He represents himself, his corrupt friends who make up the toothless AU.

By Lord Adusei

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