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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ga Mantse: The “foolishness” must stop or we'll defend ourselves

Nii Tackie Tawiah III
Nii Tackie Tawiah III
The Ga Mantse, Nii Tackie Tawiah III has threatened to defend himself and the Ga stool if destructive invasions at his palace are not halted.

The Ga palace has had two separate attacks in three days by assailants said to be linked to a claimant of the Ga stool.

In Monday’s attack, properties within the palace were raided whilst an occupant alleged he was subjected to severe beating by the unknown assailants.

Three of the assailants were arrested by the police with an announcement of a search for Ayittey Canada, the claimant to the stool who is also alleged to be masterminding the attacks.

In his first major public comment on the matter, the incensed Ga Mantse told newsmen that Monday’s attack is the last straw and that Gas will take no more the “foolishness” from elements he alleged were funded by the government to launch attacks on him.

According to him, he is not surprised at the deafening silence of the government on the matter, knowing too well ploys by the government to unseat him.

“We want the word to go out today that structures, furnishing, grounds, cutlasses, cowry and cowardly instruments will not dent, touch even grieve the Ga state, because the Ga state does not live in structures or implements or instruments. The Ga state resides in the Gas.

“We have been tolerant; we have been pushed around; we have been given the run around but we have not as yet prostrate ourselves before any government.

“…What has happened is a warning not to us, but a warning to government that its property will be destroyed; its structure may be destroyed; its environment may be desecrated but we as Gas have been provoked enough and when we rise, well no one should say we are doing so as a political reaction.

“We would react when the need arises as a people who have been abused, pressed, provoked and above all denied” he lamented.

“If the foolishness will not stop the Gas shall defend that which is Ga’s,” he warned.

The government however says the pronouncement of the Ga mantse is disparaging and unfortunate.

A deputy Information Minister, James Agyenim Boateng said the pronouncement lacked “dignity, grace and diplomacy required of a chief.”

He reiterated that the government still stands by its policy of non-interference in chieftaincy matters.

Mr Boateng dismissed allegations that the government is plotting to unseat the chief, saying the government has more serious engagements to deal with at the Castle.

Meanwhile Ayittey Canada, the claimant accused of masterminding the attacks at the Ga Mantse palace has surrendered himself to the Regional Police Command.

He denied knowledge of the allegations leveled against him, despite confessions by the three arrested assailants.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

Police deny wrongdoing in arrest of NPP "chimp" radio commentator

President John Evans Atta Mills
President John Evans Atta Mills
Police in the Ashanti Region have strongly defended their decision to arrest a man who referred to the President as a chimpanzee.

Radio commentator Adu Gyamfi, an activist of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), in a panel discussion on local radio station Fox FM called President Mills a chimp.

The missile hurled at the President triggered a quick mass-up of several supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at the precincts of the radio station apparently to beat him up but the police subsequently picked him up.

Lawyer Ace Ankomah has, however, questioned the manner in which the police effected the arrest and pointed that the insult is not an offense under the laws of the state.

However, Ashanti Regional Police PRO Chief Inspector Mohammed Tanko tells Joy News Adu Gyamfi, also known as High Priest, is not being investigated for the alleged insult against the President.

“We arrested him for offensive conduct contrary to section 207 of our criminal code. We did not arrest him for insulting the President,” Inspector Tanko said, and disclosed that Adu Gyamfi has been released on a police inquiry bail.

The NPP activist will report on Wednesday 26, May 2010 to assist the police in their investigation, the police inspector said.

“Offensive conduct is very broad but it depends on what the person did and the interpretation we are putting on it. You know, this is somebody who went on air and said disparaging things about our number one man, that is, the President,” he stressed.

Inspector Tanko said the charge of offensive conduct is just right because Adu Gyamfi’s statement is “offensive to the President, it is offensive to the state and is offensive to even common sense.”

Adu Gyamfi’s “offensive” statement follows comments by another NPP activist Nana Darkwa who caused a stir when he said ex-President Rawlings torched his own at Ridge.

The case of Nana Darkwa is still in court as his lawyers and state prosecutors battle it out.

Story by Fiifi Koomson/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

Government confirms refugee movement from Ghana to Togo


Government has confirmed a BBC report that several refugees from northern Ghana have been crossing over to neighbouring Togo to escape ethnic unrest at home.

Information Minister John Tia who confirmed the story to Joy News said although there has been some movement in recent days, the figure of 3500 cited by the BBC is an exaggeration.

Mr Tia said the refugees are mainly from some two communities the Bunkpurugu District of the Northern Region where recent ethnic clashes have led to heightened tensions.

“This movement has been going on but the figures they are mentioning around are alarming and that is not true because the [population of the two communities] is not up to 2000,” Mr Tia indicated.

“My checks with the Northern Regional Security Command and the Regional Minister do not indicate that the people are more than 2000 so how could we be having 3,500 from Ghana to Togo?”

The report published on the BBC website also said the Togolese authorities have already created temporary shelter camps in Tandjouare, a northern Togo town, for the fleeing Ghanaians.

“After visiting the camp, Security Minister Colonel Mohammed Atcha Titikpina said:

‘We have come in the name of the government of Togo to express our sympathies and solidarity with our [Ghanaian] brothers and sisters.

‘Our immediate task is to find the resources to provide these refugees with emergency relief supplies, security, feeding, clothing and temporary rehabilitation structures," the BBC story said.

Meanwhile, Mr Tia says government is moving in with food supplies as, so far, “life has returned to normal.”

“NADMO is moving in to assist those who were displaced and then there are talks going on among the Regional House of Chiefs and the traditional councils of the Bunkpurugu District,” Mr Tia stressed.

The story was blown out of proportion when the Togolese authorities started creating shelters to accommodate the Ghanaians, Mr Tia said.

Story by Fiifi Koomson/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pianim: I won't apologise to anyone

Mr. Kwame Pianim
Mr. Kwame Pianim
Economist and founding member of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Mr. Kwame Pianim has refused to retract and apologize for comments he made Wednesday at the campaign launch of one of the contenders for NPP flag-bearer.

Mr. Pianim told a gathering at Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng’s campaign launch that the aspirant was not corrupt but a principled man who will not condone criminality and corruption. He therefore urged delegates to vote for him for proper leadership or choose any other person if they wanted corruption to reign freely.

He has been heavily criticized by leading members of the NPP including party chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, who say his comments casts aspersions on the credibility of the other candidates.

Mr. Obetsibi Lamptey told Joy FM the party will take a final decision on the matter after its National Executive Council meets over the comments on Thursday.

But in an exclusive interview on the issue Mr. Pianim says he has been misinterpreted.

He tells Joy News he will not retract any comments or apologise to anyone because he sees nothing wrong with the things he said.

"It is unfortunate that people don't take their time to listen carefully.

"How can I call somebody like Isaac Osei an idiot? He was in my campaign team.

He said all the five presidential candidates can be president but maintained Prof Frimpong Boateng is unrivalled.

"Political party is not a clan," he said, adding the party cannot dismiss him when it has not heard his side of the story.

Source: Joy News/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

Massive 'foot soldier' campaign for Nana Addo in Kumasi

Nana Akufo-Addo
Nana Akufo-Addo
A group of supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ashanti Region is kick starting a campaign to ensure overwhelming Ashanti votes for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, a leading contender for NPP flagbearership position.

Led by the immediate past Bantama NPP constituency secretary, the “Ashanti Region for Nana Akuffo Addo Crusade 2012” hopes to discard the notion that Ashantis are against the candidature of the of the 2008 NPP flagbearer through education.

About 1,000 AFNAAC members consisting of constituency and regional executives, delegates and ordinary members of NPP would be dispatched to 39 constituencies in the region.

The group has dismissed claims that acrimony between Ashantis and Akyems led to the defeat of the NPP in 2008 elections.

Asked why the group is not supporting the bid of MP for Subin, Isaac Osei and Alan Kyerematen all who hail from the region, Chairman of the group, Henry Osei Kwabena said Nana Akuffo Addo is the only candidate among them who can win victory for the NPP.

He says his track record of winning 49 per cent of votes in the 2008 elections is enough conviction of his ability to win power for the NPP in 2012.

They will distribute T-shirts and brochures as they meet delegates one-on-one in their campaign to garner support for Nana Akuffo Addo in the region.

Story by Ohemeng Tawiah/Luv FM/Ghana

I don’t have an e-mail address – NPP flag-bearer aspirant


Barely 24 hours after New Patriotic Party’s founding member and renowned economist, Kwame Pianim insinuated that some flag-bearer aspirants of the party were not modern and lacked ICT skills, plus some could not even access emails, one of them has owned up.

Kumasi-based Apostle John Kwame Koduah says he has no email account presently because his computer has broken down and that he is getting it fixed.

He told Citi FM “Unfortunately I don’t have one (e-mail address) now, my machine is has broken down and am getting it repaired now...At the moment I don’t have it.”

Asked if he has heard of new interactive media forms like Facebook and Twitter, he said, “My office is computerized. We have a computer, typewriter and so on but for political purposes, we are building another office somewhere and in about a [month’s] time it will be completed so for the time being, I don’t have it.”

At launch on Wednesday of Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng's bid to lead the NPP as flag-bearer, Mr. Pianim urged votes for Frimpong-Boateng because he would deliver the sort of leadership Ghana needed, describing him as modern, trained, ICT savvy and like compliments.

“We are not looking for a flag-bearer, any idiot can hold the flag,” he had urged, explaining that Frimpong-Boateng’s credentials as a modern man who is in tune with Science and Technology, made him the ideal candidate.

"This day and age there are people who are struggling to become president, they don’t even know how to use e-mail."

Pianim also urged delegates to vote for Frimpong-Boateng because he is not corrupt, asking delegates to look for the other aspirants to support if they were aiming at voting someone who would condone corruption and crime.

Various voices within and outside the party, including some spokespersons of the other aspirants and party chairman Jake Obetsebi Lamptey have condemned the comment saying it is unsavory and unbecoming of Pianim's stature.

But he has categorically rebuffed calls to apologise, saying he owes no one any apology in the party.

Story by Ernest Dela Aglanu/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana 

Pianim is a disappointment - Jake

Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, NPP Chairman
Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, NPP Chairman
The National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, has lashed out at Mr. Kwame Pianim, a founding member of the party, for his "very unfortunate" comments that sought to suggest that all NPP presidential aspirants, except Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, are corrupt.

Spokespersons for the various candidates have already condemned Mr Pianim. The renowned economist stirred the hornets nest when he chaired the campaign launch of Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng as NPP presidential candidate on Wednesday. At the short function, he also urged delegates to elect a leader and not just a flag-bearer because “any idiot can hold the flag”.

But Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey says his comment would cast a slur on the reputation of the other candidates.

When asked by host of Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah whether he was surprised by the comment, he replied “[I am] disappointed...because I think it is a very poor phraseology…it will seem to cast aspersions about the generality of the candidates that the NPP put out.”

The party Chairman assured that a steering committee on other matters is scheduled to meet today, Thursday, and would definitely consider Mr Pianim’s utterances and come out with their “official reaction” through the NPP’s General Secretary.

Even though Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey conceded that people are entitled to freedom of speech, he reminded people that where their freedom ends, that is where another person’s own begins.

“I don’t think that freedom of expression means you can say anything you like about anybody without having some justification for what you say.”

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said, from the excerpt he has heard from what was said, it has the potential of bringing the party into disrepute.

“I do believe that politics is a calling as the churches, as teaching is, as medicine is, and it is an area where those who want to offer leadership often find themselves. I don’t think we should just turn round and condemn the whole class of politicians in this sort of way.”

The party chairman had a word or two for Mr Pianim and the like: “We should all consider our words carefully before we utter them in public, because once a word comes out you can’t put it back again.”

Meanwhile, the Editor of the Daily Dispatch newspaper, Mr Ben Ephson, who is also a political watcher, says the party is only “being panicky”, and described the swift responses as “kneejerk reactions”.

He dared the party to expel him, if they can, should Mr Pianim refuse to apologize as people have asked him to do, adding that any attempt to “punish him will backfire”.

He rather urged the party to concentrate on the impending presidential primary slated for August 7.

Mr Ephson however, asked Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, who has since refused to disassociate himself from Mr Pianim’s statement, to focus on his message of unifying the party, and avoid capitalizing on the corruption assertion.

Story by Isaac Essel/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

Nana Addo's camp replies Kofi Jumah

Herbert Krapa
Herbert Krapa
The campaign office of Nana Akufo-Addo, an NPP presidential aspirant, has cautioned leading party members to be wary of rushing to the media on the slightest suspicion.

A statement signed by Herbert Krapa, the Press Aide to Nana Akufo-Addo, said such acts of bad faith run the risk of manufacturing disaffection and avoidable disunity.

“While every well-meaning NPP person wants a healthy, clean, free, fair and transparent flagbearership contest, we believe that the penchant for some people to rush their complaints or concerns to the mass media on matters that a quiet cross-check within the party can so easily resolve is rather giving the party an undeservedly bad name.”

Read the full statement below

Re: Jumah accuses Jake & co of Nana bias

The attention of the Office of Nana Akufo-Addo has been drawn to a front page story in the Daily Dispatch of Thursday, May 13, 2010, which was widely circulated via the world wide web with the above headline.

The story stated that the New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Asokwa, Mr. Maxwell Kofi Jumah, who is a leading member of Mr. Alan Kyerematen's campaign team, has, in a circulated text message, accused the party's national executives, led by its Chairman, Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, of being biased towards Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2012 flagbearership race.

The Asokwa MP's text message read: “TO NATIONAL EXECUTIVES: I have just been informed that you have invited the entire executives of the NPP in the three Northern Regions to Sunyani from 14th to 16th [May]. No agenda was given. Nana will be in town. I am going to be there to monitor, to make sure genuine party business takes place. I am by this, informing all candidates.”

The Office of Nana Akufo-Addo wishes to remind the general public that on Monday, May 10, it issued a press release, which was widely published, outlining his campaign itinerary for the Brong Ahafo Region, from May 11 to May 15.

That release read that the Nana Akufo-Addo’s "campaign team will on Tuesday, 11th May begin their tour of the Brong-Ahafo Region from the Tano South, Tano North, Berekum, Sunyani West and Sunyani East constituencies and continue on Wednesday from Dormah West, Dormah East, Jaman North and Jaman South.

"The Brong-Ahafo regional tour, which was originally scheduled to start on Monday, May 10, was rescheduled to commence on Tuesday, May 11 to allow Nana Akufo-Addo to attend the court hearing of the Ghana International Airline case involving some senior party figures."

Indeed, per the original schedule, Nana Akufo-Addo's BA tour would have ended on Friday, May 14, the very day that Mr. Jumah says the party event with the regional executives from 3 regions will begin.

Nana Akufo-Addo's BA campaign tour, which started on Tuesday, will now end on Saturday, May 15, when he takes his campaign to Sene and Pru, concluding at Atebubu, far from Sunyani.

Nana Akufo-Addo will spend Saturday in Kumasi, to begin his Ashanti Regional Tour the next day.

Indeed, Nana Akufo-Addo only toured Sunyani on the first day of his regional tour, Tuesday, May 11. On Friday, the day that this party event is said to begin in Sunyani, Nana' takes his campaign to Kintampo South, Kintampo North, Nkoranza North and Nkoranza South.

While every well-meaning NPP person wants a healthy, clean, free, fair and transparent flagbearership contest, we believe that the penchant for some people to rush their complaints or concerns to the mass media on matters that a quiet cross-check within the party can so easily resolve is rather giving the party an undeservedly bad name. Such acts of bad faith run the risk of manufacturing disaffection and avoidable disunity.

We hope this statement clarifies matters.

Thank you.

Herbert Krapa,
Press Aide

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