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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, October 26, 2010

Slovenia: Ghanaian becomes first black mayor

  1. Samuel Okocha, AfricaNews reporter in Lagos, Nigeria
    A Ghanaian-born doctor Peter Bossman is to become the first black mayor in Slovenia after winning a runoff election in the European country's coastal town of Piran with 51.4 percent of votes.
    Peter Bossman
    54-year-old Bossman defeated the outgoing mayor Dr. Tomaz Gantar on Sunday.

    Doctor Bossman, known as the “Obama of Piran” where he lives, belongs to Slovenia's governing Social Democrats and used to be a member of the Piran City Council.

    "I based my campaign on a dialogue, and I think the dialogue has won," the Associated Press quoted the Ghanaian-born doctor as saying in the country where the vast majority are whites.

    Bossman settled in the former Yugoslavia in the 1970s to study medicine. The country of two million people is located near Italy, Austria and Croatia.

Kufuor Grabs 1.4 Acre Government Land For GH¢4,000

Related Stories
A man of power is usually ruined by power, a man of money is ruined by money and of pleasure is ruined by pleasure, But former President John Agyekum Kufuor, appears to have been ruined by money, power and pleasure.

In an act which could easily pass as the ultimate political heist in our country’s history, former President Kufuor allocated to himself, a 1.42 acres of premium government land at a ridiculous price of GH¢4,000.

President John Agyekum Kufuor bought the said premium land located on Plot number 8, Residency Link Ridge Residential area, Kumasi, in the year 2004, just before he ran for re-election.Kumasi residents who spoke to The Enquirer newspaper about the price at which former President Kufuor bought the land was dumbfounded saying “if you know the land that he bought for such a price, you will pick a gun and shoot him”.

A real estate guru in Kumasi sad “a land of that magnitude at that location in Kumasi will cost a minimum of $50,000. It is actually an area you will compare to Cantonment or ridge. It is the most affluent neighborhood in Kumasi. That is where you have Golden Tulip and the Military Mess. That is where most of Ghanaians abroad and the expatriate community reside”.

President Kufuor whilst as president doubled the Presidential salary and quadrupled the presidential per diem and in his final term in office, commissioned his special advisor to repackage his end of service benefits which saw the allocation of premium government bungalows, one in Accra which he lavishly renovated and another house to be located anywhere of his choice but within the country.
The new package also made provision for several chauffer driven bullet proof vehicles maintained and fueled by the state as well as a $1 million grant for him to set up an NGO. He was also to retire on his presidential salary.

The next person on the list of buyers of government land in Kumasi is Mr. Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, who bought a premium plot I, located at Acacia Close, Ridge Residential area for a laughable GH¢1,000. Mr. Mpiani was President Kufuor’s Chief of Staff. He was also the chairman of the National Development Planning Committee which committed the nation into the famous Ghana@50 celebration. Mpaini bought his land in 2004.

Mr. Sampson Kwaku Boafo, a former Ashanti Regional Minister during Kufuor’s presidency, and later Minister for Chieftancy and Culture at the Office of the President, also bought plot 4, a 0.42 acre enviable real estate at Acacia Close Ridge Residential Area for a paltry GH¢1,000. He bought his land in 2004.

One Prof. Yaw Boafo, also bought plot 2, at the same Acacia Close Ridge Residential area. The size of the plot is 0.46 acres. Prof. Boafo is believed to be brother of S.K. Boafo. Prof Boafo was the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast and was later appointed by Kufuor as ambassador to Cote D’Ivoir and also held an appointment at the Get Fund.

Emmanuel Owusu Ansah, also a former Ashanti regional Minister on his part acquired a Plot at No. 5, New Lands Ave. Ridge Residential Area for GH¢1,000. The size of his premium government land is 0.54 acreage and it was allocated to him in 2008.

Moreover, former Mayor of Kumasi, Cecelia Appiagyei purchased 0.28 acreage of premium government land for GH¢1,000. The land was located at Militia Ave Ridge Area and allocated to her in 2004.
Hon. Cecilia Dapaah, MP for Bantama also purchased a 0.28 acres on Plot 7, at Militia Avenue Ridge Residential Area and paid Gh¢1,000. She bought her land in 2006 and is said to have already erected a massive building on her plot.

Another lucky purchaser of the land is one Osei Assibey believed to be a former Ashanti Deputy Regional Minister. On paper a plot at Ridge Residential Area stands in his name and was allocated to him in 2008 but there is no indication as to whether he has paid for the land. The land was 0.44 acres of premium land.

One Nana Kwame Kyeretwie and Akwasi Prempeh, believed to be the father of the MP of Manhyia, Hon. Napoleon Prempeh, in 2006 also bought 0.29 acre plot at Militia Close Ridge Residential Area for Gh¢1,000.

Alhaji Hamidu Ibrahim Baryeh, said to be an employee of Lands Commission also bought a 0.22 acre plot at Circular Road Ridge Residential area for GH¢1,000 in 2004. Plot 4, at Residency Link Road, Residential Area, sold at GH¢1,000 stand in the name of one Barima Kwaku Dua, believed to be the Asantehene. The land was allocated in 2004.
Source: The Enquirer

"NDC Should Shelve Destructive Tendencies"

The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), has pleaded with members of the party to avoid acts that are likely to create image problems and erode public confidence in the body.

Mr Yaw Owusu Obimpeh asked the NDC to stick to laid down internal procedures to address their grievances. Speaking at a meeting with regional youth organisers of the party in Kumasi, Mr Obimpeh admonished them not to allow personal interest to override that of the party.

The meeting mapped out strategies to unite the youth and get them fired up ahead of the 2012 general election. The Regional Chairman said the party recognised the role the youth played to bring the NDC back to power and encouraged them to work with the executives to win over more voters. Mr Obimpeh drew attention to the need for unity of purpose and understanding at all levels, to support the government to deliver the “Better Ghana” agenda.

Mr Alex Sawyer Attivor, First Regional Vice-Chairman of the NDC, called on the party’s youth to carry themselves well, reminding them that their attitudes and behaviour would provide a yardstick to judge them when they decide in future to contest for leadership positions.

He urged them not to relent in their efforts to mobilise and help the people to appreciate government achievements. Mr Omar Ibrahim Nyameya, Regional Co-ordinator of the National Youth Employment Programme called on the youth organisers to work hard to counter negative propaganda against the NDC.
Source: GNA

NDC Disowns Mrs. Rawlings…It’ll Be Politically Suicidal To Elect Her Flagbearer

Central Regional Communications Director of the NDC, Ben Allotey Jacobs
The Central Regional Communications wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it believes former First Lady, Mrs. Konadu Rawlings, is gleefully enjoying the subtle attempts to prop her up as a presidential candidate of the party; but warned that it will be politically suicidal for the NDC to elect her as its flagbearer for the 2012 General elections.

The Central Regional Communications Director of the NDC, Ben Allotey Jacobs, alleges it is the desire of some NDC elements within the party that the NDC goes back into opposition.

Mr. Allotey Jacobs says there is nothing like ‘foot soldiers’ drawn from the region said to be supporting Mrs. Rawlings as a sure candidate for the party’s flagbearership.

This follows reports making rounds that campaign posters promoting the former First Lady as a contender to President Mills on the party’s 2012 ticket are sponsored by ‘foot soldiers’ in Cape Coast.

Speaking in an interview with Kwami Sefa Kayi on PeaceFM’s Flagship programme, “Kokrokoo”, Mr. Allotey Jacobs, who sought to discredit the group stressed that “Prof Mills is the captain of NDCs footsoldiers.” He alleged that the perpetrators nicodemously came from Accra to Cape Coast paste the campaign posters in the region to make it seem it was done by people in the region.

““It shows an act of disrespect against the rules and regulations of the party, but we know what is going on in the region. People come from Accra to undermine Professor Mills in the region because they know the region is solidly behind him…Prof Mills is the number one foot soldier of the NDC...He led us from house to house, door to door during the electoral campaign,” he asserted.

He dismissed the suggestion that the former First Lady might be unaware of the group’s action and dared Mrs. Rawlings to openly disassociate herself from the group if indeed she does not endorse their act.

“…She (Mrs. Rawlings) is enjoying what they are doing. If she is not enjoying it she should come out as the Vice Chairman of the party and deny it; those so called footsoldiers who claim are supporting her,” Allotey stated.

The plain speaking former Central Regional NDC Propaganda Secretary was categorical that the NDC will hand victory to the opposition NPP on a silver platter and will never regain power should Mrs. Rawlings be elected the flagbearer in 2012.

“…It will be a disaster…and suicidal for the NDC to elect Nana Konadu as the flagbearer….In the unlikely event of Nana Konadu becoming flagbearer of the NDC, it will be cool chop for the NPP…Look, what we are doing, should we kicked into opposition, NDC will never resurrect,” he stated.

He averred that the campaign for Nana Konadu to be elected as flagbearer to lead the party for the 2012 elections “is being well orchestrated” by the office of the Former First Lady.

“They know. They are all involved…It is being well orchestrated…by those who are around Nana Konadu,” he claimed.

Asked if it was being done with her involvement, Mr. Allotey Jacobs replied, “I am sure.” “Are you speculating?” Kwami propped further. But the ECG Board Member stood his grounds and rather shot back, “I am sure”.
Source: Beatrice Adepa Frempong/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

NDC: Konadu must denounce campaign posters

Mrs Rawlings, who is also one of the NDC's vice chairpersons, must accept the position at all cost or cease to be a politician - says a group.
Mrs Rawlings, who is also one of the NDC's vice chairpersons, must accept the position at all cost or cease to be a politician - says a group.
The ruling National Democratic Congress's General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah is asking former first lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings to dissociate herself from campaign posters seeking to promote her candidature for the 2012 general elections.

The posters, sponsored by a group calling itself the foot-soldiers of the National Democratic Congress, claim the time is up for Nana Konadu to take over the party.

'Faceless' representatives of the group maintain that President John Mills has lost touch with the foot-soldiers of the party, leading to widespread agitations and disenchantment.

They say Mrs Rawlings, who is also one of the NDC's vice chairpersons, must accept the position at all cost or cease to be a politician.

Spokesperson of the former first family Kofi Adams insists Mrs Rawlings is unaware of the activities of the group.

General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah however says it is not enough for Mrs Rawlings to be silent over the matter.

He told Joy News’ Sammy Darko that the former first lady has to state clearly her position on the matter and state categorically if she wants to contest the election.

Otherwise “the impression being created is that here is a vice chairperson who is not prepared to go by the rules of the party and I don’t think that is a good campaign for her if she is interested to contest.”

He stated however that the party will not waste time investigating the matter.

In a reaction, Kofi Adams told Joy News calls for Mrs Rawlings to dissociate herself from the activities is a moot point.

On whether the recent wrangling would negatively affect the party, Mr Adams said that will only depend on the performance of the government.

He said leadership must wake up, focus and deliver on their mandate and the party will have no problems as to who wants to lead the party for the next election.

He said the former first lady knows too well when and how to vie for the position of a president, saying she will go according to the party’s constitution if she wants to aspire for the position.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

A devastated country in the time of cholera

The Economist 

WITH few signs of recovery nine months after Haiti’s earthquake, the country’s government and its main foreign-aid donors were forced to tout a rather underwhelming achievement—the absence of water-borne diseases like typhoid, diphtheria and cholera—as evidence of progress. Now, even that claim is beyond their grasp. In the past four days over 200 people have died of cholera in the country, and a handful of victims have shown up in Port-au-Prince, the capital.
This was the situation that humanitarian workers feared most. The capital’s tent cities, numbering over 1,300 and still home to 1.3m people, are veritable Petri dishes for disease. Many lack a consistent supply of clean water. Toilets are smelly and, even in the best-run camps, not de-sludged often enough. Flooding and standing water—literal cesspools—are frequent at this late stage in the rainy season.
Untreated, cholera can kill within hours of the first symptoms. It causes profuse diarrhea, and victims can lose gallons of water per day. The treatment is hardly high-tech—oral rehydration salts, IVs for victims unconscious or too weak to drink, and lots of clean water—but Haiti’s weak health system could not handle an epidemic.
Indeed, the “medical grid” (aid-speak for health-care infrastructure) has already collapsed in St Marc, where the first cases appeared Wednesday. Located 100km north of Port-au-Prince and unaffected by the earthquake, it is one of the main cities in Haiti’s so-called rice basket, the Artibonite Valley—whose eponymous river is where epidemiologists suspect that the outbreak originated. People use the river to bathe, wash clothes and drink.
So far, no cases are known to have originated in Port-au-Prince: the five confirmed victims in the capital appear to have journeyed there to seek care. That’s a sliver of good news. But as goods and people journey through the country, it’s not likely to last.

By P. B.

Democracy in America:The youth vote

Out with the olds

By E.G. | AUSTIN, The Economist

WHILE thinking about the youth vote in this year's mid-term elections, I've come to the conclusion that America's young adults—people between the ages of 18 and 29—are on track to be, well, better than their parents. While the Boomers are out busting up their marriages and defaulting on their mortgages, the Millennials are stoically piling up student loans, serving in foreign wars, and telling pollsters they're still optimistic about the future of the country. In some areas, their confidence may be unwarranted (in particular, they put more stock in government than any other age cohort), and I wouldn't mind seeing a little more fractious political behaviour from the youth (the tea-party movement is spirited, if nothing else, and the average age of the movement is perhaps 50). Still, their faith is sincere, and we are, of course, comparing them to their parents. So I was interested to see Michael Kinsley, a Boomer, consider the case against his generation:
They ducked the challenge of Vietnam—so much smaller than the military challenge their parents so triumphantly met. They made alienation fashionable and turned self-indulgence (sex, drugs, rock and roll, cappuccino makers, real estate, and so on) into a religion. Their initial suspicion of the Pentagon and two presidents, Johnson and Nixon, spread like kudzu into a general cynicism about all established institutions (Congress, churches, the media, you name it). This reflexive and crippling cynicism is now shared across the political spectrum. The Boomers ran up huge public and private debts, whose consequences are just beginning to play out. In the world that Boomers will pass along to their children, America is widely held in contempt, prosperity looks to more and more people like a mirage, and things are generally going to hell.
Arguably unfair, Mr Kinsley concludes, but the Boomers are right to feel a bit disappointed in themselves. However, he continues, "it's not too late for a generational gesture." They can't win the second world war, but they can make their mark in some other area, tackle a major problem, leave the country demonstrably better off on their way out the door, redeem themselves a little.
A fine goal for any generation. But what are the Boomers to do? The question had also occurred to Joe Klein at Time magazine, who suggested that the Boomers fight to legalise marijuana. Mr Kinsley recoils at the idea: not nearly big enough, and bad branding—self-indulgent to the very end. Mr Kinsley's own suggestion is that his generation should raise a bunch of money to pay down the national debt:
Fair? Of course it’s not fair. That’s the point. If it was fair, the gesture would be meaningless. Boomers are not primarily responsible for America’s debt crisis. Blame goes mostly to the World War II generation, which in this regard was not so Great. They’re the ones who notoriously want to “Stop the Government from messing around with our Medicare,” and Boomers are the ones who have been paying to support the last vestige of old-fashioned fee-for-service medicine—for the old folks. The Boomers themselves and their children are more likely to go to an HMO.
But that’s okay. You won World War II, so we are going to take care of your debts, cover your extravagances, and go along with your little pretense that you paid for it and are entitled to it.
That passage actually sounds like something that might come from Generation X—independent, cynical, entrepeneurial. In any case, there are actually two goals here. Mr Kinsley wants (1) his generation to redeem itself by changing its ways, and (2) to knock out one of America's big problems. But the ability to accomplish (2) is contingent on the success of (1), and (1) is a massive undertaking. Are the Boomers meant to become mature, magnanimous, and selfless overnight? That's not going to happen. The project will have a greater chance of success if the Boomers can tackle it as they are. Better to find a (2), that is, that doesn't require a (1).
My suggestion: prison reform. We imprison far too many people for far too inconsequential reasons, warping millions of lives in the process. The Boomers, having done many things that many people are currently in prison for (see Mr Klein's argument above), can credibly make the case that this is silly. It would connect to the values the generation had at one point, of peace, love, and sticking it to the Man. It wouldn't require much personal sacrifice on the part of the Boomers—just a willingness to raise and press and pursue the issue in the public sphere—and if reform were to happen, it would save a lot of money, which connects to Mr Kinsley's thinking. A reasonable goal?

The integration debate in Germany:Is multi-kulti dead?

The Economist online | BERLIN

A FEW months ago Germans were basking in the positive glow cast by their multicultural football team. They did not quite win the World Cup but did pretty well with a part-Ghanaian defender, a midfielder with Turkish roots and a striker from Poland. What a great advertisement for a Germany “open to the world”. Now suddenly the talk is of an immigrant-bashing, Islam-hating Germany nostalgic for the firm leadership of the 1940s. Why? And which is the real Germany?

The person responsible for spoiling the mood is Thilo Sarrazin, an obscure member of the Bundesbank’s board, who in August published a controversial book, Deutschland schafft sich ab (“Germany does away with itself”). The dour economist reached this conclusion—surprising in light of Germany’s splendid economic performance—from his reading of the demographic future: with the country's population shrinking overall, immigrants and the underclass are having too many children, well-educated native Germans too few. Biologically, culturally and professionally Germany is dumbing down, Mr Sarrazin argued (and was then forced out of his job).

The insult to the poor was quickly forgotten but the anti-immigrant line snowballed into a ferocious debate about how Germany should deal with its 16m immigrants (or people with “migrant backgrounds”), especially its 4m or so Muslims. Even those who revile Mr Sarrazin accept that he has struck a nerve. Germany clearly isn’t doing enough to bring immigrants into the social and economic mainstream. Too many drop out of school and live off the dole. A worrying minority form “parallel societies”, and a few actively plot harm against their German neighbours.

Germans accentuate the negative, according to a raft of recent polls. Most favour “sharply restricting” Muslim religious practice, a third think the country is overrun with foreigners and a tenth say they want a strong Führer (though presumably not the Führer again). Some conservative politicians have been eager to clamber aboard this unpleasant bandwagon, partly out of fear that if they don’t irresponsible populists will take their places. Horst Seehofer, the premier of Bavaria and head of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party of the governing Christian Democratic Union (CDU), went furthest among respectable politicians: Germany is not an “immigration land”, he proclaimed, and it certainly does not need more immigrants from “other cultural backgrounds”, such as Turkish or Arabic.

Angela Merkel tried to get into the spirit of things by declaring that multiculturalism has “failed, absolutely failed.” On so-called "guest workers", whose descendants make up a large share of the immigrant population: “We kidded ourselves that they wouldn’t stay, but that’s not the reality.” These were platitudes dressed up as epiphanies to suit the populist mood. But Mrs Merkel does not really do populism. While bashing multiculturalism she also admitted that Islam is “part of Germany.”

The chancellor's ambivalence is the key to understanding where Germany is right now. The fact is that for several decades the country did expect workers from Turkey and elsewhere to leave like polite guests. It then flirted with the multi-kulti idea that they could dwell in Germany without fully belonging to it. Recently Germans, or at least the political class, had begun to accept that Germany is an “immigration country” with a responsibility to integrate immigrants fully into national life. Mrs Merkel has made this a hallmark of her chancellorship, holding “integration summits” and developing a “national integration plan”, which mandates German language courses and seeks to shepherd immigrants into employment. The new conventional wisdom is that integration is a “two-way street”, making demands on both hosts and newcomers. 

Christian Wulff, the country's president, used the occasion of the 20th anniversary of German unification on October 3rd to affirm Islam’s place in Germany more ringingly and convincingly than Mrs Merkel (this week on a trip to Turkey he reminded Turks that Christianity has a place there). German business is clamouring for more immigration, regardless of where it comes from, so long as the newcomers have useful skills. The government is working on a law that would make it easier for the hundreds of thousands of immigrants in Germany with professional qualifications to have them recognised so that they can do something more rewarding than cleaning houses.

All this is fine. But perhaps government ought to be moving faster. Welfare makes it too easy to do nothing; schools have to do a better job of bringing pupils with foreign backgrounds up to academic speed. But the idea that Mr Sarrazin has discovered a problem that Germany’s leaders had been ignoring is wrong.

What they have apparently failed to do is to persuade Germans to come to terms with the changes they are witnessing. This is worrying. It points to a broader estrangement between citizens and politics, which manifests itself in falling voter participation, the long-term decline of the two biggest political parties (the CDU and the Social Democrats) and the rise of political action outside the party system, as in Stuttgart, where an ambitious railway project has been snarled by months of street protests.

At stake in the current debate are the terms on which immigrants will be accepted. Will they be told to embrace the German Leitkultur (“leading culture”), as some conservatives demand? That sounds like a reasonable request, but to many immigrants it smacks of arrogance. Will Muslims be forced to choose between practising their religion and adopting a German identity? That would be both unreasonable and self-destructive. Or will politicians speak out for the give and take, the bundle of benefits and obligations, that can make immigration tolerable for both sides? Germany’s leaders had basically the right approach before Mr Sarrazin came along. They need to put it into practice and, just as important, to defend it.

Konadu will not get a single vote in the Central Region - Allotey Jacobs

Nana Konadu Rawlings
Nana Konadu Rawlings

Director of Communications for the National Democratic Congress in the Central Region, Allotey Jacobs, says former first lady Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings will face a humiliating defeat in the region if she decides to challenge the presidency of Prof John Mills.

The Central Region, like most parts of the country, is replete with campaign posters of Mrs. Rawlings said to have been sponsored by a group calling itself the foot-soldiers of the NDC and touting the leadership credentials of the former first lady and seeking her candidature.

A representative of the group in the central region told Joy News that Mrs. Rawlings has no choice but to accept the proposal being put forward by the foot-soldiers or retire from politics.

He claimed to have lost confidence in the leadership style of President Mills, insisting the time has come for the real owners of the party to take up the mantle.

Reacting to the turn of events, Allotey Jacobs told Joy FM’s Central Regional correspondent Richard Kojo Nyarko that the party does not recognize any group purporting to be the foot-soldiers of the party.

According to him, the activities of the group are a blatant “disregard for the party’s rules and regulations.”

He contended that the posters were the handiworks of faceless people from Accra, adding, the Central Region is solidly behind President John Mills.

“The region is solidly behind Prof Mills and I don’t think if Nana Konadu decides to contest she will even get a single vote in the Central Region,” he touted.

He said he is aware of plans by certain persons to undermine the president in the region, saying such ploys will not work.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

Ben Ephson: Floating voters are not ready for family presidency

Pollster Ben Ephson is cautioning the National Democratic Congress against a Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings candidature in the 2012 General elections. Even though the former first lady is popular among members of her own party, Mr. Ephson believes she is unattractive among the larger voting population, especially the floating voters.

He was speaking to Joy News’ Araba Koomson on Monday following what emerged Sunday as a subtle campaign to have Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings contest against President Mills as the party flagbearer.

Posters of the former first lady have been posted at vantage points across the country, by individuals purporting to be members of the foot-soldiers of the NDC who are seeking the candidature of Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings as president.

Regional representatives of the group who have refused to disclose their identities told Joy News, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings must accept their proposal or forget about politics the rest of her life.

Spokesperson of ex-president Rawlings, Kofi Adams says Nana Konadu is unaware of the activities by the foot-soldiers. Speaking to Joy News on the matter, Ben Ephson maintains he would only give credibility to the story when the former first lady picks a nomination form to contest against President John Mills.

According to him, similar activities occurred in the run-up to the 2000 general elections in which some group openly campaigned for Mrs. Rawlings against then candidate Mills. Mrs. Rawlings, he explained, came out a year later to dissociate herself from the activities of the group, warning she would take legal action against anybody who attempted to link her with the activities of the group.

“It is a familiar ploy,” he said, adding “she (Mrs. Rawlings) is very popular. There is no doubt about it. But the delegates who will go in to vote, the attitude of many faithfuls of the NDC in 2000 will be the same now.

“Madam you are popular, we admire your contribution to the party but when we take you out there the floating voters will turn you down simply because many Ghanaians are not ready for a family presidency,” he explained.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

NDC: Konadu must denounce campaign posters

Mrs Rawlings, who is also one of the NDC's vice chairpersons, must accept the position at all cost or cease to be a politician - says a group.

The ruling National Democratic Congress's General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah is asking former first lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings to dissociate herself from campaign posters seeking to promote her candidature for the 2012 general elections.

The posters, sponsored by a group calling itself the foot-soldiers of the National Democratic Congress, claim the time is up for Nana Konadu to take over the party.

'Faceless' representatives of the group maintain that President John Mills has lost touch with the foot-soldiers of the party, leading to widespread agitations and disenchantment.

They say Mrs Rawlings, who is also one of the NDC's vice chairpersons, must accept the position at all cost or cease to be a politician.

Spokesperson of the former first family Kofi Adams insists Mrs Rawlings is unaware of the activities of the group.General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah however says it is not enough for Mrs Rawlings to be silent over the matter. He told Joy News’ Sammy Darko that the former first lady has to state clearly her position on the matter and state categorically if she wants to contest the election.

Otherwise “the impression being created is that here is a vice chairperson who is not prepared to go by the rules of the party and I don’t think that is a good campaign for her if she is interested to contest.”

He stated however that the party will not waste time investigating the matter.

In a reaction, Kofi Adams told Joy News calls for Mrs Rawlings to dissociate herself from the activities is a moot point.
On whether the recent wrangling would negatively affect the party, Mr Adams said that will only depend on the performance of the government.He said leadership must wake up, focus and deliver on their mandate and the party will have no problems as to who wants to lead the party for the next election.

He said the former first lady knows too well when and how to vie for the position of a president, saying she will go according to the party’s constitution if she wants to aspire for the position.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rawlings' concerns must be addressed internally - Alex Segbefia

Deputy Chief of Staff Alex Segbefia says the concerns raised by the former President Rawlings must be directed at the appropriate party organs for redress.

In a statement issued yesterday, the former President accused some NDC executives and presidential staff of going round the regions to malign him and his wife.

The ex-president also criticized President Mills and expressed frustration at his failure to deal decisively with crime and corruption.

But speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana programme, Mr. Segbefia maintained although the former President has the right to criticize, he must not do so in the public domain.

He believes that whatever concerns Mr. Rawlings has must be dealt with through the NDC’s internal structures.

“There are issues [which] when they are interrogated, you may find that some of these things actually don’t have a basis because this is politics, people will play mischief with a lot of things,” he said.

“That is not to say” however, “that may be some of the issues that have been raised are not real,” Mr. Segbefia stated.

Meanwhile, the Communications Director of the NDC, James Asante has told Joy News the party appreciates President Rawlings’ concerns and will meet to discuss the issues raised.

Source: Joy News/Ghana

'Saint Rawlings' is battling for state power and control" - Baako

The Managing Editor of the Crusading Guide Newspaper and an ardent critic of former President Rawlings, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, says the utterances of the ex military ruler clearly shows he is seeking control and command over national power and resources.

Mr Rawlings, in his latest outburst, has stated that he has a problem with President Mills’ style of governance. In a two page statement signed by the NDC founder, he expressed strong disapproval about the behavior of some executives of the National Democratic Congress, whom he claimed were spreading falsehood about him and his wife.

The former President chastised the Mills government for failing to investigate the “electoral fraud that saw the stuffing and replacement of ballot boxes in the last election” as well as the failure of administration to “correct or punish NPP’s politicization, tribalism and victimization of persons especially in the security services. He also alleged that President Mills has refused to pursue the moral mandate of the people to reinstate truth, transparency and justice which according to him, is leading to the institutionalization of crime and corruption.

Speaking to the issue on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana show Thursday, an obviously infuriated Kwaku Baako insisted that Mr Rawlings had no moral right to accuse President Mills of presiding over corruption, crime and injustices.

“There is a battle for control and command over power and resources by Rawlings. It’s not just about his party. There is no way his party would have somehow ignored him if not for his posture. The arrogance and the contempt for everybody that comes with his drive is a show of how he wants to control ever body. Otherwise he won’t go public with some of these things. What is it that Rawlings is seeking? He asked.
“We have a democratic Government that has to use the law to prosecute people based on the constitution that he has signed. What is he? Saint Rawlings? I hate this holier than thou attitude of his. He ruled for nineteen years, eleven years of it being military days, what else does he want? Does he want this Government to be driven by bitterness and vindictiveness? Is this the man who is talking about killings and corruption? If I were him, I will thank God that history has favored me and mellow about how I do my politics,” Malik Baako advised.

As far as he is concerned, Mr Rawlings has no moral right to accuse President any government of presiding over corruption, crime and injustices, citing a number of instances in the past where the latter and his wife were involved in many corrupt cases both home and abroad – cases that involved huge state funds in the divestiture of state Enterprises such as the Nsawam Food Cannery.

Responding to Mr Rawlings’ outburst, Deputy Chief of Staff, Alex Segbefia, said although there was nothing new about the issues raised, it was imperative that the party’s national executive Committee looks into them.

He expressed regret that the Party Founder and his wife often chose to go public with their concerns although they could be addressed through internal party structures.

“What Rawlings has said is nothing new. He has always criticized past and present Governments. Even during campaigning against Kufuor, he told us that if we fail to do the right things he will criticize us. I think it’s an internal party matter but when we treat it this way, it’s good for our political opponents but does not help us at all. People should not overreact to this latest outburst because he has not attacked President Mills as a person” he pleaded.

Source: Citifmonline.com

Kofi Annan slams 'PHD' politics

Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General
Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General



A negative aspect of African politics, referred to locally as the "pull-him-down" (PHD) syndrome, has attracted harsh comments from a former UN Secretary-General, Busumru Kofi Annan.

Speaking in Kumasi, Mr Annan deplored the way and manner in which African governments took delight in undoing the work of their predecessors for political advantage.

He noted that instead of focusing how to build on the good initiatives of their predecessors, governments sometimes spent half of their terms to dismantle the work of their predecessors, with the intention of making them unpopular.

He was speaking at a dinner hosted by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, in honour of the visiting UN Foundation Board of Directors, including the Founder and Chairman, Mr Ted Turner, at the Manhyia Palace on Thursday.

Mr Annan said before African governments could come to terms with the reality on the ground, they would be left with the remaining period of their tenure, which would be too short for them to work to better the lives of their people.

He stated that the situation was a disincentive to development efforts and should be discarded, emphasising that regardless of which party was in power, efforts should be made to continue with viable projects and programmes inherited to help accelerate the development process.

The UN Foundation, a public charity was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner's historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities.

The board members, who include some of the world's most respected leaders in health and development, were in the country to see the progress of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

While in Kumasi, they toured the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) to see how they could address the challenges confronting hospital.

Mr Annan said the Foundation had worked with Ghana with the sole aim of assisting the country to achieve the MDGs.

He said in the government's quest to achieve the MDGs, it needed to build on past progress, devoid of political considerations.

The Juabenhene, Nana Otuo Siribuo, who welcomed the guests on behalf of the Asantehene, commended the board for its initiatives, which had gone a long way to bring hope to a number of people not only in Ghana but also parts of Africa.

He said Otumfuo was always looking for development for the people of Asanteman and Ghana as a whole and would, therefore, welcome efforts that would change the lives of the people for the better.

Earlier, during their visit to KATH, the Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the hospital, Dr Archer Tempim, who briefed the board members, said congestion was the major challenge confronting the hospital.

Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana

NDC activists distribute Nana Konadu posters in the Upper East region

The defaced poster at Kokomlemle in Accra
The defaced poster at Kokomlemle in Accra



Activists of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Upper East Region have been distributing posters of former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings for the 2012 campaign to party members.

A group calling itself Foot soldiers of the NDC began pasting campaign posters in Accra and Cape Coast Sunday.

The group contends that it is dissatisfied with the Mills-led administration and is confident of Mrs Rawlings’ ability to lead the nation.

But a spokesperson for the former first family, Kofi Adams says she was not aware of the moves by the group.

Joy FM’s Upper East Regional Correspondent, Joseph Osei reported that party executives in the region have confirmed the distribution of the posters but have declined commenting publicly for fear of victimisation.

Joseph Osei said the Rawlingses are hugely popular in the region and that posters are being secretly distributed and admired.

The National Executives of the NDC have described the foot soldiers action as lacking discipline. They are also mischievous persons whose only intention is to create problems for the party.

The party has asked the foot soldiers to reveal their identities for their grievances to be addressed.

The NDC’s Propaganda Secretary, Richard Quashigah told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show that “the party is governed by a constitution, the party has tenets, rules and regulations that ought to be followed and if you are not following those rules and regulations, then obviously you are becoming a bit undisciplined.”

He suspects the foot soldiers are unaware of the constitutional provisions regulating the behaviour of party members.

Mr Quashigah said if the foot soldiers’ complaint that the National Organiser of the NDC, Mr Yaw Boateng Gyan and presidential Aide, Nii Lantey Vanderpuije have been touring parts of the country and campaigning for president Mills’ candidature is true, that action must be condemned and further investigated.

He insisted it was not time for campaigns for the election of NDC flagbearer and called for restraint.

Meanwhile a pair of the posters proposing Nana Konadu as the ideal candidate to lead the NDC which was posted on a pillar close to Joy FM Sunday has been defaced by unknown persons.

Source: Joy News/Ghana

JJ Is Developing Into A Frankenstein Monster…He’s Trying To Play God

Egbert Faibille
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An Accra-based legal practitioner and a Senior Journalist, Egbert Faibille, says ex-president Rawlings is under a creepy and insidious feeling that the party he founded is being yanked from under his feet.

In a late evening statement on Wednesday October 20, former president Rawlings virtually declared war on President Mills, saying that he (Rawlings) had an axe to grind with the President for institutionalizing corruption.

“Do I have a problem with President Mills? Yes, I do. His refusal to pursue the moral mandate of the people to reinstate truth, transparency and most of all justice into the fabric and psyche of the nation. This is leading to the institutionalisation of crime and corruption. Justice will be deformed,” he charged.

In the statement he personally signed, Mr. Rawlings also lambasted the administration of ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor, and what he described as the reluctance of President Mills to institute “credible and transparent investigations into the fraud and political killings, which were the benchmark of the Kufuor regime”, which he said “is leading to a sense of hopelessness, indifference and indiscipline.

But Mr. Faibille reminded the former president that people suspected of having committed a crime, are tried in court on legal grounds and not on morals.

“Mr. Rawlings is talking about how people should be tried…, tried on what? Moral grounds? No! People are tried according to law…Mr. Rawlings should know that the administration of president Mills is not a coup administration, this is a government that was elected…Let someone develop a time piece and put it on Mr. Rawlings’ hands or wrist,” Mr. Faibille stated.

Contributing to Newsfile on JoyFM as a panelist, the Managing Editor of the Ghanaian Observer (GO) was emphatic that the former president was being a distraction to President Mills governance, and needs to be reminded that President Mills is currently the man at the helm of affairs in the country.

“I think that it’s about time people in NDC let Mr. Rawlings understand one thing; which is that, whether he likes it or not, as the Bible says in Ecclesiastes, ‘there is time for everything’. And the time now is that Prez Mills is the President of the Republic of Ghana. Mr. Rawlings can never be president of Ghana again…,”

According to Mr. Faibille, knowing the stature of Mr. Rawlings in the NDC, he doubts if anyone can refuse him audience should he call for a discussion. He however, stressed that the inability or unwillingness on the part of those who matter in the NDC to call Mr. Rawlings to order is gradually turning him into a ‘Frankenstein Monster’.

“When you belong to a family and there’re issues in the family, what you do is that you do it internally…Mr. Rawlings wants to call the shots all the time. And this fixation with being grandeur kind of approach is what people have over the years failed to tell Mr. Rawlings to the face. And it’s developing into what I’ll now want to refer to as Frankenstein Monster. Frankenstein Monster; he’ll destroy his own party. Who said that Mr. Rawlings has had the door shut in his face by Prez Mills or by officers appointed by Prez Mills?

Frankenstein's monster is a fictional character that first appeared in the novel, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus written by Mary Shelley. In the novel, the creature has no name, a symbol of his parentlessness and lack of human sense of self and identity.

The GO newspaper Editor accused Mr. Rawlings of needlessly acting on reports sent to by NDC footsoldiers, some of which are not even verifiable. “What does Mr. Rawlings want from President Mills? What should president Mills do for him?” Mr. Faibille rhetorically asked and wondered if “every morning, President Mills should pass by Rawlings’ house and take instructions from him before going to the Castle.”

He cautioned the former president against trying “to play God” and always remember that he is a mere mortal. “Let’s face it. We’ve had strong leaders all over. Where is Fidel Castro? Where is Kwame Nkrumah? Where is Eyadema? Where is…Mobutu Sese Seiko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga?...Where are they? People should know that we’re all mortals. Nobody should try to play God. Mr. Rawlings is trying to play God,” Egbert asserted.
Source: Chris Joe Quaicoe - GIJ/Peacefmonline.com

More oil in Ghana on-shore

The Russian government has indicated it s preparedness to make available to Ghana, classified documents on oil and gas reserves in the Voltaian Basin, if the government officially applies for them.

The documents containing geological findings of the basin, were prepared by geologists of the then Soviet union in the 1960’s during the Presidency of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, but were taken away after the 1966 coup d’etat.

The seismic survey conducted by the Russian team on the basin covered a total area of 103,600sq. km that stretches from mid-country to the northern sector, and is believed to have potential for onshore oil and gas resources.

Russia indicated its preparedness to hand over the documents when the Minister of Energy, Dr. Joseph Oteng-Adjei, paid a visit to Russian recently.

Disclosing this to Times newspaper, Edward Bawa, the spokesman for the Minister, said that the content of the documents could possibly open a new chapter for onshore oil exploration and mineral prospecting in the Voltaian Basin.

He said already, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) knowing the prospects of the basin, had opened up the licensing of exploration blocs in the area, alongside the offshore sector, ever since drilling of 10 boreholes showed traces of oil.

Mr. Bawa, highlighting on the visit, said the minister was in Russia at the invitation of Lukoil to get a first hand observation of the system and processes employed by the Russian exploration firm which wants to expand operation in Ghana.

He said the minister and his delegation had the opportunity to visit the state Duma, Russia’s legislative body and the operation sites of Lukoil and met with high government officials.

Mr. Bawa said it was during one of such meetings that Mr. Yuri Trutnev, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, disclosed the existence of the documents and Russia’s preparedness to hand them over to Ghana if the country showed interest.

He said Mr. Trutnev explained that the documents found their way to Russian after Dr. Nkrumah was ousted before the final findings could be presented to him.

Mr. Bawa said Dr. Oteng-Adjei assured his Russian counterpart of Ghana’s readiness to apply and get the documents for the content to be perused.

The spokesman said Dr. Oteng-Adjei, also assured the Russian that Ghana was ready to work with all companies irrespective of their countries of origin provided they would respect the country’s laws.

Mr. Bawa said the minister also pledged Ghana’s commitment to dealing transparently and working with investors to ensure that the local content policy of the government was implemented and the targets achieved.

He said as part of its contribution to support Ghana build its needed human capital in the oil and gas sector, Lukoil has offered ten scholarships to Ghanaians to study in Russian Universities.

It also offered its rigs in Russia to Ghanaian students offering courses in oil and gas to be used for their internship.

Source: Ghanaian Times/Ghana

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