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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, November 30, 2010

Greedy Bastards’ irks Castle - Veep lashes JJ and Spio

Vice President John Dramani Mahama
Vice President John Dramani Mahama
The persistent attacks on members of President John Evans Atta Mills’ government by the pro-Rawlings bloc in the National Democratic Congress (NDC), led by the former President himself and Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Vice Chairman of the party, has now been met with equal-force by Vice President John Dramani Mahama.

Addressing a conference organised by the Tertiary Education Institutions Network (TEIN) of the party at Winneba in the Central Region over the weekend, John Mahama took strong exception to the unwarranted attacks on the government by these personalities, without mentioning names.

According to John Mahama, no matter what the communication team of the government would do, it would be very difficult to propagate the achievements of the government if members of the party were not disciplined. He wondered how the party and the government could trumpet its achievements if leading members continue to describe ministers and other government appointees as ‘Greedy Bastards’ and ‘Team B’, among others.

The founder of the NDC, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, sometime last year, described some of the Ministers serving in the Atta Mills’ government as ‘Greedy Bastards’. This was after some of the foot-soldiers of the party had called on him at his Ridge Residence in Accra to complain that they were being denied contracts by the government.

A few weeks after this infamous statement, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah also authored an article in the ‘Daily Graphic,’ where he described Ministers serving in the government as ‘Team B,’ insinuating that NDC members who deserved to be fielded had been by-passed in favour of those who, in football parlance, should have warmed the bench.

Apart from these two diatribes, the two personalities have also, on many occasions, spoken against the President and his Ministers, with Mr. Rawlings in particular, accusing President Atta Mills of packing his government with ‘strangers’.

He also described the President at a June 4 rally held in Tamale this year, where the presidential ambition of his wife, Nana Konadu, was unveiled, as a ‘Konongo Kaya,’ who could not carry his load, yet would not allow others to carry it.

The Chronicle has learnt from sources within the government that President Atta Mills took strong exception to this attack, but was compelled to keep quiet for the sake of peace in the party.

Apparently, it was with all these attacks in mind that John Mahama took the podium at Winneba and warned that divisions in the party front had the tendency of giving their political opponents ammunition to fire back at the NDC.

He made reference to the way the opposition parties had been using some of these words to launch blistering attacks on the government.

According to John Mahama, the history of this country could not be written without mentioning Rawlings’ contribution, contending that he achieved a lot for the country during his nineteen year rule.

He, however, argued that the former President was able to make the mark because the entire party supported him throughout his reign. “The history of this country cannot be written without his (Rawlings) name being there in bold letters.

"He achieved many successes, but in all the achievements that we made in the PNDC and NDC era, we did it because we had discipline in the party. We learnt how to handle our disagreements, and above all, we were united as one party,” he added and, therefore, called for the same support for the Atta Mills government to also succeed.

John Mahama regretted that the turbulence and divisions in the party had reared its ugly head within TEIN too. “I want to urge you, as our younger brothers and sisters, to maintain the solidarity, truthfulness, your advocacy for justice, and the discipline that has brought you this far,” he said.

Meanwhile, TEIN members shocked the full-to-capacity hall at the University College of Education, Winneba, when they refused to allow the Executive Director of the National Service Secretariat, Vincent Kuagbenu, from addressing them, amid hooting. They accused him of being arrogant and would, therefore, not allow him to address the meeting.

Credit: The Chronicle

I did not receive a cedi from Francis Poku -- Veep

Vice President John Mahama
Vice President John Mahama
Vice President John Mahama has denied allegations by some NDC members that he received any money from former National Security advisor, Francis Poku, during the erstwhile Kufour administration.

Mr. Mahama who was speaking at the national conference of the Tertiary Education Institutions Network (TEIN) of the NDC at the Winneba University College in the Central Region, and told the student leaders of the party that he cannot be ruffled by such an allegation.

Mr. Mahama revealed that some meetings were being hatched ostensibly targeted at destroying his person. He said “after looking into the crystal ball, they [his detractors] feel I am the most important threat to people’s political ambitions. So every week on Sunday, there is a meeting, cooking up some new mischief against me."

Even though he is hurt by such comments the Vice President Mahama believes these diabolical plans will continue as far as he is in politics but assures that "we have been cooked in the cauldron of politics and we believe that it is God who makes leaders. If God says you will never lead this country you can go to the depths of hell and come up, you will never lead this country.”

On the allegation by some party members that he received some financial inducement from former National Security Advisor, Francis Poku, the Vice President flatly denied the allegation, expressing shock as well. He said “sometimes it hurts, and they say Francis Poku 'bought' you. It is in one of the statements that I was 'bought' by Francis Poku. I pray that one day Francis Poku himself will speak and correct this untruth. But I put on record with all my religious conviction and my belief in God that Francis Poku never gave me a cedi, I have never received a cedi from Francis Poku, but we’ll leave posterity to judge all that.”

He indicated that the New Patriotic Party was not necessarily to blame for all the confusion in the country and that it was vital for the NDC to look inwards to cure the hate politics that is gaining roots in the party.

Mr. Mahama further asked; “If your own party is the one saying you are greedy bastards, your party says you are team B,...what communication can you do? All you do is you give ammunition to your opponents to fire you,” he said, adding that no amount of communication gimmicks can correct the harm done.

The Vice President stressed that even though the communication team of the government is doing enough, they are handicapped as a result of the venom from within the party which is lending the opposition the needed arsenals to hurt the NDC.

Mr. Mahama questioned the rationale behind the tagging of the present government as a Mills-Mahama administration by a high ranking member of the NDC, saying, “today anytime the NPP make a statement, they say Mills-Mahama administration. When have we ever called administrations including the names of Vice Presidents? Rawlings-Ackaah administration or Rawlings-Mills administration or Kufuor-Aliu administration, and yet one of our own is the one who started this Mills-Mahama administration.”

He explained that the NPP has packaged the ammunition that the NDC has given to them and are doing a good job in using it against the government. This, he said, makes it nearly impossible to argue ones way out during a discourse with members of the opposition.

He however encouraged the students to be united and forge a common front to support the government’s quest at achieving its “Better Ghana” agenda, insisting that “there is no way the NPP can stand a united NDC, I tell you.”

Story by Derick Romeo Adogla/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

Ibn Chambas calls for fair distribution of oil revenue

Ibn Chambas
Ibn Chambas
Dr Mohamed Chambas, Executive Secretary of the African, Carribean and Pacific (ACP) Group, has stressed the need for a balancing act between meeting the needs of the people in the Western Region of Ghana and a fair distribution of the revenue from oil and gas.

He said the demand by people of the Western Region to allot 10 per cent of the oil revenue to be used to develop the region was not a new phenomenon.

Dr Chambas suggested that the government should study the method some oil producing countries were using to address the request.

He said this when he spoke to journalists prior to the opening of the third African/European Union Summit in Tripoli, Libya.

He said the needs of the area where the oil was drilled had to be adequately catered for "but it is also necessary to ensure that oil resources are used in a principled way for national development."

On the summit, Dr Chambas said both Africa and Europe recognized the need for a shift from development aid to cooperation and collaboration between the two continents.

He said the European private sector must collaborate more with the African private sector for investment opportunities.

President John Atta Mills is in the Libyan capital to attend the two-day summit that will discuss issues of governance, climate change, migration and agriculture. The summit is on the theme "Investment, Economic Growth and Job Creation."

Source: GNA

John Mahama must apologise - K.T. Hammond

Kobina Tahir Hammond, former Deputy Energy Minister in the Kufuor administration
Kobina Tahir Hammond, former Deputy Energy Minister in the Kufuor administration
The former Deputy Energy Minister in the Kufuor administration, Kobina Tahir Hammond, has sharply responded to comments by Vice President John Mahama over the weekend over collateralizing Ghana’s Oil find.

According to Hammond, also MP for Adansi Asokwa, if the government wants to depend on Norwegians to decide on what is good for the country with regards to the oil find, then the minority will have nothing to say than to allow the government to go ahead with it.

According to K.T. Hammond, it is not only the NPP minority that is against some portions of the new Oil Bill but the majority as well since they all know the negative implications it will have on the country in future.

Mr. Hammond was reacting to Vice President Mahama’s assertion that “it will be foolish not to collateralize Ghana’s oil revenues for loans for infrastructural development”.

He has therefore called on the Vice President to apologize over the insulting language he used to show his disapproval of the minority.

He has also chided the government for intending to use a $10bn loan on only housing while other sectors are left unattended to, as well as trying to change a draft Oil Bill with an excuse that it was not cabinet that drafted the bill.

According to K.T. Hammond, who spoke on Asempa Today, if President Mills has called on all Ghanaians to avoid politics of insults and his second-in-command prefers using insulting language then it is a dent on the presidency.

Mr Hammond also condemned the government for using people he said were Norwegians to draft Ghana’s Oil Bill.

He said every law should originate from the government and for that matter Ghanaians and not foreigners as the case has been, adding it is a disgrace to Ghana.

The former deputy Energy Minister indicated that since oil prices have not been stable of late, Ghana will be over-burdened with interest payment should the use oil as collateral for loans.

Story by Yaa Asantewaa/Asempa FM

Interior Minister: Crime levels have reduced but…

Martin Hamidu, Interior Minister
Martin Hamidu, Interior Minister
The Government has confirmed the increased incidence of carjacking but says crime has generally reduced in the country.

Interior Minister, Martin Amidu said this when he took his turn at the meet the press series.

Mr. Amidu said the Interior Ministry remains committed to protecting life and property.

Over the last six months, there has been public outcry over the increasing incidence of car stealing and highway robbery.

Mr Amidu said though overall crime rates had dropped, cases of car stealing have gone up.

“Robbery statistics show significant decreases in most regions including Accra, Tema and Eastern Region,” he stated.

The minister however stressed that Ashanti, Northern and Upper West Regions recorded marginal increases in robberies.

He said despite these increases, “If you take the general trend in the country, there is a reduction in the commission of crimes.”

Source: Joy News/Ghana

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Germany Dispatches: Internal Source Kept US Informed of Merkel Coalition Negotiations

The US was kept abreast of German coalition negotiations as they took place. Here, Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democrats meet with Foreign Minister Westerwelle's Free Democrats in October 2009. Internal notes from the talks ended up in Washington not long afterwards.

The 250,000 US State Department documents made public by WikiLeaks reveal that the US has an extensive network of informants in Berlin and was kept informed of coalition negotiations as Chancellor Merkel was forming her current government. US officials, the cables show, are skeptical of several top German politicians.

The more than 250,000 secret documents from the US State Department show just how critical the American diplomats were of the new German government. In particular, the new Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, leader of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), is cast in a negative light. The secret reports describe him as incompetent, vain and critical of America. The US diplomats report that they face a challenge in dealing with a politician who is considered an "enigma," who has little foreign policy experience and who "remains skeptical about the US." An embassy cable from Berlin from Sept. 22, 2009 describes Westerwelle as having an "exuberant personality." That is why he finds it difficult to take a backseat when it comes to "any matters of dispute with Chancellor Angela Merkel," the cable says.

There are 1,719 reports from the US Embassy in Berlin included in the documents. The Americans considered the chancellor to be the better contact person when it came to foreign policy issues, the documents make clear. In comparison to Westerwelle, Merkel was seen as having "more government and foreign policy experience." However, the US diplomats also had reservations about the chancellor. She was referred to several times in the reports as Angela "Teflon" Merkel, because so little sticks to her. "She is risk averse and rarely creative," noted one report from March 24, 2009. The Americans argue that the chancellor views international diplomacy above all from the perspective of how she can profit from it domestically. Merkel had "cast off the yoke of the Grand Coalition only now to be encumbered with a new FDP-CSU double yoke," a cable from February 2010 reported. "Grand Coalition" is shorthand for Merkel's first administration in coalition with the center-left Social Democrats. "CSU" stands for the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party to Merkel's Christian Democrats.

The US diplomats obviously have a deep network of informants in Germany. One source in October 2009 reported frequently from the ongoing coalition negotiations to form a government between Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats and Westerwelle's FDP. The informant was a "young, up-and-coming party loyalist" from the FDP, wrote the US Ambassador to Berlin, Philip Murphy, in a report from Oct. 9, 2009. The source had "offered (the embassy employee) internal party documents in the past." He was prepared to read out personal notes he had made and to hand over documents from the negotiations.

In an interview with SPIEGEL, Murphy defended this as normal diplomatic work. "We speak with people. You get to know each other, you trust people and you share your estimations." He said he was "unbelievably angry" with those who had downloaded the material. According to Murphy, his people had "done nothing wrong" and he would not "apologize for what they had done."

Editor's note: DER SPIEGEL's full reporting on the WikiLeaks US diplomatic cables will be published first in the German-language edition of the magazine, which will be available on Monday to subscribers and at newsstands in Germany and Europe. SPIEGEL ONLINE International will publish extended excerpts of SPIEGEL's reporting in English in a series that will launch on Monday.

The US Diplomatic Leaks: A Superpower's View of the World


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US President Barack Obama: Never before in history has a superpower lost control of such vast amounts of such sensitive information.

251,000 State Department documents, many of them secret embassy reports from around the world, show how the US seeks to safeguard its influence around the world. It is nothing short of a political meltdown for US foreign policy.

What does the United States really think of German Chancellor Angela Merkel? Is she a reliable ally? Did she really make an effort to patch up relations with Washington that had been so damaged by her predecessor? At most, it was a half-hearted one.

The tone of trans-Atlantic relations may have improved, former US Ambassador to Germany William Timken wrote in a cable to the State Department at the end of 2006, but the chancellor "has not taken bold steps yet to improve the substantive content of the relationship." That is not exactly high praise.

And the verdict on German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle? His thoughts "were short on substance," wrote the current US ambassador in Berlin, Philip Murphy, in a cable. The reason, Murphy suggested, was that "Westerwelle's command of complex foreign and security policy issues still requires deepening."

Such comments are hardly friendly. But in the eyes of the American diplomatic corps, every actor is quickly categorized as a friend or foe. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia? A friend: Abdullah can't stand his neighbors in Iran and, expressing his disdain for the mullah regime, said, "there is no doubt something unstable about them." And his ally, Sheikh bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi? Also a friend. He believes "a near term conventional war with Iran is clearly preferable to the long term consequences of a nuclear armed Iran."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emissaries also learn of a special "Iran observer" in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku who reports on a dispute that played out during a meeting of Iran's Supreme National Security Council. An enraged Revolutionary Guard Chief of Staff Mohammed Ali Jafari allegedly got into a heated argument with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and slapped him in the face because the generally conservative president had, surprisingly, advocated freedom of the press.

A Political Meltdown

Such surprises from the annals of US diplomacy will dominate the headlines in the coming days when the New York Times, London's Guardian, Paris' Le Monde, Madrid's El Pais and SPIEGEL begin shedding light on the treasure trove of secret documents from the State Department. Included are 243,270 diplomatic cables filed by US embassies to the State Department and 8,017 directives that the State Department sent to its diplomatic outposts around the world. In the coming days, the participating media will show in a series of investigative stories how America seeks to steer the world. The development is no less than a political meltdown for American foreign policy.

Never before in history has a superpower lost control of such vast amounts of such sensitive information -- data that can help paint a picture of the foundation upon which US foreign policy is built. Never before has the trust America's partners have in the country been as badly shaken. Now, their own personal views and policy recommendations have been made public -- as have America's true views of them.


A time lapse of 251,287 documents: The world map shows where the majority of the cables originated from, and where they had the highest level of classification. View the atlas ...For example, one can learn that German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, the Germany's most beloved politician according to public opinion polls, openly criticizes fellow cabinet member Guido Westerwelle in conversations with US diplomats, and even snitches on him. Or that Secretary of State Clinton wants her ambassadors in Moscow and Rome to inform her whether there is anything to the rumors that Italian President Silvio Berlusconi and Vladimir Putin have private business ties in addition to their close friendship -- whispers that both have vehemently denied.

America's ambassadors can be merciless in their assessments of the countries in which they are stationed. That's their job. Kenya? A swamp of flourishing corruption extending across the country. Fifteen high-ranking Kenyan officials are already banned from traveling to the United States, and almost every single sentence in the embassy reports speaks with disdain of the government of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Weighing Public Interest against Confidentiality

Turkey hardly comes away any less scathed in the cables. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the cables allege, governs with the help of a cabal of incompetent advisors. Ankara Embassy officials depict a country on a path to an Islamist future -- a future that likely won't include European Union membership.

As with the close to 92,000 documents on the war in Afghanistan at the end of July and the almost 400,000 documents on the Iraq war recently released, the State Department cables have also been leaked to the WikiLeaks whistleblower platform -- and they presumably came from the same source. As before, WikiLeaks has provided the material to media partners to review and analyze.

With a team of more than 50 reporters and researchers, SPIEGEL has viewed, analyzed and vetted the mass of documents. In most cases, the magazine has sought to protect the identities of the Americans' informants, unless the person who served as the informant was senior enough to be politically relevant. In some cases, the US government expressed security concerns and SPIEGEL accepted a number of such objections. In other cases, however, SPIEGEL felt the public interest in reporting the news was greater than the threat to security. Throughout our research, SPIEGEL reporters and editors weighed the public interest against the justified interest of countries in security and confidentiality.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the White House condemned the impending publication of the documents by WikiLeaks as "reckless and dangerous." The cables, which contain "candid and often incomplete information," are not an expression of policy and do not always shape final policy decisions, the statement reads. "Such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world," the spokesperson said. The fact that "private conversations" are now being made public "can deeply impact not only US foreign policy interests, but those of our allies and friends around the world."

It is now possible to view many political developments around the world through the lens of those who participated in those events. As such, our understanding of those events is deeply enriched. That alone is often enough to place transparency ahead of national regulations regarding confidentiality.

Following the leaks of military secrets from Afghanistan and Iraq, these leaks now put US diplomats on the hot seat. It is the third coup for WikiLeaks within six months, and it is one that is likely to leave Washington feeling more than a bit exposed. Around half of the cables that have been obtained aren't classified and slightly less, 40.5 percent, as classified as "confidential." Six percent of the reports, or 16,652 cables, are labelled as "secret" and of those, 4,330 are so explosive that they are labelled "NOFORN," meaning access should not be made available to non-US nationals. Taken together, the cables provide enough raw text to fill 66 years' worth of weekly SPIEGEL magazines.

Gossip and the Unvarnished Truth

Much in the material was noted and sent because those compiling the reports or their dialogue partners believed, with some certainty, that their transcripts would not be made public for the next 25 years. That may also explain why the ambassadors and emissaries from Washington were so willing to report gossip and hearsay back to State Department headquarters. One cable from the Moscow Embassy on Russian first lady Svetlana Medvedev, for example, states that she is "generating tensions between the camps and remains the subject of avid gossip." It then goes on to report that President Medvedev's wife had already drawn up a list of officials who should be made to "suffer" in their careers because they had been disloyal to Medvedev. Another reports that the wife of Azerbaijan leader Ilham Aliyev has had so much plastic surgery that it is possible to confuse her for one of her daughters from a distance, but that she can barely still move her face.

What makes the documents particularly appealing, though, is that many politicians speak the unvarnished truth, confident as they are that their musings will never be made public.

What, though, do the thousands of documents prove? Do they really show a US which has the world on a leash? Are Washington's embassies still self-contained power centers in their host countries?

In sum, probably not. In the major crisis regions, an image emerges of a superpower that can no longer truly be certain of its allies -- like in Pakistan, where the Americans are consumed by fear that the unstable nuclear power could become precisely the place where terrorists obtain dangerous nuclear material.

There are similar fears in Yemen, where the US, against its better judgement, allows itself to be instrumentalized by an unscrupulous leader. With American military aid that was intended for the fight against al-Qaida, Ali Abdullah Saleh is now able to wage his battle against enemy tribes in the northern part of the country.

Insult to Injury

Even after the fall of Saddam Hussein, it still remained a challenge for the victorious power to assert its will on Iraq. In Baghdad, which has seen a series of powerful US ambassadors -- men the international press often like to refer to as American viceroys -- it is now up to Vice President Joe Biden to make repeated visits to allied Iraqi politicians in an effort to get them to finally establish a respectable democracy. But the embassy cables make it very clear that Obama's deputy has made little headway.

Instead, the Americans are forced to endure the endless tirades of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek, who claims to have always known that the Iraq war was the "biggest mistake ever committed" and who advised the Americans to "forget about democracy in Iraq." Once the US forces depart, Mubarak said, the best way to ensure a peaceful transition is for there to be a military coup. They are statements that add insult to injury.

On the whole, the cables from the Middle East expose the superpower's weaknesses. Washington has always viewed it as vital to its survival to secure its share of energy reserves, but the world power is often quickly reduced to becoming a plaything of diverse interests. And it is drawn into the animosities between Arabs and Israelis, Shiites and Sunnis, between Islamists and secularists, between despots and kings. Often enough, the lesson of the documents that have now been obtained, is that the Arab leaders use their friends in Washington to expand their own positions of power.

Editor's note: DER SPIEGEL's full reporting on the WikiLeaks US diplomatic cables will be published first in the German-language edition of the magazine, which will be available on Monday to subscribers and at newsstands in Germany and Europe. SPIEGEL ONLINE International will publish extended excerpts of SPIEGEL's reporting in English in a series that will launch on Monday.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Akufo-Addo: I have never tasted or sniffed cocaine

Nana wants critics to prove their claims or shut up
Nana wants critics to prove their claims or shut up
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party for the 2012 elections, has dared his critics to prove with empirical evidence that he is a drug addict or “shut up” and stop attacking his personality.

For the first time, the NPP flagbearer is making a public pronouncement on what he describes as a smear campaign against his personality.

“I have never tasted or sniffed cocaine. Why are my detractors attacking my personality saying that I am a drug addict?” Nana Addo fumed.

Nana Addo vowed not to tolerate any further attacks on his personality and threatened to deal decisively with persons who continue to peddle falsehood against him as a drug addict.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of a three day national NPP youth conference held at the Mafara Hotel in Tamale.

Giving a brief history and ideology of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition, Nana Addo encouraged all NPP loyalists to improve the party’s internal harmony by doing away with factionalism.

He said the contest for leadership positions in the NPP was over for which reason factionalism should be discarded by all party members.

The NPP 2012 flagbearer stated emphatically that nobody or group of persons within the NPP will be allowed to place their preference above the collective interest of the party for elections 2012.

He reassured Ghanaians of free secondary education under his leadership and expressed the hope that he will win the 2012 elections.

Nana Addo confirmed that part of the factors which caused the NPP’s defeat in 2008 had to do with the choice of Parliamentary candidates, and that the party’s success in 2012 will largely depend on how the leadership will manage the upcoming Parliamentary primaries ahead of the next elections.

He underscored the need for party leadership, particularly at the grassroots to listen to party supporters in their respective constituencies to get good materials for the Parliamentary contest in 2012.

Other NPP bigwigs who attended the workshop included Jake Otanka Obetsebi Lamptey, the National Chairman; Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie alias Sir John, the General Secretary as well Dr. Mahamud Bawumia, NPP 2008 running mate and Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, Executive Director of the Danquah Institute.

Source: Citi FM

Jinapor: John Mahama did not promise 10% oil revenue to Western Chiefs

John Jinapor
John Jinapor
Aide to John Mahama says the Vice-President did not promise a ten per cent share of the oil revenue to chiefs and people in the Western Region.

John Jinapor said his outfit has made a thorough check of all speeches and statements then candidate John Mahama made in the heat of the 2008 elections and is convinced he did not promise ten per cent of oil revenue to the people of Western Region.

The Vice-President has been linked with recent agitations by the Western Regional House of Chiefs for a ten per cent share in the total oil revenue.

The New Crusading Guide early this week culled a story from Myjoyonline.com, dated 31 August 2008, in which then candidate Mahama was reported to have promised the Western Region chiefs that future NDC government will allocate ten per cent of the oil resources to them.

The story was headlined NDC: 10% of oil revenue will go to WR.

Joy News correspondent Kweku Owusu Peprah who filed the original report in August 2008 later in March 2010 asked the Vice-President if he was going to deliver on his promise of giving a 10 per cent share of the oil revenue to the Western Chiefs.

The Vice President John Mahama answered “Certainly a certain percentage to go into training and retraining of the people who are in proximity to the oil well so that they have a sense of participation in that [discovery]. We are yet to discuss it but certainly I am in favour and it must be able to go to the representatives of the people- Parliament. And if they say ten per cent should be spent in the immediate vicinity or proximity of the oil then so be it.”

However in an interview with Joy News John Jinapor, aide to Vice-President challenged the authenticity of the report filed in 2008, saying his outfit is investigating how Myjoyonline.com came by the said story.

“We have checked through all the speeches he made during the campaign and we have not come across any statement where he indicated that 10 per cent of the money must go to a certain development fund. I don’t know where that story came from,” he stated.

He explained that the Vice-President had a discussion with the Nzema chief during the Centenary Celebration of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and it was during that discussion that the chief raised the issue of a ten per cent share.

According to him, the vice-president said the issue would have to be looked into by Parliament and a decision taken accordingly.

He expressed surprise at the turn of events but maintained the government has resolved to develop the Western Region.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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