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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 6, 2012

Choosing the next Ghanaian President

"No nation has ever become powerful without a strong economy. And no nation has ever become powerful without a strong army to police its interest. However whether a nation becomes economically and militarily powerful depends on its leaders: their vision, their thinking, their worldview and how that translate into policies and programs. As Ghanaians prepare to elect a president come December 7th, we should think and reflect deeply about that leader whose thinking, ideas, worldview and vision can make Ghana the economic and military power in West Africa."

Lord Adusei

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Gbevlo Lartey can’t investigate Boateng Gyan – Jake

Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey
The National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, is doubtful about the National Security Coordinator, Col. Larry Gbevlo Lartey’s, neutrality in investigating the National Organizer of the NDC since his office has been implicated in the leaked tape.

Col. Lartey on Thursday served notice to personally head the team that will question Yaw Boateng Gyan over comments on a leaked tap intended to recruit party members into the Special Forces of the Ghana Army.

Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey in an interview with Citi News said the Police would have done a better job.

He stated that “this is a straight forward police matter and not the National Security body that has already been implicated in the tape itself.”

According to Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey, the police are the first line of defense regarding our safety in this country and they should be empowered “to move against anybody, no matter how high or low in any political party.”

“The police refused to move in Chireponi, they refused to move in Agbogbloshie, they refused to move in Tamale, Atiwa and in Akwatia. All these places, the police have so far refused to move.”

He added: “The police are now telling us that they are setting up their intelligence capacity in advance of the general elections. Why would you want to set up an intelligence capacity when you don’t want to act on whatever it is that you find out when the thing is blatantly under your nose?” asked Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey.

He further stated that Mr. Boateng-Gyan’s comments need no intelligence capacity to access the tape “because you can get it from the radio stations that have been playing it.”

The NPP national chairman admonished the Police Service to “actually start taking some serious actions and show the people of Ghana that it will move no matter whose office is involved.”

By: Citifmonline.com/Ghana

Prez Mahama must deal swiftly with Boateng Gyan – Dr. Bawumia

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia
The Vice-Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has challenged President John Dramani Mahama to walk his talk by bringing the NDC National Organizer to order after the latter’s plan to infiltrate the nation’s security services was exposed.

According to Dr. Bawumia, the comments by Yaw Boateng Gyan have implications on the nation’s security and ought to be treated with all the seriousness it deserves.

Speaking to Citi News from the Brong Ahafo Region where he is currently campaigning, Dr. Bawumia stated that the NDC organizer’s comments serve as a test case for President Mahama’s resolve to ensuring peace in the upcoming elections.

“Anything that threatens peace and stability in this country should be dealt with,” Nana Akufo-Addo’s running mate said.

“I think this is just not talk, but action and as we are heading for elections I will like to see a very swift reaction by the President to bring to book Yaw Boateng Gyan for this statement and the people that he was conniving with to destabilize the security of this country.”

He added: “The President has said that he is committed to peace and I will like to see a demonstration of the sincerity of that commitment in dealing with this particular issue of plans to infiltrate the security to disturb the security of this nation.”

Mr. Boateng Gyan has admitted being the one speaking on the leaked tape, but insists he has no intention to derail the peace of Ghana.

The National Security Coordinator, Col. Gbevlo Lartey, has served notice his outfit will invite the NDC kingpin for questioning.

Gbevlo Lartey: NDC Organiser to be investigated over leaked tape

NDC Organiser to be investigated over leaked tape - Gbevlo Lartey
Gbevlo Lartey

National Security Coordinator, Larry Gbevlo Lartey says he will invite persons connected with a leaked tape in which NDC National Organizer, Yaw Boateng Gyan is heard plotting to infiltrate the national security for electoral purposes.

Mr. Boateng Gyan intends to issue national security identity cards to NDC agents to enable them undertake operations on behalf of the ruling National Democratic Congress.

Mr Boateng Gyan who has admitted the voice on the leaked tape is his, cautioned some party agents he was addressing against misusing the IDs, saying such behavior in the past had been problematic for the party.

Colonel Gbevlo Lartey, reacting to the comments of the NDC National Organiser on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday, stated emphatically that at no point in time had his office issued national security IDs to any individual affiliated with any political party.

He said Mr Yaw Boateng Gyan’s assertions were false because “no such thing has been done in the past” and that the national security office was an office of the state and not an office of any political party.

“We have not issued any card to any party people, and we have had no such discussions any party people,” he added.

“We have enough hands to do the work that we have to do. We don’t need the assistance of the parties to do our work.”

Asked whether Mr Boateng Gyan will be investigated, Colonel Lartey noted: “…Definitely, once this has come out we are going to call people and question them and interrogate them…”

Investigations into ‘Boateng Gyan Tape’ scandal must go beyond Gbevlo Lartey

Investigations into ‘Boateng Gyan Tape’ scandal must go beyond Gbevlo Lartey
Research Officer at CDD, Kojo Asante

Investigations into the explosive comments made by the National Organiser of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) must go beyond the government-appointed National Security Co-coordinator, Col. Larry Gbevlo Lartey, governance experts have said.

They contend that given the fact that Mr Yaw Boateng Gyan’s revelations suggest that national security had been infiltrated in the past by the NDC, Ghanaians could not be assured of credible, transparent, investigations if they were left in the hands of the national Security Coordinator, who is himself an appointee of the government.

Mr Gbevlo Lartey has stated that all persons involved in the conversation captured by leaked tape will be investigated but denied national security has ever issued ID Cards to any unauthorized persons.

But human rights advocate, Prof. Ken Agyemang Attafuah and a research officer at the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Mr. Kojo Asante appear unconvinced.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday, Prof. Ken Attafuah said “I think it is imperative that state security agencies do their job and do them manifestly transparently…this is not one of those instances where some covet facilitation or some other very secretive, measured or approaches…to investigation is warranted.”

He said the police must investigate the comments made by Mr Boateng Gyan and make their report public.

Or better still, President John Mahama, he said, should set up a multi-partisan Commission with representatives from the security agencies to probe the development “so that it is clear on the face of it that nothing has been hidden and that we have a clear verdict and assurance.”

The legal luminary and Criminologist, said the Ghanaian people need “assurance that their vote will count; that the integrity of every single individual vote will not be compromised through acts of impropriety.”

He said the NDC Organiser’s comments were not conducive to democratic practice, neither do “they...conduce to the advancement of the best interest of the nation.”

Supporting Prof. Attafuah’s argument, Mr Kojo Asante of the CDD, said there was the need for a high level investigation because the “National Security Coordinator himself is a subject of this collusion that has been revealed from listening to the tapes.”

Regarding the issuing of these ID cards to the individuals in question, he said, “of course we don’t know whether it is true that the National Security Coordinator is the one that is issuing these cards to them, we need the National Security Council…which is chaired by the president to institute an investigation so that it can go above the National Security Coordinator.”

Stressing the seriousness of Mr Gyan’s claims, Mr Asante asked, “What happens in elections, if based on these revelations, there is suspicion that people who are identifying themselves as national security operators may actually be party people”?

“That kind of suspicion is dangerous for the security itself because it puts their operatives and their officers at risk, so this is not a small matter; it is going to raise unnecessary tension, it creates suspicion of the security services and because they are so important to refereeing the process of elections and enforcing the law…, it is important that this investigation is done quickly and if sanctions have to be applied, they are applied immediately,” he submitted.

PPP Statement: President Mahama & National Security must act now!

PPP Statement: President Mahama & National Security must act now!

The PPP wishes to call on President John Dramani Mahama and the National Security organisation to act with dispatch on the Yaw Boateng Gyan tape to renew our confidence and hope for a peaceful and secure nation. We need a restoration of confidence in the security agencies and a trust that they will act professionally and impartially at all times. In this election year, it is important that state institutions act to ensure free and fair elections.

The PPP is disturbed by the continuous blatant abuse of incumbency. This latest attempt to use state security apparatus to further the course of the NDC cannot be accepted by any well-meaning Ghanaian or organisation. The National Security Agencies do not exist to promote the agenda or support the election campaign of any political party, let alone the National Democratic Congress.

While the president is calling on Ghanaians to maintain the peace and unity in the country, he refuses to act and remain silent when members of his party are engaged in all sorts of nefarious activities which threaten the peace and security of our country. Mr. Gyan's comments represent a serious indictment on the reputation and professionalism of the National Security. The suggestion that a party's official can arrange for National Security Identification cards to be issued to promote a party's activities is mind boggling. These are dangerous times indeed!

We recall the violence that characterized the biometric registration exercise where NiiLamptey Vanderpuye's behavior that threatened the peace in the Odododiodoo was allowed to pass without a reprimand from the then Vice President Mahama. There was no action taken on the part of the police. Mr. Mahama, now President's deafening silence on these matters raises serious questions whether indeed he is committed to avoiding abuse of incumbency and ensuring peace and unity in this country.

We call on the president and the national security to publicly condemn the conduct and comments from Yaw Boateng Gyan to assure all Ghanaians that the 2012 elections will be free, transparent, violence-free and fair. Individuals like Mr. Gyan should not be allowed to escape with impunity this time around.

We wish to remind President Mahama about our open challenge to ensure transparency, accountability and Incorruptible Leadership. For the benefit of the President, we reproduce the challenge thrown by the PPP:
- Introduce amendments to the 1992 Constitution that will make three critical changes for progress in Ghana:

1) prohibit Members of Parliament from being appointed as Minsters of State,
2) return the power to the people for all Ghanaians to directly elect their district, municipal and metropolitan chief executives without any interference from the President and
3) strengthen the office of District Attorney by separating it from the Ministry of Justice;
- Make available to the public asset declarations,
income tax returns,
health records and
sources of campaign funding before the December 7th elections; and

- Conduct a campaign to prove competence and ability to offer solutions to the nation’s numerous problems.

God Bless Our Homeland Ghana. God Save Us From Oppressors’ Rule!

We are awake!

Kofi Asamoah-Siaw
National Secretary, PPP
6 September, 2012

Yaw Gyan’s statements worse than Kennedy Agyapong, arrest him – NDP

Yaw Gyan’s statements worse than Kennedy Agyapong, arrest him – NDP

The acting General Secretary of the newly formed National Democratic Party (NDP) has piled further pressure on the embattled National Organiser of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) with a call on the security agencies to cause the arrest of Yaw Boateng Gyan for his ‘dangerous’ comments.

If the Police and other agencies fail to do so, it would be incumbent on President John Mahama to “order his arrest, set up a commission and demand answers,” Dr Mamboa Rockson has advocated.

Dr Rockson, who believes the NDC Organiser’s comments are ‘worse’ than those made by NPP MP for Assin North Kennedy Agyapong, made his demand when he spoke on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem morning show hosted by Adakabre Frimpong Manso on Thursday September 6, 2012.

The NDP Secretary, who said he was “appalled and disheartened that such a person would make plans to destabilize the NDP”, was commenting on the contents of a 35 minute tape, suspected to have been recorded during a meeting at an unknown location.

Mr Boateng Gyan tells the audience about the party’s plans to draft them into a Special Force in the military whose members would later be given National Security identification cards to enable them to move freely and cause trouble in some parts of the country during the national elections.

There were also discussions on ways to link such violence and chaos to NPP flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo’s call of “All die be die,” meant to encourage his party faithful but seen by others as a call to arms.

According to the voice, the National Security office would, at the eleventh hour, complain about lack of staff to properly police the December poll, and the NDC would then quickly push the Special Force members into the National Security for training so that they could work for the party under the guise of being National Security operatives.

The voice also charged them to find out the likely effects of the formation of the National Democratic Party (NDP), which had just received its provisional certificate from the Electoral Commission, on the chances of the NDC in the December 7 polls. The NDP was formed by disappointed or disgruntled former members of the NDC. Former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings is believed to be behind the formation of the party.

Speaking on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem morning show on Wednesday September 5, 2012 Mr Gyan admitted the voice was his, but insisted he did nothing wrong in seeking to find the likely effects of the formation of a new party on the NDC’s electoral chances. He also expressed doubt about the veracity of parts of the tape, suggesting it may have been doctored.

Dr Mamboa Rockson wondered about the disconnect between the public calls for peace being made by officials of the NDC including the National Organiser, and their private plans for the nation. He was particularly troubled by the effect Mr Gyan’s statements would have in the international community about Ghana’s military and their allegiance to the state.

“Why will he (Boateng Gyan) use illegal structures? Why will he go and recruit soldiers and use them as hit-men for his party? What he is telling the whole world is that there are hit-men among our military, and they have allegiances and they are ready to take out people. He is telling us there are now hit-men roaming the whole country ready to take out officials of NDP.

“What he has done is illegal, criminal and he must answer. Others have said less things, and they took them to the cleaners. This is more than what Kennedy Agyapong said, but see what happened to him.

“One of our members, Owusu Bempah made a simple comment, and he was picked up by the police. A member of the NDC, Kofi Adams, his voice is suspected to be on a tape and they have suspended him; they have not given him a fair hearing.

“People have been talking about peace, and if a credible officer of the NDC can say this, with the clear intention of crippling a new political party, obstructing democracy, then he must be made to face the law. Such comments to the entire NDP is offensive, and he must be arrested immediately or called to police headquarters and questioned, and if found culpable, must face the law. If the police refuse, the President should order his arrest, set up a commission and demand answers.”

Also commenting, suspended Deputy NDC General Secretary Kofi Adams said the development “does not augur well for the security of our polls, especially the aspect where they say the EC doesn’t have enough personnel to supervise poll so they will rush in.

“It is different if you hear about a national recruitment exercise in the military and the rest and you help, but not when you are training people and giving them different identity.

“I believe the party will hold an emergency meeting to respond, because there are aspects of the issue that affect the party. I believe the state institutions are also preparing to come out.

John Mahama, walk the talk- AFAG demands

John Mahama, walk the talk- AFAG demands

The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) has challenged President John Dramani Mahama to “walk the talk by taking concrete steps in addressing the payment of fraudulent judgment debt to cronies of the NDC government if he wants to be taken serious with regards to the fight against corruption”.

President John Mahama in what he described as his policy statement to the nation, for the last lap of the NDC government said of judgment debt “The Minister for Justice/ Attorney General are charged with legally retrieving money that should not have been paid out”.

He continued “I am committed to running a corruption-free, transparent government. We must use the money under our control to better the lot of the ordinary Ghanaian. From the payments to undeserving individuals and institutions to unnecessary spending, we are dedicated to reform”.

With such admission on the part of the president, AFAG says it is of the considered opinion, that the Alfred Agbesi Woyome scandal and others present President John Mahama with a glorious opportunity to restore the sunken image of his government as far as the fight against corruption is concerned.

“As a country endowed with all the resources needed for our development, the past few years under the NDC government have witnessed such unprecedented looting of the hard earned wealth of the good people of this country at the expense of personal development for the majority of Ghanaians. Thus, it should be obvious to President John Mahama, that what the Ghanaian taxpayer needs now is action and not rhetoric,” AFAG said in a release on Thursday.

“As a first measure, AFAG has called on the president to unconditionally sack and (or) arrest for questioning, Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrisu and Messrs Martey Newman, Alex Segbefia, Benjamin Kumbour, EbowBarton Oduro and Kwabena Duffour (Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, AG, Deputy AG and Finance Minister respectively) for their actions and inactions in the payments of such fraudulent amounts. AFAG regards the continuous stay in office of the aforementioned public officers as a complete mockery on the Presidents stance on corruption.

Finally, what remains crucial to the Ghanaian taxpayer in all of these are practical steps on the part of leadership to ensure that the Ghanaian taxpayer is not denied justice. To this end, AFAG is calling on President Mahama to unconditionally reinstate Mr. Martin Amidu to give practical expression to the stance of the president,” the statement concluded.

Secret tape wahala: Boateng Gyan admits voice is his but…


 Secret tape wahala: Boateng Gyan admits voice is his but…
National Organiser of NDC, Yaw Boateng Gyan

The National Organiser of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Yaw Boateng Gyan, has admitted that the voice on a secretly recorded tape of a meeting between suspected NDC loyalists and a top party functionary scheming about the 2012 elections is indeed his.

He however insists the conversation had nothing to do with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and also contained no diabolical plans for the December poll.

The 35 minute tape, suspected to have been recorded during a meeting at an unknown location, has Mr Boateng Gyan telling the audience about the party’s plans to draft them into a Special Force whose members would later be given National Security identification cards to enable them to move freely and cause trouble in some parts of the country during the national elections.

He noted that plans were far advanced by the party to issue the National Security ID cards to them, but the NDC was being careful due to the manner in which some of them behaved in public some time ago when the party engaged their services.

According to the voice, the National Security office would, at the eleventh hour, complain about lack of staff to properly police the December poll, and the NDC would then quickly push the Special Force members into the National Security for training so that they could work for the party under the guise of being National Security operatives.

The voice also charged them to find out the likely effects of the formation of the National Democratic Party (NDP), which had just received its provisional certificate from the Electoral Commission, on the chances of the NDC in the December 7 polls. The NDP was formed by disappointed or disgruntled former members of the NDC. Former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings is believed to be behind the formation of the party.

However Mr Boateng Gyan, speaking on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem morning show on Wednesday September 5, 2012 insisted he did nothing wrong in seeking to find the likely effects of the formation of a new party on the NDC electoral chances. He also expressed doubt about the veracity of parts of the tape, suggesting it may have been doctored.

“I am the National Organiser of a national party with two deputies, and we cannot be everywhere, so it is only natural that we have people who go out to gather information for us. Any party that does not have such a mechanism is not serious.

“This was a conversation with such persons to find out those behind the formation of NDP and NDC persons who want to leave to the new party so we can approach them and talk to them to rescind their decision. Everybody knows the people who make up the NDP are all members of the NDC, and as a party we have to be concerned about people leaving our party.

“The conversation was about NDP, which had just received provisional certificate, not NPP at all.”

However, MP for Assin North, Kennedy Agyapong, insisted that the conversation, which was initially about the effects of the formation of the NDP, eventually developed into “dangerous” plans to create violence and chaos and link it to NPP flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo’s call of “All die be die,” meant to encourage his party faithful but seen as others as a call to arms.

Mr Agyapong also claimed the young men at the meeting, aware that the training and assignment they were being sent to was dangerous, asked for provision to be made for their wives and children in the event of their death.

“There were also references to me and my lawyer Ayikoi Otoo and plans to deal with us” he alleged.

However, Mr Yaw Boateng Gyan maintained his innocence, although he acknowledged that the two names were mentioned at the meeting.

Kennedy Agyapong advised Mr Boateng Gyan to be mindful what he says when he meets with his party people, “because you may fall out with them and you don’t know who may be recording your conversation.”

He hinted that he also had a secretly recorded tape of the late President Mills engaged in a damning, heated argument with an NDC member. The tape, he said, was sent to him by someone very close to the late president

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Government’s oil-revenue target is unlikely to be achieved – Imani Ghana

Policy think tank, Imani Ghana has cast doubts over government’s oil revenue target for the year following what it says is the continuous fall in oil production from the Jubilee field since last year. 

Government in this year’s budget projected to generate 650 million dollars from the oil production. Figures from January to June indicate, the country grossed nearly 230 million dollars. 

Executive Director of Imani Ghana, Franklyn Cudjoe argues, with almost 4 months to the end of the year, the revenue target is most unlikely to be achieved.

“The oil fields are not producing the barrels we want. Over the last several months, oil production has been hovering around nearly 60 thousand barrels per day compared with even the downward revised figure of 90 thousand from the initial 120 thousand target” he noted. 

According to him, the shortfall in oil production also has serious implications for the economy, especially the local currency. 

“These are very ominous signs for the falling cedi – unduly affecting our forex position. Our foreign exchange earnings and balance of trade position are getting lower because we’re not exporting.cThis means printing more money in some instances which may have serious repecussions for the economy” he noted” 

Kan-Dapaah is a conduit for NPP’s diabolical campaign against Woyome

Kan-Dapaah is a conduit for NPP’s diabolical campaign against Woyome
Alfred Agbesi Woyome
Kwame Tawiah, aide to Alfred Agbesi Woyome who is currently standing trial over a GH¢51million judgment debt controversy, claims they have ample evidence to prove that the NPP will anchor their elections 2012 campaign on the Woyome saga.

According to Tawiah, the NPP as part of its campaign strategy wants to revive what he says is the over-flogged Woyome judgement debt scandal to win the December general elections.

Mr. Tawiah was responding to recent threats by Chairman of the Public Account Committee (PAC), Albert Kan-Dapaah to haul Mr. Woyome before the Committee with the help of the IGP.

Albert Kan-Dapaah said he would write to the Inspector General of Police, Paul Tawiah Quaye to arrest Woyome and drag him before the Committee to respond to issues about the colossal amount paid to him (Woyome) as judgement debt.

But Alfred Woyome insisted he was already standing trial for the judgment debt scandal and therefore could not speak to the matter outside of court.

However, speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Friday, Kwame Tawiah maintained that Albert Kan-Dapaah was just a conduit for the NPP's diabolical plan to revive the Woyome scandal for its electioneering campaign.

He contended that the PAC Chairman had compromised his position amd could not be trusted to do a decent, fair-minded national duty.

"...Even members on his own Committee have raised issues with the Chairman’s conduct. Why this whimsical abuse of power and utter ego by Kan Dapaah”? he quizzed.

Woyome’s aide described Kan-Dapaah’s conduct as “a shame to our democracy and an abuse of power”.

He stated emphatically that Mr. Woyome will never appear before the Public Accounts Committee because the summons were illegally done.

Tawiah could not fathom why the PAC Chairman was insisting that Alfred Woyome appears before the Committee in spite of the explanations given for his inability to attend to the Committee's invitation.

He said the Woyome camp will not be cowed by the Committee's threat since, they acted in accordance with the law.

“Kan-Dapaah should write to the IGP to cause Woyome’s arrest; we are waiting patiently. We have our constitutional rights and will act according to the rule of law,” he said.

Kwame Tawiah indicated that the NPP should not delude itself into thinking that it can win elections by capitalizing on the Woyome judgement debt scandal.

“You [NPP] still want to make Woyome news; you still want to make Woyome a campaign issue they should go ahead we are waiting for them”.

Myjoyonline.com |Adwoa Gyasiwaa

Corruption fight: Akufo-Addo will be worse than Mills- PPP

Corruption fight: Akufo-Addo will be worse than Mills- PPP
The Progressive Peoples Party is not impressed with answers given by the flagbearer of New Patriotic Party Nana Akufo-Addo when he appeared at the Institute of Economic Affairs Evening Encounter.

The party among other things questioned Nana Addo’s strategy and commitment to fighting corruption if elected as president.

A statement signed by the Deputy Youth Coordinator said “It is very funny how Nana Addo talks about eradicating corruption by being an exemplary leader. We know that Ghanaians have had the opportunity of having an incorruptible leader like the late former President Mills (May his soul rest in peace) whose government could be said to be one of the most corrupt in recent times in the history of Ghana.

The full statement is as follows;


The Evening Encounter Sessions organised by the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) has been very insightful. It has afforded Ghanaians the opportunity to know what is on the minds of the various Presidential Candidates with representation in parliament. Nana Akufo Addo has also done well in honouring the invitation of the IEA by educating Ghanaians on how he intends to manage the country should he become the next CEO of Ghana for the next 4 years.

We would further like to congratulate Nana Addo for his eloquent presentation during the IEA encounter. It is very worrying that his answer on the practicality of tackling corruption in Ghana was woefully inappropriate. When the Ghana Integrity Initiative Boss questioned Akuffo Addo about how he was going to deal with the issue of corruption, it was the expectation of most Ghanaians that Nana Addo was to demonstrate practically his commitment to eradicate corruption from the system.

It is very funny how Nana Addo talks about eradicating corruption by being an exemplary leader. We know that Ghanaians have had the opportunity of having an incorruptible leader like the late former President Mills (May his soul rest in peace) whose government could be said to be one of the most corrupt in recent times in the history of Ghana. Professor Mills never liked corruption as a person yet his government could not rid itself of corruption. This is because the institutional structure of the country has made it difficult for any individual to be able to fight corruption effectively.

Today, both the NPP and the NDC are in the equalization game of who is more corrupt than the other. By this standard, we believe that the NPP flagbearer ought to have given a better option than just the old talk of being leader by example. This is a clear indication that, he does not fully appreciate the nature of corruption in our system or is not willing to be a different leader and for that matter an Akufo Addo administration is not going to be anything better than the Mills-led administration.

Secondly, Nana Addo made a very laughable suggestion by saying that he will handle Judgment debt by causing the Attorney General to publish all claims made against the state, as if to say that it is the people of Ghana who shall determine which Judgment debt to be paid and which one not to be paid. We think he could have said better than this mere populist propaganda to confuse the many unsuspecting voters.

Nana Addo claims that he had NO PROBLEM as an Attorney General (AG) and Minister of Justice and so he does not subscribe to the argument that the AG should be decoupled from the Ministry of Justice. This is a clear indication that he is not willing and does not intend to fight corruption. By continuously retaining the status of the AG as a Cabinet minister who can be hired and fired by the President, we limit the power of the AG to Prosecute “All manner of people”. This is because the AG would never be able to do an independent prosecution especially when the prosecution is likely to affect the reputation of his government. The case of the former Sports minister is not tenable because he was not a member of their Party the NPP and thus they were more comfortable to make him a scape goat.

Again, the case of the dismissal of Hon. Martin Amudi in the ongoing Woyomey case is another strong indication of how the executive can stampede the work of the AG so long as the AG remains the same as the Minister of Justice and a Cabinet minister who can be hired and sacked by the President at any time and without any reason. Practically, an AG would be compromised when he is part of cabinet discussion and will not be able to give an independent professional advice to state and so if Nana Addo was committed to eradication of corruption, he would not dismiss such an argument.

We insist that all politicians must come to realisation of this simple fact and make commitment to ensure that our legal system is reformed. Ghana needs an independent state prosecutor who cannot be sacked by the President anyhow.

We know and respect Nana Addo as a senior legal practitioner of good standing. Yet his claim that he had No Problem as an Attorney General cannot be true. We do not want to go into details of the gargantuan crimes during the Kufour Administration which were not followed up and prosecuted by the then Attorney General but we want to state that Ghana must be awake to the realities of our times. It is time to make sure that the law is able to bite.

PPP wants the opportunity to implement an Agenda for Change when our candidate is made President of the Republic of Ghana come January 2013. This Agenda is built on four pillars - Stewardship, Education, Healthcare and Jobs. We will implement the Agenda using the spirit of inclusiveness that will enable us to use the best Ghanaians; full participation of women and the youth; and above all a leadership that is incorruptible. By dealing with corruption, we can double government revenue which we will use to pay for our transformational initiatives in education, healthcare and job creation.

Richard Nii Amarh
PPP Deputy Youth Coordinator (Volunteers)

Election 2012: We will deal ruthlessly with 'machomen' - Prez Mahama

Election 2012: We will deal  ruthlessly with 'machomen' - Prez Mahama
President Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama has sounded a stern warning to miscreants who are bent on fomenting trouble in the upcoming December elections.

President Mahama stated the security forces will not take lightly the activities of machomen who have made it their habit of intimidating and interfering with the election process.

The president made this known when he addressed a teeming crowd in the Bono Ahafo region who met him as part of his nationwide “Thank You Tour”.

President Mahama called on the youth of the country to stand firm and resist attempts by politicians to use them to foment trouble.

According to him the youth must rather protect the peace that the country currently enjoys.

President Mahama expressed his gratitude to the chiefs and people of Bono Ahafo region for their support during the burial of the late President John Mills.

The President’s 10-day nationwide “Thank You Tour” has already taken him to the Central, Western, Volta, and Eastern regions.

Ghana |Myjoyonline.com | Richard Nii Abbey

NPP promises to 'transform lives; transform Ghana'

NPP promises to 'transform lives; transform Ghana'
Yoofi Grant
The rallying crying of the New Patriotic Party as it heads towards the 2012 General Elections is to transform lives and to transform Ghana.

The party is seeking an ambitious overhaul of the country’s infrastructure and industry with a promise to move Ghana up the rungs of middle income.

With a new manifesto title “Transforming our lives; transforming Ghana” the opposition party says it will harness the huge natural and human resource base to the direct benefit of the Ghanaian.

A banker with the Data Bank and a key member of the manifesto drafting committee of the NPP, Yoofi Grant told Joy News’ Evans Mensah the new manifesto is set to "re-engineer how we do thing to get different results."

We need to “change systems, change processes and the outcomes will change,” he noted.

Yoofi Grant said Ghana has the resources and the can do spirit but lacked the right leadership to steer the country forward in the right direction.

A key part of the manifesto, he noted will be to change the economy which has always being a "relic of the colonial times."

He said the party will add value to its raw materials as it seeks to industrialise.

On housing, he said the party will complete the affordable housing project it started and will institute a social housing policy to ensure that those who cannot afford to own a home but are ready to rent, do so without any difficulties.

With the party flagbearer already touting education as his major issue of concern, Grant said the manifesto provides a clear road map towards the implementation of a solid educational agenda of the NPP if voted into power.

He said with a free but quality SHS education system under a Nana Akufo-Addo government, there will be much better people in the country with a clear vision.

He said the future NPP government will make Ghana a net exporter of energy with huge investments set to be made in the energy sector.

The ultimate aim he noted is to make Ghana a transformed society.

The manifesto is expected to be launched on Wednesday, three days after the the launch of the party's 2012 campaign.

Ghana|Myjoyonline.com| Nathan Gadugah

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Insurgency in Northern Mali: Diplomacy or Counterinsurgency?

By Lord Aikins Adusei

The recent take over of Northern Mali by National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and Al Qaeda franchise groups such Ansar Dine and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) present difficult challenge to the civilian and military leadership in West Africa. There is no question that AQIM working closely with Ansar Dine would use their new trophy i.e. northern Mali not only as a supermarket for terrorism but also to fuel kidnapping, drug trafficking and other contraband activities in the Sahel region and beyond. Therefore allowing them to use the region as a safe haven for terrorism and their criminal enterprise could worsen Mali’s security problems and threaten the already shaky stability in neighbouring countries of Algeria, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Mauritania, and Niger. At the same time a counterinsurgency offensive on the part of ECOWAS to dislodge the MNLA rebels and Ansar Dine could trigger multiplier effects that ECOWAS might not be ready for. It is a serious dilemma that needs to be approached with extreme caution.

In formulating a proper response to the Malian problem, the leadership in West Africa should be guided by lessons in Somalia where efforts to root out Al Shabaab have remained not only elusive but to a larger extent have been counterproductive: spreading terrorism to Uganda and Kenya. More lessons could be drawn from the U.S. experience in fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Paul Scharre, former officer of the U.S. 75th Ranger Regiment and the author of “A More Agile Pentagon” observes that the Afghan war was initially conducted with a “shock and awe” strategy using light and fast vehicles but that soon changed to the use of heavily armoured vehicles as Taliban and Al Qaeda began using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and roadside bombs to destroy convoys, road clearance vehicles and even the most potent of the coalition armoured vehicles with impressive results and with strategic consequences for the U.S. led coalition.

NATO, with its well trained 150,000 strong fighters and overwhelmingly superior capabilities, in addition to 305,000 Afghan Police and Armed Forces could not easily win the war against the battle-hardened, religiously and ideologically entrenched Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters. A change in both strategy and leadership on the part of U.S.-- including a 30,000 troop surge in 2009-2010-- did not overwhelmingly alter the battle environment in favour of the coalition forces. In the end U.S. began to engage the Taliban in dialogue for a negotiated political settlement. In June 2011, after ten years in Afghanistan and hundreds of billions of dollars spent in the war effort, President Barack Obama announced that he was bringing the U.S. troops home telling Americans “it is time to focus on nation building here at home”.

President Obama's announcement was made in spite of the obvious fact that Afghanistan is still unstable. While writing this piece report came in that the Taliban on Monday August 20, 2012 shot and damaged the parked plane of General Martin Dempsey, the top-most officer in the U.S. military. The attack came months after U.S. Defence Secretary Leone Panetta was made a target of a suicide attack in mid-March 2012 while on a visit to Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. It is highly uncertain what will happen in Afghanistan when the troops leave, however the U.S. willingness to engage the Taliban in dialogue for a political settlement is a major lesson that ECOWAS’ political and military leaders could learn from. In other words ECOWAS’ leaders should hesitate in launching counter offensive against the insurgents and give diplomacy a chance while keeping the military option on the table.

There are several reasons why ECOWAS must give diplomacy a chance. First AQIM, Ansar Dine and the MNLA rebels are not only unconventional fighting force that respect no rules of engagement but are also heavily armed and could put up stiff resistance to ECOWAS' counterinsurgency efforts. This means that combined with the difficult and hostile Sahara environment, it will be difficult to completely defeat them. The war could in fact drag on for years if not decades as pointed out by James Thomas Snyder author of “Counterinsurgency Vocabulary and Strategic Success” who notes that modern counterinsurgency warfare usually last between 12 and 15 years. Going by this it implies that ECOWAS will find it difficult to conduct and sustain a war that will last for 12 or 15 years especially given other serious threats in the sub region such as maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, terrorism in Nigeria, fragile stability in Ivory Coast and narcotics trafficking that equally need human, financial and material resources to confront them.

Besides, counterinsurgency like any other war could be humanly costly. AQIM, Ansar Dine and MNLA may use guerrilla tactics; hide inside the populations living in the Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu thereby making it harder for ECOWAS’ Forces to root them out. Attempt to attack the insurgents in the towns could lead to high civilian casualties which could be exploited by the insurgents to make the counterinsurgency unpopular among the population.

Additionally, a counterinsurgency could also worsen the already bad humanitarian situation in the north of the country. So far about 500,000 people are known to have fled their homes, additional 250,000 are internally displaced while a quarter of a million more live in refugee camps. More people could be forced to flee and the complicated food, water and health security situation could get worse.

Moreover, as it is common with many wars, the counterinsurgency environment can change very quickly with unpredictable outcomes. The insurgents could adapt to counterinsurgency offensive and even change the environment in their favour. They may decide to extend their activities to relatively stable areas in Mali and even to neighbouring countries. This is exactly what Al Shabaab did in Uganda on 11 July 2010 when they killed more than 85 people who had gathered to watch the FIFA World Cup that was underway in South Africa. Kenya has come under similar attacks from Al Shabaab and Boko Haram recently extended its activities to states in the middle belt of Nigeria.

More problematic is the financial situation in the ECOWAS region. ECOWAS countries, like the rest of the countries worldwide, are cash trapped due to the global financial and economic downturn. Governments in West Africa, United States and Europe are implementing austerity budget and struggling to stay afloat. Launching a war against the insurgents will not only require men but also money and military capabilities. Sending poorly equipped 3,500 fighting force to a region as big as France or U.S. state of Texas will be similar to repeating what the Malian government did when it sent soldiers with poor morale, leadership shortcomings and limited capabilities to confront the heavily armed insurgents, resulting in the lightening victory for the insurgents. 
Heavily armed Tuareg rebels  and Ansar Dine control key northern cities of Gao, Kidal, Timbuktu

In other words undertaking a counterinsurgency that could be lengthy and costly, in a financially weak-region, and in a global economy that is still struggling to recover definitely needs deep thinking and a deeper reflection. General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff recently cautioned that the complexities of modern warfare particularly counterinsurgency require “leaders who do not think linearly, but who instead seek to understand the complexity of problems before seeking to solve them”. This means that politicians and military leaders in ECOWAS seeking solution for Mali should understand the situation before prescribing any solution.

Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell IV, commanding general of the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan and Captain Nathan K. Finney in an article titled “Security, Capacity and Literacy” published in the journal  ‘Military Review’ in 2011 opined that “conventional military weapons alone will not win” the war against AQIM, Ansar Dine and the Tuareg rebels. Similarly Tony Blair in a speech on January 12, 2007 observed that “Terrorism cannot be defeated by military means alone”.

This suggests that there are other weapons that in addition to dialogue could be used to defeat the insurgents.  One such weapon is the use of intelligence. Intelligence could be beefed up in the region controlled by the insurgents. This could help ECOWAS to know the mind of the insurgents, their strategy, tactics, their movements, weapons and their operational capabilities. Intelligence could also help to identify the leadership of the insurgent for special attention and to counter their propaganda.

In his book “The War within”, Bob Woodward observed that the strategy of using accurate intelligence to conduct precision raids, targeting insurgent leaders helped to turn the tide in Iraq. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the threats he and other Al Qaeda leaders posed in Iraq were removed with the help of intelligence. Thus intelligence fusion and precision raiding focusing strongly on the leadership of insurgent could weaken the terror group’s ability to mount effective response. Intelligence could also limit damage and bloodshed and unnecessary civilian casualties. Although Ansar Dine may quickly replace their captured or killed leaders, the new leaders may lack experience and skill which will affect their decision making and ability to wage a sustained war. Intelligence could also help to dismantle the drug trafficking, kidnapping and other criminal activities that serve as a key source of funding for the insurgents.

Also a strategy could be adopted to divide the front of the insurgents. There are two broad groups involved in the insurgency in northern Mali: Tuareg rebels and Ansar Dine. The Tuareg rebels are fighting for a homeland while the Ansar Dine is religiously fanatical organisation with links to AQIM that is seeking a haven to implement terror agenda in northern Mali. In other words the Tuareg rebels and Ansar Dine have different objectives when it comes ruling their captured territory. ECOWAS could exploit the deep differences the two groups have. For example ECOWAS could isolate Ansar Dine by talking to Tuareg rebels and working with them to implement the terms of the agreement they signed with the government in 2006. Energy then could be directed at AQIM and Ansar Dine.

Working with local leaders and improving governance could serve ECOWAS well. Local leaders could be of strategic value to ECOWAS’ forces regarding intelligence, and mobilising the people against the insurgents. Mark F. Cancian, a former Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, notes that in the Iraqi province of Al Anbar it was the involvement of the local leaders ‘Awakening sheiks’ that turned the war in U.S. favour in late 2006 and early 2007.

Similarly addressing poverty, inequality and underdevelopment in northern Mali could strategically tilt the hearts and minds of the population away from MNLA and Ansar Dine. By all account northern Mali is relatively poor compared to the south of the country. The lack of development combined with minimal government presence undoubtedly contributed in the takeover of the region by MNLA, AQIM and Ansar Dine. Thus improving food security, water, energy and health security and general infrastructure such as roads, education, irrigation and housing in northern Mali could win the population over to the ECOWAS and alienate the insurgents.

More crucial is building the capabilities of the Malian Police to provide security for the civilian population. The Police having operated in the cities in the north for years may know the leadership of the insurgents, where they live and could therefore provide useful information for their arrest. Building the capabilities of Mali’s 7000 poorly equipped and poorly remunerated soldiers and restoring the soldiers’ morale could tilt the balance of power in ECOWAS favour should full scale counterinsurgency become the last resort. In other words security must go hand in hand with governance and development. The three are what Bruce Hoffman and Seth G. Jones have termed “the holy trinity of counterinsurgency”.

Lord Aikins Adusei, politicalthinker1@yahoo.com

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bawku Central MP Adamu Sakande convicted; jailed two years

Adamu Dramani Sakande, convicted MP for Bawku Central
Information reaching RadioXYZonline.com indicates that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Adamu Dramani Sakande has been convicted by an Accra High Court.

He was found guilty of perjury and forgery. He was therefore  jailed two years concurrently on all counts.

The Bawku Central MP, has been standing trial on three charges of false declaration by voting, perjury and deceit of public officer.

A Bawku-based cattle dealer, Sumaila Bielbiel, challenged the status of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, Adamu Daramani Sakande in the law-making body due to his dual citizenship.

Adamu Sakande is also alleged to have, before the 2008 elections, made a false statement in an application to have his name included in the voters register.

The accused is also alleged to have registered as a voter when the voters register was opened, and subsequently went ahead to vote in the December 2008 general elections, when he was not entitled to do so.

Mr Sakande's lawyer,Yoni Kulendi, appealed to the court to mitigate the outcome of the ruling because of the health concerns of the MP.

Speaking after the court proceedings, Mr Kulendi told journalists that the lawyers did all they could to ensure that the facts are laid bare.

He however indicated that the judge had the final say on the matter.

Repair Mills’ Family House - Ekumfi Otuam Residents

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Residents of Ekumfi Otuam – the maternal home town of the late President John Evans Atta Mills – are calling on government to develop their community, especially the deplorable family house as a sign of respect to their departed illustrious son.

Ekumfi Otuam is a small fishing town in the Central Region of Ghana. It is 12 kilometers from Esuehyia Junction off the Accra-Cape Coast Highway.

The town had burst with relative expectations when the Electoral Commission had announced after the 2008 general elections that one of its own had won the general elections and subsequently will become the first gentleman of the country.

When Citi News visited the town after the sudden passing of the President on July 24, the village folks recalled that they made a promise to Mills that they would not be overly demanding from him, except that they would expect the very basic development projects like any other community.

Being a fishing community, one major project on the hearts of the indigenes is the provision of a landing bay to promote their fishing activities.

They had also expected that the Esuahyia Otuam road, which was in a deplorable state, would be rehabilitated and potable water supplied.

Family House
The immediate family members also had their own expectations - the rehabilitation of the family house which was unbefitting of a vice president-turned President.

Three-and-a-half years into the President’s reign, the people are yet to see massive improvements in their lives. The President, however, never deserted his people. According to them, President Mills constantly visited them and promised to provide their basic necessities including the provision of potable water, a landing bay and alternative jobs. He also promised his family the deplorable family house would be rebuilt.

On July 24, 2012, two days after the President had turned 68, news emerged that he had passed away at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra. This left his people devastated.

A visit to the town by Citi News revealed that the people, including children have been devastated by the news. At the family house, libation was poured in which the departed president was implored upon to inform his successor to develop the community.

The Esuahyia-Otuam road was under construction; but the community is nothing to write home about. The residents expressed concern about the fate of the community now that their only hope had died.
A fisherman, Kojo Frimpong, expressed his sentiments: “We are very hurt. We did not hear of the President being sick; all we heard was that he had died. He had promised to build the landing bay for us.”

“Someone should tell the President to reduce the price of fuel. All that president Mills has left undone, he should please complete them for us,” a woman fishmonger, Auntie Rose, added.

One woman we met at the seashore decried the deplorable nature of the shore and prayed for alternative jobs. She said, “There are no jobs for us to do here. We are going through too many hardships. We beg of the President to help develop our town so that our people can get jobs to do.”

President Mills was in the process of fulfilling the promises he had made to his people. Apart from the road under construction, pipes were being laid to supply water to the community.

However, the rehabilitation of the family house was yet to be started. According to the family, the President had last visited them twice in May this year and had promised to build the house.

Their concerns were “now that he is dead, who builds this house for us?”

The late president’s family house is a thatched house with some portions uncompleted. One distraught woman who said she was a nephew to the departed president could not hold back her tears. She said; “the president had promised to provide jobs for our children. He said he would build this house for us… he was our only hope.”

Children were not left behind in grief as the few we spoke to expressed sadness upon the demise of the president.
Source: Abena Asiedua Tenkorang/Citifmonline.com

Rawlings On NEC Meeting Without Him: I Wouldn’t Say I’m Surprised; This Has Been The Tendency Anyway

Related Stories
Peacefmonline.com can confirm that the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting currently being held by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is without the knowledge of the founder of the party, ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, at least by Mr Rawlings’ assertions.

The NDC’s NEC meeting today, is deciding on the future of the party, but its Founder and one-time President and Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces is shocked and surprised that the meeting is being held on his blind side.

Per the party’s constitution, Mr Rawlings, who is Chairman of the Council of Elders needs to be present or at least be informed of a scheduled NEC meeting.

President John Evans Atta Mills died Tuesday, July 24, 2012 and left vacancies, not only at the presidency, but also on the NDC’s presidential ticket. Mr. Dramani Mahama, the former Vice-President, was sworn into office hours later, in accordance with Article 60 (6 -10) of the 1992 Constitution.

But the void in the presidential slot of the NDC remain unfilled.

Today’s meeting, according to sources, is dealing with the fate of President John Mahama as a possible flagbearer of the party or whether the party will opt to go for another congress to elect a flagbearer.

But alas, the founder of the party seems to have been kept in the dark.

Asked by JoyFM’s Elton John Brobbey if he was aware the NDC’s NEC is meeting today on the way forward for the party, a clearly surprised Rawlings could only mutter, “Oh I see!...I’m not aware”.

“Are you surprised you are not invited?” the journalist further prodded.

“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised; this has been the tendency anyway,” JJ said.

Meanwhile, reports received indicate the ruling party may be going to congress on September 1st, 2012. What is also unclear is whether there will be a popular acclamation of John Mahama as flagbearer.
Source: Nana Kwadwo Asante/Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

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