Thursday, May 29, 2008


A Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and the President’s Special Initiatives (PSIs), Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, has stated that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government would not scrap the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) when voted back into power in December 2008.
According to him, the NPP government, when retained in power, would continue with all its human-centred policies and programmes such as the NYEP, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), fee free education at the basic school level, the School Feeding Programme, free medical care for pregnant women, among other interventions aimed at putting money back in the pockets of the people.
Mr Agyeman Manu said this in response to a question posed by Mr Kojovi, a farmer, at the Brong Ahafo Regional People’s Assembly held at the Techiman Community Centre in the Techiman municipality yesterday.
The questioner wanted to know whether the NYEP would be scrapped after the end of President Kufuor’s term of office and where the government would get the money to pay the salaries of personnel under the programme.
Mr Agyeman Manu stated that the NPP government, under President Kufuor, as a way of fulfilling its promise of creating jobs for the youth, introduced the NYEP and so the programme would be sustained, just like others that were aimed at alleviating poverty.
He said the government had so many ways of sourcing funds to pay personnel under the NYEP and, therefore, there was no cause for alarm, saying the only way the NYEP could be sustained was for the electorate to retain the NPP in power to continue with that laudable programme.
Mr Agyeman Manu appealed to personnel engaged under the various modules of the NYEP to exercise restraint whenever there was a delay in the payment of their salaries, since the quarterly salary payment was not deliberate.
Some of the questions asked at the assembly, which was attended by a sparse audience, ranged from health care, food security, the construction of roads to enable farmers cart their farm produce to the marketing centres, sanitation, security, the granting of loans, delay in the payment of workers’ salaries, unnecessary deductions from workers’ salaries, the perceived partisan nature of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), among others.
Responding to another question asked by Pastor Owusu Afriyie of the Harvesters Evangelistic Ministry at Techiman on the Presidential pardon granted Mr Dan Abodakpi, a former Minister of Trade and Industry under the NDC regime, Mr Agyeman Manu noted that the recommendations as to who should be pardoned by the President were made by the prison authorities and not the President.
Pastor Afriyie also wanted to know whether it was only politicians who were granted the Presidential pardon because there were many ordinary Ghanaians who had been languishing in prison for a very long time but whose cases had not been determined.
Mr Agyeman Manu, who is also a former Deputy Minister of the Interior, said it was not true that the Presidential Pardon was for only politicians and suggested to Pastor Afriyie that if he knew of anybody who had been on remand for a long period without his/her case being heard he could petition the committee set up by the President for the decongesting of the prisons.
Mr Kwadwo Adjei-Darko, the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, who also responded to some of the questions, earlier in his opening remarks alleged that the opposition NDC had used the oil deposits that had been discovered and were yet to be drilled as collateral for vehicles to campaign for power in the 2008 elections.
The minister said good governance, accountability and transparency exhibited during the seven and a half year rule of the NPP government and the good faith kept by it with the people were enough for the people to retain the NPP in power.
He said the NPP government wanted to ensure that every nook and cranny of the country had a fair share of the national cake to speedy up development and that was why the President deemed it fit to create new districts and elevate existing ones to municipal and metropolitan status.
Other dignitaries who took turns to answer some of the questions were Prof Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, the Minister of Harbours and Railways; the Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr James Oppong-Boanuh, and the Techiman Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Prince Yaw Donyinah.
The function was chaired by Nana Appenteng Fosu Gyeabour II, the Bamuhene of the Techiman Traditional Area and Hausuahene, who represented the Omanhene of the Techiman Traditional Area, Oseedeayo Akumfi Ameyaw IV. He appealed to the government to assist the traditional council to complete the construction of the Techiman Police Barracks project.


Story: Samuel Duodu, Berekum

Berekum Arsenals yesterday confirmed their home invicibility with a deserved 2-0 victory over defending champions, Accra Hearts of Oak, at the Berekum Golden City Park.
Arsenal scored a goal in each half to maintain their unbeaten home run, and thus condemn the Phobias to their eighth loss in 11 away matches. However, it was a bitter-sweet experience for Asenals striker Eric Asiedu, who was sent off shortly after securing victory for his side late into the game.
The home side stamped their authority on the game right from the opening minute as they kept pounding Hearts’ goal area with incessant pressure, forcing the Phobians to resort to a defensive game for survival.
Osei Bonsu shot Arsenals into the lead in the 25th minute after his ground shot beat Hearts goalkeeper Sannie Mohammed, a goal that got the Phobians to sit up but hardly threatened the home side in the first half.
After recess Hearts brought on Ben Boateng and Kofi Abanga for Daniel Coleman and Edward Adjaglo respectively in order to beef up their attack and turn the heat on the home side.
Arsenal hung onto their lead until Asiedu capitalised on the failure of the Hearts defence men to clear the ball out of danger, drilling the nail in the visitors’ coffin to hand Arsenal a famous victory.
However, his joy was shortlived as he was punished for wild celebration after receiving the marching off order from Wa-based referee, Seidu Bomison, for removing his jersey — a second cautionable offence.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

THE Brong Ahafo Regional Women’s Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Madam Zinabu Mohammed, has inaugurated a 45-member women working committee for the 2008 elections for the Sunyani East Constituency Branch of the party, with a call on the women’s wing to intensify its campaign in the constituency to enable the party to win the Sunyani East seat for the first time.
According to her, all indications pointed to the fact that with a little effort and vigorous campaigning, the NDC would, for the first time win the Sunyani East seat that had been the preserve of the NPP for quite a long time and go ahead to win the presidential election as well.
The 45-member committee, under the chair of Madam Elizabeth Yankyera, the Sunyani East Women’s Organiser, is to lead the campaign to ensure that the party captures the Sunyani East seat from the NPP.
Speaking at the inauguration, Madam Zinabu stated that women were good campaigners and, therefore, the party decided to use its women’s wing to intensify the its campaign at the regional, constituency and polling station levels.
She urged the women to be bold, resolute and firm and go all out to prosecute the house-to-house campaign strategy of the party to ensure overwhelming victory for the party in the December general election.
Madam Zinabu also called for unity, dedication and hard work among the members to ensure that the party achieved its target of winning the Sunyani East seat for the first time.
Madam Cecilia Johnson, a former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development under the NDC regime, for her part, bemoaned the present economic hardship and high cost of living in the country which she said was the result of the bad economic management of the country by the NPP government, as well as the practice of politics of discrimination.
She, therefore, called on the electorate to reject the NPP at the polls and vote massively for the NDC which was there for the well-being of all Ghanaians.
Madam Johnson, who is also the General Secretary of the 31st December Women’s Movement (DWM), urged the women to go from house to house to tell the people about the current hardships caused by the NPP government and its insensitivity to the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian and win more people into their fold.
Mr Justice Samuel Adjei, the NDC parliamentary candidate for Sunyani East, stated that the best option for the people of Ghana and Sunyani East in this year’s elections was the NDC.
He called on all party members to bury their differences, unite and work hard, since the party was poised to win the Sunyani East seat for the first time and the presidential election with overwhelming votes.
He stated that his recent visits to all the branches in Sunyani, Abesim and New Dormaa where majority of the voters resided exposed an era of excessive disillusionment.
That, he said, lent credence to the fact that the NDC had already recaptured the hearts, minds and votes of the electorate and, therefore, there was the need for all party members to work hard until December 7, 2008 to win for the first time that perceived difficult seat.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


By Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

THE National Unity Movement (NUM), a political pressure organisation based in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region, has called for the introduction of Government of National Unity to replace the existing multi party system being practiced in the country.

Multi-party system
According to the movement, the unsuitability of the multi party system is evidenced by the fact that it has failed to deliver the goods in Africa, due to its propensity for violence, division and instability.
The NUM in these circumstances is calling for the adoption of the district assembly concept of non-partisan politics to be adopted by the National Assembly.
Speaking at a press conference in Sunyani, Dr S.K. Ankama, the founder of the movement said under the district assembly concept, members should be elected on non-party basis while every ward takes the responsibility for electing the members of the district assembly.

He said in adopting this system, every constituency in Ghana must be given the responsibility to elect its own Member of Parliament (MP), without participation by any political party.
Dr Ankama noted that upon the election of the MPs, the members would elect one of their members to be the president, the same way the district assembly members chose their presiding members.
He said the movement proceeded from the premise that a close study of party politics in Ghana, over the past 50 years had revealed that no single political party could save Ghana or any African country practicing multiparty democracy.
“In Africa multiparty democracy has become a recipe for violence, wars, leading to bloodshed and political instability. The divisive nature of the system has put Africa into inferno of political feuds with no end in sight, as well as creating refugee problems on a


By Samuel Duodu, Wamfie

THE Bishop of the Sunyani Diocese of the Methodist Church, Ghana, Rt. Rev. James K. Baffour-Awuah has called on the government to establish special law courts to deal with domestic violence cases at both regional and district levels.
He noted that parliament had passed the Domestic Violence Bill into law, but its implementation had been slow leading to the ever-increasing gender-based violence in the country.
“We still see and hear of child-trafficking, inhuman widowhood treatments, irresponsible parenting, child-labour, female genital-mutilation, unequal-gender-balancing among others in the country,” he observed
Rt. Rev. Baffour-Awuah made the call when he addressed the 29th Synod meeting of the Sunyani Diocese held at the Wamfie Wesley Chapel in the Dormaa East District of the Brong Ahafo Region, under the theme Holy Spirit, the source of Signs, Wonders and Miracles in the Church.
He, however, called on medical and legal practitioners and clinical psychologists, to join the efforts of the government in the implementation of the domestic violence law, while the government also collaborated with the various religious bodies in the country, to ensure the success of its implementation.
Rt. Rev. Baffour-Awuah also suggested to the government to resource the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, in order for the ministry to function effectively if the country wanted to achieve its Millennium Development Goals, since the issues of women and children were crucial to its attainment and called for severe penalties to be instituted against irresponsible parents in the country.
The Methodist Bishop of Sunyani further called for the inclusion of gender based violence in the curricula of schools; right from the kindergarten to the university level as well as teaching the subject in all teacher-training colleges to help reduce gender-based violence in the country.
Touching on indiscipline among the youth, Rt. Rev. Baffour-Awuah urged municipal and district assemblies to come out with local regulations, banning children from attending funerals, dances of all kinds and visiting beer-bars among others.
He noted that both in the church and the community, acts of indiscipline such as lack of respect for the elderly, drug-abuse, fornication, breaking bounds in school, indecent dressing were seen among the youth.
Rt. Rev. Baffour-Awuah therefore called on parents and the elderly in the society, to exhibit good morals for the young ones to emulate, while he urged the church to come out with some code of ethics for its members to follow and stop imitating foreign cultures.
On the forthcoming elections, the Sunyani Methodist Bishop reiterated the call on all religious groups in the country, to continue to pray for a peaceful election and urged political parties and their aspirants, to campaign based on issues rather than insults.
The Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Mr Kwadwo Adjei Darko, who is also a member of the Synod, appealed to religious leaders, to lead the campaign against indiscriminate dumping of refuse and illegal logging, that had resulted in climatic changes, which were affecting food production.
Prayers were said at the meeting for world peace, the nation, the church and the region.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Story: Samuel Duodu, Kenyase No. 2

The first Lady, Mrs Theresa Kufuor, has bemoaned the drop-out rate among girls at the senior high school (SHS) level, in spite of the interventions introduced by the government to ensure that the gender gap in education is bridged.
She has, therefore, appealed to parents to be more responsive towards the education of their female children to the highest level.
Mrs Kufuor’s concern was contained in a speech read on her behalf by her aide, Ms Lydia Osei, at the maiden Speech and Prize-giving Day of the OLA Girls’ Senior High School at Kenyasi No.2 in the Asutifi District in the Brong Ahafo Region at the weekend.
It was on the theme, “Girl Child Education — The Role of the State, Society and Parents”.
The OLA Girls’ Senior High School was founded by the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles (OLA Sisters), in collaboration with the late Catholic Bishop of Sunyani, the Most Rev James Kwadwo Owusu, and the then Omanhene of the Kenyasi No.2 Traditional Area, Nana Nsiah Ababio, in 1974. It was the first all-female high school to be established in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The First Lady noted that the introduction of the Capitation Grant and the School Feeding Programme by the government had increased enrolment and helped to bridge the gender gap between girls and boys in basic schools in the country.
She noted that more girls were in basic school now than in the past, since parents did not need to pay school fees at the basic level.
Mrs Kufuor was, however, not happy with the situation of girls in SHS and said the necessary support and encouragement must be given to them to continue to the highest levels of education.
She observed that although it was the constitutional responsibility of the state to make education accessible and affordable to all children, the collective effort of all, right from the community to the national levels, was required, stressing that the education of girls was the collective responsibility of all stakeholders.
The First Lady also noted that the government, in its bid to remove the phobia associated with the study of Science and Mathematics at the SHS level by girls, had decentralised the Science and Mathematics Education clinics to the regions and districts.
The Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Mrs Angelina Baiden-Amissah, gave the assurance that the government would continue to fulfil its constitutional mandate in the educational sector by pursuing sound policies and programmes to enable females to excel.
She said many teachers handling Mathematics, Science and technical subjects were all men who, because of their stereotyped expectations, discouraged girls from enrolling in Mathematics and Science-based careers.
The headmistress of the school, Rev Sister Martha Davis, in her address, said the school had made a name across the country through the moral training of its students.
Students who had distinguished themselves academically were presented with awards, while both teaching and non-teaching staff members of the school were also honoured for their meritorious services to the school.


Story: Chris Nunoo, Wa

THE Dankpanyiri family of Charia in the Upper West Region has described the declaration of one Kofi Bagah as the substantive chief of Charia as a miscarriage of justice which could re-awaken the disturbances in the town and mar the current peace in the area.
The family has, therefore, called on the National House of Chiefs and the Minister of Chieftaincy Affairs to institute a thorough investigation into the latest development and probe the committee set up by the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs to handle the chieftaincy dispute in Charia.
Addressing a press conference in reaction to a publication in the May 22, 2008 edition of the Daily Graphic, the spokesperson for the Dankpanyiri family, who is also a sub-chief of the area, Naa J.B. Bagbligbee, described the action of the committee as a recipe for trouble.
“As a result of these injustices we are appealing to the National House of Chiefs and the Minister responsible for Chieftaincy Affairs to set up an independent body to investigate the conduct of the committee,” he stated.
This, according to Naa Bagbligbee, would give a fair chance to all parties to get to the bottom of the matter in order to lay the prolonged Charia chieftaincy dispute to rest.
Naa Bagbligbee further explained that after the enskinment of Martin Dong Bakaana as the chief of Charia, who died a few weeks after his enskinment, the Yidana of Dakpanyiri, Seuri Yipaala Naa, brought a suit against them.
He said during preparations for the late Martin Bakaana’s funeral, an injunction from the Regional House of Chiefs was placed on the family not to bury the deceased as a chief, which they obliged for the sake of peace.
Naa Bagbligbee said after several postponements of the case by the committee at the Regional House of Chiefs which led to the deceased lying in the morgue for close to 17 months, a meeting was finally convened by the committee.
He said the committee ruled that they could go ahead with the funeral of the deceased, but with a caveat, not to bury him as a chief after which the substantive case would be heard.
Naa Bagligbee further noted that the committee assured them that their side of the case would be heard after the funeral rites of the late Martin Bakaana, but they never had that opportunity.
However, he said on April 8, 2008, they were served with a letter from the committee that judgement on the case would be passed on May 8, 2008.
This, Naa Bagligbee said, did not go down well with the family, and so they petitioned against the decision since their side of the story was yet to be heard as agreed by the committee before the burial of the deceased.
“The committee subsequently went ahead to pass judgement against us and pronounced one Kofi Bagah as the chief of Charia; this is a clear case of injustice,” Naa Bagbligbee stressed.


STORY: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

The Brong Ahafo Regional Directorate of the Department of Women has initiated an intensive education in support of the fight against cultural practices that impinge on the rights of vulnerable groups, especially women and children, in the region.
The initiative is also to remove the fear and superstition deeply associated with the perceived consequences of the non-performance of these customs and traditions.
Some of the cultural practices in the region are widowhood rites, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), betrothal and early marriage of girls.
These cultural practices such as FGM, some outmoded aspects of widowhood rites and early marriages of girls, which are prevalent in the Kintampo North, Tain, Jaman North and Atebubu districts of the region, are practised especially in the Mo, Siekwa, Banda, Sampa and Atebubu traditional areas.
Following media exposure of the plight of the three ‘royal’ widows of the Mo Traditional Area in the Kintampo North District, the Department of Women in the region has decided to collaborate with traditional rulers, including queens, and all other stakeholders to educate the people to desist from customary practices and traditions that militate against the progress and development of girls and young women.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Sunyani, Madam Victoria Owusu-Kyeremaa, the Regional Director of the department, said to reform and make these cultural practices more responsive to the needs of the people, the department had come up with several programmes and advocacy training workshops in those districts of the region where such customs and traditions still persisted.
She said the department had developed a training programme for paramount chiefs and queens from the Kintampo North, Tain and Jaman North districts on women’s rights and development, as well as socio-cultural issues affecting the rights of women.
Madam Owusu-Kyeremaa stated further that the department had also planned an advocacy training workshop for all actors in local governance, including district chief executives, presiding members, assembly members and unit committee members in the districts where such practices were prevalent.
She said the department would involve the Church and Muslim leaders and also mount awareness campaign on discrimination, violence and harmful traditional practices against women and girls, as well as intensify advocacy on local FM stations.
The regional director further disclosed that the department would bring on board queens, chiefs, heads of families, district assemblies, town/area councils, the Ghana Education Service (GES) and Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) Ladies Association, among others.
Madam Owusu-Kyeremaa noted that these negative cultural practices still persisted in some parts of the country although Ghana was a signatory to many international conventions and had passed laws for the protection of women and girls. She called for the strict enforcement of these laws and conventions.
Touching on the issue of the three ‘royal widows’ of the Mo Traditional Area who are performing widowhood rites, nine years after the death of their husband, she said the department had made several contacts with them to secure their ‘freedom’, but they had always expressed the fear that something may happen to them if they did not observe the customs and traditions of the area.
She appealed for support from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society groups and corporate bodies to enable the department to perform its duties effectively.


Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

THE Sunyani Municipal Fire Officer, Mr Kwasi Baffour-Awuah, has called for the establishment of special courts to deal with municipal and district assemblies bye-law-related cases to ensure their speedy trial.
According to him, the normal courts were already beset with a lot of cases that were always delayed.
The problem, he said, had made the enforcement of the assemblies bye-laws, especially those on environmental protection, rather difficult.
Mr Baffour-Awuah, who is also a Divisional Officer Grade Three of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), made the call at the first ordinary meeting of the Sunyani Municipal Assembly in Sunyani.
The ceremony was also used to elect Mr Isaac K. Amankwah, an architect, as the new Presiding Member of the assembly.
Mr Baffour-Awuah noted with concern that only eight out of the 28 people who were arrested in the municipality for causing bushfires, when the ban on bush burning was in force between November 1, 2007 and March 31, 2008, were prosecuted in the law court.
He said out of the eight suspects standing trial at the District Magistrate’s Court in Sunyani, only one was remanded in prison custody, the rest granted bail, while the remaining 20 suspects were yet to be arraigned by the police.
He said in view of that development, the fight against bushfires had become difficult, since many people had realised they could commit the offence with impunity.
Mr Baffour-Awuah said when the ban was in force, food and cash crop farms and part of forest reserves, especially the Tain One and Tain Two forests were destroyed by bushfires, causing losses running into several millions of cedis.
The fire officer said to ensure that there were no fire outbreaks at the various markets in the municipality, the Sunyani Municipal Fire Station had embarked on an educational drive to sensitise market women to some dos and don’ts within the confines of the markets.
He said the fire prevention campaign at the markets had become necessary, as a result of the rampant reports of fire outbreaks at major markets in the country.
Mr Baffour-Awuah advised market women to procure fire extinguishers at their stalls, adding that they should not cook on the market premises. He also stressed that they must clear all access roads to the market to make way for GNFS fire engines, in case of any fire outbreaks.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

THE government has been called upon to ensure that the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) goes to the negotiations table to resolve all outstanding issues to avert any possible strike action to enable the academic year to end successfully.
The government should not wait for a strike action by polytechnic teachers before it takes any action, since it was students who suffered whenever such strike actions occurred.
The President of the Sunyani Polytechnic (S-Poly) Engineering Students’ Association of Ghana (PESAG), Mr Saeed Mohammed, made the call at the launch of the S-Poly PESAG Week celebration, which has the theme “The Role of Engineering in Economic Development of the Nation”, at Sunyani.
He appealed to the government to grant scholarships for further studies to lecturers in the polytechnics to build on the human resource base to run Higher National Diploma (HND) and Building Technology (B-Tech) Degree programmes in the mechanical and electrical departments, for the socio-economic development of the country.
Mr Mohammed urged the government to consider the use of solar energy as an alternative source of power generation, since it had several advantages which included reliability, high efficiency, was noiseless and smokeless.
“It is obviously known that one of the expectations of engineering is to convert natural resources into products that make life comfortable and mother Ghana is blessed with solar energy, especially in the northern part of the nation where we can get an average sun radiation of about five hours per day”, Mr Mohammed observed.
He, therefore, urged the government to give serious consideration to solar as an alternative source of power generation.
Mr Mohammed said the S-Poly PESAG had expertise in the area of electricity energy generation from solar and that recently the association trained 60 students in solar stand power systems, which could be tapped for the benefit of the nation.
Mr Mohammed also called on the government and other corporate bodies to come to the aid of the polytechnics by helping to equip their engineering departments with research facilities such as computer laboratories and engineering libraries.
Mr Dan Arthur of Ghana Telecom (GT) called on polytechnics to develop websites which would serve them locally and internationally and also help students to register on-line when school was about to re-open, organise alumni and a small library on the internet to increase the knowledge of students.
He also called for the adoption of ICT as a tool by the country for its socio-economic advancement, adding that the Asian countries used ICT for development.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Sstory: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

THE Brong Ahafo Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) James Oppong-Boanuh, has appealed to the various transport unions in the Sunyani Municipality to educate their members on the laws relating to the Road Traffic Act, 204 (ACT 683) in order not to fall foul of the law.
He also urged all road users in the municipality, both commercial and private, to be abreast of matters relating to road safety and the law to ensure a harmonious relationship between them and the police.
He, therefore, urged commercial drivers, especially taxi drivers in the municipality, to discard the notion that the police was there to harass them.
DCOP Oppong-Boanuh made the appealed in response to concerns raised by a section of taxi drivers in the municipality on Thursday that they were being harassed by the police on the roads and the slightest offence they were also hauled before the law courts.
He stated that the police were there to enforce the laws in the country, which were being applied everywhere and therefore the police in the course of the discharge of their duties would not target a section of the populace as was being perceived by the taxi drivers in the municipality.
The Regional Police Commander also urged the leadership of the various unions to impress upon their members to endeavour to operate within the confines of the Road Traffic ACT, which had been in existence since 2004, saying that it was not any new law that is being enforced as they perceived.
Touching on the fines imposed by the law courts for traffic offences, DCOP Oppong-Boanuh stated that the judges were only applying the penalties or punishments prescribed by the law, saying that a traffic offence such as failing to stop when signalled by the police to do so even attracted a fine of 250 penalty units. A penalty unit is GH¢12 (¢120,000).
“The police are only enforcing the law and the law courts are also imposing the fines as prescribed by law and therefore it should not be perceived as a form of harassment, but to ensure that there is disciplined and safety on the roads,” the Regional Police Commander observed.
He appealed to drivers to be courteous and disciplined at all times and cooperate with the police to ensure safety on the roads.
A section of taxi drivers in the Sunyani Municipality on Thursday converged on the forecourt of the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) to channel their concerns, about what they termed as police harassment of taxi drivers in the municipality, to the Regional Minister, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah.
The Regional Minister in his response to their concerns urged them to be polite, courteous and cooperate with the police to ensure discipline and safety on the roads.        

Monday, May 19, 2008


Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

COMMUNITIES affected by mining in the country have been urged to always endeavour to negotiate for fair and adequate compensations from mining companies since that was their right.
Negotiating for fair and adequate compensation from mining companies should, therefore, not be seen as the affected communities asking for favours or begging for pittance, since mining activities deprived them of their sources of livelihood.
An Environmental Programme Officer of the Third World Network, Africa (TWN, Africa), a policy research organisation, Mr Abdulia Dramani, said this at a day’s workshop organised by Livelihood and Environment Ghana (LEG), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), in conjunction with TWN, Africa, in Sunyani.
The workshop, attended by members selected from communities affected by mining in the Ahafo Mine of Newmont Gold Ghana Limited (NGGL) serving on the Newmont Ahafo 2008 Crop Rates Review Committee (CRRC), was to sensitise them to their rights and how to negotiate for better compensation.
Mr Dramani also warned communities affected by mining not to be fascinated or excited by the figures mentioned by mining companies during negotiations for them to abandon such meetings, because once they were equipped with the proper negotiation skills, they could go ahead to clinch a better deal.
He urged the communities going for such negotiations with mining companies, to be abreast of the country’s Mineral and Mining Laws in order to negotiate for adequate compensation that would be satisfactory to all and be paid promptly.
Mr Dramani further called on the communities to expose any mining company that used threat, intimidation and lies to cow them into submission to accept rates that were not satisfactory.
“Any mining company that comes to tell you that the government said it should pay you a certain amount, but we have decided to top it up is a lie and must be exposed,” he said.
He said the figures proposed by the Land Valuation Board for compensation were not the rates for fair and adequate compensation, but were the basic rates to guide negotiations and therefore must not be regarded as the accepted rate.
Mr Dramani further advised the communities affected by mining to present a united front at all times during the negotiation period and avoid being rushed by the mining companies to accept anything. 
The Executive Director of LEG, Mr Richard Adjei Poku, urged members of the CRRC to take the workshop seriously, since it was to equip them to negotiate for fair and adequate compensation for their communities.
The participants called for prompt payment of compensation to communities affected by mining so as to remove any suspicion and mistrust.


Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

THE Sunyani Traditional Council has protested against the construction of a one-storey building customer service office being undertaken by the Ghana Telecom (GT) on the company’s regional office premises in Sunyani, the regional capital.
According to the council, the company should consider building at least a four-storey building or more instead of the single storey, since that plan was not in line with the modern development agenda of the regional capital.
The council has, therefore, made a passionate appeal to all government institutions and corporate bodies in the regional capital to consult Nananom any time they wanted to embark on a project for them to make an input to forestall such protests.
The Krontihene of the Sunyani Traditional Area, Oboaman Bofotia Boaponsem II, who represented the Omanhene and President of the council, Nana Bosoma Asor Nkrawiri II, announced this at a news conference in Sunyani.
He said the decision by the GT management to construct a single storey at such a prime area in the regional capital was against the development agenda of the area.
Oboaman Boaponsem stated that since the land for the building was along the ceremonial road of the regional capital, it had been decided that all buildings to be put up in that area should be high-rise ones and not single storeys.
“For that reason, if GT wants to construct anything at all, it should be at least a four-storey building instead of the single storey to help in the face-lift and modernisation of the regional capital ,” he added.
Oboaman Boaponsem said at the last meeting on the issue between officials of GT and the council in Sunyani , the GT officials said the company had plans to construct a five-storey building in all the regional capitals.
He said there was, therefore, no reason for the sudden change to construct a single-storey regional office in Sunyani.
According to him, the land was given to the government free of charge in 1920s, so the traditional council would not sit down unconcerned for such projects that would not enhance the orderly development of Sunyani to take place.
He added that Nananom should be consulted on anything that would go for the development of Sunyani, to ensure an orderly planning of the town.
The Krontihene suggested that if GT did not have enough funds currently to construct at least the four-storey building, they should design the foundation of the building in such a way that in the near future, it could be continued, since the council was against the construction of a single-storey building at the place.
When contacted, Mr Agyeman Prempeh Agyekum, the Brong Ahafo Regional Manager of GT, said during a meeting on the issue with Nananom, he asked the council to officially write a petition to GT for their concerns to be looked at.
According to him, the GT regional office could not take any decision on the issue, since that was the prerogative of the management and the board in Accra.
Mr Agyekum gave the assurance that when the council submitted the petition, his outfit would forward it to Accra.
He, therefore, urged Nananom to exercise restraint.                                                                                

Sunday, May 18, 2008


From Samuel Duodu, Techiman.

A 25-year-old farmer, Kofi Owusu, of Awrapata, a farming community near Techiman, did the unthinkable, when he decided to satisfy his sexual desires by having sex with a goat in the bush.
Kofi Owusu, who was caught red-handed by a hunter, Mr Adams Kusi, also from the same village, is currently on the run after the act which was considered a taboo of the highest level in the largely peasant community.
After his arrest, Owusu was brought before the Odikro, Ali Kokroko, but he managed to flee the village, and as of the time of filing this report, his whereabouts were yet to be known.
The hunter who spoke to The Mirror said he went on a hunting expedition, and while combing the forest, he heard the bleating of a goat in the bush.
He said this unusual bleating of the goat attracted his attention, and when he got to the scene, he saw Owusu, who had removed all his clothes and having sex with the goat.
 Mr Kusi said Owusu did not notice him until he tapped him at the back, saying “My friend, what abomination are you committing?”
He told The Mirror that he arrested Owusu together with the goat and took them to the Odikro’s palace, but he (Owusu) managed to bolt out of the town.
When contacted, the Assembly member for the area, Nana Sekyere Boateng, confirmed the story and said efforts were being made by the community to arrest the culprit.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Story: Samuel Duodu, Techiman

THE National Democratic Congress (NDC) has so far held primaries in 22 constituencies, out of the 24 in the Brong Ahafo Region, to elect parliamentary candidates to contest on the ticket of the party for the December 2008 general election.
The remaining two constituencies, where primaries are yet to be held, are Sene and Sunyani West constituencies.
The NDC parliamentary candidates who were elected to contest were Mr Masoud Baba Abdul Rahman, Pru Constituency; Mr Opoku Atuahene Tano North; Mr Kwadwo Adjei Dwomoh, Nkoranza North; Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, Tain; Eric Addai, Asutifi North; Alhaji Collins Dauda, Asutifi South; Mr Mohammed Kwaku Doku, Asunafo North; Mr Eric Opoku, Asunafo South; Mr Justice Samuel Adjei, Sunyani East and Mr Addai Simmons, Techiman South.
Others are Mr Alex Kyeremeh, Techiman North; Mr Asum Ahesah, Jaman North; Mr Vincent Asamoah, Dormaa West; Mr I.K. Kyeremeh, Dormaa East; Nana Yaw, Wenchi; Emmanuel Owusu Manu for Atebubu/Amantin and Mr Peter Kobina Ankomah, Jaman South Constituency.
The rest are Mr Emanuel Kwadwo Agyekum, Nkoranza South; Stephen Kuusu, Kintampo North; Mr Effah Baafi, Kintampo South; Mr Stephen Oppong, Berekum and Mr Kwadwo Owusu Agyeman, Tano South Constituency.
Talking to journalists in Techiman, Mr John Owusu Agyemang, the Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman of the NDC, said the party was firmly on the ground and had put in place effective strategies to enable it to win not less than 20 out of the 24 seats in the region.
He said the party won 10 seats in the 2004 elections, and this time around, it was poised to win 10 out of the 14 ‘orphaned’ constituencies in the region.
Mr Agyemang mentioned the ‘orphaned’ constituencies where the party would win as Dormaa West, Jaman South, Tain, Nkoranza North and South, Tano North and South, Asunafo North and Berekum.
The remaining constituencies are Wenchi, Dormaa East, Asutifi North and Sunyani East.
He said the NDC would give the NPP the toughest fight ever, saying if they were going to win those seats, it was going to be a hard-won victory.
Mr Agyemang disclosed that the party retained most of its sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) in the region, except that of Sene, where two other personalities, namely Mr Twumasi Ampofo and Dominic Napare had filed to contest.
He explained that the primary for the Sene Constituency had been delayed as a result of some differences between the sitting MP and the party’s constituency chairman, saying that once it had been resolved, the date would be fixed for the primary.
Mr Agyemang said the problem at the Sene Constituency was about the list of delegates who were qualified to vote at the primary, and once that was resolved, the primary would come off in no distant time.
He called on the party’s foot soldiers to intensify their house-to-house campaign, since all indications pointed to the fact that the NDC was the government in-waiting; but that could materialise only through hard work.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Story: Samuel Duodu, Nkoranza

THE Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, has called on the electorate to vote massively for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the forthcoming general election to enable the party continue with its development agenda for the country, more especially, in the rural areas.
According to him, voting for the NPP meant voting for development and progress of the country, and anything short of that would virtually roll back the wheel of progress.
Mr Baffour-Awuah, who is also the NPP Parliamentary Candidate for Sunyani West, made the call at a rally held at the Nkoranza Main Lorry Station at the weekend to acclaim the retained Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza South, Mr Kwame Ampofo-Twumasi, who is also the Deputy Minister of Energy.
He said if the party was to retain power in the December elections, it was the responsibility of all party members to intensify their campaign at the grass roots by telling the people about the things that the government had done since it assumed the reins of power till date.
Mr Baffour-Awuah said since the NPP government, led by President Kufuor, had the welfare of Ghanaians at heart, especially those in the rural areas, it introduced several policies and programmes aimed at improving their standard of living.
He urged supporters of the party, especially the youth to embark on a vigorous campaign to win more people into the party. He also encouraged those who had attained 18 years to register and vote when the voters register was opened.
For his part, the Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman of the party, Mr Kwesi Adu-Gyan, called on members of the party to close their ranks now that the party had finished the election of its parliamentary candidates. He also tasked them to work hard to ensure a resounding victory for the party in both the presidential and parliamentary elections.
Mr Adu-Gyan urged the party’s machinery, right from the polling stations to the regional levels, to intensify their campaigns to enable the party win the elections by a wider margin, in order to avoid any electoral disputes.
The Regional Women’s Organiser, Madam Felicia Adomah; the Regional Financial Secretary, Mr Yaw Addae Owusu, and the Parliamentary Candidate for Asunafo North Constituency, Mr Robert Sarfo Mensah, took turns to address the rally and called on the people to ignore the vile propaganda and lies being peddled by the NDC against the government, and vote massively for the party to retain power and continue with the good work.
Mr Ampofo-Twumasi, popularly known as ‘Abodwese’, thanked the polling station and the constituency executives for the confidence reposed in him by retaining him to contest on the ticket of the party.
He pledged to lobby further to bring more development to the area when elected. He also reiterated the call on the people to ignore the lies peddled by the NDC.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

THE Sunyani Chapter of the Casely Hayford Hall alumni has called on traditional rulers, parents, civil society groups, ministers of the gospel, politicians and influential individuals in the society to impress upon the University of Cape Coast authorities to soften their stand on the recent disturbances that ensued between students of the hall and their counterparts at the Atlantic Hall.
According to the association, the university authorities had shown a sign of disrespect for chiefs, opinion leaders, civil society groups and student organisations by refusing to open the hall.
 A statement by the association signed by Mr Michael Okyere Baafi, its vice chairman, and issued to the press in Sunyani alleged that the committee set up to investigate the disturbances was biased by suspending Casely Hayford Hall for two years and Atlantic Hall for just a year.
It stated that about 200 students were suffering by moving from one place to another in search of shelter, which would ultimately affect their studies.
“We are, therefore, appealing to the university authorities to open the hall with immediate effect, so that the students can get the peace of mind to learn and write their end-of-semester examination,” the release said.
It called on the university authorities to forgive and forget the actions of the Casely Hayford Hall students and temper justice with mercy.
The release also stressed the need for the university authorities not to make the Hall a mixed one as that would not help anybody.                                                      


Story: Samuel Duodu, New Longoro

THE three widows of the Mo Traditional Area in the Brong Ahafo Region have expressed their gratitude to the traditional council for its efforts at ensuring a peaceful resolution of the chieftaincy dispute in the area.
That initiative will pave the way for the performance of the final funeral rites of their late husband, Nana Kwaku Dimpo II, Chief of New Longoro in the Kintampo North District.
By these efforts, the widows, Madam Yaa Nsia, 90; Madam Afua Nkume, 80; and Madam Ama Sumaa, 75; the first, second and third wives respectively of the late chief, who have performed widowhood rites over the past nine years after their husband’s death, will be set ‘free’.
The culture of the traditional area demands that the successor of the deceased chief should perform the final funeral rites of his predecessor and it is after the performance of the final funeral rites that the three widows would stop performing widowhood rites.
A chieftaincy dispute over who succeeds the late chief has made the performance of the funeral rites of the late chief impossible, thereby keeping the women in widowhood over a long period.
The widows have consented to the latest agreement by the council to elect Nana Adjei Adinkra II, Krontihene of New Longoro as the acting President of the traditional council to perform the final funeral rites for the late chief.
This follows a meeting held at New Longoro on April 4, 2008 between the family of the late chief and the Mo Traditional Council to elect an acting President for the council. During the meeting, July 25 to 31, 2008 were the dates slated for the celebration of the final funeral rites of the late chief, who died in 1999.
The decision was communicated to the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, which has also given its approval for the funeral of the late chief to be performed.
The President of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, Okatakyie Agyeman Kudom IV and Omanhene of Nkoranza Traditional Area, Nana Kudom, who led a delegation from the Regional House of Chiefs to present an unspecified amount of money to the three widows, gave the assurance that the House would ensure that the funeral of their late husband would come off as scheduled.
Some members of the delegation were Nana Kwame Korang VI, Vice President of the Regional House of Chiefs and Omanhene of Odomase No. 2 Traditional Area and Nana Fosu Gyeabour Akoto II, Omanhene of Bechem Traditional Area and a member of the Standing Committee of the House.
He stated that the Regional House of Chiefs would also ensure that their late husband, who was a member of the Regional House of Chiefs, was given a befitting burial as tradition and custom demand.
The delegation early on met with the Mo Traditional Council, the late chief’s family and the funeral committee set up to organise the final funeral rites of the late chief, who was also the President of the Mo Traditional Council to learn first-hand the progress made so far for the funeral.
Nana Kudom expressed regret about the situation in which the three widows found themselves, saying it was a violation of their (the three widows’) human rights and therefore the Regional House of Chiefs had stepped in to ensure that the funeral rites of their late husband was performed for them to gain their liberty.
He stated that the House had been able to resolve the dispute and now that peace was prevailing in the area, the traditional council should go ahead with the funeral of their late chief so that the women who had not committed any crime, but had been confined as a result of their tradition would be freed.
Nana Kudom thanked all the feuding factions in the chieftaincy dispute for allowing peace to prevail in the area for the late chief’s funeral to take place.
The acting President of the traditional council, who had been asked to stand in and perform the final funeral rites for the late chief on behalf of the council, expressed his gratitude to the Regional House of Chiefs for its intervention.
He pledged that the funeral committee chaired by him would ensure that the funeral comes off as scheduled for the widows to gain their freedom and asked for the support of the House when the time comes.
Mr Stephen Kuusu, the Member of Parliament for Kintampo North for his part also expressed his gratitude to the Regional House of Chiefs for their intervention which had paved the way for the funeral of the late chief to be held .
He disclosed that if the House of Chiefs had not stepped in they would have been summoned by parliament to come and answer why tradition should be used to curtail the freedom of the women.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

THE National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate for Sunyani East, Mr Justice Samuel Adjei, has stated that the party is poised to win, for the first time, the Sunyani East parliamentary seat which has been the preserve of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in this year’s general election.
According to him, winning the Sunyani East seat in the Brong Ahafo Region was not a mission impossible, since he had the experience, capabilities and the strategy to annex the perceived difficult seat from the NPP.
He, therefore, called on all party supporters in the constituency to bury their differences, unite and rally behind him to enable the party to win the seat for the first time, since the party stood the chance this time around.
Mr Adjei said this at the party’s constituency delegates conference to validate his candidature as the NDC parliamentary candidate for Sunyani East.
He predicted that the NDC would wrest the seat from the NPP and described himself as a formidable and vibrant young man who had the capacity, competency and will power to redirect the fortunes of the good people of the constituency.
“I have had the opportunity and experience of managing successfully a company whose cardinal principles are excellence in effective time management, competence, reliable and efficient delivery of quality service for two years. In view of this, I believe I have added to my competency, ability and capacity to lead the aspirations and values of the people in this constituency,” he stressed.
Mr Adjei state that he also shares with others the philosophy that contemporary Ghanaian politics deals with the human and environmental quality of life, adding that since human problems are not compartmentalised, it called for someone who was a critical thinker, intellectually resourceful, innovative and outspoken, socially responsible and, above all, has the needed knowledge and skills capable of developing strategic structures from a unique perspective that serves the poor, fulfills social mission and provided valuable community service.
“It is on these rocks of ideas and social commitment that I will provide selfless, dedicated, dynamic, very discerning and visionary leadership to enable me to implement my vision of building the capacity of our people to become agents of their own development,” he stated.


Story: Samuel Duordu, Sunyani

THE Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) will field parliamentary candidates in all the 24 constituencies in the Brong Ahafo Region in the forthcoming general election, the Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman of the party, Mr Peter Amoh, has disclosed.
He said consequently, the regional secretariat had sent nomination forms to all the constituencies to enable qualified party members to file to contest the primaries.
Mr Amoh, who made the disclosure in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Sunyani, further stated that the flag bearer, the patron and the national executive of the party were due for a visit to the region by next week to interact with all party executives from the grass roots to regional level, as well as the people.
He said immediately after the regional tour by the flag bearer, the regional secretariat would roll out its campaign strategies for the region to ensure the success of the party in the forthcoming general election.
Mr Amoh, however, urged supporters of the party to embark on clean campaigns devoid of insults, saying that the DFP was the number one party that did not believe in violence and intimidation and that it was for peace and national unity.
He added that the party would not resort to intimidation and victimisation when voted into power, noting that when it was not in government it would provide constructive opposition and focus on issues, principles and policies, while avoiding insults, abuse, peddling of lies, violent threats and political vendetta.
Mr Amoh stated that the DFP had come to introduce decency and clean politics in the body politic of the country and, therefore, urged the electorate to vote massively for it at the December polls.
He said the DFP, as a centre-left party, would, on the economic front, concentrate on removing the bottlenecks confronting improvement in agriculture, industry, trade and tourism, adding that on the trade side, the party would review the liberal trade policies of the NPP and the NDC governments which had hampered the growth of local industries.
On agriculture, Mr Amoh stated that the DFP would provide subsidies and agricultural inputs, as well as grant loans at the appropriate time to farmers.
He said the DFP would work towards the provision of the basic necessities of life, such as adequate food, housing, clothing, water, health care, quality education, roads, energy and telecommunications.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Story: Samuel Duodu, Berekum

THE African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) oversight committees for Berekum and Dormaa West muncipalities, Jaman North, Jaman South and Dormaa East districts in the Brong Ahafo Region have been inaugurated.
The committees comprise nine elected members from selected identifiable stakeholders groupings at the district level and the District Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) as an ex-offocio member, bringing the total membership of each committee to 10.
The objectives of the committees are to educate and sensitise community members to better understand the APRM process.
APRM is an African self monitoring system in which a country voluntarily accepts to undertake an internal audit of its political, economic, corporate and socio-economic governance system by ordinary citizens, after which an external audit or verification is conducted by an independent panel from the African Union (AU).
Ghana was among the first 12 countries to officially accede to the APRM by signing the Memorandum of Understanding in March, 2003.
The Chairman of the National APRM Governing Council (NAPRM), Rev Prof S.K. Adjepong, who is also the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast and currently the Vice Chancellor of the Methodist University College of Ghana, inaugurated the committees at a ceremony at Berekum.
He reminded the committee members not to politicise their work, since the APRM was a process set up to foster effective governance and socio-economic development of the African continent.
Prof. Adjepong stated that the NAPRM-GC had pledged not to be partisan. He, therefore, urged the committee members not to see their selection as an opportunity to score political points.
"The moment we realise that you are being partisan, we would take you out of the committee," he cautioned.
Prof Adjepong told them that their work was a sacrificial one that call for dedication, selflessness and sacrifice.
He advised them to live above reproach and refrain from anti-social behaviours that could cast a slur on the image of the committees.
The NAPRM-GC Chairman also urged the committees to endeavour to undertake their activities in a spirit that would promote national unity and progress towards the achievement of good governance in their respective districts and the country as a whole.
A member of the Berekum committee, Mr Edward Nyamekye, on behalf of all the committees, thanked the people for selecting them to serve on the committees.
He pledged that they would work hard to justify the confidence reposed in them, and appealed for support from the national secretariat to enable them to work effectively.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

Ghanaians should be guided by the experiences of other nations on the African continent where there are conflicts as a result of elections, in order to continue to safeguard the peace and stability of the country, the Executive Director of Peace and Violence-Free Advocacy Foundation International (PEVFAF), Mr Frank Opoku Adjapong, has said.
He stressed that Ghanaians must not allow their political affiliations to divide them and create tension in the country, since politics was not about enemies and friends, but rather for the welfare of the people and the socio-economic advancement of the nation.
“We must, therefore, let our political persuasions guide us to make the right choices in the forthcoming general election that would result in an improvement in the living conditions of the ordinary Ghanaian, as well as the forward march of the nation, than to see it as a fight,” he emphasised
Mr Adjapong gave the advice at the 12th bi-annual conference of the Mid-West Ghana Adventist Choir Union at the Sunyani Jubilee Park in the Brong Ahafo Region.
His talk formed part of PEVFAF’s advocacy programme towards a violence-free elections this year.
PEVFAF, a non-partisan, non-section and non-profit-making organisation devoted to peace and violence-free Ghana and Africa at large, has so far taken their campaign towards violence-free elections to several Pentecostal, Charismatic and Orthodox churches in and outside the Brong Ahafo Region.
The executive director noted that the organisation was not only for a violence-free elections this year, but also to ensure that acts of violence were removed from the body politic, football, and religious and ethnic matters.
He said no society would achieve progress where there was violence, chaos and confusion.
Mr Adjapong, therefore, urged Ghanaians to embrace dialogue as a means of resolving their differences than to resort to violence, which had the potential to threaten the peace and stability of the nation.
He also appealed to all factions engaged in land and chieftaincy disputes across the nation to resort to dialogue for their settlement, in order to promote peace and development.
Mr Adjapong implored Christians, Muslims, traditionalists and all other religious faithful to peacefully co-exist and pray for peaceful polls in December, this year and the stability of the nation.
He also appealed to political parties and their supporters to be circumspect in their utterances during their campaigns in order not to spark off violence.
Mr Kwame Appiah Baah, also of the PEVFAF, for his part, called on all Ghanaians to get involved in the campaign for peace and violence-free Ghana, since there was no winner in any violent situation.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

THE New Patriotic Party (NPP) has concluded its primaries to elect parliamentary candidates who would contest on the party ticket for the forthcoming December general elections in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The candidates are Mr. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister for the Sunyani West constituency, Mr. Robert Sarfo Mensah, for the Asunafo North, Mr. Ernest Akobour Debrah, the Minister of Food and Agriculture for Tano North, Mr. Andrews Adjei Yeboah. a Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines for Tano South, Mr. Yaw Afful for Jaman South and Kwaku Agyenim-Boateng for the Berekum Constituency.
The rest are Mr. Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh for Sunyani East, Prof. George Gyan-Baffour, a Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic planning for Wenchi, Mr. Yaw Ntow-Ababio for Dormaa East, Mr. Kwaku Agyemang Manu, a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry for Dormaa West, Kwame Amporfo Twumasi, a Deputy Minister of Energy for Nkoranza South, Major Derick Oduro (retd) for Nkoranza North and Mr. Paul Okoh for Asutifi North.
Briefing newsmen in Sunyani after the completion of the party's primaries, Mr. Kwasi Adu Gyan, the NPP Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman, said the party was confident to win 20 seats out of the 24 parliamentary seats in the region.
He said the party was working hard to regain the six seats that it lost to the NDC in the 2004 election to add to the 14 seats that the party won.
Mr. Adu Gyan said to ensure that the party achieved the target, it had began with the restructuring of its polling stations by increasing the number of polling station executives from five to 15 to embarked on what he termed "a room to room" campaign to counter the house to house campaign of Prof. Atta Mills, the flag bearer of the NDC.
Relatedly, three political heavyweights of the NPP who contested the party’s primaries in the Region have been handed a resounding defeat in the keenly contested primaries. 
The aspirants are Ms Anna Nyamekye, a Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture; Nana Obiri Boahen, a Minister of State at the Ministry of the Interior, and the former NPP Regional Chairman; Captain Nkrabeah Effah Dartey (retd), one of the former presidential aspirants of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and incumbent Member of Parliament for Berekum.
Capt. Effah-Dartey (retd), who was challenged in the contest by six other aspirants, polled five votes out of the total of 118 votes cast at the primaries, thereby losing the seat to Mr Kwaku Agyenim-Boateng, a legal services consultant, who obtained 88 votes and emerged as the winner of the keenly contested primaries.
The other contestants in the race were Dr Kwabena Twum-Nuamah, a medical practitioner; Mr Francis Manu-Gyan, Regional Administrative Officer of GBC at Ho; Dr Kodjo Opoku-Adomah, a veterinary surgeon; Nana Adu-Gyamfi Kumaning, a retired diplomat; and Professor Daniel Obeng-Ofori, a lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon. They polled three, one, three, nil and 18 votes respectively.
The Sunyani East Constituency primaries was won by Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, General Secretary of the National Association of Local Authorities and a former Presiding Member of the Sunyani Municipal Assembly, who polled 61 votes to beat Nana Obiri Boahen, who polled five votes, and Mr Kwame Twumasi-Awuah, the Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive, who had 39 votes.
The Sunyani East seat became vacant following Mr J.H. Mensah’s decision not to seek re-election. Mr Mensah is also the sitting NPP MP.
Ms Nyamekye, who is also the incumbent MP for the Jaman South Constituency, lost her seat to Mr Yaw Maama Afful, a US-based businessman who polled 63 votes against 39 to win the primaries.
Other aspirants who contested Ms Nyamekye were: Mr Stephen Kofi Adinkrah, Mr Prince Yeboah Marfo, the Vice-Principal of the Berekum Training College; Johnson Yeboah, Madam Florence Boadi, a tutor at the Sunyani Senior High School, and Alfred Tuah-Yeboah, a Sunyani-based legal practitioner, who polled nil, two, three, two and four votes respectively, out of the 114 total ballots cast.


Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

THE Executive Director of Peace and Violence-Free Advocacy Foundation International (PEVFAF), Mr Frank Opoku Adjapong, has said Ghanaians must not allow their political affiliations to divide them and create tension in the country.
He said politics was not about enemies and friends, but rather, it sought the welfare of the people and the socio-economic advancement of the nation.
He reminded Ghanaians to be guided by the experiences of other nations in Africa where conflicts had arisen as a result of elections to continue to safeguard the peace and stability of the country.
“We must, therefore, let our political persuasions guide us to make the right choices in the forthcoming elections that would result in an improvement in the living conditions of the ordinary Ghanaian”, he stressed.
Mr Adjapong was speaking at the 12th bi-annual conference of the Mid–West Ghana Adventist Choir Union (MIGACU) held at the Sunyani Jubilee Park in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The executive director noted that the organisation was not only for violence-free elections this year, but to ensure that violent acts were removed from the body politic, football, religious and ethnic matters.
He said no society would make progress when there was violence, chaos and confusion and, therefore, urged Ghanaians to embrace dialogue as a means of resolving their differences, rather than resorting to violence which had the potential to threaten the peace and stability of the nation.
Mr Adjapong also appealed to all factions engaged in land and chieftaincy disputes across the nation to resort to dialogue for the settlement of the dispute for peace to prevail for development to take place.
He urged Christians, Muslims, traditionalists and all other religious faithful to peacefully co-exist and pray for the peace and stability of the country as the nation goes to the polls in December, this year.
Mr Adjapong also appealed to political parties and their supporters to be circumspect in their utterances during their campaigns to avoid violence.
Mr Kwame Appiah Baah, also of the PEVFAF, called on all Ghanaians to get involved in the campaign for a peaceful and violence-free elections since there was no winner in any violent situation.


Friday, May 2, 2008


Story: Samuel Duodu, Krakrom

THE Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD) Management Committee of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has held a rally for 400 cocoa farmers drawn from seven cocoa-growing villages at Krakrom, near Nkrankwanta in the Dormaa Municipality.
The day's rally was aimed at educating the cocoa farmers on the symptoms, mode of spread and control of swollen shoot.
The participants came from Amadukrom, Ntensere, Yawusukrom, Nyamebekyere, Appiakrom, Yanbediagro, Koofiekrom, Kwame-Yeboakrom and Krakrom.
The Executive Director of the committee, Mr F. E. Nsiah, reminded the farmers that the only available antidote to the swollen shoot menace was to cut down the infected trees and their adjacent contact trees to avoid further spread.
Mr Nsiah noted that COCOBOD was leaving no stone unturned to encourage cocoa farmers across the country to plant cocoa genotypes, which were resistant to the swollen shoot.
He said for now the most tolerant progenies being supplied to farmers were the inter-upper Amazon hybrids.
The executive director advised cocoa farmers to create cordons of at least 10 metres, made up of cash crops immune to the swollen shoot virus, such as citrus and oil palm, between new cocoa establishments and existing plantings.
Mr Nsiah also entreated the farmers to form co-operative societies to enable them to have easy access to financial assistance from the government and financial institutions.
The Dormaa Municipal Cocoa Officer, Mr Emmanuel Nii-Arku, took the farmers through the symptoms peculiar to the various stages of the swollen shoot.
He said the disease manifested itself in reddening cocoa leaves, swellings at the nodes and internodes and induced swelling on roots of the cocoa trees.
A spokesperson for the farmers, Nana Bio-Agyemang, suggested to the government to give all farmers whose cocoa farms were affected by swollen shoot the necessary financial support to rehabilitate their farms.
The Odikro of Krakrom, Nana L. Y. Adomah, appealed to the committee to consider the establishment of a one-stop cocoa nursery in the area from where farmers could be supplied with seedlings free of charge.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Story: Samuel Duodu, Sunyani

The family of a 27-year-old taxi driver who died in prison custody at the Sunyani Central Prisons have appealed to the Minister of the Interior to set up an independent investigation body to establish the circumstances that led to his death in prison.
According to the family of the deceased, their son, Udo York, was hale and hearty before he was convicted to serve a six-month jail term for defaulting to pay a fine of GH¢600 for a traffic offence he had committed.
The family also stated that they would not bear the cost of the mortuary fees and that for the post mortem, which they had been asked by the Prison authorities to pay, because the deceased died in the custody of the Ghana Prison Service.
The spokesperson for the family, Mr Charles Nketiah, who is also the uncle of the deceased, made the appeal through the Daily Graphic in Sunyani. He said they were only informed about the death of their relative by prison officials after they had deposited the body at the Brong Ahafo Regional Hospital mortuary in Sunyani.
He said the family had been asked to go for the body of the late York for burial, since the service could not pay for the cost of the mortuary fees, as well as that for the post mortem to be performed on the deceased to establish the actual cause of his death, which he said the family had rejected till the cause of his death had been established.
Mr Nketiah disclosed further that the deceased died in prison and not in the hospital and therefore he was appealing to the government and the Minister of the Interior to set up an independent investigation body to establish his death in custody.
He said the late York had already served one and half months of his six months’ imprisonment and it was just last Wednesday, April 23, 2008 that the family was informed about his death.
Mr Nketiah stated that the convict was the only breadwinner for the family when he was fined to pay GH¢600; he was not able to pay the fine, since his wife was also nursing their four-month-old baby and for that reason could not raise money from anywhere to pay for the fine imposed on him and therefore decided to serve the prison term.
“We therefore learnt with shock that York had died in prison custody, since he was hale and hearty when he began serving the term of imprisonment and some members of the family even visited him in prison and he did not complain of any sickness till his death last Wednesday.”
When the Daily Graphic contacted the Sunyani Central Prisons authorities they confirmed the death of York with the explanation that the deceased convict was sick and was taken to hospital, but died that night after he was brought back to the prisons.
When the Daily Graphic contacted the Regional Police Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU), the Regional Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ansu Frimpong, confirmed that the deceased, who was a taxi driver in Sunyani, was arrested by Personnel of the MTTU last month (March) for road obstruction and failing to produce a driving licence, and he was processed for court.
The deceased appeared before the Duayaw Nkwanta Circuit Court presided over by Mr Emmanuel Yartey and he was convicted and fined GH¢600 or in default six months’ imprisonment with hard labour.