All posts by Isaac Essel

President assures security of investments in Ghana

By | Business | No Comments

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Friday applauded the growing interest of French companies in Ghana, giving the assurance that the country was ready to protect their investments and that of other nations.

“The growing interest among French companies in Ghana is welcome… and I want to say Ghana recognises the importance of the security of investment and would ensure that our relevant institutions stand ready to protect them,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance when he laid the foundation for the commencement of the construction of the new French Embassy in the Cantonments ambassadorial enclave in Accra.

The project, which is scheduled to be completed in 18 months, would host all of Frances’ operations in Ghana.

The initiative puts to rest years of anxiety and security concerns over the proximity of the present location of the French Embassy to Ghana’s seat of Government – the Flagstaff House.

Continuous deliberations between the governments of Ghana and France led to the agreement to relocate the facility to Cantonments in the best interest of both countries.

President Akufo-Addo said the relationship between Ghana and France had been strengthened based on common values, shared vision of prosperity for its peoples, strong belief in democracy and human rights and the rule of law.

He said Ghana continued to benefit from French support, particularly in health, rural water supply, agriculture, services, communications and industry 60 years after bilateral relations were established.

He gave the assurance that the country would strive to strengthen the ties that bound both nations for their mutual advantage.

There are about 170 French interests in Ghana with services as the leading sector.

The President said though the negotiation for the relocation of the embassy, which shared a common wall with the Flag Staff House, had been saddled with mixed reactions, he was optimistic that the construction of the new facility “would be the foundation stone and continuation of the growing interest of France in Ghana’s development and progress.”

“It is gratifying to note that the aim of the mission is to complete the construction within a period of 18 months, I trust those given the responsibility to construct the edifice would deliver efficient and timely work so that its opening will help to expand the already cordial relations between Ghana and France,” he said.

Mr Francios Pujolas, the French Ambassador to Ghana, said the project symbolised the growing partnership between France and Ghana despite differences in language and orientation adding that France had every confidence to celebrate the diplomatic ties between both countries.

Source: GNA | Ghana

37-year-old Delta Force organizer arrested

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Kwadwo Bamba

The organiser of the pro-government vigilante group, Delta Force that attacked the regional security coordinator of the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council on Friday, has been arrested.

Kwadwo Bamba was arrested by the police in the Ashanti region to assist investigations into the attack, a statement by the regional police command said on Saturday.

The 37-year-old auto mechanic in Kumasi, the statement said was being held by the police as at Saturday evening.

“The suspect is currently in custody assisting in investigations, whilst others who have been identified and their names known to police are being sort for to assist in investigations.

“It will therefore, be in their own interest to turn themselves up. As the command will do everything possible to get them apprehended,” the police statement advised.

The police however assured the public of their security, noting “the Command shall continue to maintain law and order and also reiterate its commitment and readiness to arrest all such persons or group of persons who would want to mar the peace and security that is prevailing in the region.”

The statement further stated that, “no act of lawlessness shall be countenanced. As such any person or group of persons who think they can take the law into their own hands must resend their decision. Since such acts of lawlessness and hooliganism shall be the thing of the past.

“The public is also entreated to furnish the command with the necessary information that will lead to the arrest of all such persons.”

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Read also: Ghana close to becoming a banana republic – Kweku Baako
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Source: 3news.com | Ghana

Cerebrospinal meningitis kills two students in Bawku

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Two students have been confirmed dead with eleven others on admission at the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital from cerebrospinal meningitis in the Upper East region.

Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) is an acute inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and the spinal cord that can sometimes lead to fatal consequences.

Medical experts described it as a serious disease that is slow to spread but has high fatality rate.

Few weeks back the Ministry of Health gave an alert regarding the possibility of an outbreak.

This is because the weather pattern during this period is usually drier.

Confirming the deaths to 3FM News, the upper east regional health director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Kofi Isa revealed that the health facilities there have within the week recorded twenty cases.

According to him, education has already begun in the region to create awareness on the disease.

“Yes two students have died from the disease, Cerebrospinal Meningitis, with eleven others on admission at the Bawku Presbyterian Hospital. Twenty cases have so far been reported this week at the Bawku Municipal, Pusiga, Binduri and Garu hospitals. We have already started public education for the people to report early when they see symptoms of the disease,” he said.

By Sarah A. Parku |3FM|3news.com

Police has been too relaxed on vigilante groups – security analyst suggests

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Security analyst, Adib Saani has blamed the police for the incessant attacks by some politically-affiliated vigilante groups in the country.

According to him, the inability of the police to effectively deal with such incidents in the past has sent the wrong signal to criminals.

About 200 macho men believed to be sympathizers of the ruling New Patriotic Party attacked the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Agyei, on Friday March 24.

According to reports, Mr. George Agyei was physically manhandled by the thugs for assuming office as the region’s security coordinator, when in the group’s view he did not campaign for the NPP in the 2016 elections.

However, Adib Saani believes it’s time more drastic measures are adopted to reduce such incidents.

He spoke on TV3’s News 360; “As a matter of urgency drastic measures will have to be taken to manage this things to an appreciable level. This raises a concern and the scanner will have to be thrown to the security agencies because their inability to transparently, effectively, efficiently and on a very timely manner deal rigorously and vigorously with wrong doers is sending the wrong signal to criminals.

“It makes them feel like we are in a jungle where laws don’t bite and that we can get away with criminalities. This is criminal and the security agencies must go in and effect arrest by the end of the day.”

Meanwhile, the Ashanti Regional police says it is yet to make any arrest, even though they were at the scene to rescue under attacked Mr. Agyei.

Regional Police PRO, ASP Yaw Nketiah Yeboah in an interview with 3FM News said his outfit has put in place measures to avert the recurrence of such incidents.

By Sarah A. Parku |3FM 92.7|3news.com

Letter: Journalist petitions GJA Election Committee

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Affail Monney is the GJA President

THE CHAIRMAN

ELECTION DISPUTE ADJUDICATION COMMITTEE

GHANA JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION

ACCRA

Dear Sir,

RE: DISPUTE ABOUT THE MANDATE OF THE EXECUTIVES OF THE GHANA JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION AND THE LEGALITY OF THE GJA ELECTIONS OF 2017

I write in the spirit of Article 11 (a) and (e) of the 2004 Constitution of the Ghana Journalists Association and as such, plead with your honorable committee to give me audience to be a party in responding to a letter written by Charles Benoni Okine and Enoch Darfah Frimpong, contesting the mandate of the Executive committee and elections committee of the GJA respectively.

In a letter widely circulated on social media and addressed to the GJA Election Adjudication Committee with the caption, DISPUTE ABOUT THE MANDATE OF THE EXECUTIVES OF THE GHANA JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION AND THE LEGALITY OF THE GJA ELECTIONS OF 2017 , the duo purportedly raised some constitutional issues which in their view make the 2017 elections of the Association null and void but I will like to draw the attention of your honorable Committee to the facts that those articles and clauses raised in their letter cannot and should not be a basis of postponing or cancelling the elections which is to be held in less than ten days from now.

I want to refresh your memories on article 34 b (i) and 35 (iv) of the 2004 constitution of the Ghana Journalists Association and appear herein as a participant and witness of the last Emergency General Meeting that accepted a motion which was unanimously seconded by members of the said meeting that, elections should be held before the end of the first quarter of 2017.

Mr. Chairperson, any act by any person or group of persons to influence, any decision to cancel or put on hold the elections slated for Friday March 31st, 2017 would amount to an action in retrogression and a serious breach of the guiding principles of the Ghana Journalists Association.

I want to hasten to add that, Charles Benoni Okine and Enoch Darfah Frimpong were not present at the last meeting held on 26 August, 2016 which accepted to hold elections by the close of the first quarter of 2017.  By this, they have exhibited bad faith for the association.

I urge your honorable committee to disregard any attempt by any group to stall this election since adherence to such pressure will mar the image and reputation of our cherished association.

Mr. Chairperson, I wish to reiterate that, I write in the spirit of Article 11 (a) (b) (d) (e) (g) and particularly (f) and request that you grant me audience if the letter by the duo will be heard by the committee.

Signed

Maxwell kudekor

Member

GJA

Email: [email protected]

Cc:

Elections Committee

Ghana Journalists Association

Accra

Ghana close to becoming a banana republic – Kweku Baako

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Veteran journalist, Kweku Baako is scared the actions of marauding vigilante groups aligned to the governing New Patriotic Party could end Ghana in a banana state.

Recounting some instances where some notable vigilante groups including Invisible Forces, Kandahar Boys, and Delta Force have attacked state installations and persons, he said it is becoming frustrating.

The latest attack which has attracted a nationwide condemnation is the one on Mr George Adjei, who was appointed as the regional security coordinator by President Akufo-Addo.

Some well-built men from the Delta Force allegedly stormed the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council on Friday, March 24 to stop Mr Adjei from performing his duties because the group said they cannot work with him.

Commenting on the attack on Joy FM’s Newsfile, Kweku Baako appeared more worried because the recent attacks are coming after President Akufo-Addo and his Interior Minister Ambrose Dery have condemned such acts and asked the security agencies to act.

Unfortunately, persons who staged such unlawful attacks have gone “scot-free”, he noted recounting his recent encounter with one Jalil Bawa who discounted police account’s that he is gone into hiding for allegedly attacking a police officer at the Flagstaff House.

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Read: ASP Nanka Bruce’s attacker goes into hiding after Flagstaff Hse assault – Baako reveals
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Having watched video of yesterday’s attack, the veteran journalist described the action as “unmitigated disaster and it ought not be countenance one bit,” and assessed that the country is gradually entering a banana state.

The Cambridge dictionary defines banana republic as “a small country, especially in South and Central America, that is poor, corrupt, and badly ruled

“Is it not too many, is it not frustrating, are we not cutting a picture of ridicule of this great nation? Aren’t we looking like a banana republic? Is not what we are looking at? The president has spoken…and yet these things are still happening,” Mr. Baako said in despair.

He charged the security agencies to immediately arrest a man parading himself as the spokesperson for the Delta Force to help identify the culprits who belong to his group.

Meanwhile, a Deputy Minister-designate for the Attorney-General , Joseph Dinkiok Kpemka has condemned the Delta Force attack, saying it has “created a scare on our political history”

He maintained that such “unfortunate incident” should be nip in the bud to avoid future occurrence.

Story by Isaac Essel |3news.com | Ghana

Three new flights to three new destinations from March 26

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Africa’s largest airline group, Ethiopian Airlines, has finalised preparations to launch flights to three new destinations – Victoria Falls, Oslo and Antananarivo – within three days from March 26 to March 28.

Mr Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO said: “Three new flights to three new destinations in just three days is one of the greatest expansions in Ethiopian’s long and illustrious history. We are proud that we are able to link these new stations to the Ethiopian network in such a short period of time.”

He said as of March 28, its vast global network would add three new destinations which would further strengthen its leadership in the continent in connecting more cities in Africa to more cities in the world than any other airline.

He said the airline flies 28 weekly flights to four destinations in China, 20 weekly flights to The Americas, 72 weekly flights to Asia, 65 weekly flights to Middle East, 400 weekly flights to 53 cities across Africa and almost daily 54 flights to Europe.

He said this was only possible due to the continued support and dedication of the thousands of Ethiopian Airlines’ employees, who strive for the best service, best safety and best on time performance every day and the great vote of confidence that it enjoys daily from its valued customers.

Victoria Falls, Oslo and Antananarivo are three of the seven new destinations to be launched during the first six months of 2017.

Ethiopian started flights to Conakry in February 2017 and before July, Ethiopian would start service to three destinations in Asia: Chengdu, Singapore and Jakarta.

The Airline envisaged reaching 120 international destinations worldwide by 2025.

By Morkporkpor Anku | GNA

Government to roll-out housing programme for the military – Veep

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Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Friday said the Government would soon roll-out comprehensive housing programme for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to address the accommodation challenge.

He said under the project, dubbed: ‘‘Barack Regeneration Project,’’ old accommodation facilities would be renovated while new ones would be built to accommodate more military personnel.

He, therefore, asked the military to exercise patience as the Government was putting measures in place to remedy the situation.

The Vice President, who was the Reviewing Officer at the Graduation Parade of the Special Medical Intake Three of the Ghana Military Academy in Accra, said the Government would complete the third phase of the 37 Military Hospital project and upgrade its equipment to meet modern medical needs.

In all, 99 cadets comprising 56 males and 43 females with professional background in nursing, medicine, pharmacy, dental care, and psychology were commissioned into the GAF at a colourful ceremony after undergoing five months intensive training.

The Vice President gave the assurance that other infrastructure needs of the military would receive equal attention and that with the necessary interventions the infrastructure challenges of the military would be resolved.

He said the Government would build another military hospital in Tamale to cater for the medical needs of personnel in the northern sector as it was committed to implementing policies to enhance their wellbeing.

Dr Bawumia said the military had played a crucial role in sustaining the country’s democracy, saying; ‘‘the Armed Forces remained an important pillar in our democratic journey, particularly during the beginning of the Fourth Republic by contributing towards the consolidation of our democracy’’.

He said the military had provided conducive environment for other state institutions to function and, therefore, commended the Military High Command for the invaluable role they played during the 2016 general election.

The commissioning of the cadets into the military, he said, would help resolve the manpower needs of the personnel, especially at the ongoing construction works at the Kumasi Military Hospital, to take care of the medical needs of the personnel in the southern and northern sectors of the country.

‘‘I have no doubt that with the addition of these newly commissioned officers, the Kumasi Military Hospital will have the requisite staff to operate effectively.

‘‘The Government will provide the necessary support to ensure the facility is adequately resourced to augment the several medical facilities in the country,’’ he said.

Dr Bawumia said the Kumasi Military Hospital would be designated as an emergency hospital to cater for emergency situations in the northern part of the country.

The Vice President used the occasion to thank the Military High Command for the prompt response in deploying soldiers to The Gambia to assist in creating a peaceful atmosphere there and ensure the enforcement of the rule of law.

He advised the newly commissioned officers to maintain the pride and the niche the military had carved for itself over the years as a professional and dedicated state institution.

He urged the personnel to continue to safeguard the image and the reputation of the GAF by exhibiting the highest standards of discipline in all their endeavours.

The Vice President presented awards to the cadets that excelled during the training with the Overall Best Cadet going to Junior Under Officer Teng Yengbil Bernard, while Junior Under Officer Lasdji Belinda Narh received the Best Female Cadet Officer and C/SGT Nyarko Dennis was adjudged the Second Best Cadet Officer.

Source: GNA | Ghana

Trump defiant after healthcare failure

By | World | No Comments

US President Donald Trump has blamed Democrats for the failure of his healthcare bill.

Both houses of Congress are controlled by Mr Trump’s Republican party but the bill was withdrawn on Friday because it could not get the votes required.

Speaking to the Washington Post, Mr Trump said “We couldn’t get one Democratic vote, and we were a little bit shy… so we pulled it.”

The last-minute retraction is seen as a huge blow to the president.

Repealing and replacing the healthcare programme known as Obamacare was one of his major election pledges.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said he and Mr Trump agreed to withdraw the vote, after it became apparent it would not get the minimum of 215 Republican votes needed.

Republicans have a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

However, multiple reports suggested that between 28 and 35 Republicans were opposed to President Trump’s draft American Health Care Act (AHCA).

Some were said to be unhappy that the bill cut health coverage too severely, while others felt the changes did not go far enough.

The bill also appeared unpopular with the public – in one recent poll, just 17% approved of it.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the AHCA would reduce the deficit by $336bn between 2017 and 2026.

However, the number of Americans without health insurance would stand at 52 million by the same time – an extra 24 million compared with Obamacare.

Speaking after the withdrawal, Mr Trump repeatedly said Obamacare would “explode”.

However, he refrained from criticising Mr Ryan, whose job as speaker of the House involves rallying support for controversial bills.

Mr Trump said: “I like Speaker Ryan. I think Paul really worked hard.”

Mr Ryan also told reporters the president had been “really been fantastic”.


How disastrous is this for Trump? Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, North America reporter

How bad was Friday’s defeat of the American Health Care Act in the House of Representatives? Bad. Very bad.

The AHCA was the first major piece of legislation pushed by the White House and the Republican-controlled Congress, a key political test early in the president’s term, when he should be at the height of his power and party cohesion at its strongest.

In spite of all of this, Mr Trump, Mr Ryan and the Republicans running Washington could not get the job done.

For Republicans Friday wasn’t just bad. It was a disaster.

Read more analysis here.


President Trump said the Republicans would probably focus on tax reform for now.

“We have to let Obamacare go its own way for a little while,” he told reporters at the Oval Office, adding that if the Democrats were “civilised and came together”, the two parties could work out a “great healthcare bill”.

“We learned about loyalty; we learned a lot about the vote-getting process,” he said.

Donald Trump speaks to reporters

Mr Trump said he believed the Democrats would “reach out when they’re ready” REUTERS

Earlier Mr Ryan told reporters: “We are going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.

“I will not sugar-coat this. This is a disappointing day for us. Doing big things is hard.

“We were a 10-year opposition party where being against things was easy to do,” he said, adding that it was difficult to get “people to agree with each other in how we do things”.

Meanwhile, the leader of the House minority Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, described the retraction as “a victory for the American people”.


What did the bill propose?

  • Cuts the Medicaid programme for low earners
  • Provides tax credits to help people pay medical bills, but reduced compared to Obamacare
  • Ends penalties on those who do not buy health coverage
  • Allows insurers to raise premiums for older people
  • Blocks federal payments to women’s healthcare provider Planned Parenthood for a year
  • Insurers would no longer be required to include “essential benefits”, such as maternity care, mental health and emergency treatment

Source: BBC

Prof. Botchwey cries out to NDC ‘dissidents’ to pipe down

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Prof. Kwesi Botchwey

Chairman of the committee inquiring into the abysmal performance of the then governing NDC in the 2016 general elections, Prof. Kwesi Botchwey has appealed to angry members of the party to let cool heads prevail.

The NDC Election Review Committee, he said has noted with “regret” how some members of the party are resorting to the media to vent their anger as to why the party lost the elections with a wide margin.

The former president, John Mahama, lost in excess of one million votes to Nana Akufo-Addo, the man he defeated in the previous election that ended up at the Supreme Court. The party also lost majority of seats in Parliament.

The committee was therefore set up by the party to establish what accounted for the defeat, but some aggrieved functionaries including leading members prefer pouring out their indignation in public through the media instead of channeling them through the committee.

But Prof. Botchwey in a statement asked members of the party to control their temper and avoid prosecuting their concerns in public.

“The Committee would like to urge all Party members to resist the temptation to engage in recriminations and finger pointing, so as not to undermine the integrity of the Committee’s final report and recommendations, or sour the atmosphere for the conduct of the Committees work.”

He also noted, “The Committee’s doors are open and we urge all Party members who have issues to raise or concerns to express to direct them to the Committee to help the search for solutions to the challenges confronting the party.”

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Read also: NDC fact finding committee nearly lynched by group    

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By Isaac Essel |3news.com |Ghana