Category Archives: Politics

We’ve achieved in 11 months, what Mahama couldn’t do in 8yrs – Ofori-Atta

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[L-R] John Mahama and Akufo-Addo

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has patted the Akufo-Addo-led government on the back for using just 11 months to turn around the country’s economy, a feat he said seemed impossible to achieve in the eight years under the National Democratic.

“We have achieved under within one year, what seemed impossible to achieve in 8 years” under the National Democratic Congress, he told Parliament during the Presentation of the 2018 Budget statement.

He argued “We have turned the economy around and our policies are yielding results and bringing relieve to Ghanaians,” indicating that the Akufo-Addo government is on course to achieving the fiscal deficit of 6.3 per cent by the end of the year from the 9.4 under the NDC.

He said for the second time in a decade, the government has been able to stay within its budget deficit.

“Overall real GDP grew by 7.8 percent as of June against 2.7 percent in same period 2016. It is estimated to grow by 7.9 percent at end of 2017, up from the original forecast of 6.3 percent,” he announced.

“Non-Oil real GDP grew at an estimated 4.0 percent as of June 2017 compared to 5.9 per cent in the same period in 2016. Non-oil GDP growth is estimated at 4.8 percent at the end of 2017.

Again, he said end-period inflation was 11.6 per cent in October, 2017, compared to the 15.8 per cent at the same period in 2016;

The Minister said the overall budget deficit on cash basis was 4.5 per cent of GDP in September, 2017 against a target of 4.8 percent of GDP and an outturn of 6.4 percent in the same period in 2016.

Further, the primary balance posted a surplus of 0.3 percent of GDP in September, 2017, as targeted and is a significant improvement over a deficit of 1.6 percent realized during the same period in 2016.

“The country’s Gross International Reserves which stood at US$6.9 billion by end-September 2017, could cover 3.9 months of imports compared to the US$4.8 billion or 2.5 months import cover recorded in the same period of 2016,” he sadded

Mr. Ofori –Atta assured Ghanaians that the government is committed to solidifying the gains that it has been made since taking over the governance of the country 11 months ago.

He said government will use the 2018 budget, which is themed Putting Ghana Back to Work, to energise the entrepreneurial skill in Ghanaians and assist them with the tools and environment to be able to do something to create jobs and earn them a decent living.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

Don’t use sanitation marshals to unleash vigilantism – MP

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The Member of Parliament for Tamale North Constituency in the Northern Region, Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini, has warned government not to turn the sanitation marshals into vigilantism.

The MP said the nation has witnessed acts of vigilantism which was unauthorized so with the authorization of marshals to fight against filth in the country, it will be easy for those who would be recruited to abuse their position.

The President, Nana Akufo-Addo at the launch of the National Sanitation Campaign on Monday announced the formation of National Sanitation Brigade, a re-branding of the feared ‘town council’ in the 80’s. The personnel of this outfit would conduct regular visit to all institutions and residential areas to ensure that the environment is kept clean.

Speaking to the issue on TV3’s New Day hosted by Bright Nana Amfoh on Tuesday, the National Democratic Congress MP said “I hope it is not going to be used to unleash vigilantism on the communities”.

Alhaji Suhuyini said “I hope they pick people who are concerned about sanitation… They should pick people who are well trained to embark on such exercise and not those who will unleash vigilantism on the communities”.

The Member of Parliament for Ledzokuku Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye, also called on the Sanitation and Water Resources Ministry to liaise with the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Department to ensure offenders are prosecuted.

“A-G must set one day aside to be prosecuting sanitation issues”, he suggested.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP lamented, “the laws are there but anyone who tries to enforce the laws is seen as a bad person”.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|TV3|3news.com|Ghana

Ghanaians are seeing ‘light in the tunnel’ but… – MP

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The Member of Parliament of Ledzokuku Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye, is accusing the Minority NDC in Parliament of trying to block the “light in the tunnel” which Ghanaians are seeing due to government’s prudent policies.

The Minority in Parliament on Monday chastised government for its management of the economy citing the country’s rising public debt stock as a situation that can take Ghana back to HIPC [heavily indebted poor country] by the end of 2019.

They also warned that Ghanaians will experience “severe hardship” equivalent to the 1983 experience.

Responding to the Minority on TV3’s New Day on Tuesday hosted by Bright Nana Amfoh, the Ledzokuku MP said “the magnitude of the pessimism was too much in the assertions of the minority”.

The MP said “[The NDC government] did badly with the economy, but they are just out there to downgrade the 2018 budget which is yet to be presented”.

“Ghanaians have seen some light in the tunnel because if you are waiting to get a perfect plan you will never start, so start, face the challenges and then solve them along”, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP explained.

Dr. Okoe Boye said “dumsor was a single reason why companies folded up and as it is today, [it has not improved] 100% but it is stable”.

The Member of Parliament for Tamale North Constituency in the Northern Region, Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini, is however wondering how the 2017 budget has impact on the lives of spare parts dealers.

“They had a higher revenue target yet they cut down on the sources of revenue,” he noted.

The NDC MP said “when we said they cannot do it, it does not mean we don’t want the districts to have the factories but we looked at the pragmatics that had been put in place. Some of these things go beyond big bill boards. Some of these go beyond big launch”.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|TV3|3news.com|Ghana

Don’t be too excited about electricity tariff reduction promise – NDC Chair cautions

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Joseph Ade Coker

The Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Joseph Kobina Ade Coker, has advised Ghanaians not to be too happy about the President’s announcement that electricity tariffs will go down in 2018.

He is asking Ghanaians to wait for the percentage in reduction to measure its relevance.

According to President Akufo-Addo, details of the review will be announced by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta at the 2018 budget reading in Parliament on Wednesday, November 15.

On TV3’s New Day on Monday,  the NDC Greater Accra Regional Chairman, told host Bright Nana Amfoh, “[The President] is being rushed to fulfill its campaign promises because in an economy where your revenue generation seems low, how can you reduce tariffs?”

The NDC man said “it will be another reduction in revenue because the ECG has huge debts to pay so we want to see the level of reduction. It is good news but let wait for the reductions”.

“If it will be just one or two percentage reduction, then how are you going to measure it?”

Mr. Ade Coker called on the president to also take a look at the petroleum sector and reduce the products because drivers, especially commercial drivers, are suffering from the hike in fuel in the country.

“When they are reducing the tariffs, they shouldn’t forget the fuel prices because taxis are all going on demonstration.”

He suspects the government wants to reduce electricity tariff to “satisfy manifesto promises” and warned, “it will give us more and huge problems because they are noble ideas but because of political expediency if we don’t do it carefully, it will come back and haunt us”.

The Member of Parliament for Sekondi Constituency Western Region, Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer, however said “it is the expectation of the people who entrust you with the responsibility to deliver, so it is better we move into gear two where we process our raw materials”.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP explained, “we know the effect of energy in our industrialization set up so its happy days for Ghana and I am very excited about the budget that is coming”.

Mr. Agyapa remarked, “if the economy grows, it is better for everybody”.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|TV3|3news.com|Ghana

NDC chair advises against anti-Mahama agenda 2020

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Former President Mahama says it is premature to decide whether to contest to lead the party into election 2020.

The Western Regional chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Michael Aidoo, has advised other regional executives against any form of persuasion that could result in an ‘anti-John Mahama 2020 agenda’.

He maintained the party’s grassroots prefer the candidacy of former President Mahama.

The 10 regional chairmen of the NDC on Thursday called on Mr. Mahama to consider leading the party into the 2020 general elections due to the overwhelming support from the grassroots of the party.

Some critics say the move by the regional chairmen could undermine a level playing field for other members of the party who have shown interest in leading the NDC.

Others, especially some key NDC members and figures have described the endorsement as unnecessary because it could derail the peace and unity efforts being championed by the party.

Former President Mahama has meanwhile said it is premature for him to make known if he has any intention to contest the 2020 presidential election

“On the issue of considering the request of party colleagues and supporters to lead the NDC to the 2020 Elections, HE John Mahama’s position, as stated in Cape Coast, remains that it will be premature to announce his decision whether or not to contest, in view of the ongoing reorganization efforts of the Party,” a statement issued Friday said.

In the midst of that, a communiqué signed by the Western Regional Secretary, Joseph Nelson, purported to have issued by a Western Regional Consultative Forum surfaced Saturday.

Per the communiqué, the Forum was said to have expressed worry over the decision of the party’s 10 regional chairmen to endorse Mr. Mahama as the preferred candidate for the party in the 2020 general elections.

“The meeting was of the view that such untimely declarations have the potential of undermine the on-going efforts at reconciliation and urged the Council of Elders and NEC to act to instil party discipline,” the communiqué stated in part.

But the Regional Chairman described as unfortunate, the supposed stance taken at the consultative forum, claiming his regional secretary may have signed the communiqué to that effect under compulsion.

He challenged the authenticity and the authority of the communiqué since the party does not recognize any consultative assembly.

He said though he was not present at the forum, his sources have revealed participants did not discuss the content of the communiqué relating to the endorsement of John Mahama by the 10 regional chairmen.

“I have spoken to about 6 people who attended the meeting. They all claim that was not discussed for the meeting to issue a communiqué but somebody just mentioned it that they were not happy about what the regional chairmen had done,” he stated.

He thus wants the communiqué to be treated as “rubbish” for which reason it should be thrown into “dust bin”.

The regional chairman accused some members of the Accra-based NDC Western caucus (advisory body to the regional executive committee) as those behind the communiqué purposely to pursue their “selfish interest”.

Accra-based NDC Western caucus, according to Mr Aidoo, though recognised due to the role they play, it is unconstitutional, hence their role cannot be interchanged with that of the regional executive committee

He cautioned them to desist from superimposing any decision on the region stating, “so long as I remain the regional chairman nobody can dictate to the region…to think that they will dictate to us is wrong is a mistake and I will never ever allow that to happen”.

He reaffirmed his stance of endorsing former president Mahama for the 2020 presidential elections.

By Loveridge Ampratwum Okyere|3news.com|Ghana

Ayariga strips APC executives of their positions

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Hassan Ayariga [Middle] is the founder and leader of APC

All elected executives of the All People’s Congress (APC) at the constituency, regional and national levels, have been stripped of their positions.

Leadership of the party announced Friday that it has dissolved all elected positions in the party, the Ghana News Agency reported.

“All executive members are now acting leaders with the exception of the General Secretary and the Leader/Founder of the party,” Mr. Hassan Ayariga announced at a news conference.

He said the APC has notified the Electoral Commission to that effect and that members of the party who are interested in managing the affairs of the party are welcome to begin campaigning for available positions.

He said the APC was formed in an election year, hence the party members did not keenly contest many positions.

Mr Ayariga said the APC believes in liberal principles adding that “the APC is the only party that anyone from any party will find principles he supports and I call on people from the various political parties to join us reorganize the APC.”

He said a committee has been established to embark on a nationwide tour from November 15, 2017, to all constituencies to organize polling station executives and activate party activities across the country.

It shall also issue party membership cards to new and old members as well as capture detailed information of every member in the party’s database.

“Other committees such as the new Council of Elders, Youth Wing, Women Executive Wing and Zongo Wing would be formed during the tour.”

The Leader/Founder said the committees would prepare the grounds for the election of constituency and regional executives, “the leadership has declared 2018 as the year for the national delegates’ congress where national executives as well as Presidential Candidate would be elected”.

“The polling station, constituency, regional and national executives at all levels are encouraged to support in the effort to ensure the success of this important mission,” he said.

By 3news.com|Ghana

Asking Mahama to contest in 2020 unnecessary – Sylvester Mensah

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Sylvester Mensah

Former CEO of the National Health Insurance Authority, Mr. Sylvester Mensah, who has expressed interest in leading the National Democratic Congress into the 2020 general elections, says decision by the party’s regional chairmen to back the candidature of former president Mahama was unnecessary.

He was however emphatic that the move would not affect him or any person’s decision to contest the party’s presidential primary.

About five bigwigs in the NDC have made their intention to run on the ticket of the opposition party as its presidential candidate for the next general elections known.

But after a meeting with the former president, John Mahama, whom many have tipped to stage a comeback after the defeat in 2016, all the ten regional chairmen of the party signed a communiqué, asking Mr. Mahama to accept a request by the party’s numerous supporters to run again.

Commenting on the issue, Mr. Sylvester Mensah told TV3’s News360 on Friday that the decision was “totally unnecessary, completely avoidable, it does not help [the party’s] democracy”.

Former president Mahama issued a statement on Friday to indicate that the call on him was “premature” when there are other issues like the reorganisation of the party that should preoccupy members of NDC.

Some outspoken members of the party have asked the leadership of the NDC to sanction the ten regional chairmen, suggesting that their decision could hurt the party that is trying to reorganise after an abysmal performance in the last election.

But Sylvester Mensah would not directly take a position on that and deferred any decision to the leadership of the party.

However, he had earlier, stated that “we can forgive for some of these errors and move on as a family”.

He was of a firm conviction that even if all the 275 constituency chairmen made that move, it would not “affect anyone’s decision to contest”.

“We could just overlook this and move on, no need to crack bones and fight over some of these things, we need to move on,” he said.

He insisted that the reorganisation of the party, especially at the branch level, should be the interest of all party supporters.

READ ALSO: We took the right decision, Mahama is our best bet for 2020 – B/A NDC chair

By Isaac Essel | 3news.com | Ghana

We took the right decision, Mahama is our best bet for 2020 – B/A NDC chair

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The decision to return ex-President John Dramani Mahama for 2020 by the ten Regional Chairmen of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has largely been criticized as ‘needless’, but the party Chairman in the Brong Ahafo Region Opoku Atuahene has defended the decision.

According to him, the ten Regional Chairmen of the party, have only done what the grassroots want and since they have not breached any provisions of the party, “I don’t think we have done anything wrong”. He insisted that it was a collective decision taken by persons at the branch, constituency and regional levels which they (ten regional chairmen) found it expedient to formalize and officially communicate same to the former president.

Opuku Atuahene explained: “We are leaders and have followers, we have people that we are leading and if that is what they want, we cannot say no. So, if they had said no to John Mahama, we will also support them, but for now, everyone knows John Mahama is the best bet of the party”

There are people also calling on other aspirants to contest to become flagbearer of the party and we believe the delegates will decide on who leads the party in 2020, the Brong Ahafo Chairman of NDC told host of Onua Fm morning show Bright Kwesi Asempa.

The 10 Regional Chairmen had issued a communiqué on Thursday urging former President John Dramani Mahama to avail himself to lead the party in the 2020 presidential elections to wrest power from the Akufo-Addo-led administration.

But former Member of Parliament for Ablekumah Central Theophilus Tetteh Chaie thinks the decision was premature. He said the prime focus of the party now should be how to reorganize and not engaging on activities that will disorganize the party further.

But Opoku Atuahene insisted that “the disunity that people talk about, is not at the grassroots level, not among the majority of the party members but just those at the top, so if we those who are on the ground say we need John Mahama, it means we feel he is the one. Moreover, he is widely known and best marketed”.

He observed that, they are no saying other aspirants are not good materials or not qualified but they are only responding to the calls of the masses.

Read also: It’s premature to declare my intention: Mahama tells NDC chairmen

By Bright Dzakah/Onua 95.1fm/3news.com

It’s premature to declare my intention: Mahama tells NDC chairmen

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Former President John Dramani Mahama has emphasised that it would be premature for him to make known if he has any intention to contest the 2020 presidential election.

He was reacting to calls on him by all the ten regional chairmen of the National Democratic Congress to consider leading the party into the next general election.

The chairmen had issued a communiqué after a meeting with Mr. Mahama on Thursday where they “discussed a number of issues”. READ MORE

But a statement issued by Joyce Bawah Mogtari, Special Aide to  the former president, on Friday suggests he is more interested in the rebuilding of the party for now.

“On the issue of considering the request of party colleagues and supporters to lead the NDC to the 2020 Elections, HE John Mahama’s position, as stated in Cape Coast, remains that it will be premature to announce his decision whether or not to contest, in view of the ongoing reorganization efforts of the Party.”

The former president, the statement said, also “advised leadership of the party to continue to work towards establishing a level playing field during the upcoming internal party elections”

The ten regional chairmen also entreated him to embark on a thank you tour after losing the 2016 elections to the incumbent president, Nana Akufo-Addo.

“Given that the former president had always wanted to thank Ghanaians for their support and cooperation during his tenure as both Vice President and President of the Republic of Ghana, and as reiterated during the meeting he will discuss the timing of the requested Thank You Tour with the leadership of the Party,” the statement from Mr. Mahama’s office said.

According to the statement, the former president, during the meeting also stressed the need for the leadership of the party across the structures – Branch, Constituency, Regional and National- to work towards educating supporters on the ongoing Branch reorganization activities and use the opportunity to build up the support base of the party in the communities.

By Isaac Essel | 3news.com | Ghana

Tetteh Chaie condemns endorsement of Mahama

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Former President John Mahama

The former Member of Parliament for Ablekuma Central, Theophilus Tetteh Chaie, has questioned the basis for the 10 regional chairmen of the National Democratic Congress to endorse former President John Mahama for the 2020 general elections.

Apart from Alban Bagbin who has officially declared to contest the flagbearship of the party, a number of leading personalities, including former President Mahama, Ekow Spio-Garbrah and Prof. Joshua Alabi have shown interest in leading the party into the 2020 elections.

The regional chairmen issued a communiqué Thursday urging the former President to accept the request of the party supporters to lead the NDC into the election, though the party is yet to open nominations for potential candidates to file.

“[We have] called on HE John Dramani Mahama to consider the request of teeming supporters of the NDC and Ghanaians to lead the party to the 2020 General Elections”, they chairmen said in the communiqué.

But the MP has said the call to the former president to contest the election is “uncalled for” and without any basis.

“The works that are supposed to be coordinated by these regional chairmen, as I talk to you now, we have not as yet started the project so on what basis will regional chairmen at the various region assemble themselves to the office of the former president to tell him that the rank and file of the party are behind him,” he wondered.

Mr. Tetteh Chaie told 3News Friday that the behaviour of the chairmen has the potential to create disunity in the party especially at a time that the NDC is rebuilding, having lost the 2016 general elections.

The MP wondered why the regional chairmen, who are members of the National Executive Committee and are supposed to ensure unity, would dabble in such acts.

“Currently, the NEC as a body has come out with a timetable for the reorganisation of the party for the party to attain power in 2020. We need to ensure that our branches are working,” he said.

By Vida Asiedu|3news.com|Ghana