Category Archives: Politics

NDC to mark Founder’s Day with march

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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has scheduled a solidarity march in Accra to mark this year’s Founder’s Day on Thursday.

September 21 has been celebrated since 2009 – when the NDC returned to power – as a public holiday to mark the birth of Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

There has been controversy over the celebration as to whether to celebrate one or all nationalists who contributed to Ghana’s independence.

While some want the holiday to be known as Founders’ Day, others maintain it should be Founder’s Day to commemorate Dr Nkrumah. Others still think it should be Founders Day.

The controversy was deepened on Sunday when the Presidency said President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo has tabled a Legislative Instrument to Parliament to have a Founders Day on August 4 and September 21 to be marked only as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day.

A statement issued by the NDC on Monday says the march, which will begin from Nima and end up near the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, will be to celebrate “the Founder and first President of the Republic of Ghana”.

“Party loyalists must endeavour to show up massively to join the March in solidarity with all Ghanaians as well as all Socialist and Progressive Forces,” the statement signed by Deputy General Secretary Koku Anyidoho said.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Mahama failed accountability test –Tony Aidoo

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Former President John Mahama

Outspoken politician, Dr. Tony Aidoo, says former President John Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) failed the country’s accountability test.

In a yet-to-be televised episode of TV3’s Hot Issues, the former Ghana’s Ambassador to the Netherlands observed the Mahama administration failed to counteract the numerous corrupt scandals against his government.

This, he argued, contributed to the party’s defeat in the December 2016 elections, which he said, was more of a communication strategy fight.

For him, the GYEEDA and SADA scandals among others blinded the electorates to the various infrastructural development of the Mahama administration because the NDC communicators could not challenge those with bare facts.

“The effect therefore was that, the electorate was blinded relative to the numerous infrastructural projects that you [Mahama] managed to put up. They became insignificant in the face of the propaganda that your government was corrupt, that you could not create jobs,” he observed.

Dr Tony Aidoo

Dr. Aidoo who is perceived to be critical of the NDC, a party he is a leading member of, indicated the communication machinery of the New Patriotic Party in the 2016 electioneering was more effective than the NDC.

“The 2016 electoral campaign was one of pitching communication against communication, unfortunately for the NDC, the NPP propaganda machinery was much more effective,” he said.

“That machinery has been in operation for more than four years damning you [Mahama and his administration] for being corrupt and so on and so forth. The numerous scandalous cases, GYEEDA, SADA and so on did not augur well for the Mahama administration,” he added.

He observed the NDC’s communication team was “always on the defensive”, something he claimed he informed the then Chief of Staff about, and suggested a better option of “counter attacking”.

“I did discussed this with the Chief of Staff and I said the NPP has pushed you to the position at which you are always on the defensive, it’s time you started counter attacking,” he claimed in the interview with Winston Amoah.

According to Dr. Aidoo, the usual justifications that parliament approved those contracts that smacks of corruption was ineffective, and that he would have done a better job if he was in charge at the time.

“If I had been in charge, I would have published the bill of quantities for the public to see rather than relying on the idea that parliament approved these projects,” he said.

The justification, he contended “wasn’t sufficient because they were challenging you on facts so you respond with facts…In effect we failed the accountability test”.

Asked if the NDC caused its own defeat, he responded, “I suppose so”

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

Bawumia was NDC’s weakness but… – Dr. Tony Aidoo asserts

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The analysis of Ghana’s economy as presented by vice president Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in the run-up to the 2016 elections were defective, Dr Tony Aidoo has said.

He said Dr Bawumia failed to consider some key elements in comparing the eight-year administration of the John Kufuor and that of the Mills-Mahama era, noting the communication team of the NDC failed the test of challenging that.

“What I missed was the inability of the NDC communication team to bring out the facts so as to challenge the comparative analysis that Dr Bawumia was making. Dr Bawumia was the Achilles heel of the NDC not only for the 2016 elections but he started way back in 2012.

Speaking exclusively to TV3 for the first time since his return to Ghana from diplomatic duties in the Netherlands, Dr. Aidoo said though the then vice presidential candidate of the NPP had a leverage, his comparative assessment of Ghana’s economy in the run-up to the general election were not factual.

“He ignored the fact that for the most part of the Kufuor administration; the eight years was virtually carried by donor financial support. All the social interventions that Kufuor implemented were donor supported,” he said.

The seasoned politician said when Ghana joined HIPC in 2002, the country had its debt burden removed, something he argued, gave the Kufuor administration the freedom to manoeuvre to grow the economy.

Dr. Aidoo said in 2005 Ghana’s creditors wrote off 66 per cent of the country’s debt, noting, “at the time our national debt was about 6.8 billion dollars.

“In effect, our debt to GDP ratio certainly dropped sharply so on what grounds can Bawumia compare that an economy that was virtually carried by donor financial support was managed better than an economy that did not have those support?” he questioned.

Dr. Aidoo said it is against this background that it is important to have people with historical recall to be part of the communication team, adding “if you don’t have people with historical recall, administrative memory then seriously your communication becomes defective”.

For him, the NDC communication team should have challenged Dr Bawumia on issues he raised about the economy “because his comparative analysis and conclusions were flawed.

On whether vice president at the time, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur should have challenged Dr. Bawumia on those issues, he said “maybe he should have [spoke] on the hindsight.”

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

September 21 Founder’s Day scrapped

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Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says August 4 would henceforth be celebrated in Ghana as Founders Day.

Parliament would therefore be proposed to make the day a statutory public holiday. September 21, which has for almost a decade being observed as Founder’s Day would now be observed as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Director of Communications at the Office of the President, Eugene Arhin.

“The President has, therefore, decided to propose legislation to Parliament to designate 4th August as FOUNDERS DAY, and 21st September as KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY, both of which will be observed as public holidays. In the meantime, the President has issued an Executive Instrument to commemorate this year’s celebration of KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY as a public holiday.”

Below is the full statement

PRESIDENT TO PROPOSE LEGISLATION TO ESTABLISH FOUNDERS DAY AND KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY

It is unfortunate that, 60 years after independence, the history of the events leading to it continues to be embroiled in unnecessary controversy, due largely to partisan political considerations of the moment.

It is clear that successive generations of Ghanaians made vital contributions to the liberation of our country from imperialism and colonialism. It is, therefore, fitting that we honour them, as those who contributed to the founding of our nation.

The most appropriate way to honour them is to commemorate the day on which the two most significant events in our colonial political history, that led us to independence, occurred – 4th August.

On that day, in 1897, the Aborigines Rights Protection Society (ARPS) was formed in Cape Coast. The Society did a great job to mobilise the chiefs and people to ward off the greedy hands of British imperialism to ensure that control of Ghanaian lands remained in Ghanaian hands. It represented the first monumental step towards the making of modern Ghana, enabling us to avoid the quagmire of land inheritance that our brothers and sisters in Southern and Eastern Africa continue to suffer, from the seizures of their lands by white minorities.

In a deliberate act in the continuum of Ghanaian history, exactly fifty years later, on 4th August, 1947, at Saltpond, the great nationalists of the time gathered to inaugurate the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), the first truly nationalist party of the Gold Coast, to demand the independence of our nation from British rule, at a gathering which included “paramount chiefs, clergymen, lawyers, entrepreneurs, teachers, traders and men and women from all walks of life in the Gold Coast”, according to an eye witness. The inauguration set the ball rolling for our nation’s attainment of independence, and for the dramatic events, including the birth in 1949 of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), that ushered us into freedom.

That day, 4th August, is, thus, obviously the most appropriate day to signify our recognition and appreciation of the collective efforts of our forebears towards the founding of a free, independent Ghana.

It is equally clear that the first leader of independent Ghana, and the nation’s 1st President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, played an outstanding role in helping to bring to fruition the works of the earlier generations, and leading us to the promised land of national freedom and independence. It is entirely appropriate that we commemorate him for that role, by designating his birthday as the permanent day of his remembrance.

The President has, therefore, decided to propose legislation to Parliament to designate 4th August as FOUNDERS DAY, and 21st September as KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY, both of which will be observed as public holidays. In the meantime, the President has issued an Executive Instrument to commemorate this year’s celebration of KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY as a public holiday.

……signed……

Eugene Arhin

Director of Communications

Office of the President

Accra, 15th September, 2017

Source: 3news.com | Ghana

Rawlings’ concerns not new – NDC MP

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Former President Rawlings

Member of Parliament for Builsa South Constituency Dr Clement Apaak says all the recent concerns raised by former president Jerry John Rawlings regarding the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are already being addressed with the roadmap of the Kwesi Botchwey Committee report.

He, therefore, said the concerns are not new and just a “reminder” to the party.

The founder of the NDC, Mr Rawlings, on Friday asserted that his party may not reclaim power from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2020 given the apparent disunity in the former and the growing popularity of the latter’s leader based on the implementation of his campaign promises.

On TV3’s News 360, Mr Rawlings reiterated that the solid principles on which the NDC was founded has gone down the gurgler.

“The most important factor I believe has to do with the issue of the cleanup that needs to be done; the restoration of our integrity,” he told presenter Abu Issa Monnie on Friday.

“We don’t like to hear it but I keep repeating it, we have to go back, seek a moral high ground.”

But speaking on another programme of TV3’s, New Day, on Saturday, Dr Apaak said all the recommendations of Mr Rawlings are already being implemented.

The former presidential staffer said the involvement and empowerment of the grassroots will begin with lower level elections scheduled within the party.

“As a party, I can assure you that we are very eager to do what is necessary as [Mr Rawlings] wishes,” he said.

He agreed with Mr Rawlings that money has become so strong an influencer not only within the NDC but in Ghanaian politics that one cannot task persons to help in sharing posters, for instance, without doling out money.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

‘I want NPP beaten in 2020 election but…’ – Rawlings clarifies

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Former President Rawlings

Former President Jerry John Rawlings has clarified his statement suggesting it will be impossible for the National Democratic Congress to win back power from the New Patriotic Party in the 2020 general elections.

Speaking exclusively on TV3’s News360 Friday evening, the former President said he would wish that the NDC, a party he founded, wins the next general elections in 2020 but questioned the readiness of the party.

“Let me simply say, that I will very much want to see the NPP beaten but do we have what it takes? Do we have the capacity to be able to wrestle power from them?” he questioned.

The former president was widely reported Friday to have said the NPP would win the 2020 elections if it is able to sustain its performance within the next four years.

He was reported to have said: “If they [the NPP] do well enough… And so far it doesn’t look too bad,” they would win the 2020 elections.

Clarifying his position on the matter on TV3, the former president explained that for the NDC to regain power there are a lot of issues it must address, indicating that the party as it stands, has lost the moral high ground.

“The most important factor I believe has to do with the issue of the cleanup that needs to be done; the restoration of our integrity. We don’t like to hear it but I keep repeating it. We have to go back, seek a moral high ground,” he advised.

He added: “The manner in which the electoral process has been happening since Sunyani has not been encouraging. It’s unfortunate, most unfortunate how come we lost the moral high grounds. I think they know what needs to be done.”

Mr. Rawlings said the NDC ought to do self-clean-up but noted he does not see the party’s readiness to at least confront the issues, saying “I don’t think we are prepared to confront it or that’s what I’ve noticed about some of our people”.

Underscoring the importance of the grassroots of the party in winning the 2020 elections, Mr Rawlings said it was important that they are involved in the clean-up exercise, and advised that the they are empowered.

“…Let’s give the party back to them [grassroot], they are the ones who actually make it possible to win or lose elections, let’s respect their views,” he indicated.

That is the issue we should be addressing, we should be looking at these questions a lot more seriously than we have done so far. That’s it!

The former president also said it was critical for the top hierarchy of the party to come together to help restore respect the values of the NDC, noting that “You can’t use money to buy anything and everything”

Watch the full interview  below

By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana

Absence of dedicated source of funding greatest threat to Free SHS – Ablakwa

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Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa,

The former Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Tertiary, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has expressed fears about the sustainability of the free Senior High School policy.

He observed that the lack of dedicated source of funding could be the greatest threat to the implementation of the policy.

Speaking on Yensempa morning show on Onua FM hosted by Bright Akwasi Asempa, the former Deputy Minister who is also the MP for North Tongu prayed quality and standards of education would not be compromised.

Even though President Akufo-Addo said the policy would be funded with revenues from oil and other natural resources, Mr. Ablakwa is demanding further clarification.

The legislator is of the view that the oil money alone is not enough to make the policy a success because Ghana only has 13% of the oil proceeds. Ablakwa noted that the government would have to possibly introduce new taxes to support the policy.

It would be difficult for Ghanaians to accept new taxes in the face of promised by the government, then in opposition, to reduce taxes. This, he said, is an albatross on the neck of the current administration.

Okudzeto Ablakwa observed that in 2018, government will need money for three terms and the policy would need at least a billion Ghana cedis for the 2018 academic year to implement the policy.

“If we are struggling with over 400 million cedis in 2017, what will become of the free school in 2018 where over a billion cedis would be needed,” he wondered.

For instance, he noted that, when former president Rawlings introduced the GETFund, he increased VAT in 2000, and likewise  under then president Kufuor VAT was a dedicated source for the National Health Insurance Scheme. There is therefore the need for a dedicated source of funding, he reiterated.

Nevertheless, the Chairman of the Ghana Education Service Council, Michael Nsowah who was on the Onua FM morning show was surprised that the opposition keeps hammering on claims that the oil money alone is not enough.

Michael Nsowah who is a former Director General of GES said the program has just begun therefore when the need arises for an increase in the funding, the government will not hesitate to go back for approval to sustain it.

Source: Onua FM |3news.com|Ghana

Otiko Djaba loses position

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Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection Otiko Afisa Djaba has had a position at the New Patriotic Party (NPP) given to another person.

Hajia Saadatu Hamdatu has been appointed as the new National Women’s Organiser of the party.

This comes in the wake of the resignation of all party officers given government appointments.

In May, the National Council of the NPP ordered all office holders – both those elected and appointed – who have been appointed into government to make a choice as to which position to hold. Apparently, most of them opted for their government positions, hence the resignation of their party positions.

On Thursday, Acting General Secretary John Boadu announced that Hajia Hamdatu will act as National Women’s Organiser.

The National Organiser also announced the constitution of an 11-member ad hoc committee to oversee proposals for constitutional reforms in the party.

The committee has been given two months within which to complete its work.

A Vice Chairman of the NPP, Frederick Fredua Antoh, will chair the committee.

Notable among the members are former Member of Parliament Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, deputy ministers Osei Bonsu Amoah, Godfred Dame, Joseph Dimdiok Kpemka and MP Ben Abdallah Banda.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

Sammi Awuku named YEA board chair

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The President has appointed a nine-member Board of Directors for the Youth Employment Agency (YEA).

The Board is set to be chaired by Sammi Awuku, the National Youth Organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Prominent among members of the board is the veteran politician and founder of the Ghana’s School Feeding Programme, Dr Kwame Amoako Tuffour.

The Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, Justin Kodua Frimpong, represents management on the Board.

Lawyer Bright Wireko Brobbey, a Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Emmanuel Sin Nyet Asigri, the Acting CEO of the National Youth Authority, and a forensic auditor, James Quarshie, are the other members.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

 

Parliament to downsize membership of committees; many MPs are not working – Minister

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The Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has revealed that Parliament wants to cut down the size of committees in the House. 

The leadership of the House, he said, have observed that almost all the committees including the Standing or Select Committees have about 30 members, which according to him, is too much for a single committee.

The minister, who is also the Majority Leader in Parliament, said most of the time, only seven or less members are active in committee meetings.

“Why have a thirty member committee when you know that only seven are going to be active”, he quizzed.

According to the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, the constitution provides for every member to belong to at least one standing committee. He explained that the Standing Committees in the constitution are the committees that are charged with oversight responsibilities.

Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu also explained the mix-up in their rules of procedure. For instance, he said, standing orders where the committees that have oversight responsibilities are referred to as Select Committees and Standing Committees as those that help them in the internal organization of the House.

“In the new Standing Orders, we want to conform to the constitution, so we are changing the name of the select Committees to conform to what pertains in the constitution and the new select Committees will appropriately assume the name Standing Committees,” he added.

“We want to cut down the size and let every member belong to one committee,” he said, noting that some legislators are not in favour of the idea, but “if we indeed want these committees to be effective, then that is the way to go”.

He was addressing the media at the Kofi Annan ICT Center in Accra on Tuesday on the invitation of Parliamentary News Africa to answer questions on the main function of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and his vision for the ministry.

Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who is also the MP for Suame lamented that these issues of infectiveness are not peculiar to the committees, but the staff of parliament as well.

He said there are so many clerks assigned to committees who do not even know what work they are supposed to do and the functions of the committees.

Speaking to the usual practice of a Minority member chairing the Public Accounts Committee, he said the constitution has a reason why the Public Accounts Committee should be chaired by a member whose party does not control the executive.

He however said when “you are considering report from your own administration, you should prudently step aside and let the Ranking Member chair the committee to avoid a possible conflict of interest or being bias”.

By Owoahene Omari Acheampong|Onua FM|3news.com