My Year of Action

I try not to make personal comments on this blog because I have dedicated it to news. I will therefore keep my New Year's Message very brief.

I wish all who have made it a habbit of reading my posts a happy New Year and one that would see them rise beyond their fears. To all those who contributed directly to the sucesses I have chalked in the year, I say God bless. Its my hope and prayer that you will find your fulfillment in 2008 and beyond.

This blog will continue to be an important hobby of mine and I promise to keep all informed on important issues as I get them. May this year see all of us taking bold and winning decisions! Goood Luck


News of Ghana captain's injury excites die-hard Nigerian fans

Some die-hard Nigerian football fans do not seem to share the disappointment in Ghana at the news that injury problems have ruled Black Stars' captain Stephen Appiah out of the forthcoming Nations Cup, to be hosted by the Ghanaians.Some of the fans interviewed by PANA here Saturday described the news that Appiah would be out of action for two months as ''sweet music'' to their ears, since Ghana is seen as one of the obstacles to Nigeria's quest for an elusive third African Nations Cup title.
Nigerian newspapers also gave a big play to the news, almost to the point of gloating about it.''Well, it is sad, but anything that will weaken the Black Stars is welcome,'' said Ojo Akinola, who described himself as an avid supporter of the Super Eagles.''We (Nigeria) didn't cause Appiah's injury, but if we can benefit from his absence (at the Nations Cup), why not,'' he added.Another fan, Johnson Ajewole, said since Nigeria and Ghana could meet as early as the quarter finals, it would be nice for the Ghanaians not to be in the best form for the competition.
''The Black Stars are a formidable team, and one of the most successful in the history of the Nations Cup. Therefore, no team can afford to underrate them,'' he said.Ghana is in group A of the 26th edition of the four-yearly competition, billed for 20 January-10 February 2008, while Nigeria is in group B.But the two age-long soccer rivals may possibly meet right after the preliminary round (quarter-finals), when the winner of group A is slated to meet the runner-up in group B.
Ghana has a formidable Nations Cup record, having won the competition four times (1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982), second only to Egypt with a record five victories.On the other hand, arch-rival Nigeria has only won it twice (1980 and 1994).


Appiah's Contract To Be Suspended?

According to the Turkish newspaper Milliyet, Fenerbahce has asked for permission from the Turkish Fotball Federation to suspend the contract of Stephen Appiah on health grounds.

The Turkish club is already planning to bring in another foreign player, for next season, to replaced the Ghana national team captain.

Appiah is expected to undergo surgery for a potentially career-threatening injury, which is expected to keep him out of action for at least 3-months.

The Black Stars ace arrived in Turin, last week, for further tests on complications from the surgery he had on his knee five months ago.

Speculation are rife that he might not participate in the African Cup of Nations next month.

Hayatou wants violence-free Ghana 2008

Confederation of African Football, CAF, President, Issa Hayatou has urged football fans across the continent to ensure a violence-free Africa Cup of Nations Scheduled for Ghana next January.

“The Nations Cup remain the greatest and the most crowd pulling carnival on the continent with supporters clubs from the 16 qualified nations coming to add more clamour to it,” he said.

Hayatou, in a message to the just concluded 4th international conference of the African Football and Other Sports Supporters Union (AFOSSU) in Accra, said the conduct of fans could make or mar the continental event.

Tidesports’ source reports that delegates from 10 of the 16 participating countries including Nigeria, attended the conference.

Hayatou was represented by Lepowura Jawura, CAF board member and Vice Chairman, Ghana 2006 LOC.

“Any of the 16 nations that qualified for the final of the competition is also qualified to win the competition. But only one country will emerge winner.

“Participation is more crucial than wining. So win or lose, the participants should relate and rejoice freely with one another,” stressed Hayatou.

He noted that world football would be devoid of glamour without participation of talented African players.

Hayatou lauded AFOSSU’s president, Rafu Oladipo for his effort in promoting violence-free matches, saying “such efforts will not go unnoticed by CAF.

Kofi Nsiah, Secretary-General of Ghana Footbal Association, also acknowledged the commitment of AFOSSU to a successful Nation Cup.

Ghana Supporters Union President, Abraham Boakye wants the leaderships of the various clubs to educate their members on the need to eschew hooliganism during and after the championship.

Earlier, Oladipo had thanked CAF for its support to AFOSSU in a bid to ensuring peace on the continent through football.


The New Face Of Radio Gold

After weeks of sleeplessness and confusing HTML codes, We are happy to announce today that the new Radio Gold website is live. www.myradiogoldlive.com

Personally I feel a great sence of achievment because this has been a project i have always wanted to undertake for a station I am deeply attached to. It is my hope that the Management and staff will take full advantage of this new portal and make the best of it.

Websites have increasingly become an important tool in todays business world and the essence of fully dynamic and easily navigable site cannot be overstated.

As all other websites, this is a work in progress. We will continue to improve it till our listerners are fully satisfied with our output. For now I would like to thank some particular people for making this dream possible: Mr Baffoe-Bonnie, BB Menson,James A Boateng and Tanko Rashid.

A spcial Mention must be made of Stephen Adjei www.Njoyonline.com
James Tadeo of www.Jamestadeo.com and www.ucomgh.com
and my special sunshine on the project, Miss Whitney Tetteh.

Many Thanks to Nikky Aboraa and Mrs. Wendy Bruce Tetteh for providing the needed motivation. For now Enjoy Ghana, either in Ghana or not.


New era dawns for CPP

The Conventions People's Party (CPP) ended its National Delegates' Congress in Kumasi on Monday in a grand style as supporters of successful candidates went into wild jubilation.

The supporters of the winning candidates, who were clad in red, white and green colours of the party trooped unto the streets of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), venue for the congress, singing and dancing to brass band music.
The congress marked a new era in the history of the CPP as many of the long-serving National Executives were torpedoed by the 1,901 delegates, who cast their ballots in an election supervised by the Electoral Commission (EC).

In the race for the Party's presidential slot for Election 2008, Mr George Opesika Aggudey, who had led the party for two consecutive elections, polled only 139 votes, representing 7.3 per cent of the total ballot cast.

In his stead, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom won a "onetouch" victory when he polled 1,022 votes representing 53.76 per cent of the valid votes cast. He was followed by Professor Agyemang Badu Akosa, who got 644 votes representing 33.87 per cent.

The others were Dr Kwaku Osafo, who polled 48 votes representing 2.52 per cent; Mr Bright Akwetey had 37 votes representing 1.95 per cent and Dr F.W.A. Akufo had 11 votes representing 0.57 per cent of the valid votes cast. The total valid votes cast were 1,901. Dr Edmund Delle, who had over the years represented the Party as the National Chairman and Leader, also lost in the contest for the position as he polled 392 votes as against the 1,017 votes by Mr Ladi Nylander; while Mr Iddrisu Egala was voted as the Deputy National Chairman with 500 votes.

The National Vice-Chairmanship position went to Dr Abu Sakara after he had polled 481 votes with Mr Eric Benyako being given the mandate as First Deputy National Vice-Chairperson when he poled 295 votes whilst Madam Araba Bensti-Enchil polled 277 votes to be elected as Second Deputy National Vice-Chairman.

In the contest for the General Secretary, Mr Ivor Greenstreet polled 942 votes to be elected to the position and Mr Mike Nii Ahele Nunoo had 299 votes to be given the mandate as First Deputy General Secretary. Mrs Evelyn Alamisi Anabilla was voted the National Organiser after she had polled 778 votes and Mr Africanus Amankwaa-Appiah polled 508 votes to be elected as the First Deputy National Organiser while Nana Kwaku Domfeh, had 379 votes to get the mandate as Second Deputy National Organizer.

Mr James Bomfeh and Mr Francis Opae-Tetteh had 1,054 votes and 857 votes to be elected as National Youth Organiser and Deputy National Youth Organizer, respectively.

In the race for the National Women's Organizer, Hajia Hamdatu Haruna had 1,282 votes to get the nod with Mrs Rose Anim polling 631 votes to be elected as Deputy National Women's Organiser.

Mr Mike Eghan had 828 votes to become the National Treasurer while Naa Kordai Asimeh polled 468 votes to be elected as First Deputy National Treasurer, with Dr Adolf Lutterodt being elected Second Deputy National Treasurer

The congress was generally peaceful and well-attended by a host of party supporters, sympathizers and activists as well as observers. Dr Delle promised that the old Executives would continue to collaborate with the new one for the sustenance of the Party's programmes and development projects.

He urged the old Executives to bury their differences and contribute their quota to enhance the Party's chances of winning next year's elections.

Dr Nduom thanked the Party for the confidence reposed in him and promised to evolve new strategies to ensure that it wrested power from the New Patriotic Party next year. EKB



"Yeewuo Demo" Draws Thousands onto streets

The committee for Joint Action, CJA, today organised one of its biggest domonstrations ever in Accra, Dubbed 'Yeewuo', meaning, we are dying. Thousands of protestors turned out for the street march which ended at the Hearts park in the heart of Accra. Reports picked up by our reporters indicate that the law enforcement agencies had virtually nothing to do as all protestors went about their march in a peacefull manner. These Pix were taken by just before the arch begun.


Police to Demonstrators------Be Carefull!!

The Ghana Police Service on Monday said it would not tolerate any act of violence by any person to create tension before, during and after the Committee for Joint Action's (CJA) demonstration on Tuesday December 11.A statement signed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr K. A. Opare-Addo said the Regional Police Command had information that some individuals intended to carry arms to defend themselves during the CJA march.
The statement said the Police would supply protective facilities for the demonstration, tagged "peaceful" by the CJA and advised demonstrators to obey the rules of the game and not to create any situation to destroy a supposed peaceful demonstration."Protagonists of arms carrying during the demonstration must be said to be prophets of doom and are warned to desist from any acts that will go to incite demonstrators against the Police and other law abiding citizens of the Metropolis", it said.
The DCP Opare-Addo, who is the Greater Accra Regional Commander of Police, said the Command had not received any notice from a group that claimed to be opposed to the CJA demonstration scheduled for Tuesday and would not tolerate any counter demonstrators.He advised the group to reconsider their decision and desist from the act.

Nkrabea May Stop Npp Congress

Retired Captain Nkrabeah Effah Darteh, disqualified from contesting the New Patriotic Party’s presidential candidature, is expected to file court processes seeking among other things, to place an injunction on the Congress by close of work Tuesday.

Effah Darteh is aggrieved that the vetting committee set up by the NPP disqualified him, and to worsen his plight, his appeal to be reinstated was dismissed by the party’s Executive Committee.

Worse yet, he feels bitter that while his appeal was pending before the Executive Committee, the party went ahead to conduct a ballot for the other 17 contestants to plan an outdooring rally recently held at Kasoa.

He says he was not even invited to appear before the Executive Committee that sat over his appeal.

Sources close to the old soldier say the action of the party presupposes the decision to disqualify him had long been taken and his appeal was therefore an exercise in futility even though he was given assurances that the matter would be reconsidered.

Persons close to Nkrabeah told Joy News that even though he was prepared to withdraw from the race, pressure from his supporters to clear his name of the charges levelled against him, has motivated his decision to go to court.

Substantially, his suit against his party would dwell on the constitutionality of treason crimes he is supposed to have committed in 1981, and for which the party believes disqualifies him for the post, however, Nkrabeah intends to fight his image redemption battle at every available avenue.

To begin with, he would apply to the High Courts, failing which he would proceed to the Court of Appeal and then to the Supreme Court, if need be.

And the danger for the party: He would seek an injunction over the congress hoping that he would be reinstated to contest the post.



Appreciate Africa's socio-economic and political concerns - JAK

President John Agyekum Kufuor, Chairman on the African Union (AU), has called on the European Union (EU) to show genuine appreciation for the socio-economic and political concerns of Africa as the two continents looked into the future together.

"To secure dignified places in the on-rushing Global Village, Europe needs Africa as much as Africa needs Europe", he said at the opening of the EU-Africa Summit in the Portuguese Capital, Lisbon, on Saturday.

He said both parties must therefore be committed to promote and sustain economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation, recognizing Africa's rights to integrate itself into the world economy in terms of trade, investments and capacity building on basis of its sovereignty. President Kufuor and Mr Jose Socrates, Prime Minister of Portugal, whose country holds the EU Presidency, jointly chaired the two-day summit, which was designed to open up new horizons for partnership.

Peace and security, development, good governance, migration and climate change, were the main issues at the centre of the agenda for discussion by the 66 Heads of State and Government present. It comes amidst the growing Chinese investment and influence in Africa and the increasing recognition that the continent is no longer "Europe's private hunting grounds."

President Kufuor said the real significance of the meeting should be to build strong foundations for a new relationship based on mutual respect, trust and true commitment to pursue common and mutual interests.

He said previous partnership arrangements had been slow to come up to expectation but this time "Africa has come here believing that it can be different and for the better."

He said with its vast untapped resources, Africa was the new business frontier that must be explored and that as a partner, Europe could bring on board in this venture its mature scientific and technological know-how and significant capital. This must be the rationale for the new partnership between the two for purposeful cooperation. President Kufuor also spoke of the need for the adoption of an action plan for the implementation of their joint partnership strategy for the benefit of their peoples.

For efficacy, he suggested that the process of implementation must involve critical public institutions, the private sector and civil society stakeholders, to ensure an all-inclusive ownership. Prime Minister Socrates said it was time Europe and Africa wrote a new page in their relationship through frank and open dialogue with "no taboos."

He said the summit was one of equals, adding that, "We are equal not just in our human dignity but also equal in terms of political responsibility."

He said Europe wanted a partnership with Africa based on shared vision and mutual respect: that would defend Africa's priorities and provide solutions to its problems.

United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, in an address read for him, called for the redoubling of efforts to assist Africa to achieve the Millennium Development Goals MDGs). He also appealed to the EU to help provide logistics support to allow for the deployment of the Hybrid Force in the Sudan Darfur region. 08 Dec 07

rom Kwaku Osei Bonsu, GNA Special Correspondent, Lisbon


Effah-Dartey's disqualification upheld

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Friday upheld the decision of the Vetting Committee (VC) not to allow Captain Nkrabeah Effah-Darteh (rtd), to contest the Presidential slot of the party slated for Saturday December 22.
This was the outcome of a meeting held by NEC on an appeal brought before it by Capt. Effah-Darteh against his disqualification when he appeared before the VC on November 28 and 30 for vetting, and read at a Press Conference in Accra.The statement read by Mr. Peter Mac Manu, National Chairman of the party said having gone through his submissions, including statutory declarations, NEC found out that Capt Effah-Darteh misled the VC on the charges preferred against him.
Mr Manu said the Committee found Capt. Effah-Darteh's appeal as being unmeritorious, and therefore endorsed VC's decision of disqualifying him as a Presidential material for the NPP.Giving the background of the incident which bordered on his conviction, the National Chairman said when Capt. Effah-Darteh appeared before the VC, it was detected that he failed to answer one critical paragraph on the form, which required him to indicate whether he had ever been convicted of any criminal offence.
Mr Manu said Capt. Effah-Darteh could not offer any tangible explanation as to why he left that portion blank, and so when further pushed to the wall, he for the first time admitted having been convicted of a criminal offence, adding that, he was charged with two counts of mutiny and misconduct.The National Chairman indicated that Capt. Effah-Darteh told the VC that he was acquitted and discharged on the count of mutiny, but was convicted on misconduct and accordingly sentenced to dismissal from the Ghana Army Forces with disgrace in addition to 23 months' imprisonment.
Mr Manu said while the former young army officer was serving his sentence pronounced on May 31, 1981, the December 31 coup took place, and he was released from prison and granted pardon by the then Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council.The National Chairman said Capt. Effah-Darteh, having failed to provide the VC with proof of his pardon, was given 24 hours to furnish it with information on the matter.Mr Manu said when Capt. Effah-Darteh could not convince the VC on November 30, it recommended that he should be disqualified from contesting the Presidential slot.He said in view of the lack of candour in dealing with the VC, NEC applied to the military authorities for records of the trial of Capt Effah-Darteh, who was court-marshalled on April 14, 1981.
The National Chairman said from the military records, it came to light that the former army officer was tried on four, instead of two counts as he previously alleged, and found guilty on three of them. Mr Manu indicated that he was sentenced to dismissal from the GAF, and 23 months' jail term, but following the December 31, 1981 military take-over, captain's sentence was mitigated by the then military government as a result of which he was honourably released from the GAF with effect from August 14, 1981.He said as part of the conditions for his release, Capt.
Effah-Darteh was expressly prohibited from using his rank of Captain in civil life, and had to be warned in writing by the military secretary on July 19, 1994 from using the military rank when it was detected that he was still was using it in civil life to the prohibition.Mr Manu said, NEC had no doubt from the nature of the charges preferred against Captain Effah-Darteh, that all those offences bordered on the security of the state.For that reason, the National Chairman said, Capt Effah-Darteh was being disqualified from becoming President of Ghana, whether he had been granted a free pardon or not, and however long the passage of time, since his conviction.
The NEC, he said, accordingly endorsed the earlier decision by VC to disqualify Capt. Effah-Darteh from contesting the flagbearship race of the party on December 22.As to whether the money he paid as contesting fee would be refunded to him, Mr Manu said it was a matter that would be considered at a different and another forum if Capt. Effah-Darteh applied for it.


Ghana's President Orders New Private Aircraft

According to the AFRICA INTELLIGENCE n°528 - 8/11/2007 (LA LETTRE DU CONTINENT), the President of Ghana, John Kufuor, has ordered a New Falcon Aircraft. The 900 series, was sold by DASSAULT, at the cost of $37 Million and the plane is scheduled to be delivered in February 2010. The deal was done through SSB Bank in Accra.
"This must be a mistake, because parliament knows nothing about this deal" , said an NDC member of parliament(MP), when asked to comment on the news item. "He [Kufuor] leaves office in 2009, so I wonder why this deal was done in such a hurry" said an MP of the ruling party.

Aggudey fails tax test - can't stand for CPP flag bearer

Mr. George Aggudey, is likely to miss the chance to contest for the flag bearer race of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), as the 48 hour deadline for submitting his tax clearance certificate expires today Thursday December 6, 2007.Mr. Aggudey and two others, Accra based lawyer, Bright Akwetey and Dr. Kwaku Osafo were expected to submit their tax clearance certificates as requested by the party.

To qualify to contest for the position to lead the party in the 2008 elections, candidates were required to submit their tax clearance certificates before the December 15, 2007 congress. The deadline for submission was however set on Thursday December 6, 2007.By the close of Thursday December 6, 2007, Mr. Aggudey was yet to submit his tax clearance certificate.Last Monday December 3, 2007, the party gave the three contestants 48 hours to submit personal documents to certify that they had fulfilled their tax obligations.

In the case of Mr. Aggudey, who led the party in the 2004 elections, he is also expected to submit proof of payment of his employees’ Social Security contributions to dthe vetting committee.The other two, Mr. Akwetey and Dr. Osafo have submitted their tax clearance certificates.

President Kufuor off to Portugal

President John Agyekum Kufuor, who is the African Union Chairman, leaves Accra on Thursday night to attend the European Union-African Union (AU) summit in Lisbon, Portugal. The AU Chairman would also lead Africa in the summit scheduled for December 8-9, 2007.

A statement signed by Mr Andrew Awuni, Press Secretary to the President and Presidential Spokesman, said the meeting would discuss contemporary global issues that affected the two continents and establish the basis for a long-term strategic partnership between Europe and Africa.

The statement said the summit was expected to adopt a joint strategy and an action plan to deal with the many outstanding commitments in Trade, Aid and Development Assistance made in the past.

It said the summit would also discuss peace and security, democracy and human right, migrations as well as energy and climate change. Some senior government officials would accompany President Kufuor. Eighty countries that make up the EU-AU partnership as well as Heads of Regional Institutions from both continents will be attending the Lisbon summit.




Giver and taker wrong, says GJA ......Soli = Bribe

The Ghana Journalist Association is asking its members to file a complaint against event organisers who offer gifts including money to influence their reportage.

The GJA says event organisers have repeatedly been asked to stop offering cash, usually in envelopes, widely know to journalists as ‘soli’. But it says the practise seems to be continuing.

The case against financial inducement was highlighted at a round table discussion, which equated the payments of money to journalists to taking bribes.

Within the Journalist Association executives are divided in their position on the issue. The Acting President of the association in the Ashanti Region says it is not wrong for journalists to accept money from people who appreciate their work.

But the national President of the GJA, Ransford Tetteh says the association’s policy frowns on it and urges journalists not to hesitate to revert to the association if an event organiser offers to give them soli.

Meanwhile the General Secretary of the Advertisers Association of Ghana, Francis Dadzie says it will not be fair to ask journalists to lodge complaints against event organisers.

According to him, pressmen must bear equal responsibility for demanding money from event organisers and said he would be glad to see the day journalists would be bold enough to stand up against monetary offers from people who require their services.

NPP in a Fierce Friendly Fire

The Accra Daily Mail says even as the NPP was toasting itself last Sunday at its national rally at Kasoa, there were growing signs that the ruling party is losing its way in its succession programme. Dissatisfaction, suspicion, fear and even hate have taken over in this mean spirited campaign to succeed President Kufuor.

According to the paper, an agitated chairman of a Brong Ahafo constituency, pleading strict anonymity, last Friday night spoke to ADM on what he described as the "terrible thing happening to our party". He told ADM that a former minister, also the MP for a constituency in Kumasi "descended" on the Brong Ahafo Region to canvass support for a presidential aspirant.

This former minister told the B.A. constituency chairmen that he was campaigning for "the preferred choice of Accra". The significance of "Accra" was not lost on the chairmen and they quickly grasped the meaning.

This former minister, himself the subject of much controversy, leading to his resignation last year, then proceeded to offer "assistance" to the constituency executives to influence them to entice delegates to vote for Accra's choice. Each constituency chairman received ¢10 million, other executive members each received ¢3 million; ¢10 million was also "donated" to each constituency to "help" with the organization of delegate selection. By the end of it all, ¢150 million had been spent on each constituency.

Special mobile phones were also given to each of the executives. The chairman who spoke to ADM said "we were given mobile phones with television". These must be the latest multimedia phones on the market. He departed with the promise that more would follow once Accra's bidding is achieved.

Reports from Tamale and the north, according to the paper, also spoke of lesser amounts and some cheap phones floating about.

It is circulated that now that the delegates are selected, the leading spender is ready to visit each delegate with an envelope containing US dollars!

A Central Region constituency chairman called a source known to ADM and narrated a similar story. According to him the aspirant himself had "descended" on the Central Region and splurged ¢50 million on each constituency with the promise of more to come.

The complaining chairman was grateful for the windfall but concerned about the legacy of such politicking.

This heavy spending is replicated all over the regions and constituencies but in fairness, not by all the aspirants but by a few who have constituted themselves into the elite of "moneycracy" throwing all caution to the wind and openly using money to determine the outcome of this month's congress.

The principle or lack of it in this strategy is to use money and more money where persuasion with ideas fails. So far the party leadership and elders have remained cagey about this development which makes total nonsense of "Zero Tolerance for Corruption", said the paper.

Compounding this murky use of money in the race to succeed President Kufuor is the sinister role being played by some Regional Ministers, Municipal and District Chief Executives. These Ministers, MCEs and DCEs, also claiming instructions from Accra have adopted tactics that can only be described as intimidation and coercion to whip constituency executives into line to ensure a win for Accra's choice.

For some inexplicable reason, it is the RMs, DCE, and MCEs of the three Northern regions who have been targeted in this grand strategy. Recent sackings and appointments have rather heightened the suspicion that Accra may indeed be sending a strong message to MCEs and DCEs to fall in line.

Exercising his right to remain anonymous, a DCE complained to an ADM source that they are on strict orders to deliver their districts to Accra's choice. In an interesting turn of events, this DCE told the ADM source to "use your influence in the media to blow this up because we are under intense pressure." And that is how come ADM got this lead. ADM has since cross-checked with other sources in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale and meetings at the MCE's residence and other places to advance Accra's choice have been confirmed.

In the Upper East Region, the Regional Minister is reported to be rounding up regional and constituency executives to "convince" them to bloc vote on December 22. But the Northern Regional Minister, who is said to be eyeing a running mate slot promised him by another aspirant is "bravely" holding out and is said therefore to be in open confrontation with his MCE who is neck deep in the grand strategy to deliver to Accra's choice.

The above narration could be put down to the intrigues of the cloak and dagger politics of the Third World. Perhaps, but is that not also the genesis of all the trouble spots of the continent?

Source: The Accra Daily Mail

Former NACOB boss calls for fresh investigations into missing cocaine

A former director of the Narcotics Control Board, (NACOB) Mr. K B Quantson has asked government to open fresh investigations into how 2,310 kilograms of cocaine went missing on board the shipping vessel M. V. Benjamin.

77 parcels of the drug each weighing 30 kilograms disappeared on the high seas in 2006, in what is thought to be the biggest cocaine scandal in the country.

Although a committee chaired by the current Chief Justice Georgina Wood was set up last year to investigate the case and other narcotics related matters, the drugs were never found.

Only last week, the fast track High court sentenced two drug barons Issa Abass and Kwabena Amanin alias Tagor to 15 years in jail with hard labour following recorded conversations that linked both men to the lost cocaine.

Mr. Quanson says the Attorney General should also come out to explain why the Police Director of Operations ACP Kofi Boakye is not facing prosecution.

Speaking to Joy News’ Matilda Asante on the question of wether the sentencing of the two suspects Alhaji Issa Abass and Kwabena Amanin demonstrates government’s commitment to check drug trafficking, he said this case is one deterrent one, but except it is followed by an aggressive enforcement system the message won’t go down well.

He also said assets of the convicted barons should be confiscated and followed by a continuous sensitization of the whole country.

Mr. Quantson is also advocating for a national programme through the schools, churches and mosques to sensitise the people because the drugs menace is a problem of the people.

On the missing 77 parcels, Mr. Quantson said every effort must be made to find the drugs.


PNC Selects Mahama Again

Dr. Edward Nasigri Mahama, this morning, was elected as the presidential candidate for the People's National Convention (PNC) at the Party's Delegates Conference held in Bolgatanga. This is the fourth time the PNC has elected Dr Edward Mahama as its flag bearer.

He polled 534 votes to beat the other contestant, Professor Yakubu Saaka who got 400 votes.

The over one thousand delegates drawn from all the PNC constituencies also voted to elect their National Executives. Mr Benard Monah who contested for the General Secretary of the party polled 691 votes to beat his opponents Dr Somtim Tubiga and Mr Santua Niagia who got 154 and 106 votes respectively. The National Organizer went to Mr Bayirga Haruna who polled 362 to beat Mr Abubakari K. Ebla and Mr.Godly Baba Ali who got 318 and 250votes respectively.

The Member of Parliament of the Party for the Bolgatanga Constituency Mr David Apasera was elected as the National Treasurer of the party with 660 votes as against Mr David Nibi who polled 264 votes. Hajia Alima Ajara Ali was elected as the National Women Organizer with 634 votes as against her opponent Ms Patricia Kanji who got 281 votes.

Mr Emmanuel Wilson got the National Youth Organizer with 710 votes to beat his contestant Mr Iddrisu Andani Mu-azu who had 215 votes. The position of Vice Chairman was deferred to a later date due to the uncertainty about the exact number of people contesting the position.

Dr. Edward Mahama in his victory speech said the real winners of the elections was the Party, because of the way it was held peacefully and successfully, and that the elections is a sign that the Party's self inflicted wounds had healed.

He said it was also a victory for Ghana's democracy. Asked by Journalists, after his election whether he was not tired of being the presidential candidate, Dr. Mahama said the commitment of the people kept him going on.

He thanked the security services and the media for their good work and urged journalists not to relent in giving good coverage to the opposition parties.

Mr Adams M. Iddrisu, Upper East Regional Director of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) supervised the election. Meanwhile the elections, which were scheduled to start on Saturday morning dragged on to the early hours of Sunday. 02 Dec. 07