Rawlings questions shallow media discourse on religion, politics, social issues

Former president Jerry John Rawlings has expressed concern about the “lightheaded” manner religious, social and political matters are portrayed by sections of the media.

He said the practice has contributed to dehumanize and make Ghanaians superficial. “We are doing too much politics with the truth,” he stated.

“Some of us have very little understanding into human nature or into the power of God and yet we want to propagate issues to do with God and godliness and we are reducing the substance and spiritual essence in our humanity,” the former president said at a meeting with the leadership of the Afrikania Mission in Accra on Tuesday.

The former president described as a perpetuation of decay, the situation where the media highlight shallow discourse on religion, politics and social issues, especially on radio and television.

“For the average mind once the TV or radio station carries it then it’s okay. The lightheadedness of what we see or what we hear is degrading us.”

The former president also took a swipe at the NDC for re-invigorating the class structure.

“We the liberators [NDC] have ended up perpetuating a class rule in this country. The PNDC/NDC came to liberate us but the same NDC from Mills’ time to now have ended up restoring and perpetuating the class structure.”

The PNDC, the former President said, was an expression of the will of the people.

“As the Head of State and leader I was not unaware of the aspirations and sensibilities of our people. When somebody wants to replace our culture with another then it better be good and better than what we have but in the name of freedom of worship and expression all manner of foolish things are allowed.”

Mr Rawlings recalled that in 1979 having read an article by Bishop Sarpong recognizing the value of libation, he invited him to join the AFRC. He said he was impressed that an orthodox Catholic priest could recognize the value of libation but the Catholic hierarchy at the time declined the request.

“We should show a little more sense, a little more responsibility when it comes to our relationship with God. What is important is that religion must show a sense of compassion, love and respect for one another. But to take a position that disrespects issues to do with our ancestors is not good enough,” the former President said.

Earlier the Afrikania Mission, led by its Head of Mission, Osofo Komfo Atsu Kove had expressed disquiet about the relegation of African traditional religion at the national level. They bemoaned the refusal of government to allow the pouring of libation at national events and said it was a clear manifestation of the authorities’ lack of reverence for our ancestors.

The Mission said despite several entreaties to resume the pouring of libation at national events because it is our culture, government has for the past eight years turned a deaf ear. Government’s action is provocative and tacitly endorses the attack on traditional shrines and icons by adherents of imported religion, the Mission stated.

The Afrikania Mission said it was unfortunate that at a time when questions are being raised about the lack of recognition of certain religious practices in schools, African traditional religion is described as pagan, idol worship and backward in textbooks.

The group said it was imperative that we sowed seeds of religious tolerance while respecting the right of adherents of African traditional religion to practice their culture.

Andre Ayew confirms Fenerbahce departure; set to return to Swansea City

On-loan Andre Ayew announced his departure from Fenerbahce after Turkish Super Lig ended last Sunday.

The Ghana international sat out the 3-1 home win over Antalyaspor due to injury.

Ayew spoke to Fener's official TV station after the game: ''First of all I want to thank the fans, the club, and the staff. I am leaving this great club with lots of experience. It was a very tough year for us but at least we have managed to finish the season strongly.

''Let’s hope Fenerbahce have a great season in the next campaign. Speaking personally, I have to say that I should have done better. This is a huge club and the memories will remain with me forever.''

Ayew-owned by Championship side Swansea- didn’t impress enough to earn himself a permanent move.

The 29-year-old played 38 games for Fenerbahce in all competitions, scoring just five goals.

Ayew will return to Swansea City but it is likely he will leave the Welsh club in this transfer window.

His contract at the Liberty Stadium runs until June 2021.

Confusion erupts between EOCO, GRA over trucks carrying rosewood

Three trucks carrying rosewood from Dambai to Tema were intercepted at the Afienya axle weighing point in the Ningo Prampram District of the Greater Accra Region sparking confusion between the personnel from the Ghana Revenue Authority and Economic and Organised Crime Office.

The Counter Intelligence Unit of the GRA first intercepted five 20-footer containers carrying rosewood from Dambai to Tema Port on the Akosombo highway.

The interception comes on the back of a ban on the exportation of rosewoods.

The goods were intercepted at the Afienya Axle weighing point.

Following the arrest, the GRA personnel, who were accompanied by some armed soldiers, requested for the permit covering the consignment which led to some confusion between them and the personnel from EOCO, who emerged to claim jurisprudence over the consignment.

This led to some exchanges between the two units.

According to the GRA officer, who gave his name as Obiri Yeboah, the EOCO officials asked him to release the truck keys to them but he refused to do so with the excuse that, the GRA had to perform due diligence on the trucks at the customs collection point at the airport before it could be handed over to any other agency.

The release of the keys resulted in a confusion between the two parties which nearly became confrontational at a point.

While at it, the axle weighing officials were also demanding payment for the penalty for overloading the trucks carrying the rosewood which amounted to five thousand five hundred Ghana cedis.

This was however not adhered to as the soldiers that accompanied the GRA officials to the scene ordered the truck to move upon the orders from an officer from above whose name was not given to the media.

A security personnel at the Axle Load station, W.O, Musa Tibila expressed his disappointment at the manner in which the trucks were asked to be released without the payment.

He was however quick to add that despite the release, there was an assurance from the GRA that the amount in question would be collected from the owner of the goods and later sent to the head office of the axle loading.