Wednesday, October 26, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Pressure group OccupyGhana says it’s monitoring closely the Attorney General’s latest effort to retrieve the GH¢51.2 million unlawfully paid to Alfred Agbesi Woyome.

The Supreme Court in July 2014 ordered Mr. Woyome to pay back the huge amount to the state following a suit filed by former AG, Martin Amidu but the order has fallen on deaf ears.

OccupyGhana issued a statement yesterday backing the step being taken the current A-G, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong to finally retrieve the money from Mr. Woyome, who is said to be one of the financiers of the ruling NDC.

Woyome is busily campaigning for President John Mahama in the Volta region, raising doubts about the ability of the relevant authorities to retrieve the huge money paid to the NDC financier.

Oral Examination
“OccupyGhana is gratified to read press reports about the latest step finally taken by the Attorney-General’s Department to recover the GH¢51m owed to Ghana by Alfred Woyome. This step was the application to the Court to order the oral examination of Woyome on his assets because of his abject refusal or failure to pay the judgment debt owed to Ghana, and the apparent non-availability of any assets against which the judgment may be executed.”

According to OccupyGhana, the step that the Attorney-General has taken “is based on the procedural rule that if after judgment, a debtor does not pay immediately, the creditor may apply to the court for an order that would bring the debtor before the court to be examined as to his means.”

“This step can be very effective because it is not only intended to be a mere examination of the debtor, but a cross-examination, of the severest kind, as to his means.”

“Thus, a debtor would be compelled by the court to disclose where all of his assets are, and if they have been sold or paid out, how that happened. If the debtor does not disclose the assets or tells lies, he could be imprisoned for contempt or worse tried and sentenced for perjury.”

Belated but brilliant
The pressure group described the AG’s action as “belated, yet brilliant,” saying “Woyome would be compelled to testify, not only as to where his assets are, but also where and how he spent the GH¢51 million that he received from Ghana and whether any of those sums are available for execution.”

They said “to the extent that any persons benefitted from Ghana’s monies, they also stand the risk of being pursued by the Republic on an action in tracing, which would track and trace the monies into the hands of every recipient, and possibly recover the monies from them.”

“We believe that for the people of Ghana, this will be an opportunity to discover exactly what happened to our monies that were wrongfully paid to Woyome and recover those monies.”

“We are aware that on 19th October 2016 the Supreme Court granted the order and set 10th November 2016 as the date when Woyome is to attend court for this all-important testimony on where his assets are, and possibly how he spent the GH¢51 million.”

OccupyGhana Notice
“While expressing our satisfaction with the latest and drastic step, however, belated it has been, we wish to notify the Attorney-General that we are monitoring this process and the execution of the court order very closely.”

“We believe that the Attorney-General is taking all of these steps, however belatedly, in a genuine attempt to recover the monies that Woyome still owe to Ghana.

“We also believe that this process will be followed through without fear or favour.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Electoral Commission (EC) has been sued once again, this time over the conduct of the special voting reserved for certain public officials, security agencies and other people who have election-related assignments on December 7.

The new court action against the EC is asking the electoral body to declare the results of the special voting ahead of the main elections to allay any fear of tampering with the ballots.

The plaintiffs, Dr. Kwame Amoako Tuffuor, Benjamin Arthur and Adreba Abrefa Damoa, argue that Section 23 of C.I. 94 - the law which regulates the conduct of the 2016 general election - is inconsistent with Article 49 of the 1992 Constitution.

There is a flurry of suits against the EC over the conduct of this year’s polls as many of the political parties which flag bearers were disqualified from the crucial electoral contest have already gone to court to compel the commission to reinstate their candidates.

Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom’s Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings’ National Democratic Party (NDP) are in court as well as Dr. Edward Mahama’s People’s National Convention (PNC), while the likes of Hassan Ayariga of APC and Dr. Henry Lartey of GCPP are threatening legal action against the commission.

Again, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on Thursday, October 27, in a case in which a former Director of Research at Parliament, Kwesi Nyame-Tease Eshun, is seeking to compel the EC to allow candidates or their agents to append their signatures on the constituency collation sheets and also be given copies.

Special Vote Count
In the instant suit, three individuals - Dr. Kwame Amoako Tuffuor, Benjamin Arthur and Adreba Abrefa Damoa - want the court to compel the EC to count ballots cast on the day of special voting as provided for by Regulation 23 of the Public Elections Regulations, 2016; CI.94  which is a part of public elections.

The plaintiffs, who cited the Attorney General as one of the defendants, want a declaration that “upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 49 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 1992, the ballots to be cast pursuant to Regulation 23(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9) and (10) of the Public Elections Regulations, 2016; CI.94 by special voters in the December, 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections, ought to be counted and announced there and then on the date(s) of the special voting by the presiding officers and the results at each polling station before communicating same to the returning officer.”

They want a further declaration that “Regulation 23(11) of Public Elections Regulations, 2016; CI.94 is inconsistent with Article 49 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”

Public Elections Regulations
The plaintiffs are requesting for a further order to strike down “Regulation 23(11) of Public Elections Regulations, 2016; CI.94 as being in contravention of Article 49(2),(3)(a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, and therefore unconstitutional,” as well as another  “order directed at 1st defendant to comply with the provisions of Article 49(2), (3)(a) and (b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana in respect of special voting for the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections and any subsequent public election in the Republic of Ghana.”

Special Voting Day
In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs aver that the EC has set aside a day for special voters for the December elections to vote prior to the day set aside as polling day as directed by Regulation 23(4) of C.I. 94. The commission has received applications from voters intending to vote as special voters and further set aside a date for them to vote before December 7.

“It is plaintiffs’ respectful contention that the ‘special voting’ procedure and provisions thereof are part of the ‘public election’ provided for at Article 49 of the Constitution, in the following words and is therefore subject to all constitutional injunctions relating to counting of votes, recording of votes cast, signing by polling agents and announcement of the results  at the polling station before communication of same to the returning officer.”

The plaintiffs posit, “All that Regulation 23(11) of C.I. 94 does is that it places itself above Article 49 of the Constitution and tramples on its provisions thereof with utmost impunity.”

EC Communication
They claim that C.I. 94 is subject to the constitution and is provided for in Article 1(2) and added that in the instant action, the conduct of the EC in communicating its intention pursuant to CI 94 not to declare the results of the special voting for the 2016 elections until polling day is unconstitutional in the light of the provisions of Article 49 of the Constitution.

High Stakes
The plaintiffs assert that the stakes in the December general election “are too high to leave matters of the nature which form the basis of this suit the way they are.” They point out, “The issue of special votes and where they would be kept until polling day without any tampering with same before same are added to the ballots cast on polling day for counting is likely to trigger yet another election petition.”

“To brazenly let any provision of C.I. 94 regarding special voting override Article 94 of the Constitution, in the name of an unprovable fear of victimisation of special voters is to assert that in spite of the strides made in over 20 years of constitutionalism, we still creep at the repercussions of our legitimate democratic choices,” the plaintiffs argued, adding, “Security officers vote for and against governments or opposition parties during elections. No fetish should be made about this fact.”


By William Yaw Owusu,with reports from Vincent Kubi, Ada; Daniel Y. Dayee, Sunyani; Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi; Eric Kombat, Tamale & I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi
Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Mahama-led NDC government’s promise to build 200 community day senior high schools (SHSs) before the end of 2016 is beginning to haunt the ruling party as the December 7 general election hits a homestretch.

The major campaign promise is becoming more of propaganda than reality as reports from the regions indicate non-existent of the school projects, eroding the credibility of the government.

President John Mahama on September 5 admitted during the commissioning of one of the newly-built schools at Abodom in the Central Region that he could not complete all the 200 community day schools he promised before his first term ends.

President Mahama who is feverishly campaigning for a second term had promised in 2012 that 200 schools would be built across the country.

Realising that the 200 was too high, he later changed the figures to 123, saying that he could complete all the 123 before the December 7 general election but many of the projects have been stalled. While some have not been started at all, a few had been commissioned by the president.

He said at Abodom in the Agona East District that “In my next term of office (from 2017), by the grace of God, we will complete all the 200 new senior high schools that I promised,” explaining, “As I said, currently, 123 are under construction, and that means that the Central Region will receive additional secondary schools among the remaining over 70 schools that we shall build.”

But, the reports from the regions paint a different picture, indicating that the president might have been misinformed about the reality on the ground.
Most of the schools have not taken off due largely to lack of bud to support the construction.

Ablakwa Contradictions
However, the utterances of Deputy Minister of Education Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on the construction of the schools nationwide as promised by President Mahama is giving some sections of the public calls to suspect the government has something to hide.

He has been making contradictory statements in the media since the debate on whether the government is capable of completing the projects on time came up.

Green Book
On page 15 of the NDC’s propaganda-induced Green Book, the ruling party claimed that a $156 million Secondary Education Improvement Programme (SEIP) being sponsored by the World Bank “has been launched and is progressing.”

They stated that under the programme, there will be:
Financing for the construction of 23 community day SHS, improvement in quality and facilities in 175 existing SHS, provision of scholarships to 10,400 needy students 2,300 of whom had already been awarded; and capacity building for 6,500 people as well as mathematics, science and ICT teachers and leadership training for secondary school heads.

Completed Projects
As at June, the Mahama-led government had completed and commissioned less than 20 out of the 200 community day SHSs it promised and the World Bank was sponsoring 23 of them, with the rest being financed by the government of Ghana.

Most of the commissioned schools were the World Bank-funded ones, while the Ghana government ones are struggling for completion because of unavailability of funds – the reason the president cannot fulfill his campaign promise of 200 schools – which has been pegged at 70 by Okudzeto Ablakwa.

Cost of Projects
Interestingly, the NDC government has not yet been able to tell Ghanaians the actual cost of each of the completed schools, not to talk of the entire 200.

In March 2014, when President Mahama amid NDC fanfare, cut the sod for the construction of the first 50 schools; as part of a total of 200 new community day senior high schools to be built across the country, he had insisted all the 50 was going to be completed before the December 7 elections.

Later at another function, Okudzeto Ablakwa confirmed that “there are ten ready, the Ministry of Education has to set the date (for the inauguration). We are building 123 as at now at various stages of completion. Some of them the sites have been handed over, they’ve started the profiling, but the early ones that we started, many of them are in advanced stages of completion.”

“So although we promised 200, we have 123 ongoing, many of them will be ready before elections. We are not waiting to finish all before we populate the schools and so as we are finishing the schools and we are handing over to the Ministry of Education, we are putting the children to school,” he added.

Ablakwa List
On Septemebr 29, after months of confusion on the existence of the number of community senior high schools actually completed, Okudzeto Ablakwa issued a statement claiming that the 123 schools had all been awarded on contract and were at various stages of the project completion.

Strangely, he released the list without indicating which ones had actually been completed and those at the various stages of completion.

Media Interviews
He was captured in a national newspaper recently as saying that 42 of community day SHSs are ready to open for admissions in the current 2016/2017 academic year.

He said 10 had already been inaugurated, while two (Agric Nzema Day SHS in the Ashanti Region and Nemonwora Day SHS in the Agona East District of the Central Region) will be inaugurated very soon and also said that 30 were at various stages of completion and would be done by October. We are in October and the signs are not good as the schools may not be able to admit students because those that have been completed have no teaching and learning materials as well as teaching and non-teaching staff.

Ablakwa was also quoted as saying that nine out of the remaining 30 will be completed before September ends and the remaining 21 will be completed before October ends.

Interestingly, On September 4, this same minister was on Citi FM saying he believes that about 70 of the schools will be ready to admit fresh students in the current academic year and this even contradicted President John Mahama’s 123 schools.

This raises questions that, in effect, only 42 schools may be ready by the end of the year to admit students, even that there are doubts.

Western Region
President Mahama has been able to commission only one out of the 13 schools that the government promised the people of Western Region so far. The commissioning was done at Bamiankor in the Nzema East Municipality (No. 46 on Okudzeto Ablakwa’s list).

At Whindo near Asakae in the Kwesimintsim Constituency at Sekondi Takoradi in the Western Region (No. 100 on the list), the land is lying fallow as there is no activity over there, not even a signpost announcing the project yet Okudzeto Ablakwa listed it as one of the schools which is at ‘various stages of completion.”

When DAILY GUIDE visited the community, it was revealed that there was no such project going on in the area. 

A former assembly member for the area indicated that the project was actually taking place at Whindo, about 15 minutes’ drive from Asakae. 

When DAILY GUIDE got to Whindo, it was raining heavily but the residents were eager to speak with the paper.
Some of the residents claimed that it was not true that the project was at any stage of completion. 

“In fact, we have heard that such a project is coming to Whindo but the truth is that the assembly has now acquired the land and had not even finished paying compensation to those whose farm produce are on it. No project has started on it,” the residents told DAILY GUIDE

Not more than three of the 16 schools promised the people of Brong-Ahafo Region have been commissioned. At Danyame in the Dormaa Central Municipality, the contractor had abandoned the project and left the half building to the mercy of the weather.

The project at Krobo in Techiman Municipality is almost completed as the building is receiving its final facelift when DAILY GUIDE visited, but in many other areas where the projects have been sited, there is either little work or no action at all.

Ashanti Region
Out of the 13 schools promised the Ashanti Region, four are said to have been completed, while eight are uncompleted and but the one at Manfo in Ahafo Ano North (No 52 on the list) has not started at all, yet Okudzeto Ablakwa is saying it is being done.

Easter Region
In the Eastern Region, the NDC government promised 13, but not more than one has been reportedly been commissioned.

At Abomosu in the Atiwa District (No 67 on the list), the site has been demarcated behind the Presby School JSS but there is no action over there. The Abomosu story is similar to that of many other projects in the region which are in limbo.

The contractor is said to be chasing money to undertake the job.

Central Region
In the Central Region, not more than three of the 13 schools promised have been commissioned.

Those officially commissioned by President Mahama include Abodom in Agona West (No. 20) and Ekumfi Otuam (No. 21) respectively.

Diaso in the Upper Denkyira West District (No. 19) is almost completed. However, at Kobina Ansa in Mfantsiman (No. 61) for instance, the designated land is covered by weed and there don’t seem to be any activity.

Volta Region
In the Volta Region, the NDC government promised the people 12 schools but not more than three have been officially commissioned.

At Avenorpeme in Akatsi South (No. 41), the project is almost completed, the one at Nkwata South (No. 43) has been commissioned but some parts of the building, according to media reports, are defective.

The Agblekpui project in Ketu South (No. 94) is halfway done, while the Damanko project in Nkwanta North (No. 42) is progressing, but also not completed.
At Kwamekrom-Abornukope in the Biakoye District, the school was inaugurated by the president, while in Abuadi & Tsrefe in the Adaklu, there is an appreciable progress, but in Ziope in the Avetime District, the buildings are now being raised.

Greater Accra
In the Greater Accra Region where the Mahama-led NDC government promised to build 10 schools, not a single one has been commissioned.

For instance, at Teshie in the Ledzokuku Krowor Municipal Assembly (LEKMA), Accra (No. 71), a giant billboard has been erected with the photographs of President Mahama and the MP for the area, Benita Okiti Dua, but there is nothing on site.

At Ada East District, the site for the school project has been located between Ashigbekope, Kpodokope and Kasseh (No. 73), but there is absolutely no ongoing construction at its site at Koluedor. 

The school is nowhere to be found, as there is no site for the project in the area because the leadership of the area are at loggerheads with each other over the location of the school.

Information gathered by DAILY GUIDE indicated that the former DCE wanted the school to be built in his village in Koluedor, as the MP for Sege, Christian Corleytey Otuteye, wanted it done at Agblabanya with the community, including the chiefs have also made their request for the school to be built in between Goe and Agblabanya.

The above misunderstanding had led the area to be without a site for the project to construct the school.

At Ashaiman where the school is located at Community 22, the project is at roofing level, but the administration block is yet to commence and plastering on the building has also not started.

In Tema Metropolis at Lashibi (No. 72), there is positive progress even though there is still more work to be done on the building, but at the Kpone Katamanso (No. 110), the building is at the foundation stage.

Northern Region
The president promised 14 schools for Northern Region and the government is yet to commence construction in majority of the lands reserved for the projects.

At Nasia (No. 78), the land remains fallow even though the people were told the school was going to be built within eight months.

 A visit by DAILY GUIDE to the area revealed that the project has been abandoned and left unattended to, and it has been covered by weeds.

The assemblyman for the area, Alhassan Salifu, told DAILY GUIDE that Nasia and its surrounding communities have had their hopes dashed by the failure of the members of parliament (MPs) and the contractor’s inability to start the building of the community day senior high school.

In a phone interview with DAILY GUIDE, the contractor of the project, Stephen Okutah, said, “Honestly, we started something on the site, we laid the pipes and cleared the land but later the funds were not flowing. We were later told to continue with the project if we have money and we don’t have money.”
Upper East
Few of the 11 schools for Upper East promised by the Mahama-led government are all at different stages of completion, but construction is yet to take place in majority of the sites.

Construction has started on the site for Gambigo Community SHS (No. 85) located at Zuarungu in Bolgatanga East Municipality and a similar situation at Bongo Azeem-Namoo (No. 87) in the Bongo District, but they are all yet to be completed.

Upper West
The president promised eight schools for Upper West, but there is no indication that any of them has been commissioned.

Majority of the projects have either been abandoned or at early stages of construction, with some no action at all due to non-release of cash.

Monday, October 24, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, October 24, 2016

Opinions continue to be divided over President John Mahama’s challenge thrown at his opponent, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for a debate before the crucial December 7 general election.

President Mahama, whose National Democratic Congress (NDC) party has always resisted any attempt to get him into a presidential debate, is suddenly claiming he is ever ready to go into a one-on-one debate specifically against Nana Akufo-Addo, standard bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Strangely, the NDC had rejected one-on-one debate proposed by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) - the think-tank with track record for organizing presidential debates.

However, the NPP, without mincing words, has said it would not let Nana Akufo-Addo debate a ‘flip-flop’ president who has exhibited inconsistencies in policy direction, including debates.

According to Mustapha Hamid, spokesperson for the NPP flag bearer, President Mahama’s sudden u-turn for a debate exposes the ‘insincerity’ of the NDC government as well as the president’s own ‘indecisive’ nature.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that the NDC has suddenly woken up to the reality that it is losing the December elections and therefore, need the debate to bolster its image.

South Africa Connection
The NDC is said to have recently contracted some experts from South Africa to conduct surveys after its internal as well as Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) polls had predicted massive defeat for the ruling party.

The South African report was reportedly not palatable and concluded that the president needed image-boosting programmes like debates to shore up the NDC’s dwindling support and that appeared to be the main reason why President Mahama has developed a sudden appetite for debates.

A senior lecturer at the Political Science Department, University of Ghana, Legon, Dr. Evans Aggrey-Darko, said last week on radio that although debates shape Ghana’s democracy better, it was too late for one before the general election.

IEA Platform
For a couple of years, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has been the reputable organization that is in the business of organising presidential debates; but the NDC, having participated in previous editions, inexplicably said it was no longer going to be part of this year’s contest which should have taken place by now.

On June 21, 2016, the NDC served notice that none of its candidates would participate in any debate organised by the IEA ahead of the general election, citing biases.

NDC Boycott
A statement by the party stated that the “NDC has, at its Functional Executive Committee (FEC) meeting on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, decided not to participate in any debate to be organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) as far as it is related to the 2016 General Election. All Party Structures (especially the Youth and Women's wings), are to take note and comply accordingly.”

The NDC had earlier raised red flags over the IEA’s decision to hold a separate debate for flag bearers of the two leading political parties - NPP and NDC.

With the IEA not likely to organize any presidential debate before December 7, there has been speculations over who or which institution is capable of staging a similar one for the candidates as being demanded by President Mahama.

Sources say if the NPP accepts the bait, NDC will then push for the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) to organize it, claiming that it is a national body, even though the NCCE is currently cash-strapped with the landlord allegedly threatening to eject it from its (NCCE’s) rented offices.

Joy FM’s Proposal
DAILY GUIDE learnt that after the NDC had rejected the IEA platform, Joy FM was said to have suggested that it was ready to partner GTV to stage one, which the NDC rubbished, describing the popular private radio station as ‘regime changers.’

Unfortunately for the NDC, the Joy FM idea came at a time President Mahama’s Ford gift issue was raging and the ruling party quickly shot the proposal down.
Sources said that Joy FM is trying to revive the debate following the desire by President Mahama that he wants to debate Nana Akufo-Addo and his (Akufo-Addo’s) running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on key issues of the economy.

NDC & NCCE Alliance
A DAILY GUIDE source says the NDC wants the NCCE to organize the debate where it (NDC) would have the chance to pull strings behind the scenes, but the NPP says it is even too late for such an exercise.

Bawumia’s Counter-Attack
Nana Akufo-Addo is yet to comment personally on the President’s request but Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has already fired a riposte asking President Mahama to take his debate to the ordinary Ghanaian whose life his government continues to render hopeless.

At Sangban in the Tatale-Sanguli Constituency of the Northern Region, Dr. Bawumia said, “Today John Mahama says he wants a debate on the economy. Now I want to challenge him to come to Sangban and debate with the people of Sangban on the economy; he should tell the people of Sangban what he has done for them in the last eight years – four years as vice president and four years as president.

"He should tell the people of Northern Ghana what he did with the SADA money; he should go and debate with businesses that have collapsed because of dumsor; he should debate with farmers who cannot buy fertilizers because of his policies. He should go and debate with businessmen who cannot access loans because of high interest rates.”

170 Questions
Dr Bawumia underscored, “The president should go and debate with the people of Ghana who are suffering. That is where the real debate is. When I presented my last lecture on the economy, I presented facts and figures. I made 170 statements at least in that lecture. Now instead of responding to that lecture, he and his vice president are running away from those facts.”

"If they want a debate on the economy, they should start with responding to those 170 facts in my lecture. They don’t want to because they cannot. They cannot stand the truth, they cannot stand the facts,” he noted.

 “The president says he likes evidence, which shows that since 2000 his tenure as president from 2012 to 2016, he has been the worst performing president in terms of Ghana’s economy; that is the evidence, as I showed in my recent lecture,” Dr Bawumia posited.


By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, October 24, 2016

President John Mahama has admitted that the rigorous campaigning is taking a toll on him.

Mr. Mahama, who is seeking re-election, said last Friday that the campaign had been stressful and that had made him catch cold, adding that his ‘melodiuos voice’ had been affected.

“This evening if you don’t hear my usual melodious voice, it’s because the stress of the campaign has affected me and I am nursing a cold. I guess I will be fine. I took a day off the campaign trail to attend to some businesses in Accra,” he said at the launch of a special edition of the Ovation lifestyle magazine in Accra.

“First, to attend the funeral of somebody who has been like a mother to me, very interested in my progress in my career – Dr Mrs Mary Grant. I wish her farewell! And also to be here with you this evening for the launch of my good friend, Dele Momodu’s special edition of the Ovation,” President Mahama claimed. Mr Momodu is the Chief Executive of the Ovation magazine.  

He (Mahama) said that he contracted his ‘good friend’ to do the special edition for him when he was approached by the Nigerian politician.

The Ovation magazine produced a special edition displaying President Mahama and his NDC government’s works and capped it with an interview of the president.

The magazine, which is mainly circulated in Nigeria, had to be launched in Ghana in a move many saw as a fundraising exercise for the publisher, Dele Momodu, a failed Nigerian presidential hopeful.

Mr Dele Momodu has not hidden his admiration for the president and is always in the media urging Ghanaians to give Mr. Mahama a second term in office.

“I was touched by some of the things he said (regarding government’s achievements) because these were coming from the eyes of somebody who would not typically be considered as part of our partisan politics or even let’s say not a Ghanaian, and so it puts things in more context for me,” President Mahama said of Dele Momodu at the launch on Friday.

According to President Mahama, it was Dele Momodu who told him that his (NDC) government was not telling its success stories and that he (Dele Momodu) wanted to project them.

“Later, I was contacted by Ovation magazine and they said they wanted to do a special coverage of some of the work I have been doing because ‘you (government) are not telling your story enough’ and it is true,” the president underscored.

He added, “One of the things we have not been good is telling our own story, probably because of the nature of who we are – not boastful and also believing that Ghanaians naturally know the work we are doing without you trumpeting it – and so I readily agreed to grant the interview.”

The president backtracked after blaming a so-called cabal in the media who he claimed had been blocking messages that should have gotten to the people. He accused his party people of not being able to tell his success story to Ghanaians.

According to him, a certain group of people have taken control of the Ghanaian media and are standing in the way of the delivery of his government’s message.

However, Mr Mahama appears to have eaten back his own words by turning to blame the NDC party and government for not being good at telling their own stories.

Defending Dele Momodu’s stance on Ghana’s affairs, the president described Ghanaians as people who are unable to accept criticisms, saying, “I follow Dele Momodu on his Twitter handle and I know the criticisms that he comes under for speaking positively about myself or my government.

“That is one of the developments in our politics. It is most unpleasant. We can’t take criticisms, we can’t take news that is positive about somebody we don’t like, and so we have a lot of insults on social media and actually detract from the issues. Instead of dealing mainly with the issues, those people rather take the route of trading insults.

“But one of the things Dele has, and I wish I develop, is that he has a thick skin and he has a very calm way of responding to criticisms that are thrown at him. And so, I have been following him and learning how to respond to criticisms. I won’t wake up at 3am and tweet to respond to any criticism. I admire his calmness and the way he responds to criticisms.”

Sunday, October 23, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday, October 23, 2016

The Police Administration has suddenly sprung into action, inviting people who they consider to be making inciting comments that threaten the peace and stability of the country.

The police are currently on the heels of General Overseer of Glorious Word Power Ministry International, Rev Isaac Owusu Bempah and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Northern Regional Chairman, Daniel Bugri Naabu, for their alleged comments considered to be offensive, a move some people see as politically motivated.

The invitations were said to have been motivated by calls on the police by National Democratic Congress (NDC) activists in the Northern Region and Greater Accra region.

Prophet Owusu Bempah is alleged to have stated that some politicians were plotting to kill NPP flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

But he wonders why the police should consider such prophesy as a criminal offence.

He is also being invited because of supposed comments he made about a purported plot hatched by the Electoral Commission (EC) and the ruling NDC to rig this year’s elections for the party.

Rev. Owusu-Bempah is quoted to have said, “On Election Day, there will be a lot of gunshots at NPP strongholds and many will sustain injuries, while others will lose their lives. The NPP must beware!”

Bugri Naabu is being invited because he allegedly told NPP supporters at Savelugu that the party would deploy ‘macho men’ to all polling stations in the region to protect ballot boxes on December 7, warning that anybody who steals ballot box will be disciplined.

Rev Owusu-Bempah has been asked to report to the CID headquarters in Accra while Bugri Naabu is supposed to appear before the Northern Regional police CID in Tamale.

As at yesterday, he was said to be on a campaign tour.
“The police, National Security and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) never saw anything wrong when three notorious NDC activists sat on Montie FM, a pro-NDC radio station and threatened to ‘rape’ the Chief Justice and kill judges,” a top legal practitioner, who pleaded anonymity, said.

It took the Supreme Court justices to summon the three and jail them four months each for contempt.

However, after a month into their sentences, President Mahama remitted their sentences and they were released immediately, sparking public outrage.

Rev. Owusu Bempah remains adamant and has said that he would continue to protect Nana Akufo-Addo from harm through prayers as the astute politician prepares to contest for president.

He cautioned the NPP flag bearer to watch his movements when he visits the Volta Region where he is scheduled to campaign next week.

 “People are planning to kill him there. God has revealed to me. I will not sit down for anyone to kill Nana Addo. God has revealed to me the plots against him by some individuals but that won’t happen under my watch,” he told Neat FM in Accra yesterday.

He said he was ready to honour the invitation by the police, adding that “together with my lawyers, we will go to the police. If they want us to go into the spiritual realm, we will.”

In the ensuing debate, one Yeboah Boateng, an NDC communicator, during a political talk-show on Hot FM in Accra hosted by Isaac Boamah Darko, accused Rev Owusu-Bempah of hiring people to assassinate Nana Akufo-Addo and then turn round to blame it on the flag bearer’s opponents.

Reverend Owusu-Bempah, reacting on the programme, rubbished the NDC man’s claim, before describing him as a fool.

“If he is not careful God’s power will strike him,” he warned.

On Thursday ASP Joseph Benefo Darkwa, PRO of the CID, was hopping from one media house to another to get the recording of Rev. Owusu-Bempah to enable the police respond to the threat on Nana Akufo-Addo’s life.

COP Tetteh Yohunu, Director-General in-charge of Operations, later confirmed on radio that the police had indeed invited the fiery man of God, stating that the comments suggested there was no police institution in the country and that citizens could take the law into their own hands.

"The police have called him to come and explain his action. When you dare people, you want to take over as if there is no security,” he said, adding, “We will not sit down for somebody to make statements that could affect the security of this country.”

Friday, October 21, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Friday, October 20, 2016

The debate over the actual number of Community Day Senior High Schools ready for admissions has intensified as Mahama’s National Democratic Congress (NDC) government continues to give conflicting figures.

It started with a promise by President John Mahama to build 200 Community SHSs before the December 7 general election; then the figure dropped to 123 before being reduced further to 70 and finally to 42.

Apart from the conflicting figures, most of the schools are yet to take off with lands allocated for the projects lying bare. 

President Mahama announced that 42 of the schools will be ready for admission by the end of October to coincide with the commencement of the 2016/2017 academic year; and his Education Minister, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, has confirmed that they have been completed and were ready for admissions.

Deputy Minister in-charge of Tertiary Education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, recently released a list of 123 Community Day SHSs which he said were at various stages of completion but could not mention which ones had been completed and commissioned by the president so far.

Interestingly, construction works had not commenced in majority of the schools he claimed were at various stages of completion.

Many of the sites designated for the projects are empty while in other places some of the buildings were either at foundation or lintel levels.

Inaugurating a third Community Day SHS at Kwamekrom in the Biakoye District of the Volta Region last Monday, President Mahama said, “By the end of October, 42 of these schools will be ready, and I have asked the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to go ahead and populate the schools for this academic year.

“That is at the start of this academic year, 42 of the schools will be ready and we expect that by the end of the year, about 70 of them will be ready.”
The president on September 5, 2016, admitted that he could not complete all the 200 community day schools he promised Ghanaians in his first term in office.

He had promised that 123 schools were under construction and said that he could complete all of them before the December 7 general election, confirming skeptics’ perception on the grandiose promise.

 “In my next term of office (from 2017), by the grace of God, we will complete all the 200 new senior high schools that I promised,” he said, adding, “As I said, currently, 123 are under construction, and that means that the Central Region will receive additional secondary schools among the remaining over 70 schools that we shall build,” he stated during the inauguration of the Abodoman Community Day Senior High School in the Agona East District of the Central Region.

Okudzeto Ablakwa had said in late September that 10 of the schools had already been inaugurated while two (Agric Nzema Day SHS in the Ashanti Region and Nemonwora Day SHS in the Agona East District) will be inaugurated very soon.

He had said that 30 were at various stages of completion and would be ready by October, which is almost ending.

He had also said that nine out of the remaining 30 would be completed before September ended and the remaining 21 would be done before October ends.

Interestingly, on September 4, this same minister was on Citi FM saying he believed that about 70 of the schools would be ready to admit fresh students in the current academic year; and this even contradicted President John Mahama’s initial 123 schools.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, October 20, 2016

Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, has said that he will not contemplate a vote for the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) - not even his corpse.

Mr. Baako, who has never hidden his disdain for the NDC, said yesterday that it had never crossed his mind to give the NDC his vote.

"I don’t vote NDC. My corpse will not even vote for them. It’s true!” he said on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ programme - where he is a regular panelist every Wednesday - insisting that his vote goes for NPP’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Responding to a bait by colleague panelist and NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for La Dadekotopon, Nii Amasah Namoale, to vote for the ruling party on December 7, Mr. Baako retorted, “It can never happen. My conscience, my conviction, my commitment will not allow me to vote NDC.”

He admitted that he has ‘great’ friends in the NDC, including President John Mahama, but stressed that “it’s unfortunate, I can’t do that. It’s a matter of principle.”

Media Cabal
Mr. Baako’s comment is coming at a time President Mahama has been complaining that the media are being controlled by a cabal that is blocking his message of transformation ahead of the December polls.

President Mahama told Ovation magazine owned by a Nigerian politician who does not hide his preference for the president that a certain group of people he could not name had taken control of the Ghanaian media space and were blocking his government’s message.

He posited, “It is populism, a certain group has taken control of the media in Ghana and it makes it difficult for people to discern the truth. So as much as you are putting out the information, it is either being blocked or distorted.”

Media proliferation
Curiously, powerful personalities with strong ties the Mahama administration, including ministers of state, are the ones behind the proliferation of media outlets, particularly radio and television stations, and other online platforms in the country and some analysts are expressing surprise at the president’s outburst, indicating that he might not be doing what Ghanaians expect of him.

The president contested allegations that he had failed to crack the whip on his ministers and appointees - especially the corrupt ones - and said he had acted on every allegation of misconduct.

 “We have 300 FM stations in this country. We have 70 newspapers or so; we have all kinds of media. All kinds of media raise allegations against office holders. I cannot on the basis of every allegation that is raised take action. It means I will change my cabinet so many times if I acted on every single allegation.

“For every allegation that is made, I have said I will consider the accusation seriously; we will investigate and if those allegations are substantial that require that I take action against a minister, I will do so. And I have done that in several cases. I have changed ministers,” he claimed.

Economic situation
On the economic hardship affecting Ghanaians, President Mahama said, “We have heard the complaints and it is the very reason that we are doing all that we are doing so that the people will live a better life. Honestly, if you do not build the infrastructure, unemployment will get worse because you need to build a certain foundation upon which the economy can grow and create the jobs that you want.”

Ghana’s Debt
He dismissed reports that his government is incurring huge debts and insisted that Ghana’s debt profile had rather reduced under his administration.

“If you look at the facts, it is absolutely untrue that we are incurring debts because post HIPC Ghana had a debt write-off. But if you look at the period from 2006 until 2008, under the NPP government, they virtually doubled the debt again after it had been written off. We will release what the debt figures were from independence till now. We will show the structure to Ghanaians. Our debt profile is currently $24 billion, and in total that is dollar and cedi debt, GH¢104 billion.

As at June 2016, the debt profile had risen to GH¢110 billion from GH¢9.5 billion inherited from the previous Kufuor administration.

“But if you look carefully at the graph, our debt profile is declining and that is because we have now put in place a public debt management strategy.

Before, any state-owned enterprise that borrowed money, it was added unto the public debt, but what we have done now is to create a Public Debt Management Strategy that says that state-owned enterprises must borrow off their own balance sheets,” he argued.