Africa

VOTERS REGISTRATION AND THE IMPORTANCE OF LEADERSHIP GOING INTO THIS YEARS ELECTION.

A forty-two minutes conversation on GN Radio this morning was the Executive Director for Kandifo Institute, Palgrave Boakye- Danquah on topics related to the voter registration and importance of leadership in this year’s election. Beginning his interview, the host inquired his view on the Presidential address to the Nation on 16th August 2020, where the Electoral Commission was applauded by the President for a clean job done during the voter registration. Mr. Boakye- Danquah commended the Electoral Commission for their mob up exercise and giving Ghanaians a credible voter register. He argued that a country with about thirty-one million people cannot have a population of roughly twenty million people above eighteen years. Statistically, if the old voter register was going to be in use, it means Ghana has two-thirds of its population above eighteen and cannot be.  The old voter register, which had about 16.6 million people would have risen to about 20 million people if additional names were introduced. However, the new register has about 16.9 million names and this shows that the Electoral Commission has done a credible job.

The GN Radio host then asked; what can be done to ensure that the work done by the EC does not go vain. The Executive Director of the Institute replied saying, “…citizens must be involved, engaged, interested, take development into their own hands and ensure that in exercising their civil rights, they should not introduce other persons that do not live in the country, do not understand the country, do not have the DNA of the country or do not contribute to the country. They should be more patriotic and lift up the patriotic agenda…” The host wanting to know more on how development can be taken into hands by citizens, Mr. Boakye- Danquah added that effective governance is the marriage between the ruling and the ruled. It is a journey which needs a moral involvement, a constant stakeholder involvement or engagement. Effective governance is a collective agenda and both citizens and the leader must know that none of them can thrive independently. Given the opportunity to speak on the Ghana Elections Watch project, Palgrave Boakye- Danquah said the data-driven website gives facts and figures from the 1992 Elections to date and analysis on voting trends, where to focus on, floating areas and others. The database includes manifestos from the various political parties as well.

Mr. Boakye- Danquah says he is unfolding conversations on governments to be allowed to go beyond serving for two-terms but rather three-terms. This means that a political party under the same flagbearer can run three times and get elected into office; twelve years in total for an elected individual to steer the affairs of the country. He believes a credible, globally respected, goal-driven leader and one who brings conversations of the deprived-on board should be allowed the lead the country. Adducing a family setting where there are less resources per available heads, the elderly son, who is tried and tested and has proven faithful would undoubtedly be given the available resources because there is a brighter future for all as compared to an aberrant son. He added that people with audacious visions should come up front because we need actors and not comedians as a country. Desire and passion driven individuals, who are burdened with the state of the country, people with great foresight and are determined to see the country move on are the ones who should participate in the elections. All others who think they stand a chance and are not well prepared should fall back and head institutions and businesses with about 200 persons not a country with over thirty million people.

Ending his conversations on GN Radio, Palgrave Boakye- Danquah added that the potential opening of boarders by the President is a good call and that citizens should comply to the safety protocols COVID-19 has left the world with. Though there would be no wearing of face masks, citizens should wash hands regularly and disinfect their surroundings frequently. He concluded by pleading with all political institutions to educate electorates on how to vote because there is a noticeable rise of rejected ballots every electioneering year.

Running Up To December 2020 General Elections

Background

We are 5 (five) months away from the next general elections scheduled for 7th December 2020 and, as usual, the duopoly in Ghanaian political arena enjoyed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is at a crescendo as far as new impressions to the electorate are concerned.

Together, these 2 main political parties have administered our country’s affairs for 42 (forty-two) years; NDC has ruled us for 27 years (including 11 years under PNDC, 8 years for Rawlings and 8 years for the late Prof. J E. Atta Mills and ex-President Mr. J. D Mahama. NPP has also ruled us for 15 years (including 3 years for the late Prime Minister, Prof. K. A Busia, 8 years for President J. A Kufuor and Nana Addo’s 4 years running up to December 2020).

Prior to the duopoly, Nkrumah and his CPP ruled Ghana for 9 (nine) years plus the 10 years of Military rules; NLC’s 3 years and National Redemption and Supreme Military Councils’ 7 years, and President Hila Liman and his PNP, 2 years.

This summary gives us a total of 63 years that equates to our independence from Great Britain 63 years ago (1957 to 2020). As a nation, Ghana has not made the requisite progress that would befit an independent country which was supposed to be “capable of running its own affairs” as declared by Nkrumah on Ghana’s attainment of independence on 6th March 1957.

Of the 10 ten administrations listed above, it is only our first administration led by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his Convention People’s Party (CPP) that made significant progress in the land within only 9 years (1957 to1966) in governance and which – exponentially, 54 years on – could have developed Ghana to the likes of Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam. Key among Nkrumah’s major developmental achievements are the Hydro-Electric project, creating the model township of Tema, the first of its kind in West Africa then, the introduction of Ghana Airways, Black Star (Shipping) Line, establishment of 2 (two) major Universities, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Cape Coast and several manufacturing establishments under the Ghanaian Industrial Holding Corporation (GIHOC).

Ending the Duopoly in Ghana’s politics

A new wave of political sanitisation must be invoked to stop the continuing duopoly in our political climate by ushering in a serious and reformist political party such as the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) that ranks third in Ghana’s political arena, to contribute its reformist agenda for change so as to broaden Ghana’s horizons towards the achievement of economic growth through full employment to improve the quality of lives and well-being of the citizenry.

We of the PPP do not seek to conform ourselves to the standards of the NDC and NPP. Instead, our agenda for change shall bring with it the eradication of the endemic parochialism, ethnocentrism, and tribal sentiments in the country that by extension, has led to institutionalised corruption that has resulted at the expense of the majority. The creation of a wide gap between the rich and the poor because all our efforts have been undertaken for the purpose of enabling a few persons to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor majority. Plato has intimated that, and I quote “if you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools”

Manifesto Promises

The NDC/NPP have started spasmodic general election campaigns with snippets of new promises and assurances ahead of publishing their manifestos. In our usual excitement, we have consistently overlooked to hold our governments accountable for previous manifesto promises that won them votes to govern us in the first place. Traditionally, those manifestos get undelivered, but our society easily let bygones become bygones and start on a clean slate because the old and bigger political parties have tested the nerves of the Ghanaian voter who “gives all to God” and rather focuses on the forthcoming general election.

This time we must punish the sycophants by voting against them. Ghana has endured failed and undeliverable Manifesto assurances by both NPP and NDC for 28 (twenty-eight) years in this fourth republic and the political parties have gotten away unpunished with many unfulfilled promises. PPP believes in under-promising and over-delivering of manifesto assurances. Surely, that is the way forward for yet our under-developed country for all those years that we have gained political independence.

The time is apt to sponsor the introduction of a Legislative Instrument in Parliament to oblige incumbent governments to report to the nation on their manifesto promises as to delivery and non -delivery by the end of September in each election year, listing out the promises that have been fully delivered and those that have not been delivered and the reasons for non-delivery? That way, future manifesto promises shall be made with reasonable caution in the best interests of the nation and that would be the only way to put our shoulders on the wheels on our path to development.

Continuation of uncompleted projects by previous administrations

Prior to 2016 general elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the then NPP Presidential candidate assured the people of Ghana that his government, God-willing, from January 2017, will not abandon any project on the basis that “it was started by a political opponent.” As assuring as it was then in 2016, so shall we expect this undertaking to be honoured during NPP’s tenure of office. However, in the interest of our nation it would only be fair for us to consider sponsoring a Legislative Instrument (as indicated above) to oblige future governments to continue and finish uncompleted projects inherited from previous administrations before embarking on new projects.

Legislation against False and undeliverable Campaign Promises

The trend whereby political parties of over-promise and under-deliver their own manifesto promises has gone on for an awful long time and running up to 2020 elections, the Progressive People’s Party is drawing attention to this debacle and calling on the people of Ghana to stand firm with us to promulgate the legislative instrument necessary to bring to an end the despicable practice whereby we support dishonest political parties that habitually cheat the nation and get away with it just because no one calls them to order. This time I am appealing to all political parties to subject themselves to “manifesto scrutiny” for our country to move ahead. Included in NPP’s 2016 manifesto promises to deliver one district, one factory and one village, one dam and guaranteeing $1miilion dollars for every district in the country among others was instrumental in getting the NPP elected to serve the nation. Even non-NPP folks voted for the NPP and that is why they won by a whopping 1 million votes. We therefore expect these 2016 manifesto promises to be delivered without excuses if our country should proceed to the “promised land” of economic emancipation.

Equal Opportunities for political parties in media platforms

As we prepare to mount the campaign trail, it is necessary for all political parties to be given equal media platforms, including pro-political party media houses, to deliver their messages to the people. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) must do away with their criteria for Presidential candidates taking part in their debates provided they have representation in parliament. In the case of my Party that is comparatively new; just 8 years old and working hard to win parliamentary seats this requirement disenfranchises us.

Service to Ghana must be paramount above all things and not satisfying IEA’s rule that is discriminatory. I am therefore calling on them (IEA) to reconsider including prospective Presidential candidates who have no representation in our parliament to take part in the debates. This stance of the Institute has the tendency of eliminating the otherwise much more credible candidates to lead our country into the future.

Time to Change direction

NDC and NPP have ruled our country for 42 (forty-two) years and we have not achieved much progress for these years by these two political parties, aside from performance evaluation and unnecessary comparisons between themselves as there is no third party to call them to order. There must be a change in direction by the electorate voting for Progressive Peoples’ Party (PPP) parliamentary candidates at the next general elections to ensure that there is a mouthpiece for the majority poorer in our society. Ghana deserves better with the massive mineral resources at our disposal. A few people in high positions within our governments, past and present are enriching themselves at the expense of the poor souls who vote them into governance.

As ex-President Kufuor once said, and on quote, “consider your situation before casting your vote”. May this wise saying guide us in our journey to the next general elections on 7th December 2020 to free our nation from oppressor’s rule.

Kit Yawson

Chairman

PPP UK & Ireland

London

Email: kitconvention@gmail.com

Nduom Slams GFA For Cancelling League

Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, the president and founder of Premier League side, Elmina Sharks, has slammed the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for terminating the 2019/20 football season without recourse to the club owners.

According to him the local football governing body had no locus to cancel the league without consulting the club owners and wondered why such a unilateral decision could be taken when the GFA was merely an administrative body.

“Who is this that is cancelling this league, and who is this that is considering the financial and the health impact of all of this?” he inquired during an interview with UK-based GN Radio and Channel 7 TV.

He noted that the FA should have contacted him first as a club owner before taking such a decision, but he was not involved during the decision-making, a practice he condemned.

“It is not the club owners, and strange enough in Ghana, it is not the club owners who are calling for the cancellation, and nobody called me as a club owner to ask me what is my opinion to be done.”

According to the businessman, football administrators were put in their positions by the clubs and do not invest anything into the game, and as such should not assume so much power to decide what should be done at any given time.

“We have people they’re calling as football administrators; a football administrator doesn’t have a penny or a pesewa in the game. Somebody who is elected by people we have employed to work for us cannot tell me, and shouldn’t be put in a position to tell me what I should and should not do,” he said.

Dr Ndoum, who was also the Presidential candidate for the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) during the 2016 general elections, also stated that the clubs were a private entity and knew how to run their business but it appeared government was interfering with their affairs this time around.

“It should not be up to government to tell a private enterprise what to do, except what the government is telling everybody else what to do.

 “It is about time that the people who have invested in football as private enterprises that we are should be the ones calling for the cancellation of football in Ghana, and that a league should be there that is owned, managed and controlled by those who have invested in football in Ghana.

“This is what happens in the UK and those administrators they’ve hired, they come and go, but it is the owners who make the decisions,” he noted.

“Owners of the big clubs in the English Premier League get together and they have a strong affiliation to help each other in terms of commercial, there’s nothing that stops Ghana from doing that same financial considerations.

“It is the owners who should have sat down to decide [whether] we can handle it this way or not, but nobody talked to us. I hear that there was a call among the managers of the teams but the managers that I have recruited and I pay cannot go and make decisions for me”, he stated.

Credit: GRAPHIC.COM

Prioritize The Health Of Ghanaians Over Elections – Nduom

The Founder of the Progressive People’s Party, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, has urged the government to prioritise the health of citizens over the need to conduct elections amid the threat of COVID-19.

Dr. Nduom noted that the December polls are essential to Ghana’s democracy but not at the expense of human lives.

“An election is something that if necessary, we can do without but we cannot do without the human being in Ghana,” he noted in an interview on GN Radio in the UK.

“What will profit anybody to do well in an election and find out that all the people are sick or the people are not doing well and businesses are collapsing and so on and so forth.”

“So we must first take care of the health of the people,” Dr. Nduom stressed

Ghana as of July 5, 2020 had recorded 20,085 cases of COVID-19 with 122 fatalities.

In addition, 14,870 persons have been discharged after treatment.

The Greater Accra Region has the most cases with 10,979, out of which 2,501 are active.

The ongoing voter registration exercise has been a point of contention with observers warning it will contribute to a spike in cases of the virus.

Some health professionals in the country have written to the Electoral Commission asking it to pause the ongoing voter registration exercise until safer ways of conducting the exercise are identified to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

According to them, suspending the exercise will help prevent needless deaths related to the virus in the country.

“Pause the mass registration, figure out safer ways of carrying it out and prevent Ghana from suffering potentially thousands of deaths or continue with the exercise in this form and be remembered by posterity as a leader who supervised an exercise that allowed for the loss of multiple lives,” the group said in its letter to the commission.

Source: CITI NEWSROOM

Joseph McCann guilty of sex attacks on 11 women and children

A man who carried out a string of sex attacks on 11 women and children across England over two weeks has been found guilty of 37 offences.

Joseph McCann’s victims were aged between 11 and 71 and included three women who were abducted off the street at knifepoint and repeatedly raped.

The 34-year-old also tricked his way into a woman’s home before tying her up and molesting her son and daughter.

McCann, of Harrow, was found guilty of offences including rape and kidnap.

The convicted burglar had been released from prison following a probation error in February before he embarked on a cocaine and vodka-fuelled rampage.

McCann’s “spree of sex attacks” started in Watford before moving to London, Greater Manchester and Cheshire over two weeks in April and May.

Hundreds of officers from five forces were deployed in the manhunt before he was finally caught while hiding in a tree.

Det Ch Insp Katherine Goodwin, who led the investigation, described him as “one of the most dangerous sex offenders the country has ever seen”.

Jo Farrar, chief executive of HM Prisons and Probation Service, “apologised unreservedly” for “failings” which led to McCann being released early, adding that “strong and immediate action” had been taken against those involved.

It can now be reported that four men and two women have been arrested on suspicion of assisting McCann while he was on the run from police following the initial attacks in London.

They have been released under investigation.

On 21 April, McCann grabbed a 21-year-old woman at knifepoint as she walked home from a nightclub in Watford.

She was bundled into a car and taken to a house where she was raped until being released later that morning.

Four days later, a 25-year-old woman was abducted as she walked home in Walthamstow, east London, just after midnight.

She was driven off in a car then repeatedly raped in a number of locations over 14 hours, including outside a school where McCann told her he “wanted to make her rape a child”.

Later the same day, and while still holding the woman prisoner, he snatched a 21-year-old woman in Edgware, north London, as she walked along the street with her sister. She suffered a similar fate to the 25-year-old woman.

The pair finally managed to escape when McCann drove to Watford, where he had booked a hotel room, and one of them hit him over the head with a vodka bottle before they fled to get help.

In the early hours of 5 May, McCann tricked his way into the home of a woman he had met in a bar in Greater Manchester.

Once inside, he tied her to a bed and molested her 11-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter, who he told “you are going to Europe tomorrow, you are mine”.

The girl, who said she feared becoming a “sex slave”, managed to escape by jumping naked from a window and alerted police.

At about 13:30 the same day, he pounced on a 71-year-old woman while she was loading shopping into her car outside a supermarket and abducted and raped her.

Three hours later he also abducted and assaulted a 13-year-old girl in the same car before both managed to get away at Knutsford service station.

At about 18:30 on 5 May, McCann abducted two 14-year-old girls after threatening to “chop them up with a machete”.

He was filmed at a garage buying condoms but was spotted by a police patrol who pursued him while the girls were inside the car.

After crashing into a Mercedes, he fled on foot, then caught a taxi.

The car was stopped at a police road block but he fled across a field and was finally caught in the early hours of 6 May.

The 12 jurors decided the fate of Joseph McCann without ever seeing him in the dock. Only once did he leave his prison cell for the Old Bailey – and that was to answer questions from the judge when the jury wasn’t there.

McCann opted out of court proceedings from the moment he was charged in May, refusing to appear before chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot.

Instead, in an unprecedented move, she travelled to Belmarsh Prison and convened the hearing there.

Before and during the trial, hours were wasted waiting for updates about McCann, with barristers and the judge in almost daily discussions about whether he would turn up and why he had not.

Letters were sent to his cell and prison officers were called to give evidence by videolink to confirm he had received them.

At one stage, McCann requested a four-week adjournment because he hadn’t had enough sleep.

Even towards the end, with the prosecution case nearly completed, the jury was kept waiting while McCann weighed up whether he was going to go in the witness box.

There were concerns about his health – he didn’t eat for days and threatened suicide – but the court’s main preoccupation was ensuring he had a fair trial and understood the process even though he chose to be absent from it.

However, in the face of overwhelming evidence, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that McCann was playing the system because that was the only option left open to him.

Presentational grey line

Scotland Yard believe McCann used contacts across the country to evade justice as he moved across five police force areas.

However, it has been revealed police forces involved in the hunt for McCann failed to share information, meaning he was not identified earlier.

On his arrest, McCann even told officers: “If you had caught me for the first two, the rest of this wouldn’t have happened.”

Hertfordshire Constabulary identified him the day after the first attack in Watford and added his name to the police national computer.

But the Met did not identify McCann as being involved in the two London attacks until 28 April after a call from a member of the public, despite them liaising with their Hertfordshire counterparts on 25 April.

McCann, who is facing a life sentence, is due to be sentenced on Monday.

After the verdicts were reached, the jury sent a note to the judge saying they wished to acknowledge the bravery of the victims and the hard work of the police forces involved.

The 34-year-old never appeared in court during the trial but was convicted of:

  • Ten counts of false imprisonment
  • Seven counts of rape
  • One count of rape of a child
  • Two counts of causing or inciting a person to engage in sexual activity without consent
  • Seven counts of kidnap
  • One count of attempted kidnap
  • Three counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity
  • Three counts of assault by penetration
  • One count of sexual assault
  • Two counts of committing a sexual offence with intent

Clifford Aboagye thankful to everyone for support during accident

Ghanaian midfielder Clifford Aboagye has spoken for the first time after being involved in a fatal crush while driving on the streets of Mexico.

He shared an update on events that took place last Sunday when his yellow Chevrolet saloon car was involved in a crush.

Through the Twitter account of his club, Querétaro they published a video of the Ghanian midfielder in which he thanked the people who worried about his health.

“I want to thank you very much for your messages. Yes I had an accident, but there was no physical damage to me, people, I feel very well, thank you all very much,” he said.