Friday, November 30, 2007

COPS FLEE ...As rampaging youth storm police station (Lead story)

Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

POLICEMEN at the Akomadan Police Station in the Ashanti Region were yesterday forced to flee their duty post to escape the wrath of the rampaging youth of the area.
The angry youth, after chasing the policemen out of the station, entered the charge office, destroyed furniture, windows and doors estimated at thousands of cedis.
The anger of the youth was reported to have stemmed from the shooting to death of a suspected illegal timber operator by a policeman near Akomadan last Wednesday.
Police Constable Aryee of the Akomadan Police Station allegedly shot and killed Yaw Agyen in a moving KIA truck while he and others were conveying logs of teak from Nkenkansu to Akomadan.
The mob, who arrived from the two towns in a number of trucks, injured one policeman, Sergeant Kennedy Frimpong, in the attack before destroying various property.
Meanwhile, the Akomadan District Police Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Francis Zangina, has told the Daily Graphic on telephone that the police have knowledge of where Constable Aryee is hiding and so they will move to bring him to the station to assist in investigations into the killing.
Constable Aryee sent his AK 47 rifle back to the police station before going into hiding.
Giving preliminary facts into the incident, ASP Zangina said Constable Aryee had been on night duty at the camp of a construction company on the main Akomadan-Nkenkansu road last Wednesday.
In the night, a KIA truck, loaded with teak logs from a forest reserve, pulled up from the Nkenkansu end of the road.
Constable Aryee signalled the driver to stop but the driver ignored him and the policeman opened fire, which hit Agyen, who was sitting on top of the logs.
ASP Zangina stated that although the bullet hit Agyen, the driver did not stop to attend to the victim but sped off.
The district commander said Constable Aryee managed to return to the police station that night and handed his weapon to the office orderly, without informing anybody of what had happened. He then went into hiding and had since not been found.
The commander said the body of the deceased was to be sent to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital for autopsy.
ASP Zangina stated that in the morning of yesterday, truck loads of youth beating war drums besieged Akomadan to attack the police station. In the process, the Police Sergeant was injured and property destroyed.
Reinforcement was called in from Offinso to help contain the situation.
When contacted, ACP Seth Oteng, the acting Ashanti Regional Police Commander, confirmed the incident and said all efforts would be made to investigate the matter to its conclusion to enable the police to take the necessary action.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Ministry of Education, Science and Sports has terminated the contract earlier awarded to CST Limited for the development of four training pitches in Kumasi for the 2008 Cup of Nations, because of non-performance.
Officials say it is clear that the contractor cannot meet the November 30 deadline for the completion of the projects.
To ensure that the projects were completed for use during the tournament, the ministry had re-awarded the projects to Green Grass Technologies, which worked on the El-Wak Stadium and the training pitches at Sekondi-Takoradi.
A source at the Kumasi Venue Organising Committee (KVOC) told the Daily Graphic that the move by the ministry was appropriate, because it was becoming clear that CST Limited was not up to the task.
The pitches included the Paa Joe Park at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the Opoku Ware School Park, the Prempeh College Park and the Wesley College Park.
With just some 50 days away, it is only the Wesley College Park and the Opoku Ware School Park where some reasonable work could be said to have been done.
For the remaining two, not much had been done, and indications were that the contractor would not be able to complete the projects.
The major problem was with the grassing, where execution of work was very slow.
Meanwhile, the KVOC had launched a jingle in connection with the tournament.
Radio stations in the metropolis have also accepted to play the jingle free of charge.
In a related development, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has organised a forum for media personnel in Kumasi to brief them on the preparations so far made for the tournament and how the media could help to ginger interest in the competition.
A member of the KVOC, Dr Emmanuel Asafo-Adjei, told the meeting that medical doctors would be placed at major hotels during the period of the competition to take care of emergencies.
Besides, telephone numbers of various health institutions and medical doctors in the city would be provided at all hotels for the necessary contact, in case of emergencies.
He urged the media to keep up the campaign towards the tournament in order to help whip up the necessary enthusiasm in the people.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

ARTISANS at the Suame industrial estate have now decided to speed up development of the area with the formation of the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO).
This is as a result of years of unfulfilled promises from successive governments to develop the area.
Development partners, including the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), Department for International Development (DFID), USAID, and the BUSAC Fund, are supporting SMIDO to undertake the project.
The initiative takes off with the launch of the SMIDO industrial development policy document on Wednesday, November 28, with the objective of serving as the springboard to building the required development institutional capacity that could respond effectively to the development needs of artisans within the industrial hub and other parts of the country.
It will also outline the immediate and long-term needs of the artisans, not only at Suame Magazine but also across the African continent.
About 80 years in existence, the Suame Industrial Estate, located within the Manhyia sub-metropolis of the Kumasi metropolis, is regarded as the single biggest employer in the private sector in the Ashanti Region and the largest concentration of small-scale industrial establishments in the country.
Its contribution to the economy of Kumasi and Ghana in general is tremendous, yet very little had been done by successive governments to develop the industrial estate.
With the timber industry having taken a nosedive in Kumasi, the Suame Magazine remains the main economically productive industrial estate in Kumasi.
With an estimated artisan population of over 200,000, the Suame Magazine has hundreds of repair workshops, small-scale industrial establishments scrap yards and spare parts shops.
A paper prepared by the SMIDO Office spelling out the importance of the initiative to the Suame Magazine and the development of the economy of Kumasi said they had an agenda to harness the potential of the Suame Magazine to be able to absorb about 10 per cent of Junior High School leavers and other school dropouts annually.
The paper cited lack of credit support for the small-scale engineering firms, the absence of social security measures for the working population, lack of orientation on modern technological best practices, leaving the estate in a primitive way of technology and management, the lack of policy support in the promotion of the technological products of the estate, among other challenges, responsible for the under-development of the industrial state.
It is as a result of these challenges that SMIDO was formed to chart a new course for the industrial estate.
According to SMIDO, development, poverty reduction and promoting youth employable skills are key to improving the economy of the nation and would thus pursue policies and programmes that will achieve desired objectives.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Offinso

STAFF of the Nhyiaeso Prestige Centre of the Barclays Bank in Kumasi have donated musical instruments valued at about GH¢1,000 (¢10 million) to the Disabled Centre at Offinso in the Ashanti Region.
The donation formed part of the bank’s “make a difference day” during which staff organised community activities to support the needy in society.
Making the presentation, the Prestige Branch Manager of the bank, Mr Kofi Ameyaw-Peprah, said even though the bank offered very good training to the inmates of the centre, it lacked equipment for entertainment activities, that was why the staff of the bank decided to go in to support the inmates to make life comfortable for them.
Mr Ameyaw-Peprah advised the inmates not to think that their physical state was a barrier to their functioning, and instead strive to become useful citizens of the nation.
The Director of the institute, Mr Barima Antwi, thanked the bank for the support and gave the assurance that the instruments would be put to good use.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

FOUR unidentified men, armed with axes and machetes, broke into the room of a 26-year-old goldsmith on Saturday night and brutally murdered him at South Suntreso, a suburb of Kumasi.
The assailants completely cut off Yaw Jordan’s head with the axe and opened other cuts on his neck, hands, back and legs before fleeing in a saloon car they had parked in front of Jordan’s residence.
When the Daily Graphic visited the murder scene yesterday morning, bloodstains were all over the room, with the footprints of the assailants dotted in the room.
“I could not withstand the gory sight and nearly collapsed when I saw Jordan lying in a pool of blood in his room,” one of the tenants told the Daily Graphic.
“From the look of things, I think it took just about a minute for the perpetrators to carry out the heinous crime,” the tenant said.
It is not known whether the attackers took anything from the room and the police say they are launching investigations into the matter to bring the perpetrators to book.
“I have just been briefed on the case and we are going to get to the bottom of the matter,” Ashanti Regional Police Crime Officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACOP) Bright Oduro, said when contacted.
After helping to carry the body to the morgue, Jordan’s father wept bitterly, unable to control his tears to be able to talk to this reporter.
Some close associates, however, said Jordan had recently had a fierce confrontation with some young men over a woman but they could not tell whether the murder was linked to that incident.
Jordan, who used to live at Ashanti New Town, moved to the rented premises at South Suntreso about two years ago.
According to co-tenants, characteristic of the man, he returned home from work about 10.30 p.m. last Saturday and immediately went into his room.
At that time, the whole vicinity was uncharacteristically very quiet and that might have aided the attackers to move into the house unnoticed.
Jordan lay on the floor in his room while watching television and he might have fallen asleep in the process, with the door to his room open. At the same time, the main gate to the building, which housed about 10 other tenants, was left opened.
The tenants stated that four men, suspected to have trailed Jordan, entered the house and walked straight to his room where they used the axe to open deep cuts on his head.
Even though some of the occupants of the house said they had never heard the deceased shout, others indicated that they had heard some unusual noise from his room but feared to come out.
What they said heightened theirs fears of an unusual development in the house that night was the continuous barking of a dog in the house.
“I then heard one of the armed men say, ‘Let’s hurry up and leave here,’” a seemingly distraught resident told this reporter.
“They quickly moved out of the house and boarded the waiting car, which had the engine on, before speeding off,” he added.
According to the residents, when they entered Jordan’s room, he was struggling to give up the ghost and finally gave in moments later before they could rush him to the hospital.
The body has been placed in the morgue at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital as investigations continue.

Friday, November 23, 2007

It's now official... 18 FOR NPP SLOT (Front Page Lead)

Story: Kwame Asare Boadu in Kumasi
& Donald Ato Dapatem in Accra

ALL doubts about the number of candidates who will line up for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearership race on December 22 were erased yesterday when 18 contestants affirmed their places in the race by the close of nomination.
The General Secretary of the party, Nana Ohene Ntow, also confirmed the congress date and the campus of the University of Ghana, Legon, as the venue.
The close of nominations yesterday also ushered the party into a critical phase of the process of finding a successor to President Kufuor as the leader of the party and, possibly, President of Ghana.
The Chairman of the Council of Elders of the NPP, Mr Akenten Appiah-Menka, waded into that phase of the process when he declared 13 out of the 18 contestants as non-presidential materials and just fell short of publicly identifying them.
Mr Appiah-Menka’s pronouncement stirred the expected controversy, particularly within the party’s stronghold in the Ashanti Region, where party heavyweights told the Daily Graphic that they would keep to the tradition of using the known formula and conventions to select delegates for the party’s congress.
The party elder had made it clear that the council would issue the names of the five candidates who were potential winners, but National Chairman of the party, Mr Peter Mac Manu, in a reaction, said the party had never taken any official position on that.
He said the party was a democratic institution and would not use any method which frowned at the tenets of democracy to eliminate any of its members who qualified by the NPP constitution and the national Constitution to be a flag bearer of the party and President of Ghana.
He said every member of the NPP had the right to express his or her opinion on the process but added that what the constitution of the party stipulated would be the position of the party.
Consequently, there would not be a uniform system for the selection of the delegates from the region, as some people believed.
In all previous congresses, constituencies had had their own style of selecting delegates and the December 22 one will not be an exception.
The Asante Akim North Constituency Chairman of the NPP, Nana Adu Asabre, for instance, told the Daily Graphic that the constituency had agreed that each of the 10 zones would select one person to represent the constituency.
The Bantama Constituency Chairman, Mr H.K. Kokofu, also told this paper that the executives there would use consensus building to arrive at the selection of delegates.
Mr George Ayisi-Boateng, a founding member of the party in the region, in another interview, said the sole representative of group would be selected by consensus.
He said the founding members would meet and agree on one person to represent them at the congress.
The regional secretariat had given the go ahead for the application of the conventions for picking the delegates because they had proved to be peaceful.
Party sources said delegates would be selected between November 28 and December 8.
Constituency chairmen were expected to pick forms at the regional secretariats of the party to fill and submit for processing.
This will be done without infringing on any constitutional provisions of the party.
The filing of nominations by the NPP presidential aspirants, which started on October 22, 2007, ended at 5.00 p.m. yesterday.
At the close of it all, all but one of the 19 members who picked forms had filed their nominations. The only exception was Mr John Kwame Kodua, a Kumasi-based legal practitioner, who said he had received direction from God that he should not contest.
Those who have filed are the Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Capt Nkrabea Effah-Darteh (retd), Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Dr K. Arthur Kennedy, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Dr Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah, Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng and Prof Mike Oquaye.
The rest are Messrs Alan Kyerematen, Dan Botwe, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Felix Owusu-Adjapong, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, Kyeremateng Agyarko, Kwabena Agyapong and Hackman Owusu-Agyeman.
With the completion of the process of filing of nominations, the NPP has inched closer to the organisation of its national delegates congress, which is barely 30 days from now.
The process started on October 22 when the party opened nominations for interested party members to pick nomination forms.
All the aspirants, after touring the 230 constituencies and 10 regional party offices of the party throughout the country, convinced themselves that they had what it took to lead the party
The candidates picked forms at the cost of GH¢500 (¢5 million) and returned them with a hand-written application, certification of various qualifications, membership cards, forms filled by card-bearing members from each constituency and filing fees of GH¢25,000 (¢250 million).
Most of the 18 aspirants collected and submitted their forms with pomp and pageantry, while others were of the view that making noise about the collection and submission of forms was not necessary.
The party, early this month, set up a six-member vetting committee which interviewed and screened the documents of the aspirants to ensure that they qualified to lead the party into the elections.
The committee was expected to present its report, but unless the unexpected happens, all the 18 will be cleared and made eligible to contest as aspirants at the congress.
This is the first time in the history of the party that it will be selecting a presidential candidate while it is still in office. In 1992, 1996 and 2000 it did so while it was in opposition.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Asunafo North NDC primary Today

Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Goaso
THREE candidates, including a former district chief executive, are to contest the Asunafo North Constituency primary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) this Saturday to elect the party’s parliamentary candidate for the 2008 elections.
They are Mr Mohammed Doku, the former district chief executive, Mr George Baryeh, aa businesman, nd the 2004 parliamentary candidate, Mrs Christiana Atakora-Mensah.
The Asunafo North Constituency seat was won by the NPP in the 2004 elections.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic at Goaso last Saturday, one of the candidates, Mr Doku, said he was confident of winning the primary to lead the party to victory in the 2008 elections in the constituency.
Mr Doku, who was the DCE for about six months before the NPP won the 2000 elections, said he would ride on his track record to carry the day.
He said from the days that he was the district organising assistant for the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR) to his days as the DCE, he showed maximum respect to the people and played his role to help in the development of the district.
Mr Doku said the quest by the NDC to wrest power from the NPP demanded a person who identified with the people, and that was where he stood tall among the rest.
For his part, Mr Baryeh told the Daily Graphic that his chances were very bright, and that today he would be elected the NDC candidate.
He said he had an untainted record which could carry the party higher in the constituency.
Mr Baryeh expressed happiness about the way the various candidates went about their campaigns peacefully, which showed the unity within the party.
He said the NPP feared his candidature more than the two others vying with him, and therefore urged the candidates to vote for him today.
Mr Baryeh said the NDC was growing stronger by the day, and that the signs were clear that the 2008 elections would be won by the party.

"Allegations of Presidential Support Meant To destroy Me'

Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

A presidential aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Alan Kyerematen, has stated that he has become a target of destruction by his detractors because of his growing popularity and the giant strides he has made in the run up to the party’s congress.
"They know I am the heir apparent," Mr Kyerematen said, and added that the signs were clear that he was winning the race to lead the NPP to victory in the 2008 presidential elections and that was why allegations like ‘the President is supporting me’, and ‘I am not a key party member are being banded around’.
The aspirant, who said this when he launched his Ashanti Regional campaign towards the congress at the Dwabrem of the Centre for National Culture in Kumasi on Wednesday, said, "In 2004, President Kufuor's portrait appeared on the presidential ballot paper and I know that in 2008 my portrait will be on the ballot paper for the NPP."
The launch was attended by potential delegates made up of constituency executives, polling station chairmen and a large number of party members.
Mr Kyerematen told the cheering party members that he was looking up to the 2008 elections because "I am confident that you will give me the mandate to lead you".
He expressed concern over the issue of some people continuing to link his ambitions to the support he had received from Mr Kufuor when he and the President had come out openly to deny the allegation.
Mr Kyerematen said he believed in President Kufuor as a man of character, humility and master performer but indicated that he (Kyerematen) had the capacity to win the slot without the support of the President.
The aspirant also indicated that he had been a loyal member and key player of the party since 1992 and no one could downplay that role to score political points.
He said he was the chairman of the Young Executive Forum of the party for many years and contributed in diverse ways to bring the party up.
"Who can say then that I am not an insider of the party?" he asked.
He gave the assurance that he would fulfil all the promises he had made.
Mr Kyerematen said he had donated 230 motorbikes to all the party’s constituency branches and also assisted 140 constituencies nation-wide to start a project each that would generate income to support the party's activities.
He promised to donate a brand new pick up to each of the party's 230 constituency offices when he won the presidential slot.
Mr Kyerematen highly commended President Kufuor for leading the nation to a respectable measure of economic development and said that would be a plus for his campaign in 2008.
He urged the party members to go to the front doors of the people to campaign as the party prepared for the 2008 elections.