Friday, May 30, 2008


CARETAKER coach, Sellas Tetteh, has the challenging task of getting the Black Stars to a good start in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers for South Afrca 2010.
The exit of Frenchman Claude Le Roy as coach and the failure of the FA to get a replacement before the qualifiers, has forced assistant coach Sellas to take over the mantle, albeit temporarily.
And when he leads the team onto the turf at the Baba Yara Stadium against Libya on Sunday, he has the chance to, at least, state a case for Ghanaian coaches.
The 21 million plus Ghanaians hope that the Black Stars will take a leap that carries the weight of expectation as the nation chases a second consecutive World Cup appearance.Traditionally, the first game in tournaments of such nature is very important, and the mood in the Ghanaian camp testifies to this.
Coach Tetteh acknowledges the degree of importance of the match when he told the Graphic Sports at the Golden Tulip Kumasi City where the team is lodging, “My number one priority is to get the team to a good start, and all other things will follow.”
“The World Cup qualifiers are a very long journey but we need a very good take-off”, the coach said.
Already, some commentators are asking whether the Libyans, who have a second rate pedigree in Africa, may be able to overcome the deficiencies to run the Black Stars off their feet.
True, the Libyans may lack the skills and power of the Black Stars, but the potential to launch a physical assault that may wear down the Ghanaians is there. In fact, they may come with all guns blazing.
Sellas displayed a lot of modesty when he told this reporter that “I have some respect for the Libyans who have 95 per cent of the team playing in the local league.”
The changing face of football had resulted in many shocking defeats to teams considered overwhelming favourites. Over the years, Libya had improved technically and their knowledge of the game had seen some upswing. That is why Sellas thinks it is always dangerous to underrate teams considered underdogs.
“We are never going to underrate Libya in any way, and I promise we will go all out”, the coach said.
The industry in the Black Stars can be traced to the long playing period, and when the telepathic
understanding manifests, the team could go for a very good score line.
With the exception of Kofi Amponsah who could not respond to the national call, the entire team
including Prince Tagoe that was called up at the last minute is in place ready to do battle.
Chelsea’s Michael Essien was expected in Kumasi later in the morning to join the team to complete the squad.
Defensive anchor, skipper John Mensah who exudes so much confidence at the rear, has the ability to
organise the back to cut out any threat from the opponents.
The coach appeared to have a lot of respect for the local component in the team and it will not be
surprising if Asante Kotoko’s left back Harrison Afful gets a place in the starting line-up.
“Harrison has been a revelation and I think we have to give more opportunities to the local players”, the Ghanaian coach said.
With Sule Muntari, Manuel Junior Agogo, Quincy Owusu Abeyie, Haminu Dramani and others ready to do battle, expectations are high as thousands of fans in Kumasi get ready to give the needed support on Sunday.


THE Manhyia Palace has stated that the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has accepted the abdication of Nana Appiah Kusi Brempong better known as Nana Osei Assibey, the Mimhene, during the last meeting of the Asanteman Council in Kumasi, and did not destool him.
Reacting to a Daily Graphic report, which stated that Nana Kusi Brempong had been destooled, the Media Relations Manager of the Manhyia Palace, Mr G.B. Osei-Antwi, said the chief announced his abdication at the meeting and Otumfuo accepted it.
“This was in line with the Asante tradition and custom, and I think it will set the records straight,” he said.
Mr Osei-Antwi said Otumfuo moved to resolve the age-old dispute between the two factions in the dispute, namely Nana Kusi Brempong and Okofrobour Yaw Agyei II, over who was the rightful occupant of the Mim stool in order to bring peace to the area.
He said the parties appeared before the Otumfuo at various meetings of the Asanteman Council, and at the last meeting, Nana Kusi Brempong ended it all by announcing his abdication to pave way for peace in the area.
Mr Osei-Antwi stated that Nana Kusi Brempong rooted his decision through the Tepahene, Nana Adusei Atwenewa Ampem.
“Otumfuo, in his wisdom, accepted the decision and now peace has returned to Mim,” he said.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

DEFENDING champion, Osei Kwadwo of the Kumasi Golf Club, would seek to defend his championship when about 250 golfers from Ghana and other parts of West Africa converge in Kumasi from today for the Otumfuo Open Golf tournament.
The tournament, considered the biggest in the golfing calendar of the country, has Gulder, a premium brand of Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited, as the major sponsors. The professional event, which tees off at the beautiful course of the Royal Golf Club in Kumasi today will be played 72 holes over two days.
It is attracting 38 participants, four of them from Liberia, and one each from Togo and Cote d’Ivoire, with the remaining coming from Ghana. Strong among the professionals are Paul Nyarko of Kumasi, Amos Koblah from Achimota, Kojo Barnie from Kumasi, Victor Brave Mensah of Tema and Rodriguez from Damang.
For the amateur event, to be played 36 holes over two days beginning Saturday, Osei Kwadwo will receive stiff competition from Awudu Houller of Kumasi, George Osei from Takoradi and George Sai of Achimota.
The Ladies event, which includes four participants from Cote d’Ivoire, will feature strongly Florence Etwi-Barima of Tema, Grace Afriyie of Tema, Felicity Gyeabour of Kumasi and Victoria Agyei of Achimota.
The Captain of Royal Gold Club, Mr B.B. Appiah, told the Daily Graphic yesterday that the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, will officially open the tournament tomorrow.
He said it was the first time in the history of golf in the country that GH¢8,000 had been put up for the professional event.
“This shows the importance of the Otumfuo Open”, he said.
He promised an event full of action and commended the sponsors for supporting the event.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


KUMASI Asante Kotoko failed to secure the maximum three points at stake at the Baba Yara Stadium last Sunday but grossed a record GH¢ 210,000 (¢2.1 billion), the highest gate proceeds ever at any stadium in the country.
Typical of Kotoko-Hearts matches, the crowd was very thick. Indeed the stadium was virtually filled to capacity, and no wonder the huge amount was realised from the gates to make up for the sullen faces that the supporters of the Porcupine Warriors wore after the match.
The gate proceeds aside, it was also great spectatoring on the afternoon as the fans conducted themselves so well to make football the winner. When even they felt FIFA referee William Agbovi was taking controversial decisions, they resorted to booing to express their displeasure, which many saw as normal.
With about 80 percent of the fans rooting for Asante Kotoko, the atmosphere would have been very intimidating for any other side. But Hearts of Oak, who are traditional performers at the Baba Yara Stadium, had other ideas. And they lived up to history by snatching a valuable point when poor form all year had led the pundits to write them off as 5-1 underdogs.
Hearts have been a sorry sight this year, having been pummelled left and right by even so-called smaller clubs.
Expectations in Kumasi were, therefore, huge for Kotoko, and when the players sporting brand new tiGo jerseys trotted onto the turf, a cacophony of noise vibrated through the main bowl of the stadium. Hearts of Oak were also not left out of the pre-match drama as their fans went into unstoppable drumming and singing.
Kotoko could have gone up by at least two goals in the first ten minutes if they had remained focused in front of goal. But poor shooting and hard tackling
from the Hearts back four of Hassan, Ofei, Coleman and Vardis kept danger at bay.
Many were expecting a repeat of the Coleman-Bekoe first round drama where the defender followed the striker all over the 90 minutes, even when the leading striker was listening to instructions from his coach at the touchline.
Coleman maintained that he wanted the game to flow naturally, but in Vardis, Bekoe found another rough customer. Showing his immense talent in goal scoring, Bekoe
managed to score against Hearts, and, in celebration, he lifted his eyes and hands into the heavens to give praise to God as he claimed Hearts supporters had claimed he could never score against the club whilst with Kotoko.
Kotoko appeared swift on the attack with Oduro supplying the needed balls to the front men, but the final delivery was always a problem. Their Achilles Heels was at the back and they were exposed by the Hearts attack where Don Bortey played excellently.
The defensive pair of Richard Manu and George Asare failed to click, and had Hearts showed seriousness they could have scored from counter attacks.
Sorely missed by Kotoko was Harrison Afful whose absence as a result of national duty, disabled the left back position from where he engineers many of the attacks of the team.
Beleaguered coach Eyal Lachman said his game plan was to tighten up the middle and try to catch Kotoko on the break. And it was a relief for the coach whose selection had been criticised by Hearts supporters and even some management and board members.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bantama, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has been re-elected by acclamation as the party’s parliamentary candidate for the December elections.
This took place in Kumasi yesterday after her main contender, Mr Robert Baffour-Awuah, failed to get the approval of the party’s national executive committee to contest.
At the Melody Hotel at Kropo in Kumasi where the acclamation took place, delegates burst into cheers and sang party songs as officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) who supervised the event declared that Ms Dapaah was the duly elected nominee of the NPP for the December parliamentary elections.
Ms Dapaah herself was all smiles and waved a white handkerchief to signal what she described as victory for the NPP.
The MP, who is also the Minister of State at the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, said in her post-election speech that she was worried about the way the primary was delayed but thanked God that everything had come to a fruitful conclusion.
She pointed out that their only political foe was the NDC, which “we must work hard to uproot once and for all”.
Ms Dapaah said she had absolute faith in the national, regional and constituency executives of the NPP and hoped they were all involved in the decision that led to the organisation of the primary.
The MP said, “The NPP stands for truth and the rule of law and I am proud to be a member of this great party.”
She promised to do everything to unite the party, and therefore asked anybody she had offended to forgive, her as she had also forgiven those who had offended her.
The Ashanti Regional Secretary of the NPP, Mr Sam Cudjoe, who officially declared Ms Dapaah as the nominee, said the party was hopeful she would work hard to win massively in the elections.
He called for total support for the candidate to enable her deliver.
The Bantama Constituency Chairman of the NPP, Mr H.K. Kokofu, said the party was going into the election to win massively.
He said they would take keen interest in the voter registration exercise to ensure that all party supporters registered to vote in December.
The former Regional Chairman of the party, Mr F.F. Anto, said it was important that party members operated within the rules and regulations governing various activities of the party.,
He noted that winning an election for the third consecutive time was always a difficult situation, and as such demanded hard work and dedication from all.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

ACCRA Hearts of Oak defied the form guide to hold Kumasi Asante Kotoko to a 3-3 draw in an outstanding Onetouch Premier League match at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday.
In an electrifying atmosphere at the stadium filed to capacity, Hearts fought from a goal down in just 10 minutes to twice take the lead before Kotoko clawed back the third goal to level the final score.
Having performed abysmally all season, many had written the Phobians off before the match, but in characteristic fashion they held their own against their arch-rivals and now-fearsome Asante Kotoko.
Aware of the skilful play of the Porcupine Warriors, Hearts’ modus operandi was to come in physically at the back, and they did it in full force to cut out many ferocious attacks.
Showing false glimpses of what was in store for Hearts, Kotoko roared into the match with unstoppable attacks from the flanks where Jordan Opoku on the left and Francis Akwaffo on the right were a constant threat for Hassan Mohammed and Stephen Ofei.
The hard tackles from the Hearts defence notwithstanding, a goal looked imminent for Kotoko, and it did arrive just 10 minutes into the game when Jordan Opoku, wide on the left, cheekily worked on Coleman before locating Kwadwo Poku in space to crack home powerfully into the near post.
When all thought Hearts would break up for more goals, they concentrated and tried to avoid mistakes at the rear. Their comeback was swift. A free kick near the Kotoko area in the 14th minute saw Bernard Dong-Bortey, who played brilliantly on the afternoon, finishing off from a crowded area.
It was a shocker of a goal for Kotoko who had been tipped to run riot, and for a greater part of the game they failed to play to their full potential.
Twice on the 18th and 21st minutes, Dong Bortey came close, signalling danger for Kotoko, but when Kotoko turned on the heat, Vardis had to draw on experience to keep the league’s leading scorer, Eric Bekoe, off scoring range in the 40th minute.
Richard Manu failed to clear following a tussle with Ekow Ghansah in the 41st minute, and the powerful striker maintained his composure to run 35 yards to draw goalkeeper Soulama out of his post before finding the net for Hearts’ second goal.
What a shocker it was for Kotoko, but they organised very well in the middle with Stephen Oduro in full attendance to push Hearts back, which eventually paid off with Bekoe scoring a great goal in the 43rd minute.
All pointed to an afternoon of goals, and Hearts responded again on the stroke of half time with a free kick by Francis Bossman from some 30 yards out, which, like a monsoon, swept through a forest of legs into the net.
Confused keeper Soulma never returned again for the second hallf as Eric Nii Baah took his place.
Always in the thick of events, Oduro capped an afternoon of brilliance with an equalising goal five minutes into the second half.
Coach Bashir Hayford introduced Emmanuel Osei Kuffour into the game in the 52nd minute, replacing Akwaffo, but the former Hearts of Oak offensive midfielder was a bundle of nerves, just like his former teammate at Hearts, Ishmael Addo, who also replaced Bossman in the 66th minute.
FIFA referee William Agbovi had to pull out his yellow card for Hearts’ Dong Bortey (75th), Kofi Abanga (76th) and Ofei (78th) for various offences.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

SOME NPP youth from the Bantama Constituency have called for the immediate organisation of a primary to elect the party’s parliamentary aspirant for the constituency.
The youth said they were aware of subtle attempts to disqualify one of the candidates, Mr Robert Baffour-Awuah, in order to pave the way for the incumbent, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, to go unopposed,and warned that such a decision could be a recipe for troubles in the constituency.
Scores of the youth, who staged a brief demonstration to drum home their disappointment twith the way the party leadership were delaying in convening the primary, said they did not care who won the primary.
“All that we want is that this time round a primary is organised for us to elect a parliamentary candidate,” Mr Prince Acheampong, the public relations officer (PRO) of the youth wing in the constituency, told the Daily Graphic.
Mr Acheampong said they decided to make the demonstration peaceful as a first step but warned that “there could be Bekwai number two here at Bantama if the right thing is not done by calling the primary”.
Mr Acheampong alleged that they had authentic information that Ms Dapaah, who is also the Minister of State at the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, had engineered allegations that Mr Baffour-Awuah had not been paying his party dues, and as a result the party was bent on disqualifying him on that.
“But records available at the constituency office where the MP’s own brother is the secretary indicate that Mr Baffour Awuah is in good standing so we are wondering why they keep delaying the primary,” he said.
Mr Acheampong said since 1992, the NPP at Bantama had not had a parliamentary primary to elect a candidate.
Dr Richard Anane went unopposed while Ms Dapaah had the same opportunity.
“This time round, we want to depart from that practice because it has not helped us,” Mr Acheampong said.
The youth PRO accused the Constituency Chairman, Mr H.K. Kokofu, of bending the rules of the game by openly declaring his support for Ms Dapaah.
“In fact he has become the PRO for the MP, which compromises his position as party chairman,” he said, and added that by his action, the chairman could not be trusted again.
He rejected claims by the MP that she had done a lot to develop the constituency.
Mr Acheampong asked that if it were so “why is she afraid of contesting with others?”
Efforts to contact both Mr Baffour-Awuah and the constituency chairman proved futile as they were said to be in a meeting at the NPP headquarters in Accra.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

GUINNESS Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL) has started recycling its waste materials into organic fertiliser to help promote agriculture at the small-scale level.
The fertiliser is, however, being tested and if the results turn out to be positive, mass production will soon begin.
The Managing Director of GGBL, Mr Seni Adetu, made this known when the Kabaga of Buganda in Uganda, His Majesty Roland Muwenda Mutebi II, paid a familiarisation visit to the company last Tuesday as part of his five-day official visit to Kumasi.
The Kabaga, who is in the country at the invitation of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, toured various sections of the company to acquaint himself with the production process.
Mr Adetu said the production of the fertiliser was part of the company’s efforts to minimise the generation of waste, adding that already carbon dioxide, a waste product, was being recycled, while plans were afoot to recycle the company’s waste water.
He stated that significant investments had been made in the company, for which reason it was now enjoying between 75 and 80 per cent market share of all drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, in the country.
“Consistently, GGBL had been rated the most celebrated business organisation in Ghana and we hope to maintain this position,” the managing director said.
He gave the assurance that the company would continue to pay serious attention to its social responsibilities, especially in the areas of education and sports.
He indicated that raw materials for its operations came mainly from northern Ghana, which served as a source of income to the people.
Mr Adetu stated that GGBL had a long relationship with the Manhyia Palace, stressing, “We hold the Asantehene in high esteem because of the many wonderful things he is doing for the progress of his people and Ghana.”
He expressed the hope that the visit of the Kabaga would further boost the relationship between Ghana and Uganda.
In an interview with the press on behalf of the Kabaga, a former Prime Minister of Uganda, Mr Godfrey Kaaya Kavuma, who is part of the King’s delegation, said the Kabaga, who left for Uganda yesterday, would be going with fond memories of Ashanti and Ghana.
“The Kabaga is happy and appreciative of the reception and hospitality of the people of Ghana,” he said.
He commended GGBL for the effective management policies put in place, which had resulted in tremendous progress in its operations.
“We have the feeling that this kind of management runs through the different facets of the Ghanaian economy,” he added.
Mr Kavuma said it was also worthy to note that most of the workers of the company were Ghanaians.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

A 55-year-old traditional medical practitioner, Mr B.D. Bonsu, has challenged the assertion by practitioners of orthodox medicine that breast cancer has no cure.
He said traditional medicine had proven to have antidote to the disease, pointing out that within the past 50 years, he had been able to cure more than 1,000 people of the ailment.
In a letter dated April 4, 2008 to the Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Kofi Asare, Mr Bonsu, who is the Director of the Sankofa Herbal Clinic at Ahensan in Kumasi, challenged the health authorities to avail themselves of a proof of the efficacy of his medicine.
He provided the medical report of a 49-year-old woman who, after being diagnosed of the disease at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in 1996, was told that her cancerous breast should be removed in order to save her life.
“Fortunately, somebody testified to her husband that the Sankofa Herbal Clinic has herbs that have the potency of curing the cancer,” the letter said.
According to the letter, it took just one month for the swollen breast to shrink to normalcy leading to the cure.
Mr Bonsu stated that he had gone ahead to publish a book on breast cancer, copies of which had been sent to the Ministry of Health, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), the Director of the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine and He called for proper attention to be given to traditional medical practice, because there were a lot of benefits to be derived from it.


STORY: Kwame Asare Boadu, Beposo

A new classroom block for the Beposo District Assembly (D/A) Junior High School has been inaugurated with a call on parents not to use the Capitation Grant and the School Feeding Programme as an excuse to neglect responsibilities towards their children’s education.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Ahafo Ano South, Mr Kwaku Obeng Boateng, who made the call, said a number of parents were refusing to meet the basic needs of their children with the excuse that the Capitation Grant and the School Feeding Programme were enough.
Inaugurating the building, which was financed with the Assembly’s share of the District Assemblies Common Fund, the DCE stated that the two interventions were meant for specific purposes and that parents also had their duties to perform.
Mr Obeng Boateng asked the people to rekindle their communal spirit to complement the efforts of the government and the district assembly in accelerating the pace of development of the community.
He gave the assurance that the district assembly would support communities that initiated their own development projects.
Mr Obeng Boateng said the assembly had done a lot to improve educational infrastructure, stressing that it was important that parents took advantage of the government’s intervention to send their children of school age to school.
He described the Capitation Grant and the School Feeding Programme as some of the important initiatives that the NPP government had taken to improve the standard of education.
The DCE said the assembly had constructed teachers’ quarters in some deprived communities of the district to entice teachers to accept postings and stay in those areas.
He stated that in a bid to address the water problem in some of the communities, about 200 boreholes had been drilled in various communities in the last five years.
Mr Obeng Boateng noted that availability of potable water was crucial in improving the health of the people.
He told the gathering that he was about to end his duty as DCE come January, next year, stressing, “I am proud of the development so far achieved in the district.”
The DCE charged the Water and Sanitation Board of the district to pay special attention to sanitation, which seemed to have been neglected.
The Adontenhene of Banko, Nana Agyei Manu Berchie, who is also the District Manager of the Produce Buying Company, and chairman for the function, commended the DCE and the assembly for working hard to bring an appreciable level of development to the district.
He appealed to the assembly to help furnish the classrooms of the new school block.


STORY: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

ABOUT 42 per cent of communities in the Ashanti Region lack potable water supply.
The Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, who made this known in an interview at Nkawie, said the current regional coverage of about 58 per cent, even though encouraging, was still not enough to meet the demand.
The national coverage of water is presently at 53 per cent.
The minister disclosed this after inspecting some water and sanitation projects being undertaken by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) in the Atwima Nwabiagya District.
Ms Dapaah stated that the government was determined to initiate more projects to bring the situation to expected levels.
The projects being financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the KfW of Germany, were meant at building a healthy people for national development.
The AfDB is constructing a number of institutional of KVIP places of convenience in the district, and so far 15 of them have been completed while work on the remaining projects are progressing steadily.
The entire projects are due for completion by June 2009.
The tour took the minister to Nkawie, Nkawie Panin and Pasro.
Ms Dapaah commended the Ashanti Regional Office of the CWSA for performing creditably in the provision of potable water and sanitation projects for the rural communities.
She said water was a basic necessity that must be provided at all cost to enable the people to live healthy lives.
Ms Dapaah urged the communities to see the projects as theirs and take good care of them.
According to the minister, about 77 boreholes were being constructed in the district this year with sponsorship from the KfW of Germany.
She recognised the assistance donors were giving to improve the living standards of the people, and expressed the hope that they would take proper care of the projects.
Ms Dapaah was not happy with the inadequate attention being paid to sanitation in communities across the country and called for a change.
The minister asked local contractors engaged on the CWSA projects to redouble their efforts, warning that non-performing contractors would be sanctioned.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Atwima Nwabiagya, Mr Thomas Ofori Donkor, said the Assembly's bye-laws on sanitation would be enforced to the letter to improve the situation.
He said communities enjoying the projects were made to pay five per cent of the project cost, adding that the assembly was, however, supporting communities that had difficulties in paying.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) branch of the Tertiary Students Confederacy (TESCON) of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has thrown its weight behind Mr Akwasi Osei-Adjei in his re-election bid for the Ejisu-Juaben Constituency parliamentary ticket of the party.
The group said Mr Osei-Adjei, who is the Minister of Foreign Affairs, had proved to be a capable leader and it was important that he was re-elected to continue with the good work.
Ms Akosua Amankwaa, Financial Secretary, speaking on behalf of TESCON, called on the delegates to vote massively for Mr Osei-Agyei to enable him to continue with his good works.
“Mr Osei-Adjei stands tall amongst the other competitors in the race in terms of experience and performance,” he said.
The build-up to the constituency primary had been very tense.
Mr Osei-Adjei was vetted about a week ago but no date has been fixed for the primary.
Ms Amankwaa said competence was a major prerequisite for seeking political power, “ and this is where Mr Osei-Adjei has no equals”.
Ms Amankwaa noted that since Mr Osei-Adjei became the MP for the constituency, he had never neglected the development of the communities because the records were there for all so see.
She said there was the need to move the constituency’s development agenda to another level, and that Mr Osei-Adjei was in a better position to lead that crusade.
She said so far the NPP presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, had conducted himself very well in the electioneering, an indication of his political maturity.
In a related development, Mr J.K. Owusu-Boakye, the Special Political Assistant to the MP for Old Tafo/Pankrono, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, has called on delegates to the Ejisu-Juaben Constituency primary of the party to reward dedication and commitment to duty by voting massively for Mr Osei-Adjei.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

GUARD YOUR PAYSLIPS...Sotie cautions workers (BACK PAGE)

Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Controller and Accountant General, Mr Christian Tetteh Sotie, has called on workers to jealously guard their payslips, since there are indications that some unscrupulous persons are stealing payslips to purchase goods on hire purchase.
Addressing a workers’ forum in Kumasi, he said the acts had resulted in wrongful deductions from employers’ salaries, adding that some suspects were being prosecuted.
He said the suspects managed to make fake identity cards and with the aid of the payslips, impersonated the employees to purchase the items.
Mr Sotie called on employees to report excess deductions made on their salaries to the department for prompt action.
The Accountant-General touched on the stoppage of the October 2006 salaries of members of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and said the decision was based on a directive from the Ghana Education Service Council.
He, therefore, dismissed allegations by the Greater Accra Regional branch of NAGRAT that the Accountant General paid the amount into a bank account.
He pointed out that payment of salaries was based on inputs made into the payroll system by the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
Mr Sotie advised the NAGRAT leadership to contact his office for explanation on matters bothering them instead of resorting to the radio to prosecute their agenda.
The Accountant General noted that this would help them improve their service delivery for the good of all.
He disclosed that very soon the department would establish a call centre where workers could call free of charge to make enquiries on issues relating to their payroll from any part of the country without having to travel to Accra.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

ONE of the chiefs who swore the oath of allegiance to the ‘Golden Stool’ more than 20 years ago, Nana Appiah Kusi Brempong II, has been barred by the Asanteman Council from holding himself as Omanhene of Mim in the Brong Ahafo Region.
In a landmark ruling over the weekend, the Asanteman Council said Nana Appiah Kusi Brempong, who swore the oath of allegiance to the late Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, was not a descendant of the rightful owners of the stool.
Chaired by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the council established that the uncle of Nana Kusi Brempong, the late Nana Kusi Appiah, who served as Mimhene, was only a secretary to the community, who was given the stool because of the valuable services he rendered to the community at the time.
The claim by Nana Kusi Brempong that he had the right to succeed his late uncle was therefore rejected.
Nana Kusi Brempong, who was contesting the stool with a rival chief, Okofrobour Yaw Agyei II, a professor of aeronautic engineering, in a bitter dispute, expressed his surprise when Otumfuo finally pronounced the ruling of the council last Friday.
The council, however, accepted the genealogy traced by Okofrobour Yaw Agyei. Okofrobour said his ancestors were the first to be sent to Mim as soldiers by the then Akwaboahene. Otumfuo Osei Tutu, therefore, directed the kingmakers to go back and decide finally on Nana Yaw Agyei so that he could swear the oath of allegiance to him at the next council meeting.
By tradition, chiefs who owe allegiance to the Golden Stool are only recognised when they take the ‘Ntamkesie’, the revered Asante oath.
The Queen of the traditional area, Nana Durowaaa, who had supported Nana Kusi Brempong all the while, was also declared a wrongful occupant of the stool after occupying it for about 30 years.
This was after the declaration by a former Asantehene, Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh II, in 1932 that the Mim stool was created without a queen was upheld.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu says that the decision taken by Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh still holds.
The two rival chiefs were asked to trace the lineage when the Council realised that it was the surest way of establishing who had the right to claim the stool.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said by Asante tradition, it was the Akwaboahene, one of the chiefs in the Ashanti Region, who had the right to choose a chief for Mim.
In the substantive matter, the Akwaboahene said he had no hand in the enstoolment of Nana Kusi Brempong.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Kumasi Metropolitan Engineer of the Department of Urban Roads, Mr James Amoo-Gottfried, has said that soil and foreign materials that have found their way close to the Suntre River in Kumasi as a result of the construction of the Sofoline Interchange are not going to be there permanently.
There have been concerns in some quarters over the way the Chinese construction firm, China Gio, which is undertaking the project has been dumping top soil from the project site.
Besides, people complain about the felling of trees within the wetlands at Sofoline.
However, Mr Amoo-Gottfried explained in an interview with the Daily Graphic that the situation had resulted from the extension and expansion of culverts for the project.
He said people should appreciate the huge nature of the interchange, which is part of the construction of the Komfo Anokye Roundabout–Abuakwa Road, and bear with the contractors.
He gave the assurance that the contractors would, at the appropriate time, move to open up the river to redirect its flow.
The Assembly Member for Suntreso, Mr Osei Gyamfi Afriyie, told the Daily Graphic that it would be appropriate for the contractor to adopt measures that would protect the river, instead of those that threatened its existence.
He admitted that the interchange was a big project but said that should not be an excuse to destroy the river.
Mr Afriyie noted that the cutting of the trees had exposed the river to the sun’s rays and that could lead to its drying up.
Meanwhile, the demolition of buildings along the road to pave the way for the construction of the dual carriageway is ongoing, while the government has started paying compensation to the affected property owners.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Purported alliance with CPP...MAHAMA UNDER SIEGE...Threats to elect new flag bearer, but leader to state position Tues

Story: Kwame Asare Boadu in Kumasi (Kobby Asmah & Ato Dapatem in Accra)

The People’s National Convention (PNC) may soon hold an extraordinary congress to elect another presidential candidate, following the decision by the party’s flag bearer, Dr Edward Mahama, to become the running mate of the flag bearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom.
A member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PNC, Mr Thomas Akum-Yong, told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi yesterday that the committee was due to meet soon on the reported alliance between the party and the CPP, stressing, “I can tell you that we will definitely take the decisive decision of electing a new presidential candidate to contest the December elections.”
Mr Akum-Yong said the “so-called alliance is unconstitutional”, adding, “We cannot allow Dr Mahama to sell a party some of us fought very hard to build when he was not in the country.”
The NEC member, who is also the Ashanti Regional Chairman and parliamentary candidate for Builsa North, said the party had no problem with Dr Mahama deciding to be the running mate to Dr Nduom “but there is no way we are going to allow him to decimate the PNC”.
Earlier, the Deputy National Organiser of the party, Mr Abubakar Kwashie Ebla, had described the supposed alliance as unconstitutional.
He said although the congress of the PNC gave room for such talks, any move would be inconclusive without the blessing of the NEC and the elders of the party.
He told the Daily Graphic in a telephone interview that the “hurried and clandestine” manner in which the whole exercise was undertaken made some of the national executive members smell something fishy.
The electoral alliance between the two parties, which was announced on Wednesday, had it that they had put up a common presidential candidate in the person of Dr Nduom of the CPP, while Dr Mahama became his running mate.
It was also agreed that the two parties would file common parliamentary candidates.
However, Mr Akum-Yong expressed shock at the fact that such a decision could be taken without the participation of the NEC of the PNC.
“I am a member of the NEC but I was not consulted. Again, the people who went for the meeting with the CPP had no locus for such a meeting and they could, therefore, not be taken seriously,” he said
He emphasised that the initial agreement for any electoral alliance between the two parties was that the CPP would adopt the PNC’s symbol, the palm tree, so that the identity of both parties would be maintained
“It is, therefore, a surprise that the so-called alliance did not consider this but portrays the impression that the PNC has been swallowed,” he stated.
Mr Akum-Yong indicated that the rank and file of the party in the Ashanti Region and other parts of the country were upset by Dr Mahama’s behaviour, adding that many of them had threatened to resign from the party to join others if the decision was allowed to hold.
The NEC member said people who sought office as President of this country must be prepared to look for funds to support their campaigns.
“When President Kufuor was in opposition, he was able to mobilise resources to finance his campaign and won the election. It is exactly what we expected our presidential candidate to do but, unfortunately, he decided to sit in Accra to use radio as his only method of campaigning,” he noted.
Mr Akum-Yong said he suspected that money might have influenced Dr Mahama’s decision to be the running mate to Dr Nduom because all along it was clear that Dr Mahama lacked the resources to campaign as a presidential candidate.
The PNC’s Member of Parliament (MP) for Zebilla, Mr John Ndebugri, also joined the fray and said he had been vindicated by the unilateral decision by the party’s flag bearer to become a running mate for Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, reports Donald Ato Dapatem.
He said he had always had problems with Dr Mahama for taking unilateral decisions irrespective of the party’s constitution or congress decision.
Mr Ndebugri, who is challenging the eligibility of Dr Mahama to contest the December 2008 as the PNC’s presidential candidate, added that “Dr Mahama after constituting a kangaroo congress made up of his friends and relatives”, did not respect the decision of “his own congress”.
He said Dr Mahama as an individual could decide to become Dr Nduom’s running mate but it would be wrong to unilaterally decide to become a running mate of another political party after his party’s congress had elected him to lead them to capture power to rule the nation.
Mr Ndebugri said Dr Mahama had shown his true colours, by sidelining congress to play second fiddle to another presidential candidate.
When he was informed about the developments within his party, Dr Mahama appealed for calm and said he would formally make his position known to Ghanaians on Tuesday May 20 on the alliance deal between the PNC and the CPP, reports Kobby Asmah.
He said until then his only plea to both his supporters and antagonists would be to remain calm in the midst of the political suspense.
Breaking his silence since the alliance story broke, he told the Daily Graphic that as a leader of a mass political party “I have to be cautious and consider whatever I say very carefully”.
He said he, together with the party, would organise a press conference on Tuesday where he would state exactly where the PNC as a party had got to and how things ought to proceed.
He described the alliance development between the PNC and the CPP as a national and global issue that transcended sectional politics because so many stakeholders had interests in the unfolding event.
He said he could understand the apprehensions of some supporters because there were bound to be hiccups in such situations.
“These are very interesting times and the suspense and drama are good for the nation,” he stated.
He said expectations brought hopes because those in favour of the alliance were hopeful and those against it were also hopeful.
He gave the assurance that “I am a leader and I judge my leadership qualities by how much I listen to the people”.
He said he had always believed that leaders must live simply so that others might simply live.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Bekwai

THE ugly side of democracy manifested at Bekwai yesterday when hundreds of the youth protesting against the outcome of the recent New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary primary there, defied police order and staged a violent demonstration that completely crippled socio-economic activities in the town.
It was pure mayhem, and terrified residents ran to safe areas as the police battled the rampaging youth with tear gas.
A plume of black smoke drifted into the morning skies as a result of burning car tyres and other materials around the Bekwai constituency offices of the NPP and many other parts of the town.
The police called reinforcement from other parts of the Amansie East District and Kumasi.
A police vehicle had its windscreen damaged as the youth attacked the police with stones and other offensive missiles.
The town was almost deserted when the Daily Graphic got there about 10:30a.m.
The Obuasi Divisional Commander of Police, Chief Superintendent Osei Ampofo Duku, who was hit by a stone thrown by one of the rioters, could not tell the number of people injured in the disturbance.
Unconfirmed reports, however, indicated that at least 10 people sustained various degrees of injury.
The police had also arrested 12 suspects as of 11:15 a.m. but the divisional commander said efforts were being made to arrest more.
The police and the youth barricaded most of the roads in the town and the Daily Graphic team had to use a bumpy by-pass to reach the police station.
Since the NPP MP for Bekwai, Mr Kofi Poku Adusei, was elected last Friday after beating Mr Joe Osei-Wusu, the Chief Executive of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), by just a vote, to become the NPP parliamentary candidate for the 2008 parliamentary, there had been mounting tension in the town.
Chief Supt Duku said last Monday, some of the youth, claiming to be against the re-election of Mr Poku Adusei, informed the police that they wanted to stage a demonstration yesterday against Mr Poku Adusei.
He said the police turned down their request and informed them that at least five days were needed for the youth to undertake their action.
To the surprise of the police, hundreds of the youth took over the town this morning, burning tyres on barricaded roads and other parts of the town, creating general panic.
The divisional commander stated that the riots started at the Omanhene’s palace, close to the police station, and expressed concern about the manner in which the palace was allowed to be used as the congregational grounds for the rioters.
He said the arrested suspects would be transferred to Kumasi for further action.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

PLASTIC waste management which has been one of the major challenges facing city authorities in Kumasi in their bid to ensure environmental cleanliness has received a boost with the decision by a private company to purchase the waste.
The waste would eventually be sold to local plastic waste recycling industries.
‘Do Something New Company Limited’, the company situated in Kumasi, is currently buying between 40 and 100 tons of plastic waste monthly.
Mrs Agnes Eyiah-Mensah, Director of Finance and Administration of the company, told the Daily Graphic that by engaging in the purchase of plastic waste, the company was vigorously supporting efforts to improve the lives of the people.
She said the exercise would also help reduce diseases like cholera and malaria.
Mrs Eyiah-Mensah further stated that the purchase of the plastic waste served as a source of employment for many people who made some reasonable amount of money by collecting and selling the waste to the company.
Presently, she said, a number of people, mainly the youth, were collecting and selling the waste to the company, and were paid promptly.
She said the company had set up offices in Kumasi, Tema, Takoradi and Techiman purposely to purchase plastic waste, and noted that the exercise would be spread to other areas of the country to enable as many people as possible to get employment.
The director said they were seeking partners outside the country for the export of plastic waste.
Mrs Eyiah-Mensah said the company had plans to enter recycling of plastic waste.
She emphasised the importance the government attached to the growth of private industries.
Mrs Eyiah-Mensah said as part of the other activities being undertaken by her outfit, an agreement had been entered into with the Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC) to out-source depot labourers for the company.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE presidential candidate of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, has stated that a government under his presidency would move swiftly for a constitutional review that would see the election of District Chief Executives, and abrogate the appointment of majority of ministers from parliament.
Speaking at a forum organised by student supporters of the CPP at the Kumasi Campus of the University of Education Winneba (UEW) on Sunday night, Dr Nduom said the appointment of DCEs by the President had not done the nation any good as the appointees saw themselves as accountable only to the one who appointed them.
He explained that when that was done, parliament would be strengthened to challenge the executive on many decisions for the betterment of the nation.
Dr Nduom further indicated that many people fought to become MPs because they knew that was an opportunity to them to become ministers.
Dr Nduom called on the electorate to reject the NPP and NDC in the December polls because they had nothing more to offer the nation after each of them had served two terms in power and performed below expectation.
He criticised the government’s policies on agriculture, which had resulted in the high prices of food products.
“The policies are misplaced”, he said, and noted that over the years, the government had played into the hands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB).
He said it was regrettable that today, the people were being made to accept that subsidies on agriculture were not important.
Dr Nduom said governments were put in place to serve the interest of the people and not to bring hardships on them.
The CPP presidential candidate stated that in the build-up to the 2000 elections, the NPP told Ghanaians “hwe w’asetena mu na to aba pa” to wit, examine your standard of living and vote wisely.
On the part of the CPP, Dr Nduom said the slogan is, “hwe wo boto mu na to aba pa” literally translated as check your pockets and vote wisely.
He further spoke against the inattention to food processing in the country, and said it was dangerous for the country to rely on imported food products.
Dr Ndoum said he had listened to the other presidential aspirants but none of them had talked about improved agriculture.
He gave the assurance that a CPP government under his presidency would revitalise the agricultural sector.
He said the youth needed jobs but this could materialise when a government of the CPP was voted into power.
The CPP presidential candidate stated that under a CPP government, local industries would be protected to enable them to grow and provide jobs for the people.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has banned the use of academic titles by chiefs in his domain.
He said the practice, by which some chiefs used titles like “Nana Dr, and Nana Professor”, was against the custom and tradition of Asanteman and could, therefore, not be entertained any longer.
At a meeting of the Asanteman Council at the Manhyia Palace yesterday, the Asantehene tasked the standing committee of the Council, which include paramount chiefs like the Mamponghene from the Ashanti Region and the Nkoranzahene from the Brong Ahafo Region, to work out the details of the decision to serve as a guide for the future.
The decision covers all chiefs within the Ashanti Region, as well as those in the Brong Ahafo and the Volta regions who owe allegiance to the Golden Stool.
Otumfuo noted that the use of “big titles” did not make one a good chief, adding that the time had come for Nananom to make the stools they occupied look traditional.
He also spoke against the wearing of suits by chiefs when attending important functions, where they were expected to showcase their status as chiefs.
The Asantehene asked queens to desist from “selling” stools to unqualified people, stressing that this had the tendency to bring about chieftaincy disputes.
While advising the queens, Otumfuo also warned people who wanted to buy their way through to occupy stools, saying that they should know they would be exposed one day.
He said the world had changed and any chief who was unable to lead his people to fight poverty, disease and ignorance, which were enemies of development, could not claim to be worthy of his position.
The Asantehene said he had persistently drummed home the fact that chiefs who engaged in indiscriminate sale of lands would be doing their people a great disservice and noted that posterity would not forgive such chiefs.
He challenged Nananom to let truth be their guide so that they would win the trust of their people.
The Asantehene asked chiefs who owe allegiance to the Golden Stool to have time for activities at Manhyia.
“You swore an oath to serve the Golden Stool come rain or shine, and you cannot turn against this pledge,” he said.
Otumfuo announced that the Kabaka of Uganda, one of the respected kings on the continent, would be celebrating “Akwasidae” with him at the Manhyia Palace next Sunday.

MIRACLE IN KUMASI...Kotoko in amazing 4-1 victory (LEAD STORY)

Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

KUMASI Asante Kotoko yesterday relived history, producing a miracle extraordinaire to account for a crafty Dolphins of Nigeria 4-1 (4-3 aggregate) and book a place in the last preliminary stage of the CAF Confederation Cup.
Not even the miraculous 5-1 victory over Egyptian giants, Zamalek, in the then Africa Clubs Championship in Kumasi in 1982 could surpass the manner in which the 4-1 victory over Dolphins was enacted at the Baba Yara Stadium. 
An expectant crowd had waited with bated breath until the last twenty minutes when the players awakened them with a classy finishing power to fire three goals..
And what a carnival it was in Kumasi as thousands of fans, some of them with their shirts removed, took over the streets from Asokwa to Kejetia.
The match, which was rained off on Sunday when Kotoko were leading 1-0, had all the ingredients of a super match, and the partisan home crowd inspired the team so well that even when they conceded the first goal, they never ceased chanting.
Absolutely distraught about the tragedy that befell them, the Dolphins players fell on the turf one after the other after Angolan referee Jose Antonio ended proceedings.
Kotoko had entered the pitch with so much confidence, and by the 10th minute they had given clear signals of their resolve to make the best out of the match as they kept the opponents area busy.
Initiating most of their attacks from the left with outstanding left back Harrison Afful as the master architect, Kotoko woefully failed to make use of the opportunities that came their way while the agile Dolphins keeper, Chijioke Ejiogu, was excellent in post, denying Arhin Duah and Bekoe of two chances within the 11th minute.
The powerful Dolphins back line of Joseph Eyinofe, Emmanuel Godwin, Samaila Suleiman and Echezona Anyichie had a field day when Kotoko resorted to floating the ball around.
 And when the Nigerians got the ball and knocked it around, Kotoko grew frustrated and committed elementary errors.
The stadium went dead silent when Dolphins who led 2-0 from the first leg shot ahead after 22 minutes.
A harmless shot by Wobo Owazuoke from the left saw defender Prince Anokye heading into his own net as a bemused Burkinabe international keeper, Soulama Abdulaye, who had moved out of the post watched on agonisingly.
It was a huge blow and Kotoko had to score four goals to qualify. Coach Bashir Hayford quickly took off the clumsy captain, Nana Arhin Duah, for Kwabena Yaro in the 26th minute but the much-expected chemistry was missing as Dolphins gained much confidence and tried to catch Kotoko on the break.
But a flurry of attacks from Kotoko in the dying minutes of the first half led to the Dolphins defence crumbling in the 45th minute as defender Samuel Inkoom, who had been busy all round, finished off from a heavily populated goalmouth.
The Porcupine Warriors dominated the early second half and with Eric Bekoe roaming all over the Dolphins area red-eyed, the Nigerian side back-pedalled but once again the goals were becoming difficult to come by.
Whilst Dolphins brought on Eze Nwobike for Wobo in the 52nd minute, Kotoko brought on crowd favourite, Stephen Oduro, for Francis Akwaffo in the 53rd minute.
Oduro’s presence brought the needed fluidity in the middle and the two copy-book passes he laid for the last two goals were symptomatic of the wealth of experience under his sleeves.
Bekoe, who had a brace, was on hand for his first goal of the afternoon, completing a great Kotoko attack from the middle in the 70th minute.
Coach Hayford made his last substitution, bringing on Ofosu Amoa for Francis Coffie in the 71st minute, and the diminutive player took over the left of attack.
Dolphins seemed to be running out of ideas and adopted delay tactics and brutal tackling to find a way out.
But Kotoko capitalised on the situation to fire home the third goal with Bekoe completing a penetrating pass from Oduro in the 84th minute.
The stadium once again erupted and the fans called for the last goal, to which Kwabena Yaro responded, with a minute to go to send Kumasi into a frenzy, that lasted deep into the night.
Line-up (Kotoko):Soulama Abdulaye, Samuel Inkoom, Harrison Afful, George Asare, Prince Anokye, Nii Adjei, Francis Akwaffo/Stephen Oduro, Jordan Opoku, Eric Bekoe,
Nana Arhin Duah/Kwabena Yaro, Francis Coffie/Ofosu Amoah
Dolphins: Chijioke Ejiogu, Victor Babayaro, Joseph Eyinofe, Emmanuel Godwin, Samaila Suleiman, Echezona Anyichie Kola Anubi, Wobo Owazuoke/Eze Nwobike, Prince Nnake,
Alhassane Dosso, Daddy Maurice

Monday, May 12, 2008


The Member of Parliament (MP) for Old Tafo/Pankrono, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, has commended a Kumasi-based lawyer, Mr Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, aka Sir John, for the mark of political maturity he displayed by stepping down to pave way for his acclamation as the party’s candidate for the 2008 parliamentary elections.
He said Sir John’s withdrawal from the race was another indication of the unity that prevailed in the NPP, and expressed the hope that the party would win massively in the constituency on December 7.
The two were locked up in a bitter campaign for the parliamentary slot, but just a day to the congress, Sir John surprised everybody by declaring that he was no more going to contest because he wanted to have time to undertake his duties as the Northern Sector coordinator of the Nana Akufo-Addo campaign team. Even though some people read meanings into Sir John’s decision, he insisted that it was a personal decision, and that he was confident that the party would be more united than ever in the constituency to prosecute the agenda for December 7.
Dr Akoto Osei went through acclamation last week Thursday as officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) had the easiest job proclaiming him the parliamentary candidate.
In his acceptance speech, Dr Akoto Osei, who is also a Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, said he was overwhelmed by the support he received from the rank and file of the constituency, and pledged that he would continue to count on them to deliver.
“Today’s acclamation symbolises the resolve by the delegates and the rank and file of the NPP in this progressive constituency to unite to pave the way for a unified campaign for victory in December,” he said. He noted that a solid infrastructure and social services had been put in place to better the lives of the people, and expressed the hope that the coming years would see an improvement in the economy.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

More than 30 minutes of torrential rainfall forced officials yesterday to reschedule the Asante Kotoko-Dolphins CAF Confederation Cup match to today (2 p.m.) after Kotoko had taken a first half one goal lead.
Midfielder Jordan Opoku had scored on the stroke of half time, but it became impossible for Angolan referee Jose Antonio to continue proceedings on resumption. The pitch at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi was so waterlogged that ball control was impossible, and the rescheduling of the match was a perfect decision.
Kotoko struggled in the first half to maintain any grip on the game as Dolphins tactically swept them off in the middle.
In attack Nana Arhin Dua and Eric Bekoe, who recovered from an injury last Wednesday for the Dolphins match, could not punch the needed holes in the Dolphins rear. Keeper Ejiogu Chijioke dealt with the few shots that went through until Opoku beat him from close range.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Akyempimhene of Asante, Oheneba Adusei Poku, has stressed the need for the nation to embrace community newspapers as a vital tool for fostering national cohesion.
He pointed out that if the establishment of community newspapers was encouraged nationwide, they could go a long way in helping to resolve some of the seemingly unending crisis in certain parts of the country.
Oheneba Adusei Poku stated this at a symposium in Kumasi yesterday to commemorate the first anniversary of the establishment of Graphic Nsempa, a regional newspaper established by the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) for the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.
The Akyempimhene, who represented the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the symposium as the special guest of honour, said for instance that the crisis in Yendi and Dagbon could be resolved to a very large extent if a community newspaper with the right focus of uniting the feuding ethnic groups was established in the northern part of the country.
He observed that it was dangerous for a newspaper with community focus to deviate from its agenda, stressing that such a situation would defeat the purpose for which the newspaper was established.
He cautioned the media against pitching tribes against each other, emphasising that this could easily explode into disturbances.
“We have nowhere to run to if there is any explosion of conflicts in the country,” he said.
Oheneba Adusei Poku commended the GCGL for establishing the Graphic Nsempa and urged the company to extend the community newspapers to other regions of the country to enable them to enjoy the inherent benefits.
A renowned industrialist, Mr Akenten Appiah-Menkah, who spoke on the topic: “Using community newspapers to promote industrialisation”, stressed that there was a huge potential for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses if they forged closer relationship with the media.
He noted that many businesses fell short of promoting their products through advertising and said the time had come for a change.
Mr Appiah-Menkah used his company, Appiah Menkah Complex Limited, as a case study and said even though the company started on a small note it was able to expand fast through intensive media advertising.
He said the introduction of Graphic Nsempa therefore offered a great opportunity for industries in Ashanti and Brong Ahafo to grow.
He noted that the power of the media in whatever form could not be underestimated but said they became even more powerful when they had a special target to deal with.
Speaking on the topic: “The role of community newspapers in a liberalised media environment”, the General Manager in charge of Newspapers of GCGL, Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, said sustainable development occurred when the people were adequately informed to enable them to make effective choices.
He stated that the integration of modern communication processes with traditional practices had made community newspapers a powerful tool of information dissemination at the local level.
Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh noted that the decision to make Twi part of the Graphic Nsempa, was meant to make “the people own the paper”.
He cited Kenya where he said community newspapers had made a great impact in the lives of the people and said Ghana could do even better.
The general manager reassured the people that the paper would constantly highlight issues that would facilitate development of the two regions.
The Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Osei Assibey-Antwi, who chaired the function, said the government appreciated the importance of the media in national development, that was why it had persistently fostered a closer relationship with the media.
He described the Graphic Nsempa as one of the best things to happen to the Ashanti Region and expressed the hope that the people would continue to patronise it.
Present at the ceremony was the Managing Director of GCGL, Mr Ibrahim Awal.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

AS Asante Kotoko move to salvage their pride, uncertainty hangs over the fitness of prolific striker, Eric Bekoe, for Sunday’s return CAF Confederation Cup match against Nigeria’s Dolphins at the Baba Yara Stadium.
The hit man got injured in last Wednesday’s outstanding One Touch Premier League match between Kotoko and Berekum Arsenals and was rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) where he is on admission.
There were fears that he had strained a tendon, but sources said an X-Ray revealed no serious damage to the injured knee.
It was, however, not clear whether he would be declared medically fit for the game on Sunday. Bekoe’s absence could be a huge blow to coach Bashir Hayford’s fight back strategy.
This is especially so as the Porcupine Warriors would be playing minus three key players— Emmanuel Osei Kuffour, Osei Kwame Jnr and Dan Acquah—who are on suspension.
Some fans questioned the continued presence of Bekoe in the Arsenals game when Kotoko needed his lightening quick legs in the crucial Africa game at hand in four days time.
But the situation provides an opportunity for coach Hayford to prove himself, even from the most difficult situation.
Kotoko have to win by a three-goal margin to make it to the next stage, and even though some see it as a Herculean task, that nevertheless is not beyond their capability.
Memories of great victories recorded under very difficult circumstances put Kotoko clear ahead of their opponents on Sunday. And if the motivation and strict training regimen ahead of the Dolphins game are anything to by, then a semblance of hope prevails.
Dolphins who zoomed into town last Wednesday evening had dismissed earlier reports in Kumasi that they had petitioned the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) over alleged threats of intimidation by Kotoko in the Kumasi game.
Club officials said there was not an iota of truth in the allegation and that they were in Kumasi only to play and win, saying their domineering performance in the Calabar match cannot be taken for granted.
Kotoko’s Director of Communications, Kwame Baah-Nuako, had already indicated that Dolphins could not be the side to see them off in the competition.
But the ability of the Nigerian side to stand toe-to-toe with their opponents can also not be completely wished away.
Goals are crucial in a competition of this nature, but the rate at which Asante Kotoko squander chances sometimes leaves much to be desired.
With Nana Arhin Duah fit for Sunday’s match, his experience must tell positively on the match when he teams up with Francis Coffie, and Kwabena Yaro in attack.
Even though Dan Acquah will be missing in the defence, Hayford can find a worthy replacement for him to partner Inkoom, Harrison, and Anokye at the rear.
Nothing but a resounding victory is expected of the team on Sunday because Kotoko remain the only hope for the nation in continental football this year.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Nyinahim

HAVE you ever been to the Atwima Mponua District? It used to constitute the rural portion of the erstwhile Atwima District.
Currently, it is now one of the three districts in the vast Atwima area of the Ashanti Region, having been created about four years ago by the government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Atwima is an important area of Ashanti. The President of the land, Mr John Agyekum Kufuor, comes from Atwima. I also feel proud that I have my roots in Atwima. My father, the late Mr Albert Kofi Asare, also known as Mr Kofi Sraha, was a native of Atwima Yabi, some 10 kilometres away from Kwadaso in Kumasi.
Rich in mineral resources, cash and food crops, Atwima continues to play a very important role in the development of the economy of Ashanti. I am at a loss as to why there is no paramount chief in the whole of Atwima. Perhaps, I have to read the history and tradition behind this.
This is not the main focus of this article anyway. This piece is more interested in how the young rural district of Atwima Mponua has gone through the challenges it faced from birth, and is now well positioned to take off in full flight in its development strides.
Among the challenges that confronted the district on its creation, was to extricate itself from the high degree of poverty, and under- development that manifested in education, health, road infrastructure, sanitation, water and electricity supplies in the about 400 communities with a total population of some 122,000.
As Atwima Mponua is an agrarian district, it was distasteful the way the road network is in very deplorable state. That prevents many farmers in the hinterlands from reaching the marketing centres with their produce to sell.
Education, which is regarded as the focus of development of every community, is at a very low level. Educational infrastructure in the towns and villages is nothing to write home about, compelling many teachers to refuse postings to the rural communities.
One of the immediate tasks of the assembly, since its creation, has been how to build the district infrastructure, including offices and residential accommodation for staff of the decentralised departments, the construction of the residence for the District Chief Executive (DCE) and many other projects in the communities.
Four years into its creation, the district cannot be said to have completely overcome the numerous challenges that confronted it at birth. But some appreciable level of progress has been achieved.
Credit here goes to the district assembly that has effectively managed the available resources to the benefit of the people. Central government support and interventions from non-governmental organisations have gone a long way to accelerate the pace of development.
Through the District Assemblies’ Common Fund (DACF), the assembly has been able to construct accommodation for the District Chief Executive (DCE), the District Co-ordinating Director, two semi-detached bungalows for two Cuban medical doctors at the Nyinahin Government Hospital, and six staff quarters.
Construction of a district guest house is also in progress all at Nyinahin, the district capital.
The assembly is also putting up a GH¢1.2 million 40-room office complex and assembly hall with offices for the Member of Parliament (MP), the Presiding Member and four meeting rooms for the subcommittees of the assembly at Nyinahin. It is due for completion in October, this year.
Perhaps, the educational sector has received the biggest support from the assembly and its development partners within the years. An average of 50 per cent of the district’s resources is channelled to the educational sector.
The DCE, Mr Wilberforce Owusu-Ansah, explains that it is only education that can bring the people out of poverty, disease and ignorance, which are enemies of development in the rural areas.
Among the many projects being undertaken are construction of a KVIP toilet at Nyinahin, teachers’ quarters at Kwame Dwuma Sreso, national school feeding facilities at Adupri, Addaikrom and Nkruma Nkwanta, and classroom blocks at Saakrom, Nkrumah Nkwanta and Otaakrom.
Other notable educational projects include completion of teachers’ quarters at Gyereso and Akonkye, and school blocks at Agogoso, Atuntuma and Beposo.
A number of ongoing educational projects can also be found in communities including Botrampa, Sereso Timpom and Ahyeresu, as well as Debra Nkwanta where a three-unit classroom block is being constructed under the community-based rural development project (CBRDP).
The assembly is also supporting the only two senior high schools in the district, at Nyinahin and Mpasatia, with grants every year to purchase building materials for their development projects.
Besides, the assembly is constructing a two-storey dormitory block for the Catholic Senior High School at Nyinahin, while 1,020 pieces of desks of various types have been distributed to various schools in the district.
All the interventions are geared towards improving standards of education. Today, the examination results at the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) have improved tremendously. From a percentage score of 37 in the 2005/2006 academic year, the results jumped to 64 per cent in 2006/2007.
The fact remains that teachers are central to the improvement of education. As a result, the assembly has instituted measures to motivate teachers to accept posting and remain in the district. An awards scheme for teachers is in place while 60 bicycles have been distributed freely to some teachers in the remotest parts of the district.
It is not only in education that some measure of progress has been realised. The health sector has also received some support with the aim of improving the health status of the people.
There are seven health facilities in the district, the biggest of which is the district hospital at Nyinahin.
The assembly has completed the extension of the ward at the hospital. The Social Investment Fund (SIF) has also completed a clinic facility at Sereso Timpom. The Assembly, in conjunction with the community, has built nurses’ quarters and rehabilitated others at Bayerebon Number 5.
A health centre has also been completed at Kotokuom. The Assembly has allocated GH¢5,000 of its budget for this year to purchase various items to equip the health centre to enable it to start operation.
Getting more doctors and other health personnel to man the health facilities in the district has been the concern of the Assembly.
However, as a result of hard work of the Assembly, two Cuban doctors have been posted to the Nyinahin Hospital to add up to the only Ghanaian doctor there.
Some electrification and water projects are at various stages of completion, all with the objective of making life comfortable for the people.
Linked to this are sanitation projects spread across the communities. Most of the facilities are household latrines. The KfW of Germany, the Community Based Rural Development Programme (CBRDP) and the District Assembly, are actively involved in those projects.
Other projects like markets and roads have also taken place or are being undertaken. Two modern markets are under construction at Otaakrom and Mpasatia to boost business activities in the district.
On roads, mention can be made of the rehabilitation of Otaakrom-Kofi Nyamekrom road, rehabilitation of Agogoso-Nantiede road, reshaping of Bibiani-Tano Dumasi road, reshaping of Mpasatia-Abompe and Debra Camp-Domeabra Junction roads as some of the many feeder projects being undertaken.
The development strides notwithstanding, there is still some load of work to be done in order to bring development to the expected heights.
As the DCE, Mr Owusu-Ansah, told this writer, the NPP government had brought hope to the people with the creation of the district.
“It behoves all of us to give the necessary support to the government and the district assembly to achieve more for the district,” he stressed.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu

THE Ahafo-Ano North District Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Mrs Elizabeth Adentwi, has advised tuberculosis (TB) patients not to feel shy but to seek early treatment.
She said even though TB was curable, many people died from it every year, and therefore, advised those who contracted the disease to seek treatment, which was free.
Mrs Adentwi stated this when the district directorate of the GHS organised a durbar at Dwaaho to sensitise the people to the causes, prevention and treatment of TB.
She said the disease was very infectious so people, especially children who lived with infected persons, had a great risk of contracting it.
The district director, therefore, advised people with TB to cover their mouths when coughing, and not to spit recklessly.
She indicated that since TB was curable, infected persons should have nothing to fear when they availed themselves of treatment.
Mrs Adentwi disclosed that 40 new cases were recorded in the district in 2007 as compared to 36 the previous year.
She, however, expressed fears that the number could have been more as some people failed to report to the health institutions.
The Queen of Dwaaho, Nana Saamaa II, stated that the traditional authorities would team up with the Unit Committee of the town to visit houses to identify people suspected to have contracted the disease, and advise them to seek medical treatment.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

ONE thousand, one hundred and forty-five (1,145) adult learners are engaged in the non-formal education programme in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Ben Kwakye-Adeefe, who disclosed this at the first ordinary meeting of the assembly at Manso Nkwanta, said 48 facilitators were involved in the programme.
He said the programme was being given serious attention because of its enormous benefits.
Mr Kwakye-Adeefe stated that 285 boreholes had been constructed in the district since 2001 as part of efforts to improve potable water supply to the people.
He said more of such projects were to be undertaken to bring the total number to 305 before the end of the year.
Mr Kwakye-Adeefe also touched on sanitation and said 2,320 household latrines had been constructed in the various communities.
The DCE stressed the importance of education and said major strides had been achieved in that area.
They include educational infrastructure, scholarships for students and trainee of teachers.
Mr Kwaakye-Adeefe mentioned some of the projects as the construction of 35 teachers’ quarters in some communities since 2001, while 100 school blocks had been put up across the district.
He stressed the notable role the Capitation Grant had played in advancing educational development in the area, especially in enrolment, and said that was an indication that more children were being educated to help build the district for the future.
Mr Kwakye-Adeefe welcomed the establishment of the first university in the district by the Anglican Church, and expressed the hope that it would boost the area’s educational drive.
He stated that 95 health assistants trained by the assembly under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) had passed out and were currently working in the various health facilities.
Mr Kwakye-Adeefe spoke about the progress made by the District Health Insurance Scheme and said currently, 70,000 people had registered, with 59,500 of them being issued with identity cards.
On rural electrification, the DCE said 64 communities had been connected to the national grid since 2001.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Bekwai

THE Bekwai Circuit Court has granted bail to four persons who have been accused of fraudulently using the payslips of teachers on study leave to secure loans from a micro-finance company.
The four, whose arrest was reported in the Daily Graphic of Tuesday, April 17, 2008, pleaded not guilty to the charge of defrauding by false pretences and will appear again at a later date.
They are James Leeford Yevutse, 30, a teacher at the Agona Nyakrom D/A Junior High School; Charles Kojo Fosu, 29, a teacher at the Kasoa D/A Primary School; Kwame Nkrumah, 27, a farmer at Agona Duakwa, and Kwabena Kanin, 35, a ‘space-to-space’ operator at Kasoa.
It was the third time the accused persons appeared before the court, presided over by Mr Agyei Frimpong, having been remanded on two previous occasions.
According to the police, the four had, through fraudulent means, managed to access various loans from the company, Noble Character Enterprise, agents of City Investments Company of Accra, at its offices in the Central Region.
The latest attempt, totalling GH¢565, out of which GH¢65 was secured at the Manso Nkwanta office of Noble Character Enterprise, was on April 10, 2008.
They were, however, arrested before they could secure another facility of GH¢500.
According to the police, the suspects were arrested at a police barrier at Antoakrom in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region.
The police said the modus operandi of the suspects was to secure the payslips of teachers who were on study leave, make fake voter identity cards bearing the names of the teachers but with the pictures of the accused persons and used them to access loans from the company.
On the day on which they were arrested, the accused persons had hired a taxi from the Central Region and travelled to Manso Nkwanta to execute the deal.
An assistant manager at the Manso Nkwanta office of the company who had written the cheques for the accused persons later realised their applications were fake and quickly informed the Manso Nkwanta Police.
At that point, the accused persons had left in the taxi but the Manso Nkwanta Police relayed a message to their counterparts at Antoakrom, who arrested the four. But one other accomplice escaped.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

COACH Bashir Hayford faces his toughest task ever in Kumasi Asante Kotoko as he is under pressure to qualify the team on Sunday and, perhaps, save his job.
Going down 0-2 in the first leg preliminary CAF Confederation Cup match against Dolphins in Calabar was somethig Kotoko least expected, and the coach has no choice but to devise a strategy that would see his side scale the hurdle at the Baba Yara Stadium in the return leg.
Hayford was full of verbal venom, pouring vituperations on the referee who handled the game in Nigeria as he spoke to radio commentators just after the match.
On Sunday the coach will not expect the centre man to do him any favour. Experienced as he is, Hayford will move to devise the strategy that will shoot down the Dolphins and advance the team to the next stage of the competition.
Despite going down, Kotoko start the match as overwhelming favourites, judging by their pedigree and especially playing at their Baba Yara fortress.
Team officials believe strongly that Dolphins is not the team to see off Kotoko in the competition, but the ability to maximise their performance will depend on the strategy Hayford will adopt on Sunday.
Some believe he was too defensive-conscious in Nigeria, and this time around a more aggressive attacking game must manifest.
Any match in which a Nigerian side is pitted against a Ghanaian counterpart has its own tension and drama, and Sunday will not be an exception.
Dolphins insisted that they had nothing to fear in Kumasi. Reports from their camp speak of massive preparations for the showdown in Kumasi, and Kotoko cannot take things for granted.
Historically, Kotoko hardly capitulate to Nigerian opposition, but times have changed and no team can be underrated in any way.
With inspirational skipper Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour, Dan Acquah and Osei Kwame Jnr out of the game on suspension, Hayford will have to reshuffle his team.
This time, Eric Bekoe will have to show more potency in his strides. Much more is expected of the striker who is the hottest striking commodity on the local scene today.
It is still not clear why the slippery Ofosu Amoah is not enjoying much playing time these days. If he were fit, he would be the best man to take over the right side of attack.
The defence to feature tried and tested players namely Samuel Inkoom, Harrison Afful and Prince Anokye, will have to be extra vigilant on Yakubu Hakim and Victor Babayaro who tormented the Kotoko rear in Calabar.
All things considered, the teeming followers of the Porcupine Warriors, and indeed the entire Ghanaian football public, expect a great performance from Kotoko who remain the only hope for the nation in continental football this year.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Boamang

THE Member of Parliament (MP) for Afigya Sekyere West, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, has been acclaimed as the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) parliamentary candidate for the constituency in the December elections.
At the end of the filing of nominations, Mr Kan-Dapaah who is also the Minister of Defence was the only one who had filed to contest.
Officials of the Electoral Commission, who supervised the endorsement at Boamang last Friday, therefore declared him as the duly elected candidate for the elections.
It is the third time Mr Kan-Dapaah would be running on the ticket of the NPP and he had pledged to work hard with party members to improve on the party’s performance.
Mr Kan-Dapaah is regarded in his constituency as a performing MP and delegates were convinced that his performance would draw more votes to the NPP.
In an interview, Mr Kan-Dapaah, a chartered accountant by profession, said he believed in service to the people.
He was therefore ready to lead the constituency to another level of its development agenda.
He called for unity within the party to ensure that the NPP win massively in the elections.
Mr Kan-Dapaah thanked his constituents for the confidence reposed in him, and pledged that he would not disappoint them.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, has stated that the government has no intention whatsoever of interfering in the work of the Electoral Commission (EC).
“Our responsibility under the Constitution is not to direct the EC on how to conduct the elections but provide the resources for the EC to organise the elections”, he said.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Asamoah-Boateng said it was important that political parties leave the EC to perform its constitutional duties in order to ensure a level playing field for the elections.
He noted that a level playing field was crucial to ensuring free, fair and transparent elections which every Ghanaian was crying for.
Mr Asamoah-Boateng expressed regret at the way the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) was persistently accusing the government of failing to meet the budget of the EC, when the facts on the ground were the opposite.
The minister noted that President Kufuor, in his May Day address, stated clearly that the government had met its financial commitments towards the elections and was even ready to take care of additional reasonable budgetary demands of the commission.
“We have to believe what the President said, instead of painting the picture as if government is not committed to providing the needed resources for the commission,” he said.
He stated that it was the same opposition which would turn round to accuse the government of interfering in the work of the EC if government strayed into the operational area of the commission.
Mr Asamoah-Boateng indicated that, Ghana’s EC had been acclaimed to be one of the best on the continent and it was important that the people support the commission to deliver in the upcoming elections.
He said persistent criticisms of government towards the elections had the tendency to drawing back the democratic process.
He said on assumption of office, the President and his government pledged to remain committed to upholding democracy in the country and so far the results had been positive.
“That is the surest way we can advance our development agenda as a nation,” he said.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Electoral Commission (EC) is to recruit 110,000 polling personnel for the 2008 general election.
They will take charge of the 22,000 polling stations spread across the country and the number is the biggest ever to be recruited by the EC in any election in the country.
A member of the EC, Nana Amba Eyiaba, who made this known at the Ashanti Regional Special Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) forum on building stakeholders’ confidence in the outcome of the 2008 elections in Kumasi yesterday, said the EC was aware of the crucial nature of the elections and would do everything possible to ensure free, fair and transparent elections.
In recruiting the personnel, she said, the commission would make efforts to ensure that only people with integrity were brought on board.
The commission member noted, however, that as a human institution, the possibility that one bad nut or another could be recruited could not be ruled out.
That notwithstanding, she said, the commission had in-built internal mechanisms to forestall any unpleasant developments.
Nana Eyiaba dismissed any suspicion that the EC could be manipulated to favour one party or another.
“Our independence is intact and we cannot be manipulated in any way by anybody,” she said.
She noted that the integrity of the electoral process was crucial in building a solid democracy for the nation and pledged that the EC was ever prepared to continue to build on what it had achieved over the years.
The commission member maintained that it was only the Chairman of the EC who was clothed with authority under the law to declare the results of the presidential election, stressing, “You can call the results, not declare the results.”
The Director of Finance at the EC, Mr Isaac Boateng, who spoke on the forthcoming voters registration exercise, said there would be about 5,000 polling centres nation-wide, indicating that the commission would publish the names of the centres before the voters register reopened.
He gave the assurance that the EC would work hard to ensure that a greater number of applicants received their voter identity cards before the end of the exercise.
Mr Boateng noted that currently the commission had about 3,000 cameras which could not be used because films for them were difficult to come by.
That was why the commission had to settle on the digital registration process which, even though was costly, would be very effective, he explained.
The director stated that the EC was moving to find ways of managing the negative perception about it in some circles.
Another member of the EC, Mrs Pauline Dadzawa, who chaired the forum, said no commission member had any interest in making life difficult for any political party.
She, therefore, advised the parties to address their concerns with the EC, instead on rushing to the media at the least opportunity.
The Ashanti Regional Director of the EC, Mr Isaac Asomaning, said 87,929 people applied for the replacement of their lost voter ID cards during the just-ended exercise to replace lost, damaged or defaced voter ID cards.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Obuasi

ZOOMLION Ghana Limited, a waste management company, has launched its newly-introduced sanitation project, dubbed “Assembly members’ participation in waste collection and public education on sanitation project,” in the Obuasi municipality.
The programme, which focused on actively involving Assembly members in waste management, especially door-to-door collection in their respective municipalities and districts nationwide, is a public-private sector participation in waste management.
As part of the project, Zoomlion has presented a truck, valued at GH¢19,500, to the Obuasi Municipal Assembly on hire purchase to facilitate the work of the Assembly members.
Launching the project, the special Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zoomlion, Nana Yaw Sarkodie Aboagye, said Obuasi was the first area in the Ashanti Region to benefit from the project.
He emphasised that the project was determined to assist the Assembly members to identify with the overall efforts in waste management, and serve as agents of change in their areas.
Mr Sarkodie Aboagye said Zoomlion would be responsible for the servicing, repairs and maintenance cost of the truck within the repayment period of five years.
He stated that the company would also provide GH¢200 for the public education component of the project.
According to him, a special project account was to be opened for all the proceeds from the services of the truck, which would be managed by a committee to be formed by the assembly.
The special assistant stressed that improved sanitation was crucial to improving the health of the people.
He gave the assurance that the company would do everything possible to assist the assemblies in achieving their sanitation goals.
The Municipal Co-ordinating Director for Obuasi, Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu, described the project as one of the best things to happen to the municipality in its sanitation improvement drive, and commended Zoomlion for its laudable initiative.
He said Assembly members were determined to hold fast to the project to enable it to achieve maximum results.
The Manager incharge of the Ashanti office of Zoomlion, Ms Sharon Quarshie, stated that all the available resources had been put in place to implement the project in the remaining assemblies of the region.
She said the decision by the company to come out with innovative programmes and projects was in line with their position as the leading waste manamegement company in the country.


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Chairman of the Electoral Affairs of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Election 2008 Campaign Team, Mr Dan Botwe, has stated that the party will not be complacent in the electoral process.
“We will fight the elections with the might of a party in opposition,” he said, and added that all the necessary measures were being taken to equip the party’s constituency executives, polling station chairpersons and foot soldiers to take the voter registration exercise and the main election seriously.
Mr Botwe stated this after a two-day trainer of trainers’ workshop on the upcoming voters registration exercise for constituency executives from the Ashanti Region in Kumasi.
The participants were expected to go to their constituencies to train about 2,300 polling station chairpersons spread across the region.
Briefing journalists, Mr Botwe, who is in charge of the training programme for the middle belt of the country, said in all about 400 constituency executives benefited from the training in the Ashanti Region.
He said the party would not want to be disadvantaged towards the general election and, consequently, all the available resources were being marshalled to put its house in order before the elections.
Mr Botwe said the NPP was noted for empowering its members and supporters to effectively play their roles in the electoral process, adding that it would not deviate from the process.
He was confident that the participants would handle the task ahead of them with every seriousness.
He said similar exercises organised for party members in previous elections proved fruitful and expressed the hope that this year’s exercise would achieve maximum benefits.
Mr Botwe said the NPP would counteract all attempts by the NDC to muddy the waters in order to gain undue advantage in the electoral process.
With Mr Botwe as resource persons were the Member of Parliament for Atwima Mponua, Mr Isaac Asiama, and Mr Yaw Boahen, both members of the Electoral Committee of the NPP.