Thursday, October 30, 2008


THREE major projects facilitated by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tafo-Pankrono, Dr Anthony Akoto-Osei, are nearing completion.
The projects are a girls dormitory and two masters’ flats of bungalows at the Osei Kyeretwie Secondary School (OKESS), the Old Tafo Hospital Maternity Block and the Old Tafo Divisional/District Police headquarters and barracks.
Contractors were busily putting finishing touches to the project when the Special Assistant to the MP, Mr J. K. Owusu-Boakye, conducted the Daily Graphic round the projects on Thursday.
Mr Owusu-Boakye said the level of development in the area under Dr Akoto-Osei, who is also the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, was unprecedented.
These developments, he said, had been in the area of infrastructure, peace and security, among others.
He commended the police for working very hard to reduce crime in the once troubled sub-metropolitan area.
The special assistant expressed the hope that the police station, when completed, would further improve the performance of the police.
Mr Owusu-Boakye expressed the hope that the infrastructure overlays would facilitate the socio-economic development of the people.
He commended the people for the support given to the MP and expressed the hope that they would continue in that direction for the benefit of the community and the people who lived in it.


THE Kumasi Circuit Court has acquitted and discharged a popular Kumasi-based pastor, Odiyifo Kwadwo Atta, who was arraigned on charges of trial by ordeal and indecent assault.
Although the pastor admitted inserting his fingers into the private parts of a 24-year-old woman to remove some cowries which he tendered in evidence, the court upheld his defence that it was done with the consent of the woman’s relatives who were physically present.
Odiyifo Atta, who is the Founder and Leader of the Holy Michael Miracle Church and also the Dwantoafohene of the Bechem Traditional Area in the Brong Ahafo Region, was, therefore, acquitted and discharged by the court, presided over by Mr Agyei Frimpong.
A large number of his supporters who thronged the court poured powder on the 48-year-old pastor as a sign of victory after the judge had pronounced the ruling.
The case for the prosecution was that some time in May this year, the woman was sent to the pastor by some of her relatives to be exorcised of witchcraft.
According to the relatives, they had visited a fetish priest who had diagnosed the woman as being possessed by witchcraft.
After taking the woman through spiritual diagnoses, Pastor Atta confirmed that she was, indeed, possessed by witchcraft and that there were some cowries imbedded in her stomach which must be removed before she would be free.
The pastor then charged the relatives GH¢100 and asked them to provide a pair of hand gloves which he would use to remove the cowries through her private parts.
According to the prosecution, the relatives consented and provided the hand gloves and the money.
In the presence of the relatives, the pastor asked the woman to open her legs, which she obliged.
Using the hand gloves, the pastor inserted his fingers into the private parts of the woman and brought out the cowries.
He then asked the woman to stay at the prayer camp for one week for cleansing but she later left the camp.
On leaving the camp, the woman and her relatives went to Rev Ebenezer Adarkwa-Yiadom, who told them that the woman was not a witch and that it was an evil spirit that had tormented her.
The woman lodged a complaint with the police against Odiyifo Atta for wrongfully inserting his fingers into her genitals, after which he was charged.
The woman and her witnesses admitted during the trial that some cowries had been removed from her private parts.
In his defence, Odiyifo Atta admitted inserting his fingers into her private parts but said he had done that with the consent of the victim and her relatives.
Again, his defence was that the spiritual healing was not done in secret but in the full glare of her family members.
Passing judgement, the judge quoted authorities and said what had taken place at Odiyifo Atta’s prayer camp did not amount to trial by ordeal.
He explained that trial by ordeal involved inhuman acts, including physical assaults, which had not been present in the case in question.
"The accused did not force the woman to open her legs," Mr Frimpong said, and added that there was evidence that the cowries dropped from her private parts.
Besides, the judge said, in removing the cowries he used hand gloves and not the raw fingers, explaining that if the pastor had had had an ulterior motive, he would not have used the gloves.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


THE National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential candidate, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, has discounted reports that the NDC sent people to Kenya to study power sharing.
Describing it as one of the negative tactics of the NPP, Prof Mills said, "We don't anticipate anything like power sharing but a good win in the elections".
He was addressing members of the Tertiary Institutions Network (TEIN) of the NDC at the Kumasi Campus of the University of Education Winneba last Thursday night as part of his one-week tour of the Ashanti Region.
The auditorium of the university where the event took place was packed to capacity with many others struggling to watch the event from outside through the windows.
He said under his presidency, the government would build a modern office complex for the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) to reward the union for the support it gave to the NDC government in introducing the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GET Fund).
He said at that time the NPP, then in opposition, was organising walkouts in Parliament and castigating the NDC government for daring to introduce the GETFund, the NUGS saw wisdom in the fund and
wholeheartedly gave its support to the government.
"Quite strangely, the NPP who kicked against the fund are now claiming ownership of it and have even gone ahead to abuse it", Prof Mills said.
Prof. Mills gave the assurance that under his presidency, the GETFund would be decentralised to ensure effective implementation.
The presidential candidate further stated that a government of the NDC would use part of the fund to supplement the Students Loan Scheme.
He said the NPP government had no respect for teachers, and had therefore failed to improve their service conditions, especially in the area of study leave.
"I have been a teacher for the greater part of my working life and I know what teachers need", he said.
Prof Mills said teachers would be paid professional allowance in an NDC government.
A national teachers' council would also be instituted to work towards getting better conditions for teachers.
He expressed concern about the alarming rate of graduate unemployment in the country, and accused the NPP government of failing to implement policies and programmes to address the challenge.
That is why he had vowed to place emphasis on the training and retraining of graduates, and also support them with start up capital to set up their own businesses.
Prof Mills dismissed suggestions that he supervised the collapse of the Ghanaian economy when he was the chairman of the government's Economic Management Team.
He emphasised that under his chairmanship, Ghana achieved single-digit inflation until unfavourable global economic developments begun to have a toll on the Ghanaian economy in the latter part of the NDC administration.
ls said the NPP was deceiving Ghanaians that it had improved the economy, when in reality inflation was in double figures.


THE Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) has unveiled the magnificent trophy to be won at Sunday's final of the Glo Top 4 tournament at the Baba Yara Stadium.
Kumasi Asante Kotoko who placed second in the league phase of the tournament, face the leaders, Liberty Professionals, in what is expected to a grudge affair.
Apart from the Cup, the winner will take home GH¢15,000, with the loser getting GH¢10,000.
At a press briefing at the Baba Yara Stadium last Wednesday, Mr Kurt Okraku, the administrative manager of GHALCA, appealed to the fans to turn up in their numbers at the stadium to make a match a memorable one.
He said a raffle draw carrying attractive prizes would be organised on the day.
The match kicks off at 5 p.m.
The Chairman of GHALCA, Mr Emmanuel Adotey, stated that Kotoko and Liberty Professionals could be considered the best two clubs in the country now, and expectations were that they would provide the stuff of true leaders.
He was not happy about the low patronage of the competition and expressed the hope that the final would witness a significant change.
The General Manager of Globacom Ghana, Mr Suleiman Bello, said the company was proud to be associated with the Top 4 which he described as a big event on the national football calendar.
"I have been impressed with all the matches played so far", he said, adding that Africa has a lot to tell with regard to football.
Mr Bello was, however, concerned about the growing interest in foreign football in Ghana as against the local game.
He therefore called on sports journalists to help change the trend in order to save the national game.
GHALCA also announced that the awards ceremony for the competition would take place on November 1 in Accra.


A GHANAIAN consultant domiciled in Europe,Sheikh Mahmoud, has donated a number of items in the name of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, to boost the party’s campaign in the Bole Bamboi Constituency of the Northern Region.
The items included a 29-inch brand new Toshiba colour television set, 1,000 party T-Shirts, 3,000 posters, 1,000 ear rings in party colours and 100 pieces of NPP necklaces.
Presenting the items at a ceremony at Bole at the weekend, Sheikh Mahmoud advised the people of the constituency to vote massively for Nana Akufo-Addo in the presidential elections as well as Ms Afishatu Djaba Otiko, the NPP parliamentary candidate for Bole-Bamboi.
He said the constituency deserved better leadership in parliament, and that Ms Afishatu Otiko would provide that.
Sheikh Mahmoud, a former NPP parliamentary aspirant of the Ejura-Sekyedumaese Constituency in the Ashanti Region, indicated that there was no way the NPP would not win the elections in the first round.
He explained the philosophical underpinnings of Nana Akufo-Addo's campaign slogan, " Moving Forward", to the well-attended ceremony amidst continuous applause.
Sheikh Mahmoud emphasised that the December elections was about the future of the nation and not mere rhetoric as the NDC and some other opposition parties were doing.
Describing Nana Akufo-Addo as a thoroughbred, principled and honest politician, Sheikh Mahmoud said Ghana would be blessed to have him take over from President Kufuor.
He told the party members to use the television set to monitor the campaign programmes of Nana Akufo-Addo.
Speaking on behalf of the party, Ms Otiko thanked Sheikh Mahmoud and Nana Akufo-Addo for the donation.
She said the donation was going to enhance their activities as they moved to capture the seat from the NDC.
Accompanying Sheikh Mahmoud was Alhaji Seidu Bruku, a member of a research team he (Sheikh Mahmoud) constituted to work on the party's chances in some difficult constituencies in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.
Also in attendance were Mr Mohammed Alfa Mahama, constituency chairman of the party, and Mr Sumani Mahama, constituency secretary.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


THE presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Prof. Evans Atta Mills, has said the NPP has been a failure in government for almost the eight years that it has been in power and does not deserve another term.
He said the government had not been able to meet the aspirations of the people and the signs were clear that Ghanaians were ready to return the NDC to power to reclaim the nation's lost glory.
Prof. Mills said this at Akomadan in the Offinso North District last Tuesday when he addressed a rally as part of his campaign tour of the Ashanti Region.
The enthusiastic party faithful thronged the rally grounds to listen to their presidential candidate who looked hearty and spoke with much energy to continuous cheers.
The NDC lost the Offinso North Constituency by only 300 votes in the 2004 elections, and it had vowed to recapture the seat this time around.
Referring to the impressive number of people who had so far welcomed him in the Ashanti Region, Prof. Mills said the NPP's claim that Ashanti was its preserve was not true.
Nothing, he stressed would prevent the NDC from winning power come December, no matter the lies and propaganda churned out by the NPP, he said.
Prof. Mills said the party would never push for any form of violence in the December elections and added that his message for peace before, during and after the elections was real hoping that the other political parties would follow suit.
In spite of the call for peace, Prof. Mills said that did not mean party members should allow themselves to be bullied into submission by their opponents, especially the NPP.
Prof. Mills, therefore, urged party supporters especially the agents who would be at the polling centres to be extra vigilant.
He promised to be a President for all Ghanaians by seeing to the fair allocation of national resources.
The NDC presidential candidate criticised the NPP government for discriminating against perceived political opponents and said a government of the NDC would play a fair game.
Prof. Mills said education would be the centrepiece of his presidency,because without a massive push for educational development Ghana would not progress.

The NDC presidential candidate indicated that the push for educational
development would be matched with a massive employment drive.
He expressed regret about the unstable employment policies of the NPP
government and said the NDC would streamline things for the betterment of the teeming unemployed youth.
Prof. Mills accused the NPP of using negative tactics including
personal attacks on his person and other NDC leaders and said
Ghanaians were wide awake and could easily see through all this.
Prof. Mills also addressed rallies at Afrancho and Abofuor, and also
called on the chiefs at the Offinso Traditional Council.
He was accompanied by some NDC officials from the national and
regional headquarters.
At Akomadan, he introduced the parliamentary candidate for
Offinso North, Mr Appiah Kubi, to the electorate while at Abofuor, the
parliamentary candidate for Offinso South, Ms Barbara Serwaa, was
Earlier on Monday, Prof. Mills toured the Ahafo Ano North and Ahafo Ano
South constituencies.
At Tepa in Ahafo Ano North Constituency, he was at the Omanhene's
Palace to pay a courtesy call on him and later addressed party members,
urging them to vote massively for him and the NDC parliamentary

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

AKWASI SARPONG...Man of many qualities (PAGE 29)

SOME did not understand why, as a clergyman of no mean repute, the Most Reverend Peter Akwasi Sarpong should have so much affection for African traditional religion.
A traditionalist par excellence, he moved for the inculcation of African traditions into the Catholic way of worship and today things have changed in the church, as traditional drums like atumpan are played during the celebration of mass.
Last Friday, one of the most revered clergymen to emerge from the land, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kumasi, the Most Rev Sarpong, officially retired after 50 years’ service to the Catholic faith, Christianity and Ghana.
Thirty-eight years of his priesthood saw him as Bishop of Kumasi.
The first time I came into contact with the Most Rev Sarpong was some time in 1974. At that time the Kumasi Diocese covered the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.
Then a little boy at the Goaso Roman Catholic Primary School, I went through the Catholic confirmation at Mim, the parish under which Goaso fell then.
I vividly remember attending the ceremony with a white cloth belonging to my mother (now deceased), who was a staunch Catholic.
As I knelt down before the huge frame of Bishop Sarpong for him to perform the sacred ceremony with oil, his deep male voice cut through the inside of my body and when all was over I came out as a fully-fledged Catholic.
That was just a small part of a man whose credentials every true Catholic is proud of.
No wonder the President, Mr John Agyekum Kufuor, showered tonnes of glory on him at his farewell mass in Kumasi last Thursday.
Just hear the President: "Bishop Sarpong is almost unique among others of his calling. He is not only a man of God but also a scholar and a thoroughbred traditionalist, a veritable son of the soil."
Born on February 26, 1933 at Maase-Offinso in the Ashanti Region, the Most Rev Sarpong attended the Offinso-Maase Catholic School, the St Joseph's School at Bechem and then the St Teresa's Minor Seminary and Major Seminary at Amisano.
He also schooled at the University of St Thomas Aquinas in Rome and the Oxford University. He holds a doctorate in Sacred Theology and a Masters in Social Anthropology.
With such rich educational background, it is not surprising that the Most Rev Sarpong took much interest in education during his priesthood in the Catholic Church.
He was once a part-time tutor of Opoku Ware School, St Louis Secondary School, Holy Child Secondary School and Archbishop Porter Girls' Secondary School in Takoradi.
He was also once the Rector of the St Peter's Seminary, Cape Coast. In fact, he was the first African to head any major or minor seminary in Ghana.
An education fund he helped to initiate in the church has been in existence for over 30 years and many needy children have benefited from it.
The Most Rev Sarpong has also assisted in securing scholarships for many young ones to study abroad in various fields of education.
These and many others place him as one of the pillars of education in the Catholic faith and, indeed, the entire nation.
Evangelism remained the core of his life and he never joked with it.
People who have seen the Most Rev Sarpong celebrate mass know he does it with such finesse that he has won many converts into the Catholic faith.
His efforts at national development have also seen him initiating several projects in the health, educational and income-generating spheres.
Mention can be made of the numerous Catholic health institutions in Ashanti, as well as some in the Brong Ahafo Region.
I remember that in my childhood days at Goaso the only hospital in the entire Ahafo area was the St Elizabeth Hospital at Hwidiem. It offered valuable services to the people of the entire Ahafo area and even today it is one of the major health institutions in the entire Brong Ahafo Region.
The Catholic Church believes in empowering people to undertake income-generating activities to improve their lot. The church believes that addressing economic challenges is one sure way of expanding evangelism.
Consequently, the Kumasi Archdiocese, under the Most Rev Sarpong, encouraged the establishment of co-operative credit unions throughout the diocese, which have gone a long way to bring happiness to many people through support for their businesses.
Some saw him as a politician because of the way he criticised the bad policies of some governments in the past, but he was not.
The Most Rev Sarpong detests oppression and bad governance, and that was why he fiercely challenged the late General Kutu Acheampong when he wanted to introduce the Union Government.
The archbishop also hit against some of the bad policies of the PNDC government.
As he bows out from his long years in the priesthood, many will miss his unique qualities, but as President Kufuor said, even in retirement, Ghanaians would be happy to benefit from the Most Rev Sarpong’s wisdom.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


A SECOND attempt by Kumasi Asante Kotoko to reclaim their place in continental soccer via the CAF Confederation Cup has fizzled out, but with a monetary reward of $100,000.
The post-mortem has already started, but there is the likelihood of their elimination triggering a shake-up in the technical and playing body.
The Ghanaian champions fell 1-2 to Sudanese side El-Merreikh in the last match of Group B and slumped to bottom placing of the group on seven points.
In their first attempt at the Cup in 2004, the Porcupine Warriors lost to arch rivals Accra Hearts of Oak in a penalty shoot out in Kumasi.
Kotoko's exit from this year's tournament was indeed disappointing and saddened, but they can only learn from their mistakes and rebuild. Entering the competition with some talented young players like Eric Bekoe, who remains the top scorer in the competition with 10 goals, Jordan Opoku and Nii Adjei, Kotoko's exit could be a rude introduction to life in Africa.
With Kotoko out, the stage is now set for an all-Tunisia final as Etoile Sportive du Sahel, who topped Group B, battle it out with rivals CS Sfaxien, Group A champions.
Etoile killed any hopes of Asante Kotoko in the competition by holding them to a 2-2 draw in the penultimate group match in Kumasi.
Once again, the North Africa dominance had prevailed and perhaps a befitting grand finale is anticipated.
Prize money of $330,000 awaits the champions to emerge from the two-leg final in November.
Even as they fell out of the Confederation Cup, Kotoko would once again have the opportunity to prove their mettle in Africa next season via the prestigious CAF Champions League.
But against the backdrop that the performance in the Confederation Cup would affect the team in the seeding of next year's Champions League, Kotoko would need to seriously get their act together for the task ahead.
Persistently, management had driven home the need to revamp the team for the next season in view of the enormity of the task in the Champions League.
Perhaps, that is why they have taken their recruitment drive outside Africa and have reportedly invited four players, two each from Mali and Nigeria for possible registration.
It was amazing the manner Asante Kotoko lost matches away in the CAF tournament. They conceded two away goals in each of the matches played away.
Could it have been inexperience on the part of the players or technical deficiency?
If maintained for the next season, Coach Bashir Hayford, who has had some brushes with management over contract and disciplinary matters, would have to put in extra efforts to confront the challenges.


THE Vanguard Assurance Company paid insurance claims totalling GH¢304,221 to a number of individuals and companies in the Ashanti Region between January and September, this year.
The beneficiaries included Richam Farms and Company Limited, A.G.Timbers, Nwabiagya Rural Bank, Kuapa Kokoo, Topman Farms and Nana Owusu Ansah and Sons Limited.
The Ashanti Regional Manager of Vanguard Assurance, Mr Isaac Baidoo, told journalists at a briefing in Kumasi that the company would continue to play a lead role in the insurance business in the country.
He reiterated the need for Ghanaians to cultivate insurance culture to enable them to recoup their investments in times of disasters.
He noted that a number of businesses, which used to be vibrant and very viable were either collapsing or in distress situations due to the operators' failure to insure them against disasters like fire outbreak and rainstorm, as well as burglary, theft and other such happenings.
Mr Baidoo pointed out that until Ghanaians purged themselves of the negative perception that insurance was all but payment of premiums, they would continue to suffer losses in their personal lives and business establishments whenever calamities struck.
The regional manager, therefore, called for attitudinal change to enable the country to derive the full benefits of insurance.
He stated that the company had far-reaching and comprehensive products for individuals and business entities that could cushion them in times of hardships and damage to their investments.

Monday, October 20, 2008


A specialised centre for the treatment of cancer, facial malformations and infectious diseases in Kumasi has been inaugurated by President J.A. Kufuor.
The HopeXchange Medical Centre will become operational in 2009 and it will be used as a regional facility for continuing medical education in collaboration with the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons.
The 130 bed-capacity hospital, estimated at $25 million, is a joint initiative of the Catholic Church of Ghana, the Ghana Mission Foundation of the Republic of Malta and HopeXchange, an international humanitarian organisation.
Other collaborators in the project include the Catholic University of Rome Medical Centre, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the University of Innsbruck Medical Centre, Operation Smile, the Breast Health Global Initiative, the Ghana Health Service, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi, which donated the 6.15 acres of land for the project.
The centre will also house the first interactive learning laboratory of the Breast Health Global Initiative, where doctors and scientists from around the world will share critical information on early detection and treatment of breast cancer in the country.
Breast cancer is gradually becoming a health concern in the country. Nearly 70 per cent of Ghanaian women diagnosed with breast cancer are said to have advanced forms of the disease, which are difficult to treat.
Inaugurating the hospital, President Kufuor said it would be a great asset for the people of Kumasi, the Ashanti Region and the nation.
In its commitment to fighting disease and improving access to health care, the President said, the government had made a lot of effort to provide adequate and affordable health facilities across the length and breadth of the country.
In spite of those interventions, he said, budgetary constraints and limited public resources did not make it easy for the government alone to satisfy the needs of the health sector.
Consequently, he said, it had, by way of policy, encouraged the involvement and participation of the private sector in health care.
President Kufuor said the centre was a testimony of the positive results that could be generated by a strong collaborative effort among religious institutions, the private sector, civil society and government agencies.
The President and Chief Executive Officer of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Ms Hala Moddelmog, said the support provided by the cancer organisation for the establishment of the hospital was partly in fulfilment of a promise made by Ms Nancy Brinker to her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything possible to end breast cancer forever.
Ms Moddelmog said the fulfilment of that promise gave birth to the establishment of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure initiative in 1982, after which the global breast cancer movement was launched, which had today set up a fund of more than $1billion, the largest source of non-profit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.
The Chief Medical Director of the HopeXchange Medical Centre, Professor Riccardo Masetti, said although his mother died hours before the inaugural ceremony, the good news was that it was the wish of her mother that he took part in the dedication of the hospital project in Ghana, instead of being by her bedside in the last moment of her life.


THE presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC),Prof. J.E.A. Mills, has promised to make teaching one of the country's most attractive professions when he wins the December 7 elections.
He expressed regret that today a number of people who entered the profession used it as a stepping stone to other areas because of the unattractive conditions of service, and promised to change the situation for the better.
Prof. Mills stated this when he addressed students of the Akrokerri Traning College at the weekend as part of his tour of the Ashanti Region.
Accompanied by some party officials, Prof. Mills said the NPP government had failed teachers but indicated that good days were ahead under his presidency.
He pointed out that governance was not about empty promises but serious work.
"This is where the NDC stands tall above its competitors", the Professor said.
He called on the youth not to allow the poor policies of the government to force them to throw up their arms in despair.
The NDC presidential candidate told the gathering that they only needed to vote massively for the party so that it would form the next government to implement the laudable programmes and policies.
Prof. Mills had so far been to the New Edubiase, Adansi Asokwa and Fomena constituencies, where he addressed mini-rallies in the communities. At New Edubiase, where he kicked off his one-week tour of the Ashanti Region, he expressed strong conviction that the party would make a great impact in the region in the December elections.
He said the NPP would be making a big mistake to believe that the Ashanti Region would fall for it again.
The NDC presidential candidate stressed that the NDC was out to match the NPP boot-for-boot for the votes.
New Edubiase is one of the three constituencies the NDC won in the Ashanti Region in the 2004 elections.
The Professor said the crowd that met him was indicative that the NDC had grown in the region.
He said agriculture was dying in the rural areas because of poor policies, and noted that a government of the NDC would move to introduce mechanised farming.
Prof. Mills said to deafening cheers that," our farmers deserve better and this is what I promise you when I become president".
He said instead of admitting their mistakes and telling the people the truth about the state of the nation, the NPP government was using personal attacks on him as a way of addressing their waning support.
He pointed out that the people were wide-awake and could easily read through the lines to know the tricks of the NPP.
He urged the people to vote on the election day without any fear, and vote massively for him and the NDC parliamentary candidates.
In every community that he visited, Prof. Mills introduced the NDC parliamentary candidates for the in the respective constituencies to the people.


A FORMER New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary aspirant in the Asutifi South Constituency, Mr Robert Dwomoh-Mensah, has donated items worth GH¢2,500 to the parliamentary aspirant, Mr Yiadom Boachie-Boateng, to enhance his campaign.
The items included 500 T-Shirts, NPP flags, office stationery and other party paraphernalia.
According to Mr Dwomoh-Mensah, the donation was intended to reaffirm the commitment he made some time ago to support the parliamentary aspirant in his campaign, and to deepen the unity that existed in the party.
At the presentation ceremony at the constituency headquarters at Hwidiem in the Brong Ahafo Region, Mr Dwomoh-Mensah said the presentation was the beginning of greater things to come.
He said he was determined to assist the aspirant to defeat the incumbent NDC MP, Alhaji Collins Dauda, "whose inaction had stifled the development of the constituency".
Mr Dwomoh-Mensah said he was touched by the constant requests for T-Shirts by the youth, especially during campaigns.
The chief patron of the party in the constituency, Nana Kofi Sarbeng, thanked Mr Dwomoh-Mensah for the gesture.
He expressed regret that even though there were some party supporters who had the financial clout to assist the campaign, they had not done that.
Nana Sarbeng, therefore, challenged them to change for the better to facilitate the campaign and ensure total victory.
For his part, the parliamentary aspirant, Mr Boachie-Boateng, thanked Mr Dwomoh-Mensah for the support, stressing that the donation came at the right time when T-Shirts had become "an essential commodity" in the campaigning.
He promised to make good use of the items as he prepared to unseat Alhaji Collins Dauda.


STORY: Nehemia Owusu Achiaw & Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

A multi-million-cedi tractor assembling plant, jointly established by Zoomlion Ghana Limited and Mahindra and Mahindra Company of India, was last Friday inaugurated by President J.A. Kufuor.
As much as 70 per cent of tractor parts will be assembled at the plant, while 30 per cent will be imported from India.
The project is expected to sharpen the skills and competencies of artisans at the Suame Magazine in Kumasi and other parts of the country in metal fabrication, as well as provide unemployed youth with employable skills.
The plant, located on the premises of the former Kowus Motors and Suame Foundry, will also serve as a training ground for students from the metal fabrication departments of technical institutes, polytechnics and universities.
Other partners of the project are the ministries of Food and Agriculture, Trade, Industry and PSI and the Garages Association of Ghana.
The inauguration ceremony was cut short because of a heavy downpour.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu ll, has already allocated a 26-acre plot at Kodie in the Ashanti Region for the establishment of the huge assembling plant to serve as the headquarters of the project.
Inaugurating the plant, President Kufuor commended Zoomlion for the initiative and said the project would be beneficial for the agricultural and industrial development of the country.
The General Manager of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mrs Florence Larbi, expressed gratitude to the government for encouraging private companies such as Zoomlion and for promoting public-private sector partnership.
She said although Zoomlion was a waste management company, it had a metal fabrication unit which was responsible for the production of a majority of its tricycles.
She said the establishment of the metal fabrication plant was the driving force which motivated the management of the company to seek partnership with Mahindra and Mahindra of India to establish the assembling plant.
Mrs Larbi said the venture would create jobs for welders, steel benders, auto mechanics and apprentices from various garage associations across the country, as well as help the youth to benefit from technologies from other countries to develop.
In January 2008 the company trained 30 women in the operation of earth-moving equipment as part of the Waste and Sanitation Module of the National Youth Employment Programme.
Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, an accomplished heart surgeon, who chaired the ceremony, advised Zoomlion to work closely with other organisations such as the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation (SMIDO), so that engineering, especially fabrication, manufacturing and machine tooling would gain root in Kumasi and many parts of the country.
He said no country had ever developed without acquiring the capacity to make machines and that the poverty in some countries was, indeed, a technology gap.
Professor Frimpong-Boateng said the middle-income economic status could only be attained in 2015 when the country focused on the development of its human capital, which was crucial in the knowledge-based economy.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


PRESIDENT John Agyekum Kufuor has eulogised the former Metropolitan Archbishop of Kumasi, the Most Rev Peter Akwasi Sarpong, as an honest and fearless man who has earned the respect and admiration of his countrymen.
He said apart from being a man of God, scholar and staunch traditionalist, there had been times in the nation's political history when the retired Archbishop became the voice of the voiceless.
President Kufuor, who was speaking at a special High Mass to celebrate the retirement of the Most Rev Sarpong in Kumasi yesterday, recalled how the Archbishop had strongly fought against the introduction of "Union Government" by the late General Acheampong.
As a result of his strong stance against the Acheampong regime, Mr Kufuor said, Archbishop Sarpong was called names, but "he bore the insults with grace, in tune with his conviction as a Christian leader".
Archbishop Sarpong retired this year after 50 years in the priesthood of the Catholic Church, 30 years of which he served as a bishop.
He was credited with a number of initiatives in the church, especially in the metropolitan archdiocese, including the establishment of schools and health facilities and the infusion of productive traditional beliefs into Catholicism.
President Kufuor noted that the integration of traditional beliefs into Christianity provided a real insight into life and what God expected of the people.
He emphasised that since God created people in His own image, it would be misplaced to downgrade the culture of any group of people.
"In the past, evangelists sought to make us turn our back on our traditional ways of life," he said, and commended Archbishop Sarpong for the studies he made into Ghanaian culture, which confirmed that life as a Ghanaian and that as a Christian were intertwined.
Himself a Catholic, President Kufuor noted that his life had been shaped, to a very large extent, by the advice and encouragement of the Most Rev Sarpong.
The President recalled how Archbishop Sarpong visited him and other detainees at the Ussher Fort prison after the overthrow of the Busia administration in 1972, stressing, "And typical of him, the archbishop demonstrated love and care and we appreciated that immensely",
"I am also very proud and privileged to state that we first met at Oxford University in 1962-1963 when we were both students," the President said, and added that they had developed special love for each other since that time.
Touching on Archbishop Sarpong's academic prowess, the President said, "Academia is generally richer by the many scholarly contributions from him."
He expressed the hope that the retirement of the archbishop would not be the end of the work God asked him to do on earth.
On behalf of President Kufuor, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr E.A. Owusu-Ansah, presented an undisclosed amount of money to the retired archbishop.
The Omanhene of Acherensua, Agyewodin Adu Gyamfi Ampem, who represented the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, said Otumfuo appreciated the valuable work the Most Rev Sarpong did for God and mankind in his long years as a priest.
He expressed the hope that the Most Rev Sarpong would continue to offer other services to his nation even on retirement.
Agyewodin Ampem gave the assurance that at the appropriate time Otumfuo would honour the retired archbishop.
The Most Rev Sarpong, who said the mass, the last to be performed by him, was grateful to President Kufuor and the Asantehene for the support given him in his long years of service.
In attendance was the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kumasi, the Most Rev Thomas Mensah.


A COPENHAGEN-based Ghanaian lawyer, Mr Joseph Boateng, has said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is not preparing for a run-off in the December presidential election as some of the party's opponents believe.
He emphasised that the NPP was sure of clinching a "one-touch victory" and those who believed that they could use political alliances to threaten that party in a run-off would be daydreaming.
Mr Boateng stated this when he presented 700 NPP T-shirts, valued at GH¢2,100, and cash of GH¢1,000 to the Sene Constituency branch of the NPP at a ceremony at Kwame Danso.
The items and the money are to boost the party’s campaign towards the general election.
In the 2004 elections the NDC won by over 13,000 votes in the Sene Constituency but the NPP has vowed to wrest the seat from the NDC in December.
Mr Boateng, who is a citizen of the Brong Ahafo Region, said the candidature of Nana Akufo-Addo and the aggressive campaign he and the NPP had launched had sent fears down the spines of the NDC which had resorted to lies and vicious attacks to save its dwindling image.
He said Ghana's international reputation had shot up under the NPP and so it was important that Ghanaians retained the party in power to build on it.
Mr Boateng said all over Europe Ghana was rated very high among other Africa countries in its democratic development and economic policies.
He indicated that he and other friends were helping in diverse ways to get some constituencies on the right footing for the elections.
He promised to extend similar assistance to six other constituencies in the Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions before the general election.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Secretary of the NPP, Mr A.K. Kusi, commended Mr Boateng for the assistance, which he said would go a long way to get the party in full gear for the battle ahead.
He said even though the NDC won in the constituency in both the parliamentary and presidential elections of 2004, its incumbent MP had not done anything meaningful to get the development of the area on course.
Mr Kusi promised that the NPP leadership in the region was working hard with the constituency executives to win in all the constituencies.
The Sene District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Ernest Buanya Mensah, said the support from Mr Boateng was one of the best things to happen to the constituency since the campaign took off.
He said the NDC was in a state of disorder because the NPP's record in government was drawing a number of NDC members into the NPP family.
Present was the NPP parliamentary aspirant for Sene, Mr Mohammed Belinyi Abdullah.


FILING of nominations for the parliamentary election in Kumasi and some other parts of the Ashanti Region started on a slow note as the exercise got underway on Thursday.
As of 10a.m. only a few of the constituencies in Kumasi had witnessed some action.
For constituencies like Nhyiaeso and Asokwa, no one had filed his/her nomination, but expectations were that the candidates would move in to file on Thursday and Friday.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bantama, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, who is seeking re-election to Parliament, told the Daily Graphic on phone that she had prepared all her documents and, even though she was in Accra, her representatives would file on her behalf before the close of work on Thursday.
However, Mr Stephen Saahene, an Independent Candidate for Bantama, had already filed his nomination as of midday, and Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto of the NPP had also filed his nomination for the Kwadaso Constituency.
At Manhyia, the NPP candidate, Mr Matthew Prempeh, a.k.a. Napo, had also filed his nomination as of the time the Daily Graphic visited the area.
In fact, he was the only one to have filed and was confident of winning massively in the December elections.
In some constituencies of the region, some candidates were still trying to get their tax clearance certificates to enable them to file.
For instance, at Bosome Freho, the NDC candidate, Mr Anthony Asiedu, said in a telephone interview that he was in the process of securing his tax clearance certificate to enable him to file before the close of day.
At Bekwai, the NDC candidate, Mr Noah Asante, had filed his nomination to contest the elections and said he would spring a surprise in the election.
Mr Joe Osei Wusu, an Independent Candidate for Bekwai, said he travelled outside the country and had just returned. According to him, he was in the process of getting his documents ready to file, either on Thursday or yesterday.
Mr Osei Wusu decided to go independent after a failed bid to secure NPP delegates’ nod in the Bekwai Constituency.
No candidate from the Reform Patriotic Democrats (RPD), the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP) were there to file their nomination in Kumasi.
RPD Presidential Aspirant, Mr Kwabena Agyei, a.k.a. Bambata, was however confident that they would go through the appropriate processes to contest in all the constituencies of the region.
Relatedly, Nana Yaw Osei also reports from Kumasi that the NDC Parliamentary Candidate for Oforikrom, Mr Ebenezer Okletey Terlarbi, filed his nomination papers with officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) at the Askowa Sub-Metropolitan District Council at Oforikrom in Kumasi.
The parliamentary candidate who is a lecturer at the Biochemistry Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) said if the people of Oforikrom should vote for him, he would establish guidance and counselling centres in all the eight electoral areas in the constituency to cater for the informational needs of the youth in terms of providing information on education, reproductive health, skill acquisition, among others.
In the 2004 elections, the NDC parliamentary candidate polled 21, 056 (29.4 per cent) votes as against the NPP’s 47, 388 (66.2 per cent).
On why the NDC lost the constituency, Mr Terlarbi attributed the defeat to the fact that the Oforikrom Constituency in 2004 had just been carved uut of the former Asokwa East Constituency and so the NDC did not have functioning executive and active party structures on the ground.
George Folley Quaye also reports from Wa that the incumbent Member of Parliament for Wa Central, Mr Abdul Rashid Pelpuo, on Thursday, filed his nomination to contest on the ticket of the NDC.
The MP would be contesting NPP Parliamentary candidate, Mr Clement Eledi.
He submitted his papers to the Wa Municipal Electoral Officer, Mr Lucas Tiryel, who after verifying the nomination documents, said Mr Pelpuo had satisfied the necessary requirements to contest the elections. Looking elated, Mr Pelpuo, who was accompanied by a host of supporters of the NDC, told the Daily Graphic that he was optimistic of victory.
He described his filing of nomination forms as a mere formality, since the electorate in the constituency had already decided to retain him.
He advised supporters of the various political parties to conduct their campaigns in a peaceful manner.

KOTOKO TO FINISH HARD...As they play away to El-Merreikh (GRAPHIC SPORTS, BACK PAGE)

KUMASI Asante Kotoko and El-Merreikh will be playing for pride tomorrow as the Group matches of the CAF Confederation Cup get to the final stretch.
Any hopes for Asante Kotoko slipped out barely a fortnight ago at their Kumasi fortress when Etoile Sportive du Sahel held them to a 2-2 draw in a match that was followed by crowd troubles outside the stadium
But the former Africa champions are hoping a victory over El-Merreikh in the last group match in Khartoum tomorrow will at least restore some pride.
On the flip side, El-Merreikh have also found themselves out of the competition and will likewise be playing for pride.
It cannot be described as a calamitous continental journey for the Ghanaian champions.
They entered Africa with a host of young inexperienced players, most of them in only their first season in continental soccer.
Perhaps the experience gained will catapult them to greater heights next season in the prestigious CAF Champions League.
Happily enough, reports from the camp of the Kotoko team in The Sudan speak of an appreciable level of optimism as the players seem to have put the 2-2 draw against Etoile Sportive du Sahel behind them to go for a last glory.
Of course, their disappointed supporters would not countenance any ignominious end to the competition and only a respectable score line would appease them.
But reaping results in The Sudan would not come easy. The Porcupine Warriors would have to play above themselves to overcome their opponents who were a handful for the Ghanaian champions in Kumasi before losing by a late Eric Bekoe goal.
As club Communications Director, Kwame Baah-Nuako, told the Graphic Sports last Monday, "We know the enormity of the task and we are determined to play our hearts out and send out clear signals that we will be fully ready for next year's CAF Champions League".
For the Sudanese, victory is even more vital. If they lose again, it would be disastrous for a side that was initially considered the frontrunners in Group B.
They play one of the finest games in the competition, yet fate had confined them to the bottom of the table.
Having crumbled 1-3 under he weight of JS Kabylie in Sousse in the penultimate group match, El-Merreikh would likewise move to bring some smiles to the faces of their supporters with a win.
Kotoko enter the Khartoum game minus head coach, Bashir Hayford, who was dropped for alleged indisciplinary acts.
Assistant coach, Johnson Smith, will not face selection quandaries and will have the luxury of choosing from a squad that has only Kwadwo Poku on suspension.
On that level of strength, Smith must have faith in trusted striker, Eric Bekoe, to lead the onslaught.
The striker has had an insatiable appetite for goals at home, but the same cannot be said of him away and he has to prove critics wrong this time.
The Kotoko defence has struggled to cope with their away duties, conceding goals, some of which were unpardonable. Mindful of this, the back four likely to feature Samuel Inkoom, Godfred Yeboah, Osei Kwame and Ofosu Appiah can only help to prevent El-Merreikh from getting any goal.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


THE National Democratic Congress (NDC) flag bearer, Professor John Evans Atta-Mills, will finally start his campaign tour of the Ashanti Region today.
The tour has been postponed twice due to what party sources attributed to circumstances beyond the control of the flag bearer.
Prof. Mills will pay a courtesy call on the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the Manhyia Palace to seek his blessing before he moves into the constituencies.
According to the sources, Prof. Mills who would be accompanied by some leading party gurus, would address mini-rallies in selected constituencies in the one-week that he would be in the region before continuing to the Brong Ahafo Region.
The Ashanti Region, perhaps, has been the most difficult region for the NDC in the past elections.
Out of the 33 constituencies in the region, the NDC currently holds only three, Asawasi, New Edubiase and Ejura-Sekyedumase.
However, the NPP has vowed to wrest the seats from the NDC in the December 7 elections.
On the other hand, the NDC also aims at getting at least 30 per cent of the popular votes in the presidential elections, believing that would propel them into winning the elections.
A press release from his campaign office yesterday said Prof. Mills, after filing his papers at the Electoral Commission office in Accra, would move to the Ashanti Region to start an intensive tour of the region.
Professor Mills, who is expected to spend not less than a week in the Ashanti Region, will roll out his Better Ghana agenda of Investing in People, Job Creation, Infrastructure Expansion, and explain how the new NDC Government will operate in an open, honest, humble, truthful and transparent manner.
Before he visits the Ashanti Region, Prof. Mills yesterday visited the Okaikoi North and Krowor constituencies in the Greater Accra Region.


AN instance of armed robbery at Nyamebekyere on the Mankranso-Tepa Junction road in the Ashanti Region in the early hours of yesterday turned horrific when a number of passengers who had been made to lie on the road at gunpoint were run over by a vehicle, killing two instantly, including the queen of Amaasu in the Brong Ahafo Region.
An eyewitness told the Daily Graphic that at least eight others were critically injured and sent to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi.
The queen was identified only as Nana Basua, but the other deceased person was yet to be identified as of press time.
The Ashanti Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Inspector Yusif Mohammed Tanko, confirmed the incident but said the police were yet to receive the full details.
As of press time the Ashanti Regional Police Command had sent officers to the area to get firsthand information on the robbery and report to the Regional Commander for further action.
Reports said the robbers, numbering about six, had barricaded the road and asked the passengers to lie on the road, while they searched the passengers for cash and other items.
While the robbers were searching them, a speeding vehicle emerged from the Tepa Junction end of the road and when the driver realised that those stopping him were armed men, he refused to stop and sped over the passengers lying on the road.
The robbers escaped after the accident and none of them has yet been arrested.
The remains of the dead have been deposited at the morgue at KATH.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


THE District Chief Executive (DCE) for Atwima Kwanwoma, Mr Emmanuel Agyei-Dankwa, has stated that it is impossible for the government and the district assembly to provide all the development needs of the people.For that reason, he urged chiefs and people in the various communities to rekindle their communal spirit to complement the efforts of the government and the assembly at accelerating the pace of development of the district.
Mr Agyei-Dankwa said this during a familiarisation tour of some communities in the district.
The communities include New Adwampong, Konkori, Kentinkyire and Kwanwoma.
He used the opportunity to brief the people on government policies and programmes, as well as some projects to be undertaken in the area.
Mr Agyei-Dankwa said the district assembly, though new, was poised to
live up to expectation by leading the people to development.
The DCE assured the people that a number of schools would be hooked on to the school feeding programme next year.
He, therefore, enjoined the people to take interest in the education of their children because it was only education that could change the face of development of the district.
One common appeal that ran through the communities was the provision of toilet facilities.
The DCE stated that the assembly would seriously consider the appeals at the appropriate time.
At Kentinkyire, the assembly member, Mr Akwasi Bruku Dankwa, appealed for drains on the edges of the main road in the town to prevent erosion.
He also appealed for teachers' quarters to entice teachers to accept posting to the town.
At New Adwampong, the chief, Nana Akosah Yiadom, called for the tarring of the road from Konkori to promote development.


THE Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) is developing filter materials for the removal of high levels of fluoride and arsenic, two chemicals that pose a threat to the agency's rural water programme in six regions of the country.
The regions are Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Western where some of the people who consume the infected water have brittle bones and red teeth.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CWSA, Dr Philip Gyau-Boakye, made this known when his outfit presented one desktop computer to the Civil Engineering Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The donation was in appreciation of the collaborative efforts of the department in developing the mwacafe iron removal plant for use by the CWSA.
The Eastern Regional Water and Sanitation Engineer of the CWSA, Mr Worlanyo Kwadjo Siabi, worked with the Civil Engineering Department in developing the mwacafe plant.
The CWSA has so far brought back to use more than 90 boreholes that were abandoned due to high concentration of iron and manganese.
Already, the mwacafe plant has won gold in the innovative service category of the maiden edition of the President's Excellence Awards for Public Service, while currently, it has been shortlisted for another award from the Public Service and Administration of the Republic of South Africa.
The CWSA has made the innovation available for application by the district assemblies on water projects.
Dr Gyau-Boakye said ground water had become widely used in the rural areas and even parts of the urban centres and it was important that the water quality was tackled with all seriousness.
He commended KNUST for its collaborative efforts with the agency and expressed the hope that the university would continue to open its doors to the CWSA.
The board chairman of the CWSA, Mr James Adusei Sarkodie, said poor water intake had been one major source of stunted growth of children in some parts of the country.
He stated that the agency had covered about 70 per cent of rural water supply.
While stressing the need for science teachers to be paid salaries higher that those in the arts, Mr Sarkodie pointed out that the nation could not move forward if science education was neglected.
The Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. K.K. Adarkwa, urged postgraduate students to tailor their research works towards finding solutions to the nation's everyday problems such as energy and water supply, sanitation, HIV/AIDS, malaria and deforestation.
"This is the reason why the KNUST is putting in efforts to train more postgraduate students by increasing our intake for postgraduate students," he stated


IT is very difficult for an area to see any appreciable development if there is conflict between the traditional and political authorities.
In areas where unity exists, cross fertilisation of ideas have resulted in accelerated development to the benefit of the people.
That is why the Ahafo Ano North District has come far in the last couple of years with regard to development.
Today, the Omanhene of Tepa Traditional Area, Nana Adusei Atwenewa Ampem, has released 60 acres for the construction of a new hospital for the district capital, Tepa, to which the district authorities are very grateful.
The Omanhene has persistently drummed home the fact that a chief who refuses to lead his people to development cannot claim to be a good chief.
According to him, Ahafo-Ano North deserves the best in everything because of its position in political and traditional development.
Ahafo-Ano North District is one of the oldest districts in the Ashanti Region. It used to be part of the vast Ahafo-Ano District until the erstwhile provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) government divided it into two, Ahafo-Ano North and Ahafo Ano South.
The idea behind the breaking of the former district into two was to facilitate accelerated development.
For the benefit of the uninitiated, the Ahafo area cuts through the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions.
In 1959, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) government of the late Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, cut off part of Ahafo to join the Brongs to form the Brong Ahafo Region.
Ahafo-Ano North thus remains a very important part of the Ashanti Region, contributing immensely to the growth of the regional economy.
The area abounds in cocoa, timber and food crops. During the late General Acheampong's era, the government constructed a cocoa clinic at the district capital in honour of cocoa farmers in the area.
In spite of the important position the district occupies in national development, not much was done in the past to shore up its development.
Indeed, before the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took over the reins of government in 2001, the only tarred road in the district was the one that formed part of the main Tepa Junction–Goaso main road.
All the other roads connecting to the district capital were in bad shape and it was an eyesore when the rains set in. Food crops were made to rot in the bush to the disadvantage of the poor farmers as a result of the deplorable roads.
Tepa, the district capital, lacked a number of social amenities to befit one
of the oldest district capitals in the country. Not even a modern market existed in the town.
Today, however, things are changing for the better, bringing some hope to the people. As a result of government initiatives, a number of feeder roads are now in good shape even though there is a lot more to do.
One major road that is receiving serious attention is the one linking Dwaho with Twabidi. The road is ready for tarring and the contractor is working on it at a fast rate.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Nana Eric Agyemang Prempeh, said in an interview that the road was very dear to the hearts of the people of the region and was happy that the government had tackled it.
The Akwasiase–Manfo road has also been added to the new cocoa road project for tarring and very soon, contractors would move to the site.
Although, there has been a significant improvement in the road sector, some other roads in the district are still crying for rehabilitation. One of such roads is the Anyinasuso–Betiako road. Even though the DCE said the road had been awarded on contract, the contractor had abandoned work.
According to him, the recent rains had made some of the roads impassable resulting in quantities of foodstuffs getting rotten in the bush. Many schools have also been constructed across the district.
Education, as widely accepted, is the key to development and anyone who neglects it does so at his or her peril. That is why over the past seven years, the district assembly and the government have pumped in more funds to undertake massive construction of school blocks across the district.
The district assembly for instance, has continuously allocated a chunk of its government's educational initiatives is the Tepa Senior High School.
Serious work has been done to improve infrastructure with specific reference to the construction of a two-storey administration block.
Water is life, as the saying goes. It is against this background that the district assembly, the government and other development partners continue to take action towards addressing the water problems facing the people.
In this regard, a GH¢700,000 small towns water project for Akwasiase has been awarded on contract to add up to the existing facilities in some other communities.
But the problem of buruli ulcer still remains a threat to some communities including Achiawkrom.
Expectations are that the coming years will see further improvement in all spheres of the district.


APPROACHERS Ghana Limited, a leading printing and publishing company in Kumasi, has been honoured for its exceptional delivery of service.
The company received the gold award in the printing and publishing category of the fifth Ashanti Business Excellence Awards held in Kumasi.
Last year, the company won silver in the same category.
The event was organised by Top Brass Consult, an event organising firm, under the auspices of Manhyia Palace.
Instituted five years ago, the awards had brought a lot of competition into the business sector in Kumasi.
It is meant to reward companies and institutions that distinguish themselves in their service to the people.
From a virtually unknown entity about 11 years ago, Approachers Ghana Limited has shot itself into prominence through hard work by management and staff.
With over 150 employees, the company largely contributes to employment creation and industrial training for many unemployed and unskilled youth.
As a socially responsible company, Approchers Ghana Limited provides scholarship packages for brilliant needy students.
The Chief Executive of the company, Mr Alfred K. B. Obeng, told the Daily Graphic that the company was poised to continue to play its role in national development with all seriousness.
He said, for instance, that apart from its main business of printing and publishing, it took social responsibility very seriously.


Zoomlion Ghana Limited is set to record another first in the development of the Kumasi metropolis.
On Friday, the company rolled out its tractor assembly project in Kumasi to complement the efforts of the government at building Kumasi into a strong technology transfer hub of the country.
The project, to be undertaken with other partners, including the Mahindra and Mahindra Company of India, the Ministries of Food and Agriculture, Trade, Industry and PSI, and the Garages Association, is expected train the youth of the Suame Magazine in the fabrication of tractor and other vehicle parts.
It will also provide the unemployed youth in the Suame area with employable skills, and also serve as a training ground for artisans from various garages, as well as students from the metal fabrication departments of technical institutions, polytechnics and universities.
The Communications Manager of Zoomlion, Mrs Isabella Gyau-Orhin, briefing journalists in Kumasi about the project, said it was one of the best things to happen to the metropolis.
The central location of Kumasi provides a lot of advantages for the city's accelerated development but unfortunately very little has been done to take advantage of the situation.
In the area of technology transfer, the Suame Magazine, which is considered the biggest industrial estate in Africa, has not realised its full potential.
Various factors have accounted for this situation and the government and non-governmental organisations have moved in to correct the situation but with little success.
It is as a result of this situation that the initiative of Zoomlion is commendable and welcome.
Significantly, Zoomlion has never looked back since it decided to move into areas other than the core duty of refuse management.
What they are about to do in Kumasi gives a clear picture about the seriousness of the company to spread its tentacles and they could not have chosen a better place to undertake this project than Kumasi.
The industriousness of the people of this great city is unquestionable and the company expects to attain the goals for the establishment of the plant.
The company has acquired the premises for the project at Asokwa, where already some of the Mahindra tractors are being assembled.
A combined team of experts and professionals from Zoomlion, Mahindra and other stakeholders would run the plant.
One interesting feature of the project is that a number of the tractor parts would be manufactured at the plant, with only a few of them coming in from India, where the Mahindra company is located.
Officials of Zoomlion said the project would benefit the agriculture and the educational sectors, as well as artisans in Kumasi.
To the agriculture sector, the availability of tractors in the system is expected to lead to increased food production and food security.
It will also ensure that farmers get tractors at affordable prices.
To the artisans, the plant will provide employment avenues and also sharpen their technological skills.
In the educational sector, the plant will provide practical training for students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and other tertiary institutions offering courses in the relevant fields.
The communications manager said the plant would also be involved in the fabrication of other vehicle parts and metal works, such as spare parts of tricycles used by Zoomlion.
This will reduce the importation of vehicle parts and also improve the national economy.
She expressed the hope that as the plant progressed in its operations, a number of unemployed youth would find jobs, while talented artisans would acquire Indian technology of fabricating tractor parts and the manufacturing of other equipment.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ahead of Kotoko's trip to El-Merreikh...COACH HAYFORD ON ICE (GRAPHIC SPORTS, BACK PAGE)

THE management of Kumasi Asante Kotoko has suspended Coach Bashir Hayford ahead of the club's last CAF Confederation Cup group match against El-Merreikh in Khartoum this weekend, fuelling speculations that the coach is on his way out of the club.
Director of Communications, Kwame Baah-Nuako, told the Graphic Sports that the decision was taken as a result of gross indiscipline on the part of the coach.
He explained that after the 2-2 draw game against Etoile Sportive du Sahel in Kumasi last week, Hayford left unceremoniously for Tema to spend some days without informing management.
On his return, Baah-Nuako said, management queried him but he was yet to respond to the query.
"Having left the team, management thought that it was not important to let the coach lead the team to Sudan", the communications director said.
Hayford has had a stormy relationship with management, manifesting in contract wrangles and other off-the-pitch accusations and counter accusations.
At the last meeting between management and the owner of the club, Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the Manhyia Palace, Otumfuo charged management to find ways of settling all differences with the coach, but recent developments point to deepening strained relations.
Mr Baah-Nuako would not delve into whether the coach would be sacked, preferring only to say that at the end of the season (that is, after this weekend's match), management would sit down to review the technical direction of the club.
According to him, Kotoko would be entering the more competitive CAF Champions League next season and would have to organise themselves properly for the task ahead.
Mr Baah-Nuako said apart from the technical direction, management would also look into the playing body, as well as management's own direction, to put Kotoko in a better shape for the Champions League.
In the absence of Hayford, his assistant, Johnson Smith, leads Kotoko to Khartoum as they attempt to restore at least a bit of their pride.
The head-to-head rule puts Kotoko in a tight corner and they can only appease their fans with a win. But Kotoko need to carry a lot of firepower to The Sudan if they are to end the run of away defeats in the Confederation Cup.
Technically Asante Kotoko have been outwitted in their away matches, leaving their supporters wondering how the challenge could be overcome.
The Porcupine Warriors blew away a good chance of getting to the finals by drawing with Etoile in Kumasi in the penultimate match. And having paid the price for taking their foot off the pedal, only a victory over El-Merreikh could bring some smiles to the faces of the supporters.
In the first leg in Kumasi, Kotoko went through a torrid time before subduing the Sudanese champions 1-0.
The Sudanase would surely seek revenge over Kotoko and a good match is expected on the day. Kotoko would have the luxury of a full squad to fight for glory. On that score expect Samuel Inkoom, Godfred Yeboah, Osei Kwame and Ofosu Appiah to provide the needed cover for Soulama Abdoulai, in post.
An attack of Eric Bekoe, Kwabena Yaro and Osei Kuffuor should be strong enough to get the goals for Kotoko.

Monday, October 13, 2008

TEARS AND JOY ...As Bechem Chelsea enters the big league (NSEMPA, BACK PAGE)

By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

A HUGE question mark hangs over whether newly promoted premier side; Bechem Chelsea would continue to use Bechem as their base.
Club officials are contemplating changing their home grounds because of the poor conditions of the Bechem Park and the limited time available to do any meaningful rehabilitation on it.
Officials are considering using the Sunyani Coronation Park, but their only fear is the anticipated hostilities they are likely to face from fans of B/A United, the club they defeated last Wednesday to book a place in the premier division.
But reports from Bechem say the people are not happy with the club officials in considering a change of their home grounds.
The people contended that it would be great injustice for such a decision to be taken having supported the club throughout their campaign in the first division.
If Chelsea changed the venue, it would be the second time they had taken such a move. The club was originally based at Berekum before they shifted to Bechem.
This development notwithstanding, it was indeed a day of tears and joy for the Brong Ahafo Region depending on where one stood as B/A United failed to make it to the premier division, while Chelsea pushed their way through to the elite division of Ghana soccer.
When all was over in their last group match for qualification to the premier division with Chelsea ahead 1-0 over United, players and fans of Chelsea burst into wild jubilation while at the United end many wept like babies.
The 1-0 victory chalked up by the Bechem-based club over United, which guaranteed their entry to the premier division was significant, especially as they were only in their second year in the national first division.
Having come thus far, it behoves the Chelsea officials to put their acts together to make an impact in the premier division. Expectations are that they would maintain their premiership status for a long time.
Many clubs have made entry into the premiership division and exited ignominiously.
Bechem Chelsea worked very hard for their qualification and the management, players and fans deserve all the praises for the feat chalked up.
For United, they would have to wait for another year to fight their way back to the premier division.
Expectation were very high for United before the last group match with Chelsea and when they took over the game in the early minutes, their large following yelled for goals.
However, it was always difficult for the United attack to break through the Chelsea defence. When the only goal came the way of the Bechem-based side, it was no doubt one of the sad days for the former Apostles of Power Soccer.


KING Faisal drew 1-1 with Hearts of Oak at the Baba Yara Stadium yesterday
but lifted the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Charity Cup on a 2-1 aggregate.
Faisal who won 1-0 in the first leg in Accra deserved the cup, having played better on the afternoon.
For Hearts of Oak, their unimpressive output should alert their authorities about the danger that lies ahead of them in the upcoming premier league if they fail to romp in tried and tested materials.
Their unco-ordinated play and reckless kicks were not characteristic of a typical Hearts of Oak team, and their disenchanted fans hurled insults at the management for signing on raw materials, some of whom would not pass for even second division players.
Hearts never fired one shot at goal in the first half as Faisal put pressure on them, forcing the experienced Daniel Coleman and hard-tackling defensive partner, Godwin Osei Bonsu, to play it hard to keep their area clean.
As Faisal kept probing for the leader in the first half, newly signed on Hearts keeper, Joshua Akrafi, scored full marks, pulling off some brilliant saves to deny Abraham Basit and Abdul Samad Oppong.
Hearts were awarded the first goal on the 71st minute when a long free kick by Tetteh Nortey saw defender Hassan Mohammed connecting.
Faisal took over the game and levelled up on 80 minutes through Abdul Samad Oppong.

Friday, October 10, 2008


THE Rotary Club of Kumasi East has undertaken a fumigation exercise at the cells of Manhyia Prisons and the Central Police Station in Kumasi as part of its community service initiatives.
The President of the Rotary Club, Mr Charles Robert Amoako, said they spent GH¢1,000 on the exercise.
He told the Daily Graphic that the decision to embark on the exercise resulted from their recent visit to the facilities.
Mr Amoako said during the visit, the authorities at the facilities appealed to them to consider fumigating the cells in order to help address the incidence of skin diseases among the inmates.
He expressed the hope that the exercise would help bring some sanity in the cells.
Mr Amoako expressed the hope that with the exercise, the incidence of skin diseases in the cells would be minimised.
He said it would be disastrous for the nation to neglect the prisons, because no one could tell who would be the next person to be sent there.
Mr Amoako indicated that the government alone could not take care of all the needs of every institution in the country, and that it was the responsibility of the private sector to help out.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


BECHEM Chelsea made a triumphant entry into the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over B.A. United at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday.
The feat chalked up by Chelsea was significant because they were only in their second year of the national first division league.
A very good crowd watched the match with most of them rooting for United, but the former Apostles of Power Soccer failed to deliver and left the stadium crestfallen. Long after referee Lord Vuvor ended proceedings, the United players remained stuck on the turf, perhaps brooding over the missed opportunity to return to where they belonged.
Expectations among the players and fans of both sides were very high because the two teams were separated by just a goal before the game.
While Chelsea needed just a draw to make it to the premier division, United needed a win, and that informed the way they were in a haste to score.
By the fourth minute United had given strong signals to carry the day as Roman Nyarko cut through the Chelsea defence, but his final delivery was feeble.
The massive United following yelled for action, and when United's Ransford Asare fell in the box on the ninth minute shouts of "penalty, penalty" reverberated through the stands, but the referee ignored them and rather awarded an infringement against the striker for diving.
Much of the action was concentrated in the middle with United slightly on top, but getting close to the firing range was always a difficult task.
Adopting the long passing game, Chelsea made their first serious attempt at goal on the 11th minute, only to see John Cudjoe making a mess of the chance.
B.A. United's Okyere Sarpong and Twum Baiden were booked on the 31st and 35th minutes respectively for dangerous play but their supporters were not happy about the referee's decisions and booed him.
Chelsea's Awudu Abubakari also received the yellow card on the 40 minute.
The real action prevailed in the second half as United went all out, with Chelsea soaking the pressure through resolute defending from Samuel Okyere, Albert Adongo and Richard Afari., while attempting to catch their opponents on the break.
Both sides made substitutions but the exchanges became balanced until United lost their captain, Twum Baiden, on the 75th minute through a red card for an infringement on an opponent.
Chelsea took advantage of the numerical advantage to fetch the only goal on the 78th minute through Richard Atikah who pounced on a rebound off keeper Ernest Adu following a free-kick to fire home.

Search for Baah-Wiredu's successor...APPIAH-KUBI DISQUALIFIED ..But he says action is frivolous (1b)

MR Andy Appiah-Kubi, the man at the centre of the controversy over who succeeds the late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary aspirant for the Asante Akim North Constituency, has been disqualified from the race.
The national vetting committee of the party disqualified him from participating in the re-run of the primary when he appeared at its sitting in Kumasi last Tuesday.
He was said to have been asked to withdraw from the re-run for security reasons but he declined the directive and the committee then took the decision to recommend his rejection to the National Executive Committee (NEC).
Before he appeared at the vetting, the constituency executives had informed the vetting committee that they could not support Mr Appiah-Kubi's bid.
They explained that it would be difficult for him to campaign at Agogo where Mr Baah-Wiredu hailed from.
A source said the committee members asked Mr Appiah-Kubi, who is also the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Free Zones Board, why he failed to attend the one-week observation of the death of Mr Baah-Wiredu at Agogo.
In his reply, Mr Appiah-Kubi pointed out that it was not safe for him to attend the funeral, taking into consideration demonstrations and allegations against him over the death of the former Finance Minister.
At that point, the committee came to the conclusion that it would not be politically viable to allow Mr Appiah-Kubi to contest the primary because in the event of his winning, it would be difficult for him to campaign in the entire constituency.
The committee contended that the party could lose votes in the constituency, which is a stronghold of the party, if the aspirant won the primary.
Anxious party members had gathered at the premises where the vetting took place waiting to hear the outcome.
The vetting, which was held in camera, was attended by party leaders from the national and regional headquarters.
When the news of his disqualification reached him, Mr Appiah-Kubi described the process adopted against him as an absolute disrespect for the virtues and principles of the party, reports Nana Yaw Barimah.
“How they went about the processes of my disqualification can at best be described as absolute disrespect for the fundamental principles of the NPP”, he told the Daily Graphic.
Mr Appiah-Kubi further described the exercise as an unfortunate misrepresentation of political power within the NPP family.
He said it was unfortunate for the committee to base their argument on the premise that he (Appiah-Kubi) failed to attend the one week celebration of the late Baah Wiredu.
The committee’s contention was that if he was given the nod to represent the party to contest the parliamentary seat he could not go to Agogo to campaign.
According to Mr Appiah-Kubi, the constituency executive also said they could not work with him because of their incompatible stands.
All these charges, Mr Appiah-Kubi said, were frivolous and had no basis in contemporary democratic arrangements.
He said from what had happened to him, the party had sacrificed the value of competence and noted that if the image and growth of the party is to be sustained there is the need for the injection of adequate qualitative human resource into the centre of the party.
“There is unwarranted display of complacency coupled with undue arrogance on the part of the leadership of the party in the Ashanti Region and that would only amount to signal for disaster”, he added.
He said that the vetting committee had the mandate to select a cadidate using the party’s 21 point guidelines and should therefore not have gone outside those guidelines as was the case in his vetting.
The point of him not attending the one week observance of Mr Baah Wiredu’s death as part of the recommendation as substantive factor for disqualification was not tenable.
He said the committee did not even recognise his loyalty and contributions to the party in the past hadn’t been a founder member and a past national youth organiser
The Free Zones Board second-in-command, who lost to Mr Baah-Wiredu in the earlier primary, was the centre of disturbances last Monday in the constituency, where about 20 people were injured.
When the news of his disqualification reached him, Mr Appiah-Kubi described the process adopted agaist him as an absolute disrespect for the virtues and principles of the party.
“How they went about the processes of my disqualification can at best be described as absolute disrespect to the fundamental principles of the New Patriotic Party” he told the Daily Graphic.
Mr Appiah-Kubi further described the exercise as constituting an unfortunate misrepresentation of political power within the NPP family.
He said it was unfortunate for the committee to base their argument on the premise that he (Appiah-Kubi) failed to attend the one week celebration of the late Baah Wiredu.
The committee’s contention was that if he was given the nod to represent the party to contest the parliamentary seat he could not go to Agogo to campaign.
According to Mr Appiah-Kubi, the constituency executive also said they could not work with him because of their incompatible stands.
All these charges, Mr Appiah-Kubi said, were frivolous and had no basis in contemporary democratic arrangements.
He said from what had happened to him, the party had sacrificed the value of competence and noted that if the image and growth of the party is to be sustained there is the need for the injection of adequate qualitative human resource into the centre of the party.
“There is unwarranted display of complacency coupled with undue arrogance on the part of the leadership of the party in the Ashanti Region and that would only amount to signal for disaster”, he added.
He said that the vetting committee had the mandate to select a cadidate using the party’s 21 point guidelines and should therefore not have gone outside those guidelines as was the case in his vetting.
The point of him not attending the one week observance of Mr Baah Wiredu’s death as part of the recommendation as substantive factor for disqualification was not tenable.
He said the committee did not even recognise his loyalty and contributions to the party in the past hadn’t been a founder member and a past national youth organiser

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


THE Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr E.A. Owusu-Ansah, has inaugurated the regional electoral task force and charged the members to avoid dictating to the Electoral Commission (EC).
He noted that the task force was not meant to replace the EC and that it was only to assist the commission to ensure the conduct of free and fair elections.
Mr Owusu-Ansah indicated that the task force would take directives from the EC to ensure that there was peace before, during and after the elections.
Members of the task force include the heads of security agencies in the region.
He said the whole world was watching Ghana as to how it would conduct the elections and stressed that it was the responsibility of the government to ensure that everything went on peacefully.
The regional minister said it was in that regard that President Kufuor had stated several times that he would never preside over acts that would go to tarnish the nation's democratic process.
He advised the members to be tactful, fair and firm in the performance of their duties.
The regional minister gave the assurance that the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) would support the task force in the discharge of its duties.
"But let me assure you that neither the RCC nor I will interfere with your duties," he added.
Mr Owusu-Ansah said as the region with the highest number of constituencies, the challenges associated with electioneering in Ashanti could be enormous.
It was, therefore, important that the regional task force co-operated with the district task forces to ensure well-defined roles, all geared towards peace.
He appealed to journalists to be circumspect in their reportage to avoid inflaming passions.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

CAF Confederation Cup blues...KOTOKO BLOW CHANCE...Fans dies of shock...Ref Codja-Coffi escapes in Red Cross outfit (GRAPHIC SPORTS, BACK PAGE)

As Asante Kotoko struggle to come to terms with the reality of their Confederation Cup dream being virtually over, the fallout of the foul-strewn game continues to resonate.
The scenes of indiscipline last Saturday that turned the Baba Yara Stadium into a sea of rowdyism, thanks to the short fuse of Etoile du Sahel players and officials, have left in their trail a bad name for football.
The death of a Japan-based Kotoko fan from shock after Etoile’s second goal, the massive destruction of property after the match, and the arrest of the Etoile team manager for assaulting a policeman, all bore marks of a beautiful game that had been overshadowed by fanaticism.
The Etoile team manager was arraigned before court yesterday and sentenced to three days imprisonment.
The sensational 2-2 draw Etoile Sportive du Sahel forced against the Ghanaian champions last Saturday effectively ended it all for Kotoko in view of the head-to-head rule.
On a day that thousands of their fans were expecting a massive win to stake a strong claim to the top position of Group 2, the team lacked the teeth to bite, and the result was nightmarish.
The pressure to win was so huge, and perhaps the decision by the fans to vent their spleen on Referee Codja-Coffi for perceived poor officiating, was a way of assuaging the pain.
Codja-Coffi’s offence was that he failed to award two penalties to Kotoko in both halves, and at the end he and his assistants, Alexis Fassinou and Joel Louis, were a sorry sight.
They were taken hostage in the dressing room long after the match ended and a conbined team of police and military had a hectic time taking them out of the stadium, with Codja-Coffi dressed like a Red Cross person.
The disturbances aside, the level of indiscipline exhibited by the Tunisians on the pitch was unbelievable and it was surprising that the referee failed to punish them.
Beleaguered Asante Kotoko coach, Bashir Hayford did not find things smooth either as some of the fans blamed him for the unimpressive performance.
Etoile coach, Michel de Castle said of the post match hostilities that, "I have never seen any such thing in my fifteen years experience in Africa"
Notwithstanding what he called the ordeal they went through, the Frenchman believed it was a difficult match and that his players needed to be congratulated for playing above themselves to earn that respectable result.
Clearly, the referee, who played 12 minutes of injury time, lost control of the match and his demeanour fuelled the nasty scenes that characterised the match.
But, Kotoko would have themselves to blame for failing to take their chances.
Eric Bekoe, Jordan Opoku and Kwabena Yaro missed on various occasions when they should have placed the ball in the net.
Bekoe's seventh and 22nd minutes misses were the most unpardonable and the man who was expected to provide that inspirational performance was found wanting all afternoon.
Once again the Kotoko defence proved susceptible to pressure as typified by the 62nd minute goal fetched by substitute Slim Jedaied.
Appearing confused, defender Ofosu Appiah, failed to control well and Jedaied who came on for injured Ghanaian striker, Sadat Bukari in the 49th minute pounced on the ball, and strode to beat Soulama Abdoulaye in post for a goal of arrogant quality.
Asante Kotoko had entered the match bubbling with confidence, but the tactical approach of the visiting team prevailed.


TWENTY people were injured yesterday when the process to find a replacement for the late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary aspirant for the Asante Akim North Constituency turned violent.
At the centre of the storm was Mr Andy Appiah-Kubi, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Free Zones Board, who is also one of the contestants determined to replace the late Finance Minister.
Police reinforcement was called in from Kumasi to bring the situation under control and as of press time the heavily armed policemen were still patrolling the Patriensa and Juansa areas where the disturbances occurred.
The clashes erupted when the filing of nominations opened for a re-run of the primary and the police confirmed that at least 20 people reported various degrees of injury and were given forms to attend hospital.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Richard Baduweh, the outgoing Konongo Divisional Police Commander, told the Daily Graphic on phone from Konongo that the police had to rescue a number of people from the bush where they had sought refuge.
He indicated that one “machoman” had been arrested and was helping the police in their investigations. The man was said to be a member of a group which barricaded the Konongo-Agogo road to prevent some youth from travelling to Konongo to demonstrate against Mr Appiah-Kubi’s decision to contest the primary.
According to Mr Baduweh, Mr Appiah-Kubi said it was rather his opponents who were using all negative means, including demonstrations, to prevent him from entering the race and that his supporters were bent on countering those moves.
In spite of all that, Mr Appiah-Kubi managed to outwit the demonstrators to file his nomination.
Explaining further, ACP Baduweh said his outfit had information yesterday morning that some people had blocked part of the Konongo-Agogo road and were harassing opponents of Mr Appiah-Kubi who were on their way to Konongo.
He said policemen were sent to the area to dismantle the barrier and, in the circumstance, one “machoman” was arrested.
ACP Baduweh stated that when the police had information that some people had run into the bush for safety, they followed up to rescue them.
When the Daily Graphic got in touch with Mr Appiah-Kubi on phone, he denied ever recruiting people to attack his opponents and that what happened was a clash between his supporters and people who were bent on scuttling his moves to win the parliamentary slot.
"The demonstrations against me were a cacophony of intended disruptions of the due process and I have cleverly beaten them to it because after all I managed to file my nomination," he said.
The parliamentary aspirant accused the DCE for the area, Mr George Kwame Frimpong, and the NPP Constituency Chairman, Nana Adu Asabere Kyei, of masterminding the demonstrations to prevent him from getting the nod.
He said the way the two had kept mute over the series of demonstrations against him was ample testimony of their endorsement and support of such actions.
Mr Appiah-Kubi stated that he picked his nomination form last Friday and completed it for submission yesterday.
According to him, on Sunday he had information that the DCE and Nana Asabere had recruited some people to demonstrate against him in Konongo to stop him from filing his nomination.
"I quickly informed the Konongo Police about the situation and further told them that my supporters had decided to organise a counter demonstration if my opponents went ahead with their planned action," he said.
Mr Appiah-Kubi said yesterday morning he had a message from some party people that his opponents were gathering in Konongo for the demonstration so he sneaked to the constituency headquarters to file his nomination before the demonstrators arrived there.
Even then, he said, the constituency secretary tried to delay the process.
Mr Appiah-Kubi said he left for Kumasi and it was later on that he heard his supporters had clashed with some of the demonstrators.
He described his opponents as a bunch of people who were bent on breaking the law because they knew that "I will win".
"I am not the aggressor, and that is why, in spite of the demonstrations against me that I am a murderer, I have decided to remain calm and resort to the law to fight my cause," he said.
According to him, he was sure of winning the seat, no matter the lies, violence and propaganda against him.
He said he had tape recordings of some people who were injured in the clash, saying that they had been given GH¢5 each to take part in the demonstration against him.
When contacted, Nana Asabere denied that he masterminded the demonstrations against Mr Appiah-Kubi or any involvement in it.
As of Sunday, six people had collected nomination forms from the constituency office in Konongo to contest the Asante-Akim North Constituency primary of the NPP, reports Nana Yaw Barimah.
The Constituency Chairman, Nana Adu Asabere Kyei, named the six as Mr Isaac Kwasi Hammond, an Accra-based businessman; Mr Sam Anyan Kusi, a World Bank project co-ordinator; Lawyer Asumadu, a Kumasi-based legal practitioner; Ms Susanna H. Akomeah, who is based in London; Lawyer Amoako, an Accra-based lawyer, and Mr Andy Kwame Appiah-Kubi, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Free Zones Board.
The nominations were declared closed at 5.00 p.m. yesterday and vetting is expected to take place today, after which the date for voting to choose Mr Baah-Wiredu’s replacement would be announced.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu

Kumasi Asante Kotoko limped badly in their penultimate group game of the CAF Confederation Cup amid protests against Beninois referee, Bonaventure Codja-Coffi, for perceived biased officiating.
Drawing 2-2 with Tunisia’s Etoile Sportive du Sahel at the Baba Yara Stadium last Saturday, Kotoko’s chances of making it to the final seemed diminished and the fans poured their anger on Codja-Coffi, who, no doubt, was an apology of a FIFA referee on the afternoon.
The referee, who denied Kotoko what appeared two clear penalties in the tension-packed match, was whisked away from the stadium in a police vehicle.
But no one could take anything away from Etoile. They proved tactically superior with their man-marking and long passing game, which confused the Kotoko back line.
Just a minute into the game Etoile’s Ghanaian striker, Sadat Bukari, rifled a shot from 20 yards, which Soulama Abdulaye pushed to corner with difficulty.
Kotoko fought fiercely to set up some classic counter-attacks, one of which presented them with a free kick near the box in the seventh minute.
Eric Bekoe fired from the spot, the ball bounced off the foot of gangling striking partner Kwabena Yaro and rolled into the net for the opener.
The elation in the half-full Baba Yara Stadium was expected, and as Kotoko poured out in search for the second goal, Jordan Opoku bungled a great chance, shooting straight to keeper Methlouhi on the 11th minute.
So much action prevailed in the middle and the close marking by the Etoile defence gave little room for Bekoe to operate at full strength
But the positive notes came from Kotoko’s right back, Samuel Inkoom, who played in a more wing role any time he charged into attack. On the 22nd minute he watched agonisingly as his long drive was parried to corner by the keeper.
A minute later, Bekoe cut inside his markers but his final connection was a fruitless venture.
Emmanuel Osei Kuffour withdrew into a more defensive midfield role as the Kotoko middle started running out of energy.
Codja-Coffi booked Kotoko’s Nii Adjei and Etoile’s Mohammed Sacko on the 25th and 27th minutes respectively for dangerous play.
The referee surprised the crowd when he ignored a hand ball in the Etoile box following a stormy action in the 34th minute and wasbooed by the crowd.
It was becoming difficult to draw any difference between the output of the two teams but it was the visiting team that nearly laughed on the 38th minute when Souhaiel Ben Radhia powered a shot off the Kotoko bar.
Kotoko never looked transformed after the break and Etoile with Nigerian striker Emeka Opara, Sadat Bukari and Awayo Tanko in frightening form, ripped through the defence to threaten at goal.
Bukari, the former Heart of Lions striker, was injured in the 49th minute but the potency of their attack, was without question as Slim Jedaied, who replaced him, brought fresh life into their game.
Coach Bashir Hayford pulled out Nii Adjei for Stephen Oduro in a bid to bring some life into the middle, while Yaro was also withdrawn for Eric Opoku on the 59th minute but it was Etoile who looked industrious upfront.
They fetched the equaliser on the 62nd minute after Jedaied robbed Ofosu Appiah in a one-on-one affair. The striker sprinted into the Kotoko area to sweep the ball past advancing Soulama and the stadium went dead silent.
Determined not to drop home points, Kotoko returned the attack and after the referee had once again denied them what looked a penalty on the 69th minute, he pointed to the spot four minutes later as Bekoe was fouled in the area.
For seven minutes, the Tunisian side protested against the referee’s decision but he stood his grounds and Bekoe stepped up to beat keeper Ayiman.
The goal could not provide the much-needed booster as Etoile soaked all the of bombardments and drove past the Kotoko defence with swift counter attacks.
Controversial referee Codja-Coffi presented Etoile with a penalty on the 79th minute when one of their players fell in the box. Mohammed Ali Nafkha converted easily.
Etoile paid the price for their crunchy tackles when Mohammed Sacko was sent off for a second booking on the 81st minute. The visiting team to delayed the game for about 10 minutes protesting.
Efforts by Kotoko to get a last gasp proved fruitless as they wasted the opportunities and when it was all over, the players fell on the turf, apparently conjecturing how tortuous the journey to the final had become.
Kotoko: Abdoulaye Soulama, Samuel Inkoom, Godfred Yeboah, Ofosu Appiah, Dan Nii Adjei/Stephen Oduro, Kwabena Yaro/Eric Opoku, Osei Kuffuor, Osei Kwame, Mark Sekyere, Jordan Opoku, Eric Bekoe.
Etoile: Ayiman Methlouhi, Ahmed Mida, Sadat Bukari/Slim Jedaied, Ammar El Jemmel, Hatem Bejaoui/Ayem Abdennaur, Souhaiel Ben Radhia, Mahammed Sacko, Emeka Opara, Mohammed Ali Nafkha, Mejdi Ben Mohammed, Awayo Tanko/Mejdi Messarati.