Tuesday, April 28, 2009


A THIRTEEN-MEMBER reconstituted board of governors of the Mansoman Senior High School has been inaugurated at Manso-Atwere in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region. 
The Regional Director of Education, Mr J.K. Onyina, inaugurated the board, which has Rt. Rev. Benjamin Kwabena Asare, Bishop of the Obuasi Diocese of the Methodist Church as Chairman.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Mr Onyina reminded the board members of their advisory role, stressing that the headmaster and his management would succeed in the administration of the school if the board acted professionally.
He cautioned that board members should not interfere in the day-to-day administration of the school.
The regional director called on the assembly member for the area, Mr Thomas Oppong, who had been made a board member, to use his position to lobby for the school when the district assembly is distributing its share of the Common Fund.
He called for action to protect the school’s land to prevent encroachment.
Mr Onyina also suggested that discipline should be instilled in the students to ensure meaningful academic work.
He charged old students of the school to contribute meaningfully to improve the image of the school.
Mr Onyina commended the parent-teacher association of the school for putting up a computer laboratory and also donating a 38-seater Mercedes Benz Bus to the school.
The headmaster of the school, Mr Annor Yeboah, who is also a member of the board, in a welcoming address, stressed the need for the new board members to bring their wide range of expertise, knowledge and experience in education to bear on the development of the school.
The District Director of Education, Mr Samuel Kena, who chaired the ceremony, was confident that the new board would live up to expectation.


THE Catholic Diocese of Obuasi is constructing a six-classroom block for the Kwabenakwa Primary School near Obuasi.
The project is part of efforts of the diocese to improve the standard of education within the Obuasi area.
An amount of GH¢42,000 was realised at a diocesan development fundraising harvest at Obuasi recently to support the school project and two others.
The other projects are a chapel for the Our Lady of Lake Grotto at Abono and the millennium gues thouse for the diocese at Obuasi.
Speaking at the function, the Catholic Bishop of Obuasi, the Most Rev. Gabriel Yaw Anokye, said the diocese was committed to seeing to the infrastructure development in the district, especially schools because education is the key to the development of the area.
He appealed to Catholics in particular and non-Catholics in general to support the diocese to undertake more development projects.
The Most Rev. Anokye added that the church was determined to complete the school project before the beginning of the next academic year.
A leading member of the the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Paul Victor Obeng, who chaired the function, urged the people to contribute generously towards the completion of the school project.
He enjoined parents to invest in the education of their children, especially the girls, to enable them become responsible citizens in future.
Mr Obeng personally donated GH¢2,000 towards the project.


THE Ahafo-Ano District Assembly has unanimously approved the President’s nominee for the position of District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr David Addai-Amankwah.
At a special meeting of the assembly at Tepa, all the 49 members present voted to confirm Mr Addai-Amankwah’s nomination.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Addai-Amankwah expressed his gratitude to the President for offering him the opportunity to serve at the highest level in the district.
He also commended the assembly members for the confidence reposed in him and gave the assurance that he would team up with the members to ensure accelerated development of the district.
Mr Addai-Amankwah said it was important for the people to put political divisions behind them and work assiduously towards uplifting the image of the district.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, who was present at the meeting, thanked the assembly members for endorsing Mr Addai-Amankwah.
Mr Opoku-Manu appealed to Nananom and the people of the district to support the DCE to deliver.
“If he performs, it is for the benefit of you all, and if he fails, it affects you as well. I therefore appeal to you to support the DCE to perform,” the regional minister said.
The Omanhene of Tepa, Nana Adusei Atwenewa Ampem, who graced the occasion, urged the assembly to work as a team to develop the district, saying divisions in the assembly would not help the people in any way.
He advised the people of the district against writing anonymous letters about the DCE, but rather channel their grievances through the appropriate channels.
At the meeting, Mr Bismarck Osei, a member of the assembly, was elected Presiding Member, polling 47 out of the 49 votes cast.

Monday, April 27, 2009


FORMER President J.J. Rawlings says his criticisms of certain policies of President Mills’s administration is not an attempt to spite the government he helped to bring to power but rather a means of preserving his freedom of expression.
Speaking at an international symposium at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) last Saturday as part of activities marking the 10th anniversary of the enthronement of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Flt. Lt. Rawlings said he respected the office of President Mills and had confidence in him to deliver but so long as the country had committed itself to a path of democracy “I reserve my right to freedom of expression”.
The symposium, which brought together five former heads of state, was on the theme: “Deepening Democracy in Africa”.
The other former heads of state were Mr Festus Mogai of Bostwana, General Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, Alhaji Ahmed Tejan Kabbah of Sierra Leone and Mr Jose Maria Aznar of Spain.
Flt. Lt. Rawlings, who was the first speaker, stated that a number of political leaders on attaining political power tended to neglect the electorate and only remembered them when elections were due.
Democracy, he noted, was about what the people needed and not what the rulers needed.
He also pointed out that democracy must have the basic tenets of probity, accountability, freedom and justice.
Looking back at the past military interventions of 1979 and 1981, the former president said even though there were excesses for which he regretted, he still believed that the two events prepared the grounds for the current democratic dispensation, which had received international recognition.
He was critical of the past government for what he described as harassment of members of the previous administration and said if the nation was to go forward, vengeance should be discarded.
When he took his turn, former President Magai stressed the need for African leaders to show transparency in the management of national resources if they wanted to succeed.
He condemned power-drunk African leaders who wanted to remain in power through any available means even after their terms of office had expired.
“I would not want to mention names but we have had examples in West Africa and Southern Africa. These leaders who were respected by their people later turned villains,” the former President said.
He said former President Rawlings was respected in Africa because he left office quietly after his two terms had expired.
He suggested that African nations put in place adequate pension packages for their former Presidents.
When he mounted the podium, Gen. Obasanjo said no two democracies in the world were identical but what was important was that they must be relevant to the needs of the people.
The former Nigerian leader said transparency, participation of the people and education were all ingredients that enriched democracy.
He said there were no bad elections but bad politicians because it was the politicians who corrupted elections to make the process bad.
Gen. Obasanjo commended Otumfuo for his foresight, which continued to bring hope to his people.
For his part, Alhaji Tejan Kabbah said the system of checks and balances must prevail, because without it a democracy could not be said to be effective.
He said any system of democracy a nation adopted should lead to improvement in the lives of the people.
In his comments, the former Spanish leader, Mr Maria, said in spite of the strides made by some African nations in their development efforts, the developed world regrettably saw Africa as a problem continent.
He said it was important for African nations to pursue policies and programmes that would address poverty, ignorance and disease so that they could prove the develop world wrong.
In attendance were Otumfuo Osei Tutu and a host of his chiefs.
A Ghanaian academic, Prof. David Abdulai, Dean of the University of South Africa’s School for Business Leadership, chaired the ceremony.


THE Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Charity Foundation was launched in Kumasi last Saturday with a call on African countries not to look up to the developed nations to solve all their problems for them.
Former World Bank President, James Wolfensohn, who made the call, said initiatives like what Otumfuo had undertaken was what Africa needed to drive the vehicle for development.
In a video message delivered at the ceremony, Mr Wolfensohn said Africa faced a number of challenges and unless the nations took initiatives in areas like education and health, the future could not be all that bright.
He said with an average per capita income of $1,700 and actual incomes not good, African governments must work hard to bring hope to their people.
The chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, Nana Fredua Agyeman Pambour, explained that the foundation sought to consolidate the gains of the Otumfuo Education Fund and the Serwaa Ampem AIDS Foundation, and translate the future visions of Otumfuo into implementable decisions.
He said the foundation was not targeting Ashanti alone but the entire nation.
He said the Asantehene had never been selfish that was why when he sought a $5-million grant from the World Bank for development projects and programmes about five years ago, he allocated $500,000 to the Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area.
The Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Prof. K.K. Adarkwa, who chaired the ceremony, noted that the Charity Foundation would provide enormous benefits for the vulnerable in society. Present was Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


THE Agya Appiah Company Limited, producers of alcoholic beverages, has presented GH¢10,000 towards the 10th anniversary of the enthronement of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
Making the presentation, the Marketing Manager of the company, Mr Kwadwo Ampaw, said the company was happy to be part of the anniversary of Otumfuo whose reign had brought much hope to his people.
Mr Ampaw said the company had benefited from the wise counsel of Otumfuo and it was appropriate that it supported the anniversary celebration.
The marketing manager wished the Asantehene longer life and good health.
Receiving the donation on behalf of the planning committee of the anniversary, the Asokore Mamponghene, Nana Boakye Ansah Debrah, said all was set to make the celebration a big success.
He said a number of dignitaries had been invited for the grand durbar on Sunday, April 26, this year at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.
The Omanhene, who is the chairman of the publicity sub-committee of the anniversary, thanked the company for the gesture.


THE Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, has expressed optimism that the region will see accelerated development under the four years rule of the NDC government.
“I am an Ashanti and I know that Ashantis always look for development no matter the government in power and I will count on this to deliver,” he told the Daily Graphic.
“I have been assured by no less a person than the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, that he and the people will give me all the support to deliver and I am happy about this, “ the regional minister said.
From his demeanour, one could easily deduce that Mr Opoku-Manu was poised to court the support of the people to prove a point in his administration.
On the outside, many believe that the regional minister would have difficulties working in the strongest opposition camp—Ashanti Region.
But that is not the case as Mr Opoku-Manu says Ashantis are not opposed to his administration. Successive regional ministers have enjoyed working in the region. In fact, two regional ministers in the first NDC administration, Messrs Kojo Yankah and Nuamah Donkor, were held in high esteem in Kumasi.
The two regional ministers were said to have performed creditably and up to today, people mention their good names.
Mr Opoku-Manu admitted that there was a lot more to do to bring the development of the region to acceptable standards.
With the growing population, especially in Kumasi, pressure will surely be on the regional minister to devise strategies that could meet the challenges ahead. The demographic characteristics of the region shows that the Kumasi metropolis alone accounts for nearly one-third of the region’s population.
Slightly over half of the population of the region (51.5 per cent) is in four districts while more than half of the population in the region resides in urban areas.
The high level of urbanisation in the region is due mainly to the high concentration of the population in the Kumasi metropolis.
Males outnumber females in 11 districts. The age structure of the population in the districts is skewed towards the youth. The dependent population in the districts is high, ranging from 42.2 per cent in the Kumasi metropolis to 57.3 per cent in the Ahafo Ano South District.
Some of the challenges that the regional minister faces are in agriculture, education, health, sanitation and job creation. Agriculture has remained the mainstay of the region and a government that wants to succeed must take particular interest in that sector.
The subsistence type of agriculture still remains and the time has come for the government to take a second look at the situation if the people could take on agriculture as a commercial venture.
Mr Opoku-Manu is aware of the situation and has stated that his administration would focus seriously on agricultural development so that it would prevent the youth from drifting to the urban centres for non-existent jobs.
In the area of education, there is more to do. For instance, the education needs serious attention while more teachers are needed in the rural areas. The regional minister can only move to get the district assemblies to attach special attention to those areas.
The government promised to give sanitation the maximum attention and even though some effort has so far been made, there is still a lot to do.
In Ashanti Region, Kumasi is the major problem . The incoming metropolitan chief executive will have to work hard to get things moving.
These and many other challenges should signal the regional minister that, he would have to work extra hard to meet the expectations of the people even as he has the support of the people.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

GHANA DOES NOT NEED STIMULUS PLAN ...Development planner (PAGE 38)

A development planner in Kumasi, Mr Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo, has argued that there is no need for a stimulus plan for the country on account of the so-called global financial crisis.
Rather, he said, the economic difficulties that had confronted the country since independence in the midst of plenty should be enough to challenge Ghanaians to fashion out development plans to solve those problems.
In an interview in Kumasi, Mr Azongo said it was a misnomer to tag the current credit crunch confronting Western economies as a global financial crisis.
According to him, Western countries over the years had adopted a penchant for giving ‘global’ labelling, outlook and urgency to their economic crises.
“It remains purely a Western economic crisis even though we admit varying degrees of impact for other economies depending on the nature, degree and scope of economic integration with the West,” he stated.
Reacting to the current debate provoked by Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom’s proposal for a stimulus plan for the country in the wake of the global financial crisis, Mr Azongo asked, “Why a crisis in the West should signal to us the need for a stimulus plan whilst the embarrassing economic crisis we have lived with in the midst of plenty couldn’t wake us up to the need for a stimulus plan?”
He noted that Ghana and Africa were the worst dropouts in the existing global economic order and had come full circle not to be occasioned by responses from the West to determine their actions or inaction.
Mr Azongo contended that the ‘global’ labelling of Western economic crisis smacked not only of contempt for the rest of the global economic regions but a subtle escape route for the massive failure of the existing economic order of which they were the leading protagonists.
“The fact of our common economic inter-independencies and the international division of labour is not enough to give a global labelling to the current Western economic downtown,” he stressed.
He said the Western economic meltdown should rather present an opportunity to Ghana to evaluate the efficacy of its Principal Economic Agency Integration with the West and the corresponding economic prescriptions from their leading institutions such as World Bank, IMF and to some extent UN agencies in the global economic and development industry.
He noted that Western economies had been going through cyclical generational economic crises since the 1920’s but the sad thing was that any time they were hit by any crisis they tended to give it a global outlook and urgency in the process of creating panic situations and panic measures for the rest of the world especially the developing countries.
“This attitude of the West in considering their opportunities and interests as Western and their economic crisis as global is contemptuous.
“What is happening to the Western economies is not different from the Asian Economic crisis in the 1990’s but this was not given a global tagging,” he said.
Africa, Mr Azongo noted, had been trapped in an endemic economic crisis and even though it had some degree of linkages to the rest of the world, it remained basically an African phenomenon and must be considered as such.
The development planner posed the question, “Was Ghana and for that matter Africa waiting for the global financial crisis to wake up to the reality of being in an economic crisis?”
Mr Azongo noted that the so-called global financial crisis had virtually become the centrepiece of economic discourse and a constant reference point for all development challenges irrespective of the degree and scope of linkages in Africa.
“Against the background of our penchant for seeking excuses for development failures, the ‘global’ tag to the Western financial crisis is likely to become an escape route for welcoming avoidable failures in Ghana and Africa,” he said.
He pointed out that the Western economic crisis was even an opportunity for Africa to realise that spoon-feeding economic relationship in the principal-agency type was the worst form of development integration.
The form of development in Ghana, which had become the measuring rod as to which leader had been able to bag enough money and projects from the West only exposed the nation to the least of Western economic shocks and was unacceptable in the realm of sustainable development, he added.


THE Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku, has announced plans by the government to give roads in Goaso, capital of the Asunafo North Municipality, a facelift.
Roads in Goaso have been in a deplorable condition for some years now making a mockery of the town’s status as a municipal capital.
Persistent appeals by residents to the authorities to do something about the situation had not achieved any positive results. 
Mr Opoku said the process leading to the execution of the project would start just after the Asunafo North Municipal Assembly had approved the government’s nominee for the position of Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Mohammed Doku.
He, therefore, appealed to the assembly to vote to accept the nominee when the time came.
The deputy minister made this known at the joint ceremony to introduce the Omanhene of Goaso, Nana Kwasi Bosomprah and raise funds in aid of a palace for the traditional area at Goaso on Sunday.
Nana Bosomprah, 42, ascended the stool about seven months ago after the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who is the traditional overlord of the area, settled the protracted chieftaincy dispute that polarised the town in the aftermath of the abdication of the former Omanhene, Nana Adjei Ampofo, in 2000.
It was all joy as hundreds of people including chiefs clad in white attire besieged the Goaso town park where the ceremony took place.
The deputy regional minister acknowledged the contributions of farmers to the development of the nation and said the government had put in place a number of measures to address the problems facing them.
He cited for instance that the NDC government had decided to sustain the mass cocoa spraying exercise started by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government and even add to it by introducing an anti-swollen shoot spraying exercise.
That measure, Mr Opoku said, would ensure greater yields and provide employment for the youth.
He urged the people to have faith in the government to fulfil its electoral promises.
Mr Opoku called for unity in the town without which efforts by the government to bring development to the area would not be successful.
In a speech, the omanhene thanked the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for his love for the traditional area, which saw him getting the Asante Council to resolve the chieftaincy dispute in the area.
He said the traditional area had banned children below 18 years from roaming the streets after 8 p.m.
That measure, he said, was to ensure that schoolchildren kept to their books, stressing, “I am determined to make education an important part of my reign.”
Nana Bosomprah also spoke against haphazard development in the town and said he would ensure that illegal developments became a thing of the past “because Goaso deserves the best”. 
The omanhene called on supporters of the various political parties, especially those of the NPP and NDC, to put the results of the 2008 general election behind them and unite to bring development to the area.
“We have a government in place and we must support it to deliver. If the government fails to perform, all of us will suffer, “ he said.
The Member of Parliament for Asunafo North, Mr Robert Sarfo-Mensah, called on the people to rally behind the new chief to ensure his successful reign.
He gave the assurance that he would continue to champion the cause of the communities in the constituency so that what was due to the constituency from the national cake would be given out.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


To those who have never set eyes on the famous Golden Stool, April 26, 2009, offers a unique opportunity for them to have a view of it.
The day, which marks exactly 10 years of the enthronement of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II as Asantehene, will be celebrated in grand style at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi and the Golden Stool will make its way to the durbar grounds.
According to the Chairman of the publicity committee of the anniversary, the Asokore Mamponghene, Nana Boakye Ansah Debrah, it will be a glorious opportunity for Ghanaians and indeed the entire world to have a view of the stool, which is the embodiment of the soul and spirit of Asante.
Thousands of people including Ghana’s President, John Evans Atta Mills and other presidents and former presidents from the world over are expected to witness the ceremony.
Nana Debrah said the planning committee was considering telecasting the anniversary celebration live to enable the millions who could not make it to Kumasi to watch the occasion.
The Golden Stool does not often come out.This would, indeed, be the second time that in the reign of the current Asantehene that it will appear in public.
Adorned with pure gold, it is believed that the Golden Stool flew out from the sky at the instance of Okomfo Anokye amidst thick cloud of white dust and rested on the knees of Opemsuo Osei Tutu I, the Asantehene who united the Asante Kingdom.
History has it that it was on a Friday during a gathering of chiefs from Ashanti when the powerful fetish priest, Okomfo Anokye, ordered the stool to fall from the skies.
Traditionally, the Golden Stool never touches the ground. On the enstoolment of a new Asantehene, he is just lowered on it and raised three times. On special occasions like the coming Addaekese which commemorates the 10th anniversary of Otumfuo’s enthronement, when the golden stool is taken out, the Asantehene will follow it.
Typifying the soul, unity and symbol of Ashanti culture, the Golden Stool has been fiercely guarded by the Ashantis and have never lost it.
Indeed, Ashantis believe that they would disappear from history if ever the Golden Stool or (the Sikadwa Kofi) was taken away from them.
The current Asantehene, who is the son of the Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem, is known in private life as Nana Kwaku Dua.
A British trained university graduate, he had a private company in Kumasi before he was enstooled Asantehene.
His people describe him as “King Solomon” for his wise decisions that had seen the continuous growth and development of Asanteman.
Meanwhile, days to the grand event, Kumasi is in the celebration mood.
Tourists and other people have been trooping to the Manhyia Palace, some to see preparations going on and others to wish Otumfuo long life and good health during his reign.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has introduced modernity into the Kingship and many have benefited from his reign in the past 10 years.
Very early into his reign, he established the Otumfuo Education Fund, which has supported and continues to support thousands in their academic pursuits.
Significantly, the education fund is not reserved for indigenous Ashantis. People from other ethnic groups have benefited from the scheme, showing how the Otumfuo cares for the development of the entire nation.
Infrastructure that have come out of his initiatives are also found not only in the Ashanti Region but in other regions as well.
No wonder, many see him as a King par excellence and as he celebrates his 10 years on the Golden Stool, it is appropriate that the entire nation joins Asanteman in wishing him all the best in the years ahead.

Monday, April 13, 2009


THE Eastern Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) George Anko-Bil, has called on retired police personnel, especially senior officers, to assist those in active service in maintaining law and order in the communities.
He said the call had become necessary because retired police personnel had the knowledge and experience that should be imparted to the young ones manning the various police stations.
DCOP Anko-Bil made the appeal at a send-off party held by the Eastern Regional Police Command in Koforidua on Sunday for four officers who had retired from the service after serving for an average of 30 years.
The retired officers were the Regional Crime Officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Elizabeth Enyonam Akpasu, Chief Superintendent Peace Adjo Mowono, the Regional Communication Officer, Superintendent Asare Nyampong, and Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Manase Nyasem.
DCOP Anko-Bil said although policemen, especially officers who had the experience and knowledge, had to retire at a certain age, the best way they could assist their communities was to assist those in active service in such areas with advice to fight crime, which has taken a sophisticated form.
“Retired officers have the knowledge and experience to fight crime and it will be beneficial to the community, especially your own people, if you assist policemen in charge of the police stations in whatever way to fight crime,” he stressed.
The Regional Police Commander stated that retired officers often faced challenges such as hostility from some aggrieved members of the community due to the firmness of peace officers while in active service.
That, he said, was normal, adding that such a hostile attitude from the public should rather spur them on to serve the community while on retirement.
DCOP Anko-Bil described the four retired officers as efficient and dedicated while in active service, which made it possible to maintain law and order at the various areas they were posted to.
On behalf of his colleagues, Supt. Nyampong thanked the Eastern Regional Police Command for the honour done them.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


THE shock exit of Kumasi Asante Kotoko in the CAF Champions League at the expense of unknown Ittihad Khemmiset of Morocco has pushed an official of the club to renew his call for Kotoko to stay out of Africa for at least the next two years.
Reports monitored by the Graphic Sports from Morocco indicate that just after Kotoko were booted out of Africa, George Amoako, the club’s Director of Finance, forcefully advanced home the need for Kotoko to withdraw from Africa in order for management to prepare a stronger team for future continental matches.
When Kotoko won last year’s league, Amoako, playing the role of a prophet, suggested the need to pull out of Africa because the team was not strong enough to compete.
And last Sunday, Kumasi was thrown into a state of shock when Kotoko failed to advance in the championship on the away goal rule. They lost 0-2 to Ittihad Khemmiset in the second leg preliminary stage. Kotoko had won 3-1 a fortnight ago in Sekondi.
According to the reports from Morocco, Mr Amoako, an experienced football administrator, said it would be a waste of money for Kotoko to compete in Africa only to be kicked out in the early stages.
Amoako, who had accused the referee for Kotoko’s defeat last Sunday, said it would have been useful for Kotoko to use the money spent on Africa for the club’s training pitches project at Adako-Jachie.
Many believe that the problem of Kotoko this season goes beyond quality materials.
For a team that has the best materials in the country, it is surprising that Kotoko continue to lose matches, both home and away, to unfancied sides.
While some of the supporters in Kumasi condemned the referee for open bias against Kotoko, others said the defeat was self-inflicted.
The latter said the one goal Kotoko conceded in Sekondi was always a danger to the club’s advancement.
“For me, I will not buy any suggestion that the referee cheated us. We shot ourselves in the foot and cannot blame anyone,” a young man in his early 30s told the Graphic Sports.
Some supporters attributed the club’s woeful performance in Africa to the exit of Coach Bashir Hayford.
According to them, there was no justification to dispense with the services of Hayford after leading the club to win last year’s league.


ROAD accidents in the Ashanti Region claimed 75 lives in the first quarter of the year (January –March), the Police Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) has said.
The police described the figure as very high, especially compared with last year’s number of 58.
The Regional Commander of MTTU, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Victor Abrokwa, who made this known to the Daily Graphic in Kumasi, warned that the region could experience one of the biggest casualty rates ever from road accidents this year if the trend continued.
He said in order to avoid the unpleasant situation, the police and the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) were taking serious measures to curb the accidents.
“There was something seriously wrong with our drivers because most of these accidents were as a result of human errors,” DSP Abrokwa stressed.
Painting a very bad picture of the situation, he said as many as 469 accidents were recorded in the region within the first quarter of the year compared with 369 in 2008.
The MTTU regional commander said some drivers went behind the steering wheel drunk and asked, “What can you expect from such drivers?”
DSP Abrokwa said personnel from the MTTU were on the highways to enforce road safety regulations while the police were prosecuting offending drivers to serve as deterrent to others.
Between January and March, this year, 73 offending drivers were convicted by the courts and fined a total of GH¢4,386.
DSP Abrokwa said his outfit was adhering to the advice from the NRSC to undertake pre-departure checks at the lorry stations to ensure that drivers took off from the stations “clean”.
“If drivers take off without taking in alcohol and their vehicles are in good condition, accidents will be minimised,” he observed.
DSP Abrokwa urged passengers to be bold to draw the attention of speeding drivers to the dangers of their act.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

CAN KOTOKO RIDE STORM? ..All eyes on coach Opeele

After the ignominous home defeat to Swedru All Blacks on Wednesday, Kumasi Asante Kotoko depart for to Morocco this weekend for a tricky CAF Champions League match with a divided management.
For the first time, a management member of the club has admitted that there are cracks in their fold. Persistently, management members have denied there were troubles in the management, but with supporters “wild” after All Blacks defeated Kotoko 2-0 in Kumasi, Mr George Amoako, Director of Finance, said all could not be well with management.
He, however, indicated that everything would be done to address the differences on their return from Morocco next week.
“But in the event of failure to resolve the problem, we would advise ourselves”, he told a Kumasi-based radio station yesterday.
When Mr Amoako was pressed to find out what was wrong with the management, he declined to comment, saying the club had a crucial CAF Champions League game this weekend in Morocco and would not delve into that.
Kotoko need no one to tell them the threat posed by their Moroccan opponents in the second leg preliminary match, Ittihad Khemisset.
The Ghanaian champions won the first leg 3-1 at the Sekondi stadium and will move to deliver the final kill on Sunday. But it is not going to be an easy task. The Moroccans could come firing on all fronts in order to overturn the deficit, and Kotoko better watch out.
Having amassed a wealth of experience in Africa, Asante Kotoko cannot afford to take things so easy and coach “Opeele” Boateng has to devise the strategy to come out clean on the imminent threat.
The striking prowess of Alex Asamoah, together with colleagues like Jordan Opoku, Samuel Inkoom, Ofosu Appiah and the likes should tell positively on their game.
But even as Asante Kotoko prepare for the battle in Morocco, many are asking questions as to who is really in charge of the club. When Otumfuo Osei Tutu II put the management in place, he made Sylvester Asare Owusu the CEO, but questions have been raised as to whether he was in control of the team. Developments in the club portray that the five management members have equal powers.
Some of the fans have blamed management for the unimpressive performance in the league. They charged forward after the defeat last Wednesday and the management members and technical team were lucky that they escaped unhurt.
Quite uncharacteristic of the Porcupine Warriors, they have lost three times at home this year. Hearts and Eleven Wise beat them 2-1 apiece, while just last Wednesday All Blacks whipped them 2-0 in Kumasi.
Mr Amoako in his interview with the radio station denied that the abysmal performance of the team was due partly to the non-payment of winning bonuses to the players.
He called for a change because Kotoko supporters could not swallow those horrible performances as being experienced in recent times.
He cited the “abysmal performance” of Samuel Inkoom last Wednesday and said it contributed to the defeat to All Blacks. According to Amoako, the national defender refused to return quickly to cover up anytime he ventured forward.
The Director apologised to the supporters for the poor performance and gave the assurance that management would move to pluck the loopholes.
Inkoom did not take kindly to this statement and quicklu phoned in to the radio programme, saying the defeat was a collective responsibility and so he should not be blamed as an individual.


THE Ashanti Regional branch of the Mim Senior High School (MISEC) Old Students Association has presented 10 packets of roofing sheets valued at GH¢1,500 to the school.
The donation was in response to an appeal by the management of the school for assistance in rehabilitating some buildings that were recently destroyed by a rainstorm.
Making the presentation, the President of the regional branch of the association, Mr Christopher Bofa, said the association was concerned about the disaster.
He said it was, therefore, necessary that the members moved in to support the efforts being made to bring life to normal in the school.
Mr Bofa stated that the association had embarked on a library project at the school to be completed next year.
He called on all past students to assist practically to develop the school since the government alone could not address the numerous challenges facing the school.  
Mr Bofa advised the students to take their studies seriously and also urged parents to team up with the school authorities to instil discipline in the school.
The headmaster of the school, Mr Kwame Boakye Yiadom, thanked the old students for the gesture and implored others to emulate their example.
He appealed to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and other benevolent institutions to come to the aid of the school “in these hard times”.
Mr Yiadom said the school would celebrate its 40th anniversary later this year.
He, therefore, called on all old students to team up with the school to make the event a success.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

NO CASH...100 Students miss out on university education (LEAD STORY)

ABOUT 100 students from less-endowed schools in the country who gained admission to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) last academic year failed to register because of financial difficulties.
The registration fee was about GH¢200 for a fresh student.
The students, most of whom were admitted through the university’s special dispensation for students from less-endowed schools, therefore, had their dream of acquiring university education cut short.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. K.K. Adarkwa, who made this known, expressed concern over the situation and said something needed to be done to address future occurrences.
He was speaking at a ceremony during which the Nankani and Hagan Scholarship Scheme presented scholarships to 10 students of the university last Monday.
Second-year students in the faculties of Engineering, Agriculture, Pharmacy and the Sciences received the awards, with each getting GH¢300 for the rest of his or her education at KNUST.
The Nankani and Hagan Scholarship Scheme was instituted by the Nankani Family in memory of the late businessman, Mr S.T. Nankani. It is meant for meritorious second-year students in Medicine, Agriculture, Pharmacy and other areas of science.
Prof. Adarkwa said KNUST had put in place a financial services office which mobilised funds to support needy students.
He also revealed that the university had established an office which assisted students to work in certain areas of the institution to earn some money to support their education.
He said some student nurses, for instance, had taken advantage of the situation to work at the university hospital.
“This is the way many students finance their education elsewhere,” Prof Adarkwa said.
He described the Nankani and Hagan Scholarship Scheme as one of the best schemes at the university because it was national in character.
The vice-chancellor expressed the hope that other groups and organisations would emulate the example of the Nankani Family.
Prof Adarkwa urged the beneficiary students to take advantage of the support by taking their studies seriously.
The Chairperson of the trustees of the scheme, Prof Martha Tamakloe, said many students were in need of financial assistance and gave the assurance that the scheme would be sustained.
She expressed the hope that the students would use the funds judiciously.