Friday, July 31, 2009


THERE is a state of uncertainty in the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of dethroned champions, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, over its continued stay in office.
After working assiduously to lift the club from the doldrums to a respectable second placing in the just-ended Glo Premier League,
members of the committee, chaired by Alhaji Inje, are not sure whether they are going to be asked to remain in office or not.
This is because their mandate expired at the end of the league and so far no word has come from the corridors of power at Manhyia whether they will remain in office or not.
With Otumfuo back from his private visit to Europe, many are waiting
with bated breath over what the Asante King would say about the direction of the club.
The IMC was appointed to replace the Sylvester Asare Owusu-led management which was infested with acrimony and confusion.
When Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, was appointing the IMC a few
months ago, he told them that their term of office would end at the end of the league.
Otumfuo indicated that day that a new board that would be named would appoint a substantive management to run the affairs of the club. This goes to show that technically the IMC will not be in place for the next season.
However, some club supporters believe that going by the performance of the IMC, it would be good for them to remain in office.
Indeed the IMC itself had indicated that they are ready to continue work to change the fortunes of the club if the Asantehene gives them the green light.
Already, the IMC had initiated moves to revamp the team to make it more winsome next season.
Kotoko have indicated their readiness to play in the CAF Champions League next season and management have started working towards the championship.
Management is tight-lipped on players pencilled for recruitment but, the Graphic Sports can say that defender Samuel Kyere of Bechem Chelsea, will surely don the red jersey next season.
Kotoko could also lose some key players to the exodus bandwagon. Harrison Afful is likely to join Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa, while strikers Kwadwo Poku and Alex Asamoah are also likely to play in the Maghreb Region.


THE government has initiated moves to return to the Asantehene all Part One lands in Kumasi,which have been under the administration of the government since 1958.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Collins Dauda, who disclosed this at the inauguration of the Ashanti Regional Lands Commission in Kumasi last Wednesday, said the reason behind the government take-over of the lands was nothing but political and that the present government believed it was time the Asantehene was given back what was due him legitimately.
Alhaji Dauda said the government was carrying out the necessary consultations and that as soon as they were completed, a bill on the return of the lands would be submitted to Parliament for consideration.
The lands are located at Adum, Asafo, Dadiesoaba, Fante New Town, Bantama and Ashanti New Town.
Under Section 5 of the Administration of Lands Act, 1962 (Act 123), the Part One lands located in the centre of Kumasi were vested in the President in trust for the Golden Stool.
Originally, it was the colonial government that took over the lands in 1902 but it returned them to the Golden Stool in 1943. However, in 1958, the CPP government re-possessed the lands, alleging that the Asantehene was using proceeds from the sale of the lands to finance the then opposition party.
Even before the government does hand over the lands back to the Asantehene, the minister has directed that the management of the vested lands should be a collaboration between the Regional Lands Commission and the Golden Stool “as the vesting order did not extinguish the right of the stools”.
“I call on the Lands Commission to immediately develop guidelines that will give effect to this directive,” Alhaji Dauda said.
He further announced that it was the intention of the government to return all lands acquired by the state which were no longer needed to their original owners.
“This will be done on a case-by-case basis,” he said, and added that in the Ashanti Region, an inventory of state-acquired lands had already been done in three districts, namely Atwima Nwabiagya, Sekyere West and Amansie East, stressing that the government would act on them appropriately.
He stressed the need for the removal of all bottlenecks in land administration if the nation wanted to see any meaningful progress in that sector.
The minister called for hard work from the regional Lands Commission to complement the efforts of the government in delivering on its mandate to the people and expressed the conviction that the commission would not fail in that regard, saying that the people expected stress-free process in registering lands.
The Chairman of the Regional Lands Commission, Prof. Agyemang Mensah, who is a consultant, said the members were honoured for their appointment and promised that they would work very hard to justify the confidence reposed in them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


THIS year’s winner of the Best Agro Company Award of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG), Alhaji Abdul Salam Akate, says a ban on the importation of poultry products is not the solution to the failing local poultry industry.
Reacting to calls from certain quarters for a ban on imported poultry products as a way of reviving local production, Alhaji Akate said “banning the importation of poultry per se cannot save the local industry if the problem of high cost of domestic production is not resolved”.
Alhaji Akate, who is also the 2007 National Best Farmer, said high cost of poultry feed, especially maize and high cost of borrowing from the banks had put the industry under serious threat and only “drastic measures” from the government could bring some sanity into the system.
Alhaji Akate is the managing director of Akate Farms in Kumasi, which was declared the best agro company in the country at the weekend’s CIMG awards at the Banquet Hall of the State House in Accra.
In a chat with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi on Monday, Alhaji Akate acknowledged that the price of maize had fallen from last year’s peak of GH¢90 and currently selling on the market at GH¢70, but he described that as still high, adding that the cost of soya and groundnuts had risen astronomically.
“One may argue that last year around this time maize sold at GH¢90, but the fact is that the current price is still on the high side,” he said.
Alhaji Akate further indicated that as a result of the high interest rate, poultry farmers could hardly borrow to improve their operations.
He pointed out that Ghana had the potential to produce maize and store in abundance for the lean season as a way of cutting down the cost of the produce, yet successive governments had done virtually nothing to get the system going.
“Growing maize is not like going to space, which we cannot do,” he said, and expressed regret that after 52 years of independence, Ghana could not find answers to problems about food security.
“If we improve the system through reduced cost of feed and the cost of borrowing, our products would be sold at prices that are competitive.
Alhaji Akate noted that the award his company won at the CIMG awards had once again reminded him that there was reward in hard work.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


HEADLINE sponsors of Kumasi Asante Kotoko, tiGo, have presented a $200,000 brand new Mercedes Benz Bus to the club at an impressive ceremony at the Manhyia Palace.
The 52-seater bus, which has a number of facilities including a place of convenience, fridge and a television set, was part of the sponsorship package of tiGo to Asante Kotoko.
Even though the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, was not present at the ceremony last Friday, having travelled outside the country, his Amanhene and other chiefs who brought much life to the occasion, ably represented him.
The presentation itself was heralded by the throbbing of fontonfrom drums as the sizable number of Kotoko supporters who witnessed the event chanted the “Wo kum apem, a apem beba” slogan of the club.
Making the presentation, the Brand Manager of Millicom Ghana Limited, the Operators of tiGo, Nana Kwabena Ampratwum, said, “A number of factors have come together to ensure we are where we are today and we in tiGo will like to think we have played our part in no small way to ensure these recent success.”
He said tiGo would always keep to honouring its promises to the club in order to cement the relationship between the two sides.
He recalled as example the winning bonus of GH¢10,000 and an additional GH¢1,000 for each goal, which tiGo promised Kotoko in their second round league match against. He arts of Oak, which was readily paid to the club.
Nana Ampratwum was happy that the team showed great passion, creativity and zeal during the second round of the just-ended national league.
He stated that it was, therefore, not out of place for tiGo to associate itself with a great side like Kotoko, especially as the two sides have a lot of things in common.
He disclosed that over the next couple of weeks, tiGo and Kotoko would roll out a series of initiatives designed to deepen the relationship between the two sides, as well as give something back to the communities in which the company operates.
The Akyempimhene, Oheneba Adusei Poku, who spoke on behalf of Otumfuo, commended tiGo for the donation, saying it showed the fruitful relationship between the two sides.
He said the bus should mark the turning point in the performance of Kotoko as it would help address some of the challenges of the club.
Oheneba Poku cautioned the supporters of the club against making negative comments about the club on radio, saying. “Otumfuo takes a serious view of such behaviour.”
Present were the management members, sections of the club’s supporters and technical team including, Isaac “Opeele” Boateng, the assistant coach.


UNFULFILLED promises by successive governments have left the maternity block of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) to stand uncompleted for a long period of 35 years.
The construction of the projects started in 1974 during the Kutu Acheampong regime but successive governments have reneged on their promise to see to its completion.
It is one of the single biggest project to be initiated at KATH and authorities at the hospital said its completion would help reduce maternal and infant mortality rate at the facility.
The Minister of Health, Dr George Sipa-Adjah Yankey, last week expressed disappointment at the long neglect of the project.
While attending this year’s staff awards and thanksgiving service of KATH, Dr Yankey promised to see to the completion of the project by the end of 2011.
“I promise that I will personally see to the completion of this project before the end of 2011,” he said,
The big question was whether Dr Sipa Yankey’s promise to see to its completion in 2011 would be a reality or was going to be one of those unfulfilled promises?
After 10 years break, the management of the hospital re-instituted the awards ceremony last year to show appreciation for hard work and to thank God for bestowing abundant blessings on the hospital.
In all, 14 people received awards with the overall best worker award going to Mr Chris Akanbobnaab of the technical department. For his prize, he received a brand new Tata Indigo saloon car donated by Ernest Chemists Limited.
Dr Yankey commended the Chief Executive of KATH, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, and his management for their impressive record in staff motivation.
He announced that the government had begun reviewing the conditions of service for health workers as part of efforts to explore ways to motivate them to work very hard.
So far, the committee working on the review had completed the enhanced conditions of service for doctors while that of nurses and midwifes were about to begin.
The minister said the enhanced conditions included pension benefits, accommodation and transport.
Dr Yankey expressed regret that in spite of the sacrifices doctors for instance make to improve the health of the people, they retired with “virtually nothing positive to show”.
He also mentioned the unfair distribution of health workers in the country, saying while some of the hospitals were heavily populated, others continued to struggle to have staff.
Consequently, the ministry had again begun an exercise to ensure equity and fairness in the system.
In a welcoming address, Dr Nsiah-Asare gave the assurance that the hospital would continue to recognise hard work and dedication to duty.
He, therefore, called on all staff to work extra hard in the coming years to benefit from future awards.


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

HAS the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) got the guts to decongest the Central Business Area (CBA)?
This is the million-dollar question crying for an answer as the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Samuel Sarpong, says the assembly would not rush to decongest that area, widely seen as the most difficult to manage in the city.
“We are not going to rush. We need to wait for a while and plan for any of such exercise. For instance we need to employ more metro guards who can maintain law and order in the area after the exercise,” Mr Sarpong told a workshop organised by the KMA for journalists in Kumasi last Thursday.
Reports had been rife in Kumasi that the KMA would soon move to decongest the CBA. This had been especially so following the demolistion of some buildings standing in waterways, which gave strong signals that the assembly was in no way to compromise on indiscipline and illegalities.
The statement by the MCE indicating that the assembly would not rush to decongest the central area of the city therefore came as a surprise to people who wanted to see immediate action in that area of the metropolis.
On the other hand, other people believed the KMA might have genuine reasons for stating that position especially as previous exercises failed to achieve their objectives.
Under Ms Patricia Appiagyei as Chief Executive for instance, the KMA spent a huge amount of money to decongest the city but the exercise failed woefully.
“We have to plan well before undertaking such an exercise so that the results would be sustainable,” Mr Sarpong said, stressing that he would consult the general assembly and see what to do.
He referred to what was happening to Accra where the traders were returning to the streets after the recent decongesting exercise by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and said, “We don’t want to fall into that trap.”
“We need a sustainable exercise because I believe that Kumasi deserves better,” Sarpong said.
Recent reports that the KMA was about to move to the central area of the city in its efforts to clear hawkers and other traders had sent shivers down the spines of many of the illegal operators in the area.
The CBA is one of the most difficult areas to manage in the metropolis. Hawkers had taken over some of the roads, and motorists have hectic time driving through the roads.
The road in front of the ‘Despite Building’ is the worst amongst the lot. Dealers in second hand clothing have virtually made the road their main selling point.
If even the streets had been taken over then one could imagine the state of the pedestrian walkways. All manner of hawking goes on there and amazingly, a woman has been selling banku right in the middle of the walkway near the Kejetia traffic lights.
The workshop enabled Mr Sarpong to roll out his plans for the metropolis, and also inform the journalists about the activities of the KMA and how they were impacting on the lives of the people.
Heads of the various departments in the KMA also made power point presentations about their departments and answered questions posed by the journalists.
Mr Sarpong disclosed that the assembly would move to improve sanitation and undertake projects that would help improve lives in the city.
On the question of the redevelopment of the Race Course into a modern market, the Chief Executive said the area belonged to Otumfuo Asantehene and that the KMA had no authority to go there to do any development without his authority.
The Akyempimhene, Oheneba Adusei Poku, who chaired the day’s workshop, said there was no gainsaying that Kumasi was dirty and needed something drastic to bring the situation to normalcy.
He said Otumfuo, who owed the lands, had promised to support the KMA in its efforts to bring life back to the city.

Friday, July 24, 2009


THE management of Victory Senior High School (SHS) in Kumasi has sacked the housemistress of the school, Ms Jennifer Quake, for allegedly aiding a female student of the school to sleep with a man in a hotel.
The school’s management has also reported the case to the police who have invited the housemistress for questioning.
The student aged 17, admitted before the disciplinary committee of the school that she had sex with the man in the hotel and that it was her housemistress who sent her to him.
The Headmaster of the school, Mr Kofi Kyei, told the Daily Graphic that the management took a serious view of the incident and had instituted stringent measures to ensure the safety of students.
“We reported the matter to the police because the girl involved is a juvenile”, he said.
Giving details of the incident, Mr Kyei said on June 21, this year, the housemistress aided the girl to scale the school wall and took her to a hotel to pass the night with a man, believed to be the brother of the housemistress.
He said the girl was found missing from school during a roll call in the morning of June 22, this year.
Mr Kyei stated that when the student was apprehended, she admitted sleeping with the man in the hotel and mentioned the housemistress as the one who sent her to him.
The woman, however, vehemently denied the allegation but management found the story to be true, especially when another female student also mentioned the housemistress as having sent her to have sex with the same man in the hotel.
Mr Kyei refuted reports in a section of the media that the housemistress “sold” over 30 schoolgirls to men.
“We only know of two, which we regret.That was why we have sacked the housemistress and reported her to the police”, he stated
Mr Kyei emphasised that the school believed in training students to grow up to become useful citizens and as such, management would not condone any form of indiscipline whether they came from students or any member of staff.
He said if the authorities had not been particular about the movement of the students, it would have been very difficult to establish that the girl had vanished from school.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


THE former District Chief Executive (DCE) for Sekyere South in the Ashanti Region, Mr Ben Abankwa, has denied allegations that he illegally took away the assembly’s property in his official bungalow before leaving office.
He said the allegations were just a political game spearheaded by the current DCE, Mr Edward Kusi Ayarkwa.
Mr Ayarkwa had, at the assembly’s meeting at Agona last Monday, asked Mr Abankwa to return all assembly property he allegedly took away from his official residence at Agona before leaving office.
The items included bed sheets, blankets, pillows, cooking utensils, cutlery, drinking cups and a deep freezer.
However, Mr Abankwa told the Daily Graphic in reaction to the allegation that he never ransacked the official residence as was being alleged and accused Mr Ayarkwa of playing a political game which would eventually fail.
He said apart from the bed sheets and pillows that he took away, none of the items mentioned was with him.
“Even with the bed sheets and pillows I explained to Mr Ayarkwa why I took them away and he understood me so I don’t think this should be a big issue,” he said.
Mr Abankwa stated that he felt it was not good for bed sheets he had used to be used by the new DCE and that was why he took them away.
On the deep freezer, the former DCE said the new one the assembly bought about two years ago was returned to the supplier when it became faulty. Consequently, it was replaced with the one at the residence.
“I have not taken anything illegally to demand the accusations and I call on my accusers to prove their case,” he said.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


THE Western Regional Minister, Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, has urged Muslim chiefs, particularly those from Yendi and Bawku, to help find a lasting solution to conflicts in the area to enable people to go about their legitimate activities.
He stated that the influence of the chiefs would go a long way to bring peace to the conflict areas.
Mr Aidoo said this when he met the Western Regional Council of Muslim Chiefs at the Regional Co-ordinating Council in Sekondi.
He advised them to avoid any ethnic tendencies and pettiness in order to unite to support the government to execute its development agenda.
Mr Aidoo stated that the government would not interfere in chieftaincy affairs but would only come in when the security of the people was threatened.
He, therefore, advised them to ensure that peace prevailed during the installation of the chiefs.
The regional minister emphasised that all buildings, structures, kiosks and containers located on water ways and other areas where they were not permitted, would be demolished.
The Deputy Regional Minister, Ms Betty Busumtwi-Sam, advised the Muslims to enrol their children, especially girls.
The General Secretary of the Regional Council of Muslim Chiefs, Mr D.A. Seidu Dasah, said Muslims had accepted the challenge to send their children to school.
He, however, said the problem had been that most of the children could not continue to the higher institutions and eventually become dropouts, adding “This is discouraging others to go to school”.


The Sekyere South District Assembly has asked its former District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Ben Abankwa, to return all assembly properties he allegedly took away from his official residence at Agona before leaving office.
The items include bed sheets, blankets, pillows, cooking utensils, cutlery, drinking cups and a deep freezer.
Consequently the new DCE, Mr Edward Kusi Ayarkwa, has not been able to move into the residence.
At a meeting of the assembly at Agona yesterday, Mr Ayarkwa said the absence of the items came to light when the officials of the assembly inspected the residence after the former DCE had provided inventory of items at the residence to the District Co-ordinating Director.
He indicated that the assembly would not countenance any acts that would soil its image.
Mr Ayarkwa announced that the district had been selected among others in the country to benefit from the District Development Fund.
“The amount to be provided to the assembly is quite substantial compared with other districts”.
The DCE acknowledged the importance of education in the development of the district and said that accounted for the importance the assembly attached to the sector.
Mr Ayarkwa gave the assurance that the government would do everything possible to ensure that all communities were connected to the national grid.
He urged the people to honour their tax obligations to the assembly so that it would continue to provide the needed development projects for the people.
Mr Ayarkwa indicated that the assembly received its allocations of the fourth quarter from the common fund for 2008 in April 2009. The amount was GH¢ 335,814.14.

Monday, July 20, 2009


THERE was no excitement in Kumasi yesterday as King Faisal played one of the best games in the Glo Premier League to force Asante Kotoko to a 2-2 draw in their city derby at the Baba Yara Stadium.
Despite failing to overtake rivals Hearts of Oak at the top of the league, Asante Kotoko sealed a place in next year’s CAF Champions League.
A half-full stadium expected a win for the Porcupine Warriors, while anticipating a slip by Hearts of Oak, but Faisal exhibited superb technique and tactics that should have won the day.
Showing maturity at the back, Daniel Addo and Awudu Nafiu swept off the Kotoko attack on countless occasions, with Kwabena Yaro being a mere passenger.
The impressive run of Faisal in the game gave them a smooth passage into the Kotoko area but wayward shooting, especially in the dying minutes of the game, cost them the vital points.
Faisal stunned the crowd just two minutes into the game when a brilliant passing game found Abdul Samad Oppong in space and he wasted no time firing past a sprawling Isaac Amoako.
Shortly after the goal, Kotoko regrouped and restored parity in the sixth minute from Louis Agyemang who finished off a Jordan Opoku free kick from the edge of the box.
The stage looked set for a great afternoon of football and Faisal responded with some brilliant midfield display with dribbler Ebo Andoh showing great talent.
Samad Oppong fetched his second on the quarter hour mark, powering home after Eric Kwaku Opoku had cut the ball back to him just inside the box.
Faisal’s Ofosu Mickey nearly killed off any hopes in the Kotoko team when his grounder hit the post in the 44th minute much to the relief of a well-beaten keeper Amoako who appeared jittery in his post.
The league’s top scorer, Alex Asamoah, was sent on at restart and he was at his threatening best, cutting inside down the left with speed and power.
Asamoah could not be denied a goal as he clawed back Faisal’s lead, planting the ball in the net from a Stephen Oduro rebound off the post in the 80th minute.


THE National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is to undertake a clinical auditing of some of the insurance schemes in the Ashanti Region following suspicion concerning some fraudulent practices in their operations.
The exercise begins next week with the Asokwa Sub-Metro Mutual Health Insurance Scheme.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NHIA, Mr Sylvester Mensah, who announced this in Kumasi on Thursday, said the audit team at Asokwa would have 14 days to present its report to his outfit.
The CEO was addressing the management and staff of the various schemes in the region as part of his two-day tour of the region.
Mr Mensah said in the interim, the Asokwa Manager of the scheme, Mr Isaac Asare, had been withdrawn to the regional office of the NHIA, pending the outcome of the audit.
He said it was shocking that the Asokwa scheme, which had paid GH¢2 million as claims in 2007 when the client base was 100,000, spent over GH¢6 million on claims in 2008 with a client base of 188,000.
“The astronomical increase must be investigated,” he said.
Mr Asare, however, rejected any allegations of fraud and said the records were there for all to verify. He told journalists after the meeting that the 2008 audited accounts of the scheme were unquestionable and that he had nothing to fear.
Mr Mensah told the meeting that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was a very important programme that the nation could not afford to toy with.
Consequently, his administration would only work with people who were ready to put in their best.
He said the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sections of the various schemes had been found to be very problematic, resulting in delays in payment, the issuing of cards, among other things.
As a result, the authority would soon begin the retraining of staff to enable them to meet the challenges ahead, he said.
Mr Mensah stated that the government’s agenda of providing quality health care for the people was genuine, adding that the NHIS was one area that would be used to achieve that objective.
He reassured the staff that no one would be sacked because of political allegiance, something that received wild applause from the staff.


THE Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has agreed to abandon its operations at the Krofrom Market in Kumasi to pave way for the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to redevelop the market.
Following the development, the drivers will now move their operations to the Race Course area.
The Krofrom Market area was used mostly by the GPRTU’s heavy-duty trucks bound for the three northern regions, Burkina Faso and Mali.
The stand-off between the KMA and the GPRTU became a source of concern to the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC).
Consequently, the Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, and the KMA Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Sarpong, decided to find amicable ways of reaching a neutral ground to enable the market redevelopment project to kick-start peacefully.
The final agreement was reached in Kumasi at a meeting between the regional and local authorities on one side and officials of the GPRTU on the other.
In attendance was the Regional Minister, Mr Opoku-Manu, his deputy, Ms Anima Wilson, the KMA Chief Executive and the Regional Police Commander, Mr Patrick Timbillah.
Briefing the Daily Graphic after the meeting, Mr Sarpong expressed his delight in the agreement.
He commended the GPRTU officials for their cooperation.
MR Sarpong said it was his determination to get the best for Kumasi, and therefore, called on the people to give him the necessary support in that respect.


THE Omanhene of Manso Nkwanta, Nana Bi-Kusi Appiah, has spoken against the spate of anonymous letter writing in the Amansie West District.
He said the practice was not helping the district, especially as the letters were mostly directed at people in high positions who were contributing to the development of the district.
Nana Appiah stated this at a thanksgiving service jointly organised by the Amansie West District Assembly and the Manso Nkwanta Local Council of Churches in honour of the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, Mr Charles Oti Prempeh.
Members of the various churches and the Muslim community, assembly members as well as the general public attended the service in their numbers.
Nana Appiah urged the people to put away their political differences and unite to develop the district.
He also called for support for the government, since there was only one government that was expected to prosecute the development agenda of the nation.
Preaching the sermon, the Methodist Priest of Manso Nkwanta, Rev. Adu Gyamfi, said it was God who installed leaders.
He, therefore, urged the people to support the DCE to enable him to deliver, because it was God and not man who put him in the position.
Mr Prempeh thanked the chiefs and people in the district for the co-operation they had so far given him, and expressed the hope that that would continue in the interest of the district and the nation.
The DCE outlined his vision for the district, which included improvement of education, addressing health needs of the people and improvement of road network.


A NINE-MEMBER team from the Ahafo-Ano North District Assembly led by the District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr David Addai Amankwah has inspected a number of completed and ongoing development projects in the district.
The team comprising members of the works, development, and finance/administration subcommittees undertook the inspection to enable the assembly get a firsthand information about the way finances of the assembly were being utilised for the benefit of the people.
The first point of visit was the Mabang Senior High School (SHS) where the team inspected two aqua privy toilets and a boys’ dormitory block under construction as well as a police station project in the town, work on which had stalled for sometime now.
At Manfo, the assembly team inspected an uncompleted clinic under construction at the Manfo Grotto and the completed market for the town.
When the team got to Akwasiase, the members toured two project sites—small water projects being funded by the International Development Agency (IDA) and a community library being funded with the MPs common fund.
Other towns and villages where the team inspected projects were Dwaaho, Asuyhiae, Assin Asafo, Bosikese, Twabidi, Subriso, Sunuroso and Odumasi.
Some of the projects included school buildings, boreholes, bridges and markets.
At Assin Asafo, members of the team realised that a broken bridge needed urgent attention to prevent a number of communities from being cut off from the
rest of the district as the rains continued.
At Asuyhiae, the team commended the contractor working on the construction of nurses’ quarters.
When they reached Bosikese, it was also realised that a six-classroom block for the district assembly primary school, which was ripped off during a rainstorm some years back had not been re-roofed.
Consequently, schoolchildren were studying under trees.
Briefing journalists later, Mr Addai-Amankwah said the tour enabled them to know whether the contractors working on the various projects were doing good work or not.
He said some of the contractors would soon be invited by the assembly to answer some pertinent questions.


TWENTY-SIX years into its operations, the Bosomtwe Rural Bank with headquarters at Kuntanase, is determined never to stray from its original focus of contributing positively to the development of the rural economy.
 At the 19th annual general meeting (AGM) of shareholders of the bank last week, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, stated that the bank continued to channel more resources towards the development of the rural areas with the view of helping to reduce poverty among the rural people, most of whom are farmers.
One of the major reasons behind the institution of the rural banking concept in the country is to boost the rural economy.
In this regard the banks are expected to take active interest in the development of agriculture and cottage industry, which were the major preoccupations of the people.
Some of the banks have strayed from their core functions but that is not the case of the Bosomtwe Rural Bank.
Over the years, the bank has channelled substantial funds into the two sectors to bring some hope to the people in its catchment area.
Significantly, the development has not had adverse effects on the operations of the bank as it continues to chalk up successes in its operations to make it one of the strongest rural banks not only in the Ashanti Region, but the entire nation.
Lack of funds to finance agriculture is one of the major problems confronting farmers in the Ashanti Region.
The situation has had negative affects on the growth of agriculture in the region as many farmers continue to grapple with the problem of getting the required finances to improve production.
Again, cottage industries have not seen significant growth, calling for the injection of more capital into the sector to reverse the situation.
It is in this vein that the Bosomtwe bank continues to receive tonnes of praise for its role in rural development.
At the 19th AGM, Mr Osei-Mensah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe, said the bank channelled a total of GH¢290,622 into agriculture and cottage industries in the year 2008. This represented an increase of 7.35 per cent over the previous year’s profit.
Micro credit also went up from GH¢885.8 million in 2007 to GH¢2.9 million in 2008 while profits before tax jumped from GH¢368,280 to GH¢395,694 within the same period.
The achievements happened against the backdrop of adverse developments in both the global and domestic economies, especially declining interest rates, the high crude oil prices and unstable electricity supply, among others, which the country experienced in 2007.
These developments could have seen a decline in the bank’s performance but prudent management enabled it to record significant performance in its operation.
No bank can operate successfully without a strong assets base so when Mr Osei-Mensah announced at the AGM that the total assets of the bank also grew from GH¢8.3 million in 2007 to GH¢9.6 million in 2008 while total deposits jumped from GH¢6.5 million to GH¢7.6 million within the same period, it left no one in doubt that the bank was positioning itself very well to contribute to rural development.
Banks are also set up to support the communities and institutions within their catchment areas in terms of community development projects. Here too, the Bosomtwe Bank has never faltered.
A total of GH¢16,980 was spent in this direction last year. Areas that benefited from the gesture included education, health, security, social amenities, district farmers’ day celebration and scholarship for brilliant needy students.
In spite of the challenges in the financial sector, the bank hopes to perform even better in the coming years so that the rural people will continue to enjoy the best from it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

BLOODY NIGHT...8 Armed robbers killed in shoot-out with police (LEAD STORY, JULY 15, 2009)

EIGHT armed robbers, all believed to be of Fulani extraction, died on Monday night when they engaged a team from the Police Buffalo Unit in a shoot-out at Anwiankwanta on the Kumasi-Bekwai road in the Ashanti Region.
Four others believed to have sustained gunshot wounds managed to escape into the bush and the police have called on the public, especially those manning medical centres, to be on the look-out for anyone with suspected gunshot wounds who may seek medical attention.
The robbers had barricaded the road about 7 p.m. and succeeded in robbing and molesting many travellers on the road when a detachment from the Police Buffalo Unit descended on them.
One of those who died during the action was identified as Ahmed Boakye, a Fulani man who had earlier been arrested for his involvement in a robbery case at a petrol filling station on April 22, 2007.
After his arrest, he was granted bail by a High Court in Kumasi where he is still on trial.
The police described the shooting as the single biggest operation against armed robbery in the country.
Before that incident, the biggest single confrontation with armed robbers had been in 2002, when five armed men who attacked a warehouse in Kumasi were killed. A policeman also lost his life in that operation.
The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Patrick Timbillah, later told newsmen in Kumasi that the fight against violent crime was on track and “there is no turning back”.
“I promised that we were taking the fight to them and that is what we are doing,” he said.
One policeman was injured in the arm from pellets fired from a locally made pistol used by the robbers during the shoot-out .
A police vehicle used in the operation was also dented in the confrontation which, according to the police, lasted about four minutes.
When the robbers were overpowered, the police retrieved four locally made pistols, 11 unspent cartridges, three spent cartridges, six mobile phones, five flashlights and a number of talisman from the scene.
Hundreds of people gathered at the precincts of the Ashanti Regional Police Headquarters where the bodies of the robbers were first sent before they were taken to the morgue. Some people in the crowd cursed them even in death.
DCOP Timbillah said about 6.20 p.m. on Monday, the police had information that some Fulani men had blocked the road and were stopping vehicles and robbing their occupants of their belongings. Consequently, a detachment of personnel from the Buffalo Unit was detailed to the spot.
The regional commander stated that while the police were getting near to the scene of the roadblock, they saw a number of vehicles doing the U-turn to escape attack from the armed men.
The policemen continued to the area but before they could reach the spot the robbers started firing at them, resulting in the injury to the policemen.
The police fired back, resulting in the death of the eight.
Their bodies had been deposited at the morgue pending further investigations.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


A CHILD-RELATED non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Kumasi, Light For Children, has adopted 50 HIV positive children in the metropolis for care and support.
The Kumasi South Hospital and Children’s Homes helped the organisation in the identification of the children, some of whose parents had died of the disease.
The children were provided with anti-retroviral therapy, nutritional supplements and food to meet their special dietary requirements, and also support their educational needs.
Mr Yaw Otchere Baffour, the Executive Director of the organisation, told the Daily Graphic that the children had been provided care-givers who were monitored to ensure that they performed their duties with all seriousness.
The organisation, he said, had also launched a malarial control programme dubbed, “mobilise against malaria project” in the metropolis with focus on pregnant women and children under five years.
Under the programme, which is under the sponsorship of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Company and the Ghana Social Marketing Foundation(GSMF), volunteers went round churches, social meetings, abattoirs, schools and other recognised gatherings to give education on early detection of symptoms and how to respond accordingly.
The first phase of the programme which had been completed saw the volunteers visiting the Asokwa, Bantama and Subin sub-metros.
According to Mr Mike Owusu, Coordinator of the project, the organisation decided on malarial control as one of its key areas of operation because of the untold hardships that the disease brought to the people.
He noted that most often, pregnant women and children were at the receiving end of the disease and pledged that the organisation with support from its sponsors would continue to channel more resources to that area.
Mr Owusu advised the people to observe hygienic conditions as a way of minimising the impact of the disease.
He also mentioned a programme about HIV and AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STIs) programme, which the organisation was undertaking in junior and senior high schools in the metropolis and said the interest in the exercise was growing.
Mr Owusu said the goal of the education programme was to build on the information students already had about HIV and AIDS and other STIs and encourage them to adopt the best practices for reducing the risk of STI transmission and teenage pregnancy.
According to him, particular emphasis was placed on abstinence because that was the surest way to keep students safe.
Mr Owusu indicated that the health education programme was being undertaken in cooperation with the Kumasi Metropolitan Directorate of Health.


THE home fans had long christened yesterday an “Ascension Day”, and true to their prediction Asante Kotoko leapt ahead of rivals, Hearts of Oak, to the top of the Glo Premier League on superior goal difference following a hard-won 1-0 victory over Sekondi Hasaacas at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.
A Jordan Opoku speculative drive from 35 yards won the day for the Porcupine Warriors, and thousands of their supporters had every right to celebrate the rise to the top after a murky run in the first round.
Originally scheduled for Wednesday, the match was rescheduled for yesterday following a downpour, but it was heavily patronised.
After Hasaacas’ Joseph Mensah had narrowly missed with a header on the sixth minute, Kotoko sensed danger and put their machinery into motion, winning three corner kicks by the eighth minute.
However, the attacking pair of Kwadwo Poku and Stephen Manu could hardly penetrate the Hasaacas rear where former Hearts of Oak defender, Nana Kofi Egyir, was in great shape.
It took the ingenuity of Jordan Opoku to break the deadlock on the 23rd minute, firing from afar to beat keeper Michael Addo.
Twice on the 54th and 57th minutes, keeper Isaac Amoako pulled dramatic saves to deny the visiting side the equaliser.


THE condition of feeder roads in the Ahafo Ano South District in the Ashanti Region has seriously deteriorated as a result of the heavy rains,thereby creating problems for vehicular movement.
Some of the roads that are in a bad state include the one linking Adugyama with Biemso, as well as the Mankranso, the Kunsu Junction-Apenamadi-Bonkwaso and Kunsu-Abaasua roads.
This came to light when the Daily Graphic visited the district to find out the state of the roads and how they were affecting farming and other activities in the area.
It also enabled the paper to establish whether the government’s decision last year to tar five kilometres of roads in the district had been carried out.
Drivers were finding it difficult to get to the hinterlands to cart foodstuffs to the buying centres while passengers, in some cases, were stranded for long hours.
Some of the farmers appealed to the government to come to their aid before the situation got out of hand.
With regard to the tarring of the five- kilometre road, it was found out that nothing had been done about it.
Early last year, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government announced a programme to tar over 1,000 kilometres of roads in the various districts of the country with each district getting five kilometres.
It was a special initiative which also included the provision of the five communities in each district with electricity and potable water, all designed at poverty reduction.
Some of the people complained of the poor construction work of roads in the area and stressed the need for the government to ensure that contractors did quality work in order to get value for money.
Last year, members of the Krantori Area Council in the Ahafo Ano South expressed concern about the award feeder road contracts without the knowledge of the chiefs and the people of the beneficiary communities.
They argued that the practice brought conflicts between the contractors and the communities.
At an area council meeting, the members said the situation also promoted the execution of shoddy works and persistent delays in the completion of the projects.
According to them, since the awards of contracts by government were done without the knowledge of the beneficiary communities, most contractors failed to heed any suggestions made by the local people, making them not feel part of the execution of the project.

Monday, July 13, 2009


THE condition of feeder roads in the Ahafo Ano South District in the Ashanti Region has seriously deteriorated as a result of the heavy rains,thereby creating problems for vehicular movement.
Some of the roads that are in a bad state include the one linking Adugyama with Biemso, as well as the Mankranso, the Kunsu Junction-Apenamadi-Bonkwaso and Kunsu-Abaasua roads.
This came to light when the Daily Graphic visited the district to find out the state of the roads and how they were affecting farming and other activities in the area.
It also enabled the paper to establish whether the government’s decision last year to tar five kilometres of roads in the district had been carried out.
Drivers were finding it difficult to get to the hinterlands to cart foodstuffs to the buying centres while passengers, in some cases, were stranded for long hours.
Some of the farmers appealed to the government to come to their aid before the situation got out of hand.
With regard to the tarring of the five- kilometre road, it was found out that nothing had been done about it.
Early last year, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government announced a programme to tar over 1,000 kilometres of roads in the various districts of the country with each district getting five kilometres.
It was a special initiative which also included the provision of the five communities in each district with electricity and potable water, all designed at poverty reduction.
Some of the people complained of the poor construction work of roads in the area and stressed the need for the government to ensure that contractors did quality work in order to get value for money.
Last year, members of the Krantori Area Council in the Ahafo Ano South expressed concern about the award feeder road contracts without the knowledge of the chiefs and the people of the beneficiary communities.
They argued that the practice brought conflicts between the contractors and the communities.
At an area council meeting, the members said the situation also promoted the execution of shoddy works and persistent delays in the completion of the projects.
According to them, since the awards of contracts by government were done without the knowledge of the beneficiary communities, most contractors failed to heed any suggestions made by the local people, making them not feel part of the execution of the project.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


A FORMER Presiding Member (PM) of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Dr Edward Prempeh, has cautioned against the use of force in the planned decongestive exercise for Kumasi.
He said decongesting itself was not a bad exercise, looking at the current situation in the city but if the authorities used brute force on the people, the aim of the exercise would not be achieved.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi yesterday, Dr Prempeh suggested that if the exercise should be done, all the stakeholders should be involved to avoid past mistakes where similar exercises failed to achieve their intended purpose.
The KMA has already announced plans to decongest the city, especially the central business district.
Various traders, including “banku” sellers have taken over the pavements and even sections of the roads, making vehicular movement very difficult.
Dr Prempeh referred to the decongestive exercise undertaken during the administration of Ms Patricia Appiagyei, and said it failed because the KMA failed to involve the people.
“What we are seeing today in Kumasi is the direct result of poor planning, as was done during the last decongestion.
“If the authorities are able to sit the leadership of the traders down to appreciate the importance of the exercise, I believe it would be executed without any difficulty,” he stressed.
The former PM who is also a private medical practitioner said the KMA should also consider undertaking the exercise in phases.
He said decongesting the city was a massive exercise that could not be undertaken in few days as used to be done in the past. By undertaking it in phases, he said, the people would fully appreciate the benefits.
He also spoke against the use of some of the busy roads in the city as parking lots for the Metro Mass Buses since that worsened the already tense situation in the city centre.


THE Anane Boateng Stadium at Abrankese is expected to witness one of the biggest crowds ever, as supporters of Kumasi Asante Kotoko plan a massive invasion to support Kessben F/C against Hearts of Oak in their crucial Glo Premier League encounter tomorrow.
A number of buses have been commandeered to convey the fans from Kumasi to Abrankese, even in the face of the hike in gate fees.
“We are going to Abrankese in our numbers to support Kessben because this match is very important for us,” Alhaji Ali Maradona, a supporters leader of Asante Kotoko told the Daily Graphic yesterday.
Kotoko are just two points adrift, Hearts on the Glo Premier League table and their supporters must surely be interested in the outcome of the Abrankese encounter.
Ali Maradona explained that the position of Kessben on the league table was so threatening that any loss to Hearts could push them into the relegation zone.
According to Ali Maradona, the Asantehene, Otumfuo,Osei Tutu II had instructed Kotoko supporters to give the necessary support to all the Ashanti-based premier sides to ensure that they avoid relegation.
“We are, therefore, going to root heavily for Kessben because we cannot allow them to go on relegation,” he said.
Kessben have been a disaster away, but at home, they have been impressive, maintaining the speed, class and eye for goals.
Against a tottering Hearts who only struggled to beat a 10-man Eleven Wise on penalties in the President’s Cup match on wednesday, the danger of the leaders slipping remains highly possible.

Friday, July 3, 2009


THE national executive of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) has held a meeting with members of the association in the Ahafo-Ano North District to brief them on developments affecting their welfare and profession.
The meeting was in line with the efforts of the national executive of the association to reach out to teachers in all parts of the country to ginger them up so that they could give their best in the classrooms.
Addressing teachers at Tepa, the National President of GNAT, Mr Joseph Adjei, called for enhanced salaries for workers to serve as compensation for the postponement of the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).
He said organised labour showed faith with the government by agreeing to the postponement of the SSSS and it was only appropriate that the government reciprocated the gesture by coming out with improved salaries for workers.
Mr Adjei said better salaries would also help avert any possible strike action by workers.
He said workers were suffering under the harsh economic conditions and could not continue to wait any longer, especially as the SSSS was due for implementation in 2010.
Mr Adjei stated that the recent hikes in fuel prices had contributed to the increasing cost of living and seriously eroded the purchasing power of workers.
He also spoke against the postponement of the implementation of the Pension Act 2008, saying the current situation was not good.
The GNAT president said the association wanted to see the speedy implementation of the scheme so that on retirement, teachers would have something to show for their sacrifices for their nation.
He gave the assurance that GNAT would continue to place emphasis on the continuous education of its members to enable them to come to terms with changing trends in their profession.
Mr Adjei expressed concern that teachers who qualified for promotion to the rank of deputy directors of education had not been invited for interviews since 2001.
Consequently, he called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) Council to rectify the anomaly to assuage the anxiety and disaffection of the affected teachers.
Mr Adjei said the development could kill the enthusiasm of teachers in the discharge of their duties and added that teachers deserved to be motivated to enable them to give their best.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr David Addai Amankwah, implored teachers to help instil discipline in schoolchildren.
He said teaching was a noble profession and anyone who underrated teachers would be doing so at his or her own risk.
The DCE appealed to GNAT to decentralise some of its activities to the district and local levels.
The District Chairman of GNAT, Mr Andrews Forkuo, called on the national secretariat to provide a means of transport for the district office to facilitate the work of the staff.


THE Ashanti Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) seems poised to get the development agenda of the region on track, with emphasis on the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs).
Two areas where the RCC is focusing serious attention on are the application of the District Assemblies Common Fund and revenue generation by the various assemblies.
Over the years, the common fund has been used to finance a number of development projects in the region, thus helping to improve the lives of the people.
However, it appears the assemblies’ over-concentration on the fund has resulted in poor internal revenue generation. Indeed, but for the common fund, none of the assemblies in the Ashanti Region could have achieved their revenue targets.
It is in this regard that the Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, expressed his disappointment at the way some of the assemblies have reduced the impact of their common fund allocation.
He told the inaugural meeting of the reconstituted RCC in Kumasi that by allocating the funds in minute shares to several projects and activities in many towns and villages, for instance, the it lost its focus.
It is evident that many of the assemblies have forgotten about what is expected of them in revenue generation. A number of them have failed to live up to expectation and continue to rely solely on the central government for the necessary funds to undertake development projects.
The regional minister epitomised the disappointment of the RCC with the situation when he stated that they could not continue to rely on the central government for funds to undertake development projects.
At the inauguration, he announced the establishment of a regional monitoring team to oversee the operations of the assemblies and other agencies in the region.
This is to ensure that the assemblies and agencies operate within regulatory arrangements.
In the Ashanti Region, a number of projects initiated years ago have not seen the expected execution because the monitoring process has been very weak.
In the road, educational, health, sanitation and many other areas of development, several projects have been stalled as a result of ineffective supervision.
Mr Opoku-Manu said his administration would give the monitoring team all the necessary support to enable it to deliver.
According to the regional minister, the reports of the monitoring team would be communicated to the assemblies so that they would know where they were falling short and see how to turn things round.
The Ashanti Region has a huge potential to attract the necessary investment but this has not been fully utilised. Over the years, the assemblies have failed to devise strategies that will enable the region to take full advantage of the emerging favourable investment opportunities in the country.
It is in this regard that the regional minister stressed the need for the various assemblies to engage in more meaningful dialogue and information sharing with the private sector, all geared towards investment drive.
Mr Opoku-Manu further called for action against environmental degradation, saying lip service had been paid to that area for far too long.
“We need to sensitise the people to the need to keep the environment clean. The spirit of communalism and voluntarism which is gradually dying off must be rekindled and the people encouraged to undertake regular clean-up exercises to help improve our health status,” the regional minister stressed.


A KONONGO-BASED non-governmental organisation (NGO), Positive Role Models Foundation, has embarked on an educational programme on adolescent reproductive health in schools in the Asante-Akyem North Municipality to get students to understand the dangers of premarital sex.
So far some schools at Juaso, Bompata, Agogo and Konongo have benefited from the exercise, which is being undertaken in consultation with the Ghana Education Service (GES).
At one of the educational programmes at the Konongo-Odumasi Senior High School, the Chief Executive Officer of the NGO, Dr Steve Ogbordor, advocated for sex education for adolescents to emphasise abstinence rather than the use of condoms.
Dr Ogbordor, who is also a medical practitioner, said preaching the use of condoms for adolescents, especially students, could draw them into sexual activities and thus derail their future.
He noted with regret that about 75 per cent of unsafe abortions involved teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19.
The medical officer warned that since unsafe abortions could easily result in deaths, it was important for the youth to avoid premarital sex in order not to fall victim to the dangers of unsafe abortions.
He charged the students to take their education seriously to ensure a bright future in life.
Dr Ogbordor advised the students to concentrate on their studies and stay away from sex to avoid contracting HIV and AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
He stated that if STDs were not treated early, they could lead to health complications in future.
Dr Ogbordor challenged the students to avoid indiscipline and other bad habits in school, stressing that they must respect their teachers and parents.
He further urged the students never to settle for mediocrity but to aim for the top.
During an open forum, some of the students said the educational programme was one of the best things to happen to them in their co-curricula activities.


THE Catholic clergy has settled a 21-year-old chieftaincy dispute in the Manso Nkwanta Traditional Area.
The dispute pitched the Omanhene of the area, Nana Bi-Kusi Appiah, against four of his divisional chiefs: Nana Kwaku Ti, the Akwamuhene; Nana Doku Appiah Danquah, the Adubiahene; Nana Pipim Karikari Apau, the Kyidomhene, and Nana Obeng Korankye, the Gyasehene.
Three of the divisional chiefs, accompanied by the Archbishop, visited the Omanhene’s palace to apologise and seek reconciliation with him.
Speaking at the palace, the Most Rev Thomas Kwaku Mensah, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kumasi, said the decision to intervene in the dispute was to see to the unity of Nananom so that they could work to bring development to the area.
He expressed the hope that the settlement of the dispute would enable good things to happen to the area.
Before accepting the divisional chiefs back to the traditional council, Nana Appiah deplored their behaviour over the past 21 years.
He said even though they had been absent from the traditional council, that did not affect the activities of the council.
He expressed the hope that the chiefs would turn over a new leaf and contribute to the development of the area.
Other members of the Catholic delegation were the Most Rev Gabriel Justice Anokye, the Bishop of Obuasi, and the Parish Priest of Manso-Nkwanta, Rev Father John Dwoben Adusei.


THE Rotary Club of Kumasi East District 9100 has inducted four new members into the club at a ceremony at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi.
They are Mr Yakubu Mahama, Mr Isaac Offe Addo, Ms Evelyn Sarpong and Ms Dina Ameh.
The induction ceremony coincided with the handover of the presidential baton to the newly elected President of the club, Prince Abraham Appiah-Fei.     
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Charles Amoako, the immediate past President of the club, said the objective of the club was to solicit for financial support at the local and international levels to provide social amenities for the needy, especially those living in the rural areas, to improve their living conditions.
He said the major concern of the club was to provide boreholes, promote health delivery and education in the rural areas of the country.    
In his acceptance speech, Mr Appiah-Fei expressed his commitment to work hard to raise the objective of the club.
He appealed to the general public, especially chiefs, businessmen and other professional bodies to join the club to offer effective social services to the people in the rural areas. 
The induction ceremony was performed by Mr Charles Avoka, a past President of Rotary Club of Kumasi.  


A New Patriotic Party (NPP) stalwart in Kumasi, Mr Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, has given indications the he will contest the position of General Secretary at the next national delegates conference of the party.
“All over the country, party people are urging me to go for the position, and I think I cannot disappoint them,” he told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi in.
Mr Owusu-Afriyie, a respected legal practitioner in Kumasi, was the campaign manager of the Nana Akufo-Addo campaign team for the northern sector of the country in the 2008 election.
He said he had served the party faithfully since his student days and believed the time had come for him to move up the party ladder.
“I’ve paid my dues and this is the time to serve at the highest level,” he said.
According to him, he had heard some names making the rounds as potential candidates for the position but said, “ I stand tall amongst them.”
Sir John indicated that the party had reached a stage where it needed strong leadership at the top to battle it out with the NDC in the 2012 elections.
“Everybody knows the NDC is messing up the economy, therefore, we as a party need a strong leadership to get the party to capitalise on this to win the next elections,” he said.
“I will ensure that we expose the lies of the NDC, so that they cannot deceive the people again,”
He stated that he had a firm grasp of the politics of the day and this would be applied for the advantage of the party.
Mr Owusu-Afriyie called for unity in the party so that together, they could fight to remove the NDC in the next elections.
“If we don’t stop branding people as belonging to this camp or another, we will be digging our own grave.
“I don’t believe there are factions in the party but rather shades of opinions, which is natural with a democratic institution like the NPP.”
On the proposed widening of the electoral college for the party’s congress to elect presidential candidate, the lawyer said it was a good idea, as it would correct the many lapses in the system.
Even though he said it was too early to be thinking of the presidential candidate for the party in the 2012 elections, Mr Owusu-Afriyie said he still believed Nana Akufo-Addo was the right man for the job.
He explained that Nana Akufo-Addo was the most popular and well-tested person who had got the ability to lead the party to victory in 2012.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

SUPPORTERS of Kumasi Asante Kotoko have expressed disappointment over the cancellation of the scheduled international march against English Premiership side Everton on July 12.
They accused the Professional League Board (PBL) of contributing to the cancellation of the match. The PLB had indicated that it could not reschedule the Asante Kotoko – Ash Gold Premier League match scheduled for the same day.
According to the PLB, the league had reached a critical stage and nothing should be left to chance to ensure a smooth end to the championship.
Everton had wanted to use the match as part of their pre-season tour to Ghana and their Chief Executive, Robert Elstone epitomised their disappointment over developments leading to the cancellation.
But Ghana's Football Association have organised a domestic cup competition, which clashes with the planned visit. He said on their website that, "This is extremely disappointing news”.
According to him, the club had put in a lot of planning and it was regrettable that things had fallen apart. "The club had invested a lot of time and effort into making this game a reality and were looking forward to making the trip to Kumasi, “ he said.
"It became clear in the past 24 hours that the opposition would be unable to meet its obligation to play on July 12 and despite looking at other dates and teams, in the end, it just could not work elsewhere in the schedule, “ the chief executive added.
"We obviously have a responsibility to David Moyes and his players and we are all focused on ensuring they get the best possible preparation ahead of the start of the new Premier League season," he stressed.
A number of supporters the Graphic Nsempa spoke to in Kumasi said, the decision not to reschedule the premier league match against Ash Gold was a plan to sabotage the efforts of Asante Kotoko to sell the club to the outside world.
The management of Kotoko were expecting to use the match to prove a point to the outside world about the pedigree of the club in football.
They would have also used the match to reap some financial benefits for the club.


WITH sheer bravado and skill, Sporting Mirren nearly succeeded in forcing Kumasi Asante Kotoko to drop vital home points until Alex Asamoah fetched a late goal to win the day for the champions at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday.
Putting up a performance that was at variance with their bottom placing on the league table, Mirren were never overawed by the form and huge reputation of their hosts as experienced coach Emmanuel Kwasi Afranie produced the formula to render Kotoko ineffective for the greater part of the match.
The home fans had trumpeted a massive win over the hapless Mirren but the reality dawned on them about the difficulty at hand as Kotoko struggled to find a way through the Mirren back line.
Two rapid goal attempts by Kotoko in the 8th minute saw Stephen Manu grazing the bar, with Francis Coffie firing away from just six yards out.
Strong defensive play from Gideon Baah, Prince Boateng, Osei Berko and Richard Ladepo siphoned off the little venom in the Kotoko attack in the first half.
And when the visitors pushed forward, striker Nicholas Coffie messed up two great opportunities in the 15th and 18th minutes.
Playing in an unfamiliar midfield role, Harrison Afful found things difficult and was booked by referee S.B. Bortey in the 27th minute for a foul on an opponent.
Kotoko brought on Prince Anokye for Godfred Yeboah just before the restart and coach Hebert Addo reshuffled his team with Afful returning to his familiar left back role.
The visitors also brought in Achite Kome for Nicholas Coffie after 56 minutes, as the battle remained in the middle.
When it became clear that Kotoko needed extra firepower upfront, Alex Asamoah was brought into the game to replace Hanan Giwah in the 57th minute.
The introduction of Asamaoh brought some life into Kotoko as his speed on the flanks proved threatening to Mirren.
The stadium rose in anticipation of a goal in the 66th minute when a swift break saw Alex Asamoah in space, but his last touch hit the bar only for the hysterical Kwabena Yaro to blast away the rebound.
With the fans sitting on tenterhooks Stephen Oduro was brought on to bring some fluidity in the middle but Mirren were all over winning most of the 50-50 balls.
The deadlock was broken in the 88th minute when Oduro found Asamoah with a quick free kick and the striker wasted no time hitting the ball into the roof. The shot tore the net and it had to be mended for the game to resume.


From Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

“YOU are the devil incarnate.” This was what circuit court judge Emmanuel Amo Yartey told a fetish priest just before pronouncing sentence on him for rape.
And, as if by design, the court gave him 20 years – the same as the age of the female teacher he raped.
Baah had managed to convince the teacher that some evil spirits were pursuing her and that she could never give birth until she went through some purification rites.
That paved the way for the fetish priest to eventually rape her, resulting in his incarceration.
Baah pleaded not guilty to the charge of rape but the prosecution managed to prove its case against him.
The facts of the case were that the victim lived with her sister at Moshie Zongo in Kumasi, while Baah lived at Ahwiaa, also in Kumasi.
About 11 a.m. on November 16, 2008, the victim visited a friend at Ahwiaa and was returning home when she saw five men, including Baah, sitting in an uncompleted building.
The prosecution said Baah called the victim and made her to believe that she could never give birth.
The fetish priest told her that some evil spirits were pursuing her and eventually convinced her to accompany him to his house to be exorcised of the spirit.
On reaching the house, Baah gave the victim some concoction to bath with, after which he showed her a room where she could dress.
No sooner had the complainant entered the room than the fetish priest followed up to forcibly abuse her sexually.


THE Attorney-General’s (AG’s) Office in Kumasi says it has gathered substantial evidence to prosecute two suspects over the murder of Samuel Enin, the former Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA).
The suspects, Sherif Kabore and Kwame Ayew, have denied knowledge of the act but Chief State Attorney William Kpobi said investigations had so far established incontrovertible evidence of murder perpetrated by the suspects.
However, the AG’s office linked the murder to robbery perpetrated by the two.
Mr Kpobi told the Daily Graphic that the trial was likely to start before the end of the year, adding that currently his office was in the process of putting its act together to enable it to present the case before court.
“I will, therefore, plead with all to have faith in us so that the right processes will be followed to bring the suspects before court,” he said.
The interview followed concerns raised by the GJA over the long delay in bringing the perpetrators of the heinous act before the law, especially when it had already paid a reward of GH¢2,000 to the police after they announced the arrest of the two about two years ago.
In February 2007, Enin and some friends were sitting over drinks at the Libra Spot at Old Tafo in Kumasi in the night when armed men shot him in the neck and the abdomen.
He died shortly after he was rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital for attention.
The gunmen took away some mobile phones but left the cash which Enin had with him in a plastic bag.
They bolted in a white saloon car but the police later found the vehicle abandoned at Ashanti New Town in Kumasi.
Further investigations led to the arrest of Sherif and Ayew as the principal suspects.
Ayew, who was wanted in an armed robbery case, is currently serving a jail term at the Kumasi Prison.