Monday, August 31, 2009


THE National House of Chiefs (NHC) has completed the first batch of the codification of lines of succession of stools and skins in the country.
The list, which is to be presented to Parliament for approval when the House resumes sitting, is expected to minimise chieftaincy disputes.
Addressing the general meeting of the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi, the President of the NHC, Naa Prof. John S. Nabila, said the codification has been clearly defined and was, therefore, hopeful that there would not be any misunderstanding when it is being considered by Parliament for ratification.
He said the Standing Orders of the house would soon be reviewed and the codification of lines of succession to stools and skins would also be continued in due course.
Naa Prof. Nabila noted that the misconceptions about chieftaincy had arisen from chieftaincy disputes and other related matters and said the house was determined to work to erase the negative impressions.
He stated that chiefs had over the years played very important roles in national development and ensured that peace reigned in the communities.
“But for chiefs, this country would have been burnt,” he said, and added that much depended on them as chiefs not to undermine one another but move together to fight the evils in the society.
Naa Prof. Nabila disclosed that the Konrad Adenuer Foundation had promised to assist the NHC come out with an in-house journal that would portray the activities of the house.
He acknowledged the importance of taxes to national development and said that informed the house to collaborate with the revenue agencies to organise a workshop on taxation for chiefs recently.
Naa Prof. Nabila noted that chiefs played important roles in improving the tax culture, and pledged that they would continue to play their roles effectively.
The President of the NHC impressed on the revenue agencies to insist on internal control mechanisms that would ensure sanity in the tax system.


OUTSPOKEN New Patriotic Party (NPP) elder, Mr Akenten Appiah-Menka, has said it will be ridiculous for anyone to believe that all is well with the party.
The party elder told the Daily Graphic at his office that factionalism in the party was real, and that the party’s Council of Elders of which he was a member must move with dispatch to tackle the issues.
He noted that the factionalism could work against the party’s chances in the 2012 elections, and therefore called for every effort to unite the party.
At the NPP Conference last weekend, ex-President Kufuor, who had been accused of belonging to one of the factions in the party, denied any such thing.
He told the conference that he belonged to the NPP and not any faction, if any such thing existed.
However, Mr Appiah-Menka disagreed, saying “We have to say the truth in order to correct the wrongs in the party.”
He stated that the factionalism had become so dangerous that it was creeping to the grass roots of the party.
Mr Appiah-Menka pointed out that it was true that factions prevailed in many systems but the important thing was how to manage the situation without allowing them to destroy the foundation of the systems.
For the NPP, the Council of Elders member noted that factionalism was destroying the party, and as such the council needed to put its feet down.
Mr Appiah-Menka said since 1996, the NPP had seen some measure of factionalism but what was happening today was more dangerous.
“Today we hear of friends of various personalities in the NPP. Can we say this is good for the party?
Mr Appiah-Menka admitted that over the years the Council of Elders had not performed creditably with respect to tackling challenges in the party, and said the time had come for a change.
He described the constitutional amendments made at the conference as, “paper amendments” saying they had been made but what was important was the people who would work with them.
He was, however, happy about the broadening of the electoral college of the party. “I believe that the NPP leadership and indeed the entire party will abide by the constitutional changes and work with them to get the party going, “he said.
Mr Appiah-Menka stressed the need for the Council of Elders of the NPP and the NDC to work together to get their party members see national issues as such rather than with partisan political eyes.
“We are in a country where we politicise every issue, and this is very bad for us. At the moment there is a world financial crisis. It needs national consensus to fight it in the local context, “he added.
Mr Appiah-Menka also spoke against what he described as the frightening level of tribalism and corruption creeping into the body politic of the country.


THE Ashanti Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) is reviewing the school feeding programme in the region with the view to bringing sanity into the system.
Consequently, it has asked all caterers under the programme to reapply to their various districts for consideration.
The RCC has also urged the people to desist from politicising what was going on, saying they were in line with best practices.
A statement issued by the RCC and signed by its Public Relations Officer, Mr Ernest Brogya Gyenfi, said under the new arrangement, an individual could have access to one school instead of the previous system where one person controlled five or more schools.
Persons who were not trained as caterers would also not be entertained in the programme.
“We are interested in caterers who will be in the kitchen to cook or supervise cooking and not those who will run the programme from their offices far away from the schools,” the statement said.
The statement said District Implementation Committees (DICs) and School Implementation Committees (SICs) would be created where there were none and be empowered to supervise the programme at their level.
It mentioned the recent castigation of the Deputy Regional Minister, Ms Anima Wilson, by a section of the people for allegedly sacking operators of the programme and said the allegations against the deputy minister were untrue.
The statement stressed that the programme was under the control of the District Chief Executives who were heads of the DICs.
It was, therefore, not out of place for the deputy regional minister to supervise a better part of the programme.
The statement said any caterer who failed to reapply could not blame the deputy regional minister or any other person for the consequences.
The RCC said the ultimate aim of the programme was to provide delicious and healthy meals for pupils in order to make it attractive for children to attend school regularly and increase enrolment.
In this regard, any individual whose main objective was to make huge profits from the programme could not be entertained, the statement warned.
It indicated that the school-feeding programme was very important to the government, which will do everything to sustain it and also hopes to extend it to all schools by the end of 2010.


THE latest world universities ranking on the web has placed the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) as the best in Ghana and 30th in Africa.
A copy of the rankings made available to the Daily Graphic at the inauguration of the Council of the KNUST in Kumasi had the University of Ghana coming second in Ghana and 50th in Africa
The "Webometrics Ranking of World Universities" is an initiative of the Cybermetrics Laboratory, a research group belonging to the Consejo Superior de Investigations Científicas (CSIC), the largest public research body in Spain.
The CSIC, which is among the first basic research organisations in Europe, is attached to the Ministry of Education of that country.
Commenting on the latest placing, the Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa, said the university had over the years carried itself with excellence in the fields of science and technology and was determined to go the extra mile to achieve more in its activities.
Mr Paul Victor Obeng, a former Presidential Advisor on Governmental Affairs in the first NDC administration, chairs the 19-member council, which was sworn in by the Supervising High Court Judge of Kumasi, Mr Justice Frank Amoah.
Prof. Adarkwa said even though KNUST continued to make strides in educational development, it also continued to encounter challenges, which demanded support to address.
For instance, the Vice Chancellor said whereas about GH¢23.6 million was needed to complete 15 ongoing projects on campus, only GH¢2.9 million was released this year for the projects.
The university, he said, needed to modernise its laboratories, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centres, among other projects, to enhance teaching and learning.
Prof. Adarkwa stated that from the developments, it would be necessary for the university to privatise some of its activities and also enter into partnerships to ensure that various projects and programmes were undertaken without much difficulty.
In spite of the challenges, he said the university administration would not rest on its laurels but put in extra efforts to attain successes for the university.
Mr Obeng said being a council member was to serve and not to be served. It was, therefore, important for the members to avoid personal interests and work towards the uplift of the KNUST.
He paid tribute to his predecessor, Nana Otuo Siribuo, for the great work he did and pledged to continue with it.
Mr Obeng acknowledged the challenges facing the university and said “we are here to respond to these challenges but not to mourn over them or needlessly pass the buck”.
“In doing so we have to remember that there are additional human capital resources outside the council, management and the immediate university community. We should recognise this pool of resources as we embark on this journey,” he said.
He thanked the appointing authorities for the confidence reposed in his team.


A GOAL of arrogant quality fetched by returnee Bernard Don Bortey at the Baba Yara Stadiun yesterday brought Accra Hearts of Oak into contention for the ultimate and consigned Asante Kotoko to bottom place in the MTN GHALCA Top 4 tournament.
Hearts grabbed the three points courtesy Bortey’s goal and for the striker, who produced a virtuoso performance on the afternoon, he confirmed his status as one of the Phobians’ all-time best scorers against their archrivals.
And what a way to celebrate the goal as the striker ran to the torch line with a clenched fist and punched the air to receive applause from the Hearts fans.
Asante Kotoko who celebrate their 74th birthday today could hardly penetrate the compact Phobian defence of Bernard Coffie, Tetteh Nortey, Karim Alhassan and Ebenezer Tetteh.
And typical of some of their supporters, they called for the sack of coach Herbert Addo. 
Indeed it was amazing how Asante Kotoko, who paraded a frightening set, including some of their big purchases, struggled to match the young Phobian team that showed abundant promise.
After an explosive start to the game, which saw Bortey coming close on the six and eight minutes, Hearts went ahead on 10 minutes from a free kick just outside the edge of the Kotoko area.
In typical fashion, the striker curled the kick over the top of the wall, the ball flying to the top right corner of the net with keeper Isaac Amoako making a fruitless attempt to salvage it.
Kotoko briefly made impressions that they could fight back, cutting down the wings with Abdul Ganiyu and Francis Coffie in attendance, but their supplies to Alex Asamoah and Samad Oppong were cut out by the brilliant Hearts defence.
The home side’s offensive efforts tapered off and Hearts seized the middle with youngsters Ishmael Aryee and Theophilus Apoh creating space for Bortey and Samuel Affum to cause trouble in the Kotoko area.
Samad Oppong, who came up with unnecessary antics occasionally switched to the flanks and in one of such moves he fed Alex Asamoah with a delicate pass on the 24th minute but the striker surprised the crowd of about 25, 000, shooting wide.
The Hearts supporters roared in anticipation of a goal when Bortey went behind another free kick from the same spot where he scored but Isaac Amoako this time dealt with his curling shot.
Hearts’ Aryee was booked in the 37th minute and when Kotoko stormed into the Hearts area on the 44th minute they could only produce a flurry of weak shots which could not cause damage to Hearts.
On restart, it became evident Kotoko lacked the creativity in the middle to drive the team, and keeper Laud Quartey blocked the few shots that went through.
The Bortey pace had a positive impact on Hearts’ game but the support from Affum was not effective.

Friday, August 28, 2009

2 PRISONERS REGAIN FREEDOM...After a total of 16 years' remand (1b)

TWO suspects on remand, Patricia Akua Manso and Yaw Parko, who have been on remand for a total of 16 years, have regained their freedom under the Access to Justice Programme.
Twenty-year-old Patricia Akua Manso went on remand at the Kumasi Central Prisons at the age of 15 on a provisional charge of murder while Yaw has been on remand for 11 years for threat of death.
An emotional Patricia, who has claimed innocence of the charge and rather blamed her uncle for the offence, shed tears after the High Court, presided over by Mr Justice Frank Amoah, gave her unconditional bail.
The Access to Justice Programme is an initiative meant to help in decongesting the country’s prisons by targeting prisoners whose warrants have expired. A warrant is said to have expired when one is detained in prison without being heard in court.
The programme is the brainchild of the Ministry of Justice, the Judicial Service, the Ghana Police and Prisons Services in collaboration with the Lietner Centre for International Law and Justice at the Fordham Law School in New York, and students of the Faculty of Law of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
The High Court, which began hearing cases of remand prisoners whose warrants had expired while on remand in the Kumasi Central Prisons, was billed to hear 52 cases.
Among the cases were those related to murder, stealing, threat of death, and narcotic drugs.
Lawyer Kofi Abotsi, who stated Patricia’s case in the court, which is sitting at the Kumasi Central Prisons, volunteered to take custody of her in the interim.
This was after she stated that she had no one to live with, since her uncle was also on remand at the prisons.
On the first day of the court’s hearing, none of the 18 people who were heard was released on bail but their expired warrants were extended.
However, four of them, Patricia Yeboah, Afua Kyekye, Kwaku Poku and Yaw Kyeremeh, who had been in the prisons because they could not get anyone to sign their bail bond, were asked to contact their relatives through a social welfare officer after they indicated that their relatives were now ready to sign the bond.
The judge further ordered that three others — Baba Tahiru, Kwadwo Sarfo and Aduma Tigre — who had been on remand for various periods on the charge of robbery, were also ordered by the judge to be brought before the Kumasi High Court One on September 14, 2009.
On the first day of sitting, the court also subpoenaed the Konongo Magistrate’s Court, as well as some police officers and court officials, to appear before it to explain some issues relating to some dockets which were said to be missing.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


WITH a bare chest and clenched fist, Isaac Opeele Boateng was lifted high by supporters of King Faisal after passing his first test with the club last Wednesday night, and perhaps signalling that he had finally arrived as a coach.
The bespectacled coach had guarded the side he joined less than three weeks ago to beat his former club, Asante Kotoko, 2-1 in an opening MTN GHALCA Top 4 tournament and he had every reason to celebrate in style.
At a point in time when he was the substantive coach of Kotoko, he was vilified for perceived non-performance, forcing him to reverse to his earlier position as assistant coach.
But Opeele finally called it quits from Kotoko to join Faisal, whose president and bankroller, Alhaji Karim Gruzah, promised to give him all the support to enable him deliver.
It is early days yet but, if the performance of Faisal against Kotoko last Wednesday is anything to go by, then Opeele could be on his way to a successful stint with his new club.
Faisal’s dominance of the game must have reminded coach Hebert Addo that all may not be well with his side despite the massive injection of fresh blood into the team.
The Interim Management Committee (IMC) of Kotoko has invested heavily in recruitment, and against the background of the existing quality materials, expectations are very high this season.
It may be that the off-season had taken a toll on the team, and at certain stages of the match it became clear that the Kotoko team was nothing but a bunch of wayward men.
As the tournament goes into the second round of matches on Sunday, Kotoko who confront age-old rivals, Hearts of Oak, at the Baba Yara Stadium could face the wrath of their fans if they fail to perform. 
Hearts of Oak are in all sorts of troubles, having lost by the same margin to Heart of Lions in the opening match, and the battle of the losers must enliven Kumasi on Sunday.


Striker Prince Arkoh struck twice and set up King Faisal to a 2-1 victory over city rivals Asante Kotoko in their opening MTN Top 4 competition at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi last night.
Kotoko, fielding a blend of old guards and new recruits, appeared raw and Faisal, who exhibited flair and finesse, attacked them at will.
And the man who crafted their significant victory, coach Isaac Opeele Boateng, until recently the assistant coach of Kotoko, was carried shoulder high after referee Vivian Aggor ended proceedings.
After soaking up early pressure from Kotoko, Faisal appeared set for a remarkable victory when Enoch Ebo Andoh, Thomas Avegbedor and Prince Arkoh exploded.
On the 38th minute mark, Ebo Andoh, who had been roaming wide on the flanks, picked a ball on the right and floated it well into the Kotoko net.
Prince Arkoh, who picked his spot well trapped the ball with the chest and released a non-drop shot past the sprawling Sanni Mohammed in post for Kotoko.
The Kotoko defence of Iddrisu Yahaya, Godfred Fosu, Prince Anokye and Michael Boakye found it hard to contain the marauding Faisal attack, and Stephen Oduro was consistently forced to assist.
Kotoko looked better on restart when Alex Asamoah was brought on for the moribund Kwabina Yaro but again they had difficulties going past Awudu Nafiu and Daniel Addo at the back.
Former Faisal offensive midfielder Abdul Samad Oppong was also sent on for Stephen Manu and Oppong managed to haul a side back from the spot in the 70th minute after keeper Samuel Okyere fouled Alex Asamoah in the box.
But Faisal remained the aggressors pushing hard for the second, which came via the head of Prince Arko from a corner kick in the 75th minute
Defensive pillar Awudu Nafui was shown the red card in the 77th minute for a tackle but despite their downsizing Faisal held their own against Kotoko to carry the day.


THE Juaben Rural Bank made a significant stride in its operations last year, posting a profit of GH¢354,049.
The amount, representing a 15.69 per cent increase over the previous year’s profit, was achieved in spite of stiff competition from other commercial banks, as well as various economic challenges the country was going through.
Mr Kwabena Asante-Krobea, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank, who made this known at the 22nd annual general meeting(AGM) of the bank at Juaben in the Ashanti Region over the weekend, said the performance of the bank during the period under review accounted for its listing into the Ghana Club 100.
Mr Asante-Krobea said the customer base of the bank grew from GH¢52,806 in 2007 to GH¢60,189 in 2009.
The board chairman stated further that the bank had been very supportive of the agriculture and cottage industry sectors as the sectors were very important in the development of rural areas.
Mr Asante-Krobea said plans were far advanced for the bank to open two more branches at Fumesua and Atimatim, near Kumasi.
On corporate social responsibility, the board chairman said various sponsorship packages were given to the Kwabre District Education Office, the Mampong Catholic Diocese and the Ejisu-Juaben Municipal Education Office among other beneficiaries.
He called on customers to continue to purchase shares in the bank because that was the surest way of continuously giving the bank a sound footing in its operations.
He said the future of the bank looked even brighter because as at June 2009, the profit of the bank stood at GH¢360,923, which was more than the profit for the entire 2008 fiscal year, he stated.
The meeting approved a dividend totalling GH¢74,666.42 to be paid to shareholders.
The Deputy Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank, Mr Duke Osam-Duodu, commended the board, management and staff of the bank for their sterling performance, which saw the bank listed as one of the best 13 rural banks in the country.
He noted that the performance of most rural banks in the country had been very impressive, and this had gone a long way to improve their local economies and called for mergers of some of the rural banks to enable them to meet the growing challenges in the banking sector.

Monday, August 24, 2009


IT was a mere academic exercise at the Baba Yara Stadium last Saturday but Dormaa Aduana Stars made sure they ended the national middle league with at least a point as they drew 3-3 with Bechem United in their last game of Zone A.
Aduana, who had gone into the match with their ticket to the premiership already booked, showed class and but for a last minute slip would have carried the day. They set the stadium alight as early as the fifth minute when top marksman, Richard Addai exploded to open the scores. 
It appeared Bechem United were not ready to lose the game and penetrated the Aduana guard, which paid off as Michael Quaye scored the equaliser with a terrific low shot on the 19th minute.
Emmanuel Allan who carried the attacking hopes of Bechem United, kept the Aduana defenders backing off and on the 28th minute, found himself with a great opportunity, only for an opponent to sweep the ball off his feet.
Bechem United, however, struck again after 31 minutes with Allan doing the spade work for Quincy Osei to place the ball past keeper Ransford Cudjoe.
The Aduana spirit knew no sleep and they responded with the equaliser on the 34th minute through Samuel Asiedu.
Playing some delightful football, Aduana shot up on the 72nd minute when Samuel Asiedu profited from keeper Maxwell Eshun’s poor handling of the ball to tap it home.
But Emmanuel Allan grabbed parity for his side with a superb free kick with just a minute to go.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


THE Catholic Bishop of Obuasi, Most Rev. Gabriel Justice Anokye, has called on Christians to lead lives worthy of emulation.
He expressed regret that some Christians were giving the religion a bad image through irresponsible lifestyles, and said it was only when Christians led exemplary lives that more souls would be won for Christ.
Most Rev Anokye made the call at the 30th anniversary celebration of the creation of the St Joseph’s Catholic Parish at Essase Bontefufuo in the Amansie West District.
He charged the parish leaders to deepen the evangelisation in the church.
The bishop commended the parish for the strides it had made over the years.
Touching on the theme for the celebration: “Let your light shine”, Most Rev. Anokye urged Christians to be the light of the world by offering assistance to the needy.
The Parish Priest, Monsignor Anthony Amponsah Poku, said the parish had seen a lot of progress since its creation.
Some of the achievements included establishment of a clinic, schools and water projects in the communities.
The chief of Esaase, Nana Osei Asibey, commended the Catholic Church for its development initiatives that had brought hope to a number of people.
He appealed for medical assistants to help man the clinics in the area.
Nana Asibey promised to release land free of charge to the church for its development projects.


ABOUT 10 years ago, when the young Nana Adusei Atwenewa Ampem ascended the Tepa Stool, he promised to make the traditional council development-oriented.
Today, the traditional council has emerged as one of the most progressive in the Ashanti Region, having come out with initiatives, the latest of which is a scholarship scheme to help change the lives of the people.
Chieftaincy is a revered institution in our part of the world. Over the years, chiefs have played prominent roles in settling disputes, some of which the courts found very difficult to resolve.
However, the attitudes of some chiefs have occasionally led to some people questioning the relevance of chieftaincy in modern society.
The argument can go on but suffice it to say that some chiefs have been very instrumental in complementing the efforts of the government at bringing development to their communities.
A typical example is the Tepa Traditional Council under the able leadership of the Omanhene, Nana Ampem. 
The young Omanhene has never relented in leading his traditional council to come up with programmes and projects that have brought some level of hope to the people.
At a time that some chiefs have come under pressure from their subjects for alleged embezzlement of stool revenue, the Tepa Traditional Council has deemed it necessary to use part of its revenue to finance education and kudos must go to the Omanhene and the council he chairs.
It is in line with the development agenda of the traditional council that the council launched its latest initiative in a scholarship scheme to help reverse the falling standard of education in the Ahafo-Ano North District.
The Ahafo Ano North District in the Ashanti Region is where the Otumfuo Education Fund continues to support many brilliant, needy young people to go through their education. 
Indeed, the Tepa Traditional Council was benefiting from the Otumfuo scholarship scheme but it took a visionary leader like the Omanhene to realise that the Otumfuo scheme alone could not cater for the many young people who needed some help in advancing their education, hence the need to come up with complementary.
Ahafo-Ano North District has performed badly in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) over last few years. In 2006, for instance, the district placed eighth out of the 21 districts and in both 2007 and 2008 it placed 20th in the region.
The percentage pass for 2006 was 61.9 per cent but it dropped to 41.4 per cent and 36.2 per cent in 2007 and 2008 respectively. This clearly demonstrates that education in the district has taken a nosedive.
The situation has happened in spite of the fact that the district assembly continues to allocate a chunk of its development budget to education.
Clearly, a scholarship scheme is a good initiative that has the potential to change things for the better.
At a ceremony at Tepa to launch the scholarship scheme, the Omanhene stressed the need for parents to send their children to school because it was only education that could guarantee a better future for the district.
Nana Ampem hit the nail right on the head because many parents had been shirking their responsibilities in the proper upbringing of their children.
The Omanhene announced that the traditional council had banned schoolchildren from roaming the streets after 7p.m. This is to get children to stick to their books.
Nana Ampem commended Dr Atta Mensah, a citizen of the area based in the United States, for also instituting a scholarship scheme for needy children.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr David Addai Amankwah, mentioned some of the reasons for the falling standard of education in the area as the unprofessional attitudes of some teachers, lack of accommodation for teachers, wholesale promotion of pupils, and lack of co-operation between the schools and the communities.
He stressed the importance of education at the basic level and said efforts must be made to improve that level.
At the ceremony, the traditional council also honoured 17 illustrious sons and daughters of the area for their immense contributions to the development of the area. They included Miss Claudia Owusua, a motor mechanic at the Metro Mass Transit in Accra, Mr Peter Danteh, a lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Dr Atta Mensah, Mr David Amankwah, the DCE, Prof John Anarfi of the University of Ghana and Supt Baba Saanid Adamu of the Police Headquarters.


THE St Mary’s Girls Senior High School (SHS), a private institute at Konongo, has been inaugurated with a call on parents not to see today’s girl-child as tomorrow housewife.
The acting Ashanti Regional Director of the Department of Women and Children’s Affairs, Madam Augustina Gyamfi, who made the call, said the era where the woman was consigned to the kitchen was over.
She said it was, therefore, important for today’s girl-child to be moulded to take up important roles in national development.
Madam Gyamfi said with the emerging positive image of the girl-child, there was the urgent need to empower her through quality education by building in her the needed confidence to meet challenges.
She spoke on violence against the girl-child in the name of tradition, saying that had the potential to deny her the right to education.
Madam Gyamfi recounted the achievements a number of Ghanaian women had chalked in their various fields of endeavour over the years and said those were made possible through education.
She said any system that would, therefore, put quality education on the doorstep of the girl-child was welcome.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, said the government was determined to build on what had been achieved in the educational sector in order to give hope to the youth of today.
In doing that, he said, emphasis would be on female education, which had played second fiddle to that of their male counterparts over the years.
Mr Opoku-Manu, who is the board chairman of St Mary’s Girls SHS, urged parents to take advantage of the school and enrol their children for quality education.

Friday, August 21, 2009


CHARACTERISTICALLY, Kumasi Asante Kotoko have entered the transfer market with a big bang and are ready to romp in the best for the 2009/2010 local and continental competitions.
Kotoko have promised to make a positive impact on the domestic league and the CAF Champions League next season and believe revamping the team is the answer to the dream.
Already they have secured the services of King Faisal’s attacking midfielder, Abdul Samad Oppong, and three other players from relegated Tema Youth. The Tema Youth players are striker Edward Affum, midfielder Haruna Ganiyu and defender Godfred Fosu.
The Porcupine Warriors have also entered the camp of Berekum Arsenal and are on the verge of snatching their captain and midfielder, Frank Yeboah, and defender Mutalabi Mohammed.
A member of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of Asante Kotoko, Mr Sarfo Gyamfi, told the Graphic Sports that everything was on course and that Kotoko would be the team to beat next season.
Samad Oppong, who was the top scorer for King Faisal last season, was also being sought for by Hearts of Oak and Real Tamale United.
However, he opted for Asante Kotoko because in his opinion the two times Africa Champions would provide the best platform for him to advance his career.
According to him, he would give his best to help build Asante Kotoko into a winsome side.
It is likely Asante Kotoko would lose the services of midfielder, Jordan Opoku, and striker Alex Asamoah to the exodus bandwagon, and the best option for the IMC is to get quality replacements.
Asamoah, who was the leading scorer in the last domestic league has been out of the country on trials with some European sides, and reports indicate his chances of playing in top flight football are bright.
Asante Kotoko will also cut down the playing body, meaning some of the players currently with the club will be put on transfer, while others are loaned out to some clubs.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


DORMAA Aduana Stars made a triumphant entry into the premiership after overcoming Techiman Universal Stars 2-1 in their Zone One Polytank national middle league game at the Baba Yara Stadium yesterday.
By virtue of the head-to-head rule, the 2-1 victory Guan United chalked up over Bechem United in the other group game at the Wesley College Park remained immaterial, having been beaten 3-2 by Aduana last Sunday.
Hundreds of Aduana fans who travelled from Bechem to watch their idol side gain qualification to the elite division after two fruitless attempts burst into jubilation when referee Cecil Fletcher ended the match. So sweet was the victory as Aduana had to fight from a goal down in the first half.
Aware of the task ahead in this regional derby, Aduana went into the game full of fight but top striker Richard Addai failed to take advantage of an 8th minute opportunity. Even though he scored the winner, Addai wasted several chances on the afternoon.
Universal Stars, sporting former B.A. United striker, Osman Sakora in attack, spread the ball to the flanks occasionally, creating panic in the Aduana area. Sakora caught Aduana keeper Ransford Kudjoe off-balance after 21 minutes with the first goal, powering home from 35 yards out.
Aduana opened up fiercely on resumption, and with a fluid midfield operating around Ernest Osei Kwame and Samuel Asiedu, their opponents could hardly go forward.
It was not a surprise that they fetched the equaliser on the 60th minute through Asiedu who connected a brilliant in-swinger from the left.
Any attempt by Universal Stars to get back into the game was unsuccessful and Aduana punished them again five minutes later this time Richard Addai placing himself well to connect with a flick header.

YOU'RE A BEAST...Judge tells rapist and jails him to 30 yrs (LEAD STORY)

Story: Kwame Asare Boadu

THE wrath of the law yesterday descended heavily on the now infamous Kumasi gymnasium instructor when a Kumasi Circuit Court sentenced him to a 30-year jail term for raping a 19-year-old young woman in the full glare of onlookers at Asafo in Kumasi and robbing her of GH¢30.
After convicting him of rape, the Presiding Judge, Mr Adjei Frimpong, described the convict, Eric Bawuah, as “a beast who is a complete stigma to society”.
“The fact that the accused did it in public puts him as someone without honour,” the judge further declared.
Bawuah was sentenced to 25 years for rape and 30 years for robbery to run concurrently.
He pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and robbery, alleging that the woman was a prostitute who consented to the sexual act.
Handing down the sentence, Mr Frimpong told Bawuah that “assuming without admitting that she was a prostitute, does that give you the right to rape her”?, adding that prostitutes also have their rights.
The irony of it all is that by the end of his jail term, Bawuah, who is now 30, would have attained the retiring age of 60 if he were in the public service.
The incident happened on July 30, 2009, when the woman arrived at the Asafo Neoplan Station in Kumasi at dawn to board a bus to Accra.
Reading out his judgement, which lasted for 1hour 15 minutes, Mr Adjei Frimpong quoted from legal authorities to support his decision of guilt against Bawuah.
Lawyers who had the opportunity to comment in court on the judgement described it as a masterpiece and said it was regrettable that it could not be listed in the Ghana Law Reports because a lower court delivered it.
They, however, suggested that copies of the judgement be placed at the law faculties of the universities for use by students.
The case for the prosecution as presented by Mr William Kpobi, Chief State Attorney, was that the woman visited her sister in Kumasi and was returning to Accra. Just as she got to the Neoplan Station, Bawuah held and pulled her to the other side of the road, daring any one who would come near him.
All the while, the woman was shouting, “Save me, I don’t know him,” but no one went to her rescue.
The prosecution said Bawuah forcibly stopped a taxi and ordered the driver to drive him to a nearby car-washing bay, from where he pulled the lady to a drinking spot close by. Bawuah forcibly undressed the lady, pulled a condom from his pocket and wore it.
He then sat in a chair before forcing the woman to sit on his lap as he pulled her up and down while enjoying the sexual act.
A number of young men at the drinking spot looked on as Bawuah did his own thing, because he kept warning them not to come close, else he would kill them all.
The prosecutor said after the act, Bawuah took the lady’s GH¢30 with the threat to kill her if she dared resisted. Just after Bawuah had completed the act, policemen arrived on the scene and arrested him. At that point, the lady was naked because she could not find her trousers and the police had to look for one for her to cover herself.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


WORK has started on the reconstruction of the bridge spanning River Asuoyeboa on the Tanoso-Techiman road in Kumasi.
The road, which is the shortest distance between the two suburbs of Kumasi, has become unusable for motorists for a considerable period of time because of the terrible nature of the bridge.
It even became worse when it rained, as the river overflowed the entire area, threatening lives and property.
It was against this backdrop that the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwadaso, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, initiated action to get the government to release funds for the reconstruction of the bridge.
Both Tanoso and Techiman fall within the Kwadaso Constituency.
Dr Akoto, who inspected work on the project at the weekend, said he facilitated the reconstruction of the bridge to help relieve the people of the area of the problems they went through.
He said the area was very strategic in the development of Kumasi, and gave the assurance that every effort would be made to support them in addressing their problems.
The MP commended the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, for his quick response to the appeal he made to him for his ministry on the reconstruction of the bridge.

Monday, August 17, 2009


THE Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Robert Yaw Amankwa, has stated that the proposed amendments to the party’s constitution are potentially divisive.
He has consequently called on the party to reject them at the upcoming national delegates’ congress in Koforidua.
Speaking with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi last Saturday, Mr Amankwa said “from all indications, the proposed amendments are meant to favour a particular interest of the party and if we allow this to happen, the party should forget about winning the 2012 elections.”
He mentioned, for instance, one of the proposed amendments, which states that the party should organise parliamentary primaries where necessary, and said “this will be too dangerous for the NPP.”
Mr Amankwa said that could allow unpopular parliamentary candidates to manipulate the system to their advantage.
He again stated that if the presidential primary was held at the constituency level and the results were declared, it would expose some constituencies as belonging to particular candidates, which would also not augur well for a united and healthy campaign for the victor.
Mr Amankwa expressed surprise that some NPP parliamentarians in the Ashanti Region had embarked on an outreach programme to champion the acceptance of the amendments at the congress.
He said as parliamentarians, they should have known better and questioned whether they were doing that in an attempt to perpetuate their hold as MPs and advance a certain cause in the party.
The regional chairman said when that was allowed to happen, it would have serious ramifications on the future of the party.
Mr Amankwa said the NPP did not lose power because of the party’s constitution, adding, “The reasons were known to all of us and we have to find ways of addressing them before we think about constitutional amendments”.
He said he was not against constitutional amendments per se “but when they must be done, they should be at the right time.”
Mr Amakwa was happy that some of the Ashanti NPP MPs saw danger ahead and refused to join their colleagues in their so-called outreach programme.
He stressed that the congress would determine whether the NPP would live or die and therefore called on the delegates to the congress to reject the proposed amendments
Mr Amankwa debunked allegations in certain quarters of the party that former President Kufuor had bribed him and others to campaign against the proposed amendments.
“They are absolute lies and must be dismissed with the contempt they deserve,” he said, stressing that the allegations were some of the attempts to discredit the huge reputation of the former President and to cut his influence in the party”.
He emphasised that former President Kufuor was a huge asset to the party “and we have to make good use of him”.


DORMAA Aduana Stars staked a strong claim to qualification to the premier division with a 3-2 defeat of Guan United in their opening Polytank Zone One national middle league at the Baba Yara Stadium.
Backed by a large number of their supporters, Aduana showed class and even when they surrendered a first-half lead in the early minutes of the other half, they regrouped to overcome their opponents.
Guan, who featured former premiership strikers Shilla Alhassan and Gilbert Ayikade, threatened early as Abdulai Gazale fired away from close range in the third minute.
It came as little surprise when they fetched the opener through Ernest Osei Boakye whose cracking volley found space inside the far corner of the post in the 43rd minute.
Quite against expectations, Guan United returned from the half stronger and pumped so much flair and power into their game to take a 2-1 lead by the 55th minute.
First it was a penalty on the 49th minute which Salifu Seidu converted before Abdulai Gazale powered them ahead after 55 minutes with a harmless shot which surprisingly whisked past a traumatised keeper Ransford Kudjo.
Matthew was instrumental in Aduana’s last two goals. In the 70th minute he threaded a shot through a forest of legs in the Guan area and when the opponents failed to clear, Richard Addai took advantage to plant the ball in the net.
Then a stormy attack from Aduana followed on the 77th minute and when Matthew sent the ball into the area again, it swept past keeper Mustapha Wahab leaving Richard Addai to go for brace.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


THE Member of Parliament (MP) for Bantama, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has presented building materials valued at GH¢17,000 to support a number of development projects in the constituency.
The items were made up of 798 bags of cement and 50 packets of roofing sheets.
They were purchased with funds from the MP’s share of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund.
For the 24 institutions that benefited from the package, most of them were schools.
A number of the schools have not seen any rehabilitation for a long period of time so the MP’s donation came as a relief to the authorities.
Some of the institutions that benefited from the package were Bohyen Muslim Community School, Kropo Library Project, Bantama St Anthony’s Roman Catholic School, Bantama and Abrepo Methodist Primary Schools, Kumasi Girls’ Senior High School, Bantama Islamic Primary School and Kindergarten, Philips Commercial School and Adumanu Primary School.
According to the MP, the reason to place premium on education was premised on the fact that education was the cornerstone of the development of any community.
She stated that she would continue to provide more support for educational institutions as a way of improving standards of education in the constituency.
Ms Dapaah said as an MP, her duty was to see to the improvement in the lives of her constituents and that she promised to do with all seriousness.
She mentioned a number of development projects she had undertaken in the constituency and said they were done devoid of any parochial political interest.
The MP stated that there was a lot more to do to raise the living standards of the people, and therefore, called for unity in the constituency to achieve the set targets.
The Ohwimhene, Nana Kusi Baah, who chaired the ceremony, was full of praise for the MP for her continuous support towards the development of the area.
He urged the beneficiaries of the package to put the items to good use.


ENTERPRISE Insurance Company (EIC) paid claims totalling GH¢6 million to various clients last year.
The amount represents one of the biggest insurance claims to be paid by the company in its history.
It also gave credence to the company’s recent rating internationally as an “AA minus” insurance company.
The Managing Director of Enterprise Insurance, Mr John Otoo, who disclosed this at a client appreciation party in Kumasi, said the international rating positioned the company as one of the most responsible in claims payment.
Mr Otoo stated that in these days of economic uncertainties, insurance is a better option to be taken by individuals and organisations especially those in business.
In taking decisions on insurance, the managing director advised people to look for the balance sheet of insurance companies rather than how much a company pays.
“Insurance companies with strong balance sheets are more reliable in claims payment,” he said.
Some clients who had served with the company for over 30 years in Kumasi were honoured.
Earlier at a seminar organised for the clients in Kumasi, the Assistant General Manager of the company, Mrs Ernestina Abey, advised the insured to always put in claims with supporting documents to make processing less cumbersome.
She also stressed the need for all forms of road accidents to be reported to the police and the insurance company for the claims process to begin instead of people admitting to pay for the cost of damage to vehicles.
The Akyempimhene of Kumasi, Oheneba Adusei Poku, who chaired the ceremony, commended Enterprise Insurance Company for the decency it continued to introduce into the insurance business of the country.

Friday, August 14, 2009


EXPERIENCED coach, Herbert Addo, has denied media reports that the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of Kumasi Asante Kotoko has put his intended formal contract on hold until the end of the upcoming GHALCA Top 4 competition.
The coach says he has never heard of any such allegation, let alone management writing to him on the issue.
The allegation, which spread in Kumasi in the aftermath of Kotoko’s 0-2 defeat to Kpando Heart of Lions last Sunday, further had it that the IMC was not happy with the output of the club in the said match and felt something must have gone wrong with the technical direction.
Consequently, they allegedly decided to wait until the end of the Top 4 so that they could properly assess the coach and consider his contract.
The allegation further indicated that out of anger, Coach Addo left Kumasi and had asked the management to present him with a formal contract before he would return to the club.
But in a telephone interview with the Graphic Sports last Wednesday, Coach Addo said: “any such allegation has not come to my notice.
“I have not left the club. I am attending a course at Prampram, and on completion I will return to Kumasi.”
The coach, however, admitted that he was yet to sign a formal contract with the club.
Before Kotoko’s defeat to Lions, there were disagreements between the two parties over contractual specifications.


THE management of A.S. Halabi/Fanj Limited, a Kumasi-based construction firm, has refuted allegations that the area it is developing on the Ahodwo-Kaase road in Kumasi to establish an assembly plant for the mining and oil industries was illegally acquired.
It said the land was acquired from the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) and all the neccessary legal papers including a lease from the Asantehene’s Land Secretariat had been acquired.
“It will therefore be an act of ignorance for anyone or group of people to describe the company as an illegal developer,” Mr Jamil Fanj, a Director of the company, told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi last Saturday.
Reacting to a story in the August 8, 2009 issue of this paper that the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Sarpong, had ordered the company to stop the development because the area was a water course, Mr Jamil Fanj, said the development going on was not to reclaim any land as being portrayed.
“The material heaped on the land is intended to reinforce the edge of our property and the flood plain reservation.
“It is also to compact the floor intended for the foundation of the building we are going to put up, and raise the floor of our intended factory,” he said.
Mr Fanj, whose business investments in the country spanned 38 years, explained that where he was developing the land was 79.5 metres away from the Subin River and it was therefore not true that he had been dumping laterite into the river.
The director stated that actual construction work on the factory, which would employ about 800, had not started and that what was going on was only to get the land ready “while we await the drawings for the factory.”
He said the KMA itself by a letter to the company dated July 30, 2009, and signed by Mr A. Amoako Asiamah, Development Control Officer, indicated that they were awaiting the drawings for the factory for approval.
Mr Fanj stated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had done all the environmental assessment impact on the proposed project and had given the company the go-ahead.
He said currently his companies in Ghana employed over 900 people “and it is our wish to continue to help reduce the employment challenges facing the nation.”
“But in doing so we don’t aim at using illegal means like what we are being accused of,” Mr Fanj said.
Recently the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Samuel Sarpong, ordered an immediate halt to all clandestine activities by private developers to reclaim and develop buffer zones, watercourses and flood-prone areas in the metropolis.
He expressed deep concern about rampant reports of attempts by some developers on watercourses and flood-prone areas, and warned that encroachers would not only have their structures demolished, but would also be surcharged with the cost of any remedial works to be done in the affected areas.
Mr Sarpong specifically ordered Messrs A.S. Halaby Limited, a Kumasi-based firm, to immediately stop its current work to reclaim a portion of the buffer zone lying close to the Ahodwo-Kaase road in Kumasi.
The company, about a fortnight ago, started reclaiming a vital part of the buffer zone, a valley adjoining a piece of land owned by it by erecting concrete fence poles and dumping boulders and heaps of laterite there.
The MCE's order followed claims by some private developers and certain influential individuals in the metropolis to the effect that once they had acquired parcels of land, be they on watercourses or in flood-prone areas, nothing would debar them from developing them.
Describing the claim as preposterous and outrageous, Mr Sarpong made it clear that no developer would be allowed to flout building regulations and other laws of the KMA with impunity.
"If your development activity is illegal or considered detrimental to the wider interest of the people, we will stop it. It is as simple as that," he stressed.
The buffer zone in question shelters a section of the Kumasi-Takoradi rail line, Subin River and suburbs within the metropolis.
It is, therefore, obvious that the encroachment by the company will worsen the situation along the Ahodwo-Kaase road, which is currently in a deplorable state because of the recent floods.
Friends of Rivers and Water Bodies, an environmental non-governmental organisation, raised the red flag on the encroachment, prompting an inspection of the site by the MCE, his confirmation of the encroachment and the subsequent halt order.
The NGO's President, Nana Kwabena Dwomoh-Sarpong, leading a group of some members of the organisation, laid siege at the site for several hours in protest against the encroachment.
The NGO asked the KMA to involve the Water Resources Commission (WRC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other stakeholders in whatever decision it intended to take in relation to the encroachment and the private development of the land adjoining the buffer zone.
It noted that the involvement of the WRC and the EPA would ensure a transparent and fair assessment of the impact of the encroachment or any development activity on the fringes of the buffer zone.
Considering the significance of the buffer zone to the eco-system, the NGO said nothing should be done to disturb its continued existence.
It commended the MCE for showing ample commitment to the protection and conservation of water bodies and the enviroment in general.


AS part of moves to get the Ashanti Regional branch of the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) formed, all interested members are expected to meet at the Press Centre of the Baba Yara Stadium today at 5.30pm.
The meeting follows an earlier one held by the interim leadership last Wednesday to prepare the grounds for today’s meeting.
Interested sports journalists are expected to come along with the SWAG membership registration fee of GH¢10. Today’s meeting will discuss, among other things, the inauguration of the regional branch.
SWAG has been criticised for being Accra-centred. Consequently, the current leadership under the presidency of Mr Ackah Anthony moved to get a branch formed in the Ashanti Region, which has a large number of sports journalists.
On the Friday preceding the last SWAG match in Kumasi, the SWAG organised a seminar for sports journalists in Kumasi at which the interim leadership was formed to plan the organisation of the regional branch and its subsequent inauguration.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


FORTY illegal miners narrowly escaped death last Tuesday after security personnel attempted to seal off one of the abandoned pits of Anglogold Ashanti in which they were operating.
The security personnel had started sealing off the pit when word reached them that some illegal miners, popularly referred to as ‘galamsey’ operators, were inside digging for gold.
The Public Relations Officer of the Obuasi Mines of Anglogold Ashanti, Mr Sarpong Boateng, confirmed this to the Daily Graphic and explained to this paper that it was not a deliberate decision to bury the galamsey operators alive.
According to him, as part of the normal operations against galamsey operations, the security team went round the abandoned Sanso mines for inspection.
On the detection that one of the pits had been tampered with, the security personnel attempted to seal it, without knowing that the illegal miners were inside it.
He stated that one of the miners came out and was arrested while the 39 others remained inside, fearing they would be arrested when they surfaced.
For more than one hour the illegal miners holed themselves up in the pit in spite of calls to them to come out.
Mr Boateng expressed concern about the activities of the galamsey operators in the concessions, stressing that the company was making every effort to get them off the concessions.
He said as part of the efforts, the company had set up income-generation ventures like piggery and citrus farms for illegal miners who wanted to quit the business.
Mr Boateng said Anglogold Ashanti had also moved to organise the illegal miners as a group with the view to looking for mining concessions outside the company’s own for them.
One Mohammed Abubakari, who said he was the chairman of the small-scale mining group at Obuasi, also told the Daily Graphic that he led those who informed the security personnel about the presence of his colleagues in the pit.
He indicated that but for their intervention, the miners would have been buried alive in the pit.
Mr Abubakari said some of his people used flashlights to search through the pit to find out that no one was inside before it was finally sealed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


THE Ghana Medical Association has stated that doctors are not against doing national service.
It said even though getting doctors to perform national service could work if planned well, the decision by the National Service Secretariat to enrol doctors in the National Service Scheme (NSS) next year was not technically feasible.
Dr Kwabena Opoku-Adusei, the National Vice-President of the GMA, told the Daily Graphic yesterday that a number of “burning issues” must be addressed before doctors could be asked to undertake national service.
He, therefore, described the decision, which was announced by the Executive Director of the NSS secretariat, as “just an academic and political exercise”.
“I believe it is an attempt to get doctors to work in the rural areas, but that is not the right path to take,” he said.
Dr Opoku-Adusei pointed out that the nation needed to look at the unequal distribution of doctors in the country and solve it before it reached crisis point instead of thinking that national service was the solution.
“National service will neither solve the problem of unequal distribution of doctors nor any other problem facing doctors, and I challenge the authorities to come clear,” he said.
Dr Opoku-Adusei indicated that the question of whether the national service should he undertaken before or after housemanship needed to be addressed.
Besides, it should also be clear as to where the new doctors would serve.
“If they are to serve in health institutions, would they get the right supervision?” he asked.
Dr Opoku-Adusei said what should be noted was that national service could not be mandatory after housemanship because after housemanship, one fully received his or licence to operate as a doctor.
The GMA vice-president expressed regret that suggestions sent to the government on how to get doctors accept postings to the northern parts of the country and in other deprived areas had not received any positive response.
He said, for instance, that there was the need for the reintroduction of duty facilitation allowance to get doctors to accept postings to deprived areas.
Again, he noted that many institutions outside government had been able to maintain their doctors because they provided them the opportunity to undertake postgraduate programmes. “Regrettably, this is not what we see in the public sector.”
The GMA vice-president called for the institution of specialist outreach services to make up for the lack of specialist services in deprived areas.
“I’ve done it before as an obstetrician gynaecologist and I believe that if it is well planned and funded, it will achieve results,” he said.


THE Kumasi Zongo District Police Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Nicholas Opare-Ofosuhene, has called for stronger partnership between the Zongo community and the police in the fight against armed robbery and related crimes.
He said support from the Zongo community, even though had improved, was still not the best to combat the crime wave.
He, therefore, urged the Zongo chiefs to get their people to understand the benefits of effective police-community relations so that “together we can bring down the crime rate.”
ASP Opare-Ofosuhene, who was speaking at a meeting with the Zongo community at Ayigya, a suburb of Kumasi, said the police needed information on criminals to enable them (police) to act appropriately.
The meeting was to discuss the crime situation in the area and how to address it.
ASP Opare-Ofosuhene gave the assurance that informants would never be exposed.
The District Commander said to ensure that people gave out information on criminals, the police administration had instituted a reward scheme for informants whose information would lead to the arrest of armed robbers.
He told the gathering that “you live in a community and you know yourselves. If any of you is a criminal you should know him”.
ASP Opare-Ofosuhene also advised the people to watch out for strangers with questionable character and report them to the police.
He said his outfit was moving to strengthen community watch volunteer groups because they constituted an important component in the fight against crime.
The district commander urged the people to endeavour to support the activities of the volunteers so that they could do their work with all seriousness.
He asked the community to reject people with criminal records from serving on the volunteer groups.
The volunteers should also not make “astronomical demands” on members of the community because the work is voluntary.
The Zongo Chief of Ayigya, Alhaji Mohammed Bashir, described the meeting as one of the best things to happen to the community because it focused on an issue which was of great concern not only to them but the entire nation.
He said the government was doing its best to maintain peace in the country, and that it called for support from the people.
Alhaji Bashir called on the government to equip the police to enable them to fully discharge their constitutional obligations.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


WHO says when the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II sits in the Manhyia Palace he does not hear what goes on in the football circles?
Indeed, Otumfuo himself has often emphasised that while at the Manhyia Palace his ears are all over every corner of his kingdom and even beyond.
It was therefore not surprising when at a meeting with the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the club last Friday at which he extended its mandate until further notice, he mentioned the allegation making rounds in Kumasi that he was a Hearts of Oak fan.
And for once, Otumfuo broke his silence on the issue saying he had never been a follower of the premier club.
“At no point in time have I been linked to Hearts of Oak. In fact, until I became Asantehene, I had very little knowledge about football.”
The members of the IMC and some supporters who had gathered at the palace received Otumfuo’s statement with applause.
Since he ascended the Golden Stool 10 years ago, stories have been making the rounds in Kumasi that Otumfuo is a keen Hearts of Oak fan.
Some football enthusiasts even refer to a statement the Asantehene made when Hearts of Oak presented the African Champions League trophy they won to him at the Manhyia Palace in 2001.
On that occasion, Otumfuo was quoted as saying that both Kotoko and Hearts belonged to him, something some people took to mean he had some attachments to the Phobians.
The Asantehene said as the owner of Asante Kotoko, he would always ensure that the club got the right footing to compete strongly both locally and internationally.
“I want to see an Asante Kokoto that strikes fear in opponents and I charge the management to put in measures to bring this to reality.”
For about 30 minutes, the Asantehene touched on a number of issues that bordered on the upliftment of the club. 
With undoubtedly the biggest support base in the country, many are questioning why successive managements of the club could not take advantage to turn the fortunes of the club in terms of investments other than players.  
Perhaps it was for this reason that Otumfuo charged the IMC to ensure sound financial administration in the club.
As a graduate in accounting, Otumfuo believes in sound financial administration, and he told the IMC that at the appropriate time, he would call them to render accounts to him.
He said the IMC would be reporting to the Mamponghene, Daasebre Osei Bonsu, who would represent him (Otumfuo) in many of the matters affecting the club. 
“I don’t think it is every issue that should come before me,” he stressed.
He lauded the role of the supporters by supporting the club to the hilt even in times of difficulties. 
Otumfuo specifically mentioned Ali Maradona, a key member of the supporter’s base and said his exemplary commitment to the development of Kotoko should be recognised by all.
He also spoke about the way some people use his name to spread all forms of wild stories about the club.
“All the stories that Otumfuo says this and that are not true. You should ignore them and focus on your work, “ he told the IMC.

Monday, August 10, 2009


THE Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwadaso, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has opened an office in the constituency to facilitate his activities both within and without Kwadaso.
The MP’s office, the first of its kind in the constituency, is open to supporters of all the political parties.
Dr Akoto told the Daily Graphic that with the opening of the office, his constituents would have a central point to access information about their constituency even when he was outside Kumasi.
He asked the people to feel free to make use of the office so that Kwadaso would progress in its development efforts.
Dr Akoto stated that he had begun a programme to facilitate the rehabilitation of uncompleted school buildings in the constituency beginning with the Ohwimase Anglican Primary and the Nyamebekyere Metropolitan Assembly (M/A) School blocks.
The projects would be financed through the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GET) Fund).
Dr Akoto stated that he was also sourcing for funds from some embassies in the country to finance 10 school projects.
The MP stressed on the importance of education saying, "We cannot afford to downplay education because it is the surest way of building a better constituency".
He said a tree-planting project, which he launched for schools in the constituency, was progressing steadily.
The MP expressed the hope that teachers and students in the constituency would continue to keep their interest in the project.
Dr Akoto said he was arranging to provide scholarships for 50 young women to be trained in employable skills at the Women’s Training Centre at Kwadaso.


KPANDO Heart of Lions roared to a 2-0 victory over Kumasi Asante Kotoko at the Baba Yara Stadium yesterday to clinch their first SWAG/H.P. Nyemitei trophy on a 2-1 aggregate, having lost the first leg 0-1 at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra.
Lions took the shine off their big hosts in their backyard and burst into spontaneous jubilation when Togolese female referee Aiseata Amegee brought proceedings to an end.
It was a painful experience for the good number of Kotoko fans who had anticipated a win to assuage the pain of losing the Glo Premier league to arch rivals Accra Hearts of Oak.
There was plenty of action in the match and it was the visiting team that showed class and deservedly carried away the magnificent trophy. The Lions threat started as early as the second minute when strong forward Mohammed Tanko strode into the box to fire at goal but Kotoko goalkeeper Isaac Amoako dealt with the challenge.
Abraham Annan followed up three minutes later with a curling free kick, and again Amoako was up to the task to hold the Kpando lads in check.
Lions never appeared to be in danger until Kwabena Yaro was handed a scoring chance but the striker wasted the opportunity.
Attempts by Lions to cut into the Kotoko defence from the flanks were occasionally thwarted by Kotoko’s young right back Godfred Saka and namesake Godfred Yeboah, while experienced defender Gabriel Opoku Ware, who was a guest player, also showed class in defence.
However, when in the 39th minute the visitors launched a ferocious attack on the right a goal looked imminent. Kofi Nti Boakye initiated the goal, feeding Annan on the left with an incisive pass, and the left-footed player swept past his marker before floating the ball into the box for Tanko to head home.
The stadium went dead silent and Kotoko knew their quest to win the cup was under severe threat.
The Lions back line of Kwaku Andoh, Joseph Jackson, John Kuffuor and Sheriff Danladi kept the Kotoko attack under tight security and stripped Stephen Manu and Louis Agyemang of their terror.
Kotoko regrouped after recess with renewed power and forced keeper Stephen Ahorlu to make some difficult saves in the early minutes of the half. But Lions refused to be tamed, instead emerging with a louder roar at their opponents repeatedly.
A double substitution by Kotoko after 58 minutes saw Stephen Oduro and Ofosu Appiah replacing Kwabena Yaro and Godfred Yeboah respectively, but the substitutes could hardly change the tide of game for Kotoko as their opponents took charge and began to run the show.
Again Boakye and Annan orchestrated the attacks from the wings and Kotoko seemed not to have antidote to the flank attacks. When it appeared the game was heading for a penalty shoot-out, Lions came up with other options to break the hearts of the Kotoko supporters.
Showing great strength and balance, Lions charged at Kotoko and with their defence split open, unmarked substitute Bright Nsiah strode into open space to finish off a through pass, with a goal that proved devastating for Kotoko and a historic feat by the Kpando lads.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


SUNDAY’S second led SWAG Cup Match will receive the spice of life with the royal presence of the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
Indeed, it will be the first time an Asantehene will be watching the ceremonial cup match, and what a day it will be as Asante Kotoko, the club the Asantehene owes battles it out with Kpando Heart of Lions for the magnificent trophy.
Otumfuo says he will like to be at the Baba Yara Stadium to dismiss the belief in Kumasi that Kotoko lose any match the Asantehene watches live at the Stadium.
When the Asantehene, who was speaking at a meeting with the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the club at the Manhyia Palace yesterday, asked the management members and a handful of supporters present whether his presence at the stadium on Sunday would see the defeat of the club or not, the general response was that, “We will win”. 
Clearly, Kotoko are in no mood to let this cup slip through their fingers, having surrendered the premier league cup to bitterest rivals, Accra Hearts of Oak.
Having won the prestigious SWAG Cup match 12 times, the Porcupine Warriors will want to extend their success story. But they are aware Lions will not be mere pushovers as they will come roaring ready to devour.
 Lions have some quality materials in Edmund Owusu Ansah, Gladson Awako, Kofi Nti Boakye and Daniel Yeboah who have the ability to overturn the first leg defeat.
It is against this background that coach Hebert Addo has taken his players through a tough training regimen to put them in shape for the task ahead.
Both sides will have the freedom to use five guest players, but it is still doubtful if they will make use of the opportunity.
At Kotoko, for instance, everything is pointing to the coach keeping faith with the old players as they are in no mood for any trial and error approach to the match.
On that score, Isaac Amoako, Daniel Nii Adjei, Louis Agyemang, Francis Akwaffo and Stephen Manu are expected to feature prominently.
The Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) has promised soccer fans who throng the Baba Yara Stadium tomorrow to witness the Asante Kotoko-Heart of Lions’ SIC-Nyemitei/SWAG Cup match a large screen live telecast of the Manchester United-Chelsea FA Community Shield match at Wembley.
The Manchester United versus Chelsea match will precede the Kotoko-Lions encounter.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


AFTER placing first for the third time in the rural banking category of the prestigious Ghana Club 100 rankings, the Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank at Pakyi Number Two in the Ashanti Region has declared its intention to reach out to more people in the rural areas who have been denied ready banking services for a long period.
The bank says it is developing quality products that would meet the reach of the rural population and thus help reduce poverty in those areas.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the bank, Mr Godfried Odame Asare, told the Daily Graphic in an interview at Pakyi Number Two that rural banks could not afford to deviate from their original focus of helping to alleviate poverty in the rural areas.
“We have done this for years and would continue to do that because the people in those areas also deserve better,” he said.
At an award ceremony that brought together the captains of Ghanaian business, the Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank topped all the rural banks in the country and placed a respectable 19th position in the overall Ghana Club 100 ranking.
The awards night, organised by the Ghana Investment Promotions Centre under the distinguished patronage of Mr John Dramani Mahama, the Vice-President, awarded organisations which had performed creditably well in the year 2008 based on three key indicators: size, profitability and growth.
The elated CEO, Odame Asare, who received the prestigious award on behalf of the bank, said he was grateful for the honour done the bank.
“I am extremely happy because this has been a very competitive competition and the third time we have done so well and emerge tops in rural banking in the country,” he stressed.
Mr Odame Asare said the success of the bank had not come on a silver platter, but hard work, dedication and commitment on the part of staff, management and the board had been the underlying factor.
He assured customers and potential customers of the bank that the bank would not rest on its laurels, but would continue to work harder, be innovative and come out with good products that would solve the financial burdens of all and sundry.
The Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank was established in 1983 with the prime aim of providing rural financial services and intermediation.
It was the 68th rural bank to be set up in the country and has managed to achieve the enviable distinction of being rated for several years now as the largest rural bank in the country.
The bank’s attention has been targeted at rural poverty reduction and its ability to promote and deliver a customer-friendly service.
Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank is now very dynamic in developing new financial products and repackaging existing ones to meet the needs of its numerous customers through the application of modern-banking technology.
The bank has expanded its outreach in the micro-finance sector by providing financial services, especially savings and loans to low-income persons in the form of “Susu” and “Group” lending.
The Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank maintains a large budget for community development.
The aim is to make a difference in the lives of the communities in which the bank operates, especially in areas of health, scholarships, orphanage support, education and community development.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


ALL attention in Kumasi will be focused on the Manhyia Palace on Friday as Otumfuo Osei Tutu II meets the management of Kumasi Asante Kotoko over the future direction of the club.
Expectations are already high that the Asantehene, who owns the twice Africa champions, would extend the mandate of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) come Friday.
This is premised on the impressive showing of the management when they took over the administration of the club at the start of the second round of the just ended Glo Premier League.
The meeting, which would be held behind closed doors, would also look at other important matters affecting the club.
For instance, it would enable the Alhaji Inje-led IMC to account for its stewardship to the owner of the club.
After the meeting, the Asantehene would make a personal donation of a brand new bus to the club
A source at Manhyia told the Graphic Sports that Otumfuo’s word that day would put to sleep the vexed question of the position of the current IMC.
The IMC was tasked to steer the affairs of the club until the end of the last season after which a substantive board would be announced to enable it appoint a new management.
But, so far, no names have emerged with respect to board positions. This had given indications that Otumfuo could ask the IMC to continue with their work until further notice.
The Graphic Sports in its July 31-August 3, 2009 issue carried a story about the uneasiness in the management over whether they would remain in office or not.
Kotoko have indicated their readiness to play in Africa next year and preparations had already started for the CAF Champions League.


THE Kumasi High Court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Nana Owusu Akyaw Prempeh, a claimant to the Juaso Stool in the Ashanti Region, for refusing to appear before it to respond to a contempt suit.
Mr Justice Frank Amoah, who presided, said, “I order that the respondent (Nana Prempeh) be arrested under bench warrant. When arrested, he shall be granted bail in the sum of GH¢50,000 with two sureties.”
The certified true copy of the order dated July 29, 2009, stated that a medical report on Nana Prempeh brought to the court by his representative could only be described as a “sham.”
Mr Justice Amoah also referred to the failure of Nana Prempeh’s counsel to appear in court and said he would therefore not accept the explanation given by the emissary of Nana Prempeh.
The Juaben Traditional Council and others, including Nana Oware Kankam, the Adontenhene of Juaso, filed the contempt suit at the High Court against Nana Prempeh for failing to hand over stool properties in his possession.
The plaintiffs contended that Nana Prempeh’s refusal to hand over the properties was in contravention of an order of the Judicial Committee of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs, which was later confirmed by the High Court in Kumasi.
Juaso has been embroiled in a protracted chieftaincy dispute that has resulted in violence on certain occasions.
It all started in 1994 when some kingmakers of Juaso filed destoolment charges against Nana Prempeh at the Juaben Traditional Council. Traditionally, Juaso owes allegiance to the Juabenhene.
The traditional council ruled in favour of the kingmakers, paving the way for the instalment of Barium Safrotwie Sarpong as Juasohene.
Nana Prempeh appealed to the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs, which upheld the orders of the traditional council and ordered that Nana Prempeh returned all stool properties in his possession.
The matter has since travelled through the National House of Chiefs and the High Court until the contempt charges were filed.


NEW Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Ashanti Region have begun an outreach programme to educate party supporters in all the 39 constituencies of the region on the proposed constitutional reforms in the party.
The MPs have been grouped into four groups with each group given a specific area to operate.
Last weekend, one of the groups led by the MP for Kwadaso, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, was in the Amansie West District to meet polling station executive and other party members.
The proposed constitutional reforms is due to be voted on at the party’s national delegates congress in Accra on August 15, this year.
Dr Akoto told the Daily Graphic that the MPs believed that the exercise would help party members to appreciate the need for the reforms as the party prepared for the 2012 election.
“We believe that the exercise will properly position the party in a way that will enable us to win the 2012 election,” he said.
Dr Akoto stated that similar exercises were taking place in other parts of the country.
The Kwadaso MP said the NPP could not afford to play to the gallery, especially as the NDC continued to fumble in government.
“ As a party, we need to prepare from today because the people are looking up to us to rescue them from the hardships they are going through under the NDC government,” he said.
He said constitutional changes were important for a huge political party like the NPP especially as the political terrain begin to change.
Dr Akoto called on party members to appreciate the need for the exercise and give the MPs the needed support.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

MOVE TO SAFER PLACES...Opoku-Manu advises residents (PAGE 35)

THE Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, has asked people living along the banks of River Fum at Fumso in the Adansi North District to evacuate to safe places.
The directive followed continued rains at the weekend, which forced the river to overflow its banks and swept through a number of homes in the town.
Mr Opoku-Manu gave the advice when he visited the town last Monday to inspect damage caused by the flooding of the river over the weekend.
Seven houses along the banks of the river crumbled while personal property worth thousands of Ghana cedis were destroyed.
About 200 people were displaced in the flooding and some of them were putting up with friends and relations.
According to the residents, River Fum, which flows through the middle of the town had never caused such a disaster.
Mr Opoku-Manu, who was accompanied by the District Chief Executive (DCE), Alhaji Abdul Latif, and officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) expressed concern about the way people had built their houses so close to the river.
He promised to get NADMO to send relief items as soon as possible to the victims to assuage their problems.
Mr Opoku-Manu appealed to chiefs not to allocate building plots along river banks to prevent disasters resulting from flooding.
The DCE, Alhaji Latif, said the district assembly would strictly enforce building regulations to help save lives and property.