Sunday, February 28, 2010


THE celebration of the world’s day of the sick has been held at the St. Louis Health Centre at Bodwesango in the Ashanti Region with a call on health workers to strive to have compassion for the sick.
The Executive Secretary of the Obuasi Catholic Diocesan Health Services, Sister Mary Obeng, who made the call, said compassion meant going directly to people in places where suffering was most acute and building homes there.
The theme for the celebration was: “The church in the service of love for the suffering.”
According to the executive secretary, the ability of health workers to appreciate the physical and psychological suffering of the sick was crucial in the success of health delivery efforts.
She noted, “It is obvious that most of our health institutions are in the rural areas where suffering is much experienced, where the sick is carried on an improvised stretcher, and where many people will not like to work.”
Sister Obeng said that demanded selflessness on the part of people who worked in the health institutions to meet the challenges.
The executive secretary said the mission of the National Catholic Health Services was centred on continuing Christ’s healing ministry in bringing healing to the greatest possible number of people.
   Sister Obeng commended the Bishop of Obuasi, Most Rev Gabriel Justice Anokye, for the great role he was playing in health delivery within the diocese.         


THE Amansie West District Assembly has begun a programme to promote the teaching and learning of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the district.
As part of the programme, the assembly has operationalised the community information centre at Manso-Nkwanta, the district capital, with the procurement of 10 computers to add up to the existing stock.
This would enable more children to have access to computers at a time.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Charles Oti-Prempeh, disclosed this at the opening of a one-week workshop on the national language programme for schools at Antoakrom.
The Ghana Education Service (GES) organised the workshop, which was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development.
The DCE stated that Ghana was blessed with a fairly developed local language system, which could be harnessed in the formative years of a child’s educational journey to enable the children to better develop their talents.
He said a child of six whose inability to express himself or herself in the English language was most often denied the opportunity to come up on the educational ladder.
Mr Oti-Prempeh said the new system would correct the wrongs in the system for the benefit of the children and the nation.
He stated that the district would continue to offer the necessary support to the GES to enable it to undertake its activities effectively.
He said in that vein, the assembly had purchased 1000 bags of cement and 50 packets of roofing sheets to commence repairs on some classroom blocks in the communities.
The District Director of Education, Mr Samuel Kena, called on teachers to avoid negative acts that could draw back the progress of education in the district.


MEDICAL authorities in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region recorded 236 cases of illegal abortion last year, one of the highest instances ever in the history of the district.
Health officials described the situation as unacceptable, especially as most of them involved teenage girls.
Presenting the 2009 annual health report at the health performance meeting at Manso Nkwanta, the District Director of Health Services, Mr Joseph Adomako, disclosed that teenage pregnancy was also a major source of concern in the area.
According to him, the situation had forced many young children to drop out of school.
He stated that the district recorded 36 cases of stillbirths as compared to 32 cases in 2008.
Mr Adomako explained that the high rate of the cases was as a result of a number of factors, including lack of midwives, failure of women to report at antenatal clinics and poor road network in the area.
He appealed to the government to help improve the road situation in the district.
Mr Adomako further stated that malaria was still the number one health problem in the district, with health institutions recording 36,097 cases in 2009 as against 29,244 in 2008.
The District Chief Executive, Mr Charles Oti-Prempeh, commended the district health team for working hard, sometimes under difficult conditions.
He gave the assurance that the district assembly would continue to support them to deliver the kind of services that would improve the health of the people.
Mr Oti-Permpeh said without improved health delivery, the people could not undertake their daily activities.
He said as a result of that, the government was determined to improve the conditions at the health institutions so that their services would improve.
At the ceremony, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Amansie West, Mrs Grace Addo, presented items worth GH¢20,000 to some health institutions in the constituency.
The items included two generators for the Mpremiase and Aduposo Health Centres, one mower for the Manso-Adubia Health Centre, one Polytank brand of water tank for the Manso-Abore Health Centre, two air conditioners for the Agroyesum Hospital and one laptop for the district health administration.
They were purchased with cash the MP sought from the National Health Insurance Scheme Fund.
Making the presentation, Mrs Addo said the donation followed requests by the beneficiary institutions to her office for support to enable them to offer quality services to the people.
She commended the staff of the various institutions for their hard work and urged them to sustain the spirit to improve health delivery even under trying conditions.
Mrs Addo promised to continue supporting the health institutions to enable them to deliver.

PESTICIDES CAUSE IMPOTENCE...If not properly handled (LEAD STORY, FEB 13, 2010)

Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

IMPROPER handling of pesticides causes impotence among men in vegetable-growing areas of the country, Mr Copperfield Banini, a senior scientist with the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Division (PPRSD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), has warned.
He said research conducted in some vegetable-growing areas of the country revealed, among other things, that some of the farmers went to the extent of tasting the chemicals to establish their potency before applying them on their farms, resulting in serious health implications.
Mr Banini was speaking in an interview in Kumasi after the closing of a training of trainers’ workshop on integrated pest management (IPM) and integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) for 18 participants from the Ashanti, Western, Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta regions.
He did not name specific areas in the country where the situation prevailed, but a participant from the Ashanti Region mentioned Akomadan and Ejura as typical examples.
The agribusiness and trade promotion project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID/ATP) and Croplife Africa Middle East (Croplife MoU), a regional federation representing the plant science industry and a network of national associations in 30 Africa and Middle East countries organised the workshop.
The workshop was aimed at training the participants to, among other things, educate farmers on production constraints and pest control.
Mr Banini stated that some farmers had also gone blind as a result of the improper application of insecticides.
He, therefore, stressed the need for vegetable farmers to protect themselves from the chemicals when spraying their farms.
He warned that misapplication of pesticides could also cause infertility in women.
Mr Frederick Boampong, the Programmes Officer of Croplife Ghana, said his outfit was supporting MoFA to bring some decency into agricultural production.
He stated that Croplile MoU and USAID/ATP were organising similar workshops in Abidjan and Bamako as a way of getting the best for the sub-region.
Mr Boampong explained that the low yields of farmers were due mainly to the low adoption of technologies.
Many farmers, he noted, were not ready to change their old ways of doing things, and said that was what the organisers of the workshop were determined to reverse.


POLICE Inspector Joe Debrah has been elected the new Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Referees Association of Ghana (RAG) at the association’s congress in Obuasi.
In an election that was decided at a round off, Inspector Debrah polled 73 votes to beat Mr E.K. Asante, a former regional chairman who had 52 votes.
The two were among four people who contested in the first round of voting. The rest were Mr G.K. Zorve, the Kumasi District Chairman of RAG, and the incumbent, Mr Atta Baffour.
Inspector Debrah who is a retired class one referee has been a member of RAG for 19 years.
For the vice-chairmanship position, the incumbent, Mr Alhassan Brobbey retained his position.
Other elected officers were Mr Osei Nsiah, secretary, Mr Ali Musa Plato, assistant secretary, Mr G.K. Manu, instructor, Mr Tabi Amponsah, deputy instructor, and Mr Agyenim Boateng, treasurer.
Apart from Mr Zorve and Mr Plato, all the elected officers are retired referees.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Inspector Debrah said he would work hard to justify the confidence reposed in him.
He noted the crucial role referees play in ensuring fairness in the game of football and said he would work with the other executive members to bring sanity into football development in the region.


THE National Sports Council (NSC) has decided to waive some of the charges at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi for the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) national delegates conference.
Mr Worlanyo Agrah, the Chief Executive of the NSC, told the Daily Graphic from his base in Accra that some of the smaller fees, including cleaning, were being considered to cut down the GH¢30,000 fee charged for the conference.
The NSC charged GH¢30,000 for the conference fixed for February 27, but the NPP said the amount was on the higher side.
Reacting to the charge, Mr F.F. Anto, the Ashanti Regional Chairman of NPP, said failure by the NSC to reduce the amount could jeopardise their decision to hold the conference at the stadium.
However, Mr Agrah said the NPP went too far by going to the media with the issue when they could have discussed it “indoors” with his outfit.
According to him, he had had fruitful discussions with Mr O.B. Amoah of the NPP and that some reasonable agreement had been reached.
The NSC boss stated that no one should read any meanings into the charges, explaining that they were fixed.
Mr Agrah indicated that the Jehovah Witnesses paid the fixed charges when they held their international conference at the stadium recently.
“Some people say this is a political party matter and we have to do something about it.
“This cannot be wholly true, but we are all Ghanaians and in such situations we have to find a way out, which is what we are doing,” he stressed.
He reminded the NPP that they would be using the floodlights at the stadium, which also went with another cost, so they should not think they were being cheated.
Meanwhile, party supporters have welcomed the decision by the party to hold the conference in Kumasi.
Some of them who spoke to this paper said it was appropriate because it would rekindle the spirit of the party in the region.
Five people, made up of Mr Stephen Ntim, Mr Sammy Crabbe, Felix Owusu Agyapong, Mr Jake Obetsebi Lamptey and Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby, are contesting for the national chairmanship position, while eight others are also in contest for the three vice-chairmanship slot.
Besides, five contestants are in contest for the general secretary position.
The NPP is holding the conference on the theme, “Reflect, Rebuild, Recapture in Unity” and 4,500 delegates would participate in the polls.
However, thousands more are expected to witness the ceremony, and that necessitated the selection of the Baba Yara Stadium as the venue.


THE Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has begun preparatory work for the take-off of the 40-million Euro Ghana Urban Management Pilot Project (GUMPP).
The four-year project, to begin this year, is to be implemented in three metropolises, namely, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale and the Ho municipalities.
Eligible projects under the GUMMP will focus on the improvement, either directly or indirectly, of environmental conditions in the beneficiary urban centres.
The government is sourcing funds from the Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) to support the formulation and implementation of the project.
The funds will be given to the beneficiary assemblies as grants to undertake the projects.
As part of preparations for the take-off of the project, the ministry has organised a workshop for chief executives, co-ordinating directors and other senior officers of the beneficiary assemblies in Kumasi to prepare them to handle the challenges that will go with the implementation of the project.
Speaking with the Daily Graphic after the opening ceremony, the GUMPP focal person at the ministry, Mr Sylvanus Adzornu, said over the years the government had been criticised for doing little about the challenges facing urban communities
“This project is, therefore, one of the measures taken by the government, through the ministry, to correct some of the wrongs of the past,” he said.
He said the beneficiary communities were selected based on a certain criteria, including their financial health and management structure.
He stated that one aspect of urban development that the project would address was slum development.
“We cannot allow slums to develop in our urban centres and this project will find a way to tackle this issue,” he said.
Mr Adzornu stated that based on the success of the pilot scheme, the project would be extended to other areas.
Mr Eric Oduro Osae, the Head of Finance and Accounts of the Institute of Local Government Studies, said the international consultant, UNG International, was committed to seeing the successful implementation of the project.
He said local consultants had also been recruited to access the readiness of the beneficiary communities for the take-off of the project.
He indicated that since ownership of the selected projects lay in the selected assemblies, priority investment projects were being developed under the responsibility of the respective assemblies.

Friday, February 26, 2010


THE Obuasi Police have mounted a search for three supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at Obuasi for allegedly inflicting cutlass wounds on three of their colleagues during a heated constituency meeting last Thursday.
Police named the suspects as Kwadwo Asare, Alhassan and Fuseini.
The Obuasi District Police Commander, ASP Matthew Asante speaking to the Daily Graphic on phone from his base, said a group of people who claimed to be newly elected executives of the Obuasi Constituency of the party came to his office on Thursday afternoon to introduce themselves to him.
He said in the course of the interaction, they told him that they were scheduled to hold a constituency meeting later in the afternoon and would need police protection.
The district commander stated that he asked them to follow up their request with an official later.
According to him, few minutes later, his divisional commander informed him that the group had approached him with the request for police protection at the meeting.
Consequently, Mr Asante said, the district command released two policemen to take charge of security during the meeting.
He said later in the evening, information reached him that confusion broke out at the meeting resulting in some of the party people sustaining cutlass wounds.
The injured, including one woman, who was identified as Faustina Boadu, were given police medical forms to attend hospital.
ASP Asante said efforts were underway to arrest the suspects to assist in investigations.
The Daily Graphic gathered from sources that confusion broke out when a group opposed to the recent election of the new executives stormed the meeting grounds to prevent the new constituency chairman from chairing the meeting.
At that moment, supporters of the old and new executives had gathered at the scene all fuming with rage.
In the course of the confusion, some of them drew out knives and inflicted the wounds on their colleagues.


SINAPI Aba Trust (SAT), a leading financial institution in the country, has extended its youth apprenticeship programme to Dunkwa-On-Offin in the Central Region.
The programme is to train the youth in employable skills to enable them to earn a living and break out of the poverty cycle.
Sinapi Aba Trust has estimated to spend an initial GH¢42,000 on the Dunkwa-On-Offin project.
At the inaugural ceremony of the programme at Dunkwa-On-Offin, 28 youth were presented with training materials to enable them to undergo training under master craftsmen in various employable skills.
They would be taken through trades such as dressmaking, hairdressing, aluminium fabrication, tilling and draughtsmanship and auto mechanic.
According to the Co-ordinator of SAT, Mr Thomas Appiah- Mensah, the programme had since its introduction trained 841 beneficiaries in areas, including Ejura-Sekyedumasi, Asunafo South, Accra, Cape Coast, Nkawkaw, Ho, Mankeseim and Offinso.
A board member of Sinapi Aba Trust, Mrs Theodosia Jackson, said the programme was meant to improve the quality of life of the Ghanaian youth through the provision of income earning
opportunities and education on HIV AIDS prevention.
The programme, she stated, would go a long way to complement the National Youth Employment Programme being undertaken by the government.
Mrs Jackson said for the achievement of the set goals of the project, various strategies, including effective monitoring of attitudes of beneficiaries towards their training, acquisition of vocational skills, capacity building in the areas of basic business training coupled with the education and prevention of the deadly HIV AIDS would be adopted.
She, therefore, urged them not to downplay the importance of the programme, but take their training seriously to achieve the set objectives.


The new executive committee of the NPP in the Ashanti Region is determined to manage the Alan Kyerematen/Nana Akufo-Addo dichotomy in a way that would not break the front of the party in the region.
In line with this objective, the executive would soon take a collective decision that would close their doors either as a group or individuals to the political ambitions of any flag bearer aspirant.
Mr Sam Payne, the newly elected regional secretary, told the Daily Graphic that "we are tired of the so-called Alan Kyerematen/Nana Akufo-Addo dichotomy and we will not allow it to break our ranks."
According to him, the development concerning the two front-runners to the party's 2010 presidential candidate position had not helped the party's cause in the region.
"We therefore need to take a decision in order to give us the space to work to improve the party' chances for the 2012 election."
He said it would be wrong for any regional executive to front for any of the flag bearer aspirants.
"The NPP has come a long way and we cannot play to the games of any flag bearer aspirant.
"Any of the aspirants who comes to the region can go outside the regional executive to campaign and not to use us,” Mr Payne said.
Mr Payne said factionalism could destroy the very fabric of the party "and this is what we should fight against”.
He indicated that the battle for the 2012 elections demanded unity, hard work and dedication from not only party executives but all party members.
He stated that it was when they worked in unity that they could completely clip the wings of the NDC.
Mr Payne said Ghanaians were calling for the return of the NPP but the party needed to do its homework very well to guarantee victory in the next elections.
Fortunately, he said, the regional executive, chaired by Mr F.F. Anto, was ready to work together to get things going.


DANIEL Nii Adjei struck in each half to carry his side to a 2-0 victory over Kessben FC in their second round Glo premier encounter at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday.
 The offensive midfielder scored with a close header in the first half and capped a fantastic afternoon with a superb free kick goal two minutes into added time.
The home fans, satisfied with the scoreline this time ,showered praises on their often-vilified coach, Paa Kwesi Fabin.
With their biggest strength in the middle, Nii Adjei, Francis Coffie and Jordan Opoku exhibited drive and energy to outrun James Boadu, Sampson Cudjoe and Yufa Zugah in that department.
 The few threats from arrowhead Bismack Idan were dealt with by the Kotoko rear who sometimes introduced steel in their play.
 The first goal that brought life to the stadium came on the 43rd minute when a Michael Ofosu Appiah free kick saw Nii Adjei connecting with the head in a clustered aerial action.
At various points of the game, referee Lord Vuvor had to draw out his yellow card at Gideon Baah, Idrissu Yahaya and Francis Coffie of Kotoko, and Prince Atakora Gyimah of Kessben.
Mr Vuvor sent off Isaac Owusu for a second yellow card on the 73rd minute and a minute later Kotoko’s keeper Isaac Amoako double faulted in his area but recovered quickly to tidy the area.
Both sides effected chances but it was Kotoko who benefited as Nii Adjei flew in a spectacular free kick from about 25 yards out with keeper Mohammed Nurudeen making a fruitless attempt to salvage the ball.


THE Cape Coast Branch Manager of the Insurance Company Limited (SIC) , Nana Obuoba Serfour Bofa, has been inducted into office as the National Chairman of the Association of Anglican Church Choirs at a ceremony at the St Cyprian Anglican Cathedral in Kumasi.
Nana Bofa, aka Augustine Serfour Bofa, who is a member of the Philip Quacoe Anglican Church choir in Cape Coast, was elected national chairman along other national executive at the national delegates conference of the association in Tamale, while the induction ceremony took place in Kumasi.
Nana Bofa, who is also a traditional ruler in the Ashanti Region, had been a chorister since his school days at Acherensua Secondary School and the University of Ghana.
He held many positions, including the Ashanti Regional Secretary of the Anglican Choirs Association.
In an interview, Nana Bofa said he was ready to lead the association into another significant level of development.
He emphasised the role choirs played in the development of the church and therefore, gave the assurance that the new executive would work hard to add up to the growth of the Anglican Church.
The Anglican Bishop of Kumasi, Rt Revd Dr Yinka Sarfo, who performed the induction ceremony, congratulated the new executive members on their election.


THE Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) is to introduce a new regulatory regime for transport operations in the metropolis.
Under the new regime, which is expected to come into force this year, the assembly would take full control of regulating transport service activities including local transport policy and planning, pass bye-laws, and register, license, enforce and monitor public transport operations.
The KMA Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Sarpong, said “by this the operator will continue its role as the player while the assembly assumes the legal role as referee”.
Briefing journalists about the state of the Urban Transport Project (UTP) for Kumasi, Mr Sarpong said the assembly had passed the urban transport services bye-laws to regulate passenger transport operations in the city.
Besides, the assembly had established UTP Units to, among other things, establish and implement procedures for operation of urban transport services within its jurisdiction and monitor compliance of the guidelines.
About two years ago, the government launched the UTP with the objective to deal with congestion and help improve mobility within the metropolis.
Kumasi had been confronted with a number of transport challenges, including long travel times, unavailability of terminals and bus stops, pollution arising from vehicular emissions, and limited regulation of public transport services.
Today, over 70 per cent of roads in Kumasi are congested and more than 70 per cent of people in the metropolis depend on public transport mostly ‘trotro’, taxis and buses.
Mr Sarpong noted that extensive sensitisation exercises had been carried out about the new transport regulation regime to enable the operators to appreciate its importance.
He, however, stated that the assembly would continue with the education to enable the people to fully appreciate the importance of the project.
The chief executive said the KMA was preparing to launch a route registration exercise of all public transport routes and subsequently, issue permits to the operators of those routes.
This would, among other things, help build fruitful relationship between the transport operators and the assembly and help the assembly regulate and plan its infrastructure provisions.
‘Major works will also begin on selected junctions, terminals and bus stops to improve general traffic flow in the city,” Mr Sarpong said.
He disclosed that procurement process had begun to secure the services of a firm to provide central control systems for traffic lights in Kumasi and Accra under the UTP.
He appealed to the media to assist the KMA implement the new transport regime.


A FORMER Ashanti Regional chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Fredrick Fredua Anto, bounced back to his former position when he defeated the incumbent, Mr Robert Owusu Amankwa, at the regional delegates conference in Kumasi yesterday.
Mr Anto, who was the party’s regional chairman for eight years, stepped down during the last regional delegates conference in 2005, which was won by Mr Amankwaa.
In an election which followed months of acrimonious campaigning and legal battles, Mr Anto polled 449 votes as against 267 by Mr Amankwa.
Many of the old executive who contested also lost their positions.
Mrs Mary Brobbey, the incumbent Regional Women's Organiser, lost to Ms Alberta Owusu Ansah while the Regional Organiser, Mr Ben Abdallah, who contested with three others, also lost to Mr Kennedy Kankam.
Other officers elected were Alhaji Musah Sherif, First Vice-Chairman; Mr Kwabena Nsenkyire, Second-Vice Chairman; Mr Sam Payne, Regional Secretary; Mr Kwame Asamoa Boateng, Assistant Secretary; Ms Hagar Asante, Treasurer; Mr Gideon Boako, Youth Organiser, and Alhaji Musa Zigi, Nasara Chairman.
The election, supervised by the Electoral Commission, was peaceful and the large number of police personnel drawn to Dwabrem of the Centre for National Culture where it was held had little work to do.
Many leading party members witnessed the election but conspicuously absent were Nana Akufo-Addo and Mr Alan Kyerematen, who were expected to be present.
A party source told the Daily Graphic that the two men decided to stay behind in order not to take the beauty out of the conference.
The perceived Alan/Akufo-Addo dichotomy was not visible at the conference but some delegates and party supporters discussed how the election of the new officers were going to affect the fortunes of the two flag bearer aspirants.
In a speech after the congress, Mr Anto thanked the delegates for the confidence reposed in him and said he would work hard to bring unity into the party to improve on their electoral performance in the region, come 2012.
Conceding defeat, Mr Amankwa pledged to continue to work for the party even outside the regional executive.

First day of new user fees...ROAD TOLLS STAND-OFF...Kasoa drivers stage protest...Hot arguments at Kumasi booths (LEAD STORY, FEB 2, 2010)

Story: Emmanuel Gyamerah (Accra) & Kwame Asare Boadu (Kumasi)

There were initial protests by some drivers, particularly commercial drivers, when the new road and bridge tolls went into force yesterday.
At Kasoa in the Central Region, on the Accra-Tema Motorway and at Tabre and Aboaso in the Ashanti Region, the new tolls attracted protests from drivers who complained of the high percentage increase in the tolls. Indeed, some of them who spoke to the Daily Graphic threatened to increase lorry fares “to make up for the increase in the tolls imposed on us”.
On the Kasoa-Accra route, some drivers, especially commercial (trotro) drivers, displayed their displeasure by burning tyres in the middle of the road at Kasoa and also stopped other drivers from picking passengers.
The about 45-minute action of the drivers left a large number of passengers coming from Kasoa to Accra stranded. The passengers had no choice but to walk, some as far as beyond the toll booths to catch empty vehicles that had made U-turns back to Accra.
It took the timely intervention of the police to restore order.
The Commander of the Motor Traffic and Transport Union (MTTU), ACP Daniel Avorga, had to personally move to the area with his men to talk to the protesters to call off their action.
According to the drivers, the increase in the toll for trotros from 8Gp to GH¢1 was too high, as it was going to affect their daily sales.
Two of such drivers, Messrs Kofi Mensah and Abdul Karim, said they plied the Kasoa-Accra road about six times a day, noting that they normally returned to Accra with empty vehicles and wondered how they could meet their daily sales with the new toll.
They, together with other drivers, suggested that the payment of the toll be made only once, instead of each time a driver used the road.
At the time the Daily Graphic got to the toll booth about 8.30 a.m., there was a long queue of vehicles coming from the Kasoa end.
In an interview, the toll collectors noted that some of the drivers gave them big denominations to pay the tolls which resulted in delays because they (the toll collectors) spent longer time getting the drivers change.
For his part, the Supervisor of the toll collectors, Mr Thomas Hammond, said apart from the lack of change, drivers took some time to pay when they got to the toll booths, complaining of the new tolls.
He said some of the drivers complained that they were unaware of the new tolls and spent time complaining before paying the new tolls.
Mr Hammond said having been aware of the take-off of the new tolls, the collectors who were off duty were brought in to assist their colleagues who were on duty, adding that that was to quicken the process of issuing the toll receipts.
He expressed the hope that the situation was going to improve as the days went by, promising that he had made orders for smaller denominations for the issuance of change to drivers who brought bigger denominations.
For his part, Commander Avorga suggested to Mr Hammond to dispatch more toll collectors in the queue so that when the drivers got to the toll booths, they would only issue their receipts and move on.
He said more policemen were going to be sent to the area to ensure order, saying that the police would be there till order was restored.
At the Tabre and Aboaso toll booths, there was drama when motorists engaged in heated arguments with toll collectors, complaining that the increase was too high.
According to the drivers, the authorities did not take the present socio-economic situation in the country, especially current lorry fares, into consideration before coming out with the increase in the tolls.
Some of the drivers who spoke to the Daily Graphic threatened to increase lorry fares to make up for the increase in the tolls.
While the drivers delayed in paying to collect their tickets at the toll booths, many of them heaped insults on the collectors before driving away.
At the Tabre toll booth, vehicular traffic had jammed for almost a kilometre from the Akropong Junction to the collection point at the time Daily Graphic reached there.
While some drivers readily paid their tolls at the booth, others complained that they had not heard of the increase and, therefore, waited for some minutes before agreeing to pay.
There was heavy traffic at the Aboaso–Mampong toll booth in the Ashanti Region around 10 a.m. when the Daily Graphic got there.
The presence of armed policemen at both the Tabre and the Aboaso toll booths, however, prevented the drivers from overreacting.
The new tolls, which took effect from yesterday, followed an approval by Parliament of new road and bridge tolls under the Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, Act 793, which has been signed into law by the President.
According to an advertisement placed in the media, motorbikes which previously were exempted from the payment of tolls are to pay 10Gp; saloon cars which used to pay 5Gp are now to pay 50Gp, while pick-ups and light buses will pay GH¢1, from the 8Gp they used to pay.
The others are mummy wagons, GH¢1; heavy buses and light goods truck (two axles), GH¢1.50; medium goods truck (three axles), GH¢2; heavy goods truck (four axles), GH¢2; heavy goods truck (five or more axles) GH¢2.50; agricultural tractors, 50Gp, and agricultural tractors with trailer, 50Gp.
The Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Joe Gidisu, explained that the increases in road and bridge tolls were intended to mobilise more resources for the construction and maintenance of roads.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Gidisu said the cost of maintaining roads in the country had gone up astronomically, hence the need for the increment.
He, therefore, appealed to drivers to accept the new rates, since it was with good intentions that they were being introduced, adding that road tolls had remained the same for the past 11 years, although the cost of road maintenance over the period had gone up.
The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) last week urged the drivers to accept the new tolls.

HIGHWAYMEN STRIKE IN KUMASI...Graphic van hit, one man arrested (PAGE 3, FEB 1, 2010)

ARMED robbers wielding pump action guns, in the early hours of last Saturday, attacked a number of vehicles, including a van belonging to the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) at Kubease, on the Accra-Kumasi highway.
The robbers, numbering about 10, some of whom were in black overall clothes, robbed their victims of unspecified amounts of money and a number of mobile phones.
The police, however, managed to arrest one of them, who is currently in custody and assisting in investigations.
They shot one of the front tyres of the Graphic vehicle, which was carrying the day's newspaper from Accra to Kumasi.
Mr Mohammed Saani, the driver of the vehicle, told the Daily Graphic that he and the road clerk had to run into the bush for safety as the robbers fired indiscriminately.
There were no fatalities but a number of vehicles had their windscreens smashed by the robbers.
Mr Saani said their vehicle arrived at the scene at about 3:30 a.m. to meet a traffic jam.
He said a man stood at the spot, directing vehicles heading for Kumasi on the other lane.
According to him, he initially thought an accident had occurred on the road, only to realise later that the man who was directing the traffic was among the armed robbers.
Mr Saani continued that the robbers took a closer look at the inscription on the vehicle and, perhaps, realising that it belonged to GCGL, pulled a gun and shot the tyre.
At that point, the other robbers in front were robbing their victims.
He said about 10 minutes later the police arrived at the scene in a vehicle and exchanged gunfire with the robbers, leading to the arrest of one of them while the rest escaped into the bush, leaving behind two unregistered motorbikes which were used in the operation.
When contacted, the police confirmed the incident and said investigations were underway to arrest the remaining robbers.


THE Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has interdicted a city guard, Kofi Adu, for allegedly taking undue advantage of the decongestion at Kumasi to extort money from traders.
Besides, he is to report to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) for investigations into the allegation.
A statement signed by Mr Clement Kigeri, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Kumasi Metro Assembly, said the action was a fallout of measures taken by the assembly to review the decongestion.
“The assembly has taken note of allegations levelled against certain people enforcing the rules of the assembly and has, therefore, taken steps to correct the mistakes that might have resulted in the negative actions”, the statement said.
It said the decongestion team had been reconstituted with one Mr Yakubu Gargo as the new head.
“In pursuance of the assembly’s prime objective, all assembly members and staff are to continue to show commitment to helping the assembly achieve its developmental goals”, it said.
The statement also urged the public, especially traders in the central business area of Kumasi to operate within the byelaws of the assembly.
Hawkers who are still operating on pavements are also being advised to leave those places or risk being arrested by the city’s law enforcement team.


THE United Nations (UN) Millennium Villages Project (MVP) at Bonsaaso in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region has been extended to 2015, and scaled up to cover more communities in the district.
The objective of the extension is to help the people free themselves from the extreme poverty they find themselves in.
The MVP, an integrated poverty reduction initiative with the aim of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), is expected to end in 2011.
However, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, co-founder of the UN Millennium Project and Director of the Earth Institute, has stated that the extension was premised on the successes so far achieved.
Prof. Sachs was in the Bonsaaso project area last Sunday with former UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, and other officials from the world body to get first-hand information about the project.
He said it was the responsibility of the donor agencies to react positively to the demands of the communities under the project.
The Bonsaaso project covers a cluster of 30 rural communities with an estimated population of 30,000.
It is one of the 79 MVPs located in 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Some of the other countries are Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.
Prof. Sachs said at a meeting with staff of the project that attaining the MDGs was very dear to the of the UN, that was why the MVP was receiving all the necessary support to succeed.
He expressed satisfaction with the local initiatives adopted in achieving the project’s objectives and urged the local communities to continue to play their roles in the project.
He challenged the district assembly to pay special attention to the project since it provided avenue to complement their efforts at improving the living standards of the people.
Prof. Sachs commended the management and the entire team of the Bonsaaso project for executing their work extremely well.
He said it was always important to rely on a good team to execute projects and, therefore, urged the Ghana government to create teams that were problem-solvers, while tackling its development agenda.
Briefing the UN team, the cluster manager/team leader of the Bonsaaso MVP, Mr Samuel Afram, enumerated the successes achieved so far and said the people and the various authorities had been supportive.
The success story was manifested in areas including education, health, environment and agriculture.
Mr Afram said community empowerment was the bedrock of the project “and after four years, we’ve seen enhanced development”.
Other Ghanaian officials who accompanied the UN team included the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Sarpong and the Ashanti Regional Co-ordinating Director, Mr Kusi Appiah.


THE Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has warned a chief in the Ashanti Region to quit active party politics or abdicate his stool.
According to Asantehene, he had been made aware that Nana Sarfo Agyekum II, who is the Aduanahene of Kumawu, was deeply involved in the activities of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Kumawu, and said he would not tolerate such behaviour in his domain.
The 4th Republican Constitution prevents chiefs from engaging in active party politics.
“You were even part of a group of NPP people in the area who went to court on a matter involving the party,” he said, and warned him to immediately back out of political activities.
Otumfuo gave the warning when parties to the Kumawu chieftaincy dispute appeared before the Asanteman Council at the Manhyia Palace last Monday.
A chieftaincy dispute that arose in the area after the death of the Omanhene, Barima Asumadu Sakyi in 2007, is tearing the area apart, and had also created an uneasy calm in the otherwise peaceful area.
At the Asanteman Council meeting, Asantehene ordered the parties in the dispute to withdraw the matter from court for settlement at the Asanteman Council.
He told the gathering that he did not want to see chieftaincy matters in his area sent to courts, because avenues had been made available at Manhyia for people to seek redress.
Otumfuo dismissed allegations that he was supporting the Queen of Kumawu, Nana Serwaa Amponsah II, in the dispute.
“People have been spreading all manner of stories about me on this woman, but I know nothing about her,” Otumfuo explained.
He promised to ensure the expeditious settlement of the issue when it was brought out of court.


RAND Refinery Limited of South Africa, the largest single-site gold refinery and smelter in the world, has presented silver products valued at approximately GH¢9,500 to the Department of Industrial Arts of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.
The items, which included silver plates, wires, tubes and grains of various sizes and lengths, were made in line with the company’s recognition of the quality and social importance of KNUST’s jewellery training course, as well as Rand Refinery’s desire to support the university’s activities in jewellery beneficiation.
The department was selected for the donation following recommendations made by the Ghana Chamber of Mines and also as a result of its stature, history and commitment to human resource development.
Mr Chris Horsley, Head of Sourcing, Vault and Logistics of Rand Refinery, who made the presentation on behalf of the company, said it was in fulfilment of the company’s commitment to support skills development in jewellery design and manufacturing in Ghana.
The donation is the first to be made by the company to the university and Mr Horsley expressed the belief that it was the beginning of a fruitful relationship between the company and KNUST.
He indicated that the company recognised the important contribution precious metals beneficiation could make to the socio-economic development of Africa.
Consequently, Rand Refinery would play its role effectively in ensuring the development of that sector.
Mr Horsley said, “ Through this donation, Rand Refinery aims at contributing to the co-operation between Ghana and South Africa in the field of higher education by offering practical support to students taking the jewellery and silver-smithing degree courses.”
He said the company was happy about the strides of the department to become a centre of excellence and a leader in the sub-region in terms of teaching, research, skills and knowledge dissemination in all aspects of precious metal jewellery design, production and marketing.
The Provost of the College of Arts and Social Sciences of the KNUST, Professor Dr Dr Daniel Buor, who received the donation on behalf of the department, thanked the company and appealed to other companies to support the university’s efforts at developing talents for the nation.
He stated that academia survived with the support of industry because it was becoming burdensome for the government alone to shoulder all the responsibilities of tertiary education.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


THE Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources last Saturday began an operation to recover 75sq km of the Desire Forest Reserve which has allegedly been sold by chiefs to private individuals for farming activities.
The operation came just three days after President J.E.A. Mills had launched the national forest plantation programme at Abofuor in the Ashanti Region and tasked the Forestry Commission to make all efforts to protect gazetted forest reserves from encroachment.
Led by the sector Minister, Alhaji Collins Dauda, a team made up of military men, policemen and officials of the Forestry Commission destroyed large cocoa plantations established by some farmers in the degraded portions of the Desire Forest Reserve.
Surprisingly, some of the affected farmers had managed to secure leases on the land from the Lands Commission.
The forest, which spans the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions, covers 150sq km but about 50 per cent of its degraded portions has allegedly been sold to individuals for farming activities, mainly cocoa cultivation.
Commenting on the exercise, Alhaji Dauda said no chief had the power to sell land in forest reserves, whether the land was degraded or not.
Expressing concern over the alarming rate at which some chiefs had illegally sold portions of the Desiri Forest Reserve, the minister stated that forest reserves were legally under the bona fide control of the government, who had the sole power to decide how to use them in the interest of the country.
Alhaji Dauda, therefore, cautioned prospective developers to be wary of their dealings with chiefs in the acquisition of land in order not to waste their money.
He said there was too much indiscipline in the forestry sector, resulting in the country’s forest cover dwindling at a fast rate.
“I am not going to be an armchair minister and see the rot continue,” he said, and vowed to bring some sanity into the system to ensure that the country derived the best from its forests.
He stated categorically that no illegal farmer would be spared his or her farm, stressing, “We shall continue with the exercise until all illegal farms in the forest are destroyed.”
The minister explained that after cutting down all illegal cocoa trees, the FC would place permanent gangs in the reserve to replant the forest with economic trees.
He was surprised that people could buy the lands from chiefs, knowing very well that the forest reserve was under the control of the government.
According to him, forest officials had earlier cautioned the farmers against farming in the reserve but they claimed they bought the lands from chiefs who claimed ownership of the lands.
The minister also cautioned that any official under his ministry who connived with chiefs to sell lands in forest reserves would not be spared.
Alhaji Dauda indicated that the exercise would not be limited to the Desiri Forest but it would be extended to forest reserves where there had been encroachment.


THE Ashanti Regional Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Mr Kwesi Quainoo, has called for the revival of youth voluntarism in the region.
Expressing regret about the way youth voluntarism had taken a nosedive within the past 20 years, Mr Quainoo noted that its revival would enable the youth to face the challenges of the future.
Mr Quainoo was speaking on the topic: ”Youth volunteering in Ghana—lessons and challenges for the future,” at a workshop on youth development organised by the National Youth Council (NYC) in Kumasi.
Tracing the history of youth volunteering in Ghana, Mr Quainoo said it dated back to the pre-colonial era when the Asafo and various youth groups participated in rescue operations, communal labour and other activities that were of immense benefit to the society.
He stated that the factors that were killing that spirit in the youth must be revisited.
The regional director expressed regret for instance that succeeding governments had paid lip service to youth development in the country, adding, “Lack of clear direction and orientation for the youth have aggravated the predicament of the Ghanaian youth.”
He called for the use of institutions like the NYC established to promote youth development to enable them to discharge their responsibilities effectively.
Mr Quainoo stated that the NSS was doing everything possible to promote youth voluntarism in the country.
He said the NSS in conjunction with the Voluntary Overseas (VSO) had established a vibrant volunteer service, which recruits and deploys post-national service volunteers to teach in distressed rural communities in the country.


THE water supply situation in Kumasi has improved significantly, following the near completion of the Kumasi Water Supply and Expansion project.
Hitherto difficult areas such as the SSNIT Flats, Ejisu Down, Pankrono and Buokrom now have water, while those that already had are enjoying improved services.
The project involved rehabilitation works on the two major headworks at the Barekese and the Owabi dams, the rehabilitation of pipelines, the construction of booster stations at Achiase on the Kumasi-Barekese road, the provision of an additional reservoir at Suame and the rehabilitation of the KNUST booster station.
Besides, zonal meters are being installed in various areas to track the quantity of water supplied to customers.
The rehabilitation works, financed jointly by the Dutch and the Ghana governments, started in December 2007.
The Area Communications Manager of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Mr Sampson Ampah, told the Daily Graphic that the situation was expected to return to normalcy by the end of March this year.
The Barekese Dam, which originally supplied 18 million gallons of water a day to Kumasi and other areas, had its capacity reduced to between 10 and 12 million gallons a day, while the Owabi Dam, which originally supplied three millions gallons a day, was reduced to two million gallons due to the poor state of equipment.
However, with about 96 per cent of the works completed, full capacity had been restored at the two dams.
Besides, other works had added additional six million gallons to the capacity at Barekese, bringing the current capacity to 24 million gallons a day.
Mr Ampah called for co-operation from the public to ensure that any leakage was promptly reported for action to be taken on it.


THREE suspects, including the Gyasehene of the Banmu Division of Asante, have been arrested at their hideouts in connection with the murder of a 28-year-old man at Adankwame, near Barekese.
The alleged master brain behind the crime, Nana Kwaku Nsiah, the Gyasehene, who fled the area after the heinous act on December 18, 2009, was arrested at Garu in the Upper East Region.
The two others, Baffour Gyan and Kwaku Gyasi, who fled the area after allegedly carrying out the heinous crime, were arrested at their hideouts at Bechem in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The suspects have since been arraigned before court and remanded in prison custody to re-appear on January 26, 2010.
The police said they were still investigating the case, which was believed to be land-related, and pleaded with the court to remand them.
All the accused persons bolted after the deceased, Kwabena Boadu, aka Father, had been shot and killed in a bush near a cattle ranch at Adankwame in the Atwima Nwabiagya District on December 18, 2009.
The chief, who was said to be involved in the illegal sale of land in the area, was alleged to have picked a quarrel with one Linford Owuo, aka CD, a brother of the deceased’s, the day before the incident.
Nana Nsiah lodged a complaint with the police against CD but they could not complete investigations into the matter before CD’s brother was murdered.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


THE Tepa Government Hospital has honoured 14 staff for their hard work and distinguished service in the past year.
They were presented with prizes, including half pieces of cloth, fridges, other electrical appliances and certificates.
A 28-year-old nurse, Ms Monica Tawiah, won the best worker award and was presented with a double-decker fridge, full piece of cloth and a certificate of honour.
Speaking at the ceremony, the District Co-ordinating Director, Mr Emmanuel Aidoo, commended the hospital’s management and staff for their exceptional work, which had brought about improvement in healthcare service delivery at the facility.
He advised them to build on what was achieved in 2009, so that the people would derive the best from the hospital.
He further appealed to the management of the hospital to ensure that the staff complied with the work ethics developed for them.
In his overview of the hospital’s performance, the Hospital Administrator, Mr Collins Kesse, said out-patient attendance in 2008 stood at 30,462 compared with 41,442 in the previous year.
About 19,540 malaria cases were recorded at the OPD in 2009 as against 17,559 in 2007, the highest in two consecutive years.
Mr Kesse said the hospital recorded three maternal deaths in 2009 and said measures had been put in place to prevent its recurrence.
He said the total revenue the hospital generated had increased from GH¢589,386.29 in 2008 to GH¢711,089.49 in 2009, representing a positive deviance of 20 per cent.
Within the same period, he said its expenditure had also increased from GH¢415,695.75 in 2008 to GH¢589,386.29 in 2009, an increase of 29 per cent.
He called for the prompt re-imbursement of claims under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to ensure the sustenance of the programme.
The Omanhene of the Tepa Traditional Area, Nana Adusei Atwenewa Ampem, who chaired the function, commended the award winners and urged them to continue to work hard.
He announced that a United States based non-governmental organisation (NGO), Project Cure, would in February this year make a presentation to the hospital.


THE Ahafo-Ano North District Assembly will pay an exgratia of GH¢1,000 to its members when their four-year term of office expires this year.
This came up during the last ordinary meeting of the assembly at Tepa, the district capital.
In his address, the District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr David Addai Amankwah, admitted there was a lot of work to be done to improve the standard of living of the people in the district.
He said a number of communities were in need of roads, electricity, potable water, schools, clinics and other projects, and mentioned the assembly’s determination to meet the aspirations of the people.
The DCE said the assembly would work hard at ensuring that the district had its fair share of the national cake.
He said the assembly had not achieved its set revenue targets over the last few years, but said efforts would be made to improve revenue generation.
He said the assembly would organise workshops for revenue collectors to update their skills.
The assembly would use the Information Services Department vans to educate people on the programmes of the assembly.
The assembly, he said, would also implement development projects whenever funds were available.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


THE former Minister of Youth and Sports, Alhaji Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, has welcomed the decision by a political pressure group, the Progressive Nationalist Front (PNF), to drag him to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) over allegations of abuse of power and conflict of interest.
The former minister, who is also the MP for Asawase, told the Daily Graphic that whoever was behind the CHRAJ action should know that “l welcome the probe”
“I know I have done nothing wrong and I am ready to appear before the CHARJ whenever I am invited,” he said
Reacting to a report in an Accra private newspaper yesterday that the group had also asked the CHRAJ to investigate his travelling with his girlfriend to Germany, the former minister said all the allegations were baseless.
“They should bear in mind that going to the CHRAJ does not mean they have a case.
“I went to the ministry to serve my nation and I resigned on principle,” he stressed.
According to him, any objective person would easily know that people wanted to play politics with all that happened to him at the ministry.
“I have said it and let me repeat that the woman was not my girlfriend and I wonder why people still want to be so cruel about this,” he said.
The Asawase MP indicated that if he had done anything wrong the investigations carried out on the order of the President would have found him culpable.
Alhaji Mubarak said all those who claimed that he wrote a letter in respect of the visa request for the woman in question should be ready to produce that letter.


A KUMASI-based private legal practitioner, Mr Kwame Boafo, has initiated action to resolve the stalled New Patriotic Party (NPP) Ashanti Regional Delegates’ Congress.
“I have started the process and hope to achieve something positive in the end”, he told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi on (Tuesday).
The Kumasi High Court had placed an interlocutory injunction on the executives of the party from holding the conference, following an action brought before it by the Asante Akim North Constituency Chairman of the party, Nana Adu Asabere.
When the case was called before the court presided over by Mr Alex Boon last Monday, Mr Boafo, who happened to be in court, volunteered to have the matter settled out of court.
Consequently, the court granted leave for the lawyer to undertake the settlement process and adjourned the case to January 27, 2010.
Mr Boafo said in the interview with this paper that he had already settled similar cases involving the NPP in the Ahafo-Ano South Constituency and hoped to use his mediating skills to ensure peace in the party.
He said there was the need for peace in the activities of political parties if Ghana’s democracy was to develop.
“That is why I have decided to mediate in the issue,” he said, and called on the parties to cooperate with him to ensure peace in the Ashanti Region NPP.
Ashanti Region, which is the powerhouse of the party, has been embroiled in a legal battle over the holding of the regional congress, which was originally slated for December 31, 2009.
When it could not come off, the party again fixed January 20, 2010 for the congress with the belief that the injunction would be lifted at the last court hearing.
Scores of party supporters who were expecting that the injunction would be lifted to pave way for the congress left the court premises disappointed.
Nana Asebere, who initiated the court action contended that it was wrong for the congress to be held when about 13 constituencies had not held their congresses.
According to him, organising the regional congress would be unfair to the delegates in the affected constituencies since they would be denied the opportunity of participating in the process.


MANANGING Kumasi is undoubtedly one challenge that has confronted politicians over the years but it appears the current Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Samuel Sarpong, is on course to achieving his vision of bringing sanity into the management of the metropolis.
Imagine how you would deal with a metropolis where all manner of people claiming to be chiefs will put on cloth and walk to authorities to demand certain favours.
Again think about a city where politicians easily capitulate where traders threaten not to vote if they are not allowed to sell on pavements and streets.
But it looks like Kumasi is on the verge of witnessing a paradigm shift under the current MCE.
Nine months into his appointment he has managed to lead the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to maintain sanity in the city centre, where traders did all manner of things to the disgrace of Ghana’s second biggest city.
When he assumed the position of MCE, Mr Sarpong swore to bring sanity into the management of the metropolis, especially the city centre.
He consequently got the general assembly to approve a decongestive exercise in September 2009.
Against the backdrop of past failures, many saw the exercise as one of the mere political games but the successes achieved so far attest to the KMA chief executive’s resolve to give a new face to the management of the metropolis.
The only snag was during the Christmas festivities when traders forced their way onto the streets and pavements. But as the MCE explained, “ It was a temporary action to get the traders take advantage of the festivities.”
With the festivities over, the assembly has pushed the traders back and the streets and pavements are free again.
Perhaps the commonest nuisance that has confronted the metropolis for a considerable period is the congestion in the city centre.
Multitudes of people knocking each other, some selling on pavements and in the streets, and the ground strewn with garbage were the sordid sight of the past.
I have known the gangling Sarpong since his days as head of the Serious Fraud Office in Kumasi as someone who never compromises wrongdoing.
he never kowtowed to officialdom as he undertook his work without fear or favour.
As a result he incurred the displeasure of some government officials but always stood his grounds.
His entry into politics as KMA chief was, therefore, seen by many residents in the metropolis as one of the good things to happen to the city and he seems to be winning the hearts of many people who want the best for Kumasi.
Fortunately, he has the full backing of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who says he will support the MCE in every action he takes to make Kumasi a better place to live.
The city of Kumasi is strategically positioned. Given its strategic location and other factors, Kumasi has developed into a major commercial centre with all major trade routes converging there.
The increase in population sanitation has also brought in its wake a long-standing challenge that had confronted managers of the metropolis. The biggest chunk of the assembly’s resources is channelled into sanitation but the problem has remained unresolved.
Before Mr Sarpong assumption of office Kumasi was filthy but he quickly marshalled all the forces at his disposal to rid the city of the filth when he took office and today a considerable measure of sanity has been restored in that area.
One project that will surely add to the effective management of the city is the reconstruction of the Kumasi central market.
Considered the biggest market in West Africa, the central market regrettably has not seen any meaningful development since its construction about 70 years ago.
Residents and the thousands of traders and other people who visit the market daily will be expecting Mr Sarpong to keep his promise that the market will surely be constructed under his administration.
But, many other challenges confront the MCE as he attempts to extend his vision to ensure proper management of the city to other sectors.
One of such challenges yet to be tackled head-on is the swarm of street children who remain an eyesore in the city centre.
The pressure on teenagers to work has become great these days, not just because of economic reasons but also due to peer pressure.
Dealing with this menace to clear the mess in the city centre is something that the KMA Chief Executive and the assembly must tackle with all seriousness.
sustaining programmes undertaken so far to ensure effective management of the metropolis is very important if the chief executive is to realise his dreams for the city.
It is against this background that the writer will suggest that the MCE and the assembly must never bow to any pressure for the traders to return to the streets and pavements for even a minute.
What happened during the Christmas was not the best and the authorities should put their feet down and never bow to any form of pressure from any quarters.
Again, anyone who flouts the assembly’s bye-laws must be made to face the full rigours of the law.
It is good that the courts have fined a number of recalcitrant traders and the monies used to sustain the programme. This must continue because Kumasi deserves the best.


KUMASI Asante Kotoko failed to translate their territorial supremacy into goals last Saturday when they only managed a 1-1 draw with dethroned league leaders, Kessben FC, in an absorbing encounter at Abrankese.
Under-pressure coach Paa Kwesi Fabin had entered the half-full Anane Boateng Stadium with his charges and a mission to end the first round of the league successfully, but met a resilient Kessben that refused to capitulate in the high-tempo game.
Going down early in the 13th minute, Kotoko marshalled their forces and cancelled the goal following a flurry of attacks but the decisive second goal was always elusive. 
Repeatedly, the visitors’ supporters disagreed with some of the decisions of referee Mercy Tagoe Quarcoo against Kotoko and when she showed skipper Ofosu Appiah the red card for a second bookable offence deep inside injury, they booed in disagreement.
But it appeared the no-nonsense female referee did not take kindly to an act of dissent by the Kotoko strong defender and gave him the second yellow card.
Kessben worked to steady the ship, and their first major attack proved fruitful as Bismarck Idan ghosted past his marker to meet a deep pass before flicking the ball with his left past advancing keeper Isaac Amoako.
The Kessben defence of Bobie Ansah, Suraju Mohammed, Otuo Acheampong and Richard Adjei never appeared to have the capacity to survive the barrage of attacks, and they eventually caved in after 31 minutes when Francis Coffie slipped in to finish off a Baffour Gyan effort.

Monday, February 22, 2010


THE national congress to elect the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) may be months away but a presidential hopeful, Mr Isaac Osei, who is the MP for Subin, has already predicted that he will emerge the presidential candidate of the party for the 2012 elections.
“I know what I am doing and I believe that I will sail through”, he said in an interview in Kumasi.
The NPP plans to hold its national delegates congress before the end of 2010 to enable it prepare adequately for the next parliamentary and presidential elections.
Mr Osei said he had been going round talking to the people who matter in such electoral matters and the message was being well received.
He refused to accept suggestions that he could be a compromise candidate against the backdrop of the unhealthy rivalry between the Mr Alan Kyerematen and Nana Akufo-Addo camps.
“Calling somebody a compromise candidate could mean the person not having the credentials to lead the party. But my records in politics, and in the civil and public services put me high up there“, he stressed.
“That in no way is to belittle the other potential candidates, “ he said, adding that both Nana Akufo-Addo and Mr Kyerematen were strong politicians.
Mr Osei said in politics it was good to compare records but that per se could not win elections. “A number of things go into winning an election and that is what I am seriously working on”, he added.
He indicated that the party needed a paradigm shift in order to face the NDC in 2012. Mr Osei was, however, not happy about recent developments in the party where insults and intimidation seemed to be taking a good part of the party’s activities.
“We need to work together in order to achieve our vision of winning back power”, he said. That notwithstanding, Mr Osei expressed the hope that the party would come out of the challenges after the national conference to elect national executives.


THE Member of Parliament (MP) for Subin, Mr Isaac Osei, has stressed the need for the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to make difficult choices in its quest to redevelop the Kumasi Central Market.
He said, for instance, that it might be difficult asking the numerous traders in the market to relocate to pave the way for reconstruction of the market, “but there is no choice for the KMA in the situation it finds itself.”
“There are times you have to take the political risk and make choices that will have lasting benefits,” he said.
Mr Osei, who stated this after inspecting the burnt portions of the market, said proper planning was the surest way of solving the perennial fire outbreak in the market.
The Kumasi Central Market falls in the Subin Constituency, and the MP used the opportunity to console the victims.
He noted that the move by KMA to take interim measures to reconstruct the burnt portions of the market could be problematic, as the victims had already started rebuilding their stores and stalls on their own.
The MP stated that after the fire outbreak in the market last year, he made a statement in Parliament on the need for the nation to take holistic view about market development.
Mr Osei hinted that he would remind Parliament of the need to pursue the issue to ensure sanity in the system.
He informed the victims, most of whom were women, to operate within the bye-laws of the KMA.
He promised to meet the KMA Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Sarpong, to find out how the victims could be supported to assuage their predicament.
He told the people that the MPs Common Fund was not enough to address their problems, but expressed hope that something useful would come out of the meeting with the KMA Chief Executive.
“All the people who lost property here are Ghanaians, and I think as a nation, we have to look at their predicament,” he said.


The Atwima Nwabiagya District Police have mounted a search for the district secretary of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Mr Badu Kodua, for allegedly embezzling an unspecified amount of money belonging to some teachers in the area.
The monies were said to be loans the GNAT national office granted some teachers but which found their way into the pocket of the fugitive district GNAT boss.
Sources close to the GNAT said all attempts by the police to locate him since he deserted office about two months ago had proved futile.
One of the affected female teachers told the Daily Graphic that the GNAT requested interested members to apply for loans.
The teacher, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed that Kodua told her to exercise patience, since the loan would surely be granted.
She said Kodua had been playing the “go and come” tricks on her at his office at Nkawie anytime she inquired of her loan.
She said upon a tip-off given her, she only realised that Kodua had cashed the money from the bank and kept it.
Another victim also told this paper that he applied for a loan of GH¢500.00 but was not given the full amount.
He alleged that his regular visits to the secretary’s office and other efforts to have his loan had all proved futile.
The new District GNAT Secretary, Mr George Gyimah, who has been posted to the district from Tepa for barely a month now, confirmed the allegation but could not give details.
Mr Abraham K. Bonsu, the Ashanti Regional Secretary of GNAT, also confirmed the allegation and stated that it happened at get time Mr Kodua was about to retire.
He explained that the GNAT national office commissioned auditors to look into the books at the district office.
Mr Bonsu said he had no power to disclose the amount the suspect allegedly embezzled and indicated that that could only be done by the GNAT National Office.


SOME traders at the Kumasi Central Market have started rebuilding their stores and stalls, which got burnt in a fire outbreak at the French Line portion of the market last Saturday.
During a visit to the site by the Daily Graphic yesterday, masons and carpenters were seen busily working to re-construct the burnt structures.
When contacted, the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Sarpong, said the ultimate objective of the assembly was to get the market reconstructed.
He, however, said much as the assembly would not immediately stop the traders from rebuilding their burnt structures, nobody should blame the assembly in the event of any future destruction to pave the way for proper development of the place.
The market was engulfed in a blaze in the early hours of Saturday, destroying more than 800 stores and stalls.


Wa All Stars forced Kumasi Asante Kotoko to drop vital home points when the two sides drew goalless at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi yesterday.
Hardly could Kotoko find the energy and drive to turn the styles, and All Stars kept Kotoko to the ropes in the dying minutes as the visitors probed for the leader.
A lithany of poor finishing from striker Nathaniel Asamoah robbed All Stars of victory as on four occassions in the match as he directed his shots away from scoring positions.
The twin-strike force of Kabiru Imoro and Louis Agyeman settled into the game after the quarter hour mark and with support services from Edward Affum and Ganinyu Yahyah, Kotoko controlled the game but keeper Albert Babuo who performed brilliantly denied Kabiru and Samuel Oppong on the 25th and 26th minutes respectively.
Samuel Oppong was injured after 32 minutes and was substituted by Francis Coffie who was in action shooting at goal and flashing the ball across the face of goal at the least opportunity.


AN aspirant for the Ashanti Regional Secretary position of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr J.K. Owusu-Boakye, has cautioned the party against electing armchair leaders who only make noise but cannot act.
He said a regional secretary, for instance, was not only meant to be writing minutes and letters, as some people believed.
“The secretary must always be on the field, collating information that would strategically position the party to develop and this is what I am going to do,” he said.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi, Mr Owusu-Boakye aka Abito, said complacency must be avoided if the party wants to build a true stronghold in the region.
He said the non-performance of the NDC as a government was not a guarantee that the NPP would capture power in 2012.
“We therefore need dedicated leadership that will work to win at least 90 per cent of the votes in Ashanti in 2012,” he said.
Mr Owusu-Boakye said as “a strategic thinker” he would complement the efforts of other executive members to make the Ashanti Region a no-go area for the NDC.
“The votes in Ashanti are crucial for our victory and we must cut the NDC to size here,” he said.
He added that the NPP needed to plug all the loopholes that allowed the NDC to win some votes in the region, in the 2008 elections.
Mr Owusu-Boakye said he was in the race to ensure credibility, fairness and firmness to defend the good record of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition.
He said the NPP needed to work on getting the floating voters to their side and promised to use his experience to work on that.
Mr Owusu-Boakye stated that the record of the NPP in its eight years in government was positive and expressed regret that the NDC government was destroying what the NPP built.
He said the NPP needed people who would be able sell the party in the region.
“I am in the race to give sound, credible and new paradigm shift of ideas needed to retool and re-engineer the fortunes of NPP in the Ashanti Region,” he said.