Wednesday, March 31, 2010


ATHE young Afigya Kwabre District Assembly in the Ashanti Region wants to make the most out of the coming Easter celebration.
On occasions such as this, when many communities plan and organise various activities to support their development initiatives, the district assembly is scheduled to hold its first-ever homecoming event for the district.
Realising that the people cannot rely on the central government alone to provide all their needs, the assembly hopes a homecoming event, which is one sure way of putting the district on a firm ground in its development process.
Homecoming is one event that many communities use to portray what they have as a way of attracting investment.
It is therefore not surprising that Afigya Kwabre has decided to organise the first-ever homecoming on Easter Monday, April 5, this year, at Kodie, the district capital, in order to sell the district to the outside world.
It would definitely be a fitting event, considering the challenges facing the district.
On that day, the district assembly, in conjunction with the traditional authorities, would also honour some citizens who have contributed to raise the image of the district. 
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Kaakyire Oppong Kyekyeku, did not name citizens to be honoured when he spoke with this writer.
“We want to keep it to ourselves in order not to take the beauty out of the event,” he said.
The district has a number of people in responsible positions, and on that day people like Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, (former First Lady,) Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah and Mr Owusu Ansah, both Members of Parliament (MPs), and Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, the General Manager (Newspapers) of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, would be in attendance.
“Our illustrious citizens are role models to the young ones and we need to bring them home for the young ones to see them,” the DCE said.
As a young district, Afigya Kwabre is confronted with a myriad of challenges, some of which look difficult to overcome, considering the resource base of the assembly.
Three years into the creation of the district, the assembly has, for instance, serious accommodation problems, which need to be addressed to encourage staff to stay and work there.
Some school infrastructure and roads are also in bad state, calling for immediate repairs.
Efforts by the assembly to use its share of the Common Fund to tackle many of the projects have been very unsuccessful, because it is not enough to cover all projects in the district.
These and others are the reasons why the assembly wants to use the homecoming to lay bare to the citizens the challenges facing the district.
“When the citizens come, they would see the real challenges themselves and, together, we will see how to overcome them and go ahead to market our district,” Mr Oppong Kyekyeku said.
On the occasion of the homecoming, a technical committee would be constituted to work out modalities for the setting up of a rural bank for the district.
The DCE believes this is a laudable initiative that will yield benefits to the people.
The district provides opportunities for investment, but attracting them has been the problem. Consequently, the results of the homecoming must show positively in the investment area. 


THE chief of Adansi Akrofuom, Nana Osei Asibey Bonsu, has cautioned his people against acts that would portray the town as lawless.
Nana Bonsu expressed regret that the town, which was known for peace and self-help development, was gradually taking a U-turn because of chieftaincy.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in response to a recent development where police had to beef up security in the town for the burial of a member of the royal family, the late Fanny Theresa Rigg Steward, aka Auntie Awura Abena, Nana Bonsu said, “We cannot allow such situations to tarnish the image of our town”.
He accused one Kwaku Nyame, who he said, had been portraying himself illegally as head of the royal family for the presence of the police.
“He misinformed the police about a court injunction on the burial of our late sister, and this prompted the Buffalo Unit to come to Akrofuom,” he said.
Nana Bonsu produced a letter written by Mr Nyame on June 7, 1995, in which he (Nyame) informed the then Akrofuomhene, Nana Okai Ababio, about his abdication as family head.
He said it was therefore strange that the same person could now turn to declare himself as head of family, saying such acts could disturb the peace of the area.
Nana Bonsu thus called on the people to be wary of characters whose activities were dangerous to the peace and development of Akrofuom.


A severe rainstorm hit three communities in the Sekyere South District of the Ashanti Region last Monday, causing massive destruction to property and rendering about 600 people homeless.
The predominantly farming communities are Aframaso, Bedumase and Bepoa.
Some of the victims are putting up with family members and other residents.
Three people of Aframaso, including two schoolchildren who were in school during the rainstorm, received minor injuries.
The extent of destruction was very heavy at Aframaso, where about 23 buildings including three schools were affected.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Edward K. Ayarkwah, told the Daily Graphic on telephone from Agona, the district capital, that “the destruction is massive and we can only appeal to NADMO and other organisations to come in to help”.
He said currently the affected schools were facing difficulty in securing classrooms for academic work to continue.
He indicated that the rainstorm started at about 1 p.m. and out of fear some of the schoolchildren attempted to run away resulting in their injuries.
Mr Ayarkwa stated that the assembly would have to find ways of accommodating the pupils.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


THE Omanhene of Ofoase in the Asante Akim South District in the Ashanti Region, Nana Atrefum Ampratwum, is on admission at the Agogo Hospital after being shot three times in his room at the palace by an unidentified gunman early hours of Sunday morning.
While the fate of the Omanhene hangs in the balance, the head of the royal family collapsed and died from shock after seeing the Omanhene in a pool of blood.
The remains of the abusupanin, whose name was not immediately known, have been deposited at the Agogo Hospital for autopsy.
The Omanhene, said to be in his late 60s, was shot three times in the chest, leg and hand. The police found spent shells at the scene of the incident
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr De Graft Forkuo, who confirmed this in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said he had personally gone to the hospital to see the Omanhene.
“Doctors told me they had removed some pellets from the body and that he is in a stable condition so we are praying that he gets well,” the DCE said.
The police, according to Mr Forkuo, had invited three people for questioning over the shooting.
The cause of the shooting was not immediately known, but it was suspected to be linked to a chieftaincy dispute in the town.
Last Thursday, a planned installation of a new queen for the area was called off after the District Security Committee (DISEC) advised against it for security reasons.
Quoting eyewitnesses, the DCE said the incident happened at about 1a.m yesterday at the time the Omanhene was asleep in the palace.
He said Nana Ampratwum heard someone knock at his door and thinking that it was someone from the palace, he decided to come out.
Immediately he opened the door, the gunman fired at him three times from close range and bolted.
As the chief fell down in a pool of blood, his abusuapanin who might have thought he was dead, shouted, “They have killed Nana.”
He then collapsed and died minutes later while being rushed to hospital.
The DCE condemned the incident and urged the police to do everything possible to apprehend the culprit.
He said the security situation in the town was calm and there was no cause for alarm.

Monday, March 29, 2010


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Ashanti Regional Secretariat of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has hinted of the possibility of conducting thorough investigations into the popularity vote conducted on Nana Akufo-Addo and Alan Kyerematen in the New Edubiase Constituency last week.
Mr F.F. Anto, the Regional Chairman of the party said the investigations would help establish whether any party guru was behind the act.
Already, the constituency executive have explained that they conducted the exercise without prompting or influence of anyone.
However, the regional chairman said there could be more to the exercise.
The so-called Nana Akufo-Addo/Alan Kyeremanten power struggle took an ugly turn in the Ashanti Region last Wednesday when the New Edubiase Constituency, one of the three orpharned constituencies of the party in the region conducted the mock polls.
However, the regional secretariat of the party moved in and stopped it.
Mr Anto said the exercise was organised by the constituency executive of the party under the chairmanship of Mr Prince Boahen.
He stated that he had to stop it because it was unnecessary.
He pointed out that the exercise would not serve the party’s interest in any way.
According to him, word reached him in the afternoon of Wednesday that the exercise was underway in the constituency.
“I called the constituency chairman and questioned him about exercise and his explanation showed they did it out of ignorance,” Mr Anto said.
Asked whether any party big shot was behind the exercise, Mr Anto said, “At the moment I don’t think so”.
“We do mock examinations and not mock elections especially at this period when no one has officially come out to declare his candidature,” he stressed.
Mr Anto cautioned party members against acts that would derail their forward match towards victory 2012 saying, “I think we have to be careful about the way we handle some of these issues because they can create problems for us”.
The regional chairman pointed out that the result the constituency executives would have obtained would not have helped the party in any way.
He stated that when he spoke with the constituency chairman he was very apologetic.
“The constituency chairman is a gentleman and I believe he did that out of ignorance,” he said.
New Edubiase is one of the three constituencies in the Ashanti Region that the NDC won in the 2008 elections.
The regional chairman said, “We are working hard to win the constituency in 2012 and that is what we have to concentrate on rather than thinking about the popularity of someone or another in the area”.
He expressed the hope that the constituency executive would channel their energies towards defeating the NDC in the constituency.


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE planned May 9 commemorative match between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak appears to be in limbo.
This was after Kumasi Asante Kotoko pulled out of the match.
According to the management of Kotoko, their action stemmed form an earlier statement by Hearts of Oak that they would never play any non-competitive match with Kotoko.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports set up a committee to plan and organise activities in commemoration of May 9 Accra stadium disaster.
The committee was among other things to organise a commemorative match between the two giants.
A statement issued on behalf of the sector Minister Ms Akua Sena Dansua, by Kofi Aggrey, Public Relations Officer of the Ministry, said the Committee was made up of representatives from Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko, Ghana Football Association (GFA), Ghana League Clubs Association, (GHALCA), Referees Association of Ghana (RAG) and the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG).
Nii Nortey Dua, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, was named the chairman of the committee.
The Accra Sports Stadium disaster occurred on May 9, 2001. It took the lives of 126 people, making it the worst stadium disaster to have ever taken place in Africa.
It occurred during a match between Ghana's two most successful football teams, Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.
The home side scored two late goals to defeat Kotoko 2-1, which led to disappointed Kotoko fans throwing plastic seats and bottles onto the pitch.
The response to the crowd disturbance from the police was to fire tear gas into them.
Panic ensued and a resulting stampede led to the deaths from compressive asphyxia of 127 people.


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

KUMASI Asante Kotoko have rejected moves by Bernard Don Bortey to join the club.
The Hearts of Oak player last week expressed interest in joining Asante Kotoko after playing for Hearts for nine years.
He told some radio stations in Kumasi that he had contacted Sarfo Gyamfi, a management member of Kotoko, over his decision to join Kotoko.
Bortey admitted having a contract with Hearts, but said he did not want to have anything to do with the club again.
He was not particularly happy about what he described as his mistreatment at Hearts.
According to him, after long years with the team, it appeared some people are still not pleased with his efforts.
He, therefore, pleaded with the management of Hearts to terminate his contract so he could join any club of his choice.
Bortey stated that he still has football in him and added he has a lot to offer as a player should he join Kotoko.
However, in a swift response, the management of Kotoko said they had no interest in the player.
According to the management, Bortey could look elsewhere and not Kotoko, if he had lost interest in Hearts.
This is the second time Don Bortey had expressed interest in joining Kotoko.
In the first case about five seasons ago, he even trained with Kotoko only to vamoose without their knowledge.
He was alleged to have taken some money from Kotoko at the time and never returned it.
The Kotoko management might have leant a lesson from the past and decided to stay off the player this time.
But opinion was divided within the support base of Kotoko about the player’s desire to join the club.
While some of the supporters welcomed the news, others said it would be disastrous for management to go for the attacker.
To those who welcomed the move, Bortey might have regretted what he did to Kotoko in the past and was thus, ready to play his part in building Kotoko this time round.
According to them, the player is still a force in Ghana football and his presence in Kotoko can change things for the better.
They argued that Kotoko lacked experience players who can encouraged the young ones, and also turn difficult matches around for the team.
They, therefore, urged management to go in for the player.
However, the pessimists insisted that the player could hardly change and that his desired move could be one of his usual tricks.
They further indicated that Bortey’s form had dipped and could therefore, not be better than the present Kotoko players.


ARIVER blindness (onchocerciasis) is finding its way back to the northern parts of the country, the Minister of Health, Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, has revealed.
The minister, therefore, asked optometrists in the country to play a key role in controlling the disease.
“The ministry is looking at how the impact of optometry, as a primary health care profession, can be felt at the district level.”
Dr Kunbuor stated this at the second oath-swearing and induction ceremony of 36 newly qualified doctors of optometry at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi last Saturday.
Thirty-one of the new doctors were trained at the KNUST while five were trained at the University of Cape Coast (UCC).
River blindness is a parasitic disease caused by a large tissue roundworm that spreads from person to person through the bites of black flies.
There are drugs against onchocerciacis; however, there is no perfect cure yet.
The minister stressed the need for the establishment of a qualified body to regulate the optometry profession in the country.
He said the absence of a regulatory body had resulted in unethical practices within the profession, while unqualified persons had also infiltrated the system.
He said it was to address those and other challenges that the government had initiated action for the passage of the Health Professions Regulatory Bill.
According to the minister, the bill would soon go to the Cabinet for onward placement before Parliament, giving an assurance that, “We will make sure the Bill is put into operation in the shortest possible time.”
With the passing out of the new doctors to augment the existing optometry strength, the minister said, “The nation looks forward to a greater opportunity for every Ghanaian to have a comprehensive eye-care services, eradication of preventable blindness, as well as other provisions of the Vision 2020”.
The Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa, said the need for adequate manpower in the eye-care sub-sector could not be overlooked.
“Our countrymen especially those in the deprived areas continue to suffer from several eye-care problems, most of which are preventable, as a result of the shortage of optometrists and other eye-care professionals.
“As a result several people have had to resort to unorthodox means and methods of treating eye problems, the results of which practice have not been desirable,” he said.
Since the establishment of the Department of Optometry and Visual Science in 1991, it has trained 60 optometrists with postgraduate degrees and 79 graduates with Doctor of Optometry degrees.
The Vice Chancellor stated that the department also undertook a number of community projects, one of which was the “Ashanti Vision Project” at Ayeduase, which was a collaborative effort between the university and other bodies.
The Head of the Department of Optometry and Visual Sciences, KNUST, Dr (Mrs) Angela Ofeibea Amedo, said about one per cent of the Ghanaian population was blind while another 2.3 per cent suffered from low vision from all causes of blindness including cataract, glaucoma and uncorrected refractive efforts.
Three prizes were awarded to deserving graduates. They include the Canada Optical laboratory Prizes for Best Graduating Doctor of Optometry, which went to Dr Afua Asantewaa from the KNUST and Dr Andrew Owusu-Ansah from the UCC.
The Ghana Optometric Association Prize for the best student in the professional qualifying examinations went to Dr A. Morny Enyam Komla.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


A Mamprusi woman who wore a T-shirt regarded as provocative by Kusasis, has triggered clashes between sections of the two ethnic groups at the Cola Market at Asawase in Kumasi.
The clashes appear to be a spillover of the conflict between the two ethnic groups in Bawku in the Upper East Region.
Following the clashes, in which one Mamprusi man was injured on the head, a contingent of the police has been sent to the Zongo area to maintain order to avert further clashes as efforts were being made to reconcile the feuding parties.
A police source which briefed the Daily Graphic refuted an eyewitness account that the combatants used weapons including AK 47 assault rifles.
“So far no evidence suggests that guns were used,” the source said.
The clash was said to have started when some Kusasi men confronted the Mamprusi woman at the market for wearing a T-shirt.
The Kusasis also had a T-shirt which the Mamprusis saw as equally provocative.
Both shirts are worn during the celebrations of their festivals back home.
In the course of the skirmishes, one Mamprusi man was injured and he made a report to the police.
After taking control of the situation, the regional police invited the leadership of the two groups, as well as leaders of the Cola Market and representatives of the Zongo chiefs, to a meeting to ensure peace in the area.
Personnel of National Security also attended the meeting.
At the meeting, the source said, the two groups conceded that the T-shirts brought about the trouble.
The police, therefore, endorsed the agreement between the groups that henceforth no one should wear any of the so-called provocative T-shirts.

Friday, March 26, 2010


THE 1999 Year Group of the Opoku Ware Senior High School (AKATAKYIE 1999) in Kumasi has donated 18 buckets of paints for a beautification programme of the school.
The items would be used to paint the classroom/library block.
Making the donation, the leader of the group, Mr Daniel Appiah, said they appreciated what the school had done for them and were always ready to support its development.
He described Opoku Ware School as a highly disciplined institution with huge academic records and expressed the hope that students who passed through the school would help maintain that enviable record.
The Headmaster of the school, Mr Stephen Anokye, who received the items, thanked the group for the gesture and gave the assurance that the items would be used for the purpose for which they were donated.
He commended the old boys for their continuous support towards the school and urged them to maintain the spirit.


THE Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr F.F. Anto, has stopped a mock election in the New Edubiase Constituency to test the popularity of Nana Akufo-Addo and Mr Alan Kyerematen as possible presidential candidates of the party.
Indeed, the process was ongoing when word reached the regional secretariat of the party.
The exercise was organised by the constituency executive of the party under the chairmanship of Mr Prince Boahen.
“I had to go in to stop it because the exercise was unnecessary,” Mr Anto told the Daily Graphic.
“It would not have served the party’s interest in any way and I think it was a useless venture,” Mr Anto said.
According to him, word reached him in the afternoon of last Wednesday that the exercise was underway in the constituency.
“I called the constituency chairman and questioned him about the exercise and his explanation showed they did it out of ignorance,” Mr Anto said.
Asked whether any party big shot was behind the exercise, Mr Anto said, “I don’t think so.”
“I don’t think either Alan or Nana Addo had something to do with it. “We do mock examinations and not mock elections especially at this period when no one has officially come out to declare his candidature,” he stressed.
Mr Anto cautioned party members against acts that would derail their forward match towards victory in 2012, saying, “I think we have to be careful about the way we handle some of these issues because they can create problems for us.”
The regional chairman pointed out that the result the constituency executives would have got would not have helped the party in any way.
He stated that the constituency chairman was very apologetic when he spoke with him.
“The constituency chairman is a gentleman and I believe he did that out of ignorance,” he said.
New Edubiase is one of the three constituencies in the Ashanti Region that the NPP lost in the 2008 elections.
The regional chairman said, “We are working hard to win the constituency in 2012 and that is what we have to concentrate on rather than thinking about the popularity of someone or another in the area.”
He expressed the hope that the constituency executive would channel its energies towards defeating the NDC in the constituency.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


THE Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has stated that demands for upward adjustments in utility tariffs must be based on efficient services to consumers.
He said there could be no justification for increases in tariffs in the midst of unending inefficiencies from the utility providers.
Mr Mahama stated this at the inauguration of the Ghana Grid Company Limited’s (GRIDCo’s) Kumasi-Obuasi Transmission Reinforcement Project in Kumasi yesterday.
The Government of Ghana funded the project, estimated at US$6,677,907.26, and it involved the turnkey construction of approximately 55km of 161kV transmission line from Kumasi to Obuasi. It was completed in 18 months.
The project would facilitate the reinforcement of the transmission supply arrangements into Kumasi to reliably evacuate the increasing power needs of consumers at the major load centres of Kumasi, Obuasi, Kenyasi and through Techiman to the northern parts of the country.
Mr Mahama emphasised that while some tariff increases in electricity might be necessary now, consumers must see visible improvements in services so that any future increases could be justified.
He said the fact that the project was started during the Kufuor administration and completed under the Mills government demonstrated the government’s resolve to continue with all viable projects started by the previous administration.
Mr Mahama said the government was aware of the bottlenecks in the power sector and was working very hard through the sector ministry to address them.
“Indeed the government is supporting GRIDCo to stand on its feet by providing it with the finances to develop new Bulk Supply Substations in Kintampo and Atebubu.
“In addition, the government is also collaborating with the Korean Government and some funding agencies to secure financing for the 330kV transmission line from Aboadze through Prestea to Kumasi and then to Han,” Mr Mahama said.
He further indicated that the government was collaborating with the West African Power Pool (WAPP) Secretariat to secure €14.4 million for the construction of the 48-km stretch transmission line from Han to Burkina Faso.
Stressing the need for sub-regional power projects, the Vice-President said it would not be in the interest of Ghana to pursue independent power policy from the sub-regional wholesale market.
The Minister of Energy, Dr Joe Oteng Agyei, disclosed that the government had secured a $10 million facility to extend electricity to 50 communities in the Ashanti Region and 29 in the Eastern Region.
He further noted that other projects like the Self Help Electrification project (SHEP) was being expanded to 141 communities nationwide.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

OUSE MOVES TO RESTORE PEACE...Between Otumfuo, Techimanhene (page 31, MARCH 24, 2010)

THE National House of Chiefs (NHC) has begun moves to reconcile the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and the Techimanhene, Oseadeyo Akumfi Ameyaw IV, over the Tuobodom-Techiman chieftaincy feud.
Last Monday, the standing committee of the House had “fruitful” discussions with the Asantehene, who assured the House of his resolve to continue to promote the development of the chieftaincy institution and ensure peace in the aftermath of the upheavals.
The President of the NHC, Wulugu Naba Naa Pugansoa Prof. John S. Nabila, who made this known, said the standing committee would, on March 27, 2010, hold similar discussions with the Techimanhene.
Naa Prof. Nabila, who was speaking at the first general meeting of the NHC in Kumasi yesterday, expressed the hope that the process would promote reconciliation and find a solution to the problem for the benefit of the nation.
He noted the challenges facing the chieftaincy institution and called for the full co-operation of all chiefs who cherished the role of the institution in the development of the nation.
Naa Prof. Nabila gave the assurance that the NHC would live up to expectation, as stipulated in the 1992 Constitution.
He mentioned inadequate budgetary allocation as one of the challenges facing the House, saying the situation had prevented it from continuing a laudable programme like the codification of lines of succession of chiefs.
“Currently, only 11 of the reports on lines of succession to stools/skins have been converted into draft legislative instruments and these will be presented to the Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture for submission to the Attorney- General for necessary action,” he said.
The NHC President said the various judicial committees within the various houses of chiefs were not functioning well due to lack of funds.
The Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, Mr Alex Asum-Ahensan, later launched the first edition of the Chieftaincy Bulletin, which is intended to serve as the mouthpiece of the House.
The Konrad Adenauer Foundation funded the publication of the bulletin.
Mr Asum-Ahensan commended chiefs for coming out with the publication and expressed the hope that the publication would help address some of the issues confronting the institution.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


THE Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has stated that the government will not interfere in the Tuobodom-Techiman chieftaincy feud because it does not have the constitutional authority to do so.
He said even though the government was concerned about the development, it would leave everything to the traditional authorities that had the constitutional mandate to go into such matters and take decisions on them.
Speaking to journalists after paying a private visit to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the Manhyia Palace last Saturday, the Vice-President said the government would continue to respect the constitutional provision that prevented it from indulging in matters relating to chieftaincy.
He expressed the hope that the traditional machinery would find a lasting solution to the Techiman-Tuobodom affair.
He, however, called for peace between the Asanteman Council and Techiman Traditional Council in the aftermath of the accusations and counter-accusations over the alleged kidnapping of the Tuobodomhene, Nana Asare Baffour II, by agents of the Techimanhene.
He said the government was concerned about recent unfortunate developments between the two traditional areas and expressed the hope that peace would reign.
Even though the Vice-President’s mission to Manhyia was not disclosed, it was believed to have centred on how to broker peace in the troubled Techiman-Tuobodom area.
Three people died from gunshots and four were injured on March 6, 2010, when clashes broke out in Tuobodom over the chieftaincy conflict.
That was after supporters of the Tuobodom Omanhene had protested against the detention of the chief in police cells after agents of the Techimanhene, Oseadeyo Akumfi Ameyaw IV, had allegedly kidnapped and assaulted him at the Techiman palace.
At the Asanteman Council meeting last week, the Asantehene, who is the Overlord of the Tuobodom Omanhene, condemned the attack on the Omanhene and chastised the police in the Brong Ahafo Region for failing to bring the Techimanhene to order.
Tension rose in Kumasi and Techiman, with some of the youth taking the law into their own hands to misbehave, but the situation calmed down after a government delegation had held talks with the Asantehene and the Techimanhene.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Police Crime Officer and the Wenchi Divisional Police Officer have been transferred in what many believe is related to the disturbances at Tuobodom.
However, the Police Administration explained that the transfers were not related to the incidents and that they were part of routine police transfers.

Monday, March 22, 2010

2010 Admissions to SHS...GLOOMY, BUT...Govt poised to address problems (LEAD STORY, MARCH 22, 2010)

WITH six months remaining for the government to implement the four-year senior high school (SHS) programme, the Ministry of Education has tasked groups of consultants who are working feverishly on how to address the problem of additional classrooms and dormitories to accommodate new students.
The completion of the work of the consultants, which is being fast-tracked, will enable the government to take a firm decision on how more than 140,000 junior high school (JHS) students who are due for admission to SHS in September this year can begin their academic work without any hitch.
As a result of the introduction of the four-year SHS in 2007, many SHSs are faced with the lack of adequate classrooms and dormitories for the increased number of students.
A source at the Ministry of Education, who disclosed this to the Graphic in Accra last Friday, allayed the fears of the public concerning the smooth transition from the three-year SHS to four years and said a solution to the problem would certainly be found.
The assurance of the Ministry of Education comes against the backdrop of reports from the regions that SHSs may not be able to admit new JHS students for SHS programmes because of lack of space and facilities.
The source said the government was committed to pursuing its agenda of investing in the people and implementing its educational programmes.
“We are collating the various suggestions being put out and once that is done, we will take a decision,” it said.
It hinted that an amendment to the Education Act to change the four-year SHS to three years had been drafted and approved by Cabinet and that would be laid before Parliament on Wednesday, March 24, 2010.
The House is expected to approve the bill when it resumes in May 2010.
From Kumasi, some SHSs in the Ashanti Region have warned that they will not be able to admit fresh students for the next academic year if the necessary infrastructure is not put in place, reports Kwame Asare Boadu.
The heads of the schools contended that current classroom and residential accommodation available was not enough to meet the change-over of the SHS from three to four years and that it was incumbent on the government to save the situation.
The Headmaster of the Anglican SHS in Kumasi, Rev Canon Emmanuel Yaw Brobe-Mensah, told the Daily Graphic that he had told the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of the school to find ways of helping the school, without which there could not be any admission of SHS One students in September.
He stated that the PTA had agreed to levy each student GHҐ10 for the provision of an additional classroom block, adding, however, that that “is not enough under the present circumstances”.
Rev. Canon Brobe-Mensah said the school needed seven additional classrooms immediately.
“If we get this, then we can be sure to admit students to SHS One,” he added.
The Anglican SHS is one of the model schools that benefited from a number for projects during the NPP administration but the headmaster said unfortunately “no classroom blocks were provided”.
The Headmistress of Jachie Pramso SHS, Ms Afuande Eshun, said the school needed eight additional classrooms to be able to admit fresh students.
“If not, we cannot admit even one person in September,” she said in an interview.
She, therefore, urged the authorities to come in to prevent what could be a major setback in the educational sector.
Painting the same picture, the Assistant Headmaster (Academic) of the T.I. Ahmadiyya SHS, Mr Ernest Oppong Poku, said the main challenge facing the school was the lack of infrastructure, saying more needed to be provided immediately.
He said there was the need to complete a 12-unit classroom block, the construction of which had been in abeyance, to facilitate academic work.
He indicated that there was congestion in the dormitories, arguing that even if the school would admit students to SHS One, most of them would have to be day students.
With regard to teachers, the heads said the schools did not have a problem with them.
From Koforidua, A. Kofoya-Tetteh reports that most of the SHSs in the region are not prepared to admit new students at the beginning of the academic year in September due to lack of classrooms and dormitories.
The situation is serious at the Ghana SHS and the Koforidua SHS, which have virtually no extra classrooms and dormitories.
An additional 17 classrooms are needed at the Ghana SHS but there is no hope that they will be provided by September this year.
According to the Assistant Headmaster (Administration) of the school, Mr Jacob Afful, apart from the lack of classrooms and dormitories, the dining hall also had to be expanded, since its present size could not cater for additional students.
He said the school was currently not prepared to take in additional students in September and indicated that the administration had filled a form from the Ghana Education Service stipulating its needs and expressed the hope that the challenges would be met before the commencement of the new academic year.
Lack of dormitory facilities has been identified as one of the major challenges facing SHSs in the Upper East Region ahead of the 2010/2011 academic year in September this year, reports Benjamin Xornam Glover, Bolgatanga.
In an interview with heads of SHSs in Bolgatanga, the common challenge which ran through was the unavailability of dormitories to accommodate new students.
The Headmaster of Bawku SHS, Mr Bismark Simon Kpuli, said the school would have no option but admit new students as day students.
According to him, all the 1,784 students in the boarding house were there under difficult conditions and that until an additional dormitory was provided, it would be difficult to admit more students to the boarding house.
For her part, the Headmistress of Bolgatanga SHS, Mrs Francisca Yizura, expressed the hope that work on the new 12- unit classroom block would be completed on time to accommodate the new students.
She said the major challenge would be accommodation in the boarding house but indicated that the school authorities would meet the PTA and the board to discuss the options available to them.
Mrs Yizura, who is a member of the Upper East Regional executive of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Senior High Schools (CHASS), said the problems associated with the introduction of the new reform had been presented to the Director-General of the GES for the necessary action and solution.
From Wa, Chris Nunoo reports that accommodation for students who will be admitted to SHS next academic year seems to be the headache of most heads in the Upper West Region.
This is because many of the schools are presently grappling with lack of classroom blocks, dormitories, dining halls and furniture.
A visit to the Wa Senior High Technical School in the Wa municipality by the Daily Graphic revealed a shocking situation, with students having to convert classrooms into sleeping places after regular classes.
The situation is so appalling that it needs to be tackled as quickly as possible.
The school, situated at the centre of the Wa, has a population of about 494 students. Out of the number, about 95 per cent live on the compound, even though it has no boarding facilities.
In an interview, the Headmistress of the school, Ms Leocadia Zakpala, explained that though it did not have boarding facilities, it had been compelled to host students because majority of them came from very far villages.
She said as a result of the situation, desks had to be taken away from many of the classrooms after classes for students to sleep in them in the night.
Ms Zakpala was very concerned about where the new batch of students would have their lessons, since already there was so much pressure on classroom facilities in the school.
“You will not believe this but during examinations we run a shift system where one batch of students write after which another batch moves in. This is all because there are no halls or classrooms to accommodate students during examinations,” she lamented.
“So if we say we are going to admit fresh students, where will they sleep?” Ms Zakpala asked, and appealed to the contractors working on a new hostel, a classroom and a dining hall to speed up the work.
The Wa SHS is overcrowded, with the classrooms accommodating between 50 and 60 students, instead of a maximum of 45 students in a classroom.
The Headmaster of the school, Mr Jonas N Maari, was not happy about the situation, saying, "If we are to admit the next batch of students, then it is going to be a big problem on our hands.”
He mentioned lack of classroom accommodation, dormitories and furniture as the major concerns of the school at the moment.
The Daffiama SHS in the Nadowli District and the Lawra SHS are both confronted with similar challenges which call for a quick solution to enhance the admission of the next batch of students.
The implementation of the four-year SHS programme may run into serious difficulties if the government is not able to apply a fast-track intervention to provide additional infrastructure to solve the acute classroom and dormitory accommodation problems facing majority of schools in the Volta Region, writes Tim Dzamboe from Ho.
This came to light when the Daily Graphic interviewed some headmasters on the challenges their schools might face with respect to admissions in the next academic year.
The Headmaster of Kpedze SHS, Mr M.K. Arku, said the school needed at least 18 classrooms to ameliorate the situation of inadequate classrooms facing the school.
He said there was inadequate dormitory space, inadequate staff accommodation on the compound and inadequate number of computers in the laboratory.
The Headmaster of Awudome SHS, Mr Cyprian Kwasivi Otti said, “We don’t have classroom and dormitory accommodation and the government should come up with a package to salvage the situation before October this year.”
He said right now he was in a quandary and did not know what to do, especially whether the students should be admitted as day students.
In the case of the Kpeve SHS, many structures have already been converted into classrooms and the school will not be able to cope with the pressure when the new batch of students is admitted in September 2010.
The Headmaster, Mr S.K. Kudaya, said a pavilion which could accommodate 100 students was urgently needed, adding that an 18-unit classroom block would be ideal.
He said the needs of the school were numerous, including a science laboratory, staff bungalows and offices for the headmaster and teachers.
The Headmaster of Anloga SHS, Mr W.I.K. Azumah, said there was already congestion in the classrooms and the dormitories and the school would face a greater burden under the four-year SHS programme.
He suggested that pavilions be provided by the end of August, otherwise all new students would be admitted as day students.
For his part, the Principal of Have Senior High Technical School, Reverend G.K. Gidiglo, said a four-unit classroom block was needed, in addition to 350 pieces of furniture.
Meanwhile, the Volta Regional Director of the GES, Mr Gabriel S. Kploanyi, has corroborated the predicament facing the schools, saying that facilities in the 76 SHS in the region were overstretched.
He said a needs assessment had been conducted and delivered to the Ministry of Education, the GES and the Volta Regional Co-ordinating Council for their perusal and action.
Mr Kploanyi appealed to headmasters to be creative and innovative to enable them to accommodate the challenge and said they could not simply throw their hands in the air in desperation.
According to him, very good contractors could be engaged to construct pavilion school blocks within two months to meet the exigencies of the time.
In an address read on his behalf at the 20th anniversary of the Mampong Presbyterian SHS in the Akuapem North District on Saturday, the Minister of Education, Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, confirmed the government's determination to resource SHSs with the needed infrastructure towards the take-off of the new programme next academic year, reports Nana Konadu.
"I wish to assure stakeholders that the government is seriously working around the clock to ensure that the basic necessities for the take-off of the extension next academic year will be put in place in all second-cycle schools, especially where the need is most critical and urgent," he stated.
The event was also used to inaugurate a two-storey girls’ dormitory that was funded by the PTA of the school.
The Minister of Education said while the four-year SHS programme had become an albatross around the neck of stakeholders, the government was making every strenuous efforts to provide all the SHSs across the country with the needed infrastructure to ensure a smooth take-off next academic year.
According to him, more attention would be given to schools that were in dire need of infrastructure, including the Mampong Presbyterian SHS.
The minister, who commended the PTA of the school for its commitment and support to the development of the school, also appealed to the students to concentrate on their studies to ensure that investments made in their education would yield positive outcomes in the future.
He appealed to the students not to allow the present inadequate learning environment they found themselves in to discourage them from concentrating on their studies.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, also commended the PTA for its commitment to the growth of the institution over the past 20 years.
"With your great strides, you must not relent but continue to give your best support to your children's school, since the provision of education is a shared responsibility among the government, parents and civil society," he stated.
Earlier in his welcoming address, the Headmaster of the school, Rev S. M. A. Munyuhitum, had said the school currently had a student population of 952, comprising 236 day students and 716 boarders.
Being a community school, he said, the PTA had played an enormous role in its growth and development, with the government only providing a two-bedroom bungalow and an Isuzu pick-up for the school, apart from books.
"Over the years, it has been our PTA that has provided the school with dining and assembly halls, three classrooms and an office, two storerooms, 500 desks, two boreholes, a generator, two gas tanks for the kitchen and an extended and renovated girls' dormitory," he stated.
The headmaster, who was grateful for the commitment of the PTA, added that the PTA was currently funding the construction of a two-storey boys' dormitory block that could accommodate about 400 students upon completion.
He appealed to the government to come to the aid of the school, saying, "We need two vehicles, a 12-unit classroom block, a boys' dormitory, an administration block and staff bungalows to enhance teaching and learning."
The assurance of the Ministry of Education comes against the backdrop of reports from the regions that SHS may not be able to admit new students for SHS programmes because of lack of space and facilities.


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi.

A NEAR-disastrous conflict arose between the Asanteman Council and the Techiman Traditional Council last week.
It all started when the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II spoke against the misconduct of the Techimanhene, Osabarima Oseadeeyo Akumfi Ameyaw IV over the kidnapping and manhandling of the Omanhene of Tuobodom, Nana Baffour Asare II.
Otumfuo, at the Asanteman Council meeting last Monday, questioned why the police failed to arrest the Techimanhene and placed the Tuobodomhene in custody.
The Asantehene, therefore, warned that he would not hesitate to arrest the Techimanhene anytime he was in Kumasi, if the authorities failed to bring him to face the law.
Following that threat, youths from Kumasi and Techiman went their own way to cause some disturbances in the two areas.
As a result of the simmering tension, a high-powered delegation from the Presidency visited Kumasi and Techiman to speak with the Asantehene and the Techimanhene respectively on how to ensure peace.
In Kumasi and Techiman, the delegation, led by Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, National Security Advisor, held close-door meetings with the Ashanti King and the Techimanhene respectively.
Other members of the delegation were the Presidential Advisor, Dr Christine Amoako-Nuamah, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Collins Dauda, the Minister of Energy, Dr Joe Oteng Adjei, the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, and the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo
Since the visit of the delegation, peace had returned to the two areas.
The Graphic Nsempa brings to its readers pictures of the visit by the presidential delegation to Kumasi and Techiman.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


THE Manhyia Palace has stated that the recent misunderstanding between the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and the Techimanhene, Osabarima Akumfi Ameyaw, would not in any way affect the Asantehene’s mediation role in the Dagbon crisis.
“Otumfuo is highly committed to working towards achieving peace in Dagbon and would not backtrack on that path,” Mr G.B. Osei-Antwi, the Public Relations Manager at the Manhyia Palace, told the Daily Graphic last Thursday.
He dismissed suggestions in certain circles that Otumfuo’s reaction to the Techiman-Tuobodom conflict could work against his role as the chief mediator in the Dagbon crisis.
Last Monday, the Asantehene indicated during a meeting of the Asanteman Council that the Techimanhene would be captured whenever he entered Kumasi if the authorities failed to deal with him for organising the kidnap and torture of the Tuobodom Omanhene, Nana Baffour Asare II.
The Tuobodomhene had narrated how he was stripped naked and his hands and legs tied by agents of the Techimanhene in the Techiman palace and asked to denounce the Golden Stool, which he refused even in extreme pain.
Mr Osei-Antwi explained that there was a wide difference between what Otumfuo said with regard to the Techiman-Tuobodom chieftaincy dispute and his role in the Dagbon peace initiatives.
“People should not confuse the two because they are different issues coming from different dimensions,” he said.
Mr Osei-Antwi maintained that the Asantehene was a man of peace and would not in any way work against the peace of the nation.
He said but for a recent statement made by a member of the Abudu Royal Gate, the committee of eminent chiefs would have resumed sitting on the matter at Manhyia.
Mr Osei-Antwi described the statement from the Abudu man as very unfortunate, especially as the committee was progressing towards achieving its objective.
However, Mr Osei-Antwi was optimistic that things would start moving again with the Otumfuo still in charge.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu is the chairman of the committee of eminent chiefs appointed by the former New Patriotic party (NPP) government in 2002 to mediate in the traditional aspect of the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute involving the Abudus and the Andanis after the Ya-Na, Yakubu Andani II and 40 others were killed in the bloody conflict at Yendi.
The other members of the committee include the Nayiri, Naa Boshagu Mahama Abdulai Sheriga, and the late Yagbonwura Bawa Doshie.
No one has yet been appointed to take over the role of the late Yagbonwura in the committee.

Friday, March 19, 2010


INJURED Asante Kotoko defender, Gideon Baah, has succefully undergone surgery at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) to repair the damage caused to his leg during last Sunday’s match against Hearts of Oak at the Baba Yara Stadium.
 The degree of injury to the left leg is said to be serious but club sources told the Graphic Sports yesterday that doctors at KATH have after initial investigations indicated the problem could be corrected at the hospital.
 However, the player could be out of action for at least six months after the operation.
 Baah, a budding talent who plays on the left side of defence, sustained what appeared a serious injury when he went into a tango with Hearts striker Samuel Afum after 13 minutes in the match which Hearts won one-nil.
 The defender, who was until the injury, enjoying a good run in the match, went for a fierce tackle on the Hearts striker.
 Afum jumped apparently to avoid the tackle but ended up landing on the left leg of the defender with the studs of his boot.
 Baah screamed as he lay on the turf in pain and was immediately whisked to KATH in an ambulance.
 Meanwhile, Kumasi Asante Kotoko management member, Jarvis Peprah, has set the records straight with regards to an interview he granted the Graphic Sports after the Kotoko-Hearts match last Sunday.
 Jarvis was reported to have stated that the referee for the match, Mr S.B. Bortey went to the Kumasi Airport after the match in the company of a Hearts official and security personnel and therefore called on the Professional League Board (PLB) to investigate the allegation.
 However, Mr Peprah explained that what he actually said was that he heard from some people that the referee was in a hotel with a Hearts official.“I was not imputing any wrongdoing on the part of any Hearts official because it was an allegation", he said.
 Mr Peprah said he only wanted the PLB to investigate the allegation to establish the truth or otherwise of the allegation.
He insisted however that the performance of referee Bortey on the day was appalling on the afternoon.
Mr Peprah said even though Kotoko lost the match against hearts, the performance of the team was not bad as some sought to suggest.
"The players did well but were unlucky on the day. You  know luck plays a part in football and it appears luck was not on our side," he said.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


THE Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has urged the youth in Kumasi to exercise maximum restraint over their reactions to the Tuobodom-Techiman chieftaincy conflict.
The appeal followed the swift intervention by President Mills in the matter through a high-powered delegation from the Presidency, which flew to Kumasi last Tuesday afternoon to meet the Asantehene.
Mr G.B. Osei-Antwi, Public Relations Officer at the Manhyia Palace, told the Daily Graphic that Otumfuo was confident that the right thing would be done, after the intervention by the President’s delegation.
According to Mr Osei-Antwi, the Asantehene would want his people to let peace prevail to enable the law enforcement agencies to do their work.
Mr Osei-Antwi said the Asantehene was a man of peace and would therefore not do anything that would turn back the clock of progress.
“Otumfuo only wanted the right thing to be done with respect to the behaviour of the Techimanhene towards the Tuobodomhene,” he said.
Tensions started mounting in Kumasi after the Asantehene warned that the Techimanhene, Osabarima Akumfi Ameyaw, would be captured in Kumasi if the police failed to arrest him for the kidnapping and subsequent torture of the Tuobodomhene, Nana Baffour Asare II, at the Techimanhene’s palace.
Otumfuo also asked the government to choose between him and the Techimanhene in view of the alleged statement by the Techimanhene that his government was in power and was, therefore, not afraid of anyone.
Some enraged youth in Kumasi last Tuesday allegedly attempted to create trouble at the various Techiman lorry stations in Kumasi, causing panic and fear among passengers and drivers.
Heavily built men (machomen) also massed up at the Manhyia Palace chanting war songs.
There was a state of calmness at the main Techiman station at the Kejetia terminal and the Metro Mass Transit station at Abrepo Junction.
Passengers were boarding vehicles without any difficulty, and transport operators and drivers confirmed that nothing nasty had happened.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs (BARHC) has decided to send a delegation to the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi next week to negotiate with the Asantehene over the raging Techiman-Tuobodom chieftaincy dispute.
“It’s definitely coming on. It’s crucial for us as a house because what is going on speaks volumes about a looming threat to the peace and stability of the nation. We need to move fast to save the volatile situation from exploding into something terrible,” the President of the BARHC, Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi II, told the Daily Graphic on telephone yesterday.
Osahene Aterkyi, who is also the Omanhene of the Kukuom Traditional Area, said the meeting, “which will be on the quiet”, would try to find ways of calming down tempers in the interim and also initiate moves to have a long-term solution to the substantive issue of allegiance.
At a charged Asanteman Council meeting at Manhyia last Monday, the Asantehene expressed his disgust at the kidnapping and subsequent torture of the Omanhene of Tuobodom, Nana Baffour Asare II, at the palace of the Techimanhene, Osabarima Akumfi Ameyaw.
The Tuobodom Omanhene had told the meeting that his hands and legs had been tied and that he had been confined to a small room in the Techimanhene’s palace where he had been asked by agents of the Techimanhene whether he would serve the Asantehene or the Techimanhene.
The Asanteman Council comprises all the paramount chiefs in the Ashanti Region, as well as some paramount chiefs from the Brong Ahafo and Volta regions who owe allegiance to the Golden Stool of Asante.
In perhaps his fiercest reaction to any issue ever since he ascended the Golden Stool about 11 years ago, Otumfuo Osei Tutu described the act of the Techimanhene as reprehensible and wondered why the security authorities and the government had refused to bring the Techimanhene to face the law.
He asked the government to take the matter seriously, especially when the Techimanhene had boasted that “his government is in power” and, therefore, he did not fear for whatever action he took.
The Asantehene chided the President of the BARHC, who owes allegiance to the Golden Stool, for fearing to tell the truth and said he was not going to sit down for anybody to take the Golden Stool for a ride.
In his interview with this paper, Osahene Aterkyi said the leadership of the BARHC was concerned about what was going on and gave the assurance that it would do everything to save the situation from deteriorating further.
Asked whether the membership of the delegation to be sent to Manhyia would include chiefs who did not owe allegiance to the Asantehene, the BARHC President said initially it would be made up of chiefs who owed allegiance to the Asantehene.
“This is not going to be a one-day affair so as time goes on we will add other chiefs who are not under the Asantehene. You will agree with me that all that we are trying to do is not a matter of whether the delegation will include this chief or another. We only want to have a lasting solution to this potentially dangerous development,” he stressed.
Osahene Aterkyi said in 1995, the BARHC started a process to find a solution to the Tano-Subin chieftaincy dispute, which included Tuobodom, but no conclusion was reached.
He stated that the issue went before the National House of Chiefs, but delays in ruling on the matter had contributed to the present situation.
In a related development, Nana Yaw Barimah reports that the Asantehene has appealed to the government to, as a matter of urgency, intervene in the case between Tuobodom and Techiman to avert any future clashes.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said the ordeal that the Tuobodom Omanhene, Nana Asare, went through at the hands of the Techimanhene was unacceptable and, therefore, urged the government to intervene to save the situation from deteriorating further.
The Asantehene, who was addressing a full house of the Asanteman Council in Kumasi last Monday, accused the Brong-Ahafo Regional Police Command of bias and poor handling of the case.
He questioned why the police locked up the chief when there was no justification for that action.
He poured out his displeasure after Nana Asare had formally informed the Asanteman Council about how he was kidnapped and maltreated by machomen allegedly hired by the Techimanhene.
The Asantehene and the other chiefs of the council, all clad in the traditional “Kuntunkuni” cloth, slaughtered a ram to traditionally signify their disgust at the events in Techiman.
Nana Asare said he was attending a court case at Wenchi when the machomen bundled him into a vehicle and sent him to the Techimanhene’s palace.
He said he was tied up, with both hands at the back, after which some of the machomen asked him whether he would continue to pay allegiance to the Asantehene, adding that when he answered in the affirmative, they started beating him in the presence of the Techimanhene.
Nana Asare alleged that the Techimanhene started raining insults on Otumfuo Osei Tutu, saying that he (the Techimanhene) had no control over any land in the area and, therefore, Nana Baffour could not claim allegiance to the Asantehene.
The Tuobodom Omanhene said he was again sent to another room where they asked him the same question, and when he affirmed his stand, the beatings continued.
According to him, he was at the Techimanhene’s palace when the Brong Ahafo Regional Police Commander and the Regional Crime Officer came to ask about some chiefs who had been arrested by some machomen.
The machomen told the police officers that those arrested were people who had connived with the Asantehene to steal their land.
Nana Asare said the regional police commander later took him from the palace and locked him up in cells at the Sunyani Police Station.
He alleged that the Techimanhene had stated categorically that the police in the region were on his side and that his government was in power so he could do whatever pleased him without fear.
Commenting on the issue, the Amanhene and Abrempong who spoke at the Manhyia meeting condemned the act by the Techimanhene and warned him to refrain from further acts that could generate into terrible disturbances.

The Techniman-Tuobodom dispute...LOOMING CRISIS...High-level govt team dispatched to Manhyia (LEAD STORY, MARCH 17, 2010)

Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

A HIGH-POWERED delegation from the Presidency was at the Manhyia Palace yesterday to confer with the Asantehene over the raging conflict between the Tuobodomhene and the Techimanhene which has drawn Otumfuo Osei Tutu II into the fray.
The delegation, which was led by Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah (retd), the National Security Advisor, was at the Manhyia Palace to find an amicable solution to the conflict.
Other members of the delegation were the Presidential Advisor, Dr Christine Amoako-Nuamah; the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Collins Dauda; the Minister of Energy, Dr Joe Oteng Adjei; the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia; the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, and the Board Chairman of the National Sports Council, Mr Kojo Bonsu.
After the initial exchange of greetings, the delegation met the Asantehene behind closed doors.
The delegation was expected to leave for Sunyani yesterday evening for a similar meeting with the Techimanhene today.
Briefing the Asantehene, the Mr Opoku-Manu said the President was concerned about the development between Techiman and Asanteman and would want to avert any future disturbances.
“The President wants this issue resolved as soon as possible before it escalates into something very serious,” he said.
Earlier, members of the Ashanti Regional Security Council had met the Asantehene on the same issue.
Briefing the media after the meeting, Brig-Gen Nunoo Mensah said the meeting had been very fruitful and expressed the hope that something useful would come out of it.
At the time of going to press, reports filtering in from the Manhyia Palace indicated that some people had gathered at the palace chanting war songs and declaring their readiness to defend the Asante Kingdom.
From Techiman, reports also indicated that the youth had also gathered at the Techimanhene’s palace to show their solidarity with the Techimanhene.
From Sunyani, Samuel Duodu reports that the Omanhene of the Techiman Traditional Area, Oseadeeyo Akumfi Ameyaw IV, said the council had heard what the Asantehene was reported to have said at the Asanteman Council meeting at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi and would meet at an appropriate time to deliberate on the issue.
He demanded that justice be administered to bring those who allegedly shot at his convoy in October 2008 to book.
Meanwhile, the Brong Ahafo Regional Security Council met in Sunyani yesterday to review the security situation at Tuobodom.
According to the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister and Chairman of the council, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye Marfo, the government’s delegation that met Otumfuo Osei Tutu would meet the Techiman Traditional Council today.
He said the situation at Tuobodom was calm and peaceful.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

HEARTS' DOPUBLE DELIGHT...Refereee Bortey's misfortune (GRAPHIC SPORTS, LEAD STORY, MARCH 16, 2010)

THE professional competence of the Ashanti Regional Police was in full glow at the Baba Yara Stadium last Sunday when they averted what could have been a nasty incident, with Referee S. B. Bortey at the centre of vilification and imminent attack.
A technically-disciplined Hearts of Oak descended on Baba Yara Stadium to inflict a painful 1-0 defeat on Asante Kotoko in a Glo Premier League match to secure a season’s double over the Porcupine Warriors as striker Samuel Afum celebrated the unique feat of procuring the vital strikes that nailed Kotoko over the two legs.
But many of the home supporters — still remembering the 2006/07 era when Hearts last secured a double over Kotoko in Cape Coast when the Accra and Kumasi stadia were under refurbishment — were strangely not happy, accusing Referee Bortey of aiding Hearts’s victory.
With bagged-water and other missiles flying from the Amakom end of the stands onto the tartan tracks in rapid succession, the police moved in quickly to position a water cannon in front of the fans, which eventually kept them at bay.
Perhaps anticipating that the police could use the water cannon against them, some of the fans deserted the stands long before the match ended.
It all started when Referee Bortey showed Kotoko’s Stephen Manu the yellow card before the start of the game after the striker entered the Hearts post to shake the net.
Boos rung around the stadium and when on the 43rd minute Referee Bortey awarded that decisive penalty to Hearts, the fans went mad, throwing bagged-water from the stands.
Kotoko’s defender, Isaac Owusu, tripped Eric Gawu in the box resulting in the penalty.
After the match, police once again did extremely well to escort the referee into the changing room before he was whisked away from the stadium under tight security.
But Kotoko management member, Jarvis Peprah, was not happy about the manner Referee Bortey was taken to the Kumasi Airport to board a plane to Accra.
He told the Graphic Sports that they had reports that Referee Bortey was driven to the airport in the company of a Hearts official and some security personnel and, therefore, called on the Professional League Board to investigate the allegation.
The Kotoko accusations and allegations notwithstanding, they must be ready to admit that the team lacked the fighting spirit to overpower Hearts.
Kotoko had an attitude problem on the afternoon — they had no killer instincts to get the game away and were not spiritually tuned-up for the game.
With no power to go for the kill, the Kotoko attack wandered in the opponents half unable to unlock the Hearts defence, and even when Stephen Manu was on his own in the area with an opportunity to get his team back in stoppage time, he drove his shot wide.
Hearts of Oak has a unique character of playing at the apogee of their spirits whenever they meet Kotoko in Kumasi and this helped to catapult them to that sweet victory over Kotoko last Sunday.
Even when the game heated up and began to be played at a fast and furious tempo, they appeared to be ahead of Kotoko in real character, tackling where necessary and clearing their lines with supreme confidence while they went for the fast breaks.
Samuel Afum who fetched the only goal was very slippery on the day while the Hearts middle was well oiled with the presence of Esme Mends, Kofi Abanga and Obed Ansah.
The injury of Kotoko’s promising defender, Gideon Baah, was the other dark spot of the game. Baah went down awkwardly on the 13th minute after a tango with Samuel Afum and it looked like a serious injury.
Doctors at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, however, have indicated they can handle the case but it is not known for how long the player would be off the scene.

Monday, March 15, 2010


ACCRA Hearts of Oak completed the double over rivals Kumasi Asante Kotoko with a copybook 1-0 victory in their top liner at the Baba Yara Stadium yesterday.
 The large number of phobian supporters who watched the match, celebrated at the final whistle of referee S.B. Bortey in a manner that suggested they felt they had taken a significant stride towards retaining the trophy they won with much difficulty last season.
Striker Samuel Afum, who exhibited exceptional footwork all afternoon, fetched the decisive goal from the spot after 43 minutes.
For Kotoko, it was double agony as their dependable defender, Gideon Baah, was whisked away to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in an ambulance after sustaining what appeared a terrible injury on the 13th minute.
The traditional tension associated with matches between the two sides was hugely evident and even before the game started Kotoko’s Stephen Manu had been booked because he had entered the Hearts post to shake the net.
Starting on a fast note, the match was characterised initially by some crunch tackles with the referee coming out with decisions, some of which did not go down well with the fans.
With their supporters calling for nothing but victory, Kotoko appeared under pressure to score but they only huffed and puffed fighting to get a way past the tactically disciplined Hearts defence where Philip Boampong was in excellent shape.
The first serious threat on the afternoon came from Samuel Afum on the 12th minute when the striker exploded in full measure but Isaac Owusu did a brilliant work, pushing the ball for a corner kick.
The pace and variety of Esme Mends, Kofi Abanga and Obed Ansaah started to tell on the Hearts game as they drove the attack forward.
By the first quarter of the game keepers MacCarthy and Amoako had not been tested.
Once again reshuffling his attack, coach Paa Kwesi Fabin this time played Kwadwo Poku and Stephen Manu on top, but both laboured on the afternoon.
Gradually Kotoko improved and started applying some pressure on Hearts. However, Stephen Manu who was released down the right on the 24th minute entered the area only to tumble over the chance.
Keeper McCarthy was called to duty on the 25th minute directing a goal bound shot over the bar on the 25th minute.
Hearts sent their fans roaring with two minutes to end the half when striker Eric Gawu who had run past Isaac Owusu after the defender had given a weak back pass to his keeper was brought down by the defender for the penalty, which Afum converted.
Events just after the interval saw Kotoko in full control and on the 48th minute Boampong’s defensive acumen was brought to bear on his team when he swept the ball of the advancing Stephen Manu.
Hearts were intent on adopting the counter-attacking approach, allowing Kotoko space and possession.
Douglas Nkrumah was pulled out for Tawrick Jibril after 58 minutes and the young midfielder tried to drive through the middle but most often failed ..
Finding it extremely difficult to cut through from inside, Asante Kotoko attempted cutting in from the wings but Samad Oppong and Edward Affum found Nzemaba and Maxwell Mensah a tall order.
With McCarthy exhibiting agility he lunged into the path of some scary balls to tidy his post, and it was apparent that Kotoko were in for another defeat to their archrivals.
And when Stephen Manu hammered an unstoppable shot away inside stoppage time, it was all clear that the die was cast for Kotoko.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


A SOD-CUTTING ceremony has been performed at Manso-Tontokrom in the Amansie West District in the Ashanti Region for the construction of a portion of the Datano-Tontokrom feeder road.
The area to be constructed included, a steep hill, where a number of accidents, some very serious, have been occurring over the years. The area also becomes impassable when it rains.
The government is providing GH¢20,000 towards the GH¢195,000-project, with the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) bearing the remaining GH¢175,000.
In a speech read on his behalf by Mr Charles Oti-Prempeh, the Amansie West District Chief Executive, the Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, said the MVP had provided a lot of opportunities for the area’s growth.
He, therefore, thanked the MVP and its donors for the support it continued to offer towards the district’s development initiatives.
Mr Opoku-Manu advised drivers plying the roads in the district to be cautious in order to avoid accidents.
He also urged the contractor undertaking the project to do a good job.
In his remarks, the Team Leader/Cluster Manager of the Bonsaaso MVP, Mr Samuel Afram, said one of the major objectives of the project was to increase access to markets, health facilities, school, among others, in the project area.
Mr Afram noted with concern that in spite of the huge potential for development, poor roads had remained one of the major setbacks to improved growth.
He said it was against that background that the MVP and the government, through the Department of Feeder Roads, decided to tackle the road project.
Mr Afram said the central government had invested about GH¢5 million in road projects in the Bonsaaso Cluster of the MVP since 2006.
He stated that the collaboration between the MVP and the government had continued to provide positive results for the betterment of the Bonsaaso cluster of villages.
Mr Afram said the MVP appreciated the fact that the government alone could not cater for all the needs of the people; that was why the project was doing its best to address some of the challenges facing the people.
The Regional Director of the Department of Feeder Roads, Mr Peter Yawson, stated that no community could develop without good roads.
He, therefore, commended the MVP for its commitment towards reshaping the roads in the area.
Mr Yawson appealed to the communities to co-operate with the contractor to ensure successful execution of the project.

Friday, March 12, 2010

BABA YARA TO GO GAY...As Kotoko aim at revenge (GRAPHIC SPORTS, BACK PAGE, MARCH 12, 2010)

IT is definitely going to be a huge game on Sunday because whenever Hearts of Oak are in town as guests of age-long rivals Asante Kotoko, expectation of a fantastic afternoon and a big crowd that propel the players to perform, are evident.
Matches between the giants come with a unique appeal and excitement no matter the form the two teams carry.
That is why even in a season when they have not showcased their traditional ebullient posture, their Glo Premier match on Sunday appears set to drive the crowd to the Baba Yara Stadium.
Not even the absence of some of the finest performers in the two camps as a result of national call can diminish the interest so much generated in the match in the city of Kumasi.
Kotoko will be doing battle minus two of their great midfield actors, Jordan Opoku and Danuel Nii Adjei, while Hearts will miss their trusted skipper Karim Alhassan and club leading scorer Mahatma Otoo who are both on national assignment with the local Black Stars.
As Hearts head for Kumasi they appear in high spirits, having beaten city rivals Great Olympics 1-0 in Accra last Sunday to remain in the top four, while Kotoko managed a 1-1 draw with Sekondi Hasaacas to toil at the wrong end of the league.
But it is probably good that the Porcupine Warriors are playing Hearts at this time as it offers an opportunity to tell others out there that they are ready to restore their top-flight status.
Paa Kwesi Fabin’s side are under pressure to improve following the dreadful run in the local league and their first round exit from the CAF Champions League.
Kotoko has been criticized for lack of goals, power and drive and a victory over Hearts of Oak could restore some hope in their supporters.
Indeed, Asante Kotoko have been unable to show character to the last minute, but matches between them and their arch rivals are different ball games, where results swing when least expected.
Over the years, Kotoko and Hearts have fought several unblemished classics and the urge to get to the summit of the league currently occupied by new entrants, Aduana Stars, should catapult them to stage one of the fiercest battles in recent times.
Against the background of history, Hearts of Oak who gained a 1-0 victory over Kotoko in the first leg would surely be aiming at the double, but the question remains whether Kotoko would capitulate under the threat.
Kotoko appear favourites on home soil, but with Hearts comparatively better in the season, they can provide the quality to match their opponents squarely.
The Phobians are aware they need to get at least a point from the match in view of the seemingly difficult matches ahead of them in the league.
But Kotoko still present a formidable block for Eric Gawu and strike partner, Samuel Affum who are expected to lead the Hearts attack.
The home side will rely on Kabiru Moro and Baffour Gyan in attack with support services from Edward Affum and Hanura Ganiyu.
Hearts are likely to play Baba Sampana in post while Kotoko feature Isaac Amoako, and the barriers their respective defences would mount in front of them will count a lot in the score line to be recorded.
It is refreshing that the police had assured of tight security on Sunday but much would depend on the way the fans and match officials comport themselves to avoid a repetition of last year’s incident when some lives were lost in the stands as a result of suffocation.
In the rest of the pairings, Olympics host King Faisal at the El-Wak Stadium, Ashgold face RTU at the Len Clay Stadium, Obuasi, while Liberty play as guests of Kessben at Abrankese.
Meanwhile, the Premier League Board(PLB) has postponed the game involving Wise and Heart of Lions at Sekondi as well as the clash between All Stars and Hasaacas at Wa.
The matches, according to the PLB, have been rescheduled for Wednesday, March 17, because Lions and All Stars have contributed three players each to the local Black Stars who play their Burkinabe counterparts in a CHAN qualifying duel in Ouagadougou on Sunday.
In another development, the PLB has also rescheduled the match between Chelsea and New Edubiase at Berekum for tomorrow to enable Arsenal honour their home game against Liberty at the same venue on Sunday.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


THE Ghana Police Service has begun a programme to phase out the use of pan latrines at the various police barracks in Kumasi after persistent pressure on it by the Environmental Department of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to discontinue with the antiquated practice.
The Head of Public Affairs at the Ashanti Regional Police Command, Chief Inspector Yusif Mohammed Tanko, told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi yesterday that the process of phasing out pan latrines started from the central barracks where the pan latrines had been replaced with water closets.
He said contracts had also been awarded for similar facilities at other barracks to bring some comfort to policemen and their dependants.
Even though the KMA banned the use of pan latrines about four years ago, the police continued to use it, a situation that did not go down well with the Environmental Department of the assembly.
In Accra, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has started enforcing the ban on pan latrines following a Supreme Court ruling.
A legal practitioner and now Chairman of the Lands Commission, Nana Adjei Ampofo, filed the writ at the Supreme Court praying it to ban the use of pan latrines in Accra, since it was inhuman for people to carry human excreta.
According to the Environmental Officer of the KMA, Mr Paul Akanaba, the practice was outmoded and came along with environmental consequences and wondered why the police continued to use pan latrines.
He said, for instance, that those who carried the human excreta dumped it into streams and rivers, creating a health hazard for people downstream who depended on those water bodies for their water supplies.
“They dump the faecal matter at odd hours to avoid being caught,” Mr Akanaba added.
He stated that his outfit wrote to remind the police of the existing bye-law on the use of pan latrines “but the police always complained of lack of funds”.
He expressed the hope that the police would do the right thing in their own interest and that of the people in the metropolis.
Mr Akanaba further indicated that the use of pan latrines had implications on human rights because it was wrong for people to carry the excreta of their fellow human beings for a living.
He said apart from the police barracks, his outfit was also aware that some landlords had resorted to the use of pan latrines in their houses.
“We shall go at them to ensure that the law takes its course,” the officer stressed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


THE Cocoa Livelihood Programme (CLP), an initiative of the private sector to increase productivity among cocoa farmers, has been launched in the Ashanti Region with the initial selection of three districts as beneficiaries.
The districts are Atwima Mponua, Atwima Nwabiagya and Amansie West.
The CLP is a programme being organised by the World Cocoa Foundation and a number of organisations to improve the living standards of the cocoa farmer.
It is to be carried out in five West African countries, which are Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroun, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire.
The CLP has targeted to reach 200,000 cocoa farming households with the objective of increasing farmer income.
Within Ghana, the programme will be implemented by four partners, namely TechnoServe, the German Technical Service (GTZ), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture/Sustainable Tree Crop Programme IITA/STCP and the Agricultural Co-operatives Development International/Overseas Co-operatives Assistance (ACDI/OCA).
It will be undertaken in 21 districts in cocoa-growing areas in Ghana.
Among the activities planned under the programme to sustainably increase farmer incomes in Ghana are training, providing farmers access to capital and the creation of business service.
As part of the launch, about 200 farmers from the beneficiary districts in Ashanti were trained on the input and credit component of the programme.
At the launch, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, said it was reassuring that the programme sought to improve productivity among farmers.
“This, undoubtedly, will impact positively on the living conditions of farmers,” he said.
He commended the private sector for its continued assistance to the development of the cocoa sector, noting that the government’s objective of working towards a national cocoa output of one million tonnes annually would be achieved when the private sector fully participated in all aspects of the development of the cocoa sector.
The regional minister called on the organisers of the programme to avoid tendencies that would impede the smooth operation of the scheme.
In his remarks, the Deputy Country Director of TechnoServe, Mr Baba Adongo, said in Ghana, Technoserve was working to develop financial products and auxiliary services for farmers.
Technoserve, he said, had developed, in conjunction with Callighana and Opportunity International, an input training and credit programme which would provide farmers inputs on credit and technical and business training.
“Input credit is the most immediate capital need for small cocoa farmers. In addition, its shorter duration allows farmers the opportunity to learn about credit and, more important, build a credit history. By building a credit history, it will help them in accessing additional financial products, “ he said.
Mr Adongo stated that input credit would also provide farmers with significant productivity increases after the first year.
“Initial success will hopefully build excitement to continue to improve cocoa farms through activities such as farm rehabilitation, expansion and diversification,” he stressed.

POLICE ASSURE FANS OF TIGHT SECURITY ...In Kotoko-Hearts clash (PAGE 47, MARCH 10, 2010)

THE Ashanti Regional Police Command will put up tight security at the Baba Yara Stadium on Sunday to prevent any nasty incident when bitter rivals, Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak, square off in a Glo Premier League match.
Regional Police Commander, DCOP Patrick Timbillah, told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi yesterday that, “We are aware of what happened last year when people lost their lives in the name of football and we are leaving nothing to chance to ensure the anticipated large number of fans who would watch the match return home safely”.
He said while a number of police and other security personnel would be in charge at the stadium, the military would be on stand-by to respond positively to any unforeseen events.
Last year, two people suffocated to death in the over-packed Baba Yara Stadium when Hearts defeated Kotoko 2-1 in a Premier League match.
A committee chaired by Kumasi lawyer, Mr Bill Marshall Beilieb, was set up by the then Minister of Youth and Sports, Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak, to look into the incident and give recommendations to prevent future occurrence.
The committee’s report led to sanctions against some officials of the National Sports Council (NSC), managers of the stadium.
It also gave other recommendations, some of which could not be carried out.
One significant decision emanating from the committee’s decisions was the categorization of football matches in the country, with matches between the arch-rivals tagged Category “A”.
Consequently, when Ghana’s version of the ‘El-Clasico’ comes off on Sunday, police said the security measures would measure up to the demands of Category “A” matches.
“We would leave nothing to chance to make the match safe for all,” Mr Timbillah said.
The regional commander said his outfit would liaise with the NSC and the management of the home team, Asante Kotoko, in all aspects of the security measures because they also have a part to play in making the match peaceful.
He called on fans to comport themselves to make the work of the security personnel less difficult.

POLICE ASSURE FANS OF TIGHT SECURITY ...In Kotoko-Hearts clash (PAGE 47, MARCH 10, 2010)

THE Ashanti Regional Police Command will put up tight security at the Baba Yara Stadium on Sunday to prevent any nasty incident when bitter rivals, Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak, square off in a Glo Premier League match.
Regional Police Commander, DCOP Patrick Timbillah, told the Daily Graphic in Kumasi yesterday that, “We are aware of what happened last year when people lost their lives in the name of football and we are leaving nothing to chance to ensure the anticipated large number of fans who would watch the match return home safely”.
He said while a number of police and other security personnel would be in charge at the stadium, the military would be on stand-by to respond positively to any unforeseen events.
Last year, two people suffocated to death in the over-packed Baba Yara Stadium when Hearts defeated Kotoko 2-1 in a Premier League match.
A committee chaired by Kumasi lawyer, Mr Bill Marshall Beilieb, was set up by the then Minister of Youth and Sports, Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak, to look into the incident and give recommendations to prevent future occurrence.
The committee’s report led to sanctions against some officials of the National Sports Council (NSC), managers of the stadium.
It also gave other recommendations, some of which could not be carried out.
One significant decision emanating from the committee’s decisions was the categorization of football matches in the country, with matches between the arch-rivals tagged Category “A”.
Consequently, when Ghana’s version of the ‘El-Clasico’ comes off on Sunday, police said the security measures would measure up to the demands of Category “A” matches.
“We would leave nothing to chance to make the match safe for all,” Mr Timbillah said.
The regional commander said his outfit would liaise with the NSC and the management of the home team, Asante Kotoko, in all aspects of the security measures because they also have a part to play in making the match peaceful.
He called on fans to comport themselves to make the work of the security personnel less difficult.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

THE defeated contestant to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) regional secretary position, Mr J.K. Owusu-Boakye, aka General Abito, has promised to continue working for the party despite his inability to win the position.
He said it was the NPP and not the position that mattered most.
In an interview with Graphic Nsempa after the Ashanti Regional delegates conference in Kumasi, Mr Owusu-Boakye said the fight was against the NDC and not any individual person in the NPP.
He, therefore, gave an assurance that he would support the new regional executives to execute their agenda for the party.
He pointed out that the NDC had failed the nation but uprooting them in the next elections would demand commitment and hard work from all party members.
Mr Owusu-Boakye congratulated the new Regional Secretary, Mr Sam Payne on his victory in the polls.
He was confident of the abilities of Mr Payne to get things done in his new position.
He said the NPP must work to get at least 80 per cent of the votes in the 2012 elections in Ashanti.
This, he said, would help the party win the general election.
Mr Owusu-Boakye called for unity in the party instead of factionalism, which could destroy their chances towards winning the next elections.


ON the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the restoration of the Ashanti Confederacy, the Graphic Nsempa, by courtesy of the Manhyia Museum in Kumasi, brings to our cherished readers historical and exciting pictures of King Prempeh I and his successor, King Prempeh II, whose reigns as Asantehene, were associated with the breakdown and restoration of the confederacy.
The Ashanti Confederacy suffered a jolt in 1900, when King Prempeh I was exiled to the Seychelles Islands after the British Forces overpowered the Ashantis in the 1900 War.
However, when King Prempeh II ascended the Golden Stool in 1935, the Confederacy was restored.

How Otumfuo Agyeman Prempeh II swore at the Restoration of Asante Confederacy
I swear, oh my people, great in battle and sound in judgment, wise in counsel, sweet in friendship.
I swear by the great Asante Stool, the Golden Stool.
I swear by our love in sincerity and respect for me as an occupant of that stool.
I swear by the great sprits of my ancestors by whose spirits I wish to guide you.
That I will always do your will and try to maintain peace, harmony, and concord among you, asking all the blessing of all the great spirits of the departed for you.
I will never go to my left neither to my right.
I will never go behind or lean towards governments for my own sake.
Nay, I will never deceive you, but will always walk straight with you, even unto the jaws of death.
Dated: Thursday, 31st January, 1935.
By King Prempeh II.


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

WHEN Asanteman celebrated the 75th anniversary of the restoration of the Ashanti Confederacy, many paid glowing tribute to the 14th occupant of the Golden Stool, Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II, under whose reign the significant event of the restoration took place.
When he ascended the throne, the Ashanti Kingdom was a conquered territory and colony of the British with some of the small states within the out of the conferderacy and as one historian said, “the Ashanti Kingdom was in a coma and the Ashanti Confederacy had disintegrated.”
With the exile of the 13th Asantehene, Nana Prempeh I, to the Seychelles Islands by the British in 1896, the Ashanti Confederacy ceased to exist and even when he returned to Kumasi in 1924 there was no restoration until in 1935 when Otumfuo Agyeman Prempeh II ascended the Golden Stool.
Otumfuo Ageyman Prempeh II, therefore, has a special place in the history of Ashanti and it was no wonder that his name was eulogised as Ashantis celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of the important event at the forecourt of the Manhyia Palace.
The event was marked with the typical pomp and pageantry, reminding the people of the need to further cement the bond of unity and commonness of purpose that had catapulted Asanteman’s development over the years.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the principal celebrant, appeared in full traditional apparel and sat in state to receive homage from his subjects.
The ceremony was without political colour as nananom believed it could have shifted the focus of the celebration.
“The whole ceremony was meant at charting a course to perpetuate our rich culture and how to integrate them into modernity for the betterment of our people,” Mr Fosuaba Mensa Banahene, the Chief of Staff at the Manhyia Palace told Graphic Nsempa.
Ashanti has a rich history, part of which is the Ashanti Confederacy.
Initially, located in what are today the southern and central parts of Ghana, the Ashanti Confederacy was a powerful state in West Africa prior to European colonisation.
Opemsuo Osei Tutu I, with the support of his friend, Okomfo Anokye, was the architect of the confederacy in the late sixteenth century having subjugated about 30 under Kumasi.
Having used the states to defeat the stubborn Denkyira, King Osei Tutu and his successors oversaw a policy of political and cultural unification, and the union reached its full limit by 1750.
It continued as an alliance of several towns, which acknowledged the authority of the ruler of Kumasi, known as the Asantehene.
The Asantehene was the sole person allowed to sentence people to death and was the leader of the Ashanti in wartime.
Under the administration of the confederacy, in times of conflict each member of the confederacy would send troops to the Asantehene's army and as a result the army became very powerful.
Each member of the confederacy was also obliged to send annual tribute to Kumasi.
All other governing powers were left to the members of the confederacy with each of them ruled by a governing council made up of the powerful men of the community.
The history of the confederacy was one of slow centralisation. In the early nineteenth century the Asantehene used the annual tribute to set up a permanent standing army armed with rifles, which allowed much closer control of the confederacy.
Despite still being called a confederacy it was one of the most centralised states in sub-Saharan Africa.
Aware of moves by the Europeans, mainly the British, to subjugate them, the Ashantis aligned themselves with the Dutch to check British influence in the region.
In 1826 the first of a long series of direct wars between the Ashanti and British began in 1826 when the powerful Ashanti army fought off the British forces. The British acknowledged the Ashanti borders but the Ashanti were forced to acknowledge British control of most of the coast.
Determined to exert their superiority, the Ashantis invaded the British coastal possessions, but were rebuffed and the important coastal town of Elmina fell to the British in 1874.
The British took the offensive invading the Ashanti homeland, and occupied Kumasi. The British formally declared the coastal regions to be the Gold Coast colony.
The Ashanti Kingdom, cut off from traditional trade routes slowly fell apart until in 1900 when the British finally subdued the kingdom and annexed it to the Gold Coast.
Nana Prempeh I, who preferred exile to subjecting his people to the troubles of military battles with the British, was exiled to the Seychelles thus disintegrating the Confederation
Relations between the British and Ashanti later improved and in 1935 under the reign of Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II, the Ashanti Confederacy, under the leadership of the Asantehene was restored.
Upon independence the Gold Coast became known as Ghana and the hereditary Ashanti Crown continued to be honoured by the Ashanti people alongside the authority of the state.
Today, Ashantis do not engage in wars of conquest as it used to do in the past. The present wars are against poverty, ignorance and disease.
Indeed, under the reign of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Ashanti’s development process has seen tremendous progress.
By the next 25 years when the Golden Jubilee of the restoration of the Ashanti Confederacy is celebrated, the general expectation is that Asanteman would have seen much more development.


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumawu

A LEADING contestant to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Ashanti Regional Secretary position, Mr J.K. Owusu Boakye, aka General Abito, has promised to use the enviable record of the Kufuor government as a working tool towards the 2012 elections if he is voted into office.
“I stand for publicising the NPP record of good governance and economic renaissance under ex-President Kufuor and I believe strongly that would help catapult the NPP to victory in 2012,” said.
Mr Owusu-Boakye stated this when he met delegates in the Afigya Sekyere West, Asante Akim North and Kumawu constituencies at separate events to solicit their support for the regional conference.
The conference, which was due for last Thursday, could not come off because the Kumasi High Court failed to lift the injunction put on it.
Mr Owusu-Boakye further indicated that he would focus on floating voters whose votes he said were crucial to winning any election in the country.
He said the NPP had a story to tell but how to tell is what is important.
“That is why I am seeking to become the regional secretary to put things in their right place,” he said.
The aspirant stated that the problem of the NPP was not about who leads the party for the next elections, “but for us as committed party followers to accept the role Mr Kufuor played to bring Ghana up on its feet and how to market this achievement”.
Besides, he said, the NPP should ensure that its structures work without which the party could not perform as expected.
He gave the assurance that when elected to office, he would ensure that all the 39 constituencies in the region were networked through information technology.
Again, the region would be divided into five zones with four campaign buses to work, using the media to showcase the NPP and what it stands to offer for Ghanaians when voted to power in 2012.
“I am sure the delegates would choose me and no one else at the conference,” he said.