Friday, December 31, 2010


CONFUSION and disappointment characterised the district level elections in the Ashanti Region as voting in a number of electoral areas could not come off as scheduled.
This was attributed to the unavailability of ballot papers, and defective ballot papers in some areas.
Only three areas, Bantama, Ahafo Ano South and Bosome Freho had their elections held in all electoral areas.
Electoral areas in nine constituencies did not have their elections at all.
They were Amansie West, Atwima Nwabiagya, Kwadaso, Nhyiaeso, Manhyia, Asante Akim South, Asante Akim North, Sekyere Afram Plains and Ahafo Ano North.
Elections only took place in some electoral areas in 24 out of the 35 constituencies of the region.
In Adansi South, elections took place in 32 out of 41 electoral areas; Adansi North, 35 out of 43; Obuasi, 35 out of 38 Bekwai, 33 out of 34; Amansie Central, 19 out of 38, and Atwima Mponua, 18 out of 38.
Others were Bosomtwe, 31 out of 35 electoral area; Atwima Kwanwoma, 29 out of 33; Subin, 7 out of 9; Old Tafo, 7 out of 8; Suame, 5 out of 9; Asokwa, 8 out of 12; Oforikrom, 13 out of 15, Asawase, 6 out of 10; Kwabre East, 15 out of 31, and Amansie West, 24 out of 53.
The rest included Ejisu Juaben, 11 out of 47 electoral areas; Sekyere East, 23 out of 25; Mampong, 29 out of 33; Ejura Sekyedumase, 39 out of 43; Sekyere South, 32 out of 34; Offinso Municipal, 27 out of 30, and Afigya Kwabre, 23 out of 42.
Turn out was generally not encouragingin areas in Kumaai where voting took place.
At the Asafo Zion polling station, only 49 people had voted out of the 1,73, registered voters as at 9.50 a.m.
A Deputy Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr Isaac Owusu, told the Daily Graphic that the regional office of the EC went out with the late announcement on the postponement of the elections in some areas because they had earlier had firm assurance that the ballot papers would be delivered.
“We sent vehicles to Accra to bring down the ballot papers but still now, the vehicles are still in Accra,” he said, adding that prospective voters would be notified of the new date for the elections when the ballot papers were delivered.
The EC had given firm assurance Monday evening that all was set for the elections in the region but it was not until this morning that voters were told the elections had been postponed in many areas because ballot papers were unavailable.
Indeed, many people had gone to the polling centres in a bid to vote only to be told of the postponement.
Meanwhile, patronage of the district level elections in Kumasi was generally low at the polling centres, reports Collins Agyekum-Gyasi from Kumasi.
The Daily Graphic found at some centres that the level of enthusiasm was too low due to the change in the date.
At the polling centre at the AME Zion Primary School, Kumasi, out of 1,171 registered voters, 152 had voted as of 9:12 a.m.
The Presiding Officer, Mr Peter Anayitime, was, however, hopeful that by the close of the exercise, majority of them would have exercised their franchise.
He attributed the slowness of the whole exercise to its non-partisan nature.
There were no queues at other polling centres but officials expressed optimism that the turnout would be encouraging by the close of the exercise.
At Atonsu Bokro, the officials confirmed the low patronage as only 15 people had cast their votes one hour after voting started.


Two members of a gang who robbed and raped their victims at gunpoint at Apatrapa in Kumasi have been jailed a total of 205 years by the Nkawie Circuit Court.
While Baba Sunday, alias Akobla, 27, was sentenced to 115 years, Stanley Mensah, 26, was jailed 90 years.
Two other members of the gang escaped. They were the ringleader whose name was given as Ibrahim Tijani, alias Babangiba, and one Mustapha.
The court, presided over by Mr Jerome Noble Nkrumah, took a serious view of the act and handed them the long sentences.
Both convicts denied the charges of robbery and rape claiming that they were members of the Roman Catholic Church who went for a prayer meeting in the area that night.
However, they could neither tell the exact place where the prayer meeting was held nor could they answer any question relating to the Catholic doctrine.
On the other hand, the prosecution was able to adduce evidence to back the charges and the two were consequently convicted by the court.
Prosecuting, a Principal State Attorney, Mrs Afia Serwah Asante, informed the court that at about 2 am on June 5, 2010, the police at Abuakwa received a distress call that armed robbers had attacked a house at Apatrapa.
The police patrol team quickly proceeded to the area, where they saw the victims who narrated the ordeal they went through at the hands of their assailants who had then left.
When the robbers, numbering four, invaded the house, they raped two young women and took away two laptops, cash and mobile phones.
The prosecutor said the robbers also asked a young man to have sex with his mother and only dropped their directive after realising that the woman was old in age.
The prosecutor said the victims gave the description of the robbers to the police to assist in their arrest.
While the police were returning to their base, they spotted four men who met the description given them.
The Principal State Attorney stated that when the police vehicle stopped, the men took to their heels but the police gave them a chase and arrested two of them.
On their arrest, the police found on them the laptops they took from their victims, as well as mobile phones, jewellery and some cash.
An identification parade was organised where the victims identified the two robbers.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


THE Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is almost ready with the preparation of a new urban policy to guide the development of the country’s urban areas.
Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, the sector minister, who made this known in Kumasi at a day’s workshop on the new decentralisation policy in Kumasi, said ongoing works included urban transport initiative, the urban poverty reduction project and the urban-land management information system.
The workshop was organised by the Centre for Settlement Studies at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Institute of Local Government Studies.
It was on the theme, “ Accelerating National development Through Decentralisation and Good Local Governance.”
Mr Chireh stated that the ministry and its partners had also embarked on social accountability initiatives in the Ghana School Feeding Programme.
He stated that research must be demystified in the local government sector.
He expressed concern over how the word ‘research’ had become a monster in the local government sector and noted that demystifying it would help position local governance as a legitimate vehicle for sustainable development.
Metropolitan, Municipal and District assemblies, as part of their functions are required to conduct socio-economic studies to enable them to have the relevant data to operate with. This requires deep interest in research.
However, these studies are not forthcoming due to the myth surrounding research in the assemblies.
Mr Chireh said local government functionaries must be assisted to be stronger and more confident in research.
The minister, therefore challenged the various assemblies to take keen interest in research.
He also called for the creation of a learning culture in the public service.
“And this orientation must be developed in the local government sector.
“There is an urgent need to learn from the experiences, solution to problems and best practices in the country as well as from international sources,” he said.
The minister noted that for a very long time, the local government aspect of public administration was not extensively studied or published about.
“This may be the reason why for most periods in the past, there was little published about local government until the assembly system became part of the Constitution.”
Mr Chireh called for the projection of local governance as a viable channel for empowering people and delivering effective development.
The Provost of the College of Architecture of KNUST, Prof. Edward Badu, was confident that the recent affiliation of the Institute of Local Government Studies to KNUST would open the way for more joint fruitful initiatives from the two institutions.


CELEBRATED musician, Charles Kwadwo Fosu, aka Daddy Lumba, escaped attack in Kumasi on Sunday night after a planned show at the Royal Lamerta Hotel had turned out to be a no-show.
He had to escape the wrath of disappointed fans under tight security after organisers of the show called it off because Lumba had complained of faulty equipment.
An eyewitness account, confirmed by a hotel source, said the call-off triggered an attack on hotel property.
The hotel source estimated damage to property at about GH¢10,000.
Some of the patrons also took away hotel chairs and tables.
The eyewitness told the Daily Graphic that the scores of enraged patrons who had paid GH¢30 single and GH¢50 double to watch the entertainment programme turned their anger on the hotel management, causing extensive damage to hotel property.
The patrons hurled insults at the musician, accusing him of deliberately spiting his own people.
Lumba is a native of the Ashanti Region.
One of the fuming fans was reported to have said, rather sarcastically, “It was this behaviour of Lumba’s that contributed to Nana Akufo-Addo’s defeat in the 2008 elections.”
They said for about six years the musician had not staged any performance in Kumasi.
Consequently, when the show was advertised, it received huge response.
At least 2,000 people were said to have paid to watch what was expected to be a mega-show by the musician.

Monday, December 27, 2010


A CENTRE for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies, has been inaugurated at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.
The objectives of the project include providing advanced education capacity in disability and rehabilitation in Ghana for health professionals and other identified actors for the prevention and response to all disabled persons, creating research and development capacity in the field of disability and rehabilitation, and providing a national database on disability.
The centre, the first of its kind in West Africa, whose establishment was sponsored by the Netherlands Organisation for International Co-operation in Higher Education (NUFFIC), is a major output of the School of Medical Sciences (SMS) disability project.
With the establishment of the centre, KNUST can comfortably offer admission to most of the persons with disability whose desire of pursuing academic programmes in the university had been a mirage.
At the inaugural ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. W.O. Ellis, said it was gratifying in the life of the university to be blessed with the centre.
“KNUST will through this centre contribute its quota to the call by the United Nations to mainstream disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond,” he said.
Prof. Ellis added that the project would also help the university brace itself with the challenge of gradually transforming into a disability-friendly institution.
He stated that the centre would establish a strong network with identified professionals in the field of disability, disabled people’s organisations and international NGOs with the view to advancing the potentials of the disabled.
Prof. Ellis said an M.Sc. programme in Disability Studies was in place at the university, and the B.Sc. curriculum had been approved ready for consideration by the academic board of the university and the National Accreditation Board.
The Vice-Chancellor said as part of the project, five Ph.D. and five M.Sc. fellowships were provided for staff development.
In that regard, he commended the university’s partners for their tremendous support.
Prof. Ellis stated that the establishment of the centre was part of efforts to reposition KNUST as a global institution of excellence in science and technology, focusing on the development of the nation and its people.
The Director of International Programmes at Hogeschool Leiden in The Netherlands, Sir Dominique Hoozemans, said the school was proud to be associated with the project.
He said going into the project meant the partners were ready to offer support to the needy to live meaningful lives.
The President of the Ghana Association of the Disabled, Mr Joseph Adu Boampong, commended the project managers for actively involving the association in the entire project.
He said many of their members were facing difficulties in accessing higher education as a result of the physical development of structures at the campuses of institutions in the country.


THE Omanhene of Manso-Nkwanta Traditional Area in the Amansie West District, Nana Bi-Kusi Appiah, has called on the government and the district assembly to institute measures to check illegal mining (galamsey) in the district.
He said the activities of the galamsey operators had led to loss of lives and destroyed the environment, stressing that that should not be allowed to continue.
“There is therefore an urgent need for the authorities to do something about the situation,” he said, promising that Nananom would give the necessary support to achieve results.
Nana Appiah made the call at a public forum organised by the traditional council at Manso-Nkwanta on how to address the problems arising out of galamsey operations in the area.
Heads of departments, security personnel, officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Minerals Commission and gold mining companies in the district, attended the forum.
The Omanhene stated that whereas some companies which had been issued with licences operated within the laws, others regrettably failed to reclaim the lands they worked on.
He therefore stressed the need for the companies to work according to the laws of the country.
An official of the Minerals Commission at Dunkwa-on-Offin, Mr Ernest Okyere, said it was illegal for anyone to mine gold without a licence from the commission.
He appealed to district assemblies and the law enforcement agencies to help arrest such persons.
The Member of Parliament for Amansie West, Mrs Grace Addo, said traditional rulers had a big role to play in checking illegal gold mining.
She therefore expressed the hope that the chiefs would join hands with the security agencies and the police to bring the situation under control.
Mrs Addo also spoke against schoolchildren using school hours for galamsey, and warned that henceforth any pupil found engaging in galamsey would be arrested and prosecuted.
The District Director of Education, Mr Samuel Kena, said the poor performance of schools in the Basic Education Certificate Examination in the district was partly due to the children’s involvement in galamsey activities.
He enjoined parents to take interest in the education of their children rather than leaving them to engage in unproductive activities.
The District Co-ordinating Director, Mr Daniel Nkrumah, stated that the district security committee had instituted measures to arrest persons engaged in galamsey activities.


HAVING brought honour to the Tepa Area of the Ashanti Region, Mr Samuel Awuni, the current national best cocoa farmer, is to be honoured by the Tepa Traditional Council at the next Akwasidae in January, 2011.
The Omanhene of Tepa, Nana Adusei Atwenewa Ampem, made this known when 42-year-old Awuni paid a courtesy call at his palace at Tepa to show him his award, a brand new Toyota Hilux double cabin vehicle.
He commended Mr Awuni for his hard work that had brought honour to the Ahafo-Ano North District.
Mr Awuni, a native of northern Ghana, who was born and bred at Tepa, owns over 100 acres of cocoa farm at Sanfifire, a village about 30 kilometres from Tepa where he produces more than 1,000 bags of cocoa in a season.
Mr Awuni’s example appears unique. He has never contracted bank loans in his farming career and he says he wants to use his award to inspire the youth to take up agriculture as a profession.
“It’s a business no one can underestimate and I think my example will push more of our youth into agriculture,” he stressed.
The man believes the future is even brighter for him and he hopes to win the national best farmer award in the not-too-distant future.
Mr Awuni completed basic education in 1987 but as he did not receive any help to further his education, he decided to go into farming.
“I sought help from the Cocoa Services Division and I can say that the officers helped me a lot.
“In the beginning, I started with a small cocoa farm inter-planted with plantain which helped me to get some money to expand the farm in course of time,” he stated.
Mr Awuni disputed the assertion in certain quarters that without bank support, one cannot engage in large-scale agriculture.
He said “Everything is done through planning. I am happy that even without bank loans, I have been able to make some headway in my business.”
Mr Awuni bought additional lands and in 2004, he won the district best cocoa farmer at the national farmers’ day. That was when he owed 40 acres of cocoa farm.
“The award encouraged me to work even harder and in 2006, I was awarded the regional best cocoa farmer,” he stated.
The stage was set for him to target the national award, which eventually arrived this year.
Mr Awuni has also entered into large-scale oil palm plantation and today he has 24 acres to his credit.
The best cocoa farmer has nine permanent workers working in his farm.
He says there is honesty in agriculture and that with the needed support, the youth can gain a lot from the business.
Mr Awuni is married to Rebecca and the couple have six children.
According to him, he was taking keen interest in the education of his children because education holds the key to the development of the human being and the society at large.

Monday, December 20, 2010


THE Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has called on the Ghana Railway Authority (GRA) to be bold to remove all obstacles to the government’s effort at reviving the country’s railways.
Expressing concern about the massive encroachment of lands belonging to the GRA, the Asantehene said everything must be done to ensure that the commitment shown by President Mills to resuscitate the railway industry materialised.
Board members of the railway authority paid a courtesy call on the Asantehene in Kumasi to seek his support on how to get encroachers and squatters off the railway lands in Kumasi and to pave the way for the construction of the Kumasi-Paga, Accra-Kumasi and the Takoradi-Kumasi lines next year.
Asantehene condemned some staff members of the erstwhile Ghana Railways Corporation for illegally selling the lands and said such individuals must be brought to book.
“We should not condone illegality,” he said, stressing that no one had the right to allocate the lands to anybody.
He urged the railway authority to approach their activities in a “businesslike manner”.
“Looking at the quality of experience of the railway board, I have no doubt in my mind that you will deliver,” he added.
The chairman of the GRA board, Mr Dan Markin, noted that Kumasi played a central role in the country’s development and, therefore, every effort would be made to modernise the city’s railway station.
He noted that effective railway would facilitate the operations of the Boankra Inland Port.
Mr Markin stated that President Mills was so much interested in the railway’s development project and that contracts for the works had been signed between the government and some Chinese companies for work to begin from February, 2011.
“I assure Otumfuo that the Kumasi station would be ready for opening by September, 2012, if we are able to evict the encroachers on time,” he said.
The board chairman, therefore, appealed to the Asantehene to do everything in his power to help the GRA get the encroachers off the lands in Kumasi.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


THE National Coordinator of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), Mr S.P. Adamu, has called on politicians to spare the programme the continuous politicisation to enable it to achieve its laudable objectives.
He said as a national programme of immense benefits, the GSFP must be supported by all persons irrespective of their political persuasions.
Speaking at the annual district level stakeholders meeting of the programme in the Ashanti Region in Kumasi, Mr Adamu said: “This programme came during President Kufuor’s administration and today President Mills is building on it so there is no need to play any kind of politics with it.”
“The GSFP is dear to the heart of every right thinking Ghanaian,” he stressed.
Mr Adamu, therefore, noted that if all Ghanaians threw their full weight behind the programme, there was no way that it would not change the face of the educational system for the better.
The meeting organised by the Ashanti Regional Secretariat of the GSFP brought together key actors overseeing the implementation of the programme in the various districts to share their experiences for the year 2010, and strategise on possible new approaches to remove the bottlenecks in the system.
The coordinator commended the government for showing so much commitment to the development of the GSFP and pledged that managers of the programme would continue to work assiduously towards improving standards.
After five years of the programme, the national coordinator noted that there was the need to review certain aspects in order to introduce new and affective ways of getting things going.
He indicated that some lapses had been detected in the running of the programme at the regional and district levels and plans were underway to correct them.
He mentioned for instance the uncoordinated activities of the actors and stressed that there must be link-ups between the various players so that together they could get the best for the pupils.
Mr Adamu urged caterers under the GSFP to purchase their food items from the local people to help bring money into the pockets of the local farmers.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, who opened the meeting, reminded the gathering that the GSFP was part of the government’s efforts at achieving the Millennium Development Goals on eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, and improving basic education.
The programme therefore needed the support of all people irrespective of political leanings.
So far, he said, the positive impacts of the programme had been felt but much was needed to make it more effective and to further increase the coverage to schools.
Mr Opoku-Manu mentioned managerial disregard to lay down systems as one major challenge confronting the programme, and called for the managers to play to the rules.
In an interview, the Ashanti Regional Coordinator of the GSFP, Mrs Ophelia Antwi-Boasiako, said her outfit was determined to put in measures that would further advance the course of the programme in 2011.
She said caterers in the region were happy that payments for work done were now forthcoming.
She, therefore, urged them to reciprocate the move by always feeding the pupils on time and with quality meals.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


THE management of Kumasi Asante Kotoko say they are totally unfazed by calls by a former board member for a probe into their operations.
Speaking on behalf of management, Public Affairs Manager of Kotoko, Jarvis Peprah, told the Daily Graphic that the Dr K.K. Sarpong administration had not done anything wrong to fear a probe.
“We will welcome it even today, “ he said confidently.
Former board member, Alhaji Ahmed Bandoh, better known as Alhaji Bahmed, last week called for a probe into the financial administration of Asante Kotoko, alleging, among other things deals in sponsorships entered into by the club.
The allegation was a by-product of the rift between Bahmed and executive chairman, Dr Sarpong, which reached boiling point last week with accusations and counter accusations which sometimes turned personal.
According to Bahmed, who announced his resignation last Thursday as a result of the fracas with the Executive Chairman, certain officers in the club were fleecing the club by unduly benefiting from sponsorship deals.
But, in a reaction to the allegation, Mr Peprah told this paper that the statement by the former board member was unfortunate because as an insider, he (Bahmed) should have known the arrangements in the club with regard to sponsorships.
Mr Peprah explained that it was a policy in Asante Kotoko that anyone or entity who managed to get a sponsorship for the club is entitled to 10 per cent of the total deal.
Asked whether management members were included in the arrangement, he answered in the affirmative.
“Any management member who can get a sponsorship for the club is entitled to 10 per cent of the deal. This is institutionalised in the club,” he said.
Mr Peprah rejected a suggestion that such a situation amounted to conflict of interest.
He would, however, not confirm or deny that any official in the current administration had benefited from that arrangement.
The public affairs manager said the Dr Sarpong administration was very transparent and would never hide anything from the supporters.
Mr Peprah further dismissed an allegation of one-man show made against the executive chairman by Bahmed.
He insisted that Dr Sarpong had been a team player who respects the views of every member of the administration and supporters.


CONSTRUCTION work on the Sofoline Interchange in Kumasi has stalled following the decision by the contractors, China Gio Construction Limited, to send the entire Ghanaian workers home because they do not have the money to pay them.
The company said the government had not paid them for work completed so far, and the company had no alternative than to ask the workers to go home.
Only the skeletal Chinese staff of the company are currently at post.
Already the project is behind schedule, and many residents in Kumasi have expressed concern about the snail pace at which the project is being executed.
The decision to send the workers home appeared to have heightened suspicion that the entire road project could suffer delay in completion.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Roads Director, Mr Theodore Quaye, confirmed that the contractors had complained about the delay in receiving payment for work done.
He told the Daily Graphic yesterday that the management of the company claimed they did not have money to pay the Ghanaian workers and have asked them to go home until government pays for work done so far.
The company, he said, had prepared certificates for completed works but money was yet to be released to pay them.
Mr Quaye, however, indicated that officials in Accra were doing everything possible to pay the contractor to enable work to resume fully.
“I have had assurances from my bosses and there is every indication that the contractor will be paid in due course,” he said.
Mr Quaye also refuted allegations in Kumasi that the drawings for the Sofoline Roundabout-Abuakwa road had been altered from the original six-lane to four because the government claimed it had no money for the original project.
According to him, the project still remained six-lane and nothing would be done to change it.

GUNMAN KILLED (1B, DEC 11, 2010)

Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

A suspected armed robber was killed and four others arrested in two separate incidents in Kumasi in which the robbers engaged the police in shoot-outs.
In the first instance, policemen from the Buffalo Unit had moved in response to a distress call that armed robbers had besieged a house at Ayeduase, a suburb of Kumasi.
According to the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Patrick Timbillah, few metres away from the crime scene, they were met with gun-shots from the robbers and the policemen responded.
In the exchanges, one of the robbers was seriously injured, while three others escaped, but the injured one, identified as Nana Yaw, died on the way to hospital.
The second incident occurred at Atabrakaso, also in Kumasi, where the four suspects were arrested. Those arrested were identified as Moses Mumuni, 29, Kofi Kumi, 25, Osei Kofi, 31, and Kwabena Antwi, 25. They were said to have attacked the Hansol Mining Company in Kumasi.
Briefing journalists in Kumasi yesterday, DCOP Timbillah said in the Ayeduase encounter, the police received the call about 10:15 p.m. on Thursday and were on the scene within six minutes.
He said before he was pronounced dead, Nana Yaw confessed that he went on the operation with three others who managed to run away.
DCOP Timbillah further explained that Nana Yaw said two of his accomplices had in their possession two locally manufactured pistols while the other used a pump action gun.
He said when the police searched Nana Yaw, a knife and a toy pistol were found on him. The police also picked four spent cartridges at the crime scene.
DCOP Timbillah appealed to the general public, especially health facilities, to be on the look-out for persons with gun-shot wounds as the men were suspected to have been hit by bullets.
He also appealed to the general public to continue to volunteer information to the police to enable them to fight the menace of armed robbery.

Friday, December 10, 2010


ALL is certainly not well within the top management of struggling club Kumasi Asante Kotoko as board member, Alhaji Ahmed Bandoh, aka Alhaji Bahmed, has resigned following a face-off with Executive Chairman, Dr K.K. Sarpong.
Alhaji Bahmed told the Graphic Sports yesterday that he could never be part of the board because of the “baseless allegations” the Executive Chairman had made against him.
On Wednesday, Dr Sarpong took a swipe at Alhaji Bahmed over comments he made, citing interference in his work as board member in charge of operations.
Dr Sarpong swore to “cut him to size” because his activities were counter-productive to the club.
Dr Sarpong called on the club’s supporters to be on the look out for “saboteurs like Alhaji Bahmed”.
His fiery comments were in reaction to an interview Alhaji Bahmed granted to a Kumasi-based radio station, Angel FM, where he alleged that a certain management member was usurping his (Bahmed’s) role as a board member in charge of operations.
He further stated that it appeared the financial support he was giving to the club was not being appreciated and threatened to resign if things did not change in Kotoko.
But in a swift and apparently furious reaction, Mr Sarpong said it was dishonest on the part of the board member to portray himself as a financier of the club.
He called his bluff to resign from the board. “He should go now and the club will not lose anything.”
Dr Sarpong maintained that Alhaji Bahmed was a board member and it would be wrong for him to assume the role of a management member.
No one, he said, had assigned any operations role to him, and if he wants to become a management member, he should descend from the board.
“And even then, can he be trusted?” the Executive Chairman queried.
He accused the board member of allowing former coach, Ebo Mends, to go on radio to “talk loose” about the club.
Dr Sarpong indicated that he (Sarpong) was spending his time, energy and resources to help bring Kotoko back to shape and would not allow people who had milked the club by inflating contract fees of players in the past to have their way again.
He fell short of naming such persons and said, “they bought a player for GH¢20,000 but collected GH¢40,000.”
He emphasised that some people wanted to frustrate him to resign his position as Executive Chairman but said that would never happen.
“I have resolved to help bring Kotoko back to winning ways and I will ensure that I succeed,” he said.
He said, “the signings that we are making will help us in the second round of the Premier League.”
But speaking to this paper yesterday, Alhaji Bahmed said he had never been part of any negotiations for the purchase of players.
According to him negotiations were done by Dr Sarpong, Wilberforce Mfum and Owusu Ansah, “so I am surprised that I am being accused of inflating contract sums.”
He challenged Dr Sarpong to prove the allegations against him “else I would go out to expose him for the negative things he is doing to bring Kotoko down.”
He said since he became a board member, he had been paying $200 to the best Kotoko player in any match the team played.
“I am doing all this to help motivate players, and I’m shocked that people do not appreciate them but rather give me a bad name,” he said.
Alhaji Bahmed described himself as a self-made man and “not one of those people who have never worked for themselves but only depended on government work to boast that they have money.”
In a separate interview with Graphic Sports’ Daniel Kenu in Accra yesterday, Alhaji Bahmed accused Dr Sarpong of stifling the progress of the team, while alleging that the chairman had hijacked Kotoko together with his special aide, Kwame Baah-Nuakoh.
Cataloguing a tall list of allegations, Alhaji Bahmed, as the travel and tour magnate is popularly known, said his views were not respected as a board member and therefore felt slighted and stabbed at the back.
Alhaji Bahmed had earlier contemplated on resigning from the club but put it on hold to enable him to discuss it with the spiritual head of the club, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
“Now, I think I need to call it quits and focus on my business,” he said.
He claimed, for instance, that Dr Sarpong and Baah-Nuakoh unilaterally hired the new coach, Bogdan Korak, without recourse to the rest of the board members.
He alleged that as a result of the board chairman’s naivety in football, he had surrounded himself with people who ill-advise him against the progress of the club.


THE Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Charity Fund has rolled out a five-year nationwide hand washing with soap project for pupils in basic schools.
An initial 1,000 schools in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Volta, Upper East, Upper West Central and Western Regions have been selected for the project.
The beneficiaries will be expanded to 500 more schools by the end of the project.
Managers of the Foundation said the project was in line with the vision of the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to ensure healthy living for Ghanaian children.
The project, which is being undertaken in conjunction with PZ Cussons Ghana Limited, will see each beneficiary school provided with special buckets known as “adepa buckets” affixed with water containers, and cakes of soap to be used for the hand washing.
The buckets will be placed at strategic points in the schools and labelled, “Hand-washing Station” while colourful pictures depicting how to properly wash the hand would be pasted at the washing points.
PZ had committed themselves to spend about GH¢50,000 for the five-year duration of the project subject to extension.
The Executive Director of the foundation, Dr Thomas Agyarko-Poku, told journalists at the pre-launch media briefing in Kumasi that the project also formed part of the water and sanitation component of the foundation’s activities.
Dr Agyarko-Poku stated that the Ministries of Education and Health had been contacted to help ensure that the project become successful.
“Teachers will be encouraged to supervise children to wash their hands before and after meals, and after visiting the washroom.” he said.
The executive director said the Foundation did not restrict its activities to areas that fell under the authority of Otumfuo.
“We believe in the vision of Otumfuo and want the foundation to be seen as a Ghanaian institution serving all the people of the country,” he said.
He stressed that his outfit would work extra hard to ensure that the project was well established in schools.
Dr Agyarko-Poku said the foundation was discussing with other partners to provide polytanks to some schools in the country.
Besides they were in talks with Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited to construct boreholes in some communities in the country.
He indicated that the Otumfuo Education Fund was undergoing review and that from the next academic advertisements would be put out for people to apply for support. The names of beneficiaries would also be published.
Dr Agyarko-Poku stated that the scholarship would not be limited to schools in Ghana and that plans were complete for scholarships to be awarded to study medicine and other disciplines in Germany and other countries.


MEMBERS of the Senior Staff Association of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Service (GRA) have ended their 20th annual national delegates conference at Ejisu, near Kumasi with a call on staff to redouble their efforts at revenue collection.
The chairman of the association, Mr Junior Appiah-Warden, said at the conference that a lot depended on the customs division of GRA to help government advance its development initiatives, stressing that the division could, therefore, not afford to play to the gallery.
He stated that the customs division was “way behind this year’s national revenue target, yet in Kumasi alone, there were over 200 seized saloon cars and a fleet of mini buses, which could be auctioned to rake in revenue for the state, had been sitting there and getting rotten.
Appiah-Warden, therefore, called on management to conduct auctions of seized items, especially hundreds of vehicles at various customs posts in the country, to help the government get the needed revenue to undertake its infrastructure and other economic activities to better the living standards of the people.
The three-day conference was on the theme: “Senior Staff Association of Customs Division of GRA: Contemporary Issues.”
Mr Appiah-Warden mentioned the negative media attention the division had received this year and said ”given the circumstances under which we work, we are not as dirty as it is often portrayed.”
He expressed concern that for three years, customs officers had not been provided with uniforms and their accoutrements, and, therefore, called for the retooling of officers to enable them to perform.
The Commissioner General of the GRA, Mr George Blankson, emphasised that the integration process of the GRA would not lead to loss of jobs in any of the three affected revenue agencies.
Agencies affected by the integration are the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Value Added Tax (VAT) Service.
Allaying the growing fears of workers within the agencies, Mr Blankson said the process was being approached in a way to ensure that no member of staff would also suffer any loss in rank or diminution of emoluments.
He said labour was deeply involved in the change process and that workers needed not to fear about the security of their jobs.
Mr Blankson stated that integration would involve the redefinition of job schedules leading to review of staff placement and transfer and reassignment of staff to the various divisions, adding that conditions of service would be enhanced under the GRA.
He informed the conference that members of the various associations within the GRA would be placed in three different sections, namely customs division, domestic tax division and support services division.
The board chairman of GRA, Mr Ernest Kwesie, said the authority was determined to achieve the national revenue target.
Consequently, he said, it was tightening up tax revenue activities between now and December 31 at the ports, harbours and border posts.
Mr Kwesie gave the assurance that the board and management of the GRA would ensure that the appropriate orders and operational instructions were prepared to enhance the implementation of the customs procedures relating to the budget.

VALUE SYSTEMS OF RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY ...Otumfuo urges Ghanaians (PAGE 12, DEC 8, 2010)

THE Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has enjoined Ghanaians to return to their rich value systems by rejecting political intolerance, intemperate language, disrespect for authority and divisiveness.
He said the emergence of the phenomena of serial callers and foot soldiers in the country’s body politics was not doing the nation any good and blamed politicians for that trend.
The Asantehene, who was speaking at a durbar he organised in honour of awardees of the 2010 Millennium Excellence Awards at the forecourt of the Manhyia Palace, last Monday, challenged politicians to have the welfare of the youth at heart instead of using them to achieve power only to neglect them.
He explained that the seeming lack of sustainable programmes to address the problems of the youth had compelled them to do everything necessary to make ends meet.
He said it was disturbing to see young people who should have been engaged in productive activities creating fear and panic in the country under the banner of foot soldiers and serial callers, a phenomenon that he said was perhaps known to only Ghana.
He described, as worrying, people's negative understanding and practice of politics and said that had become the greatest threat to the fabric of the society.
"Politics has become the shortest route to riches and patronage and people will do whatever is necessary to get there. It is a win and lord it over the people (issue) but not to change the destiny of the people."
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said the development was a disincentive to national development and must be checked before it plunged the country into crisis.
The Asantehene, who is the life patron of the Millennium Excellence Awards, said sometimes it appeared politics was taking the nation towards the wrong path.
He descended heavily on people who saw politics as the shortest route to riches rather than an avenue to serve their country.
He said many people were entering politics in the country because they found it a lucrative venture, especially when one’s political party was in power.
The Asantehene indicated that in their quest to make money from politics, politicians would do everything possible to win power.
He observed that greed, avarice and nepotism were eroding the achievements Ghana had made as a country.
He also expressed deep concern about the way politics was polarising the country, stressing that Ghana needed to learn from other countries where in spite of political differences, unity amongst the people remained the key word.
Commending the award winners for their tremendous achievements in their fields of endeavour, he said many of them made it outside politics and theirs must be an example for the youth of the country.
He noted that the gradual destruction of the value system had resulted in young people publicly insulting the elderly.
“We are losing our values fast. Our family system is being eroded and now respect for the elderly is out of our vocabulary,” he said.
The Asantehene referred to the recent burning of an old woman to death, by some people on suspicion that she was a witch and said: “If our value system was to be working, the perpetrators wouldn’t have taken that line.”
He called for the revival of the spirit of volunteerism, saying it was one sure way of bringing development to the communities.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu stated that Africa had hardworking sons and daughters who could be relied on to help change the development face of the continent.
He commended the awardees for demonstrating that Africa had something good to offer.
Africa, he said, must set its sight very high because it would be suicidal to always play second fiddle to the rest of the world.


THE Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies, Dr Esther Offei-Aboagye, has advised Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) with the requisite entry requirements to take advantage of the programmes at the institute to upgrade themselves academically.
She said the institute was opening its doors to the MMDCEs and believed they would respond appropriately.
Speaking in an interview after the signing of an affiliation agreement with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) last Thursday, Dr Offei-Aboagye, recalled a recent advice given by local government expert, Mr Kwamena Ahwoi, to MMDCEs to upgrade themselves academically and said the advice needed to be taken seriously.
The affiliation agreement would see the KNUST supervising four Masters Degree programmes at the institute which are M.Sc. Environmental Science, M.Sc. Policy Management and Local Economic Development, M.Sc. Local Government Financial Administration and M.Sc. Local Government Administration.
Earlier at the signing ceremony, Dr Offei-Aboagye, expressed the hope that the relationship with the KNUST would further enrich their academic programmes and the work of the assemblies.
“This is a long dream come into reality and we hope to build on the relationship,” she said.
The Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. W.O. Ellis, emphasised the need for quality human resource in local governance if the nation wanted to see improve growth.
“We are in a knowledge economy and everyone wants to go to school.
As a university, we will open our doors in various ways to enable many people acquire higher education,” he said.
Prof. Ellis, stressed that KNUST would not compromise on quality and would always ensure that its affiliated institutions maintain the required standards.
He said the university was expanding its distance learning programmes to enable more people benefit from it.
He commended the management of the institute for working hard to meet the standards set for the affiliation.
At the same ceremony, the Christian Service University College in Kumasi also signed an affiliation agreement with the KNUST.

Monday, December 6, 2010


SIX hundred and ninety-nine post-graduate students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) have passed out at the special congregation of the university in Kumasi.
They consisted of 190 Master of Science (M.Sc.) students, 38 Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) students, 34 Master of Arts (MA) students and five Master of Fine Arts (MFA) students.
The rest were 164 Commonwealth Executive Master of Public Administration/Commonwealth Executive Master of Business Administration (CEMPA/CEMBA) graduates, 162 Master of Business Administration (MBA) students, 66 Post Graduate Diploma students and 39 Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) students.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice Chancellor of KNUST, Prof. W.O. Ellis, said post-graduate education was crucial to advancing national development and that was why the university was restructuring its training programmes to enable more people to benefit from it.
He said considering the high cost of training, plans were underway to introduce more split site and sandwich programmes to cut down cost to students.
Prof. Ellis urged the graduates to go out and positively impact the society with knowledge and expertise.


THE Deputy Controller (Finance and Administration) of the Accountant General’s Department, Ms Grace Adzroe, has advised women to upgrade themselves academically to empower them to take up positions at all levels of development.
Ms Adzroe, who is a Chartered Accountant, noted that women are partners in development “and it behoves us to make the strides that will justify our ability to perform equally as our male counterparts”.
Speaking at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Ashanti Regional branch of Controller and Accountant General Department Ladies Association (TRELAS) in Kumasi, Ms Adzroe, said women must project themselves decently in order to build on the respect they command.
It was on the theme, “The role of the woman accountant in nation building”.
She condemned what she described as the practice where women working in public offices dress “provocatively” to work and said the situation, which was becoming prevalent in recent times, tended to demean womanhood and therefore, urged female workers to ensure that they dress decently to their workplaces.
She said she was looking up for increased women representation on the management team of the department, since there was only one woman on the team.
“Sadly, out of the 135 qualified accountants in the department, only 19 are women,” she added, but expressed delight that more women in the department were currently undertaking various courses in tertiary institutions to upgrade themselves.
She called for integrity on the part of the women in the performance of their work, saying “We should not attempt to misappropriate state money under any circumstances”.
“Let’s undertake prudent financial management by ensuring that funds kept in our custody are safe and used for the purposes for which they are given to us,” she stressed.
The Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Ms Anima Wilson, who was the guest of honour, stated that the government’s decision to empower women to take up important positions in national development was not a fluke.
The signs, she noted, were beginning to show in all spheres of national life and indicated that a lot more would be done by the government to bring the best out of the Ghanaian woman.
Ms Wilson, therefore, challenged women to take up the challenge and let their presence be felt in the socio-economic development of the country.
She noted that the contribution of women to national development had been phenomenal but stressed that more could be done when women were given the needed support.
“That was why the Mills government had placed the empowerment of women at the centre of events”, she said.
The deputy regional minister commended Ashanti TRELAS for their achievements over the decade and urged them to continue to initiate programmes and projects that would enhance their development and that of the larger society.
Ms Wilson told the women not to allow their household activities to overshadow their work schedule, adding “In spite of your household activities, you should be punctual at work”.
She also urged them to counsel girls to lead lives that would give them a better future.
The President of Ashanti TRELAS, Mrs Genevieve Bukari, said none of its members had ever been engaged in any financial malfeasance and said the association would continue to preach professional integrity to its members.
She noted that women accountants had a huge role to play in the government’s ‘Better Ghana Agenda’ and must therefore, not fail the nation.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Kotoko's dismal showing...FANS CALL FOR SHAKE-UP (GRAPHIC SPORTS, NOV 30, 2010, PAGE 11)

IT is now clear! Kumasi Asante Kotoko are in a mess and the fans believe only a major shake-up in the playing body could save the dwindling fortunes of the once-fearsome side.
Last Sunday night, the long-suffering supporters of the club summed up their frustration when they attempted to physically attack the players after an ignominious 2-3 home defeat to Berekum Chelsea in a Glo Premier League match at the Baba Yara Stadium.
It was Kotoko’s fifth defeat in six consecutive league matches, the worst in the 75-year history of the club. This means the Porcupine Warriros ( if they can still be so called) have picked just a point from the last six matches.
The manner Kotoko surrendered a two-goal lead to lose the match to Chelsea underlined the rot in the team, and some of the fans were seen weeping while the superstitious suggested a look into the spiritual world to salvage the club.
The incensed supporters massed up at the entrance to the dressing room calling for the blood of the players accusing them of proving nothing to deserve wearing the red jersey. It took the police a hectic time to control the supporters before the players who were holed up in the dressing room managed to board their bus home.
New Serbian coach, Bogdan Korak, will be left to reflect on the performance of the team since he took over, and perhaps admit that the journey ahead of him is murky. Clearly, the match provided evidence of a continuing lack of confidence within the playing body.
Chelsea coach, Abubakari Yusif, said after the match; "We made a tremendous input in the game tonight. It is a great result, and it shows that we can win the league”.
Kotoko Executive Chairman, Dr K.K. Sarpong, whose untiring efforts at getting the team back to winning ways appear fruitless, was seen driving off quickly after the match. It is likely management will put more players on the transfer list this week as efforts are made to bring in fresh legs.
But make no mistake. The character of the Chelsea team was as solid as a rock. Indeed, it underlined the shift of power in the local game. For ten minutes the two sides were finding it difficult to get into firing range and it was not until the 12th minute that Bismark Idan almost caught Kotoko off-guard with a rasping shot but young keeper George Arthur saved it.
Asante Kotoko came into the game strongly and found the opener on 17 minutes when defender Prince Boateng raced past his marker on the right to power home from a difficult angle. Kotoko got into their strides charging from the left and doubled the lead on the 20th minute through Ofosu Appiah.
When all thought the goal would deflate the league leaders, it rather emboldened them and they changed the complexion of the match, attacking in bursts with the jittery Kotoko defence unable to cope. As the Berekum side seized the middle and pushed forward for openings, they clawed one back on the 29th minute following a great build up from the middle that saw Yaw Alexander finishing off.
On the 37th minute, they levelled the score through Abdul Basit who drew inside out hapless Ofosu Appiah and John Kuffuor to sweep the ball past George Arthur in post. It was clear that Kotoko did not have the spirit to fight and Chelsea took full control of the second half as the pace, movement and ball control made the home side look very ordinary.
They found the leader on the 59th minute through national player, Emmanuel Clottey who fired home with a left footer from just inside the area.


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi.

ULTRA modern tartan tracks have been fixed at the Paa Joe Stadium, the official sporting grounds of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The completion of the tracks has brought a dramatic transformation to the stadium.
Over the past three years, the stadium has been undergoing reshaping and the fixing of the tartan tracks has added much colour to the facility.
The rehabilitation started in the build up to the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana.
Paa Joe Stadium was used as one of the training grounds for the teams that played in Kumasi in the Africa Cup of Nations.
The rehabilitation saw the pitch regressed and the stands painted.
With the completion of the tartan tracks, the pressure on the Baba Yara Stadium would be reduced to an appreciable extent.
The authorities of the university deserve commendation for supervising the project to a successful completion.


One of the two claimnants to the Tuobodom Stool and three other chiefs from the Brong Ahafo Region have won a legal battle to have their elevation to paramount status by the Asantehene recognised by both the National and Brong Ahafo Regional Houses of Chiefs.
The Kumasi High Court has ordered both houses of chiefs to insert the names of the four chiefs in their registers since there was nothing wrong with their elevation.
The other chiefs are the Tanobuasehene, Tanosohene and Kenyasehene.
This followed a writ of mandamus filed on behalf of the stools by a Sunyani-based lawyer, Nana Obiri Boahen.
Mr Justice Kwame Ansu-Gyeabour, in his ruling read on his behalf, said there was no doubt that the stools had owed allegiance to the Golden Stool of Ashanti since 1935.
Tanobuasehene, Tuobodomhene and Tanosohene who constituted part of the Tanosubin area of the Brong Ahafo Region were elevated to paramount status in 1996 by the late Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, but had since not been admitted as members of the Regional House of Chiefs.
Just after their elevation, a serious conflict broke out in the area, resulting in the death of seven people and massive destruction of property.
Just last year, the Techimanhene was alleged to have detained one of the two claimnants to the Tuobodom Stool in his palace for refusing to denounce his allegiance to the Asantehene.
The Kenyasehene was, however, sworn in as Omanhene about three years ago but had also not been admitted to the Regional House of Chiefs.
Consequently, they filed the suit challenging the refusal of the National and Regional Houses of Chiefs to recognise them.
In their supporting affidavit, the plaintiffs averred that they had never been subservient to the Techiman Stool.
According to them, their elevation to paramount stool status by the Asantehene was done in line with custom and thus deserved to be recognised by the Regional and National Houses of chiefs.
The plaintiffs produced pictorial evidence of the late Techimanhene, Dotobibi Takyia Ameyaw at the Manhyia Palace in the company of the Acherensuahene, Nkroranzahene and the Kukuomhene pleading with the Asantehene to allow him (Techimanhene) to administer the Tuobodom and other stools he (the Asantehene) elevated in the Tanosubin area on his (Asantehene’s) behalf to which the Asantehene refused.
The High Court, in its ruling, stated that for the Techimanhene to do that meant the Techiman Stool was stopped by its own conduct to say those stools were under it.
The court also could not understand why the National House of Chiefs set up a committee to go into the complaints of the chiefs when they had gone to court to challenge the refusal to insert their names in the register of chiefs.


THE Agricultural Development Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE) programme, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has begun a four-year project to assist maize farmers in the country to make good profits from their produce.
The project seeks to introduce farmers’ access to modern technology and innovation that would lead to increased productivity.
In line with the project, five maize demonstration fields have been established in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions to introduce two new maize hybrids — Mamaba and Obaatanpa — and the associated improved planting technology to about 300 maize farmers.
Communities benefiting from the project include Bunuso, Dompoase, Bonte, Akropong and Apesika.
Currently, farmers engaged on the project in the five communities have ready markets in Akate Farms, one of the best-organised poultry farms in Ghana, which used to import about 60 per cent of its maize for the production of poultry feed.
As part of efforts to get farmers to appreciate the importance of the project to their businesses, the ADVANCE programme, in conjunction with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Crops Research Institute, has organised a field day at Bunuso in the Asante Mampong Municipality for about 500 farmers within the project area.
Expected to last until 2013, the project uses a comprehensive value chain development approach to selecting commodities such as maize in Ghana to increase their competitiveness in both domestic and regional markets.
The expected outcome includes increased incomes, the emergence of a commercial agricultural class and improved services to the main chain actors, thus contributing to economic growth and poverty reduction.
The Deputy Chair of Party (Operations) of ADVANCE, Dr Emmanuel Dormon, expressed concern that most farmers did not see farming as a business and thus approached it anyhow.
Today, he said, Ghana imported maize to the value of about $100 million annually when there was every opportunity to cut the figure down drastically with the right approach.
Dr Dormon said this motivated the ADVANCE to come in to bridge the gap, adding that currently the programme was operating in nine regions of the country with the exception of the Western Region, where they were expected to open offices in March, 2011.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu, noted that there was no justification for farmers to be poor if the right methods of farming were adopted to produce on a large scale.
“If this is achieved, Ghana will be able to feed itself and export to generate the needed foreign exchange, “ he said.
The Mamponghene, Daasebre Osei Bonsu II, called for the project to be sustained way beyond 2013 because of its benefits.
Testifying to the quality maize produced by the farmers engaged on the project, the accountant of Akate Farms, Mr Francis Oppong, said the company imported maize because it realised that the local maize was not treated well.
“Today, through ADVANCE, we are getting quality maize from the farmers and our budget for foreign import has gone down, “ he said.