TFA urges parliament to reject EC’s new C.I.

The Third Force Alliance (TFA), a coalition of some minority parties, has called on parliament to reject the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) proposed Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) seeking to make the Ghana card the sole document for voter’s registration. According to the group, the new C.I. was not only obnoxious and unconstitutional but also inimical to the tenets of participatory democracy in the country. Mr Awudu Ishaq, National Communications Secretary of the Peoples National Convention (PNC) and Spokesperson for the group, made the call at a press conference in Accra. The TFA comprises the Peoples National Convention, Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and Ghana United Movement (GUM). Mr Ishaq also stated that the group had observed the spirited attempt by the EC to railroad the C.I. through the process despite some of the objectionable provisions that have occasioned numerous calls by well-meaning Ghanaians and identifiable stakeholders on the EC to abandon the C.I. He further stated that the new C.I. would lead to the disenfranchisement of millions of Ghanaians and thereby occasion unjustifiable voter suppression should it be allowed to stand in its current form. ‘Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution guarantees every Ghanaian citizen who is eighteen years and above and of sound mind, the inalienable right to register and vote in public elections and referenda. ‘This very Constitution further enjoins the EC in Article 45 to undertake programmes for the expansion of the registration of voters, and no to limit or restrict registration of voters as the EC is seeking to do through this C.I.’ He said. Mr Ishaq also noted that the teething challenges that continued to bedevil the Ghana Card registration process made the new proposed C.I. even more objectionable. He said apart from logistical and network concerns, the operations of the National Identification Authority (NIA) have been hamstring by financial constraints. He said these financial challenges as the NIA itself has disclosed have led to 3.5 million blank cards being locked up in a bonded warehouse due to NIA’s indebtedness to its private partner, Identity Management Systems (IMS), while another 645, 663 cards are yet to be issued to Ghanaians who have completed their registrations. Additionally, about 631,847 cards have not been printed while an estimated 2.5 million Ghanaians are yet to be registered in the first place. Mr Ishaq also stated that apart from the impediments in acquiring the Ghana Card, the EC is proposing to completely abandon its own guarantor system which has been integrated into L.I.2111 (2012), the very law regulating the issuance of the Ghana Card. Mr Ishaq said the decision by the EC to abandon the registration of voters at polling stations and electoral area levels for registration at district centres would hugely disenfranchise a greater majority of prospective voters considering the geographical outlook of the districts across the country. He said the arrangement would require people to travel long distances in order to access the registration centres in the districts. He said apart from inconveniencing prospective voters, this would further place a financial burden on the very Ghanaians whose economic and financial circumstances have been worsened by the government as these prospective voters would be required to pay exorbitant lorry fares to get to the registration centres at the various district capitals. ‘This is unacceptable to any sane and objective-minded Ghanaian and must not be allowed to happen,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Akatsi Constituency NDC executives lodge complaint against parliamentary candidate aspirant

Executives of the Akatsi Constituency National Democratic Congress (NDC) have complained with the Volta Regional executives against Mr Samuel Benedict Nugblega, a parliamentary candidate aspirant, for what they called ‘an act of indiscipline and insubordination.’ The constituency executives, led by Chairman Tony Owusu and Secretary Daniel Dagba said Mr Nugblega defied the directive from the national executives not to campaign in incumbent MPs’ constituencies until or after March 31, 2023. The executives recalled a directive issued on the 7th of March, 2023 by the General Secretary, Mr Fiifi Fiavi Kwetey that charged all aspirants, including the incumbent MPs to cease campaign and other related activities for parliamentary duties to help save the country’s vibrant democracy. The directives were subsequently made known to all aspirants by the Constituency executives, in a letter dated 8th March 2023. A letter sighted by the Ghana News Agency, and signed by the secretary, Mr Dagba, has an attached copy of the directive letter from the party General Secretary. The GNA learnt that the letter was served to each aspirant to draw their attention to the national directives. However, the Chairman and the Secretary told journalists that Mr Nugblega was on March 9 2023, seen in active campaign in some of the branches within the Akatsi South, urging delegates to vote for him as the parliamentary candidate, thereby defying the party’s directive. In those campaign meetings, the executives said the aspirant and his campaign team distributed two sets of mosquito nets and GHS 50 to each member of the delegates at the branch. ‘Thus, each branch was enticed with amount of about GHS450,’ the executives said, adding that, some of the delegates were later given nomination forms of Mr Nugblega to endorse. ‘Mr Nugblega and his campaign team were at Ayitikorpe, Kpohega, Bata, and other branches on the March 9, 2023, campaigning, contrary to the directives of the national executives,’ they said. According to the executives, one other aspirant and the incumbent MP Bernard Ahiafor have respected the directive and since halted their campaign activities and asked their supporters to do same. ‘Nugblega has indeed defied the party directives,’ Mr Dabga said, and reiterated that the party has reported the matter to the regional executives; and the aspirant would be called to justify his action or sanctioned accordingly. Minority Chief Whip Governs Kwame Agbodza has said the Minority accepted the directive by the national executives as it was the only way by which members could be whipped to attend to the House for business. When contacted, Mr Nugblega said the information the executives gave to the media was ‘falsehood.’ He said he only went for his nomination to be endorsed, activity required by party. ‘I have gone for my nomination to be endorsed as required by the party,’ he said. Asked if pictures purported to be him campaigning as also falsehood, Mr Nugblega queried: ‘Please, where in the pictures, in your own judgment, was I campaigning?’

Source: Ghana News Agency

ECG hands over renovated Western Region GJA office

Mr Emmanuel Justice Ofori, General Manager, Western Regional Branch of the Electricity Company of Ghana has handed over the renovated office of the Ghana Journalists Association to the Regional Leadership. The renovation included changing the door and louver blades to glass, embossment of the facility in the name of the GJA, provision of television and accessories among other interventions to make the Regional Press Centre habitable. Mr Ofori, handing over the renovated building to the regional GJA, described the media as cardinal in the business they operated and must be assisted to play that public education role very effectively. ‘This is also a token of appreciation for your continual support to our business as an interface between us and our customers…thank you’, the Manager added. Mr Desmond Cudjoe, the Western Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association was grateful to the company for being the first to respond to the call to rehabilitate the press centre. He said revival of the Centre would create a common ground for media practitioners to gather, interact and share positive vibes for the holistic development of the Region and the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Para-athletics team leaves for South Africa for international classifiers

A three-member team from Ghana Para-Athletics departed to Cape Town, South Africa to participate in the International/National Classifier organized by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF). The team, made up of Benedict Opoku Abebrese – Junior Para-Athlete, Mr. Emmanuel Anim Sowah – Coach and Dr. Abena Yeboah Tannor, left Accra on Wednesday for South Africa. The trip was at the invitation of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) training camps for the GAPS Africa Programme. The competition and training camp aimed supporting para-athletes and coaches, would be held from the March 14-22, 2023. It is also in support of athletes and coaches in Africa ahead of the Trinidad and Tobago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games. According to the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) representatives from nine Commonwealth Games Federations have been invited to attend the programme being hosted by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF). The leadership of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) led by Mr Ben Nunoo Memsah and the Ghana Chef D’ Mission of the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games, Mrs Delphine Quaye together with the President of the National Paralympic Committee of Ghana Mr. Samson Deen facilitated the participation of Ghana’s team to the programme.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana to host the 2023 IFBB West Africa Championship

Ghana will host the 2023 edition of International Fitness and Bodybuilding Federation (IFBB) West African Championship from March 16-18, 2023. Mr. Clement Osei Aboagye Communications Manager of the Ghana Bodybuilding and Fitness Association (GBFA), in an interview with the GNA Sports said about ten countries had confirmed their participation in the championship. Mr. Osei Aboagye said, Burkina Faso, Congo, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia, Zimbabwe have confirmed their participation in the championship. According to the him, participants would be arriving on Thursday, with weigh-in of athletes on Friday, whilst the main event starts on Saturday. He said Mr. Victor Hernadez from the IFBB board from Spain would also be in Ghana by Thursday as the supervisor of the championship. He said the competition would serve as a qualification for the Arnold Classic Bodybuilding championship in South Africa in May this year. He called on corporate entities, individuals, to support them in the organization of the event.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana maintains good relations with Cote d’Ivoire in spite of maritime dispute outcome – President affirms

Ghana’s bilateral ties with her western neighbour, Cote d’Ivoire, remains intact, in spite of the maritime boundary dispute outcome that favoured Ghana, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has affirmed. The two countries, he said, had a strategic partnership and would continue to work together in sustaining the long-standing cooperation for the common good and in the interest of the people. President Nana Akufo-Addo, who was addressing the National Honours and Awards 2023, in Accra, lauded the technical team and legal advisors who made sure that the maritime boundary dispute ended favourably for the Republic of Ghana. They worked assiduously to ‘ensuring that the nation’s western maritime resources, including its oil and gas potential, rightfully remained in our possession,’ he noted. Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are adjacent to each other in the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean – a maritime area containing large reserves of hydrocarbons which both States had been eager to exploit. In 2007, the discovery of the major Jubilee oilfield 32 nautical miles (nm) off the Ghanaian coast attracted significant interest from foreign investors in Ghana’s hydrocarbon potential. Subsequently, in March 2009, the Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) fields were discovered only 3nm east of Jubilee. By the time the issue of maritime delimitation was brought into bilateral negotiations between the parties, the TEN and Jubilee oilfields were all under development by a consortium of companies led by London-based Tullow Oil. Côte d’Ivoire objected to Ghana’s ongoing oil activities, asserting that they were being conducted in the Ivorian maritime area. Following this assertion, the parties agreed to establish the ‘Joint Ivorian-Ghanaian Commission on Maritime Border Demarcation,’ and maritime delimitation negotiations commenced. On December 03, 2014, after little progress in diplomatic negotiations, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire agreed to submit the maritime boundary dispute to the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). In September 2017, the International Tribunal in its judgement granted Ghana all of its claimed maritime territory, including extensive offshore oil and gas fields. The ruling upheld the boundary line claimed by Ghana and rejecting that proposed by Côte d’Ivoire. President Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that the case was widely followed because of the abundant oil and gas resources in the Gulf of Guinea off the southern coast of the two neighboring African States. In its ruling, the Tribunal unanimously agreed with Ghana that the disputed boundary should follow an equidistance line, and that Ghana acted lawfully in its drilling and extractive activities on its side of that line. The boundary adopted is a line extending from the coast to the southwest at a 191.8 degrees angle. The Tribunal rejected Côte d’Ivoire’s claim that the boundary should run to the southeast along an angle of 168.7 degrees. The over 9,000 square nautical miles of sea and seabed which were disputed all were awarded to Ghana. These include the oil and gas fields known as TEN (Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme), which are estimated to hold two billion barrels of oil and 1.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. In line with the National Awards, members of the ITLOS main legal team were awarded the Order of the Volta – Companion awards. They are Mr. Godfred Yeboah Dame, Mr. Joe Ghartey, Ms. Gloria Afua Akuffo, Mr. Kwasi Prempeh, Mrs. Helen Awo Ziwu, Ms. Jane Aheto, Mrs. L. Apaalse, Ms. Pearl Akiwumi-Siriboe, Mr. Godwin Djokoto, Ms. Vivienne Gadzekpo, Professor Dominic Fobi, Mrs. Sylvia Adusu and Mr. Anthony Akoto-Ampaw.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Bono Region assures former President Mahama of support

Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, the Bono Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has assured the region would support former President John Dramani Mahama in his bid to become the Party’s flag bearer. He said the assurance given to the former President was not coming from him but from the regional to the electoral areas’ executives because they had realised ‘he has what it takes to rescue the country from its current challenges’. Mr Nyamekye-Marfo was addressing party members and followers of the Sunyani East and West constituencies at the end of Mr Mahama’s two-day campaign tour of the Bono region in Sunyani. He touted Mr. Mahama as the only president in the fourth republic who had ensured the provision of unprecedented infrastructural development projects, saying it was unfortunate and unexpected he lost the 2016 presidential election. Mr. Nyamekye-Marfo commended all party members who supported in diverse ways to increase the Party’s parliamentary seats to six in the Election 2020, saying they were working extra hard to win more seats in the region. Mr Kwame Boateng, the Sunyani West constituency Chairman said the attendance was an indication the Party would win the 2024 general election. He therefore entreated the Party’s delegates to vote for Mr. Mahama in the Party’s upcoming presidential primaries because he had done it before and knew the terrain and assured the former president that the constituency would give him 100 per cent votes to lead the Party to the Election 2024. Mr. Boateng, however appealed to the former President Mahama to extend socio-economic development to the constituency and also include people from the constituency in his appointments when he becomes the president of Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence, Interior commiserates with family of slain soldier

Mr Ken Agyapong, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence and Interior on Thursday led the Committee to commiserate with the family of Trooper Sherrif Imoro, a soldier who was slain in Ashaiman. The Committee together with Mr Dominic Nitiwul, the Minister of Defence consoled the parents of the slain soldier: Madam Afia Kyerah and Mr Awudu Imoro at Zongo Laka, a suburb of Ashaiman. Mr Agyapong on behalf of Committee expressed their condolences to the bereaved family. He donated GHS 20,000.00 to Madam Kyerah, as part of efforts to assist her start her own business. He also announced a scholarship package for slain soldier’s younger brother, Abdul Rahman Imoro. The scholarship package is from the basic level to the tertiary level. Mr Dominic Nitiwul, the Defence Minister, on the behalf of the Ministry and the Military High Command expressed their condolences to the bereaved family. He said the Ministry would support the parents of the slain soldier with GHS50,000.00 and the Ministry was ever ready to help the family in any way possible. Other Members of the Committee present at the event include Mr Ernest Henry Norgbey, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashaiman; Mr James Agalga, the Ranking Member and MP for Bulsa North; Mr Cletus Apul Avoka, MP for Zebilla, Mr Iddie Kofi Adams, MP for Buem and Mr Peter Lanchene Toobu, MP for Wa West. The Committee’s fact-finding mission to the Ashaiman Municipality, followed the murder of a young military officer, Trooper Imoro Sherrif in Ashaiman, which resulted in the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) conducting a dawn swoop in the Municipality on Tuesday, March 07, leading to the arrest of over 180 people.

Source: Ghana News Agency