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1  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Prez Mahama Led Ghana To Say Farewell To Prof. Mills on: 9-08-2012 12:47PM
President John Dramani Mahama yesterday led the country to begin ceremonies to say the final farewell to his predecessor, President John Evans Atta Mills, who passed away on July 24 at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.

President Mahama, who arrived at the State House with his wife, Lordina, just after 11:00 hours, was dressed in a black suit and tie.

He went up the stairs with the widow of the late President Mills, Dr Ernestina Naadu Mills, Vice President, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur and his spouse, security chiefs, traditional leaders, members of the late President’s family, Members of the Council of State, chiefs, officials of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ministers of State and government officials.

President Mahama was the first to pay his last respect as the three-day State funeral started.
2  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / UNCOVERED!!! The Woman Late President Mills Had His Son With on: 9-08-2012 12:45PM
Thousands of Ghanaians including high-profile personalities could not hold back their tears yesterday at the State House as they paid their last respects to President John Evans Atta Mills, who died two weeks ago.

As early as 6:00am, people had started trooping to the event venue from all walks of life in anticipation of being allowed to enter the forecourt of the State House.

But a police-cum-military team that had been dispatched to the location would not allow them entry in view of the fact that the programme had been designed for members of the public to take turns to view the mortal remains of the late President after midday.

Even though Nana Akufo-Addo was part of the NPP delegation which included his running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and his wife, Samira and the NPP National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, the state broadcaster, Ghana Television failed to capture the main opposition leader when he paid his last respect to his one-time friend at the University of Ghana, Legon.

According to sources, a member of the NDC communication team allegedly instructed the GTV crew not to capture Nana Addo. Some family members who went in turns to view the body had to be aided out of the Banquet Hall as they broke down.

One of them had to be rushed into a waiting ambulance after collapsing.

Mills Leaves 37 Military Hospital

Around 6:00am yesterday, the mortal remains of the late President were taken from the 37 Military Hospital to his private residence at the Regimanuel Estates along the Spintex Road for family rituals.

The family of the late President performed some customary rites including the identification of the body after which it was conveyed in a hearse which had the inscription ‘His Excellency’ to the Osu Castle.

About 8:45 am, the hearse entered the Castle led by Military bodyguards, followed by the late President’s son, Samuel Atta Mills; Chief of Staff, Henry Martey Newman; Kofi honeypotbi Quakyi, Chairman of the Funeral Planning Committee and other high profile dignitaries.

Minutes later, the dignitaries gathered around the hearse at the Castle, where Mr Martey Newman and others offered prayers with a recital of ‘the Lord’s Prayer’ as captured in Psalms 24.

But the gathering went out of control as members of the deceased’s family, clergy, Ministers of State and other dignitaries jointly sang the hymn ‘Till we meet again’ amidst sobs, wailing and shouting.
Samuel Atta Mills, spotting a black suit, paid his last respect to his father by touching the casket where his mortal remains lay amidst sobbing.

The casket was draped in the national colours- red, yellow and green.

Botched Protocol

The security agencies had a tough time controlling the crowd in view of the breach of protocol by both members of the public and organisers of the event.

What surprised most including security men was the fact that President Mahama arrived at the location almost 10 minutes before his Vice, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, and therefore had to wait for the latter’s arrival.

Equally mindboggling was the attitude of the General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu-Nketia.

In the midst of the stampede and confusion at the entrance of the Banquet Hall, the NDC capo, clad in a black mourning cloth, grabbed the microphone from Nana Ato Dadzie, a member of the Mills Funeral Planning Committee who was coordinating affairs and ordered members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NDC to follow him to go and file past the mortal remains of the late President, thereby defying protocol.

Members of Parliament (MP) were equally not left out of the embarrassment, with most of them having to stand in a long queue for almost an hour before being made to go and pay their last respects to the late President.

Some of them were seen complaining bitterly at the treatment they were subjected to.

Naadu Dodges Rawlings
Strangely enough, Mrs. Naadu Mills, the widow, left the Banquet Hall where she was receiving greetings from well wishers when former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and Kufuor were making their way to console her.

Even before the two could enter the hall, she had been whisked away to an unknown destination.

It was rumoured that it was a deliberate ploy to avoid exchanging any pleasantries with Mr. Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu.

Sources said the target cannot be former President Kufuor and his wife Madam Theresa since they had earlier paid her a visit at the Regimanuel residence.

Public viewing of the body would resume today at the Banquet Hall whilst the evening has been reserved for reading of tributes and an all-night prayer service at the forecourt of the State House.

Tomorrow, the family of the late President is expected to perform the final rites after which the military would convey the casket to a final resting place at the Geese Park Garden in between the Marine and Castle drive behind the Independence Square for the burial service.

Prior to that, President Mahama and visiting Heads of State would be made to pay their final respects to the late President with President Mahama also lighting the perpetual flame before the late President is eventually laid to rest.

Geese Park, located along the castle drive leading to the Osu Castle in Accra, the burial place of President John Evans Atta Mills, is near completion.

The tomb, cement works and lighting system were expected to be completed by the close of yesterday, according a GNA report.

The tomb, which has been tiled, was designed by the Chinese.

The park, said to have been developed by Lt Colonel Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, National Security Coordinator, was inhabited by geese, peacocks, pigeons, doves and ducks.
The birds live in a clean environment with a well maintained big pond and under tight security.

“The National Security Coordinator did not intend to make this place a tourist site, but rather to serve as a scene or view for those who ply the road,” Alhaji Baaba Agbah, Caretaker of the Park said.

Security at the Park is tight to prevent intruders from entering the area, which has been fenced.

The mortal remains of the departed president were earlier planned to be interred at the Flagstaff House but there was outcry from a cross section of Ghanaians against the decision.

However, a powerful foreign diplomat in the country, according to Daily Guide sources, prevailed on the Mahama administration before that decision was dropped for the Geese Park.
3  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Prez. Mills’ Last Letter To Rawlings on: 8-08-2012 03:42PM
Dear Mr Rawlings,

If there‘s ever one great achievement I should praise myself after 68 years of existence on this turbulent planet called earth, then it was my ability to resist the temptation to reply you. Not only did you reduce my personality to that of a nonentity but you also created the platform for boys and girls young enough to be my children to subject me to ridicule and contempt.

Like a refuse dump, I endured all the insults and your humiliation with peerless stoicism.But today, I’m unable to keep quiet and allow you to go on this way. I make this appeal not for my own sake, but for the sake of Naadu and my family members, who are already swaying wearily under heavy weight ofindescribable grief.

I heard you on the BBC the other day and I couldn’t help but shed tears. I was not surprised that such words could come from you, but I was sad that after all these years of serving you and doing everything humanly possible to please you, you still have not found a place in your heart to recognise this.

Mr Rawlings, in that interview you said if I had done something wiser, I “could probably have survived another six or seven months.” This was after you said that the cancer affected my ear and eye and I could not concentrate for more than three hours a day.

I can’t tell if you were in the place of God to determine how long I could have lived. But what I know for a fact that if you, your wife and those who like you had shown me a little love, I could have lived for a few more years.

The deterioration in my health, I think, had more to do with psychological torture than a physiological breakdown.Any healthy person put in my shoes might not have survived after a few months of going through the hell you created for my presidency. What made the vulture bald is enough to kill the crow. And I can say that the frustration and depression that conspired with ill health to put me here after many years of battle was enough to finish any healthy person in months.

Mr Rawlings, I didn’t die a happy man. This is not because I had not paid my dues to our dear nation. I have served this nation well as a public officer, a sports administrator, a teacher and a politician. But I spent sleepless nights during my presidency thinking why nothing I did seemed to please you and others around you.

I was aware, long before I became president, that anybody in that position must expect opposition. But in my case, I had to contend with both internal and external opposition and nothing I did seemed to please people.

Ever since you granted that BBC interview, the discussion about my death has shifted from sympathy to blame. As usual, you’ve provided my detractors with weapons to attack and they are firing from all angles. And I don’t understand why you and my haters now care so much about my life.

Indeed, you’re behaving like outsiders weeping more than the bereaved and now pretend you now wanted me to live. Are you offended you will not have the opportunity to torment me again?

I must, however, say I have no regret going at this stage. I believe the Lord I served knew it would happen. He also permitted it to happen. His ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not ours. I know everything happens for a reason, and Ghana has more to gain that lose in my demise.

In the first place, my death brought about unity and has poured cold water on the tension that was hitting its climax in the run up to the 2012 elections. It is also the best thing that has happened to the NDC in recent times. Our party had too many factions with deeply entrenched positions. So dangerous was this that if I refused to contest the primaries, the party could have been torn into shreds.

But I think the party is now stronger than ever since we reclaimed power. This is not only good for the umbrella family, but also for the health of our democracy.

Another gain my death has for Ghana is the enormous lessons you have to learn. The events leading to my death only confirms what the Bible says in Proverbs 18:21: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Many people swore that Atta-Mills would become the first one-term president in the Fourth Republic. And they have got it. That’s the fruit of their tongue.

In recent past, we heard about the Rawlings government and the Kufuor government. However, when it was my turn, it became the “Mills/Mahama” government.

First I thought it was an attempt to destroy the political future of my hardworking vice president by soiling him with any dirt of my administration. But it turned out to be what was uttered by the tongue of Ghanaians.

Perhaps, Ghanaians can learn to utter positive things about their nations and it will surely come to pass.
Another lesson from which Ghanaians stand to gain is the fact that life is meaningless and there’s no point hating, killing and trying to bring one another down because of power.

A few days ago, not many Ghanaians could come near the Osu Castle. I also had my private house cordoned off by security personnel and at any point in time someone had to be awake because of me.
From where I lie now, I see life as meaningless.

Now I share the same building with ordinary people. I sleep here together with that mad woman who was knocked down by a vehicle the other day, and many other categories of persons no one would want to be associated with. That is the reality of life, which I think Ghanaians should learn.

Death is, indeed, a leveller.

I also see now that life is not about wealth. Real wealth is the impact you make in the lives of others when you’re alive. When I was being rushed to the 37 Military Hospital that Tuesday afternoon, I did not pick with me an office pin. And when I was been dumped here, no designer wear was used to cover me.Here I am, cold and naked.

When you told your “Atta Mortuary Man” joke at our Tamale Congress, people think it was too insulting for my personality. But All of a sudden, I’m in the hands of mortuary man who utters disdainful words. “His Excellency John Evans Atta-Mills” was my name a few days ago. But the mortuary attendant contemptuously refers to me as “the body.”

I don’t know how much my ex-gratia would be, but what I know is that no pesewa would ever get to me. All is vanity, indeed.

Mr Rawlings, I see life differently and I think instead of spending the rest of your life to vilify me, you can do yourself a favour by learning from my life and death. No one will ever become a stone.

Everyone is bound to go. That is the certainty. What is uncertain is where, when and how we shall go. Yours may be better or worse than mine so be moderate in your attacks of me. You don’t know your end.
When I got to the office that Tuesday, I didn’t know that before sunset, I would cease to be the President of Ghana. Whether I lived longer or not, it would have come one day.

But as I have stated, I have no regrets. I lived my life for humanity. I wanted to see others happy and did the best I could to bring myself to the level of the ordinary person. But the quest to demonise me clouded everything I did. I tried to share the pain of others. But all I heard was that Atta-Mills is bad. I sometimes felt like weeping because only the negative side was known.

And they still believed every lie and malicious rumour about me even when some journalists came out to confess that they had been publishing falsehood about me.

Until my death, no journalist ever mentioned that I called to sympathise with them and apologise to them in person when others mishandled them. I was a true believer in quiet diplomacy and did not want to practice my piety in public as the good book admonishes us against. I could have called invited Cyrus De-Graft Johnson of Joy FM to the castle in the presence of cameras in order to score a political point. Or better still, I could have publicly called on the AMA Mayor to apologise to him after his guards manhandled the journalist.

Mr Rawlings, I don’t think the Atta Mills debate will end soon. But I appeal to you in the name of the Lord to spare me any more disgrace.
I have suffered a lot.

I know I was not an angel. I had my shortcoming. But is left with the Lord I served to judge me where I am now.

You too were not an angel either. Your administration fraught with problems but we helped you to succeed. There was corruption in your presidency and some of your ministers and government officials under your watch were later tried and jailed for corrupt practices. Even your wife was fingered and tried.

Our elders say a drum may sound differently from what its maker intended. If you think you were infallible, I think otherwise and I pray Ghanaians to forgive me in whatever way I erred.

I wish you well and hope that you will help to conduct the 2012 elections in a peaceful manner. We have no option but to make this country better for the future generation. This is the only country we have and we must not send our people out to be refugees in other lands. From where I lie, cold and naked, I don’t think it is worth dying for someone to gain power. I realised that Tuesday afternoon that when your time is up, no amount of power, wealth or influence can make any difference.

I greet all Ghanaians in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We shall all meet again when Christ appears, in all his glory and splendour, to welcome those who were never ashamed of Him into His eternal kingdom.

Until then I remain your humble servant,

John Evans FiifiAtta-Mills, or “the body” as the mortuary attendant here calls me.
4  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Funeral of President Mills Underway on: 8-08-2012 03:39PM
The final journey of the late President John Evans Atta Mills began on Wednesday morning with his mortal remains being moved from the 37 Military Hospital.

At exactly 0650 hours the body was brought from the mortuary in a casket draped in the national colours of red, gold and green.

The casket was carried by pallbearers of the Ghana Air Force dressed in ceremonial attire.

It was placed in a limousine hearse decorated with flowers to the sound of the last post sounded by military buglers.

At 0700 hours the funeral cortege left the Hospital and drove towards the Airport Road as hundreds of people, many dressed in mourning attire, watched.

Traffic was blocked as the funeral cortege passed but was opened immediately afterwards.

The body will be taken to the State House where it will lie in State.

President Mills, 68, died on 24 July at the 37 Military Hospital. He will be buried on Friday.
5  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Candle In The Wind on: 8-08-2012 03:37PM
Goodbye England’s rose:
May you ever grow in our hearts,
You were the grace that placed itself
Where lives were torn apart,
You called out to our country;
And you whispered to those in pain.
Now you belong to heaven
And the stars spell out your name.

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like candle in the wind.
Never fading with the sunset
When the rains set in.

And your footsteps will always fall here:
Along England’s greenest hills:
Your candle burnt out long before
Your legend ever will.

Loneliness we’ve lost; these empty days without your smile.
This torch we will always carry
For our nation’s golden child.
And even though we try,
The truth brings us to tears;
All our words cannot express
The joy you brought to us through the years.

Goodbye England’s Rose.
From a country lost without your soul.
Who’ll miss the wings of your compassion
More than you’ll ever know.
(Elton John, in memory of Lady Dina, Princess of Wales)

As a student of literature, I came to like poetry because it takes its origin from recollections gathered in our moments of absolute tranquility. Today, I am going to deal with the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills not as the former president of Ghana but as Citizen Mills.

I do not want to deal with the late professor as a politician because politics is too petty in God’s own country and I may step on the toes of some people who are out there with their long mouths to spit fire and take people on unduly. The professor, for now, is interned with politics and it must be left to be so.

Let us push aside politics for a moment and rather concentrate on how our Heads of State died and how we treated their mortal remains. Apart from the late president Mills who died while in power, all the other late Heads of State died in exile, murdered by military mutineers or killed by abject poverty.

I used to say that the history of how we treated the death of all our late former Heads of State is not worth telling the younger generation but the time has come for us to act like historians by looking back.

Ghana was a beacon of hope to all emerging new states in Africa when the ‘khaki boys’ came storming to derail whatever good thing that the Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah had for the country. He had gone to Hanoi to help seek peace in the Vietnam war when the unfortunate military coup took place.

Dr. Nkrumah wanted to return to Ghana and take on the soldiers who usurped power but he was prevailed upon to abandon that aspiration because it was risky and there was also the fear that more blood could flow. His best friend, the late President Sekou Toure of Guinea offered to host him in Guinea even as a co-president of that country.

In Guinea, the Osagyefo was housed at the Villa Sylla where he stayed to help Sekou in his government. During independent celebrations of that West Africa country, the Osagyefo was always seen taking salutes with his host. He was revered by all and sundry in Guinea until he fell ill and was taken to Bucharest for cure.

The Osagyefo battled with cancer and died untimely. The then Head of State of Ghana, Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong demanded the body of the Osagyefo to be buried in Ghana but Sekou Toure refused, citing the evil way Ghanaians treated the man when he was overthrown. For so many weeks, Kutu Acheampong tried frantically to bring the body back home but Sekou stayed adamant.

It took the intervention of many Heads of State across the length and breadth of the world before Sekou agreed to release the body of the Osagyefo. Even then, he did set a condition that the former Head of State should be given a state burial befitting that of a former President of Ghana.

Colonel Acheampong agreed and the body was eventually released. It was when the body of the Osagyefo was taken to Nkroful, his hometown for burial that Ghanaians realised how selfless the man was.

The road leading to Nkroful was the worst in the country and Colonel Acheampong had to order bulldozers and graders to be quickly taken to Nkroful to repair the road so that dignitaries who were invited to the town to mourn with the family members could be able to drive along the bad road.

A mausoleum was built in honour of the late president but some years later, it was left to rot until Chairman Rawlings decided to build another mausoleum at the Polo grounds in Accra, where the Osagyefo had declared independence, to honour the founding father of Ghana.

Professor Kofi Abrefa Busia, the meek and humble late Prime Minister of Ghana, was taking the country to a higher pedestal when the ‘khaki boys’ came storming again. He was barely two years in office when the unfortunate thing happened. He too stayed in exile in London until he died.

He was brought back home and buried in his hometown, Wenchi. Not a drum was heard and not a soldier discharged his farewell shot as his body was lowered into the grave in his hometown.

Dr. Hilla Limann, the French scholar and diplomat ruled for barely two years before the ‘khaki boys’ usurped power one more time to sink the ship of state. He was accused of several offences but never put on trial.

He and his family lived in a three-bedroom quarter in Nungua for twelve years without an End of Service Benefit or a monthly salary until he died. Even when he was lying on his sick bed and needed urgent medical treatment, the man could not get money to travel outside for such treatment which could have saved his life.

He was so selfless that he never made money in politics when he was the executive president of Ghana. At a point in time, his wife, Fulera Limann, came out to tell Ghanaians that she had to sometimes go to the zongos to beg for corn dough to prepare ‘tuozaafi’ for the former executive president of Ghana.

On his death bed, Dr. Limann angrily wrote that when he died, Ghanaians should not give him any state burial. Because of the shabby way he was treated, his family did not drape the flag of Ghana on his coffin. The man died with pain in his heart and tears on his pillows.

The body of this fine democrat was driven by road in an old car to his hometown, Gwollu, where he was a traditional ruler, to be buried. Limann proved to Ghanaians that Northerners are principled and will rather go hungry than lick the saliva that they spit out.

As for the soldiers who usurped power and misruled the nation, only one of them died in peace in his room. He was General Ankrah. Kotoka fell under a hail of bullets when some soldiers attempted to overthrow his government. Generals Afrifa, Acheampong and Akuffo were tied to the stakes, shot and killed like common criminals.

So, you see how Ghana ate her own children? In Nigeria, former Heads of State like Shehu Shagari, Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida, Mohamed Buhari, Abubakar Abdulsalam and Olusegun Obasanjo are still alive and kicking and contributing their quota towards nation building. Nigeria did not eat her children and as such she is getting the best out of them.

We need to learn a lesson or two from the demise of Professor Mills. Mills as the Vice President of Ghana was healthy and hearty.

He was strong and went about his duties diligently. Down the line, the man started losing weight. When rumours of his ailment started making the rounds in 2008 in the run-up to the general elections, his minders were quick to deny it and blamed his perceived enemies for spreading false news about his state of health.

Immediately after being sworn in as the president of Ghana, we saw a president struggling to pronounce simple words in English and his body language spoke loudly that the man was not all that well.

At a point in time, it was considered a taboo to mention the president’s ailment because anyone who did so received some bashings from his handlers and upstarts like Koku Anyidoho, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Agyenim Boateng, etc. who stood to gain from the ailment of the president.

People simply feared to talk about the health status of the president as if we were living under a communist regime. We were cowed into quietude as we kept on watching a frail president struggling to perform his duties, until we woke up one day to hear that the man had crossed to the world beyond.

I am not all that sad about the death of the president because he has made his mark in life and we need to celebrate him.

But I am extremely angry about the way his handlers drove him to his grave. God will surely punish all those who lied about the health status of the president until he died.

Because what happened to Mills could be replicated, we need to remind handlers of President John Dramani Mahama who is in charge today or any president who will rule the nation tomorrow to remember that the president is the asset of all Ghanaians but not a chosen few. After 55 years of independence, Ghana can boast of only two living former Heads of State out of seven.

Very bad indeed! Goodbye, Ghana’s rose. Now you belong to heaven and the stars will surely spell out your name. Indeed, your candle burnt out long before your legend ever would.
6  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / ‘Goliath Must Go’ on: 8-08-2012 03:35PM
Aggrieved workers of Decorplast Limited in Accra’s North Industrial Area have expressed concern over a series of industrial accidents at the outfit which has led to the chopping off of the limbs of some of their colleagues.

According to the workers, the incident has been repeating itself every two years, specifically in July, and they suspect it is a ritual orchestrated by their chief engineer.

In an interview with DAILY GUIDE, the workers said Decorplast, owned by an Indian merchant, has about 300 workers who run shifts.

The employees have been victims to several levels of maltreatment, suspensions and sacking, they added.

As a result, the workers embarked on a demonstration and demanded the termination of the appointment of the chief engineer whom they suspected of being a ritualist and the cause of the misfortunes.

Akwesi Asante, one of the demonstrators, told this reporter that in the early hours of Sunday, one of their colleagues had his hand chopped off when he was operating a machine. He is now receiving medical attention at Korle-bu Hospital. He said this is not the first time such an incident has happened but the third in a space of 6 years, but strangely in the same month.

Others interviewed said the accidents started occurring when the chief engineer, whose name they gave as Mr. Bartels but also referred to as Goliath, was employed.

Noting that his negative utterances have also given cause for suspicion, they said he has overstayed his term in office. “If he does not go, we will not work, because we do not know who will be the next victim.”

They also alleged that Mr Bartels terrorizes and frustrates them frequently, saying that he has the police in his pocket.

Isaac Adjei, a machine operator and a victim, told DAILY GUIDE that when his hand got chopped off during operation at work, the insurance he was given was only GH¢2,200 by his employer and afterwards, he was left to his fate.

The workers further stated that they are suffering severely under ‘Goliath’, because he does not even want them to go for medical attention when they fall sick. “There is no salary increment and our working conditions are very poor.”

They said the production department is installed with a heavy faulty industrial machine which generates severe heat in an enclosed building with small windows at the top edges of the ceiling, adding that all efforts to get standing fans has proved futile as the chief engineer has been taunting them that if they need fresh air, they can go to the Labadi beach.

They further stated that the company has been using water and electricity illegally for so many years.

On several occasions, they said they spotted their boss issuing huge sums of money to certain government officials and police officers who visit there occasionally.

They therefore called on government to intervene and call the chief engineer to order.
7  Forum / Politics / Vice President Amissah-Arthur Speaks On Cedi Free-Fall on: 8-08-2012 03:33PM
Vice President, Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur says the free-fall of the Cedi against major foreign currencies “is not untypical.”

He told an Accra-based radio station that “I think that we have done quite tremendous work in stabilizing the Cedi as it is. As of now we are talking something like 17% depreciation year to date which, in an election year is not untypical.”

Mr. Amissah-Arthur, who is expected to be vetted in parliament today, said as governor his priority was the stabilization of the economy. He said some of the policies introduced under his supervision had brought the needed economic stabilisation.

The Vice Presidential nominee admitted the depreciation of the Cedi started “much earlier” this year than in previous election years and also said he was aware the depreciation of the cedi was going to be an election debate.

“The problem this year was that it started much earlier than in previous election years and the political business cycle has been used as an explanation for some of the things that are happening.”

He said, “I know that the record of the cedi will be an issue in this election but every election year in this country, from 1992 to date, the cedi has destabilized.”

“Really if you look at the data, this is the year where it has been lowest. In other years, there has been 60 per cent depreciation, a 40% depreciation in an election year. So we have learnt lessons from those depreciations and not all of them are economic factors.”

The daily depreciation of the Ghana cedi against major currencies has become a headache for economic managers of the country. Statistics show that the cedi has lost over a third of its value since Ghana began producing oil in November 2010, trading currently at around 1.95 and 2.0 per dollar.

The cedi, which from January to June 2009, suffered a rapid monthly depreciation of about 3 percent, slowed down considerably to 0.9 percent in July 2009.

It bounced back in mid 2010 and remained relatively strong for some time. However, since January 2012, it has continued to depreciate against the major currencies.

While some analysts attributed the decline to the surging demand for the dollar and other currencies by both local and foreign investors, and businesses mainly to cover import bills others have blamed the currency weakness on trade with China, as many traders are accumulating actual paper cash in dollars due to the lack of effective transfer channels for the Yuan in Ghana.

Renaissance Capital has even predicted another 5% to 10% depreciation this year (the end of 2012).

To stem the situation, the central bank raised interest rates by 250 basis points starting from February to halt the currency from further weakening but critics of the government said measures put in place to stem the tide were not effective.
8  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Who Becomes Governor For Bank of Ghana? on: 8-08-2012 03:31PM
Reports reaching CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE indicate that there is intense lobbying for the vacant position of Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG).

This follows the nomination of the Governor of the BoG, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, for the post of Vice President of Ghana.

Sources say top government officials are divided over who should succeed Mr Amissah-Arthur, as some prefer the current first deputy governor, Dr Henry Kofi Wampah for the post.

Others are of the view that an outsider would be suitable to take over the highest position in the banking sector.

Names such as Alhassan Andani, Managing-Director of Stanbic Bank, Dr. Fritz Gockel, Chairman of Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) and Frank Adu Jnr, Managing-Director of Cal Bank, have come up strongly.

Currently, Dr Wampah is the acting governor and reports say President John Mahama would appoint a substantive governor in a fortnight. Already a senior economist and Head of the Centre of Policy Analysis (CEPA), Dr Joe Abbey has tipped Dr Wampah to occupy the vacant post.

He explained that the elevation of the first Deputy Governor to the position highest position will not only ensure continuity of regulatory and monetary policies in the economy but offer an opportunity for the country to benefit from his vast expertise in the economy and research.

Dr. Abbey says he would not be surprised of an outsider grabs the post. Prior to becoming the first deputy governor of BoG in 2009, Dr Wampah was the Director of the Research and Statistics Department of the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI).

Dr Wampah, for five years, was the Head of BoG’s Research Department until 2001. He was also head of the Public Finance and Statistics Offices under BoG’s Research Department.

When he appeared before the Parliamentary Appointments Committee in Accra yesterday, Mr Amissah-Arthur said “I plan today of going to the office to do the necessary works. I do not intend to go back even if I don’t get the nod because I have shown a partisan line.”

He said a staff durbar was held at the central Bank where he showed his appreciation to the management and other workers for their corporation during his tenure.

“I said goodbye to all of them so that if I do not go back they would know that …” he said. The next governor is expected to continue measures taken by the regulator to stabilize the cedi.

CEPA indicated that it expects the next Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to immediately arrest the current slide in the value of the cedi against the other trading currencies, particularly the dollar, or risk running what it described as an economic stabilisation programme after the December 2012 general elections.

The cedi has since January this year lost more than 20 per cent of its value to the US Dollar. The fear is that the situation could worsen this election year.
9  Forum / Politics / Woman To Partner Ayariga on: 8-08-2012 03:29PM
The People’s National Convention says it has chosen a female to be the running mate of its flagbearer, Hassan Ayariga.

He would not however reveal the identity of the candidate, except to say the candidate involved has been spoken to and has accepted to partner him in the December elections.

Of the five parties contesting the polls, only the NPP has a running mate.
10  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Prioritise The Rehabilitation of The Railway Sector - TUC on: 8-08-2012 03:28PM
The Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr. Kofi Asamoah has called on government to prioritize the resuscitation of the Railway sector.

He said although the rehabilitation of the rail lines was capital intensive, there was the need for the various governments to show commitment towards revamping the sector.

Mr. Asamoah expressed these concerns at the 10th Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Railway Workers Union Fijai in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis.

The event was held on the theme: “Rail Transport a Tool for Economic and Social Development: The Way Forward for Ghana Railway Company Limited”.

Mr. Asamoah said the socio-economic history of the country could not be told without reference to the contribution of the rail transportation.

“Throughout the world, rail transport plays critical role in the carriage of persons, goods and services for economic and social transformation”, he said, adding that “it is sad that we have allowed the once vibrant railway transport to deteriorate through neglect and lack of investment”.

Mr. Asamoah called for massive capital injection by the government instead of dependency on foreign direct investment in the sector.

He said the potential of a fully developed railway sector would reduce traffic congestion in our towns and cities and enhance socio-economic productivity of the nation. Mr. Asamoah suggested the merger of Railway Workers Union and Enginemen Union in the company in order to forge for a common purpose.

The Board Chairman of the Ghana Railway Company, Dr Clement Hammah, said railway transport had clear economic advantage over other modes of transport in terms of the haulage of goods in large quantities.

He said the development of railway transport was the central nervous system of a viable transportation sector, hence the need to accelerate its development.
11  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Mills Died Before 37 Hospital Arrival on: 8-08-2012 03:25PM
The New Statesman can reveal that Ghana’s former President, John Evans Atta-Mills, did not die at the 37 Military Hospital as Ghanaians were made to believe by President John Dramani Mahama.

Our reliable sources indicate the post-mortem result on the late president shows he died before arrival at the hospital. Also unconfirmed reports indicate the body of the late president was flown into the country in the night of yesterday from South Africa where it underwent preservation, expected to keep if for about 100 years.

It is recalled that in his inaugural address as leader of the nation, President John Mahama stated emphatically that President Mills died at the 37 Military hospital at 2:15pm after a short illness.

However, information available to the New Statesman, quoting post mortem results carried out at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital reveals that the former President died of “metastatic throat cancer spread to sinuses, eyes and throat.”

According to the report, the tumour eroded President Mills’ carotid artery, which is a very major blood vessel. The report implies that the late President, as a result of the eroding of the artery, may have choked on his own blood because there was no one to handle him properly.

The circumstances of President Mills’s death suggest negligence on the part of his medical handlers. And, this may call for a wider public enquiry to show whether or not better care could have saved him.

For instance, none of his medical team was around when he needed them most and his body was taken to the hospital without even a nurse around him.

The New Statesman is also reliably informed that on his last visit to New York for treatment, the doctors there insisted he be detained for at least two months or risk dying if he returned home. We are still investigating why that advice was ignored.

What is obvious is that treatment of cancer, particularly malignant kind, requires a strict adherence to a regimental treatment. But, the president's official schedules, and particularly, the strange decision by the Castle to hide the truth about his ill health made it practically impossible for him to freely subject himself to the necessary treatment.

The results of the post-mortem is also a contradiction to claims made by functionaries of the NDC administration, particularly Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who said President Mills did not die of cancer.

Former President Rawlings, who worked with Professor Mills as his Vice President in 1996, said, after the death of President Mills that “considering that the cancer affected both his eye and his ear, he couldn’t sustain more than three hours per day.”

Checks conducted by the New Statesman show that “patients with metastatic cancer of the throat have cancer that has spread to distant sites beyond the throat and neck region.” Treatment of this type of cancer may consist of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, biological therapy, or a combination of these treatment techniques.

Multi-modality treatment, which is treatment using two or more techniques, is increasingly recognized as an important approach for increasing a patient’s chance of cure or prolonging survival.
12  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / SHS Students Grabbed For Occultism on: 8-08-2012 03:24PM
Seven students of the Adidome Senior High School in the Volta Region have been suspended indefinitely for practising occultism in school.

The headmaster of the school, Elias Avor, confirmed this to Daily Guide. An occult grandmaster at the school disclosed that occultism in senior high schools across the country was real and prevalent.

The occultist, who is a first-year student of the Adidome SHS, made the revelation in a confession after the seven students were busted at their meeting ground. According to the student, he was initiated by one Mallam in Laterbiokoshie-Zongo, a suburb of Accra, along with 15 others before being admitted to the school.

He noted that the 16 of them were part of other occult groups scattered across senior high schools and tertiary institutions in the country.

He said they were scattered in schools in the Eastern, Greater Accra and the Volta regions while other groups could be found in other institutions.

According to Daily Guide sources in the school, the grandmaster was part of seven students who were busted by the Chaplain, Rev. Dzata, last Tuesday, July 31, 2012, around 6pm. Apparently, they were meeting behind the administration block while their mates were having supper at the dining hall.

The meeting was part of an initiation process which had started earlier that week.

He said the seven were in all black except two who were in white and orange. Out of the seven, three second-year students were being initiated while four were old members.

The leader of the four was a first-year student, the grandmaster. The remaining three were a third-year student and two second-year students who held various positions.

Since the school was vacating on Friday, August 3, 2012, the seven were on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, put before the disciplinary committee of the school where they confessed.

They were then suspended indefinitely while their parents were immediately contacted on Thursday, July 2.

The grandmaster is reported to have revealed that since his initiation, he had engaged in a lot of spiritual exploits, including spiritual trips to South Africa, with his compatriots in other schools.

He added that during evening preps, his friends visited him spiritually and engaged in meetings and other conversations.

The three who were being initiated noted that they accepted to join due to fear and some spiritual experiences such as hearing of voices and experiencing nightmares.

They noted that they were convinced that if they became part of the group, they would be well protected, physically and spiritually.

As part of the process, fresh eggs were buried in front of the dining hall and behind the ICT lab. However, when the group took the disciplinary committee members to the spots, the eggs could not be found, despite a thorough search.

The sources noted that when the news broke in the school, some teachers and students were gripped with fear, while others hooted at the group.

When Mr Avor was contacted, he confirmed the incident but refused to give further details. He revealed that since it involved young children, the incident had to be handled cautiously; hence the parents had been contacted.

He added that most of them had replied, with some appealing on their wards’ behalf. Mr. Avor noted that the board of the school would meet on the issue and also with the affected parents to give its final decision.
13  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Too Many Job Losses In The Private Sector - TUC on: 8-08-2012 03:22PM
Mr. Kofi Asamoah, Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress, Ghana(TUC) has said more attention is needed to solve the growing loss of jobs in the private sector.

He said current data shows that thousands of workers have been declared redundant and others dismissed without recourse to laid down procedures.

Mr. Asamoah said this at the 9th regular quadrennial delegate conference of the Construction and Building Materials Workers Union (CBMWU) of the TUC.

He said leaders of workers have suffered dismissals and intimidation in the course of discharging their leadership and representative roles and urged government to fulfill its promise of making employment creation the centerpiece of its policies and the basis of a growing economy.

He said government must provide direct employment to the youth in priority areas such as Education, Health, Security, Housing, Sanitation and Transport infrastructure adding “we think that the only credible basis for measuring our collective performance as a nation is through providing jobs and income security”.

Mr. Asamoah appealed to government to investigate what caused the alleged huge rise in the public sector wage bill in the midst of the several concerns of workers on low pay and delays in implementing other related matters on the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).

He appealed to politicians to be circumspect in their utterances and actions to ensure political stability in the coming elections.

Mr. Pius Kweku Quainoo, who was re-elected as the General Secretary, called for the formation of a Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) akin to the Cocobod whose responsibility would be policy formulation on the industry.

He said government should not regulate and supervise itself and the CIDB should define the roles of the client, the prime contractor, sub-contractors and workers at all sites.

Mr. Quainoo also called on government to exempt workers from paying tax on terminal benefits and “scale down on the high overtime rates applicable now”.
14  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / President Mahama Pays Last Respects To Mills on: 8-08-2012 03:20PM
President John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday paid his last respects to the late President John Evans Atta Mills at the Banquet Hall of the State House in Accra.

President Mahama, who arrived at the State House around 1103 hours, dressed in a black suit and tie with his wife, Lordina was followed by Vice President Kwesi Amissah- Arthur and former First Lady Dr Mrs Ernestina Naadu Mills.

President Mahama, accompanied ministers of state, service commanders and some National Democratic Party functionaries, filed past the mortal remains of the President.

The Banquet Hall is draped in the national colours of red, yellow, green and black, as well as in red and black, the traditional mourning colours. The opportunity was then opened for other dignitaries and the public to also pay their last respects to the late President.
15  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / Peasant Farmers Call For Expansion of Buffer Stock Services on: 8-08-2012 03:16PM
Small holder farmers in the Northern Region have called for expansion of buffer stock services to help address issues of low income and food insecurity in the country.

They explained that the expansion of buffer stock services would result in improved storage methods, as well as provide improved storage facilities to prevent the practice where farmers sell their produce at any price because of fear of it perishing.

This came up at a sensitization workshop organized by Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) with support from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC) for its members in Tamale on Monday, to discuss the need to expand the buffer stock services run by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), to cover more districts.

Mr. Mohammed Adam Nashiru, President of PFAG, said the inadequacy of buffer stock services was impacting negatively on the productivity of small holder farmers and thereby affecting their livelihoods.

The government, through MOFA, has set up the Buffer Stock Company with the mandate to insulate farmers from post harvest shocks such as market access and storage by mopping excess produce from all farmers thereby protecting farmers’ incomes and facilitating improvements in their household livelihoods.

Mr. Nashiru said the objective behind the setting up of the Buffer Stock Company was laudable, but added that there was need for more commitment to ensure an efficient, effective and comprehensive buffer stock service, to small holder farmers to improve their lot.

He therefore, called for adequate resourcing of the Buffer Stock Company, to enable it to perform its core functions effectively.
16  Forum / Naijapals Base (Metro life) / President Mills Funeral...Major Hospitals On Standby on: 8-08-2012 03:13PM
Major hospitals and clinics in the vicinity of the State House, where President John Atta Mills body is lying in state, Adabraka, Ridge, Osu and the 37 Military Hospital are on standby to manage any health issues during the funeral of President John Evans Atta Mills.

Ghana News Agency observed during a tour of some hospitals on Wednesday that doctor and nurses as well as the National Ambulance Service are on standby to respond to any health issues.

Speaking to the GNA, Ms Adizatu Yakubu and Mrs Eugenia Beatson of the Adabraka Polyclinic and Ridge Hospitals respectively said every clinical person needed was on duty.

“We have doctors, nurses, anesthetists, and every other personnel needed in each of the ambulance to take care of any casualty that may arise,” Ms Yakubu said.

They explained that in such gatherings, crowding at a particular place might cause people not to breathe properly and people with hypertension and diabetes were likely to experience complications.

They appealed to the Planning Committee to ensure that people are spaced out to allow free breathing. Meanwhile information available to the GNA indicates that a middle age man collapsed at the precinct of Banquet Hall, as he waited to pay his last respect to the late President Mills
17  Forum / The Buzz Central / Dancehall Music Needs Investors – Linguakat on: 8-08-2012 03:12PM
Born Kwaku Obeng Amoako, Linguakat, writer of Kaakie’s hit songs ‘Too much,’ ‘Top gyal’ and her latest ‘DC tun up’ has finally seen the limelight after fifteen years of heavily contributing to the dancehall aspect of music in Ghana with his own tracks ‘Party tym’ featuring Kay Dizzle and ‘Dancehall groove Kaakie.

The knowledge of writing songs he said began a year ago when Jah Master Jay (JMJ) wanted to expose Kaakie to the music scene, “basically, writing songs is not something I have been doing for long instead it was JMJ who brought the whole idea that since I have the dancehall feel in me, he sees me to be the right person to help and coach her with my lyrics and that has been it.”

In an interview, Linguakat noted that dancehall in GH is nothing new just that there has been less attention given to it. He said dancehall is developing and Ghanaians are embracing it but “seriously, it only needs investors to make this genre come to stay and impose its great impact on society.”

He further indicated that the industry is so keen that there are no record labels to help unveil the great works of upcoming artistes in the dancehall realm as pertains in the music industry, “if you don’t belong to a particular group of people, no matter how good you are, your song will never see light since it’s all based on your finances to become a star in Ghana.”

Above all these challenges, he assured “undoubtedly, dancehall music has a future in Ghana although it is noted as a Jamaican music genre, with musicians like Samini, Bandana, Stonebwoy, Kaakie, Jupiter, including myself among others who sing it the African way by blending the local dialect and the Pathoa language in our songs.”

He has worked in the studios of High Grade Family, Asasease Records, Nana King Records and Jah Master Jay (JMJ) and is currently under the management of Drumbeat Entertainment.
18  Forum / Politics / BoG Never Received Any Instruction Not To Pay Woyome Money – Amissah Arthur on: 6-08-2012 04:59PM
Vice-President-designate, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has revealed that the Bank of Ghana did not receive any official instruction not to effect the controversial GHC 51 Judgement Debt payment to Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome.

The nominee, immediate-past Governor of the Central bank, the Bank of Ghana, was answering questions relating to his office when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Monday.

Mr Amissah-Arthur was nominated for the position last Tuesday from a list of key contenders by President Dramani John Mahama, who ascended to the presidency following the untimely death of President John Atta Mills on July 24, 2012.

The NPP Member of Parliament for Akyem Abuakwa South, Hon. Atta Akyea, had sought to find out from the nominee, as keeper of the national purse, whether there was any order never to pay the Woyome money as it has turned out that though the late President, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills instructed that the payment should not be done, nevertheless some people at some state agencies defied him and paid the money.

In response, Mr. Amissah stressed that the BoG does not have the power to say no when government has money in its coffers. According to him, the only thing that can be done is to draw government’s attention to or offer financial advice especially in situations where a specific budget is being overdrawn.

“The Bank of Ghana did not receive any instruction from the presidency not to pay the money but I must explain that we hold government accounts; if the account is in credit and the people who carry the mandate to carry that account provide a legitimate instrument, we always honor that instrument so if there is money in the account and they say pay Mr. A, we are not going to ask if Mr. A is providing a service or not. Once the Accountant General who operates the account says pay, we are under instruction to pay. If we find out that there is no money there or the activity is clearly outside the budget then we can draw attention to the fact that something is wrong and that they should look at it again but we cannot refuse to pay a legitimate instruction if there is credit on the account…” Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur said.
19  Forum / The Buzz Central / U-TV Scares Other Television Stations In Ghana on: 6-08-2012 04:55PM
There are several television stations across the length and breadth of Ghana. While GBC (Ghana Broadcasting Corporation) or call it GTV (Ghana Television Vision) is the only state owned television station, the rest are either state-private partnership or private owned television stations.

Currently, the new privately owned television station that is operating a test transmission is called UTV. GhanaSuperStars.Com has had several calls from its curious readers and fans; all requesting for an information on the new television station, UTV.

If fans will remember, first broke the news of a new emerging television station from the camp of Despite Group of Companies, owners of subsidiary companies such as Peace fm, OK fm,Hello Fm amongst others. We got the privilege of visiting the office of UTV. We were taken through some of the processes of how the TV station will be operated early this year.

Talking to a source at UTV, he revealed confidently; “UTV is going to be a big threat to the other TV stations knowing the efficiency and effectiveness of Despite Group of Companies ably born by the illustrious and visionary entrepreneur, Mr. Osei Kwame. With a very hardworking staff behind Peace Fm and Okay fm which has made both stations the most listened to radio stations in Ghana, I strongly believe we shall survive any competition”.

“United Television (UTV) is committed to creating and showcasing original programs both local and foreign; to inform, educate and entertain. United Television (UTV) is the newest broadcasting network providing a 24/7 line-up of well produced family entertainment dedicated to delivering informative and entertaining programming to our viewers” – UTV management descriptions.

As the saying goes; “more competition, more innovations”. We pray with professionalism, good contents and hard work, UTV will grow to become the most watched television station just as its “foster brothers” Peace Fm and OK fm. UTV is located in the Ship House, 3rd Floor, Abeka Junction, the same building with Peace fm & Oay FM.

In-case you haven’t seen this station on your television screen, keep searching and when you get it, let’s know if you agree with people who think United Television (UTV) is a threat to the other existing television stations.
20  Forum / The Buzz Central / Keagan Wins Big Brother StarGame + How Africa Voted! on: 6-08-2012 04:54PM
South African Housemate KEAGAN has won the Big Brother StarGme!

After 91 long days in the house, the young lad has finally hit the jack pot. His journey started in Doenville with partner Lee who was evicted on the same night he was Upgraded to Upville.

This means that South Africa has won Big Brother for the first time after a long wait.

The South African housemate managed to beat off stiff competition from 34 other housemates including strong contenders from Upville.

Prezzo was the runner up and was rewarded with a ONE Campaign ambassador slot. He was also told that he would be attending Jay Z’s concert in the United States soon.

Here’s who which country voted for:

Angola: Keagan
Botswana: Keagan
Ghana: Keagan
Kenya: Prezzo
Liberia: Keagan
Malawi: Wati
Namibia: Lady May
Nigeria: Keagan
South Africa: Keagan
Sierra Leone: Talia
Tanzania: Prezzo
Uganda: Kyle
Zambia: Talia
Zimbabwe: Lady May
Rest of Africa: Keagan

Total: Keagan = 7; Lady May = 2; Prezzo =2, Talia = 2, Kyle = 1, Wati = 1. (Total: 15 Votes)
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