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Ghanaweb News from May 2012 - July 2012

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Ghana Web News - 08.07.2012 - Sunday - 

Daily Ghanaweb News


- Part of UTC building in Accra tumbles

- Why Should An Underperforming Goalkeeper

  Refuse To Be Substituted?
- Kufuor gov’t challenged AAL claims over

- Ursula Slaps Fritz Baffour
- NDC Must Forget Rawlings - Teye Nyaunu
- Another judgement debt scandal to rock

  the nation
- Rawlings Stops NDC
- KMA investigates Asafo fire outbreak
- Chaos in KATH over new levies
- NPP’s “Wickedness And Vindictiveness”

  Collapsed Businesses - Ablakwa
- Ministry of Health halts KATH development

- Women advised to take good care of their


  News of Saturday, July 7; > Click Here <


 Part of UTC building in Accra tumbles

* Source: Citifmonline



Portions of the famous UTC building at the Central Business District (CBD) in Accra fell over in the early hours of Sunday, but no casualties were recorded.

According to eyewitnesses, the loud bang that followed the tumble caused fear and panic and fatalities could have emerged should the incident happened during the busy hours of the day.

The over a decade-long old building has served as home for many businesses at the busy CBD area opposite the LAVA Shop.

One of the eyewitnesses, who only gave his name as Mike, said a huge concrete slab ripped off the building and “could have caused serious fatalities during a week day. It’s a wake-up call that the UTC building is collapsing and anything can happen at any time.”

He said the size of the concrete slab was huge enough to “have caused five to six deaths during the market days of the week.”

According to Citi News’ Evans Effah, who visited the scene on Sunday afternoon, the slab was “quite huge that fell from the top floor. ‘The concrete could weigh about a 40-feet container’, eyewitnesses are saying.”

Effah reported that the building is in a “very poor state and the city authorities will have to take a second look at it.”

One of the eyewitnesses, Owusu, who spoke to Citi News said, “it would have been a huge disaster” if this had happened during the day.

“We were selling when we heard a huge noise and we felt it was an earthquake. I even thought it was a vehicle that has crashed.



Why Should An Underperforming Goalkeeper Refuse To Be Substituted?
* Source: PeaceFM Online

Acting National Chairman of the new political party said to be the brain child of the Rawlingses, the National Democratic Party (NDP), Dr. Nii Armah Josiah Aryeh, says the party is here to stay for good.

According to him, though the social democratic party will operate an open door policy, it will be guided by certain principles; chiefly among them will be probity and accountability.

Even though the NDP is yet to be fully certified by the Electoral Commission as a fully-fledged political party in Ghana, some political analysts view its formation as another test for the NDC ahead of the December polls, since most of its members are disgruntled formers cadres of the ruling party.

But speaking in an interview on “Kokrokoo” on PeaceFM, Dr. Josiah Aryeh dispelled the notion that the party was birthed out of spite for the NDC.

“We have been on the political scene for awhile and we realized that the political landscape is not what it ought to be. We had to find a way of not being sidelined but to play a very important role in order to ensure that the democratic system in this country is enriched. Truth has become the first casualty of our politics, anytime truth is mentioned; things are shoved under the carpet…You realize that due process, systems and mechanisms among political parties are not being operated and everybody turns a willful blind eye to the truth; and so we thought this ought to be stopped…,” he said.

However, the NDP’s Interim National Chairman, in an implied manner, described the ruling party as a team with an ailing goalkeeper, who is dead set against being substituted, wondering if the attitude of such a goal-tender was aiding the cause of the team or otherwise.

“Where are we heading? Why should you be supporting a team when you’ve realized that the team’s goalkeeper is not well and is refusing to be substituted? You have to ask yourself, is he doing us a service or a disservice? When you see things like this you know that the time has come for some fundamental changes to be made…We are here and we are here for good. We are starting an entirely new course…we operate an open door policy and we are opened to everybody but once they come on board, we operate on certain principles and they would have to abide by those principles but we don’t think focusing on the Rawlingses to the detriment of the party is good. We are still in the process of formation…” he added.


Ursula Slaps Fritz Baffour
* Source: Daily Guide

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate for Ablekuma South, Ursula Owusu, has expressed shock and disappointment about the contents of a press statement suspected to have been issued by the campaign office of Fritz Baffour, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) incumbent MP of the constituency.

The said statement justified the recent assault on Ursula Owusu and alleged that she had insulted the Ga people during the biometric voter registration exercise and therefore deserved the attack.

It was published in several news media and sourced directly to the campaign office of Mr. Baffour, the Minister for Information.

The statement noted that during the launch of his parliamentary campaign last Monday, it became “pretty obvious that the Ga people have not forgiven Ursula for insulting them during the recent biometric registration exercise, and throughout the event, scores of people kept saying that Ursula would be punished for insulting Gas”.

“It would be recalled that Ursula Owusu rained insults on the Ga people; saying that they are “useless” people who have sold all their lands to Akans and so have no right to say that people who do not reside in Odododiodoo cannot register and vote there.

“Of course, Ursula was given a few slaps by a few young Ga boys who were not prepared to allow Ursula to get away with her insults on Gas, in the heart of Accra,” it concluded.

The contents have prompted Ursula to issue a response, describing the statement as “infantile” and one that draws “amusement”.

“Instead of assuring the anxious constituents of Ablekuma South that he will advocate their cause and seek a resolution of their many problems, to merit their continued trust in his competence, Fritz Baffour and his campaign team rather decided to descend into the gutter and spew lies and totally discredited propaganda about the universally condemned attack on me at Odododiodoo during the registration exercise,” Ursula noted.

“He should be ashamed of this lame attempt to justify the dastardly violent assault on women merely educating other women on their legal right to register and vote anywhere in this country they reside in or are ordinarily resident in. Fritz should bow his head in shame that instead of joining other right thinking Ghanaians to condemn that unprovoked assault on Ursula, he is seeking solace in lies and dirty propaganda, and applauding the perpetrators who are currently under police investigation.

“As a Minister of State, he should be assuring the women in his constituency that he will be vocal and visible in their defence, instead of supporting their assailants. What kind of person is this?”

According to Ursula, “The good people of Ablekuma South are fed up with the incessant propaganda and lies of the current MP and the NDC government and are looking forward to the day when their Member of Parliament will be more interested in finding solutions to their problem of poor sanitation, infrastructure, unemployment, increasing poverty and despair among many others than in feeding them with propaganda and lies”.

“My word of advice to Fritz Baffour is that Ursula Owusu is not the problem. His headache should be how to convince the people of Korle Bu, where he sleeps on the Board of the Hospital and does nothing; Korle Gonno, where he zooms past because he has done nothing for them; Chorkor where he has presided over the collapse of the fishing industry, Mamprobi and New Mamprobi which have seen no improvement under his tenure; Gbegbeyise, Shiabu and Glefe where he is deceitfully claiming credit for infrastructure developments begun by the NPP administration and long suffering Dansoman which is patiently enduring the shoddy construction of a road which has destroyed livelihoods of shop owners and businesses along it,” she stated.


- NDC Must Forget Rawlings - Teye Nyaunu
* Source: Radio XYZ

Outspoken Member Parliament for Lower Manya Krobo, Michael Teye Nyaunu has laughed off a statement issued by leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in connection with the newly formed political party - NDP.

The NDC issued a statement on Friday dissociating its founder, ex President Rawlings from the National Democratic Party (NDP), which is yet to be given mandate by the Electoral Commission.

According to the NDC, though wife of the founder of the NDC is believed to be a key member of the NDP, former President Rawlings has not come out to declare his allegiance to the NDP.

The party therefore stated that it will not comment on the current situation until former President Rawlings comes out to confirm or deny the rumour.

However, speaking to XYZ News, Michael Teye Nyaunu chided the action by the NDC, describing it as laughable.

“When did the party start respecting the founder, when did they consider him as the founder, I am just surprised at this gimmicks that is being played” Mr. Nyaunu said.

He added that “Rawlings is not a member but nobody is supposed to make a statement for and on behalf of Rawlings. I think they better stay focused”.

But Propaganda Secretary of the NDC, Richard Quashing says until Mr. Rawlings comes out to declare his loyalty to the NDP, the NDC will consider any association with him to the NDP as mere speculation.

“Many people have tried very hard to associate the founder of the NDC with the formation of this party but former President has not come out to say that he is behind the formation of any new political party”.


Another judgement debt scandal to rock the nation
* Source: Joy Online

A deputy Information Minister has hinted another judgment scandal may soon rock the nation.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said this new scandal is “terrible” and “will soon become the next major discussion point after the gallopers.”

The deputy Minister made the revelation on Joy FM and MultiTV news analysis programme Newsfile, Saturday.

He was commenting on the potential judgment debt scandal over the importation of some 87 galloper vehicles by Africa Automobile Ltd.

Head of Communications of the NPP, Nana Akomea questioned why the government had agreed to an out of court settlement with Africa Automobile Ltd when it safely could have won the case through litigation.

Citing the infamous Woyome scandal, Nana Akomea said it is a worrying trend for government to quickly agree to an out of court settlement.

He said the government is “too happy to settle” imploring rather for the government to allow the court to give judgment.

But Okudzeto Ablakwa said the comments by Akomea are misleading.

According to him, it cannot be the case that it is only officials of the NDC who seek out of court settlement with companies threatening court action for alleged breach of contract.

He quoted a letter, purported to have been written by former Attorney General under the Kufuor Administration, Joe Ghartey in which he (Ghantey) was advising government to opt for an out of court settlement having breached a contract with a Spanish company.

Ablakwa said that case could potentially become another albatross on the country’s neck.

“I hold in my hands, and this is just to buttress the point that it is not only Attorney Generals or lawyers in the NDC fraternity who see the wisdom sometimes in talking and settling.

“4th June 2008, this is an advice by Joe Ghartey and this is in another very terrible Aesofoton case which I am sure will become the next discussion point after the gallopers,” he stated.

The letter in part read that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture breached an agreement with the Aesofoton SA under the second Spanish protocol in 2005 only to sign another agreement with another Spanish company in respect of the same project.

“Aesofoton SA has notified this office of its intention to sue on the contract,’ the letter indicated.

Joe Ghartey then advised there was a breach of a binding contract which entitled the company to special damages, general damages and interest at the prevailing bank rate from time of breach till date of payment.

Quoting the then Attorney General, Ablakwa said if Aesofoton SA is allowed to sue it will be detrimental to government and a substantial financial burden will be imposed on government and therefore Ghartey advised for an out of court settlement.

It is not clear, if the then government successfully concluded the matter with the Spanish company, but if what the deputy Minister of Information said is anything to go by, the country may well be bracing itself for another judgment debt scandal.


Rawlings Stops NDC
* Source: Joy Online

Former President Jerry John Rawlings is said to have expressed extreme anger over an attempt to draw him into a National Democratic Congress (NDC) programme he had no knowledge about.

The NDC had publicized a regional rally at Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region only to be cancelled at the last minute.

A radio advertisement announcing the event that was being run on almost all the radio stations in the region but was withdrawn without any explanation.

The cancellation of the rally which was part of the activities marking the 20th anniversary celebration of the establishment of the party came as a surprise to party supporters.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that the sudden drop of the advert and the suspension of the rally originally scheduled for July 1 were as a result of an order issued by former President Rawlings, the founder of the NDC.

Sources within the party told DAILY GUIDE that Mr. Rawlings was angry over the advert which cited him as the guest speaker at the function without his express knowledge and consent.

The NDC founder was therefore reported to have ordered party executives in the region to withdraw the said advert without delay and to run a counter advert announcing to the public that he was not part of the event.

When contacted, the Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman of NDC, Opoku Atuahene, said the rally was postponed to 21st July because the original day coincided with the engagement of the various personalities needed to grace the occasion.

He however declined to name the personalities who were scheduled to attend the rally, saying that they were the hierarchy of the NDC.

Mr Rawlings had previously complained about people using his name to draw crowd to party programmes without getting approval from him.


KMA investigates Asafo fire outbreak
* Source: JoyOnline

The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has launched investigations into a fire outbreak which destroyed a post office and shops at the Asafo Market Saturday.

The fire is believed to have been caused by a power surge.

Kumasi Mayor Samuel Sarpong who visited the scene says a full-scale investigation will be launched into the incident.

According to the spokesperson for the Mayor, Clement Kegeri, the Assembly has invited the affected persons to assess the extent of damage done to their goods and submit a report as well.

He also said the Assembly is waiting for a technical report as to the exact cause of the fire hence it would not make hasty conclusions.


Chaos in KATH over new levies
* Source: JoyOnline

The Ministry of Health has directed authorities at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) to stop charging a development levy introduced earlier this month.

The hospital introduced the levy which patients were required to pay as precondition for receiving medical care.

In-patients were required to pay Ghc10 and out-patients,Ghc2.

The move by the hospital created confusion at the facility as some members of the public as well as hospital staff condemned the new charge.

Chief Executive Officer of KATH, Professor Ohene Agyei who confirmed the directive to Joy News said the hospital will explore other avenues to generate money to motivate staff.

Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Kwame Frimpong earlier told Joy News the levy was in the overall interest of the patient.


NPP’s “Wickedness And Vindictiveness” Collapsed Businesses - Ablakwa
* Source: PeaceFMonline

A Deputy Information Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has hit back at assertions that his posture and mannerisms seem to portray him as championing the cause of African Automobile Limited (AAL), the company that is demanding US$1.5billion from government for importing some cross-country Galloper vehicles into the country on behalf of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) in 2001.

Debunking claims that he has taken over the role of Attorney for AAL, the deputy minister said instead of the NPP bowing down their heads in shame for engaging in “petty and nasty politics”, they are rather branding others “enemies of the state”.

“How can you call me the PRO of AAL when I am the person saying that you could have avoided this judgment debt?” he quizzed.

He was reacting to accusations by the NPP that instead of him finding out concrete facts to defend the government, it appears he has been contracted to act as counsel for the AAL.

The Deputy Information Minister told the media nearly two weeks ago that the recklessness of the NPP administration led to the accumulation of a $17 million cost on the 86 Gallopers imported by AAL ballooning to $1.5 billion, as is being demanded by the company.

However fresh information made available by a former Local Government Minister in the erstwhile Rawlings NDC regime, Prof Kwamena Ahwoi, under whose watch the deal for the controversial cross country Galloper vehicles was signed, suggests government owed less than originally put out by government.

Professor Ahwoi, in a statement on the matter issued last Wednesday, said the government owed the equivalent of half a million dollars and not 17 million dollars as was claimed by the Deputy Information Minister.

Mr. Ablakwa has conceded he got his figures wrong and that the total contract sum, quoted by Professor Kwamena Ahwoi should be accepted in good faith.

But he insists the NPPs vindictiveness and recklessness led to the current situation government finds itself in.

Speaking to Asempa FM, Okudzeto Ablakwa thanked God that he was not part of an administration whose sole purpose after assuming the reins of power was to destroy private companies through “wickedness, recklessness and evil intentions”.

According to him, when the NPP was in power, the party never conducted itself in any way to show they had the interest of the nation at heart.

He accused the NPP of deliberately going after the AAL because they claimed the company’s country director he was strutting around “as somebody who was untouchable” and thus they (NPP) “wanted to show him where power lies”. He further slam the opposition party for turning around to accuse the NDC government of paying judgement debts which they claimed were unjustified after their (NPP’s) actions had led to the rise in cost in the first place.

“I am happy that I serve under President Mills who has proven to be a different kind of leader. No company has collapsed under his watch ever since he assumed power. He has rather promoted those companies…take at look at a company like ZoomLion and Rlg, he has ensured that they are on their feet and doing well. Look at a mindset where you have a former chief of staff saying that an MD of a company thinks that he is untouchable which eventually leads to the current situation we are facing,” Ablakwa said.


Women advised to take good care of their breasts
* Source: GNA

Women have been asked to take good care of their breasts and avoid taking excessive fatty and oily food to prevent them from getting breast cancer.

They were asked to regularly touch and feel their breasts and report to the hospital upon the discovery of lump in their breasts before the lump developed into full breast cancer.

Madam Comfort Korkor, Nkoranza South District Public Health Nurse Officer, made the call at a day’s workshop for 25 members of the Nkoranza District Branch of the Ghana Conservative Hairdressers Association, at Nkoranza on Saturday.

She appealed to women to undertake regular breast screening at the hospital.

Madam Korkor dismissed the claim by some people that breast cancer was caused by evil spirit and witchcraft.

She explained that the disease was hereditary and it could also be contracted through individual personal lifestyle.

Madam Korkor cautioned women against keeping coins or other objects in their braziers since that could cause the disease.

She advised women with breast cancer to report to the hospital as the disease was preventable and curable.

She asked the participants to disseminate the message on breast cancer to other women, to help prevent the occurrence of the disease.

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