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Showing posts from July, 2016

Asawase Stampede

Ghanaians woke up Thursday morning to the horrific news of nine people losing their lives in a stampede that ensued after confusion broke out during a night jam to mark Eid-ul-Fitr at Asawase in the Ashanti Region. Eid-ul-Fitr is observed by Muslims worldwide to mark the end of Ramadan, which is a 30 day obligatory dawn to dusk fasting, where they restrain from food and water and other fleshly desires. The Eid or Sallah as it is popularly called is therefore an occasion for the adherents of the Islamic faith to rejoice over their triumph over hunger, thirst and most importantly, sin. For such an occasion to turn tragic is to say the least very pathetic and regrettable. This however calls for the need to take a second look at how such occasions are observed. Time and again, the youth have been advised to celebrate such festivals in moderation, but they often turn deaf ears to such calls.

One characteristic of Eid celebrations which has over time been a nuisance to society is the reckles…

Circulation Of Arms And Ammunition

There are periodic reports of discovery of arms and ammunitions being conveyed from one point to undisclosed destinations in this country. Consignments of guns and cartridges, explosives and other lethal weapons are uncovered at the borders, hidden in travellers’ luggage or specially-contrived compartments on vehicles. It always takes a lot of intuitive diligence, and sometimes tip-offs, to come upon such hiding-places of deadly weapons being smuggled into the country or being transported inland. Sometimes the smugglers manage to escape detection and payment of duties by using unapproved routes, to avoid Customs and Preventive officials at the border posts. All the same, some of them are eventually caught at Police and or Customs road blocks. There are also locally-manufactured shotguns of various sizes, usually small and handy. These are normally patronized by hunters and farmers. The trade in arms and ammunitions has been a genuine or legal business in the past. Licensed Arms Dealer…

Curbing Abusive And Irresponsible Comments In Media

Article 21 clause one A of the 1992 Constitution guarantees all citizens of Ghana a fundamental human right to "freedom of speech and expression, which shall include freedom of the press and other media." To that end, it is not in the power of any individual or organisation to deny any citizen his or her right to speak. This, however, does not mean that one can, in the course of expressing oneself in the exercise of one's fundamental human right, infringe others rights not to be defamed, provoked unnecessarily and abused. For every fundamental human right, there exist legal perimeters within which they must be exercised. Unfortunately, many people erroneously think that they have unrestrained and unfettered rights to say and write anything about anybody. No. Freedom and Responsibility are identical and inseparable twins which ought not to be put asunder for convenience. Some people would rather own their thoughts and expressions but disown the responsibilities that go wi…

Need To Preserve Peace In Ghana

Anytime the country is approaching a general election, the fear of Ghana being plunged into war, becomes a recurring topic of discussion. In many instances, opposition parties point at the Electoral Commission as the sole institution that is responsible for the peace of the nation within that period. With another election in the offing, the EC has once again come under some bashing as not doing much to safeguard the peace of the country with a raging controversy over the voters register. But, it is a wrong notion to think that it will take just the EC to maintain peace in Ghana. It is erroneous if not funny to think that Ghana's EC has ever, or is likely to rig the outcome of the election in favour of any party or candidate. It is an open secret that it does not take the Electoral Commission to instigate the snatching of ballot boxes and intimidation of electorates which are all forms of rigging.

When it comes to the maintenance of peace, the constitution assigns that responsibilit…

Early Posting of National Service Personnel

In an unprecedented move, the National Service Secretariat has completed deploying a total of 70 thousand 407 National Service Personnel to various institutions across the country for the 2016, 2017 service year, three clear months ahead of the commencement of the service.

About 30 thousand more are expected to be posted in due course, bringing the total number of personnel who will be doing national service to a little mpre than 100 thousand.

The National Service Secretariat needs to be commended for its pro activeness in ensuring the timely release of postings this year.

According to a statement signed by the Acting Director of the NSS, Dr. Michael Kpessa-Whyte, the early release of the postings was to afford prospective service personnel, sufficient time to prepare before they take up their postings later in September.

The statement adds, and I quote. “the early release was to offer user agencies sufficient time to organize in-service orientation and training programs for the service p…

Over Glorification Of Alcohol In Media

Each and every day, Ghanaians start their day with advertisement about one alcoholic beverage or the other. These adverts are so common that even the youngest child can recite the lines. It is so much so that, if your alarm clock fails to wake you up in the morning, an alcoholic beverage advert will. Research shows that, purposeful production of alcoholic beverages is common in many cultures and often reflects their cultural, sociological and religious peculiarities as well as their geographical conditions. Discovery of Stone Age jugs suggest that, intentionally, fermented beverages existed at least as early as Neolithic period which is about 10,000 BC.

The oldest and most popular alcoholic spirit produced in Ghana and other West African nations by distilling palm wine and sugar cane juice is referred to as "Akpeteshie". Other names for this drink include apio, ogogoro (in Nigeria), sodabi, keley and "kutuku" (in Nzema). The word akpeteshie comes from the Ga languag…

Calls To Decriminalize Marijuana

There is significant academic debate on decriminalising marijuana in the country, and this has received some degree of political and public support. Some have argued that decriminalization will open a floodgate for drug use in the country, while others do not agree and see it as the best way to reduce drug use in the country. In practice, repressive drug laws have neither succeeded in reducing drug consumption nor put traffickers out of their lucrative business. Instead, these laws have only driven and expanded the trade underground. The current drug policy in Ghana is very repressive in nature. It is a control approach that has failed to consider the health and well being of those who use drugs. It makes no room for people who need life saving harm reduction programs such as needle and syringe distribution and opioid substitution treatments. What this kind of regime has done over the years is to marginalize the majority of citizens. Studies have shown that the criminalization of peop…

NDC’s Decision To Boycott IEA Debate

It is unfortunate that the ruling National Democratic Congress has decided to boycott all IEA activities leading up to this year's election. The point must be made that this is not the first time the NDC is taking such a drastic decision. In 2012, the NDC took a similar decision not to participate in the IEA debate ahead of the election. But in a dramatic U-turn following the unfortunate death of Prof. Mills, the NDC rescinded the earlier decision and participated fully in the evening encounters and the debates for both presidential candidates and their running mates. It is significant to note that that U-turn came at an extra cost to the Institute. It is not exactly clear the basis of allegations of bias against the institute. This is because outside election periods, the NDC likewise all other parties with representation in Parliament fully cooperate with the IEA under the auspices of Ghana Political Parties Programme. It is also worthy to note that, in opposition, the NDC atten…

NPP’s Policy Statement

During these early days yet to political campaigning for the Presidential and Parliamentary elections, candidates are making statements meant to achieve electoral favours which are expected to translate into wining votes. There is no denying this because otherwise, there would be no point making such declarations of intent such as Nana Akufo Addo has in recent days. The NPP's Presidential hopeful has said a few things which have lit a debate which has generated the predictable political split wracking this nation. Opinion differences are best for politically-based democratic governance. However, more than much depend on the context and manner the variations are discussed and ideally the goal of the effort is for a consensus to action what is or are proposed, either continuing in the same direction or switch the processing. That means either overhaul or piecemeal. The news reported policy enunciations have three highlights, constructing a factory in every district, a wholesale turn…