Friday, 30 December 2016

Creation of additional region and its socio-economic challenges

In his 2016 campaign, the President elect Nana Akuffo Addo promised the people of the Western Region the creation of a new region to be known as the Western North.

The new region is to facilitate economic development, create jobs, and to ensure equity in development. 

The present Western Region with its capital in Sekond-Takoradi along the coast creates administrative lapses because it is one region that traveling from the northern part to the capital takes several hours than any other Region in Ghana.

This makes it extremely very difficult for journalists for instance in Sekondi to provide adequate coverage to communities stretching from Asankragua, Wiawso, Bibiani-Anwhiaso-Bekwai, Akontombra ,Juaboso, and Osei Kojokrom.

It is therefore no wonder that events in such communities are rather covered by media houses in the Ashanti Region because of their proximity to the region. It is a fact that, the Western Region leads in almost all natural resources that keep the country gong from, timber, cocoa, gold and latest being the oil.

Strangely, the region is one of the poorest in terms of good roads. The high rainfall pattern with 10 out of the 12 months of the year being rainy season almost renders all un tarred roads also impassable during the rainy season.

In fact this and many other factors make the demand for new regions much more reasonable. However, in order not to trigger the clamour for more regions which go with its short term negative impact on the economy, there is the need for critical assessment before implementing this decision.

The Brong Ahafo Region, the Northern, and the Volta Regions have also made the request considering their large geographical area and other factors put them in the qualification brackets.

The national interest in terms of economic viability must be considered instead of sectional interest and political expediency. The Western Region for instance, it would be economically feasible to relocate the capital to a central point in the region to enhance administrative activities, instead of creating additional region with about 24 constituencies.

What is significant now is probably for the government to create more District, Municipal and metropolitan Assemblies.

This can accelerate national development, good governance and efficient grass root participation and local governance rather than the creation of additional regions.

Already, the country is saddled with challenges with the higher number of public servants on government's payroll.

The Creation of regions accompanied by huge staff including Ministers, Deputies, Directors and other auxiliary staff will put additional pressure on the wage bill.

The President-elect must be mindful of the fact that the country already had the long term development plan.

let us now advocate that all political party manifestoes should not deviate from this document which the nation has invested so much in its preparation.

The parties have temporary working document, the 40 year development plan is a living document which interest cuts across partisan consideration.

The national interest should guide us as a people in dealing with such issue as creating new region and not just to score a political point. Long live Ghana


Thursday, 29 December 2016


The Harmattan is a dry and dusty northeastern trade wind which blows from the Sahara Desert over the West African subcontinent into the Gulf of Guinea between the end of November and the middle of March. On its passage over the Sahara, it picks up fine dust and sand particles. The Harmattan is characterised by cold, dry, dust-laden wind and also wide fluctuations in the temperatures of the day and night. Temperatures can be as low as 9 degrees Celsius a day, but sometimes in the afternoon it can soar as high as 30 degrees Celsius, while the relative humidity drops under 10 percent. The Harmattan wind increases the risk of fire outbreaks which cause severe crop damage especially, in farming communities. The interaction of the Harmattan with monsoon winds can cause Harmattan haze.

In some countries in West Africa, the heavy amounts of dust in the air severely limit visibility and block the sun for several days. Studies have shown that health humidity drops as low as 15 percent, which can result in spontaneous for nose bleeding for some people. Other health effects on humans may include condition of the itchy skin and eyes. It also aggravates of asthmatic attacks. The National Fire Service is always on high alert during harmattan season to prevent fire outbreaks. Prior to the onset of this weather, Personnel of the Service step up the efforts to address the incidence of bush fires which mostly increase during the period. Due to inadequate numbers, Fire Service relies on volunteers to create public awareness on fire prevention. According to Billy Anaglate of the Public Relations Division of the Service, fire volunteers have been trained and deployed to areas where there are no fire stations. This is a proactive measure to minimise the effects of fires on lives and property, food security and biodiversity in general. Not only are bush fires a problem but domestic fires tend to be on the increase. The public is usually advised to critically examine their electrical appliances and replace old ones because the older an appliance or socket, the more susceptible they are to fire.

Apart from fire outbreaks that are associated with the weather, some health problems like eyes and nose, mouth and respiratory tract diseases have severe impact on infants, children and the elderly. A lot of people also experience allergic reactions and this result in excessive sneezing, cough, catarrh and nasal bleeding. Individuals with pre-existing chronic chest infections are encouraged to take precautions during this period in order not to worsen their condition. Due to poor visibility as a result of the hazy condition, we tend to register road accidents. So motorists are to drive cautiously with the headlights on when necessary. This weather also affects air traffic leading to the cancellation of flights and its economic implications for the aviation operators and the travelling public. But like a bittersweet pill, Harmattan is not entirely negative. During this period, people with acne get relieved because that breakout is reduced, and for the ladies their makeup stays longer without melting down due to excessive sweating. It is important people during this period moisturize their body well while kids and the vulnerable should wear clothes appropriate for the weather. On domestic fires, gas cylinders should be turned off when not in use likewise electric gadgets. People must stay away from that when necessary. Though the negatives outweigh the positives during the harmattan taking precaution on roads, avoid setting unnecessary bush fire and being health cautious is the way to go.


Wednesday, 28 December 2016

La Gas Explosion & the Craze for Social Media Spreading of Victim’s Pictures And Videos

Ghana once again faced a tragic moment in its history when gas exploded at a filling station near the Trade Fair Centre, leaving scores of persons’ dead and others with degrees of burns.

Reports have it that there were six dead and about twelve injured in the accident that took place around 6 p.m. on Thursday at Louis Gas Station at Labadi in Accra.

Property running into thousands of Cedis have been lost to the fire.

It is unfortunate that, with just a couple of days to Christmas and the relief from election tension that engulfed the nation during the election period, the nation has to go through such an agonizing moment.

Messages of condolence and sympathy have come from the President, President-elect, other personalities and identifiable groups to the families and victims of the incident.

The incident once again brings to the fore the amount of precautionary measures put in place to forestall the occurrence of such incidents.

The nation has laws that govern the siting of fuel and gas stations to ensure safety of workers and customers of such companies.

There are regulations and people put in authority to ensure that prospective businesses in that sector are well positioned to insulate innocent people from being exposed to such dangers.

As we all lament over the deaths and injuries and sympathize with those affected, it remains to know if someone failed to carry out their duties well, leading to what has been experienced.

As time passes, so is it likely that this incident would pass without any punitive or preemptive action being taken.

This is very pathetic.

On the other hand, whilst pondering over the painful loss, something amazing happened that depicts a negative attitude some Ghanaians have developed in the wake of the social media craze that has become a canker to be checked.

Whilst people were busily making efforts to save victims from the inferno, there were some callous persons around the area, taking pictures and posting them on social media such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, among others to the admiration of their followers and friends.

Though there was nothing wrong with sharing pictures of accidents and other tragic events on social media, the sheer lack of respect for victims of such incidents and the nature of some of the pictures splashed on these media call for some attention.

Many Ghanaians were horrified at the nature of the pictures splashed emotionlessly on such platforms without caution or discretionary notice to viewers and wondered if those behind such acts truly understand what it means. Some people had to chase agonizing victims to get shots of them going through the traumatizing experience.

In some of the instances, videos of people going through very traumatic experiences during the fire outbreak were posted shamelessly on such media, leaving decent Ghanaians in utmost awe.

This is not the first time such a thing is happening, as numerous cases abound of people posting pictures and videos of victims who deserve no publicity whatsoever of their state but rather sympathy and getting sympathy for them could be done without necessarily showing gory pictures of their state.

Recently, there was a picture of a bleeding accident victim taking a picture of himself (selfie) at the accident spot to be posted on social media.

In such a situation one wonders what could have motivated the victim to take such a picture when he should be considering how to get out of the problem to even help others.

What makes it even more annoying is the way such videos and pictures are liked and commented on by those who should be condemning them; the liking and comments serve as a booster to the perpetrators, hence the propensity to do it.

This incident is bringing to the fore the issue of social media regulation and its effect on the security of the nation following the debate over whether to ban it on election day or not.

In this regard, it has moved from the regulatory realm to its effects on our time-tested morals and values that frown on some of the things being flagrantly done on social media platforms.

Some years back, nudity was considered a taboo among the youth and those found exposing or being exposed to nude pictures were drastically dealt with by the elderly ones.

Our traditional media never allowed their platforms to be used in any way to propagate such morally-unacceptable pictures.

Today, the trend has changed and the things considered taboo have become so fashionable that, those who don’t follow such fashions are considered outmoded.

This is compelling the youth to devise some means to belong so they are not left out or behind by their peers.

Contents exposed on social media these days leave the youth at high risk of being corrupted and pushed into some social vices with serious repercussions for the nation. Our future is at risk.

Ghanaians are well known for their hospitable nature and disposition to sympathize with people in trauma of some pains.

This is seen in the way we all rally to the aid of those mourning or suffering from sickness.

That social sympathy is a quality that distinguishes us from many other people or cultures.

When accidents occur on our roads, Ghanaians can be trusted to quickly get the victim into a vehicle to be transported to the hospital for immediate care.

It is after the condition of the victim is stabilized that their relatives are contacted to continue with the healing process.

Why has this value disappeared all of a sudden? Why has social media taken away the sense of sympathy and respect for privacy of people in pain? Have we lost our morals and values to technology?

These questions would continue to linger in the minds and on the lips of the older generations, who still hold on to the same old values that made Ghana a place to be.

This has nothing to do with whether they were Born Before Computer (BBC) as the younger generations prefer calling the older generations who migrated into the technological age, as against those known as Technological natives.

Enforcing morality and values on social media is a herculean task for the authorities and parents, some of who do not have knowledge of or access to such mediums to be able to monitor what their wards are exposed to.

However, constant training at home and practical demonstration of such morals and values, would in no small way, instill them in this generation.

Exposing people in pain in order to win the accolade of being the first to have seen it or to have the footage is neither here nor there.

There was a case of the paparazzi who happened to arrive on the scene of the accident that killed the Princess Diana, former Princess of Wales in 1997.

The cameramen decided to film the incident instead of taking part in the rescue process.

They were severely condemned for failing to go to the aid of a dying victim but rather choosing to take exclusive shots.

The police had to push the paparazzi away to be able to carry out their duty and all these happened at a time Princess Diana was still alive.

If they had been morally humane at that time, they might have saved a precious life.

That was the level of insensitivity of the paparazzi at that time.

Today our craze for exclusivity on social media is blinding us to time-tested and highly-respected values that sustained the older generations and gave them hope and security.

Today, the trend has changed and it wouldn’t be long when people would rush to look for the camera phone to snap a drowning person instead of a rope.

This attitude must change now before it becomes a norm among the youth of today.

Social media is for socialization; it is to keep us connected to help each other but not a tool to steal our morality and values.

We all need to grow from this anti-social behavior on social media to make our platforms more profitable.




Christmas is here again with its attendant’s security and safety issues. It is therefore important that the state and individuals put in place comprehensive security plans to ensure that the season is observed without mishap to life and property.

As part of its security arrangements, the Ghana Police Service has put on its calendar what it has christened Operation Father Christmas.

It is a special exercise designed to offer enhanced protection to the public from the activities of criminals and law breakers in general.

It is also a confidence building measure to assure members of the public of their safety and security.

It is an undeniable fact that during festive occasions there is an increase in the movement of persons and goods across the country.

This situation unfortunately makes it easy for criminals to commit acts which include stealing, shop lifting, pick pocketing, robberies, assault and sexual offences.

Again, it is on such occasion that commercial drivers desire to make unreasonable profit, engage in all manner of dangerous or reckless acts on the road, thus leading to road fatalities.

To forestall these criminal acts and indiscipline, the service has undertaken such operations to ensure that no law breaker has a field day and also to create a desirable atmosphere for the public to celebrate the season peacefully.

To achieve this, a robust police patrol has been deployed throughout the country.

A patrol involving both foot and mechanized surveillance has been increased.

Patrols on the highways have also been enhanced and extended to cover other crime prone zones or routes to ensure that people do not travel in fear.

It is now safer to travel on routes such as; • Tinga – Bamboi – Bole – Wa Highway • Techiman – Tamale Highway • Bolga–Navrongo – Paga Highway • Bolga – Tumu Highway • Accra – Aflao Highway • Accra – Takoradi Highway • Accra – Kumasi Highway • Kumasi – Yeji Highway and Accra – Kpando – Dambai – Nkwanta Highway.

Besides these Patrols, the Police administration has also called for intensification of snap checks at crime prone areas in order for personnel to intercept criminals.

Operation Father Christmas 2016 is not only limited to hard core Policing but has added the community Policing component to crime reduction.

In this regard there will also be joint Patrols with Neighbourhood Watch groups, All During this year’s launch of Operation Father Christmas in Accra, the Director – General Operation, COP Christian Tetteh Yohunu, announced that the informant reward system is still in place and encouraged the public to provide the Police with credible information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of suspected criminals.

The public is therefore urged to abide by safety and security tips as the police provides enhanced security nationwide to ensure a crime free Christmas and new year.

BY DSP Freeman Tettey


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Work Of Transitional Team To Incoming Administration

Ghanaians have once again demonstrated their democratic maturity by going through a successful election.

At the end, the opposition candidate defeated the incumbent President. This invariably calls for a transfer of power from the current administration to a new one from an opposition party.

Thankfully, unlike what is happening in the Gambia, President John Mahama has gracefully conceded defeat, congratulated his opponent and expressed his willingness to hand over power peacefully.

In accordance with the Presidential Transition Act 2012 , Act 845, both the out-going and in-coming administrations must constitute a Joint Transition Team, to be co-chaired by the incumbent President and the President-Elect.

The Joint Transition Team is to among other things, ensure smooth transfer of power. In so doing, the team is to take stock of state assets and also receive handing over notes from Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

The Joint Transition Team has since commenced its business. However and regrettably, the transition process is not happening as smoothly as envisaged, as the outgoing government and the incoming administration attack each other.

Both parties have been trading accusations and counter-accusations against each other, suggesting a mutual lack of trust.

The latest evidence of this politically-motivated debacle is the outgoing government’s dismissal of allegations by the Acting General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, John Boadu, that the handing over notes made available to the incoming government have been “doctored”.

A statement signed by the spokesperson for the government’s transition team, Hanna Tetteh, said Mr Boadu's allegations can only have one purpose: to demonise the out-going John Mahama-led administration. 

Before this latest rebuttal by the government's transition team, the NPP team also claimed that the handing notes were not ready. Again the outgoing came out to deny the claim, insisting that the handing over notes for the incoming Nana Akufo-Addo-led administration were ready.

The incoming government says it has received handing over notes from only eight out of the over 30 ministries. The government transition, however, says handing over notes for the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies have been made ready within the time frame required by the Presidential Transition Act, 2012 (Act 845).

The point must be made that the law requires that the handing over notes be deposited with the Administrator General about 30 days to the election.

It will therefore appear problematic if days after the election, we are being told some of the handing over notes are not ready.

A statement from the government team explains that, the Ministers responsible for each sector are required to sign the handing over notes before sending them to the office of the Administrator General.

The obvious question however is, how long will it take ministers to sign the handing over notes? There have also been claims by the incoming government that that outgoing government was awarding last minute contracts and recruiting personnel into the public service a few weeks to the official change in government. 
The point must be made that the current administration has the mandate to rule upto the 7th of next month when the President-Elect takes office. The fact that the incumbent has lost the election does not mean everything must come to a halt. In 2008, when the NPP lost the election, President Kufour continued to exercise executive power even hours to handing over.

It will be recalled that on the 6th of January, 2009, President Kufour announced the coming into effect of the new pay structure, the Single Spine Salary scheme and also granted Presidential pardon to some jailed former ministers and government appointees, notably former GNPC boss, Tsatsu Tsikata.

In all of these, what is required is good faith. Every action and decision of this current government within this few days must be seen as being done in good faith and without malice. It will also be important for the incoming team to eschew the unnecessary suspicions and the mistrust so that they can work in harmony, and in the best interest of the nation.


Thursday, 15 December 2016

Violent attacks in the aftermath of 2016 elections

Barely a few hours after the declaration of results of this year's Presidential and Parliamentary elections, jubilant youth believed to be NPP sympathizers as, are reported to be have resorted to destruction of public property, a situation that has been condemned by the NPP, NDC and the police.

One such incident is the setting ablaze of a toll booth at Fiapre near Sunyani.

Fortunately the police have arrested the Fiapre suspect, put him before court and is now on bail and is expected back in court on the 23rd of this month.

In other areas, cars, billboards, posters and other property are reportedly being destroyed.

All these are happening despite the call on supporters to be moderate in their celebrations and refrain from acts that are likely to disturb the current peace the nation is enjoying.

Reports of violent attacks visited members of the loosing parties started soon after the country entered into a constitutional rule.

It is becoming alarming that anytime that there is a change in government supporters of the winning party resort to violent attacks on their opponents.

During such times official vehicles of outgoing government officials are seized while they are also forced to vacate accommodation allotted to them.

These unhealthy developments continue to perpetrated due what is referred to as the winner take all policy.

The poverty level in the country is so high that at any given moment, people are looking for an opportunity to make ends meet and the best way to attain that goal is winning political power that puts the country's resources into the hands of the victorious party.

It is time this phenomenon was checked to ensure equitable sharing of resources and appointment of personnel to man public institutions.

Even though there is an embargo on public sector employment, protocols to fill vacancies in certain departments are preserved for government appointees and and their cohorts.

This development is unhealthy and provides the grounds for struggle for political power as it is seen as the only way to get access to the nation's resources.

It is time winning governments considered running all inclusive government's if this unhealthy practice is to be avoided.

Security of members of parties in power must also be guaranteed, to enable ruling governments to concede defeat and hand over power peacefully.

This will avoid the political hurdles currently being witnessed in the Gambia as well as previous ones in Cote d'lvoire and Burkina Faso.


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

2016 General Elections

Ghanaians have once again demonstrated to the entire world Ghana's impeccable democratic credentials.

Last Wednesday, the nation went to the polls in what was expected to be a keenly contested general election.

At the end, the main opposition leader, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo of the New Patriotic Party, was overwhelmingly endorsed by the electorate to steer the affairs of this country for the next four years.

This is the first time in Ghana's political history that a sitting president lost an election.

The beauty of it was that even before the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, declared the results, the defeated incumbent president, John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress, called his opponent, congratulated him and conceded defeat.

There is no doubt that the road leading to this historic moment has not been smooth sailing.

The process was characterised by tensions, acrimony, accusations and counter accusations and suspicions. Of course, every election is a hard fought battle and this was no exception.

It is also true that in every election, there can be only one winner.

We have been commended world wide due to the success of our election.

It is however regrettable that we are hearing reports of vandalism and lawlessness on part of some supporters of the winning party.

It is unacceptable and the leadership of the party must immediately reign in their followers.

The police and the other law enforcement agencies must also as a matter of utmost priority, move in to restore law and order, and ensure the safety of lives and property.

We cannot allow the success of this election to be marred by the actions of a few over zealous party loyalists.

The international media is hungry and scavenging for any negative news to paint the continent black, and they will not hesitate to push to the back burner the positives and rather flag the negatives. As President Mahama stated in his concession speech, Ghana is a powerful nation with a history of taking the improbable and making it possible.

We have been a leader on so many fronts, not just on the continent but also in the world from our attainment of independence, to our development of a democracy, that maintains at its core a pledge of stability and a respect for the rule of law.

We have been able to do this, because we have always endeavoured to function as one nation with a common destiny. Notwithstanding, our diversity, religious faiths, ethnic groups and political affiliations, we have always recognised that we are all, ultimately, on the same side, the side of Ghana and its progress.

The election is over and it is time for work. In line with constitutional provisions, the President yesterday inaugurated a Transition team co-chaired by himself and the President-elect. 
It is expected that unlike previous transitions, this one will be smooth. The NPP must not forget that, the people of Ghana voted for the party massively on the back of many promises made to them.

The incoming President and those he will appoint to various positions must bear in mind that expectations are high and Ghanaians will not tolerate any excuses.

The NDC must also take stock of what caused it this election. Already, the diagnosis has commenced among party faithful.

Various reasons have been attributed to the party's humiliating defeat. The blame game, now coined, blamestorming, has begun.

Be that as it, the moment belongs to the President -Elect, Nana Addo.

He tried repeatedly to get into this high office, and has finally gained it in a stunning fashion, despite being ruled out by his main opponents and a few pollsters or pundits.

As a former NPP flagbearer hopeful, Dr. Arthur Kennedy stated, Nana Addo, deserves not only our heartfelt congratulations but also our well wishes and goodwill.

As the saying goes, one does not quarrel with success.

The slogan of the NPP campaign has always been the Battle is the Lord's.

It is written in the Bible that those who wait upon the Lord shall have their strength renewed and this has been made manifest in the life of Nana Addo.

As the task ahead is certainly a herculean one, the new president, his appointees and party, must continue to be guided by their campaign slogan.

Psalm 127 verse one says, Except the Lord himself builds, they labour in vain that try to build. Once again, congratulations to both the President -Elect and the incumbent and to all Ghanaians.


Monday, 12 December 2016

2016 presidential and parliamentary elections

After the many controversies and uncertainties, the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections came off successfully last Wednesday.

Apart from the Jaman North constituency, where the election could not be held on the 7th due to some hitches, the elections went on largely smoothly in the remaining 274 constituencies nationwide.

Both local and international observer groups have praised Ghana's Electoral Commission, the security services, the media and the good people of Ghana for a good job done.

But, it is all not over yet. The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, who by law is the Returning Officer for the Presidential Election, is yet to declare the final result and pronounce on who the winner is.

It must also be noted that, by constitutional provisions, a person can only be declared an outright winner if he or she garners at least 50 percent plus one of the total valid ballots cast in the election.

In a situation where, none was able to meet the mark, the EC is enjoined to conduct a run-off election for the two candidates with the highest number of votes.

It is not exactly clear whether there is an outright winner or whether the elections will go into a run-off.

What is however clear, is that the so called smaller parties and the independent candidate did very badly in the election.

Results from the polling stations indicated that, they recorded zero votes in most polling stations and in some cases one or two votes.

Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom of the PPP, however managed to get substantial votes in a few areas. As has been the trend, the two biggest parties, the NDC and the NPP have done well.

Ghanaians are however sitting on tentahooks waiting for the Electoral Commissioner to declare the results for the presidential election.

The results of the parliamentary elections are already known since they were declared at the constituency level.

The vacuum created by the EC by not releasing the presidential results from the constituencies has given room for people to speculate.

Both traditional and social media are replete with conflicting figures.

This, to a large extent is contributing to an atmosphere of anxiety and tension.

It is however worrying for political parties to assume the responsibility of the EC and declare their own results.

It is particularly unacceptable that, less than 12 hours after close of polls, the opposition party organised a news conference, declaring themselves winners and calling on the incumbent president to concede defeat.

Never in the history of Ghana, has presidential election results been declared in less than 48 hours.

The law gives the Commission, 72 hours within which to declare the results.

In as much as, we all want to know the outcome of the election, even though most Ghanaians have a clear idea about how the election went, we must not sacrifice accuracy and diligence on the altar of speed.

The 2012 presidential election petition, when this nation was taken through eight months of agonizing and needless litigation, is still fresh in our memory.

Africa is making strides in democratic consolidation. More African countries are tilting towards democracy. 
Recent elections in Nigeria and the Gambia are testament to this fact and the elections in Ghana is a further test of the robustness of democracy in Africa.

It is expected that when the Electoral Commission finally declares the results, the loser, will thank Ghanaians, and congratulate and wish the winner well.

In the same vein, the winner must be gracious and magnanimous in victory and also congratulate the other candidates for giving him a good fight.

And let nobody go to court and drag Ghana through what we went through last time. Ghana needs its next government to be free to focus on our problems.

Democracy requires, not just constitutions, rules and regulations but democrats and patriots. It requires the grace to accept defeat and humility in victory.

Both sides must learn that democracy delivers victories and defeats. At this moment, it will be necessary for the media to play a critical role in lowering tensions and anxiety in the country.

They should do well not to give the platform to anyone to incite violence or chaos.

The news conferences and counter news conferences are unwarranted.

The leaders of the political parties should stop giving false hope to their followers.

The best they can do is to impress upon the masses to remain calm, and accept whatever result the constitutionally mandated body might declare.

May Ghana be the true winner of this election.