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Features and Opinions

10 Years After: Remembering Justice Annan, the father of the Fourth Republic

It has been ten years since mother earth received the body of Mr. Justice Daniel Francis Annan, the first Speaker of Parliament under the Fourth Republican experiment of the Republic of Ghana. A decade is long enough for the memory of most departed people to fade. But the gentle disposition of the man, as he controlled the House, and the firmness with which he dispensed justice at a time when the Appeals Court was the highest court of jurisdiction in this country, still stands the deceased out as one of this country’s most influential personalities.

Is there a secret to Apostle Safo’s supposed Ghanaian made cars?

Dr. Kwadwo Safo is, according to his own legend, many things. He is a Pentecostal pastor. He is an inventor. Now he claims to be Ghana’s first carmaker as well. Over the past year, his Kantanka Automobile Company has made international news with its vehicles, mature industrial products emerging fully realized from a not-particularly industrial nation. As recently as last week, CNN was telling the story of its “‘made in Ghana’ cars... modeled for tough local conditions.”

A greener, healthier, more beautiful Ghana

Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Vancouver are all cities in Europe but that is not all they have in common. These cities are all rated amongst the top ten greenest cities in the world. This accolade was not easily acquired, neither was it acquired by having perfect plans which existed only on paper. At a point, these cities made decisions by putting measures in place to make them greener, healthier and more beautiful.

A fitting tribute for Daasebre Gyamenah

Recorded in 1999 and featuring the ferocious Lord Kenya, Daasebre Gyamena’s Kokooko is unanimously deemed a standard in modern highlife, a true classic. It is perhaps his most important contribution to the genre till his death Friday July 29.

‘Montie 3’ are criminals

When the news was relayed via newspaper review on television yesterday that a group of chiefs from the Ga Traditional Council had backed calls on President John Dramani Mahama to invoke Article 72 of the 1992 Constitution and grant pardon to the Montie 3, I was shocked.

Mahama must ignore those calling on him to free the so-called Montie 3

The petition by members and supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), asking President Mahama to free the so-called Montie That is a most unfortunate development. Surely, they have not forgotten the role that radio stations played, in creating the madness and hatred that led to the genocide in Rwanda?

The ugly science of insults in Ghana’s politics

F-k-g b-tch! Hey, which politician said that? Darned if I know his name, but this much I do know: In Ghana’s politics, ill-tempered politicians with a deep hatred for their political opponents and political activists who are encouraged and rewarded by those same politicians to insult people they perceive to be standing in the way of their ambitions, have become an irritating phenomenon.

Bill and Hillary Clinton’s destruction of Black families

The most frequent argument used to bully Bernie Sanders supporters into voting for Hillary Clinton, instead of voting for third party candidates like Jill Stein, is that voting your conscience is a “privilege” that only white people can afford to take.

How Anlo-Ewes migrated from Tado through Notsie to Ghana

Let us enjoy the interesting Anlo-Ewe migration story from Tado and Notsie to the present-day Ghana and how their Anlo kingship system came to be rotated between the Bate clan and Adzovia clan. This is the story as told by renowned Ewe folkloric writer and educationist, Rev. F. K. Fiawoo:

Voter exhibition intricacies

The Electoral Commission (EC) is going through one of the difficult electoral periods ever since the inception of the fourth republic.

Rawlings and Abacha's blood money

Like a witch undergoing the last purgation at death’s door, J J Rawlings’ tongue dramatically came unhinged last week in a fit of abominable rant, thereby diminishing whatever remained of his moral capital as possible hero of post-colonial Africa.

Ghana’s gold shame of 3% royalty receipt

When gold trading entity Menzbanc Ghana Limited set shop in the country, they sought to announce their presence by undertaking publicity work.

Citi FM was one radio station they effectively used. Among other things the Menzbanc advert stated “you are in the land of gold, you should own a piece of gold.” It is here that Ghana’s gold shame was exposed.

Menzbanc Ghana Limited is an affiliate of Swiss Gold Global in Zurich, Switzerland and Ghana’s first Bullion Bank. The company undertakes dealership in gold, diamonds and other precious stones and metals.

It handles gold bullion investments, sale as well as purchase of precious stones and metals, smelting and assaying, bullion depository vault services, jewellery pawn and mining prefinancing.

Menzbanc Ghana Limited reckoned there was still some gold in the Ghanaian soil so set shop here meaning despite the over 150 years of gold mining by foreign interest, the gold gift the Supreme Divine offered us has not been exhausted just yet but the question I ask is:

Have you seen gold up-close as a Ghanaian?

Have you adorned your body with any gold ornament?

Can you buy your mum, dad, lover or sibling a gold piece?

For most the answer is no. Very sad as you would expect a fisherman’s children to not lack fish. A cobbler’s child not to walk barefoot or a Kenkey seller’s child to go unfed but such is our gold shame.

Reports suggests since 1898 the mining royalties paid to both the stool lands and the state is 3% and as at October 2015 still receive 3%.

Researcher Kweku Darko reports that a chief from one of the Wassa mining communities asked why the 3% royalty had not been raised higher to reflect modern exigencies. He was told by Chairman of the Board of Directors of Anglo gold Ashanti Company Limited, Mr. Sipho Pityana and Mr. Atta Kuma the AngloGold Ashanti (Ghana) CEO at the 5th annual AngloGold Ashanti (Ghana) Lectures on Business in Africa at the institute of African Studies that the 1898 figure of 3% was enough and must be maintained because the company has initiated a lot of programmes and projects that has benefited the communities in its catchment areas and the country at large.

If this is not damning, I know not what can be. Is it any surprise to any patriotic Ghanaian that after laying off hundreds in a so-called downsizing exercise at Obuasi and other towns, jobless youth are now making incursions in gold concessions to stake a claim?

Is it surprising then that at a recent ‘putting the fear of God’ into the indigenes to leave concessions, a media officer of the gold company lost his life?

Does it not smack of reckless greed when this gold company takes the Ghanaian government to a European court with claims the government failed to bar or should I say brutalise its nationals very much like South Africa’s Markana mine massacre hence a demand for compensation from the Ghana government?

If Ghanaians were privy to lives lost and indigenous economic means destroyed as well as agricultural lands lost to these giant multinational mining companies like South Africa-based AngloGold Ashanti, agitations by the populace for greater care to the communities, employees and legally sanctioned land regeneration efforts would be the norm and not the exception.

The almost 300 radio stations dotted around the country plus a buoyant civil society together with the government must be up to their duties to shine light and work to have culprits cease human rights violations in the mining sector.

Human rights violations perpetrated by multinational mining companies cannot continue go unhindered. The political and financial influence of mining companies must be contained as well.

WACAM - Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining deserves commendation for exposing the misdeeds by multinational mining companies against indigenes and for campaigning for AngloGold Ashanti to win the 2011 Public Eye Award reserved for the world’s most irresponsible companies and in AngloGold Ashanti’s case for its poor human rights record.

As of 2011 Ghana had 13 large-scale mining companies producing gold, diamonds, bauxite and manganese, as well as over 300 registered small scale mining groups and 90 mine support service companies indicating a fury of activities in that sector yet the funds continue to be flown out.

Why governments have failed to raise the mining royalty to even 40% beats the mind and why the appalling royalty the state gets from mining companies has not become a campaign issue in our recent elections is more confounding.

There is no question in mind that whichever government pushes for increased royalty payment shall be warned by the U.S, U.K governments to desist and in the case that a leader emerged who truly stood his ground, the powers that be would place embargoes and attempt a regime change to continue to rape us but that new leader in the shape of Nkrumah or even Kutu Acheampong is badly needed.

Never again shall we call a man Jesus

Once upon a time, I called Rawlings Junior Jesus. In the lecture halls of the Radio Nederland Training School, Holland, I yelled at a Nigerian journalist because he had dared to criticise Ghana’s latest “saviour”, Jerry Rawlings. This was January, 1982. For the three months that the course in Advance Print Media for Third World Journalists lasted, this Nigerian and I remained enemies.

Resignation of Mayor of Kumasi – The Power of Traditional Authorities

The sudden but justifiably predicted resignation of Kojo Bonsu from the high office of the Mayor of Kumasi for disrespecting the spiritual heads and custodians of the cultural heritage and traditions of the Ashanti Kingdom, (Nananom) and the particularly ‘treasonable’ act of disobedience to the high court of the occupant of the Golden Stool, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, should be a precedential stark warning to all maverick political charlatans who, soon after appointment to high political positions in our society, easily forget that even under our adopted western democratic system of political governance, power still remains with the people at the grass roots, who in most instances are represented traditionally (or ceremonially) by their traditional leaders. 

Pastor Anita warns in new article “Beware of Fake Men of God”

The Believer’s Love World a.k.a Christ Embassy General Overseer, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s recently divorced wife, Pastor Anita Ebodaghe, in a new article posted on her website, has talked about false prophets and insincere soul winners she titled – “Soul Winning”.

MANASSEH’S FOLDER: If the paralysed Montie amputees were NPP

Imagine. Just imagine. Imagine that a politically charged Ghana has five months to a very contentious presidential and parliamentary election. Imagine that the main contenders are both prepared to cheat, and one of the ways of cheating is to manipulate the number of persons (qualified and unqualified) on the voters’ register.

We joke too much in this country!

I’ve had the occasion to discuss the role of jesters during the medieval times. Perhaps you’ve forgotten so I take this opportunity to refresh your mind. A ‘jester’ is a professional who entertains using varied skills. These may include music, storytelling, juggling, acrobatics, jokes and other similar skills.

The NPP’s Akufo-Addo remains lost

Folks, I have all along been insistent in my characterising the NPP's Akufo-Addo as not an astute politician. In fact, he is not well-cut-out to succeed in what he has chosen to do all these years after practising law in Ghana for 40 years without a law qualifying certificate.

Elizabeth Ohene: I drive an American car, with pride

I have and drive a Ford Escape. It has served me well and after almost nine years, I think I can safely say that it qualifies to be called an old faithful. It has not left me stranded anywhere before and it has proved quite reliable when I have had to cope with flooding in Accra.

When the NDC mourn more than the beareaved

Who said elections are not good for this part of the world?  For me, the use of the ballot box and its paper is the best thing to happen to this country since independence from colonial rule in March 1957. With the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections in the air, communities, which have never sniffed basic amenities, are suddenly being inundated with all manner of construction projects.

When a president is caught pants down

President when on his working visits across the country receives goats, sheep and smocks as gifts so accepting a car from a contractor is no big deal” – George Loh, MP for North Dayi.

Going 4G or not; the challenges and the future

Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana, Yolanda Zoleka Cuba, speaking in an interaction with the press the past weeks in Accra said as much as the company would like to introduce the Fourth Generation (4G) network, it is incapable of doing so now due to some  market dynamics, such as   their financial position and low 4G handset penetration.

Mr President, have you been offered a bribe before?

“Any human being in the world would have encountered corruption one way or the other, either being offered a bribe or a bribe being demanded from you. What you need to do is to put yourself in a position to (resist it).”

Peace at elections is ensuring that EC is fair

For time immemorial, this society has been promoted more on the hyperbole than what actually would make the Ghanaian able to eke out a living. In those days when ‘work and happiness’ was sang on the factory floor, ostensibly to motivate the work-force to help industrialise this nation, workers were pretending to work and virtually oversaw various state enterprises collapse by the time the motivating theme had ran full circle. Of course, the state, being the largest employer, was also pretending to pay workers. Pittances in wages on offer could take no worker home.

Dirges of the sentinel

 Mr. President, how would you assess your communication skills? I vividly remember how Mr. President, you subtly ran away from this similar question posed to you in one of your annual meet the press encounters at the Flagstaff House. Flippantly, Mr. President you said you are not a teacher and you are not good at marking, and that answer brought some dead silence at the venue because some of your critics were anticipating for yes or no answer. And you indeed crept from the trap.