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Latest Ghana News 10.11.2012 - November 

Traders Attack Hannah Tetteh
Asiedu Nketia is a ‘loose talker’- ex-NDC Chairman
Seamstress killed on the spot by tipper truck in Tamale
Seven Melcom staff declared missing are safe
Over 100,000 'Unauthorized Buildings In Accra' - AMA Boss
Prez Mahama Orders Police Escort For Northern Sector Pilgrims
NPP MP Condemns ‘All-Die-Be-Die’
NDC consoles families of disaster victims
Our greatest opponent is complacency not Akufo-Addo - John Jinapor
NDC's free uniform mantra is populist -Nsowah
Politicians behaviour is a threat to peace in Ghana-Prof Stephen Adei

Latest GhanaWeb News:

Traders Attack Hannah Tetteh

Source: Cephas Larbi

Traders in Accra yesterday descended heavily on the Minister of Trade & Industry, Hannah Tetteh for refusing to eject foreigners from retail markets across the country.

The traders expressed dissatisfaction with Ms Tetteh for failing to enforce the law to rid the retail markets of foreign traders, saying “Hannah Tetteh has lied to us, so we will take our destiny into our own hands.”

They also blamed the minister for promoting lawlessness among foreign traders. Hundreds of members of the Ghana Union of Traders (GUTA) yesterday embarked on a massive demonstration in Accra to register their dissatisfaction with the influx of foreigners in the country’s retail market and called on Ms Tetteh to quickly eject the foreign retailers.

Traders, who were clad in red attire from different parts of Accra, took part in the demonstration amidst drumming and dancing.

They converge at about 9:15 am on the Obra Spot, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, moved through Farisco and ended at the Rawlings Park in Accra Central at about 11:00pm. Some of the placards they carried read “Ghana our land”, “The Chinese must go now”, “We want our freedom Mr. President”, “Stop pulling guns at us Chinese” and “Chinese leave our country now.”

Others include “foreigners away from our land”, “Our leaders think of us”, “The economy is collapsing”, “We can’t put bread on our table” and “Nigerians leave us alone.”

At the Rawlings Park, president of GUBA, George Kweku Ofori, pointed out that government had failed to eject foreign retailers from the market after several efforts.

He explained that efforts to seek a solution to the problem had proved futile. “We think that the demonstration is the best option to register our displeasure.”

Mr. Ofori said if after some period government fails to eject foreign retailers from the markets across the country, GUTA members would do that.

“Foreigners in the country are subjecting our business laws to all forms of abuse, which if not checked immediately, will affect us and the nation as a whole,” he said.

Mr. Ofori noted that GUTA will enforce the laws if government fails to do so, adding, “There is no sign of support, no sign of relief, no sign of anything from anywhere, and so we are just like orphans who haven’t got parents.”

He further stated that his association will stop the planned construction of a Chinese market in Accra if the Trade Ministry fails to do so.

The project was initiated by the Chinese business community in Ghana following the ejection of some foreigners from the retail market.

According to Mr. Ofori, the Chinese market will collapse the Ghanaian retail market. The National Organizer of GUTA, Joseph Obeng, in a remark, said the agitations would continue nationwide until government enforces the law that bars foreigners from engaging in retail trading.

Members of GUTA closed their shops on Thursday in protest against foreign retail traders in the market. GUTA is protesting delay in the ejection of foreigners from the retail market since government’s ultimatum expired on October 16.

The foreign traders were given a reprieve by government in July to enable them regularize their businesses and leave the retail sector following public concerns about the manner in which foreigners had taken over the business environment..

The Act does not prevent foreigners from trading in Ghana but allows foreigners to trade on a large-scale while petty trading is reserved for Ghanaians.


Asiedu Nketia is a ‘loose talker’- ex-NDC Chairman

Source: Joy Online

Former Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Brong Ahafo region has fired a salvo at party General Secretary, John Asiedu Nketia describing him as a “loose talker”.

Alhaji Abdullah said the NDC scribe’s growing notoriety for having a sharp tongue could ruin the party’s re-election campaign in December.

The former B/A Chairman’s outburst is in reaction to claims that the National leadership of the NDC expects a formal letter from ex-president Jerry Rawlings on his decision to join the party’s campaign trail.

The NDC scribe, popularly called General Mosquito, disclosed this on an Accra based radio station Okay FM Thursday.

He said the directive is in conformity with arrangements by officials at the office of Mr. Rawlings.

Asiedu Nketia explained that the NDC National executives have been barred from communicating with their founder by word of mouth and asked to do it through official letters hence they also expect him [Rawlings] to do same.

But Alhaji Abdullah who was the leader of the former executives who visited Mr. Rawlings at his residence said the position taken by the party executives is an insult to the party founder.

Commenting on the issue on Ekosii Sen programme Friday, he indicated that their aim to get the former president on the campaign trail is now in limbo thanks to what he says is the invectives of General Mosquito.

The former Regional Chairman called on the other party executives to call Asiedu Nketia to order to prevent further cracks in the NDC.

Alhaji Abdullah expressed worry at the impact it will have on the party since according to him, it was a huge relief to the grassroots supporters and all members of the party when ex-president Rawlings endorsed President Mahama and promised to campaign for the party.

He was convinced that the NDC could lose the December election if Mr. Rawlings decide not to campaign for the party.

Alhaji Abdullah said they will match General Mosquito boot-for-boot if he continues to spill his venom on the Rawlingses.


Seamstress killed on the spot by tipper truck in Tamale

Source: GNA

An apprentice seamstress of about 18 years met her untimely death in Tamale at about 1430 hours on Friday when she was hit by a tipper truck with registration number NR 5027C close to the SSNIT flats at Fuo.

The driver sensing danger, bolted from the scene.

Rahama Alhassan, who was from Gbalahe community in Fuo, was sent by her boss and on return, she was hit by the truck loaded with gravel.

Station Officer I, Mr. Theophilus Ayi-Bonte of the Tamale Metro Fire Service told the GNA that a distress call alerted the station about the incident and they quickly moved to the scene, but before they got there, the driver had bolted.

The deceased was identified as Rahama Alhassan from Gbalahe community of Fuo and an apprentice learning how to sow dresses.

An eyewitness told Mr. Ayi-Bonte that the driver attempted moving the stationary truck only for it to reverse killing the victim and destroying a parked motorbike in the process.

The Police had conveyed the body to the morgue.


Seven Melcom staff declared missing are safe

Source: Daily Graphic

Seven of the nine workers declared missing by the management of the collapsed Melcom shopping centre, have since said they were safe and sound.

Apparently, they were not at work on Wednesday, November 7, 2012, when their work place collapsed in the morning.

This leaves two staff members, Rose Atintuak and Ismail Lutherudt still missing.

With the help of the Israeli team which has since Thursday, been part of the larger Rescue team, six bodies have been uncovered under the rubble. This brings the death toll to 16. The bodies are yet to be retrieved.

Ten of the deceased have been named as Gerald Awuah, Manager of the shop, Sharon Amankwah, Comfort Adjei, Prince Adjei, Michael Aboagye, Dora Odoi, Portia Boateng, Frederick Addo, Esther Avorsoka and a National Service person, Christian Bansah.

And of the 77 victims rescued from the rubble since the tragic incident last Wednesday, 52 have been treated and discharged whilst the rest remain on admission at the Achimota, Korle-Bu Teaching, 37 Military and the Police hospitals, all in Accra.

Meanwhile, the owner of the collapsed building, Nana Boadu Nkansah Ayeboafo, who turned himself in to the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) Friday, has been detained to assist in investigations.

His detention was confirmed by Deputy Information Minister, Mr Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa.

Before reporting to the BNI, Nana Ayeboafo denied on Peace FM’s morning show that he had no building permit, contrary to claims by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to that effect.

Nana Ayeboafo, chief of Kumasi Nsima and owner of the building said he had evidence to support his claim that the building had a permit.

"It is not my wish for the building to collapse. There is no way I will put up a building and do shoddy work. I will plead that the right thing will be said and also allow for investigations. I am so sad but I accept every blame... I have tried to get in touch with the contractor but to no avail but we have not given up; I am sure we will get in touch with him soon. Every document needed to help in the investigations I will provide. I have a file full of documents and receipts showing the building permit fees. And so anyone who will say that we don’t have a permit is just trying to play mischief...," he said.

He also claimed that on a visit to Melcom, he realised that they had packed heavy equipment at the top floors and asked them to desist from the practice.

"I told the Manager and a gentleman called Red that I didn't want the heavy equipment upstairs because it could lead to a collapse of the building but they didn't one can say what he is not sure of."

Business activities in and around Achimota have slowed down with many residents and passers-by still struggling to catch a glimpse of the collapsed structure in spite of efforts by the security agencies to prevent them from getting close to the place.

As the rescue operation entered its third Friday, the emergency service organisations with support from the eight-member Israeli contingent continued with efforts to rescue any more victims trapped under the rubble.

One of the military men who tried to rescue a trapped victim, got trapped and collapsed but the timely intervention of other rescue team members saved the situation and he was put in an ambulance and rushed to the Achimota hospital.

The Public Affairs Director of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), Colonel M’bawine Atintande, told newsmen on Friday that more people were believed to trapped under the rubble but could not tell the number.

He said the rescue operation teams comprised about 800 personnel drawn from the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the Ghana Armed Forces, the Ghana Police Service, the National Fire Service and the National Ambulance Service among others.

He said the team was working around the clock to ensure that the life of the last victim was saved.

In a related development, the Police Administration has promoted General Constable Nester Aneateba, the police officer who aided in rescuing 14 of the trapped victims, to the rank of full Corporal.

His promotion is in compliance with a directive given by President John Dramani Mahama when he visited the scene of the incident on Thursday.

When President Mahama heard of the heroism and the ‘display of exemplary bravado’ by Nester, the President immediately requested that he be rewarded for others to also follow in his footsteps.

Aneateba, 27, sustained various degrees of injury after risking his life to enter the collapsed building many times to rescue 14 of the victims. He even fainted at a point and was revived by Health workers on the scene.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, has on behalf of the government, donated 100 cartons of assorted drinks, water and cash of GH¢20,000 to the rescue team.

The Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, and his spouse have paid GHC10,000 into a fund set up by the New Statesman newspaper to support the rescue operation.


Over 100,000 'Unauthorized Buildings In Accra' - AMA Boss

Source: Peace FM

The Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, has shockingly revealed that there are 117,175 unauthorized buildings in the capital which the Assembly is currently grappling with.

According to him, in 2010, 81 buildings were regularized out of a total of 374 applications received. In 2011, 757 applications were received of which 106 were regularized.

255 applications were received in 2012 but only 18 buildings have been regularized.

He made these disclosure on the sidelines of a press conference he addressed on Friday at the site of the unfortunate collapse of the six-storey Melcom Shopping Complex building.

The ultra-modern shopping mall caved in on Wednesday morning trapping over a hundred people.

As at Friday morning, about eighty people had been rescued from the debris while nine have been confirmed dead. It is feared nine more people who were rescued may survive after being trapped for more than 30 hours in the rubble.

The Accra Mayor said the collapsed building was commenced in 1997 and completed in 2008; and insisted that the owner, Nana Boadu Ayeboafo, was not given the requisite permit to put up the building

He added that the owner of the building has been given a grace period to regularize four other buildings within the catchment area or risk demolition.


Prez Mahama Orders Police Escort For Northern Sector Pilgrims

Source: GNA

President John Dramani Mahama has ordered the Police to escort pilgrims of the North, who have arrived from Saudi Arabia, to their various destinations, Alhaji Alhassan Benne, Chairman of the National Hajj Committee, announced on Friday.

He told the Ghana News Agency that this was to protect the pilgrims from armed attacks on their way to their destinations and to ensure their safe arrival.

He said buses had been lined up at the newly constructed Hajj Village awaiting the arrival of pilgrims, adding that “Some are already in the bus and we are waiting for other pilgrims who have just arrived on the fourth flight.”

Alhaji Benne said so far, four batches of the pilgrims had already arrived from Mecca, Saudi Arabia, while others were expected to come by daily flights agreed by the Committee and Egypt Air to meet the general elections.

He said Egypt Air was the official airline, which airlifted the pilgrims to the Holy Land and that the Hajj Committee was working with the airline to fulfill its agreement on a daily flight schedules from Saudi Arabia.

Alhaji Benne said that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government was committed to the welfare of Muslims in the country and that all measures were put in place to avoid the inconveniences of pilgrims.

“The provision of the new Hajj Village with all modern facilities shows the commitment of the President to uplift the standards of Muslims in the country," he said.


NPP MP Condemns ‘All-Die-Be-Die’

Source: Al-Hajj

Says don’t shed blood for me, just go and vote…

Mr Kofi Frimpong, Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwabre East Constituency, has stated that the December 7, general elections would not be a “do and die” affair.

He said people should therefore not characterize it with violence and bloodshed.

“It is not worth shedding blood for any politician, don’t shed blood for me, just go to the polls and vote for your favourite candidate”, Mr Frimpong stated.

He was speaking to the Ghana News Agency at Kenyase on the need for the people, especially the youth, to maintain peace before, during and after the elections on Saturday.

Mr Frimpong advised politicians against inciting their followers to fight their opponents because that creates tension in the country.

He cautioned radio station owners against allowing their airwaves to be used by unscrupulous politicians to cause tension in the country and advised presenters and journalists to play their gate keeping role effectively to avoid unbridled usurpation of radio to cause confusion in the country.

Mr Frimpong called on his colleague politicians not to use radio to condemn their opponents, spread lies but rather, be fair with each other.


NDC consoles families of disaster victims

Source: Joy Online

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) wishes to extend its condolences to the bereaved families of the MELCOM Mall disaster which occurred at Achimota in Accra on Wednesday.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that about nine innocent souls are so far dead in the unfortunate incident which emanated from a collapsed structure being occupied by MELCOM Mall. Over 70 people sustained several degrees of injury. According to reports, a number of people including shoppers are still trapped in the rubble.

The NDC is of the view that this unfortunate incident has brought untold grieve not only to the affected families but the entire nation.

It is in this state that we appeal to the nation to pray for the affected families. While commending the efforts of the rescue teams, NDC wishes to sympathize with the bereaved families and the entire nation.

The NDC also wishes the injured speedy recovery.

SIGN – 08/11/12 George Lawson Deputy General Secretary (Operations)


Our greatest opponent is complacency not Akufo-Addo - John Jinapor

Source: Joy Online

Presidential spokesperson, John Jinapor says the greatest obstacle against the National Democratic Congress (NDC) re-election in the December 7 polls is complacency and not the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo.

According to him, the NPP flagbearer does not pose any threat to the governing party’s chances in December.

John Jinapor was speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Friday.

This revelation comes as a surprise as many political pundits predict a neck-to-neck competition between the NDC and NPP in the upcoming general elections.

As the elections draw close, President John Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo are combing the length and breadth of the country criticizing policies by opponents and justifying why Ghanaians must vote for them.

As the NPP pushes its much touted free Senior High School (SHS) the NDC has intensified its campaign to improving access to education if retained in power.

But John Jinapor maintained that Nana Akufo-Addo is less of the NDC problems, cautioning members of the governing party against complacency.

He indicated that the NDC is unperturbed by the machinations of its opponents to defame the President and is focused to advance the Better Ghana Agenda.

The presidential aide noted that although the unity in the party has been rekindled by President John Mahama, more must be done to ensure a landslide victory for the NDC in December.

He added that Ghana will be very safe under a charismatic leader like President Mahama and thus it will be expedient for every Ghanaian to vote massively for him.

John Jinapor insisted that the NDC deserves another term based on its performance over the last four years in government.

However, Abu Jinapor who is an aide to the NPP presidential candidate scoffed at the assertions of the NDC man.

He expressed dismay at his brother's comments since according to him, the NDC spent sleepless nights strategizing to destroy the NPP's campaign.

Abu Jinapor said the NPP will leave no stone unturned to ensure the NDC is sent to perpetual opposition in December.


NDC's free uniform mantra is populist -Nsowah

Source: Joy Online

A former Director General of the Ghana Education Service, Michael Nsowah has criticized the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) for politicizing education in the country.

According to him, the panacea to solving the deficits in the educational sector is to formulate feasible policies like the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) free Senior High School (SHS) and not the distribution of free school uniforms and exercise books.

The NDC in fulfillment of its 2008 manifesto promise has distributed free school uniforms and exercise books as part of efforts to improve quality and increase enrollment in basic schools nationwide.

The governing party which is against the NPP’s free secondary education policy maintains that improving access is the right way to go.

But speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programmed Friday, Michael Nsowah said the cacophony about the distribution of free school uniforms and exercise books is nothing but populism.

He noted that the problem facing the educational sector persisted even after the supposed distribution of the free uniforms and books.

Mr. Nsowah stated that the NDC can boasts of having achieved unprecedented levels of enrollment in schools due to the distribution of free uniforms but the shocking reality is that there is still the overwhelming majority of qualified school pupils who are still not in the classroom.

He underscored the need for GES to be resourced to effectively manage the sector.

The retired educationist anticipates a big confusion in the education sector, citing the exit of two batches of students from the SHS at the same time.

Following the reverse of the four year educational structure to three years by the Mills-led administration after assuming office in 2009, the first batch of three-year SHS graduates and the final batch of four-year SHS graduates will write the 2013 May-June West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

This Mr. Nsowah described as unfortunate and questioned government’s decision to exit two batches of students from the SHS at the same time.

The former GES boss called on government to rethink its decision since it would result in placing pressure on infrastructure at the tertiary level.

On the NPP’s free SHS policy, Michael Nsowah said the country has enough resources to implement such policy.

He said the policy is to ensure all children of school going have the opportunity irrespective of their parents financial status.

Michael Nsowah urged Ghanaians to vote for a visionary leader who has their interest at heart.


Politicians behaviour is a threat to peace in Ghana-Prof Stephen Adei

Source: GNA

Professor Stephen Adei, Former Reactor of the Ghana Institute of Management Public Administration said on Friday that the behaviour of politicians in Ghana is the most single threat to national peace.

Prof Adei noted that, what politicians say in public are sometimes very disheartening since it tends to threaten the peace of the country.

Prof Adei made this known during a peace symposium in Accra, organised by the Ghana National Association of Adventists Students, as part of efforts to reinforce the campaign for peace in the pending December 7, elections.

The symposium on the theme: “Ghana for Peace: The role of the Student,” targeted student leaders.

He cautioned politicians to desist from playing the ethnic card.

Prof Adei expressed delight that this year’s general election is more of issue base, mentioning education as an example, which he said is an improvement upon Election 2008.

He said research had shown that in Africa what accounts for conflicts were rigging of elections, mismanagement of the electoral process, perceived non-neutrality of the security forces, undue financial screwing by the winning party, among other issues.

Prof Adei asked the media to be proactive in informing the people about issues and not to drive the nation into conflict.

Prof Daniel Buor, Vice Chancellor, Valley View University who chaired the function called on the youth not to allow politicians to use them to cause mayhem through financial inducement.