Parliament and matters arising

Parliamentarians have expressed dissatisfaction claiming that parliament now has 75 more MPs hence the need for expansion of chamber, erego a new chamber.
Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has complained about the size of the parliament house chamber.

Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa, the MP for North Tongu has also joined the Majority Leader. NDC MP for Yapei Kusawgu Constituency, Northern Region, John Jinapor has indicated the need for the constitutional provision on the creation of new constituencies to be reviewed.

The Electoral Commission (EC) has said that new constituencies are part of its agenda, but there has been no discussion yet.
Ghana has created six more regions so far, hence the possibility for constituency re-demarcation.

Architectural models for the construction of a new parliament house, indicating a possible expansion to 450 seats has already been done.
However, after the public outcry, with the trending of the hashtag #DropThatChamber and following the arrest of ring leader, Ernesto Yeboah, the plan has been put on hold.

Some members of parliament, however, keep lamenting they do not have enough resources to effectively do what is expected of them.

 

Published By: John Arthur





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Agana whips opponents in online polls

Dominic Agana wins GESA online polls with a whopping 39% of 1983 total votes casted. Agana passed other 6 candidates to win this poll. The poll which lasted for 24 hours had almost 10,000 impressions and over 3,000 engagements on twitter. Dominic Agana, a third year Student of the Mechanical engineering department and a proud affiliate of the highly prestigious Katanga Hall has become the favorite to win the presidential seat on the 24th of February 2020 when engineering students go to the actual polls.

Published By: Maxwell Tego



Planned Destabilization of Ghana fails

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, in a statement detailing how the suspects and their operations were busted, says the whole plot was targeted at the presidency and with the ultimate aim of destabilizing the country.
The statement lists a number of items seized in the operation and a number of individuals taken into the custody of the Bureau of the National Investigations for interrogation.
According to the statement, "the persons arrested are Dr. Frederick Yao Mac-Palm and his two accomplices – Mr. Ezor Kafui (a local weapon manufacturer) and Mr. Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu (aka BB or ADC)”, said the statement issued Monday, September 23.

It assured the public that the security agencies were vigilant and working to safeguard the nation, and advised all to remain calm and provide information on suspicious characters and activities to the security agencies.


Below is the full statement by the Ministry of Information.

SECURITY AGENCIES FOIL ATTEMPT TO CREATE INSTABILITY IN GHANA

1. On Friday, 20th September 2019, a joint security operation of personnel drawn from Defence Intelligence, CID and Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), conducted a successful operation which led to the arrest of three persons and the retrieval of several arms, explosive devices and ammunition from locations in Accra and Bawaleshie near Dodowa.

2. The joint operation was to neutralize an elaborate plot targeted at the Presidency, and with the ultimate aim of destabilizing the country. The arrest and seizure come after fifteen (15) months of surveillance and gathering of evidence on the activities of the prime suspects and others.

3. The persons arrested are Dr. Frederick Yao Mac-Palm and his two accomplices - Mr. Ezor Kafui (a local weapon manufacturer) and Mr. Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu (aka BB or ADC).
4. The following items were retrieved as part of the operation:

a. Citadel Hospital (Alajo, Accra)
• 5 x locally manufactured pistols with magazines fitted on.
• 1 x foreign pistol (Reg. No. PX154006) with 2 X magazines.
• 3 x locally manufactured pistol barrels.
• 3 x smoke grenades.
• 22 x Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
• 9 x 7.62mm NATO AK47 rounds.
• 2 x AK47 magazines.
• 1 x long Knife.
• The outlined plan for the operation presented by some soldiers at one of their meetings at Next-Door Resort.
• 7 x mobile phones.
• 2 x IPADs.
• 2 x decoders.
• 1 x modem.
• 3 x tablets.
• 1 x Ghanaian passport.
• 2 x pen-drives.
• 1 x voice recorder.
• 1 x USB connector.
• Machines and materials for manufacturing weapons and IEDs.

b. Bawaleshie near Dodowa
• 63 x 9mm NATO rounds.

5. Surveillance on the activities of the persons involved commenced in June 2018, when Dr. Mac-Palm and Bright Allan Debrah Ofosu ("BB" or "ADC"), started organizing a series of meetings at the Next-Door Beach Resort, in Teshie, and other locations in Accra, in furtherance of their objectives.

6. Between June and August 2018, BB, acting for and on behalf of Dr. Mac- Palm, contacted a number of serving military personnel, and talked them into hatching and executing a plot to obtain weapons, take over key installations, and secure funding for the purpose of taking over the reins of government. These meetings were closely monitored.

7. In August 2018, Dr. Mac-Palm and two others, Kennedy Amoah and Dr. Albert Sam (Based in the USA) formed a group called "Take Action Ghana" (TAG), under the guise of mobilising the youth for nation- building, education, health, and providing shelter to the needy. Evidence available shows the intent was to build a support base of youth, and radicalize them against the political authority in Ghana.

8. In furtherance of this scheme, Dr Mac-Palm contracted one Mr. Ezor from Alavanyo to produce locally made weapons and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) for the operation. In July 2019, Mr. Ezor set up a workshop in a container, originally used as an X-Ray laboratory, at the premises of Citadel Hospital, and started producing the weapons and IEDs in-house.

9. On 10th September 2019, Dr. Mac-Palm and Mr. Ezor procured from the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, some essential chemicals to be mixed with gun powder, stone chippings, surgical needles and powdered pepper for their operations. He also contracted a worker at the Base Workshop in Burma Camp to supply 10 AK 47 riffles. He made an advance payment of GH07,OOO.OO.

10. On Thursday, 19th September 2O19, at about 23OO hours, still under surveillance, Dr. Mac-Palm, Mr. Ezor, and one soldier went to an area close to the Laboma Beach to test fire some of the locally manufactured weapons.

11. On the following day, 20th September 2019, between 0915 and 1755 hours, a team of security personnel undertook the operation which led to the arrest of Dr. Mac-Palm and his accomplices, and the subsequent retrieval of the items listed above.

12. The IEDs and all the exhibits are currently in the custody of the BNI, whilst investigations are being carried out for further action. Meanwhile, the suspects are undergoing interrogation.

13. State security agencies assure the general public that they remain vigilant, and will work to safeguard national security and public safety. The public is encouraged to remain calm and advised to provide information on any suspicious persons or activities to the police for necessary action.

14. The Government of Ghana will also continue with efforts to provide the necessary logistics and motivation to the security agencies for intelligence gathering, capacity building and other operations, to protect the country from terrorism, subversive activities, and other violent crimes. END.

 

Signed,


KOJO OPPONG NKRUMAH (MP) MINISTER

 

News Source (Credit): www.graphic.com.gh

Published By: Infodesk Writer



John Dumelo Eyes Ayawaso West Wuogon Seat

John Dumelo, a popular actor in the Ghana movie industry believes he would be the best middle man between the elite and the general populace of the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency.

The movie star, for some time now, has been eyeing the parliamentary seat for that constituency. His political ambition started as a rumour among his fans. While some doubted, others gave him the green light even though it was not clear as to his stand. However, it has become clear that he really has a passion for active politics aside acting.

He is associated with the National Democratic Congress (NDC), one of the biggest political parties in the country. Mr Dumelo would be running on the ticket of the NDC come next parliamentary election.

On top of his political agenda is the issue of sanitation in that constituency. He looks forward to tackling it vigorously. His other areas of interest, as part of his agenda, include employment and security.

Mr Dumelo made it clear in a statement that with him leading the battle for that seat, the NDC stands a much greater chance of winning it for the first time.

The NDC parliamentary primaries would be held on Saturday the 24th of August, 2019, and he would be competing with Suzzy Afua Adoboe.

 

Published By: Infodesk Writer



Congress Woman Ilhan Omar Trolls Donald Trump With Visit To Ghana

Somali-born US congresswoman Ilhan Omar has trolled President Donald Trump with pictures from her recent trip to Ghana.

President Trump caused much uproar last month when he urged a handful of Democratic Congresswomen to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places which they came from".

Alluding to President Trump's comment in a post on Instagram, Ilhan Omar shared a photo of herself and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Ghana.

She posted: "They said “send her back” but Speaker @SpeakerPelosi didn’t just make arrangements to send me back, she went back with me ✊🏽 So grateful for the honor to return to Mother Africa with the @TheBlackCaucus and commemorate The Year of Return! #Doorofreturn #Ghana".

Ilhan Omar was among Members of the US Congressional Black Caucus who travelled to Ghana with Ms Pelosi. The Minnesota 5th congressional district representative received a huge cheer when she was introduced to Ghana's Parliament by Ms Pelosi in Wednesday.

She was born in Somalia and became a US citizen as a teenager.

In a series of tweets last July, Trump didn't mention any names, but the majority of news outlets and social media users assumed that he was referring to new Congresswomen, including Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley.

He as well suggested that Speaker Pelosi would be "very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements".

Days after his comments, people attending his campaign rally broke into a chant of "Send her back!" when the president was talking about Omar.

About Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (born October 4, 1982) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Minnesota's 5th congressional district since 2019. The district includes all of Minneapolis and some of its suburbs.

Omar was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016 on the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party line. In 2018, she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, marking a number of historic electoral firsts: she is the first Somali-American, the first naturalized citizen from Africa, and the first non-white woman elected from Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim women (along with Rashida Tlaib of Michigan) to serve in Congress.

 

Source: Daily Graphic

Published By: Infodesk Writer



NDC Chokes On Agreements

Former Finance Minister Seth Terkper has claimed that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration started the renegotiation of the take-or-pay agreements that are crippling the energy sector.

He, however, said they could not succeed in converting the take-or-pay agreements to take-and-pay because of what he called the usual delays in getting the renegotiations done.

Interestingly, Mr. Terkper, speaking on Citi FM, after Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had read the 2019 Mid-Year Budget Review on Monday, could not point to a single renegotiation agreement but was able to demand that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration should not take credit for the take-and-pay efforts.

Controversial Agreement

The take-or-pay agreement was designed such that whether the IPP’s are producing power or not the country pays them hefty sums as fees.

It was during the era of the Mahama NDC administration that most of these controversial agreements were signed but immediately the NPP assumed office then Minister Boakye Agyarko started calling the power producers to come back to the negotiation table because the country could no longer bear the obnoxious agreements.

The Finance Minister affirmed in Parliament that the government had resolved “to convert all take-or-pay contracts to take-and-pay contracts.”

“Accordingly, starting 1st August, 2019, government is to pay for energy and gas that we actually consume. All take-or-pay contracts will be renegotiated to convert to take-and-pay for both PPAs and Gas Supply Agreements (GSAs). Government will seek parliamentary ratification where appropriate,” adding that the NPP administration was suspending “indefinitely or terminate all PPAs currently under negotiation.”

He also said they had resolved “to immediately place a complete moratorium on signing new PPAs and Put-Call Option Agreements (PCOAs),” and also “to subject all future PPAs competitive and transparent procurement procedures. Government will, therefore, no longer entertain any unsolicited proposals.

He further said, among other measures, that they had resolved “to implement the economic merit order dispatch which means that the most efficient power plants will be dispatched first,” and also “to improving the performance of the distribution utility and has agreed with the concessionaire a plan to reduce electricity losses and increase collections based on an agreed investment plan.”

Mr. Terkper was adamant, saying “this (take-or-pay arrangement) is not something unique to the Mahama administration. It is not unique to the Mills administration. Bui Dam, Sonon Asogli and others that were signed under the NPP era are on take-or-pay.”

“It was the Mahama administration that rather attempted to change this from take-or-pay to PCOA (Put/Call Option Agreement), which means you pay for what you take. As usual, there was a delay in the implementation. We had already started the process of changing to the Put Call Option. It is verifiable,” he said.

He added that “…We were in a process in collaboration with the World Bank to organize a meeting on this conditions including whether we should use gas and LNG and talk to the IPPs and start the process of negotiations. All new agreements were to be on the PCOA, the old ones to be negotiated and that is exactly what the minister is announcing as if it is new,” he added.

 

Source: Daily Guide

Published By: Infodesk Writer



Parliament and matters arising

Parliamentarians have expressed dissatisfaction claiming that parliament now has 75 more MPs hence the need for expansion of chamber, erego a new chamber.
Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has complained about the size of the parliament house chamber.

Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa, the MP for North Tongu has also joined the Majority Leader. NDC MP for Yapei Kusawgu Constituency, Northern Region, John Jinapor has indicated the need for the constitutional provision on the creation of new constituencies to be reviewed.

The Electoral Commission (EC) has said that new constituencies are part of its agenda, but there has been no discussion yet.
Ghana has created six more regions so far, hence the possibility for constituency re-demarcation.

Architectural models for the construction of a new parliament house, indicating a possible expansion to 450 seats has already been done.
However, after the public outcry, with the trending of the hashtag #DropThatChamber and following the arrest of ring leader, Ernesto Yeboah, the plan has been put on hold.

Some members of parliament, however, keep lamenting they do not have enough resources to effectively do what is expected of them.

 

Published By: John Arthur