Education Stakeholders in Wa West Sensitized on Covid-19, Charged to be Change Ambassadors

The District Director of Education for the Wa West District, Mr. Ablimsige A. Richard has tasked Circuit Supervisors, head teachers and school health coordinators to be ambassadors for change as a way of supplementing government’s efforts in fighting the novel coronavirus disease in the district.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a four day cluster-based sensitization workshop for major stakeholders in the district, Mr. Ablimsige, who confirmed the emergence of two reported cases of the novel coronavirus in the district, was optimistic that if all hands are kept on board regardless of tribe, religion and politics, the novel virus would be conquered in the district.

“Until the Novel Coronavirus is dead, buried and its final funeral performed, we all are at risk and therefore the need to strictly abide by the safety protocols”, he stated.

The District Director however described as unfair sentiments by some teachers that the government has not made adequate arrangements to cater for them by way of providing nose masks and hand sanitizers in the midst of the Covid-19. “Most of us, teachers, have families, and if not for the sake of our pupils at schools, we should be mindful of our kids at home by securing for ourselves and families nose mask and hand sanitizer “. He advised and further urged teachers not to relent in furthering their education as it is the only way of been more productive in and outside the Service.

On his part, the District Training Officer, Mr. Williams Namunakpe indicated that the workshop was a downstream district level sensitization exercise, a quick response to fighting the novel coronavirus pandemic within schools in the Wa West district. “This workshop is part of government’s efforts towards the full resumption of schools across the country as I am aware there is currently a stakeholder meeting with some major stakeholders on a clear roadmap to reopening schools since the novel coronavirus disease has come to stay.”

He added that the workshop which was initially slated for two days has to be extended to four days because the district wants to adhere to social distancing as one of the safety protocols. “A total of four hundred and thirty four (434) participants have been clustered to participate in the four days sensitization workshop and all have to be taken through topics relating to overview, responsibilities of stakeholders, and preventive etiquette and safety guidelines for schools on the novel coronavirus.”

The four days non-residential workshop which is solely sponsored by the government of Ghana was graced by high profile officers from the Ghana Education Service including the Deputy Director in charge of National Maths and Science, National Guidance and Counselling Coordinator and a member of the National Coronavirus Response Team. Their presence in the Upper West Region was to ensure the successful implementation of the sensitization workshop across the eleven districts of the region.

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U/W: Help us serve you better – VRA/NEDCO appeals to customers

The district supervisor of VRA/NEDCO for Wa area, Mr. Martin Ayimedu, has appealed to residents of the Wa Municipality to protect assets of the company to enable it serve them better.

Mr Ayimedu

Speaking exclusively to W93.5FM, Mr. Ayimedu complained about the insecurity surrounding VRA/NEDCO equipment, which according to him continues to affect the quality of service delivery. He cited encroachment at the VRA/NEDCO sub stations, siting of temporal and permanent structures under high tension lines and blockage of access routes to their transformers as some major challenges. Mr. Ayimedu pointed out several locations within Wa town where persons have blocked access to VRA transformers, “making maintenance and fault clearing difficult”.

Encroachment at a VRA transformer

It will be recalled, a few months ago, that the Wa Municipal Assembly had to forcefully demolish some temporal structures along the Naa Sidiki Bomi II Park to enable the VRA gain access to one of its faulty transformers. Although the demolishing exercise did not go down well with the owners of these structures, VRA/NEDCO believes more of such needs to be carried out across the municipality.

On his part, the regional manager for VRA, Mr. Eugene Addo explained that persons living or operating businesses close to VRA transformers are not only posing a danger to the equipment, but “they are at risk themselves”. Mr Addo further hinted that his office will soon embark on an exercise to secure all transformers by getting rid of such encroachers.

Meanwhile, checks by W93.5fm confirm the claim of encroachment by VRA/NEDCO. Some of these supposed encroachers however blamed the situation on lack of coordination by the various stakeholders involved in the planning of the Municipality.

For example, owners of some temporal structures sited under “high tension cables” claimed they acquired the space through the Wa Municipal Assembly, and showed some documents as proof of payment or permission to occupy such space.

 

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Dr. Rashid Pelpuo Hands Over GH₵27,000 Worth Mechanized Borehole to Tagirayiri Residents

Residents of the Tagirayiri community in Wa were on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, left with joy after the Member of Parliament for the Wa Central Constituency, Dr. Hassan Rashid Pelpuo, handed over to them, the keys of a mechanized borehole costing about GH₵27,000.00 for use.

According to Hon Rashid Pelpuo, the decision to construct the borehole was in response to a request made by the Sungumo clan of the Tagirayiri community. He said providing potable water to constituents of the Wa Central has been one of his priority areas since he became a parliamentarian, and pledged to continue to do more on that. Handing over the water facility to the residents of the area, the MP charged them to use it judiciously so that it will continue to serve its purpose for long. He also said there is still a lot in stock for the Tagirayiri community and the Wa Central Constituency as a whole.

The Wa Central representative in Parliament said he has made so many efforts in ensuring that everyone in the Wa Central Constituency has access to potable water. He cited the extension of the Jambusi Water to many communities who do not have the ability, and the construction of boreholes with some mechanized in communities where the Jambusi Water Project is yet to be extended to. Biihee and Dondoli are some of the beneficiary communities of the borehole projects by the MP. He said this is important as it prevents people from traveling a long distance to fetch water, and also avoid unnecessary fights in accessing water.

The elders and people of Tagirayiri thanked the MP for his kind gesture in responding to their call and pledged that the facility will be put to good use. They said they will do everything possible to avoid unnecessary damages to the facility. The community members also prayed for Dr. Rashid to continue to have strength and good health as he discharges his duties as a MP. They also wished him well in his political endeavours and further advised him to continue using his office for the benefit of the less privileged in the society.

Touching on other plans for the year, Dr. Rashid Pelpuo announced that renovation works at the Wa Municipal Hospital will soon begin. He said there are some facilities in the hospital including clinics and offices which are in deplorable state and need to be taken care of. He further disclosed that some schools will see a facelift with others getting furniture where necessary. He said a lot of things in various sectors will also be touched before the close of the year. “I will renovate schools, provide furniture for schools, provide water for communities, renovate health facilities and help individual students with their pressing needs”, he stated.

The long serving MP in Wa Central who is seeking a fifth term said he is ready to make public the projects he intends to carry out so that people can track him on the promises, adding that, “I don’t make promises I can’t fulfill”. He however cautioned that he is not the type of persons who do things for people and want the whole world to know even before the thing becomes beneficial.

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Intellectual Ladies of NDC Congratulates Prof Opoku-Agyeman, says her nomination exhibits Mahama’s Commitment to Women Empowerment

Asheeka Latif Khalid – President, Intellectual Ladies of NDC

A group calling itself Intellectual Ladies of National Democratic Congress has lauded the nomination of Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman as the running mate to partner John Dramani Mahama for the 2020 general elections.

The group, at a press conference in Wa, the Upper West regional capital, addressed by Madam Asheeka Latif Khalid, congratulated Prof Opoku-Agyeman and said she remains an icon to many women in Ghana and beyond. “You have been allotted a seat well deserved in the high echelon of our national politics”. Madam Asheeka said, echoing that, the nomination of Madam Naana Jane “is a renewable spirit of true commitment to inclusive democracy and this amplifies the voice of women”.

Madam Asheeka who is President of the Intellectual Ladies of National Democratic Congress (NDC) further described the choice of Professor Opoku-Agyeman as a morale booster for women and pledged that “you have our undying support to secure victory for the party”.

The ladies also expressed their profound gratitude to John Dramani Mahama for choosing a female as his vice presidential candidate for the oncoming elections. They noted that such a nomination exhibits the former president’s “leadership style and view of an inclusive democracy” and a proof that President Mahama is committed to women empowerment. “We wish to thank you immensely for the recognition [given to women]”, the group said and vowed to “rally behind [John Mahama] through thick and thin for this rescue mission to be executed”.

Intellectual Ladies of National Democratic Congress is a group of women in the Upper West Region who have come together to promote the ideals of the NDC and to campaign for the party to retake power in the 2020 general elections.

The group president also debunked claims that women become arrogant when in leadership positions. She opined that “leadership does not make people arrogant”, explaining that arrogant and disrespectful women are usually arrogant from childhood but only showcase their arrogance when in position of leadership. Asheeka Latif Khalid called on the general public especially political parties to support and give more opportunities to females as they have a lot to offer for national development. She however advised that women of substance, and not just any woman, should be given such opportunities as she posited that arrogant and disrespectful women do not deserve to lead.

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“Don’t Temper with my Victory” – DBI MP Warns EC

The Member of Parliament of the Daffiama-Busie-Issa Constituency, Dr. Sebastian Sandaare has sent out a strong warning to the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana to avoid activities that will mar his victory come December 7, 2020. He said any calculated attempt by the EC and other political actors to derail his chances of going to Parliament for the second term will be vehemently resisted.

The NDC law maker in the constituency expressing confidence of securing another four years to serve as MP boasted that “I am convinced that the people of Daffiama-Busie-Issa will renew my mandate and I am sure of my victory which is my focus “. He therefore cautioned that “anybody who dares temper with the victory of Dr. Sandaare, you are tempering in a way that will not be good for you”.

The DBI legislator alleged that there is a deliberate attempt by the Electoral Commission to disenfranchise some residents of Daffiama, Wogu and other polling stations who form a major part of the constituency.  He claimed that the EC had clearly exhibited this by changing, overnight, the agreed gazetted schedule for the Phase II from July 6 to August 6 without any form of consultation particularly with the District Inter Party Advisory Committee (DIPAC). “We know the game plan of what the electoral commission wants to do to the people of Daffiama, and we will not accept that”, he fumed.

Hon Sandaare reminded the EC of their core duty and charged them to make the electoral processes “transparent enough, free enough and fair enough for the people to decide”. He was worried that prevailing conditions such as persistent rainfall and break down of machines may disrupt the processes during the adjourning months.

He revealved that the thirteen major polling stations in the constituency which have been affected by these sudden changes had been sensitized and ready for the exercise on the first scheduled date. He therefore insisted the Electoral Commission should not have any other alternative than to honour their call to duty by doing the needful. He likened the act exhibited by the current staff of the EC and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to autocracy and thus urged them to emulate the works of their predecessors.

Dr. Sebastian Sandaare is seeking re-election after winning the 2016 elections. He goes into the contest against the NPP’s Parliamentary Candidate, Hon Imori Nadi Sanda, who is also the Chief Executive of the Daffiama-Bussie-Issa District.

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I am a Member of Parliament in waiting – Bernard Mornah

The National Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC) and Parliamentary Candidate for the party in the Nadowli/Kaleo Constituency, Bernard Anbataayela Mornah has stated that he is one of the legislatures for the next Parliament waiting to be sworn into office.

Speaking on Home Radio’s Constituency Watch, Wednesday night, Mr. Mornah indicated that he was the only candidate in the 2016 parliamentary elections who had an appreciable increase of votes in the Nadowli/Kaleo constituency. He said he had moved his party’s votes magnificently from a decimal of 169 votes in the 2012 elections to 5,393 votes, representing 3,200 percentage points increase. “The magnification is simply unprecedented and the magnification will be increased by 2.5 per cent, meaning that I will sweep not less than 7,000 votes that will further reduce the votes of my opponents in the other divides, making me a member of parliament in waiting,” he boasted.

Relationship with 2016 PNC Presidential Candidate

Chairman Mornah disclosed that his relationship with Dr. Mahama Nasigri, the 2016 flag bearer of the party,” is really very bad”. He however recalled how he campaigned massively for then candidate Nasigiri Mahama in 2016, making him the sole candidate to beat Nana Addo in the presidential elections at Sankana, Bernard Mornah’s home town.

According to Hon Mornah, Dr. Mahama has been a great disappointment to the party since he accepted an ambassadorial position from the New Patriotic Party in 2017. “Former president John Agyekum Kufour offered him a ministerial position which he declined because he had not sought the consent of the Party”, Bernard Mornah indicated and wondered if Dr. Mahama had now sought the party’s consent  now that he is an Ambassador at large. He opined that, the attitude of H.E Nasigiri Mahama violates the very fundamentals Dr. Mahama himself had set to guide the conduct of party executives.

The vociferous opposition leader noted that, “many individuals that used to sponsor the party had taken a backstage since his acceptance of the ambassadorial position which is currently affecting the fortunes of the party ahead of the 2020 polls”.

Controversial Figure

Reacting to criticisms of being controversial, Hon Benard Monarh stated that, “I will continue to be controversial as long as the marginalized in the society continue to suffer, and I will fight their course.” He argued that, there is so much injustice in the system particularly towards the underprivileged and that he will continue to be a strong activist against these injustices in the society. He described the NPP’s promises of “One village, one dam” and “One million dollars per Constituency” as total deceit and said there is the need for activists like him to speak out to demand the fulfilment of some of these “virtual promises”.

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Don’t be a Dead Hero – Sammy Awuku to Youth

The National Organiser for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Mr. Sammy Awuku has cautioned the teeming youth of the Upper West Region not to allow politicians to use them as agents or tools for destruction in the electoral processes ahead of the 2020 general elections.

According to him, politicians who instigate the youth into getting involved in political violence usually turn their backs on the victims when the law catches up with them. He therefore urged the youth to be mindful of prescribed sanctions for offenses under the laws and not fall foul of same. “If you don’t have any business doing at the registration centre, do not go and cause mayhem, because that will come with its own sanctions and there are no dead heroes”, he advised.

Mr. Awuku however expressed his disappointment about anti-party conduct exhibited by some party faithful across the country. He cautioned NPP members to desist from invoking curses and misbehaving towards party leadership and establishments at the least provocation, warning that “the party disciplinary procedures are still in force and anybody who runs contrary to the dictates and provisions of the party’s constitution will be dealt with”.

The National Organiser made these calls when he interacted with some NPP members at the Blue Hill Hotel in Wa ahead of the compilation of the new voters’ register.

Use of NIA Card for Voter Registration

Sammy Awuku also said the reason why the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was against the compilation of the new voters’ register is because they find it difficult to retract their words. He accused the NDC of deceiving their members and other Ghanaians not to acquire the NIA card, only to realize later that the card was being used as a primary document for the compilation of the new voters’ register, hence their opposition to the Electoral Commission’s decision.

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W93.5FM Launches Campaign for Peaceful Elections in Wa

A private commercial radio station in the Upper West region, W93.5FM has on Saturday, June 27, 2020, launched a project dubbed “W93.5FM Election Project – 2020” to campaign for peace in this year’s general elections.

The project themed “Ensuring Peaceful Elections for Sustainable Development” aims at educating and reminding the general public, especially political parties’ communicators and media practitioners, on the need to avoid activities that can compromise the peace the country has been enjoying.

Welcoming participants to the launch, General Manager of W93.5FM, Ibrahim Abdul-Aziz Pelpuo said the project “will instil in residents of the Wa Municipality and beyond, a sense of responsibility in maintaining peace before, during and after the elections”. The campaign according to Mr. Pelpuo will also serve as a platform to create awareness about the electoral activities as well as inform electorates of their rights and responsibilities in the electoral process.

“The project will also commit political leaders and other stakeholders in the municipality and the region at large to sign a peace treaty that will require them to ensure violence-free elections and also take responsibility for any election related violence emanating from their respective parties or camps”, he added.

Acknowledging that Ghana has enjoyed considerable peace since constitutional governance, the Manager admonished that everything possible should be done to safeguard the peace being enjoyed. He said it was particularly important “as pockets of [electoral] unrests and chaos have been recorded in various parts of the nation” in recent past.

Mr. Pelpuo also appealed to benevolent organisations and individuals to support his station financially and in kind to make the project a success. He said in as much as W93.5FM has enough airtime to run the project, the station does not have adequate resources to undertake the other public events such as lectures, peace games, peace walk and musical concert.

On his part, the Upper West Regional Minister, Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih, in a statement read on his behalf as the Guest of Honour lauded management of W93.5FM for initiating the campaign, adding the programme will “complement the efforts of the Regional Security Council in maintaining peace in the region by way of public education”.

Dr. Bin Salih further urged media practitioners to be meticulous in the discharge of their duties and not give attention to nation wreckers. He advised them against broadcasting “the pronouncements of any individual, group of people or any politician which has the potential to jeopardize the peace we are currently enjoying in the region”. He also urged political parties to be mindful of the campaign messages they put out for the electorate, saying that “no meaningful development can take place in an atmosphere of chaos and anarchy”.

The occasion was graced by the Waala Traditional Council including representatives of the Yari-naa and the Regional Chief Imam, the Local Council of Churches, the Peace Council, the NCCE, the Electoral Commission,  representatives of political parties and youth groups and the Kpongu Jansi Group.

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NPP: EMBRACE AND PARTICIPATE ACTIVELY IN THE UPCOMING VOTER REGISTRATION EXERCISE, YOUTH ORGANIZER APPEALS TO CONSTITUENTS

 

The Wa Central Constituency youth organizer of the New Patriotic Party, Mr Hanif Jaoto has appealed to his constituents especially the youth to embrace and actively participate in the upcoming voter registration exercise scheduled to commence on 30th June, 2020.
According to Mr Jaoto, possessing a voter ID card is not only a right but a responsibility to every eligible citizen. He therefore appealed to the populace especially members and sympathizers of the NPP to acquire the “new voter’s ID card” when the Electoral commission starts the compilation of a new voters register as scheduled. This according to him will guarantee their voting right and enable them give a definite victory to the NPP in the 2020 general elections. “Possessing the new ID card guarantees our voting right and as party people; we have the ultimate responsibility to ensure that our voting right is guaranteed in order for us to give yet another resounding victory to our president…” Mr Jaoto said.

Mr Hanif Jaoto

The youth leader also admonished his constituents to disregard the opposition NDC’s call for the Electoral commission to abort the process of compiling a new voter’s register, describing it as “unfortunate”. He added that the NPP will support any lawful decision taken by an “independent Electoral commission” including the compilation of a new voter register.
Mr Hanif Jaoto made this plea during a press briefing today, 23rd June, 2020 at the Wa central constituency youth office.


Meanwhile, the Electoral commission has announced 30th June, 2020 as the start date for the exercise to compile a new voter’s register amidst resistance from some political parties and groups.

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UPPER PRESBYTERY ELECT NEW CHAIRMAN AND LAY REP

The Upper Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana held a Presbytery Session dubbed “COVID-19 Session” at Peniel Congregation in Bolgatanga on Saturday, 13th June, 2020. The gathering that used to last for a period of four/three days, was compressed to a day because of the new normal (COVID-19).

In his address, the Chairman of the Upper Presbytery, Rev. Emmanuel B. Atami indicated that, the Upper Presbytery has nineteen (19) social service entities (Schools, Agricultural Institutions and Health Facilities) and that plans are far advanced to revamp non vibrant ones.

He was however quick to add that, no social service entity has the right to auction assets without the knowledge of the Presbytery so as to curb the issue of people auctioning cars to themselves. He, together with delegates applauded the Presbyterian Junior High School, Bawku for performing very well and ranked first in the 2019 Basic Education Certificate Examination.

Rev. James Kwame Awuni and Madam Damata were elected Chairman and Lay Representative to the General Assembly Council respectively. They were congratulated and prayed for while awaiting their official induction in September, 2020. Chairman and Lay Representative elect appreciated the delegates for the trust reposed on them and will perform as expected looking up unto God as their ultimate helper.

The Upper Presbytery which was elevated in 2010 has seven Districts and covers the Upper East and Upper West Regions and parts of the newly created North East and Savannah Regions. The first Chairman of the Presbytery was Rev. Esmond W. Nagba who’s tenure ended in 2015 and was succeeded by Rev. Emmanuel B. Atami who’s tenure will be ending in August, 2020. The Chairman elect will be succeeding Rev. Emmanuel B. Atami and will occupy the office till 2025.

However, the climax of the 10th anniversary celebration which was initially slated for middle of July, 2020 had been postponed to a later unknown date because of the corona virus pandemic.

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UW/R: Stay Away from Takpo “Galamsey” Site – Police Warns Illegal Miners

The Upper West Regional Police Command has served notice to the general public to avoid going to mine around Takpo, a community in the Nadowli/Kaleo District, or any other site in the Upper West region if they do not have the requisite license to do so.

Speaking to W93.5FM, Wednesday, June 10, on Wakeup Upper West, the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Police Service in the region, Inspector Gideon Ohene Boateng stated that, “the police presence will be there (Takpo galamsey site) until the end has come to the end. As much as the “galamsey” is concerned, security is also concerned”.

Inspector Boateng decried the destruction caused by illegal mining and warned that anyone found at “galamsey” areas in the region without paperwork will be made to face the full rigours of the law. “We the police, we protect the people of Ghana. And we will make sure that whatever [that must be done] to protect you and myself, we will do it”. He said, adding that “we are there [to enforce any law] to protect the people of Ghana and their property. So therefore we are there to protect people 24/7”.

Inspector Ohene Boateng also confirmed the murder of two persons in the Takpo area, and revealed that investigations are ongoing to bring the perpetrators to book.

According to the Police P.R.O, the two cases though related happened on different days. Mr. Ohene Boateng narrated that “on the 7th [of June, 2020] police had information that Kelvin Dalio, 28, (first deceased) had a scuffle with then suspect, Kwaku Dapaah, 20, (second deceased), at Niiri near Takpo. In the process Kelvin Dalio was stabbed on the neck with an implement by Kwaku Dapaah. The police proceeded to the locus in quo and realized that the first deceased was lying in a supine position, and police picked him to the St. Joseph Hospital.”

Mr. Ohene Boateng said the police after taking the first deceased to the hospital combed the whole area with the community members for then murder suspect but could not find him. He however disclosed that, “the following day on the 8th, police had information around four O’Clock that Kwaku Dapaah had been lynched by the community members who arrested him, and now he is also in the morgue at St. Joseph Hospital”. The P.R.O said the police are “now hunting for those who murdered the second deceased. If we get them, they will face the full rigours of the law”.

The Inspector therefore called on the general public to avoid meting out “instant justice” as the law does not permit that. “Nobody has the right to instant justice. If you arrest somebody, bring the person to the police. Let us investigate. Perhaps they may be a syndicate, he may not be the only person”, he advised.

The death of the two is believed to be associated with activities at an illegal mining site (galamsey) in Takpo. The Police P.R.O however did not disclose the reason behind the scuffle that ensued between the two which led to the death of both. He said disclosing such information may jeopardise the investigations.

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UW/R: BNI Petitioned to Investigate GES P.R.O for Double Salary and Fraudulent Promotion

The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has been petitioned to investigate the Public Relations Officer (P.R.O) of the Ghana Education Service in the Upper West Region, Justine Kpan, for allegedly receiving double salary between 2006 and 2013, and for wrongfully gaining promotion in 2015.

The petitioner, Aaron Aapengyeb, in a one page letter addressed to the Upper West Regional Director of the graft institution accused the GES spokesperson of drawing salaries from two state institutions: the Ghana Education Service and the Information Services Department (ISD), concurrently which is against the laws of Ghana. This he therefore called on the BNI to investigate.

According to the petition, Mr. Justine Kpan joined the ISD in 2007 while he was still a teacher with the GES in the Nadowli/Kaleo District, and only quitted the ISD in 2013 to fully return to the Ghana Education Service. The petitioner alleges that Mr. Kpan was paid salaries by both institutions between 2007 and 2013 as he held himself as a worker in both departments until 2013.

Mr. Aapengyeb Aaron who is a suspended head teacher of the Ko Senior High School in the Nandom District of the Upper West Region also claimed that the GES P.R.O was illegally promoted to Assistant Director I in 2015 prior to his due time, a grade that came with salary increment. Mr Aapengyeb alleged that, Justine Kpan did not serve the required five years per the GES rules before being promoted to the position of Assistant Director I. He opined that, accepting appointment from another institution literally means Mr. Kpan has terminated his contract with the GES, hence could not have been considered for promotion after returning to the Service in less than two years.

Describing the incidents as fraudulent and cheat to the state, Mr. Aapengyeb prayed the Bureau of National Investigations to expedite action on the petition as that will help retrieve money for the state to be used for other developmental activities. He said swift investigations with positive outcome will serve as a deterrent to others who may be thinking of cheating the nation.

As at the time of filing this report the accused decided not to comment on the matter when he was contacted.

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Dr Sandaare Promises Nose Masks for Final Year Students in DBI, as He Launches Skills Development Programme for Constituents

Dr. Sebastian Sandaare, MP for DBI Constituency

Member of Parliament for the Daffiama-Bussie-Issa constituency, Dr. Sebastian Sandaare has promised to provide all final year Junior High School students in the area with nose masks as they resume school on 29th June, 2020. This follows President Akufo-Addo’s announcement in his 10th Update on Covid-19 where he eased restrictions on public gatherings and allowed for partial reopening of schools in the country.

Public gatherings including schools in Ghana were closed late March after the country recorded seven cases of covid-19. However, the president in his latest address to nation on Sunday, 31st May, 2020, directed that academic activities can resume for final year students to allow them to complete their academic programmes which were interrupted by the coronavirus disease. Universities are expected to resume on June 15, while Senior High Schools and Junior High Schools will resume on June 22 and June 29 respectively.

Hon Sebastian Sandaare said it is important for students and the general public to protect themselves against the deadly coronavirus disease, and therefore urged all to follow the protocols as given by health authorities. To this, he advised that, regular hand washing must be accompanied by wearing of nose masks.

The medical doctor cum politician made this pledge when he launched a skills training initiative for his people in Fian, a community in the DBI Constituency. The project dubbed “Skills Development Initiative” which is the brain child of the MP is to provide and enhance skills for constituents who do not have the privilege of going through formal education.

Dr. Sandaare noted that even though wearing of nose masks has become mandatory, it will be difficult for some parents in the area to afford nose mask for their wards, hence his resolve to get it for the students. “Before students in the Daffiama-Bussie-Issa constituency return to school to learn and write their exams, I will make sure they are all provided with nose masks.” He declared, further advising that, “continue to wash your hands with soap under running water and follow all preventive measures that will help prevent the spread of the virus.”

The NDC lawmaker also stated that, “we are not going anywhere to buy the nose masks for the students. Those women and men in this constituency who are into tailoring will be engaged to sew the nose masks to be given to the students”. He added that seamstresses in the various communities such as Fian, Wogu, Kojukperi, Issa, Bussie and Daffiama will be contracted to provide for students in and around their respective areas and will be paid for their services. He said the reason for local production is to help improve the income earnings of tailors and seamstresses in the area.

Dr. Sebastian Sandaare who is serving his first term in parliament will again be leading the NDC in the DBI Constituency to the 2020 polls.

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Forgive EC Officials for Causing Financial Loss to the State – Bernard Mornah

National Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Bernard Anbataayela Mornah has called on Ghanaians to forgive the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Mensah, and other staff of the Commission for causing financial loss to the state.

According to the PNC leader and spokesperson of the Inter-Party Resistance against New Voters Register (IPRAN), the EC is bent on its decision to compile a new voters’ register because they are afraid of being prosecuted for causing financial loss to the nation. Describing the acquisition of a new voters register as needless, Mr. Mornah said the leadership of the EC procured equipment and other materials knowing very well there is limited time to compile the register. He said it is as a result of this uninformed position that has made the chairperson of the commission and her deputies adamant on compiling a new electoral roll which he opined is “useless”.

Bernard Mornah who is aspiring to be the Member of Parliament for the Nadowli-Kaleo Constituency said the Commission may rethink its decision of compiling a new register if they know Ghanaians will forgive them for failing to protect the public purse by procuring registration materials at a wrong time.

Speaking on W93.5FM’s Wakeup Upper West program on Thursday, May 28, Hon Mornah further intimated that the Electoral Commission will not be able to roll out the registration in June as announced since the equipment needed for the exercise are not yet in the country. He disagreed with the EC that the postponement of the registration which was scheduled for April 18 was due to the covid-19 pandemic. Mr. Mornah argued that, the decision to call off the exercise then was because of non-availability of registration equipment which he said is still a challenge. “If the registration was called off because of covid-19, why are they preparing to compile it this time when positive cases of the disease have significantly increased?” he quizzed.

Touching on other matters, the vociferous chairman said the Electoral Commission’s decision to use only Ghana Card and Passport for the registration is a recipe for confusion. He stated that his comment of resisting the registration was misconstrued by the media. Mr. Anbataayela denied allegations that he said he will disrupt the registration at the centres, but maintained that he will respond in equal measure to any physical attacks aimed at him during the registration process.

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Eidul-Fitr: Hajia Humu Gifts Staff of Private Schools in Wa Central GH₵ 50,000 Worth of Food Items

More than thousand teaching and non-teaching staffs of sixty (60) private schools in the Wa Central Constituency were left happy ahead of this year’s Eidul-Fitr celebrations after the parliamentary candidate of the New Patriotic Party in the area, Hajia Humu Awudu, supported them with food items worth about fifty thousand Ghana cedis (GH₵ 50,000.00).

According to Hajia Humu, the donation was necessitated as a result of the coronavirus pandemic which has affected businesses and individuals. She said it is important to help people who are affected hence her decision to celebrate Eidul-Fitr with teachers and administrative workers of the private schools in the constituency who genuinely are being hit by the pandemic. The aspiring MP said the rationale behind her donation was to augment efforts of the Akufo-Addo’s governments in providing for Ghanaians in these trying times.

The philanthropic parliamentary candidate while making the donation at the Jubilee Park on Saturday, May 23, 2020, called on the beneficiaries to take the little token in good faith. She further pledged to come to their aid again as and when any help is available.

Among the items donated were bags of rice, tomato paste, spaghetti and cooking oil. Each staff both teaching and non-teacging, went home with 5kg bag of rice, 1.1kg of tomato mixture, 1lt of vegetable cooking oil and 500g of spaghetti. There was seeming joy on the faces of these beneficiary teachers and other workers with many expressing happiness off record.

President of the Ghana National Association of Private Schools and proprietor of Tupaso Centre of Academic Excellence, Dr. Damascus Tuurosung, on behalf of the members expressed gratitude to Hajia Humu Awudu for the gesture shown them. He said Hajia Humu is a dependable friend as only real friends support in hard times. “It is in your times of need that you know your real friends. When you are enjoying, all those who come around you cannot claim to be your friend. But during your time of need, those who show up to assist you can be described as real friends.” Mr. Tuurosung said, adding that “in that regard, we now know those who care about us; those who can truly be depended on”.

The Wa Municipal Chief Executive, Issahaku Tahiru Moomin (CA) who graced the occasion implored the beneficiaries to see the gesture beyond politics as it was done in the interest of humanity. He said the gesture is a sign that what Hajia Humu is searching for is not just for herself, but for the wellbeing of all living in the Wa Central Constituency. He took the opportunity and charged the gathering to keep safe and respect the protocols aimed at stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Other persons who graced the event were the NPP Wa Central Constituency chairman and his executive, proprietors of the private schools and their staff.

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*COVID-19: Youth Parliament Embarks on Market and Community Sensitization *

The Upper West Regional Youth Parliament in collaboration with the Network for Young Woman Empowerment and National Youth Authority has taken the fight against the spread of COVID-19 to the door steps of residents of the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region.

The enhanced campaign to sensitize the public by the Youth parliament and it’s partners has taken the group to places such as, the Wa slaughter house, the Wa Magazine, Wa central market, new market at Zendeli and Fadama.
At the Wa central market, the group observed that buyers and sellers alike were going about their normal routine without observing social distancing and other Precautionary Preventive Measures (PPMs).Traders at this marker however participated in the sensitization programme where proper hand washing, the use of hand sanitizer, the use of face mask and social distancing were taught through the use of a Public Address System.

Secretary to the Network for Young Women Empowerment, Miss. Umufadilu Zakaria lamented over the non adherence to the safety measures by the traders, she therefore pleaded with them to observe social distancing and avoid the habit of coming to the market everyday.

Meanwhile Speaker of the Upper West youth parliament, Rt. Hon. Sumaila Shaibu Poleenaa said the activities are been carried out without any external financial support “there is nothing like funding or donor support so we had to contribute little by little to ensure that we undertake these activities”. He therefore added that, the group will welcome any form of support from individuals, Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Faith Based Organizations to enrich the outreach programmes.

Rt Hon Polenaa also said it was necessary to take the education on COVID-19 to such public places because “not every citizen has access to television or radio to listen to the COVID-19 messages”.
The group intends to extend the sensitization programme to communities outside the Wa Municipality in the coming days.

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U/W: GTA SUPPORTS INDUSTRY PLAYERS

 

Some of the items parked at the GTA office

The Upper West Regional office of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) BBB has presented some personal protection equipment and other logistics to various players of the tourism industry in the region to help fight the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The items which included Veronica buckets, boxes of sanitizers, boxes of hand wash gel and disposable tissues were handed over to the leadership of the various associations as well as individual registered members operating under the Ghana Tourism Authority. The Hoteliers Association, Drinking Bar Operators Association, Chop Bar Operators Association and three tourist sites were among those present to pick the packages on behalf of their members.

The Upper West Regional director of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Moses Ndebugri said GTA was only complementing the efforts of the individual operators and institutions to fight the deadly disease. “Government through the GTA is giving out these items to support what you are already doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19”, he said. Mr Ndebugri further added that routine surveillance by his office confirms that the various institutions are adhering to the precautionary measures. “All the Hotels, chop bars, restaurants and drinking bars we visited are following the basic precautionary measures such as provision and use of hand washing facilities, use of face mask, social distancing, among others.”

He therefore admonished leadership of the various associations to support the Ghana Tourism Authority in ensuring 100% compliance from their members.

Hoteliers ass. & Drinking bar operators beneficiaries

Receiving the items on behalf of their members, leadership of the various associations aforementioned unanimously thanked the GTA for the gesture, but lamented over the quantity of the items vis-á-vis their members.

The GTA is however hopeful of more of such interventions in the coming weeks.

Upper West Regional manager of GTA

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UW/R: Late Reporting to Health Facilities Contributing to Rising CSM Fatalities – Director of Health Services

Regional Director of Health Services in the Upper West Region, Dr. Osei Kuffuor Afreh, has attributed the increasing number of deaths from cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM) in the region to late reporting of cases to health facilities.

According to the Director, while medication is available to treat people suffering from CSM, the challenge faced is the delay in reporting when the signs and symptoms are manifesting. He therefore called on the general public to report early to the health facility when any of the CSM signs or symptoms is suffered. Dr. Afreh disclosed that, antibiotics, infusions and other materials needed for the treatment are available, stating that, “our stores are not depleted to offset the management of meningitis. Our challenge is late reporting to our facilities.”

The medical doctor said people are misinterpreting the ‘stay at home’ in the fight against the spread of covid-19 to the extent they do not want to visit a health facility even when they are sick. He therefore advised people not to stay at home when they are suffering any ailments, saying “for meningitis the earlier you come to the hospital, the better your chances of survival. So what we are preaching is that, people should report early so that we can treat them on time.”

While acknowledging that the health sector is overwhelmed by the covid-19 pandemic, the Health Services boss in the region admitted that more health education on CSM is needed to stop the increasing fatalities.

So far, cerebrospinal meningitis has claimed 37 lives out of 247 reported cases in the Upper West Region. These figures are recorded in the last 13 weeks, starting from January this year.

The Nadowli District recorded the highest deaths of 12 out of 74 cases. This is followed closely by the Nandom Municipality and the Jirapa Municipality with 10 deaths and nine deaths out of 76 cases and 42 cases respectively. The Wa Municipality recorded four deaths from 27 cases while the Lawra Municipality and the Wa West District recorded one death each from eight and 15 cases respectively. The Sissala East Municipality recorded five cases with no deaths.

Meanwhile, the Sissala West, the Wa East, the Daffiama-Busie-Issa, and the Lambussie districts have so far recorded no case of CSM.

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COVID-19 FIGHT: ALBAN BAGBIN AGAIN DONATES GH₵70,000 WORTH OF PPEs TO NADOWLI DISTRICT HEALTH DIRECTORATE

Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament for the Nadowli-Kaleo Constituency, Hon. Alban Sungmaana Kingsford Bagbin, on Wednesday, 8th April, 2020, donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and other items to the Nadowli District Health Directorate to augment the fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the second time the longest serving MP has donated to his constituency since the coronavirus outbreak in Ghana. It will be recalled that he earlier donated an amount of GH₵20,000.00 to the District Health Directorate towards the fight against the virus.

The items worth GH₵70,000.00 included 53 full sets of PPEs, with each containing ten components of DuPont Tyvek coverall, N-95 respirator, face shield, surgical nose mask, safety goggles, disposal apron, examination gloves, heavy duty gloves, hand sanitizer and a pair of shoe cover. The others were 240pcs of Gihoc hand sanitizers, 20 gallons (1L) of Zin Gee sanitizers, 42pcs of contactless infrared thermometers and 50 pairs of gum boots.

Handing over the PPEs on behalf of the Hon MP to the District Director of Health, the NDC Communications Officer for Nadowli-Kaleo Constituency, Sylvester Biekper, acknowledged the steps taken by government to address the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana. He however stated that, “the efforts of government alone cannot bring the matter down. It therefore requires the support of all citizens of the republic of Ghana. And since the disease broke out in Ghana, the Member of Parliament has in many ways supported the fight against the disease knowing very well that our district is one of the highly risked districts”.

Considering the fact that some issues or traces have been made to the district with regards to exposures to a known positive case in the Upper West Region, the NDC Communications Officer told the Health Director that “should there be cases in your hands, the staff will definitely require some equipment to protect themselves as well as the patients. To this end, the Member of Parliament had again heeded to your numerous cries and calls, knowing very well that the deficiencies in respect of provisions of PPEs to the various districts with the fight against COVID-19 is challenging. And so the Member of Parliament has sent in these items to be delivered to the district for the health director to use it to augment the fight against the situation”.

Mr. Sylvester further assured the staff of the Health Directorate and the entire district the unflinching support of the MP, Hon. Alban Bagbin, and his readiness to help should the need arise in any sector.

Receiving the items on behalf of the Health Directorate, Madam Phoebe Balagumyetime, the District Director of Health Services for the area, expressed gratitude to the 2nd Deputy Speaker for the kind gesture and pledged that the items would be put to judicious use as intended.

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COVID-19: AKUFO-ADDO HAS DEMORALISED HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS – SENIOR LECTURER

Dr. Barnabas Gandau, Senior Lecturer – UDS

A Senior Lecturer at the University for Development Studies, Dr. Barnabas Gandau, has chided President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for successfully taking away attention on how to fight the coronavirus pandemic and rather creating a debate on who is a frontline health worker.

He made the assertion in a statement on his Facebook wall on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

According to the former Medical Director of the Upper West Regional Hospital, the president has succeeded in breaking the health sector into pieces with the announcement of allowance for frontline workers which doesn’t include all health practitioners in the country but also failed to specify who qualified for the allowance.

“Mr. President has just broken the health front into pieces. He has demoralized the hardworking healthcare professionals whose only request and motivation was to have enough protection and insurance for anyone that gets affected in line of duty.” Parts of the statement he put on Facebook read.

Describing the promise as “empty”, Dr. Gandau questioned how the president with so many advisors could “announce ‘an Executive Decision’ that will now provoke public discourse that takes away concentration on the matter at hand (covid-19)”.

The Fistula Surgeon while positing that every health worker at post is exposed to risk said it would have been better if the president had first defined who a frontline worker is, and allow people to choose to be part or not. This, he believes, would have eliminated the current confusion on who is a frontline health worker and allow people to discuss ways of combating the pandemic. The experienced gynecologist likened the promise to the healthcare providers to the “1D1F” promise which has offered nothing to the Ghanaian people especially in this time of the coronavirus outbreak.

Despite lauding the president for the appointment of Dr. Okoe Boye as a deputy health minister whom he believes has the ability of bringing dynamism to the sector, Dr. Gandau opines that Nana Akufo-Addo has made unpopular decisions this year which will derail his fortunes going into the general elections in December, 2020.

Meanwhile, Dr. Barnabas Gandau has called on the government to form and dispatch a team to assist health workers in the Upper West Region in the fight against Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) which has already claimed 33 lives of 214 reported cases in three months in the region. He stated that, CSM “is an epidemic within a pandemic that cannot be left in the hands of the few overwhelmed healthcare professionals in the Upper West Region”.

He further questioned President Akufo-Addo’s resolve to fighting the CSM and asked if there is any special package or support for health workers dealing with meningitis in the Upper West Region.

President Akufo-Addo, in his 5th address to the nation, Sunday, April 5, 2020, on measures taken to fight the Covid-19 pandemic announced that, frontline healthcare providers will get a fifty percent of their basic salary as allowance. He further stated that all health workers will not be taxed on their emoluments for the next three months effective April, 2020 while those engaged in contact tracing will receive a daily allowance of GHS 150.00. Most Ghanaians are however confused as to who is a frontline worker as it has not been defined.

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