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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

U/W: GTA SUPPORTS INDUSTRY PLAYERS

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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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

COVID-19: ALBAN BAGBIN FUNDS SENSITIZATION PROGRAMME IN NADOWLI/KALEO

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Hon Bagbin interacts with some health workers

The Second Deputy Speaker of Ghana Parliament and MP for the Nadowli/Kaleo Constituency, the Rt. Hon. Alban S.K Bagbin, has donated an amount of Ghc20,000.00 to the Nadowli/Kaleo District Health Directorate and the Nadowli/Kaleo District Police Command towards the fight against the deadly Corona virus  (COVID-19 ).

This intervention is in response to the wild spread of the Corona virus  which has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, due to its devastating effect on many nations across the globe. According to available statistics (www.worldometer.info, 2020), COVID-19 has so far infected 408,892 people and 18,259 deaths, worldwide. Locally, the disease has contracted about fifty two (52) people with two (2) deaths reported.
The intervention by the MP is expected to support sensitization campaigns at the Nadowli/Kaleo Constituency against the spread of the disease.

Mr Bagbin has also donated 300 and 40 vials of certified anti-snake venom and rabies vaccines respectively at an estimated cost of Ghc160,000.00 to the Nadowli/Kaleo District Health Directorate to support quality health care delivery in the district. This donation is in line with efforts to mitigate the increasing cases of mortalities of snake and dog bites in the district, reported during this year’s District Health Review Symposium. The initiative is to also meet the demands of patients as well as remove cost barriers as the vaccines are free for all patients.

In a related development, the veteran Member of Parliament has released funds to the District Education Directorate for the payment of all allowances of beneficiaries under the MP’s Graduate Employment Scheme (Teaching module) who have been teaching in various schools across the length and breath of the constituency.

In 2018, the MP directed the Nadowli/Kaleo District Assembly, in collaboration with the District Education Directorate, to recruit qualified unemployed graduates from the district to teach in various schools within the constituency as a measure of curbing unemployment among graduates as well as improve the standard of education in the district.

 

U/W: GTA Postpones Regional Tourism Awards

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The Upper West regional office of the Ghana Tourism Authority has indefinitely suspended the 2019 Upper West Regional Tourism awards scheme, which was scheduled for Friday 27th March, 2020. This has become necessary due to the COVID-19 scare.

This information was contained in a press statement issued by the Authority on 17th March, 2020; “we hereby announce the suspension of the 2019 Upper West Regional Tourism Awards”.
According to the statement, the decision is in accordance with the President’s directive to “suspend all public gatherings for the next four weeks”. The statement further reiterated the need for industry players to adhere to safety guidelines and precautions to prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Upper West Regional manager of GTA

The tourism awards scheme was initiated in 1997, by the Ghana tourism Board (Authority) to award hardworking and deserving industry players who excelled in their various fields.
The statement is however optimistic of a bigger and better event as soon as the situation normalizes and the ban on public gathering lifted.
The Regional Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Moses Ndwin Ndebugri also stated that his office has already initiated a project to sensitize players of the tourism industry on the prevention of the COVIDD-19. “We have held sensitization programmes with managers of some major tourist sites, hotels, Tour guides, Catering service providers on the prescribed safety precautionary methods including: social distancing, personal hygiene and profiling of visitors”. The authority has also started a monitoring process to ensure service provider observe to these safety measures.
The Corona scare has compelled many tourist attractions in the country including Kakum national park, Menhyia palace, Castles and Forts under Ghana Museums and Monuments to temporarily close their facilities to the public. In the Upper West Region, tourist attractions are recording low or no patronage since the first case was reported in the country. AT the Wechiau Hippo sanctuary for example, clients have cancelled all reservations to the site. The site which is the most patronized in the region has received only one (domestic) tourist over the said period; management said.
Our checks at some tourist facilities revealed that, operators are adhering to the directives from the GTA.

Safety measures at spicy

Waala Traditional Council Suspends Jummah Prayers and Funerals (Ansuma) in Wa

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The Waala Traditional Council has with immediate effect cancelled all public events in the area including the performance of Friday Muslim congregational prayers (jummah) and one day and three days funeral greetings popularly known as “ansuma”.

In a press release jointly signed by the Overload of the Waala Traditional Area, Naa Fuseini Pelpuo IV, the Yari Naa, Alhaji Saliu Moomin Sungumo and the Regional Chief Imam, Alhaji Osman Mumuni Kanihi, the decision is based on President Akufo-Addo’s directives to suspend all public gatherings to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“One day, Three days, One week, Forty days observations (Ansuma) and funerals in the Waala Traditional Area must be on hold indefinitely”, parts of the statement read. The statement however said burials may be performed with not more than 25 people in attendance.

The Council further directs that “all public religious/spiritual programmes including daily prayers, Jummah prayers, weddings and all such gatherings are suspended for the next four weeks”.

Meanwhile, public engagements by chiefs within the tradional area are cancelled as appointments and visits to palaces in the area are banned except it is of extreme necessity.

Read statement below

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Education in Wa West: Pupils of Ga D/A Primary Lie on Stomachs to Write

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Lack of furniture in the Ga D/A Primary School in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region has forced pupils in the school to study while sitting on the bare floor or on stones. The situation is so dire that when it is time for taking class exercises, examinations or notes, some of the children resort to lying on their bellies while others lean against the walls to write.

A visit to the school revealed that, of the total population of 409 pupils only 118 have the opportunity to sit on a desk with many of the available furniture also in bad shape. This leaves the 391 majority to learn while sitting on the bare floor. Some teachers in the school expressed dissatisfaction at how difficult it is for them to teach these kids in this situation.

The head teacher of the school, Mr. Mark Ninboge, bemoaned the situation and said it is a big challenge to academic work in the school. While receiving a donation of ten pieces of furniture on behalf of the staff and pupils of the school, he disclosed that calls on education managers in the district to come to the aid of the Ga Primary School have so far yielded no results. According to him, he always report the unhealthy conditions the children go through in their quest to have education to the necessary authorities and pledged to continue to push in ensuring that such bad conditions affecting teaching and learning are addressed.

Meanwhile, Assemblyman of the area, Hon Mumuni Loggu-Naa Ba-nana indicated that the uncomfortable situation has been brought to the attention of some senior members of the Ga community which is beginning to bear fruits for which reason he was at the school. The Assembly member who was at the school to present the desks on behalf of a concerned native of the community believes the situation has the tendency of affecting the academic performance of the pupils. He said something must be done really fast to avoid the pupils from developing health conditions.

Hon Loggu-naa charged the headmaster of the school to ensure the few pieces of furniture donated are put to good use, and advised the pupils to desist from moving the desks around as that will shorten their lifespan.  He further appealed to other benevolent individuals and organisations to help in any form they can to ensure the pupils have better conditions to learn.

The Ga Primary School which was established in 1957 still lacks basic educational facilities including classroom blocks, teaching and learning materials and furniture. The 2no 3-unit classroom blocks serving the over 400 pupils have seen little or no facelift for decades.

The Ga D/A Primary School is not the only school bedeviled with such challenges. Many other schools in the Wa West District have no furniture, deplorable classrooms and lack basic teaching and learning materials.

UPPER WEST: CITIZENS GIFT POLICE VEHICLE FOR PATROL DUTIES

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The Ghana Police Service in the Upper West Region has received a boost for their operations in the area following a donation of a brand new Nissan Hard Body Pickup by the chiefs and people of the Bulenga Area Council in the Wa East District.

The donation which took place at the forecourt of the Regional Coordinating Council on Thursday, 12th March, 2020 was necessitated by the chiefs’ desire “to be citizens and not spectators”.

According to Naa Abu Salia Bafaradu II who spoke on behalf of the Chiefs and people of the Bulenga and the Manwe Tradional Areas, the decision to support the police with the vehicle was taken following some robbery incidents in the Bulenga Area Council coupled with the lack of transport logistics for police in the Bulenga Sub-station. The chiefs believe providing the vehicle for patrol duties will increase police visibility in the area which will help reduce, if not eradicate, the activities of miscreants.

The Nissan pickup which cost GH₵160,000.00 was procured using funds from the sale of seized rosewood, market tolls, cattle levies and other fines. Naa Bafaradu II who is a victim of robbery in the area noted that “we could have shared the money, but we said ‘no’. So we decided not to squander it, not to share it. It must serve the whole district or the whole (Bulenga) area”. “And you know the president said something and some of us the old people are always listening to wisdom. That we should not be spectators, we are to be citizens. And the chiefs first showed that citizenship so that our people will follow.” He concluded.

Minister for the Upper West Region, Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih who presented the vehicle to the regional police command commended the chiefs and people of the Wa East “for initiating this laudable idea that has borne fruits”, noting “this is an ample demonstration of how citizens must behave”. He charged the police commander to ensure that the pickup is put to the use for which it was procured. Dr. Bin Salih further directed that the vehicle be stationed in the Bulenga and Manwe enclave to serve the people who donated it.

“We will not tolerate it if the vehicle is not used for its intended purpose. It is to be used to provide security in the Bulenga and Manwe traditional areas. The vehicle must be stationed there. It should not be taken to other areas.” He tasked, adding that “also ensure that those who will be using it, maintain it. If they maintain it, it will last long. And once it lasts long it will continue to be productive to not only the people of Wa East, but the entire Upper West region”.

The Regional Police Commander, DCOP Francis Aboagye Nyarko, who received the donation on behalf of the Ghana Police Service also expressed gratitude to the chiefs and people of the area for their kind gesture and pledged to ensure that the vehicle is used and maintained for the benefit of the Bulenga Area Council and its environs. “The assurance is that we will use it to the satisfaction of the community. We will do proper maintenance of the vehicle.”

UW/R: Police Commander Encourages Formation of Neighbourhood Watch Committees to Fight Crime

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DCOP Francis Aboagye Nyarko, Regional Police Commander – UW/R

The Upper West Regional Police Commander, DCOP Francis Aboagye Nyarko has called on residents in the region to help the police service in the fight against crime by forming Neighbourhood Watch Ccommittees. He said the initiative is very positive at ensuring that crime in the Upper West is reduced.

According to DCOP Aboagye Nyarko, the Upper West region is generally peaceful in recent times due to the support of residents in the various communities. He said some communities in the region have formed neighbourhood watch committees which are yielding positive results. The Commander therefore encouraged other communities to embrace the initiative to augment the work of the police in the region. “I will encourage every community to form the neighbourhood watch committees to complement the work of the police, because the police cannot be everywhere.” He urged, adding that “if the neighbourhood watch committees are very vibrant, and operating in the communities, the criminal cannot enter any community”.

While lauding the efforts being made by the existing neighbourhood watch committees, he stated that, another initiative by the police that is reducing crime in the region is the introduction of the escort regime. “All the peace you are enjoying now is through the escort regime and the Neighbourhood Watch Committees.” He noted that “the community is vulnerable” and thus called on residents “to take advantage of the escort regime” to avoid been attacked by miscreants. “Everywhere you are going, if you are leaving Wa community especially after 6:00pm, come to the police for escort. We need you to help the police to enable the police to help you”.

DCOP Francis Aboagye Nyarko made this call while addressing participants at the inauguration and graduation ceremony of the WK.M Karate-Do Association at the Naa Sidik Bomi Park in Wa last Sunday, 8th March, 2020.

The police boss in the region appreciated the support of the WK.M Karate-Do Association to the police in the region especially the SWAT unit. He disclosed that personnel of the Service have benefited from the knowledge of karate which has complemented their work. He assured leadership of the Association the continuous collaboration of the Regional Police Command and encouraged them to continue to do their work as it will greatly benefit residents in the region.

The inauguration ceremony also saw some six trainees promoted to various ranks in Karate-Do.

DAGAABA YOUTH ASSOCIATION HOLDS FIRST ANNUAL CONGRESS, CALLS FOR PEACE AHEAD OF 2020 ELECTIONS

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Over hundreds of Dagaaba within the Gonjaland territory of the Savanna Region, last Saturday, 29th February, 2020 held the maiden annual congress of the Dagaaba Youth Association (DAYA) after it was launched last year on May 4, 2019. The congress which took palce at the forecourt of the Catholic Cluster of schools in Sawla, the capital of the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba (STK) district, was under the theme “Peace and Unity; the Role of Dagaaba in Community Development”.

Welcoming all participants to the durbar in his keynote address, the president of DAYA, Mr. John Zoyaari, highlighted the need for peace and unity especially in this year of elections. He therefore advised the youth not to be used as a tool for violence in any form, before, during and after the 2020 elections.

Mr. John Zoyaari expressed the Association’s gratitude to the chiefs and traditional authorities of the “Great Gonjaland” who graced the durbar for their utmost love for peace, saying that “without you, we could not enjoy peace and unity all this while in your midst”.

The DAYA president however expressed disgust at how the activities of Fulani herdsmen and their cattle in the area are affecting the Dagaaba community.  He said the emotional trauma caused the Dagaaba by the terrible menace of the Fulani cattle is enormous. According to him, most Dagaaba settlers in the Gonjaland, especially in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba district, are farmers. These farms and the produce are usually destroyed by the large numbers of cattle belonging to the Fulani herdsmen, he said. Mr. Zoyaari further alleged that the unattended animals are sometimes found battering and crashing down their yam mounds, chewing and breaking down their cashew nuts and plants and worse above all, grazing on their maize among others during the rainy season.

Mr. Zoyaari therefore craved the indulgence of His Royal Majesty the Bolewura and his eminent chiefs to intervene to help end the canker. “Somewhere last year during the launching of this programme, we made this complain to His Majesty about the menace of the Fulani cattle destroying our farms but the canker is still showing its ugly head towards us hence our humble appeal again for you to show more efforts to curb the canker”. He pleaded.

Special Guest of Honour at the event, Supt. (rtd) Peter Lanchene Toobu who is the NDC parliamentary candidate for the Wa West Constituency in the Upper West Region applauded the founders of the association for the effort put together in a bid to uplift the Dagaaba cultural heritage.

The former Executive Secretary to the IGP called on members to uphold their unity by loving one another. He also charged them to protect their integrity by avoiding all forms of criminal activities and desisting from indiscriminate drinking of the local gin ‘Akpetesi’. The retired police officer pledged his unwavering support to ensure DAYA stands the test of time.

The ceremony was graced by the Member of Parliament for the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba constituency, Hon. Andrews Dari Chiweetey; the DCEs for the STK, Alhaji Lawaal Tamimu Mumuni, DCE for Bole-Bamboi, Hon Veronica Alele Herming; and the NPP parliamentary candidate for the STK, Hon. Nuhu Seidu Banasco.

Others were representatives of His Royal Majesty, Bolewura Kotogu Feso (I), the paramount chief of the Bole Traditional Area, and His Royal Majesty, Sawlawura Abdulai Nungbansu. There were other divisional chiefs and traditional rulers present during the ceremony.

NDC HEALTH WALK: CERTIFICATE OR NOT, YOU WILL OCCUPY THE OFFICES AFTER VICTORY 2020 – YOUTH ORGANIZER

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NDC Wa Central Youth Organiser

The Wa Central Youth Organiser of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Hon Abdulai Ibrahim, has charged party members to prepare themselves to take over the various state offices in 2021 when the NDC is sworn into office.

According to the constituency youth commander, “it is clear that the NDC is coming to power after the December 2020 polls”. He therefore challenged members of the party, especially the youth, to get ready to occupy the offices they want and called on leadership of the party to overlook the presence of a certificate or otherwise when it comes to appointing people who worked for the party to win power.

Speaking to a joyous crowd during a mammoth health walk in Wa, Mr. Abdulai said if the NPP upon taking the reins of government could replace all offices with their party members, it is not equally wrong for the NDC to do same. “Whoever that is interested in any office, go and hold onto the office during counting of the votes. We will come round and write your names.” He told the teeming youth, continuing that, “we want to tell the party leadership that, with or without certificate, one can be a Youth Employment director, a NABCO director or a Health Insurance director when the NDC comes to power”.

The Youth Organiser while encouraging the grassroots to work hard for victory 2020 also advised the women to prepare their cooking utensils in readiness to take over the school feeding programme in 2021. “To the women, you all stay behind schools. I want you to go and prepare your cooking pots and the head pans. When NDC wins, go to the schools and wait for us to come and write your names”. He said, and concluded that, “monkey dey work, monkey dey chop”.

The health walk which took place on Saturday, February 29, 2020, is the first of a monthly series being organised by the Wa Central Youth Secretariat. The walk was graced by party bigwigs in the region including the regional executives, party elders, former appointees and constituency executives. Youth groups and camps affiliated to the NDC also took part in the walk which saw massive attendance.

WA EAST NPP PRIMARIES: SALIFU YAKUBU FILES NOMINATION, PROMISES TO EMPOWER POLLING STATION EXECUTIVES

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Hon Salifu Yakubu, NPP PC Aspirant, Wa East

Aspiring parliamentary candidate of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Wa East Constituency, Salifu Yakubu, has declared his intentions to create opportunities that will empower grassroot members of the Party in the constituency if given the nod. He said it is important to satisfy polling station executives first as they are most significant in ensuring the Party comes to power.

Addressing party supporters after filing his nomination forms at the party’s office in Bulenga on Wednesday, February 19, Mr. Salifu stated that “the polling station executives are the bedrock of the party. They are the engine of the party, they are the people who go house to house to campaign, they are the people that will (take) the Party to higher levels”. He further indicated that making polling station executives and the grassroots happy will translate into the success of the Party as people use them as a benchmark for the performance of the Party or the Member of Parliament.

To this end, the former Deputy Regional Organizer of the NPP said he will ensure delegates are made happy by opening earning opportunities for them. “I will support them with basic things such as business and employment opportunities”, he stated, further noting that, it is important to create opportunities that can help improve the businesses of delegates than to give them money. He said contracting loans to be paid after harvest for farmers and acquiring farm implements will go a long way to helping the grassroots of the party in the Wa East constituency who are mostly into farming.

Hon Salifu submitting form to Constituency Elections Committee secretary

Mr. Salifu Yakubu, who lost the 2015 primaries to the incumbent, was optimistic that the delegates will repose their confidence in him this time to lead the NPP in the upcoming parliamentary elections. While acknowledging the contribution of the current Member of Parliament, Hon Godfred Bayon Tangu, who is serving his third term, Hon Salifu opined that the party needs new blood for the 2020 elections.  He averred that the NPP’s tradition “believes in service to the party. If you serve the party, you will be rewarded.” According to Hon him, he has served the party for two decades without relenting on his efforts, adding that, even after losing the 2015 primaries, he worked hard to ensure the NPP won both the presidential and the parliamentary elections in the constituency. This, Mr. Salifu believes, the delegates will remember and choose him as the next servant to lead the party to the 2020 polls.

Hon Yakubu who was in charge of the NPP 2016 collation center in the Wa East constituency also pledged to offer his support to anybody who emerges winner “in the unlikely event that I am not chosen by the delegates”. He further cautioned his followers and supporters not to attack or insult other contestants during the campaign as it is a family affair. He encouraged them to remain peaceful and calm in telling delegates why they should choose Salifu Yakubu as their Parliamentary Candidate.

Constituency Elections Committee members, Wa East

Hon Salifu Yakubu was accompanied by dozens of party sympathizers including delegates from various parts of the constituency to submit the nomination forms. He goes into the contest with three others including the incumbent who aspires for a fourth term in parliament.

Meanwhile, the secretary of the Wa East Constituency Election Committee upon receiving the nomination forms assured Hon Salifu of a level playing ground for all aspirants. He also called on him and his supporters to conduct their campaigns devoid of personal attacks and character assassination as that will be detrimental to the fortunes of the party after the primaries.

GPL WK9: PERFORMANCE OF PLAYERS FROM THE UPPER WEST REGION IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE

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Match day 9 of the 2019/20 Ghana premier league saw a host of stars from the Upper West Region representing their various clubs across the competition

Nine players were involved across the competition for their teams with four playing 90 minutes each for their respective clubs, one coming on as the second half substitute and four watching on from the bench for their teams

Towering centre back Jamaldeen Haruna saw 90 minutes for Olympics in their defeat to Techiman XI Wonders at home

Left-back Ibrahim Imoro played full throttle for Asante Kotoko in their hard fought 1-0 win over Dreams FC at the Theatre of Dreams

Left winger back Yussif Fadili also enjoyed full 90 minutes for Legon Cities FC in their 1-1 stalemate against Inter Allies

Ahmed Adams lasted the entire duration of the contest for Berekum Chelsea in their shocking defeat against Elmina Sharks

Yakubu Mohammed came on in the 60th minute for Legon Cities FC in their draw against Inter Allies

Toufiq Razak watched from the bench for the first time this season as King Faisal Babies FC draw at home against WAFA

Ahmed Satar was an unused substitute for Liberty Professionals in their defeat to AshantiGold SC

Issahaku Wahidu made a return to match day squad after missing the last two matches but was a spectator from the bench for the entire duration of the match Techiman XI Wonders

Rashid Alhassan continue to wait for his first minutes of the season with another bench warmer for Medeama SC

  1. By: Kanyiri Suburu Lucio/@SuburuAbdulai

ACRES OF CASHEW FARMS IN WA WEST BURNT BY HUNTERS

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Over twenty acres of cashew farms in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region have been destroyed by a group of “hunters” who indiscriminately set bushes ablaze in search of bush meat.

Mr. Donlare Yiriwele, a peasant farmer in Gojuteng, a suburb of Wechiau in the Wa West District, who was affected by the activities of this group, disclosed that his cashew plantation of about twenty acres was set ablaze over the weekend.

According to Mr. Yiriwele, on Saturday, February 8, around 4pm, a group of young men, wielding cutlasses, guns and other locally made hunting tools, invaded his farmlands, apparently hunting for bush meat. He said he rushed to the farm upon tipoff to safeguard his cashew plantation. Upon seeing them entering nearby farms, efforts geared at stopping them from passing through his farm to carry out their hunting expedition proved futile. He looked on helplessly and haplessly as the young men, numbering over 100, with their over 200 dogs search through all the bushes within and around his farmlands for game.

On his return to the farm the next morning, Donlare Yiriwele observed that the cashew plantation had burnt. He also traced evidence of hunting expedition in the farm, where similar bushes around the farm were burnt and evidence of the hunters roasting and eating yams.

Mr. Yiriwele’s farm is made up of six acres of yam, three acres of cassava and about twenty acres of cashew. The cashew plantation, according to him, is a source of livelihood to him and his family over the past few years. He bemoaned the effect this disaster would bring to the family as this year’s harvest would be affected negatively. Donlare Yiriwele is therefore calling on the Wa West District Assembly, NADMO, Security Agencies, individuals and cooperate groups to come to his aid.

Gojuteng was not the only community affected as there have been reports from other parts of the district indicating the activities of these hunting groups. It is further alleged that this group of hunters sometimes engage in killing domestic animals belonging to members of the communities they go. The damage caused is estimated to have affected over 20 acres of cashew farm, and other properties in the district.

Residents in Lassia Tuolu who also complained of the presence of the hunters in the district, narrated that they parked their truck, buses and other motorbikes in the community before spreading to nearby communities to hunt.

UNICOF PUT SMILES ON PUPILS OF ST. DON BOSCO SPECIAL SCHOOL IN UPPER WEST

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The Upper West branch of the Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance Workers (UNICOF) of the Trades Union Congress on Saturday, February 8, 2020, as part of its yearly support programme donated some items worth over GH₵2,000.00 to pupils of the St. Don Bosco Special School to support their upkeep.

According to the First Vice Chairman of UNIFOC – Upper West, Issaka Mohammed, the donation was necessitated by the Union’s desire to give back to society. He said besides the Union’s core mandate of seeing to the welfare of its members, “as a union we also thought that helping the needy is our corporate social responsibility.” Mr. Issaka said the donation was made out of their dues to augment government’s efforts in providing for special schools, and therefore thanked all members for their contributions.

The 1st Vice Chairman also implored management of the school to put the items to judicious use to the benefit of the vulnerable pupils. He further intimated that, “looking at their (St. Don Bosco Special School) challenges, we are more likely to select them again for next year”.

                          Mrs. Fatima Saaka (left) and Mr. Issaka Mohammed (right)

On her part, Regional Chairperson of the Women Committee of UNICOF, Mrs. Fatima Saaka, urged society not to despise and neglect children born with certain abnormalities. She said such children should not be seen as a curse to the extent they are allowed for only their mothers and the government to take care of. Madam Fatima called on other unions and individuals to contribute their quota towards improving the lives of such children by supporting the special schools. She challenged the general public to donate to the St. Don Bosco Special School to help the vulnerable children.

Headmaster of the school, Vitalis Niben-yel Tuolong, who received the items on behalf of management and the pupils with intellectual disabilities thanked UNICOF for the kind gesture and pledged to ensure that the items are used to the full benefit of the pupils. He said government is doing its best, but that the school still needs more support. He pleaded with UNICOF to still remember them in their subsequent donations, and called on other benevolent organisations and individuals to come to their aid with any assistance.

He also encouraged parents who have such children with intellectual disabilities to enroll them at the St. Don Bosco Special School and not keep them at home.

Mr. Niben-yel Tuolong however enumerated some challenges bedeviling the school. Key among them is the lack of accommodation for the staff and house mothers. He disclosed that “there is no accommodation in this school. No single teacher stays here. The senior housemaster just opted to stay at Loho. When I took over, I decided I would stay closer, [so] I rented a place just across the road.” He said with the nature of the children it is important that accommodation was provided for staff to stay with them on the campus.

Other challenges include inadequate staff, both teaching and non-teaching, lack of transport for the school, lack of kitchen and inadequate financing for vocational activities.

St. Don Bosco Special School is located at Loho, a community in the Nadowli District of the Upper West Region. Of the over hundred student population, sixty-nine pupils had reported for school as at the time of the donation.

The donated items to the school included maize, rice, cooking oil and assorted drinks and biscuits. The rest are detergents; liquid soap, washing powder, parazone and washing soap.

HON BAGBIN JOINS AKUFO ADDO TO CUT SOD FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF 17MWp SOLAR PROJECT IN KALEO

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The Member of Parliament for Nadowli /Kaleo constituency who also doubles as 2nd Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Alban S. K. Bagbin today 4th January,2020 joined the President of the Republic, His Excellency Nana ADDO Dankwa Akufo Addo to cut SOD for the construction of a 17 megawatt solar power project in Kaleo.

In a brief speech, the Nadowli / Kaleo legislator expressed gratitude to the Nana Addo led government for continuing the solar power project which according to him was initiated in 2012 by the previous NDC government. Hon Bagbin pledged his continuous support to the development of the Nadowli /Kaleo constituency and the country at large. “I want to congratulate His Excellency on behalf of the Chiefs and people of the Nadowli/Kakeo constituency and to assure him of my support to this government and any other government that is committed to the development of the good people of this country.” He also hinted that in addition to the compensation package for the acquisition of the land for the project, his discussion with the management of the VRA reveals that the community will be provided with an alternative source of livelihood for the people.

The 22. 816,666.67 million euros solar power project which is the first of it’s kind in the region is funded by the German government. The project consists of two components; 13 MWp to be installed in Kaleo whiles 4 megawatts power is being installed in Lawra.

The German Ambassador to Ghana H E Christoph Retzlaff who was the guest of honour at the SOD cutting ceremony was optimistic that the project “will not only boost the energy supply to the region but will also open new development perspectives for it’s people. ” He believes the project will address the challenges of climate change and the need for clean energy for the country.