Rashid Pelpuo seeks renewal to complete tenure as President of APF on Population and Development

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Member of Parliament for the Wa Central Constituency, Dr. Hassan Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo, has appealed to his constituents to extend his stay in Ghana’s Parliament beyond 2024. This, he said, will enable him to complete his tenure as the President of the Africa Parliamentary Forum (APF) on Population and Development.

Hon. Pelpuo was elected President for the APF on Population and Development on July 23, 2022 in Ethiopia for a term of three years. As such, he is expected to serve in the office until 2025 beyond his current term as an MP which expires in 2024.

Following his election to the high office, the former deputy majority leader returned home last Saturday, 30th July, 2022, to inform his constituents of the “good news” and to seek for their prayers and support to succeed in the office. He paid courtesy calls on the Wa Naa, the Yeri Naa, the Regional Chief Imam, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission and other notable individuals, and explained to them the importance of his new office to the people of Wa Central.

The leader of the Upper West Caucus in Parliament who is serving his fifth term as MP thanked the constituents for keeping faith with him all these years, which resulted in his rise to this international stardom. He said people should see his occupation of the office as an honour done the people of the Upper West Region, particularly the Wa Central Constituency. The ranking member on the Lands and Forestry Committee thus urged his constituents to continue to keep faith with him, indicating his resolve to listen to their demands and suggestions as he strives to further bring development to the area.

Further making a case for the renewal of his tenure, the five terms MP quizzed that “would it not be shameful and disappointing for members of the Africa Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development who elected me their President to come and realise that my own people have rejected me?” He expressed confidence that constituents of the Wa Central will renew his mandate come election 2024 as he believes he has been serving well.

Dr. Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo has been the representative of the Wa Central Constituency in Ghana’s Parliament since 2005. He is seeking for a 6th term in 2024 by which time he would have served 20 years as MP. During this period as MP, he also served in various capacities including as Minister for Youth and Sports and Minister of State in charge of Public Private Partnership under the Mills and Mahama-led NDC administrations.

“The biggest threat to NPP’s 2024 victory is the NPP itself” – Regional Organiser aspirant

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An aspiring regional organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Upper West Region, Iddrisu Bomison, has expressed confidence that “breaking the 8” is possible given the track record of the party in government for the past five years, thus called on party members to conduct themselves in a manner that can consolidate the gains made so far.

According to Mr. Bomison, failure of the NPP to break the eight-year cycle of governance in Ghana by political parties can only be self-inflicted, stating that “the biggest threat to the NPP’s 2024 victory is the NPP itself”.

Mr. Bomison made the statement in a facebook post ahead of the Party’s constituency elections which will be taking place in all eleven (11) constituencies of the Upper West region on Saturday, 30th April, 2022.

The former Wa Central Constituency secretary cautioned all stakeholders to conduct themselves well so as to avoid inflicting pain on the party, reminding them that the interest of the NPP supersedes that of any individual’s interest. He urged delegates to “elect officers who will understand that there is work to do rather than a position to be occupied” in order to make the BreakThe8 mantra a reality and not just a wishful thought.

The vociferous NPP communicator also indicated that the NPP can regain the seats lost in the region during the 2020 elections and even add more if they get the right officers to man the constituencies and the region ahead of the 2024 elections. He described this step of the NPP’s restructuring process as very crucial, and thus called on the party faithful to conduct themselves with respect to “the rules and regulations governing the elections and not do anything else that will subject our great party’s name to public ridicule”.

Iddrisu Bomison is hoping to serve the party as Regional Organiser. He had previously served at the constituency level as the Wa Central secretary and has always been active in the party activities in the region since their days in opposition. He is considered as one of the best aspirants who can best serve as the regional organiser having traversed the entire region and gained sufficient knowledge about politics in the region. He is currently the Regional Manager for the Buffer Stock Company Ltd.

Sponsored malicious publications against Bagbin by Daily Guide a threat to democracy

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An independent non-partisan civic movement, Friends of Democracy (FOD) – Ghana, has called on owners, managers and editors of the Daily Guide newspaper to put a stop to the continuous publication of malicious stories and outright falsehoods orchestrated in an attempt to dent the reputation of the Speaker of Parliament, Alban SK Bagbin.

In a press conference addressed by convener of the group, Nurideen Abubakari Kotia, popularly called Alhaji Bitis, the group contends that, the recent publications about the Speaker’s travel cost to the United Arab Emirates for medical care, mostly carried on the front page of the Daily Guide, are nothing but absolute lies which are intended to portray Alban Bagbin as a wasteful public servant who is not concerned about the hardship citizens are going through.

Alhaji Bitis noted that, while the ill-intended publications by the Paper cannot destroy the globally recognized good reputation of the venerable Alban Bagbin, they have the tendency of smearing the growing democracy Ghana is nurturing, hence the need to be worried. He therefore urged the Daily Guide and its management to imbibe the ethics of journalism if they want to revive their “failing brand” instead of launching unprovoked scathing attacks on innocent Ghanaians like the Rt. Hon Speaker which could affect Ghana’s democracy.

Examples of headlines to some of the stories listed by the group include “Bagbin snubs deputies, appoints NDC man as Speaker”, “Bagbin Blows 1.1 million dollars in Dubai”, “Bagbin requests for 50K from Dubai” and “Bagbin snubs deputies again”. They described these stories as not only lame and unintelligent, but also very insensitive as the health of the Speaker is being toyed with by the Paper just to please their “paymasters”.

The group explained that, as leader of one of the arms of government established by democracy, Parliament cannot be absolved from attacks on the Rt. Hon Speaker. Hence, it is their belief that, such continuous “lies” churned out by the Daily Guide is more of a hate-campaign against the growth of democracy.

These “negative stories carried by the Daily Guide newspaper are without facts and only serve to further a certain misguided hate-campaign against the Speaker of Parliament and our democracy” the group said.

The FOD – Ghana also expressed surprise that regulatory bodies such as the National Media Commission and the Ghana Journalist Association are silent over such publications even when it is “abundantly clear that they are malicious, deceptive, lame and do not meet the journalistic standards”. They thus called on them speak up against the unprofessional conduct of the Paper to help protect the rule of law.

The unapologetic nature of the Paper according to the group, leaves much to be desired. Alhaji Bitis questioned the adamance of the pro-NPP newspaper, which they believe is doing the bidding of the Akufo-Addo led government, in continuing to tow that line after the Public Affairs Directorate of Parliament has denied the wild allegations and urged them to stop same. He also wondered why the Paper’s concentration has been on the medical trips of the Speaker only when other public officers including members of the executive are sponsored by the State to seek medical attention outside the country.

The group advised the government to move away from the tactics of using the media to wage a war against the Speaker and trying to denigrate his character, and rather concentrate on how to build consensus in the House so as to facilitate the execution of government business. They reminded government actors who are behind these vile mischievous media attacks that, Mr. Bagbin is resolute and cannot be cowed or silenced from performing his duties to protect the ordinary Ghanaian. And that the earlier they “deal with the inadequacies of their leaders in Parliament” the better for them to get their business going.

The Friends of Democracy – Ghana further vowed to resist any cynicism borne out of “hatred, disrespect and sour-grapes” against Speaker Bagbin by the Freddie Blay owned Daily Guide paper and the government of Akufo-Addo. They further called on all well-meaning Ghanaians to stand up against such reports and treat the already published ones with the contempt they deserve.

Ayew Brothers are the backbone of the Black Stars – Bagbin

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Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has lauded legendary Black Stars player, Abedi Ayew “Pele”, for his contribution to Ghana’s football. He noted that, not only has the former skipper of the Black Stars put the name of Ghana on the global map, but he has also given Ghana great players two of whom are the backbone of the current black Stars, Mr. Bagbin noted.

According to the Rt. Hon Speaker, Abedi Pele, as he is known professionally, would have been very rich had it been today he played as a footballer. “That time there was no money. If it had been this time, he would have earned a lot of money.” That notwithstanding, he indicated that the three times African Player of the year is a global icon who is not only respected but honoured across the world.

Abedi Pele’s two sons, Dede Ayew and Jordan Ayew popularly referred to as the Ayew Brothers, have for some years now received criticisms from a section of Ghanaians. Some believe the brothers especially the younger one, Jordan, are not doing enough but always favoured to play for the Black Stars. But for Speaker Bagbin, the two are the most important players for the senior national team.

“[Football] has opened doors to Abedi Pele, he can go anywhere in the world. He is not only respected, he is honoured. You all know what Abedi Pele did to fooball in Ghana. And you see the products he has given us; three very good skillful football players. Two you know very well, the other didn’t last, but the two are still shining and they are the backbone of the Black Stars now”, Alban Bagbin stated.

Advising young female players in the Upper West Region, Hon Bagbin said it is out of hard work, discipline and intelligence that have made “the Maestro” Abedi Pele to achieve the great feat he is noted for across the globe. He thus encouraged all football players to take their studies seriously if they want to go far in the game. To him, intelligence is needed to augment the skills and hard work hence the need for young players to focus on their books as well.

“Don’t only play football. Develop your IQ; learn, study”, the Speaker advised, adding that “football is not just about skills, it is not just about energy, it is also about intelligence”. Mr. Bagbin said there have been many potential good players who did not last “because they did not study”.

Rt. Hon. Bagbin made the remarks when he donated some football equipment to Real Crusaders Ladies FC, the only active female division one football club in the Upper West Region. The items donation included footballs, set of jerseys, football boots and hoses.

The Speaker further pledged his continuous support for the female club, while disclosing he will push the only male division one side, Suntaa Sporting Club, to fill the void the defunct Wa All Stars has left following the Anas Aremeyaw Anas Number 12 Exposé.

UWR: Boxers disappointed in Regional Minister, Wa Central MP and Wa MCE, but praise Hajia Humu

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The Upper West Regional Boxing Federation has expressed disappointment at how the federation have been treated by the Regional Minister, Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Wa Central Constituency, Dr. Rashid Pelpuo, and the Wa Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Issahaku Tahiru Moomin.

This comes at the wake of the inability of the trio to facilitate movement of some boxers in the region to go and participate in the 2022 National Individual Boxing Championship which is taking place in Accra between 17th February and 19th February, 2022.

According to the Regional President of the Ghana Boxing Federation and Chairman for the northern sector, Apanga Bawa, all efforts made to get support from those who matter to travel for the event proved futile. He said they had lost all hope until Hajia Humu Awudu came to their aid. He lamented how the Minister, MCE and MP tossed them in their quest to represent the region at the national event. Mr. Bawa indicated that while the regional minister told them, pointblank, that he has no money for them to travel, the MCE said he was going to board a flight to Accra and could not attend to them on their last visit to his office on the matter.

The Northern Sector Chairman said he was particularly disappointed in Dr. Rashid Pelpuo, given that the MP has practiced the sport before and is fully aware of the struggles boxers face in the region. According to him, the only help Rashid Pelpuo could offer was telling the federation that he has relayed their appeal to the regional minister and the MCE, but has since stopped answering their calls.

Mr. Apanga Bawa said it is painful that the political leadership in the region do not see the need to support the growth of sports, particularly boxing. He bemoaned the lack of befitting boxing ring in the region and other logistics such as gloves, mouthguard, punching bags, headgear and among others. He indicated that they have continuously written to the necessary authorities to help them address these challenges, but have received no positive response. He noted that boxing like many other sporting disciplines has the potential to create opportunities for the people and propel the growth of the region, thus, urged the general public to begin investing in the sport.

Meanwhile, the contingent of thirteen (13) boxers and coaches are currently in the national capital for the competition, thanks to the benevolence of Hajia Humu Awudu, 2020 parliamentary candidate for NPP in the Wa Central Constituency. The philanthropic politician who only heard of the plight of the boxers with two days to the event generously donated an amount of GHS 2,000.00 to the Regional Federation to ensure that boxers in the Upper West region are not left out in the national event.

Making the donation on behalf of Hajia Humu, Mr. Abdulai Issah Kpegla noted this is the first of many supports that his boss will be offering to the federation. He said Hajia Humu is a development-oriented person, and that she will continue to support anything that can develop the people of the Wa Municipality and the Upper West region as a whole.

Mr. Kpegla charged the boxers to be focused and not be distracted by the lack of support from those elected or appointed into various offices. He urged them to go fight and bring home a medal from the national championship.

The boxers and their chairman expressed gratitude for the kind gesture and pledged to do their best to ensure the region’s name is boldly written in the boxing history of Ghana. They used the opportunity to pray for the success of Hajia Humu in her endeavours and called on other leaders to emulate her steps.

This is one of many donations the former NPP Parliamentary Candidate has done in recent times. Before this, she made a donation to help connect the Boli M/A Primary and JHS to the national electricity grid to facilitate ICT learning. She had earlier through the Hajia Humu Foundation’s “Back to School” project supported about 1,250 needy pupils in 45 community schools in the Wa Municipality with school uniforms, books, pens and pencils, and also donated five (5) laptop computers to the five educational units in the area.

Help our schools with furniture – Wa Naa appeals to NPA Boss

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The Overlord of the Waala Traditional Area, Wa Naa Fuseini Pelpuo IV, has called on the Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to come to the aid of schools in the Upper West Region, and the Wa Municipality in particular, in the area of furniture.

Welcoming the NPA boss, Sheikh Dr. Mustapha Abdul Hamid, in a recent working visit to the Upper West Region, the Wa Naa through his secretary bemoaned some challenges bedeviling his traditional area and the region in general including the lack of furniture in schools and the lack of potable drinking water in some communities. He thus appealed to Dr. Mustapha to use his good office to support in addressing some of the challenges. He said the lack of furniture for students to sit and study affect their academic performance which consequently can affect the growth and development of the region.

While praising the efforts of the Upper West Regional Minister and the Wa Municipal Chief Executive in attracting and implementing “some of government’s social intervention and pro-poor policies in the region and the municipality” Naa Pelpuo IV added that “we can still do more”. The Overlord underscored the impact of these policies in the lives of the people, saying they “have brought relief to the people” and that, “but for Covid-19, we would have been much better”.

The Overlord of Wa and its environs expressed belief in the ability of Dr. Mustapha Abdul Hamid to flourish in office as NPA boss. He nonetheless pledged to offer whatever support that will be required by Dr. Mustapha to deliver on his mandate.

The former Information Minister as part of his familiarization tour of the country in his new role as the CEO of NPA paid a courtesy call to the Palace to introduce himself to the Wa Naa. He said the visit was necessary to help him understand the operations of the Authority and enable him formulate a better vision for the petroleum sector in a bid to ensuring that the country and the Upper West region in particular, is served with petroleum products of high quality.

Sheikh Abdul Hamid described the recent fuel hikes as a “worldwide phenomenon” explaining that, supply of the products is not meeting the demand for same. He however was confident that the work being done by president Akufo-Addo will in due course stabilize the situation and bring relief to consumers of petroleum products in Ghana.

Prices of fuel have seen steady rise in recent times with a litre of petrol and diesel currently selling at GHS7.99.

WA EAST: Inadequate Classrooms And Lack of Furniture Affecting Effective Academic Work At Sogla Basic Schools

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Sogla Dilapidated Primary School

Inadequate infrastructure and total lack of furniture are the major hindrances to effective teaching and learning in Sogla Primary and Junior High Schools in the Wa East District of the Upper West Region. Speaking to W93.5fm, the P. T.A’s Chairman of the school, Mr. Iddrisu lamented that the school is battling adversely with infrastructure deficit that needs urgent attention. According to him, the parents as a result of the dire nature of school infrastructure had mobilized themselves internally and erected sheds to accommodate the children as a temporal measure towards ameliorating their wards’ plight. He bemoans further that, their wards were exposed to harsh weather condition, especially the North-East Trade Wind (Hamattan) season and will not spared when the rainy season sets in, if nothing helpful from government, philanthropists or an NGO. ‘Our school classrooms are not sufficient and as a result, we have mobilized ourselves internally to put up this shed as a temporal structure to shelter our children for academic purposes. We are appealing to the government, philanthropists and Non-Governmental Organizations to come and rescue our children from the harsh weather condition they are exposed to due to inadequate befitting classrooms’’, Mr. Iddrisu prayed. The parents also cited the unavailability of electricity in the community and lack of accommodation for teachers as disincentives to both existing and newly posted teachers to the school. ‘Lack of Teachers’ Bungalow coupled with the absence of electricity demotivate newly posted teachers from accepting posting to school with the existing ones seeking transfers to communities with satisfied social amenities’’, another parent observed.
Touching on the furniture situation in the school, the residents revealed that, the school could not boast of single furniture for both teachers and pupils, compelling the pupils to either squat or lie flat on the floor with their stomachs while learning. ‘

The school has no single furniture for both teachers and pupils to sit on for any meaningful teaching and learning. As a result, the children are always on their knees or lying flat with their stomach on the floor while learning. Sometimes we wonder whether we have leaders’, another parent stated. The population of the two schools cumulatively is about two hundred pupils. Parents in the Sogla community in the Wa East District of the Upper West Region are therefore appealing to the District Chief Executive of Wa East District Assembly; Hon. Dr. Suleman Ewurah, the Member of Parliament for the Wa East Constituency; Dr. Godfred Seidu Jasaw, philanthropists and Non-Governmental Organizations to come their aid.

Ethnocentric withdrawal of Bagbin’s military detail won’t affect his vision of a transparent and accountable governance – NDC

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The opposition National Democratic Congress party in the Nadowli/Kaleo Constituency has described as dishonest and shameful the withdrawal of military personnel who were part of the security detail of the Rt. Hon Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin. The reasons given for the withdrawal of the four military officers, according to the NDC, are lame and no right-thinking member of the society will accept it.

At a press conference addressed by the Constituency Communication Officer, Biekpe Sylvester, the NDC chided Nana Akufo-Addo and his government for instigating such an action and defending same through the Minister of National Security with reasons that contradict that of the Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces who effected the withdrawal.

The NDC Communicator, BT Sly as he is affectionately called expressed the party’s disappointment at how Hon Bagbin is being subjected to ill-treatment by government representatives and their assigns ever since he was elected Speaker of the eighth Parliament. BT Sly said the latest action “has the tendency of hindering the promotion of the concept of the separation of powers and will definitely affect democratic governance”.

While alleging that the withdrawal of the military personnel is done by the government to compromise Mr. Bagbin’s security in an attempt to “execute a sinister agenda against his life and family”, Mr. Biekpe was optimistic that the Rt. Hon Speaker’s resolve to ensure a functional democracy and the rule of law will not be affected. He assured Mr. Speaker of the party’s support and urged him not to “succumb to any pressure [from] government to deny the people of Ghana, his vision of an open transparent and accountable governance”.

BT Sly also claimed the development was borne out of hatred for the Speaker and because he is from northern Ghana. He thus called on the chiefs and people of the five regions of the North to rise against the ethnocentrism and hatred for the Rt. Hon Speaker simply because of where he hails from.

Mr. Biekpe lamented the discrimination meted out to Lawyer Bagbin and questioned why other Article 71 office holders such as the chairpersons of the Electoral Commission, judges, the Special Prosecutor, ministers and even chiefs and pastors will have military protection but the Speaker who is the third gentleman of the land cannot have same.

The press conference was held on Wednesday, January 19,2021 at Sombo, hometown of Alban Bagbin, in the Nadowli/Kaleo district of the Upper West Region.

Some residents also expressed their frustrations about the withdrawal of the military detail attached to the Speaker’s office. They wondered why such an action should be taken knowing very well that could open the life of their son to danger. They therefore urged the government to rescind the decision and restore the military detail attached to the Speaker’s office.

UW/R: GRNMA declares zero tolerance for unfair treatment as it awards 70 members for outstanding performance

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The Upper West regional branch of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) has sent a strong warning to representatives of its employer to desist from trying to intimidate nurses and midwives as they discharge their duties. According to the Association, its members are still faced with threats from employer representatives, a development they vow to continually resist.

Speaking at the 2021 edition of the Upper West GRNMA Best Nurse/Midwife Awards Ceremony held Thursday, January 20, 2022, at the regional secretariat in Wa, the Regional Chairman for the GRNMA-UWR, Mr. Lawrence Bagrmwin said they will no longer tolerate any ill-treatment by government representatives. “Many employer representatives continue to intimidate our members with threats and unfair treatment, in many of the instances, against the employer’s own policies”. He stated, adding that, “as a region, we have declared zero tolerance for unfair treatment for our members”.

Mr. Bagrmwin also lamented the death of some of their colleagues in the year under review with some occurring in the line of duty. He bemoaned the lack of information on “the causes of death of these fallen heroes”, adding that they “have no idea if the employer has put in any measures towards eliminating such deaths”.

The chairman reminded government of its commitment to absorb 50% of the cost of treatment not covered by the national health insurance scheme (NHIS) for sick nurses and midwives. “We are still receiving countless applications for support for sick members for conditions outside the remit of the NHIS. We are yet to hear from these applicants, the employer’s commitment of 50% support agreed in the bargaining agreement.” He demanded from the employer to do better than donating coffins for the burial of fallen nurses and midwives.

Speaking to the theme of the ceremony, “Rediscovering the Ethics of Nursing, a Step to Nursing the People of Upper West Region to Health”, the District Director of Health Services in the Nadowli/Kaleo District, Phoebe Balaguyetumeh identified poor quality pre-training, erratic flow of funds, poor remuneration and politicisation and polarisation of nursing as some of the causes accounting for the lost in ethics.

While calling on government to provide the necessary material and human resources for pre-training and the necessary logistics for health facilities, Madam Phoebe charged midwives and nurses to be professional and take the code of ethics for nursing as their bible in the delivery of services. She said to be able to rediscover the lost ethics, nurses must first appreciate the uniqueness of the people of the Upper West region; their cultural and religious beliefs, and not compare them to others elsewhere.

The Nadowli/Kaleo DDHS cautioned nurses to be mindful of their dress code as it is an important professional identity and a major component of the ethics. She advised them to wear the prescribed dress to work as that will not only make them look decent but also protect them from contracting diseases.

Ms Balaguyetumeh further underscored the need for nurses, in the discharge of their duties, to strengthen communication with patients/clients and respect their dignity and rights. She urged them to “avoid being used by politicians because tomorrow they will not be there, but you will remain a nurse”.

Madam Phoebe concluded by calling on the nurses to have a “paradigm shift from altruistic to business model where the client is seen as a customer” in order to improve the image of nursing in the Upper West Region.

The Awards

The awards ceremony, the second edition, recognised seventy (70) midwives and nurses from the various districts/municipalities for their tremendous efforts in the year 2021, with the overall regional best emerging from the Wa East district. In addition to this, thirteen (13) honorary and union leadership awards were given to various individuals for their contribution to healthcare delivery in the region and their dedicated services to the GRNMA.

The awards were categorised into specialties, districts, and regional awards with awardees going home with various items including citations, gas cylinders, burners and television sets.

GILANG DAM: CONTRACTOR MOVES TO SITE FOR COMMENCEMENT OF WORK

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The Construction Company, Gurima Twins Company Ltd, in charge of constructing Gilang Irrigation Dam in the Wa East District, has moved to site to commence actual work. Speaking to the media during the commencement of work on the site, the Project’s Manager, Mr. Anthony Abubakari, assures the chief and people of Gilang that, the project will be executed on schedule. According to him, out of the twelve month duration, he expressed optimism of finishing the project within eight months without compromising quality. He however, appealed for the cooperation and support of the community for a successful execution of the project.

Chief & residents of Gilang

The Assembly Member for the Area, Hon. Attawulahi Ibrahim Kamintanye, on his part, underscored some of the economic benefits the project wil bring to the beneficiary communities when completed. According to him, the able bodied men and women can engage in dry season gardening and livestock will also have easy access to water.

The District Chief Executive for the Wa East District Assembly, Hon Dr. Suleman Ewurah Kandia Mahama in December last cut sod for the construction of the dam and a similar one at Tuasah; both in the Wa East District.

WE ARE DISAPPOINTED IN NPP AND GOVERNMENT – BUSA YOUTH ASSOCIATION

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Youth of Busa, a “stronghold” of the NPP in the Wa central constituency and hometown of NPP’s founding member, B.K Adama, have expressed extreme disappointment in the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) for blatantly snubbing them on the occasion of their maiden “Homecoming” event.

Lead organizer of the event, Adams Toufique said he could not fathom why the NPP and government chose to embarrass a community that has been loyal to them on such an important day. Mr. Toufique explained that invites were duly served on the Upper West Regional Minister, the Wa Municipal Chief Executive and the NPP, yet the party decided to “boycott” the event. “I was personally part of the team that delivered the invites to the Regional Minister and MCE. We even followed up and the MCE particularly asked that I help draft his speech; which I did. Even today (day of the event) I spoke with the MCE, so what justification can they have?” he quizzed.

Mr. Toufique said the youth were however consoled by the massive representation from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and other luminaries. “Although it was embarrassing, the NDC showed up in their numbers to support us; very important personalities including the Regional Chairman, Wa Central constituency chairman and former Ambassador Khalid are all here to support us” he added.

NDC Regional chairman buying a T Shirt at the event

Meanwhile, information from the NPP secretariat says the party is unhappy about the situation, citing communication gaps as a possible cause.

Assembly member for Busa electoral area, Mwineyela Mahama expressed his satisfaction over the high turnout at the event. Hon. Mahama hinted that, the “homecoming” will be an annual event aimed at promoting unity and peaceful coexistence among natives and also bring together all persons of Busa origin to set a developmental agenda for the community.

Hon. Mahama

At the maiden event, it was resolved to construct a community library and also prioritize the training of some unskilled youth in the community. “Our developmental priority is to construct a community library. We also wish to finance the training of some of our youth with employable skills”

BUSA YOUTH HOLDS MAIDEN HOMECOMING EVENT

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Natives of Busa; living in and outside Busa community today 28th December, 2021 held a maiden home coming event at the instance of Busa youth Association. The “homecoming” event according to organizers is meant to foster unity and peaceful coexistence among natives and also bring together all persons of Busa origin to set a developmental agenda for the community.

Some female participants posing for a picture

At the maiden event, it was resolved to build a community library and also prioritize the training of some unskilled youth in the community. “Our developmental priority is to construct a community library; we also wish to finance the training of some of our youth with employable skills”

Lead organizer, Adams Toufique explained that the event will rekindle the spirit of patriotism especially among the youth which is a prerequisite in every progressive community, “growing up, our fathers could set aside their differences and work for the progress of Busa. It was through unity and patriotism that our fathers built this community” he said.

Adams Toufique

Adam Toufique expressed satisfaction over the impressive turn up but was quick to convey his disappointment over government’s (NPP) “boycott” of the programme. He said “no government official or NPP functionary showed up for the function although we duly invited them”. He particularly mentioned the Upper West regional minister and the Municipal Chief Executive as some government officials who blatantly refused to honour the invitation. On the other hand, the opposition NDC was duly represented by its Regional chairman in the company of the Wa central constituency chairman and other party functionaries.

Assembly member for Busa electoral area, Mwinyela Mahama could not hide his joy over the event. He said the success of the event has reaffirmed his hopes in a united Busa community.

Hon. Mahama

Hon. Mahama mentioned some potentials of the community including tourism, which can draw investors and developmental partners to the community.

Some tourist attractions in Busa

He reiterated the disappointment of his community over government’s total boycott of the event.

The event brought together hundreds of people of Busa origin including Chiefs, educationists, entrepreneurs and politicians among others

We won’t tolerate any needless attacks on Speaker Bagbin again – Upper West Youth warns NPP

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Some concerned youth in the Upper West region has demanded an immediate stop to the unwarranted vitriolic attacks on the persona of the Rt. Hon Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sunmana Kingsford Bagbin, and by extension, the people of the Upper West region by the government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its assigns.

According to the group at a press conference held in Wa Tuesday, December 28, 2021, the continuous needless attacks on the first opposition Speaker are just a calculated attempt to denigrate the reputation of the Speaker, and a smear campaign to cause public disaffection for him. They describe the attacks on Alban Bagbin as an attack on the people of the Upper West region and thus vow not to tolerate it any longer.

“We see these targeted attacks on the Speaker as attacks on the entirety of the Upper West Region, and as youth, we cannot continue to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear anymore”, they stated.

The group described the Rt. Hon Speaker as an institution who is well grounded with parliamentary practices and procedures, and respected the world over for his prowess in the lawmaking business. It therefore comes as a surprise to them why such unreasonable attacks will be meted out on the Speaker just because he is carrying out his lawful duties to safeguard the laws and the citizens of Ghana.

The youth expressed their belief that Alban Bagbin will not frustrate government business as the Speaker, same way “he will not allow himself to be pushed around as an appendage of the Executive”. They further believe that with the kind of parliament Ghanaians voted for, the best person to help realize its benefits is Alban Bagbin who has seen it all in Parliament.

They posited that, the ill-intended allegations and claims against the Speaker by individuals in government will not wash, and that blaming the Speaker for the obstruction of government business in the House is a coverup for the failed leadership of the Majority group in Parliament to ensure the prosecution of the government business as required of them.

The group noted that, they are not against constructive criticisms against the Speaker, what they would not take, however, is the ungrounded attacks and invectives hurled at the Speaker. While registering their displeasure at the unprovoked attacks on the Speaker by the NPP and their apparatchiks, the group urged the Majority group in Parliament to learn how to build consensus with the Minority rather than engaging in vile propaganda against the venerable Alban S.K Bagbin. They indicated that, the only way the business of the “limping and inept” government can progress steadily in the House is through effective and necessary dialogue and consensus building.

The concerned youth also hailed and commended the NDC caucus in Parliament for standing against the passage of the “monstrous and obnoxious E-levy bill into law”. They said such resilience by the Minority group is needed going forward to protect the interest of ordinary Ghanaians against bad policies by the government.

The press conference was organized by a cross-section of youth in the region and addressed by Awudu Ishaq, the National Communication Secretary of the Peoples National Convention (PNC).

Fighting Climate Change: EU-REACH Project impacts heavily, introduces Conservation Agriculture to 14 districts in Northern Ghana

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Northern Ghana has seen a major boost in the fight against Climate Change as fourteen (14) districts in the Savannah Ecological Zone have been introduced to better ways of farming to help mitigate the consequences of climate change.

In a bid to improving environmental-friendly farming, the Resilience Against Climate Change (REACH), a project being funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the GIZ, has introduced Conservation Agriculture (CA) in all eleven (11) districts of the Upper West region and the Tuna-Sawla-Kalba district and the Manprugu-Moagduri district of the Savanna Region and North East region respectively. The initiative is aimed at improving agricultural productivity while addressing the effects of Climate Change through “sustainable and environmentally sound farming practices”.

The Deputy Project Manager of REACH, Simon Kunyangna, who disclosed this at a Media Engagement Workshop in Wa, noted that the REACH Project has also made available to the districts various farm machinery including jab planters (20), rippers (11), pneumatic planters (5) and tractors (4) to facilitate the implementation of Conservation Agriculture.

According to him, the Project since its inception in 2019, has introduced Conservation Agriculture to 1,800 farmers and further trained 35 Agriculture Extension Agents in “Agro-Forestry to facilitate their adoption and practice at the household and community level”.

The Deputy Project Manager also revealed that a manual on Conservation Agriculture for Ghana has been developed and will soon be introduced as a training programme at the Damongo Agriculture College, adding that “the Babile Agriculture Research Station is to be developed into a CA Centre of Excellence with all the requisite tools to promote CA adoption and practice”.

Other major interventions by the REACH project include the provision of Information Technology equipment for the gathering, storage and sharing of accurate data for development planning in the beneficiary districts and the training of staff of the districts for the judicious use of project resources. Others are the planting of 28,000 trees in 18 communities and the formation of Nature Clubs in six schools in the Upper West region which will continue in other areas to imbibe in the pupils, issues of climate change.

The Media Engagement Workshop was held to update journalists on the activities of the REACH Project and to seek ideas on how to get to more people with new knowledge in addressing climate change challenges. The workshop was attended by media practitioners operating in the project areas.

Bad rainfall pattern affected farmers negatively this year – 2021 Wa Municipal Best Farmer

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The 2021 overall best farmer for the Wa Municipality, Issahaku Tungbani, has bemoaned the bad rainfall pattern as a major setback to farmers, which affected productivity this year.

According to Mr. Tungbani, although the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) program fertilizer was helpful to farmers this year, the rainfall pattern affected their yield.

He however urged his colleague farmers not to feel despair with the happenings and rather learn from it going into the next farming season. He further called on them to farm hand in hand with the agricultural experts and/or Extension Officers to get the best out of their farms.

Corroborating the claim at the 37th farmers day celebration under the theme “Planting for Food and Jobs – Consolidation Food Systems In Ghana” at Biihee, the Wa Municipal Chief Executive, Ahaji Issahaku Tahiru Moomin said the rainfall pattern favoured legumes and groundnuts to the disadvantage of other crops.

“With the high dependency on rainfed agriculture systems, the beginning of the rainy season saw a fairly stable rainfall pattern that favoured legumes production. Our preliminary yield figures of 2021 so far indicate an increase in groundnuts and cowpea production, 2.4 ton/ha and 2.4 ton/ha respectively. This indicates marginal increase in the two crops. However heavy rain witnessed in the month of August and September affected some crops especially maize and rice”.

Alhai Tahiru Moomin further indicated that, the PFJ program has triggered a marginal increase in acreage from 35,000 acres to 35,612 acres this year with a total of 77,269 beneficiaries, 60,680 represents males while 16, 589 females.

The Municipal Chief Executive used the opportunity to call on the masses to desist from indiscriminate bush burning this harmattan to avoid destroying farm produce and properties.

WA EAST; DCE OPENS 19KM VIRGIN ROAD TO BELEKPONG

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The District Chief Executive for Wa East District in the Upper West Region, Dr Ewurah Sulemani Kandia has cut-sod for the opening of a 19km Virgin Road from Kundugu to Belekpong in the Wa East District.

Hon. Ewurah Sulemani Kandia

The 19km government of Ghana funded road will link about three communities; Chawuli, Jabaga and Belekpong. This, according to the DCE is part of the government of Ghana’s effort to improve economic activities in the area.
Dr Ewurah Sulemani Mahama Kandia described the “opening” of the road as a sigh of relieve to the beneficiary communities. ” The people here have yerned for the construction of this road for a very long time, so seeing work commence on the road gives them so much joy” he said. Dr. Kandia used the opportunity to express his profound gratitude to His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and NPP government for the initiative.
The DCE further cautioned the contractor (ASHCAL general trading and construction) to work in cordiality with the communities to deliver nothing but quality work.
He equally assured the contractor of the assembly’s cooperation.
On his part, the Assembly member of the area Hon Dramani Kofi Hashim disclosed that, between June/July 2021 every year(rainy season), the people of Belekpong and it’s adjoining communities could not access the market at kundugu; which is the major trading hub in the area. “Bellekpong and other communities along the road are cut off from accessing health services and social amenities in Kundugu” he added.
Balibie Abu Iddirisu a commuter alleged that two persons lost their lives whiles attempting to cross the stormy waters during the rainy season to their farms. He noted that the lack of motorable road from Kundugu to Belekpong has denied several pregnant women health care.

Commuters on the road

The engineer at ASHCAL general trading and construction Michael Tuoyang assured the community of quality work and a good working relationship during the periods of the road construction. He however indicated that, since it is a Virgin road, the estimates and duration of the project will be ascertained after the clearing of the road.

NPP Women Organizer aspirant donates to St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Jirapa

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A former regional women organizer aspirant of the New Patriotic Party in the Upper West region, Madam Mieri Yakubu popularly known as Nnaa Gbangbin, has supported orphans at the St. Joseph’s Home with assorted items amounting about 2,000.00 cedis. The donated items included cartons of soft drinks, diapers, detergents, biscuits, milo and milk.

Donating the items last Saturday, October, 23, 2021 at the Home, Nnaa Gbangbin, who intends to run again for the leadership of the women, said it was out of benevolence having thought about how difficult it is to cater for one child, not to talk of many at the tender ages. She praised the mothers at the orphanage for their efforts at ensuring the underprivileged and motherless children are well catered for, and promised she will continue to remember the children in various endeavors.

The women organizer aspirant further indicated her resolve to return to the orphanage in due course, saying “this will not be the last time”. She pledged to talk to her friends about the Home and further called on others to see the need to support the orphanage, however small it may be.

Caretaker of the Orphanage, Sister Lydia, expressed gratitude for the kind gesture and prayed for God’s blessings for Nnaa Gbangbin in all her endeavors. “We pray that God will bless you abundantly. What has come out [from you to us] may come in doubles”. The reverend sister pledged that the donated items will judiciously be used for the intended purpose.

While thanking the philanthropic NPP stalwart, Sister Lydia mentioned feeding, diapers and detergents as the major items that sometimes pose as a challenge at the Home. She also lamented on the lack of enough mothers to take care of the children at certain times. She thus called on the general public for support and urged mothers to commit their services at the Orphanage.

Sister Lydia was full of praise for the general public for their continuous support, but like Oliver Twist, asks for more. She acknowledged the help from people in the Upper West region as well as outside the region and the country.

The St. Joseph’s Orphanage has 17 children comprising 11 males and 6 females, with three set of twins. The caretaker said once the children mature, their parents or extended families come for them. She indicated that not all the children are motherless. “Some of them have mothers. [It is] just that some mothers at the time of birth do not have the right conditions to cater for the children”. For this reason, some of the children are taken in and when they mature, they go back to the mothers. The Orphanage, according to Sister Lydia, is opened to all children irrespective of where they come from or their tribe.

Give Fertile Lands to Women for Farming – NYWE appeals

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The chairperson for the Network for Young Woman Empowerment (NYWE), Ida Nakaar, has appealed to the chiefs and landlords in the Upper West Region to give the woman farmer fertile lands for farming. This she calls growing together with women for collective development.

According to her, determined women farmers end up losing hope in farming because, continuously they are offered less productive lands for their farming activities. She thus placed a hearty call to traditional authorities to release fertile lands to women farmers. This will at least reduce the challenges being faced by the rural women, she said.

Miss Nakaar made the appeal during a capacity building workshop organized by the NYWE in the Upper West Region to mark this year’s International Rural Women Day. The celebration was themed, “Recognizing the Critical Role and Contribution of Rural Women in Agriculture”

Madam Ida noted that, the over politicization of good policies like the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative is denying the rural women from reaping the benefits of the program. She nonetheless urged the rural women not to relent in their efforts despite the many challenges confronting them.

On her part, Vivian Danuor, an Agronomist and Agribusiness development adviser challenged the rural women to identify their strengths and work on them. She encouraged them to speak out their challenges so as to get them addressed better. Madam Danour further urged the women to embrace technology to sell their farm produce, noting that, technology will open the rural woman to the rest of the world.

Meanwhile the Regional Officer at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) in charge of Women in Agricultural Development, Barikisu Alhassan Jangu, advised the rural women to ensure that, the right combination of food stuff is employed in cooking nutritious meals for themselves and their families. This will help maintain their strength and keep them healthy to continue producing to feed the rest of the nation, she indicated.

Madam Leticia Salia, a participant, thanked the organizers for the workshop which she described as educative and interactive. She used the opportunity to appeal to stakeholders in the agricultural sector to support women in farming more especially with the right fertilizers and mode of application.

The village is not a limitation – Lanchene inspires final year pupils

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The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Wa West Constituency, Supt. (rtd) Peter Lanchene Toobu has admonished final year Junior High School (JHS) pupils in the Wa West District to turn any stumbling block(s) into stepping stones by excelling in the upcoming Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

Mr. Lanchene made the call during an interaction with pupils of Gurungu D/A JHS in the district.

Hon. Peter Lanchene Toobu at Gurungu D/A JHS

The pupils, among other things, mentioned the lack of electricity, insufficient furniture and textbooks as some of the issues affecting their studies. After listening to the pupils on the state of the school’s infrastructure and other challenges, the inspirational lawmaker described the concerns as legitimate, but advised them not to allow those challenges to affect their education. According to Mr Lanchene, although the pupils consider themselves less privileged, the “village” tag is not an excuse for them to underperform in their education. “The village is not a limitation to your future ambitions”, he encouraged.

The pupils were thankful to the MP for his enormous contributions towards uplifting educational standards in the district. These interventions include the renovation of some school blocks, donation of furniture and exercise books and, importantly, singlehandedly sponsoring this year’s mock exams.
Mr. Lanchene in partnership with the Wa West District Education Directorate has organized a “trial” examination dubbed “MP’s Mock” for all final year JHS pupils in the district who will be sitting for the BECE this year.

In a related development, the retired Police Superintendent, Peter Lanchene Toobu, has renovated and handed over all nine classrooms of the Ponyentanga R/C primary school, where he had his basic education.

Renovated school block at Ponyentanga

The once dilapidated school had its classrooms’ doors and windows replaced, floors and walls patched and the entire block painted, the headmistress told W93.5fm.

One of the classrooms before the renovation

Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Peter Toobu said the gesture was part of his efforts to contribute to the growth and development of his alma mater.

Hon. Peter Lanchene Toobu at work

UW/R: Farmers lament high cost of labour, likely to increase prices of produce

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As the harvesting of farm produce is earnestly in progress across the Upper West region, some groundnut farmers have bemoaned the high cost of labour for the 2021 farming season and intimated its potential of pushing prices of their produce upwards after harvest.

Farmers in various communities of the Upper West Region could not hide their fears of incurring losses with the increase in the cost of farm labour especially that the heavy rains in the region is making mature groundnut to regerminate before harvest.

According to Chris Danbaa from Tibani, a fariming settlement in the Nadowli/Kaleo District, farm labour has been costly aside getting a tractor to plough an acre for GH¢120.00. He said sowing an acre with groundnut cost GH¢80.00, and this is based on consideration. During this harvesting, he has to engage young men at the cost of GH¢100.00 to help in uprooting the groundnut while those, mostly women, who pluck the nuts take not less GH¢6.00 for a basin of nuts harvested. Some charge GH¢8.00 for larger basins, he said.

On her part, Agaata Lawri, a female farmer, said the challenges confronting groundnut farmers this season are enormous. She also cited the difficulty and high cost in getting tractor to plough the land, the “bad” rainfall pattern and high cost of labour in sowing through to harvesting. She indicated that, the floods this year have destroyed most of the groundnut while some tend to germinate, and a chunk of the few they are able to salvage going to service labour cost.

Cecilia Christopher, another female farmer, corroborating her colleague farmers noted that every menial work on the farm has increased between GH¢1.00 to GH¢3.00. For her, she has taken the option of a barter when it comes to the picking of the nuts, where people are paid with a quantity of the nuts they pluck. This option is still expensive to her as three measuring bowls (“kokolaa”) in quantity are taken for a medium size basin. She said this will reduce the produce greatly, which may make it difficult to break even.

In the Wa Municipality, Seidu Kashir from Jonga stated that farm labour cost is higher this year compared to that of last year. He posited that, “a per day labour for sowing is GH¢12.00 and it takes eight people to sow an acre and weeding in between the groundnuts now goes for GH¢100.00”. Picking of the nuts according to him is dependent on the distance of the farm from home. “Some take as much as GH¢10.00 for plucking a basin (medium size) of groundnut”. The farmer added that, when one is able to transport the uprooted groundnuts to the house for plucking, the labourers take GH¢5.00 or GH¢6.00 depending on once relationship with them and the bargaining skills.

The farmers considering these factors have indicated that the price of groundnut is more likely to increase this year. They said that is necessary in order to help them achieve breakeven or at best reduce their losses. It is their belief that, the rise in the cost of harvesting groundnut is as a result of the urgency farmers have attached to it because of the regermination of the farms caused by the heavy rains this season. This therefore pushed demand for labour high without corresponding supply as other hands are engaged in their own farms.