Friday, February 29, 2008


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

RESIDENTS of the Tamale Metropolis have expressed concern over the frequent power outages in the area in recent times.
They described the situation as “unbearable” and wondered why after the recent increases in electricity tariffs, authorities had still not improved their services.
Others also blamed the Volta River Authority (VRA) for its inability to explain their actions to the public.
The residents told the Daily Graphic that the frequent power outages had damaged some of the electrical appliances in their homes, stores and offices.
Others complained about what they described as “exorbitant tariffs” being charged by the ECG, making “us the poor consumers, poorer”.
The situation has compelled some businessmen and women, as well as shop owners, to resort to the use of generators to sustain their respective businesses.
The situation has also given rise to the sale of generators by most shops in the central business district (CBD) of the metropolis.
Some sales personnel told this reporter that the business was worth venturing into and indicated that sales had picked up.
Prices of generators range from GH¢180 to GH¢600 depending on the capacity and size.
Brands of generators on the market include Honda, Tigmax and Tiger.
A businessman who deals in stationery and also operates a cold store in the metropolis stated, “I don’t mind buying and fuelling my generator for my business because it enhances my sales, even during power outages”.
Attempts to contact officials of the VRA for their comments on the situation proved futile.


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

STAKEHOLDERS in the arts and crafts industry have completed a two-day consultative workshop in Tamale on the development of a database for the sector.
The workshop, which was organised by the Centre for National Culture (CNC) under the Cultural Initiatives Support Programme (CISP), among other objectives, was aimed at equipping the participants with the requisite skills to enable them to support a data-gathering exercise on the arts and crafts industry to help develop the sector on a more sustainable basis.
The participants, who were from the Brong Ahafo, Ashanti and the three northern regions, discussed such issues as community protected areas, the Ghana cultural framework and the need for a database.
The Director of Finance and Administration of the CNC, Mr Michael Attipoe, said lack of funding was a major challenge to executing plans in his outfit.
“I must, however, say that the CISP would go a long way in solving the problem of funding, if only we are able to present our case in a scientific manner,” he added.
He announced that the CNC was collaborating with the management of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to come out with a programme to telecast how marriages were conducted among the various tribes in Ghana.
“Marriage is the key to holding this nation together and we have to educate our people on all the various forms of marriages we have in this country”, he further stated.
The Programme Co-ordinator of CISP, Mr Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, said the “dynamics of our nation shows that culture is the bedrock of the country’s development”.
He, however, expressed regret that over the years the sector had been relegated to the background by successive governments.
The Northern Regional Director of the CNC, Mr James Adabugah, stressed the need for the preservation of the positive aspects of “our cultural heritage” to ensure that they were well marketed to the outside world.


STORY: Vincent Adedze, Bontinle

THE British Army with support from two non-governmental organisations operating in the Northern Region is providing two boreholes to serve three communities in the Tolon-Kumbungu District.
The beneficiary communities are Bontinle, Namdu and Song, which have been identified as deprived and lack adequate potable water.
The project, estimated at 30,000 pounds, is being implemented under the “water endeavour 2007” programme of the British Army.
A 12-member “521” specialist team of royal engineers in water development of the British Army led by the Task Officer, Captain Paul Golding, are executing the project with support from five Ghanaian soldiers.
Captain Golding told the Daily Graphic in an interview at Bontinle that the team would be in the Northern Region for about two months during which it would complete drilling and installation of the boreholes.
According to him, Kings Village and the World Vision were supporting the team to complete the project on schedule.
He further stated that the British High Commission had also supported the team to enhance the early completion of the project.
“Although we have completed feasibility studies about the area, we are aware that hitting water was much difficult in the north because we realised that the geology of the Northern Region is very challenging,” Captain Golding stated.
He said the decision to provide potable water to communities in northern Ghana was based on the fact that a significant number of the communities lacked potable water.
The officer further announced the intention of his outfit to provide 30 household latrines to selected communities in the Tolon-Kumbungu District.
Some of the residents at Bontinle, who witnessed the borehole drilling process, expressed their gratitude to the British Army for the gesture.
They, however, appealed to the team to help rehabilitate some broken-down boreholes in the area that had not been repaired for years.


Story: Vincent Adedze, Walewale

THE people of Walshie and Nogmado in the Tolon-Kumbungu and Zabzugu-Tatale districts, respectively, of the Northern Region are now enjoying potable.
This follows the provision of boreholes estimated at $500,000 by World Vision (WV) Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), under the Ghana Rural Water Project of the West Africa Water Initiative (WAWI).
A US national, Mr David Dornsife, and his wife, Deina, provided additional equipment such as rigs at an estimated cost of $1.2 million to facilitate the drilling of the boreholes in the beneficiary communities.
In all, five borehole facilities have been constructed at vantage points at Walshie, while one of the facilities has been sited at Nogmado.
The facilities are likely to cater for about 1,221 people in the beneficiary communities who are predominantly farmers.
In his address during the inauguration of the facilities, the National Director of WV, Mr Sam Asare, said for the past 30 years, Mr and Mrs Dornsife had been supporting his outfit in the provision of water facilities in some African countries like Senegal, Mauritania, Ghana and Niger.
“The couple have provided seven rigs for the drilling of the boreholes in the two communities and we must commend them for their efforts at supporting our development efforts,” Mr Asare stated.
He urged the beneficiary communities to take good care of the facilities and assured the people that the staff of the WV in the areas would support them in maintaining them.
“We are very excited to be here; we have seen how facilities such as boreholes could make a positive impact in the lives of rural people,” the couple said.
They expressed optimism that the provision of the facilities would help prevent water-borne diseases among the people and improve upon their quality of life.
The Tolon-Kumbungu District Chief Executive, Mr Wahab Suhiyini Wumbei, stated that it was very difficult to hit water in the district during the drilling of the borehole.
He, however, stated that 33 high-yielding borehole facilities had so far been provided in the district through the collaborative efforts of development partners and the district assembly.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

Some residents of Gurugu, a suburb of Tamale, were thrown into a state of confusion when they woke up on Thursday morning to discover that a baby had been abandoned by her mother behind a house in the area.
The baby girl, believed to be four days old, was said to have been dumped by her mother under a flower plant behind house number GUR 88. The baby looked exhausted and weak as it had not been fed for hours.
She was found by two girls, one of whom was hawking tomatoes in the area. One of the girls, Aisha Alidu, 10, who was apparently playing around the house, was the first to see the baby but she stood staring at the baby not knowing what to do until Asana Ibrahim came out of the house to meet her.
Asana then went back into the house and reported what she had seen to a woman, Asibi Nsu, a tenant of the house. Asibi subsequently went and picked the baby from the ground and rang the police who came and took custody of the baby.
When contacted later, an investigator of the Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) of the Ghana Police Service, Madam Jamila Ahmed, indicated that the baby was sent to the Department of Social Welfare where a medical examination was conducted on her and it was detected that her temperature was abnormally high.
The investigator stated that the baby was currently receiving care and attention at the Nyohini Children’s Home.
According to Madam  Ahmed, no arrests had been made so far but indicated that further examination on the child revealed that the baby was delivered at a health facility.
Earlier, when this reporter visited the area, a good number of residents had gathered at the place where the baby was abandoned discussing the matter.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

FOR the past one week, a number of institutions and human rights activists in the Tamale metropolis have intensified their activities to critically examine human rights and gender issues in the area.
This has become imperative because of the numerous human rights issues that are being highlighted by the media in the metropolis in recent times.
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Ghana, the Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) have all organised series of workshops aimed at addressing various forms of human rights issues in the metropolis.
Among the issues discussed by the institutions were the high incidence of torture of women suspected of witchcraft, the situation of prisoners on remand at the Tamale Central Prisons, and strategies to help improve upon women’s access to justice in the area.
Other issues that were discussed included early marriages, inheritance and non-maintenance of children. Figures showed that 57 cases of all forms of women’s rights abuse in the Northern Region were handled by FIDA between January and September last year.
According to the Northern Regional Director of CHRAJ, Mr Iddrisu Dajia, his outfit had identified a witch camp at Kukuo, a suburb of the metropolis, where 114 women suspected of being witches and 171 children were living.
“The closest example worth highlighting is the torture and humiliating treatment meted out to 18 women at Sagnarigu, a suburb of Tamale. This was allegedly perpetrated by some youth in the village,” he stated. Touching on remand prisoners at the Tamale Central Prisons, Mr Dajia indicated that as of July 3, 2007, the total number of remand prisoners was 98 and they “ were squeezed into an accommodation facility meant for only 20 people”.
“The cause of congestion at the remand prison was attributed to the delay in the trial and prosecution of suspects, especially since the regional tribunals are not yet well constituted to facilitate trials,” the director stated.
He, therefore, called for an expansion of the remand facility of the Tamale Central Prisons to address the current problem of congestion.
The Executive Director of FIDA, Madam Jane Quaye, expressed concern about delays in justice delivery, particularly on issues affecting women and children.
According to her, FIDA would petition the Inspector General of Police (IGP) over delays in the arrest and prosecution of some suspects alleged to have molested a middle-aged woman, Fati Adam, at Gburumani in the Tolon-Kumbungu District.
FIDA is currently facilitating the investigation of the case in which Fati was alleged to have bewitched her stepson leading to the son’s death for which reason she was allegedly molested and chained by her accusers to compel her to confess.
Madam Quaye’s concerns about that issue were raised during a day’s sensitisation workshop to help improve upon women’s access to justice in the Northern and Upper East regions.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Story: Vincent

THE Founder of Ananse Reach Concept (ARC), a child-driven movement, Nana Adwoa Oforiwaa Anti, has expressed concern over the poor state of school buildings in rural communities of the Northern Region.
“Wherever I travel up north, most of the school buildings I see do not have windows but small design block openings. The rooms are not very bright and this may affect the vision of children in the future,” she pointed out.
Nana Anti said this in an interview with the Daily Graphic after the movement had distributed relief items to children at Nawuri in the Northern Region.
She called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to consider changing the design of school buildings currently being put up in rural areas.
Nana Anti called on the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs to give children the needed support by providing some interventions tailored towards enhancing their total development.
The Country Co-ordinator of ARC, Madam Humu Kusum, called on parents to help inculcate in their children the sense of compassion and love for their fellow human beings.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

WOMEN’s access to justice in the three northern regions is being hampered by lack of funding and logistics.
These problems are a great challenge to both governmental and non-governmental organisations in their quest to improve on women’s access to justice.
Ironically, however, significant strides have been made in increasing women’s awareness of the need for them to get justice. Unfortunately, this awareness has not been significantly translated into increased access to justice for women as the system has been characterised by delays in justice delivery and either rightly or wrongly, lack of commitment on the part of law enforcement agencies to make justice readily available to women in the north.
It is, therefore, not surprising that the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Ghana, with support from its partners has over the years intensified its activities to help improve access to justice among women. That effort is also being hampered by lack of “donor funding”.
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) in the Northern Region, has put in place a monitoring exercise to assess the abuse of women’s rights.
Statistics made available by FIDA indicates that 100 cases of various forms of abuse of women’s rights had been recorded by the organisation in the Upper East and Northern regions as of November 2007.
The cases include inheritance, maintenance, domestic violence, widowhood rights, alleged witchcraft, threats of death, rape, defilement and threats of divorce.
The figures showed that 90 cases had been disposed of while the remaining 10 cases are still pending and yet to be disposed of although FIDA has done its best to facilitate the speedy trial of such cases.
The Upper West Region, for instance, has more cases of the abuse of women’s rights than the remaining two northern regions, but the adjudication of such cases is a major challenge to stakeholders. Lack of funding was again cited as the major problem hampering FIDA’s efforts to help provide legal aid to the thousands of women who are still facing difficulties in obtaining access to justice.
FIDA, for instance, is yet to make its presence felt in the Upper West Region and it has attributed its inability to operate effectively to lack of donor funding.
During a recent sensitisation workshop to help improve on women’s access to justice in Tamale, the Executive Director of FIDA, Madam Jane Quaye, expressed regret about delays in the arrest and prosecution of some suspects alleged to have molested a middle- aged woman, Fati Adam, at Gburumani in the Tolon-Kumbungu District.
FIDA is currently facilitating the investigation of the case in which Fati was alleged to have bewitched her stepson leading to the son’s death for which reason she was allegedly molested and chained by her accusers to compel her to confess.
A police detachment from the Northern Regional Police Command, including some officials of FIDA who subsequently went to effect the arrest of the suspects, was attacked by some residents of the community.
The irate youth also vandalised the FIDA vehicle that conveyed the officials to the community.
According to Madam Quaye, “it is two weeks now since the police took up the matter yet when you contact them they always give the excuse that they do not have the needed logistics or that they are still strategising; how can a whole police set-up get to a community to effect an arrest only to be chased out by the residents of that community?”
As part of a routine monitoring exercise conducted by CHRAJ last year, the commission found out that the Gambaga Witch Camp had 88 suspected witches and 12 children. The witch camp at Kukuo, a suburb of Tamale, has 114 women and 171 children accused of witchcraft. All these constitute human rights violation and something needs to be done to address those issues quickly.
No wonder the Regional Director of CHRAJ, Mr Iddrisu Dajia, expressed regret that “it is disturbing that only the Northern Region has witch camps in the country.”
“The human rights dimension to the situation of these women suspected of witchcraft is very serious; apart from the liberty to live freely in their natural homes and communities, their right to dignity, to own property, freedom of movement and expression are all curtailed and the stigma of being called a witch and staying as a banished person can never be compensated for”, the CHRAJ director pointed out.
But sadly, in spite of the visible abuse of women’s rights in the communities there seems to be the lack of commitment to the enforcement of laws regarding women’s rights and their access to justice.
The CHRAJ director did not mince words at all when he pointed out a typical example of a delay in justice delivery in a forced marriage case reported at the Saboba District office of the commission recently.
According to Mr Dajia, the victim, Maanya Kwaku, who was three months pregnant, was tortured to death by her brother and his colleagues for resisting their attempt to force her into marriage with a man she did not love.
The case was reported to the CHRAJ by the fiancé of the deceased. It was then referred to the Yendi police for investigations into the matter.
“But as we speak now, the alleged perpetrators are still walking freely, despite persistent calls by the commission to the police to act”, Mr Dajia said regretfully.
One question worth considering is why some police personnel seem apathetic towards the promotion of women’s rights and fail to facilitate the speedy trial of suspects who have abused the rights of women.
It is, however, heart-warming to note that a unit to promote women’s rights, the Women and Juvenile Unit of the Ghana Police Service, has been created. What is left now is for the government with support from civil society organisations to ensure that women’s rights are not relegated to the background.
That is the only way this dear nation of ours can forge ahead in her development efforts.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

A group calling itself the Mamprusi Youth of Tamale has called on the government to carry out an independent enquiry into the Bawku conflict to ensure that justice and peace are restored.
The group also expressed its displeasure at the manner in which the crisis had been handled so far, stressing that “we are tired of these senseless killing of our people and we have lost confidence in the ability of the two political leaders to play an impartial role in resolving the conflict”.
A spokesperson for the group, Mr Beiko Osman Imoro, made the call at a press conference in Tamale on the recent disturbances at Bawku.
Violence broke out between the Kusasis and Mamprusis at Sabon Gari in December last year and claimed a number of lives.
The spokesperson recounted a number of incidents that resulted in the death of two persons and wondered why the government and the security agencies had failed to unravel the mystery behind the killings.
“To the security agencies, we say we are disappointed in the seeming lack of professionalism on their part and we can only hope that the military command will also investigate the imposition of curfew and the beefing up of security at Bawku and its surroundings to prevent the conflict from escalating.
“We call on the President to caution his representatives to desist from that unholy alliance with the security agencies, since it erodes the gains that have been made to end the conflict,” the spokesperson stated.
He dismissed as untrue allegations by some Kusasi youth that Mamprusis “attacked them” and stressed the need for the government and Parliament to institute an independent enquiry into the conflict to arrest and prosecute those behind the killings and the violence.
“It is often said that justice delayed is justice denied and we do not want to believe that the inability of the government to find and punish the perpetrators is meant to deny our slain brothers justice,” he added.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

THE Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Mohammed Amin Adam, has assured children in the metropolis that the assembly is liaising with some institutions to help establish a Children’s Park equipped with recreational facilities.
He said such a move would ultimately keep children away from social vices and would enable them to contribute meaningfully to the development of their respective communities.
The MCE gave the assurance at a meeting with members of the Ananse Reach Concept (ARC), a child-related movement in Tamale.
The assurance followed an appeal made to the MCE by the ARC to evolve strategies to establish a Children’s Park in the area.
Mr Adam said although the metropolitan assembly was facing such numerous challenges as a lack of funds and getting the needed site for the park, it would still do everything within its power to provide such a facility.
“It is our duty to provide such a facility to cater for the needs of children; we are negotiating for an aircraft to be sited on the proposed park,” the MCE further stated.
According to him, the provision of such a facility was long overdue, considering its benefits to children in the metropolis.
He announced that the Tamale International and Tiyumba schools would soon be linked to schools in the United States and South Africa respectively under an exchange programme.
“I am impressed with the academic delivery, discipline and community consciousness in the two schools,” Mr Adam said.
The President of the ARC, Miss Emefa Yengbe, said the Children’s Park, if provided and managed properly, “ it will serve as a physical, mental and intellectual therapeutic facility for all children in Tamale”.
“Additionally, children in Tamale would grow up as one children and eventually one people, irrespective of our ethnic backgrounds. We should not forget that the park would bring economic benefits to our people,” she pointed out.
Miss Yengbe noted that the greatest challenge facing the children was how to acquire a track of land for the proposed park.
“We, however, promise to do our best by mobilising massive and sustained funds and material resources to adequately acquire the land,” she intimated.
The president said children’s involvement in entertainment meant for adults, their engagement in tribal sentiments, discussions, factionalism and other social vices were challenges facing the children in the metropolis.
She, therefore, emphasised that the establishment of the park would help prevent children from engaging in negative acts that would ruin their future.
The Country Co-ordinator of the ARC, Madam Humu Kusum, said her outfit, in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service, had embarked on numerous activities to educate children on how to abstain from sex until they were married.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

THE Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has evolved strategies to expose and clamp down on the activities of some individuals who are masterminding the circulation of text messages intended to cause panic and security threats in the region.
As part of the measures, the REGSEC is liaising with the national security outfit to help nip in the bud such activities in the region and arrest perpetrators of the act.
The Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Iddris, made this known in Tamale when chiefs from the Bassare Traditional Area in the Zabzugu-Tatale District called on him.
The delegation was led by the Paramount Chief of Bassare, Obore Yankosor Gariba II, and included Assembly members and other citizens of the area. The meeting was a follow-up to a letter dated December 5, 2007 asking permission through the offices of the regional minister to meet President John Agyekum Kufuor at the Osu Castle in Accra to discuss pertinent issues regarding the development of the area.
Among the issues to be discussed at the proposed meeting is a request by the Bassare chiefs for the creation of the Tatale District out of the Zabzugu-Tatale District.
Alhaji Iddris also entreated the chiefs and opinion leaders in the Abudu and Andani chieftaincy divide to always tell their subjects the truth after any discussions in Kumasi on the road map to peace in the Dagbon problem.
The minister showed to the media practitioners present a text message that he received from an anonymous person.
Alhaji Iddris cautioned “war-mongers and people who cause mischief in the region” to desist from such acts or face the full rigours of the law.
“If you create such panic situation and you succeed in sending non-natives packing out of this place, as well as scaring away potential investors, what do you think you are doing to your own region?” he asked.
The minister expressed regret that some “people in the region thrive on confusion to make money” and cautioned those individuals to put a stop to their negative acts.
“After the Ghana 2008, it is expected that we should be reaping the benefits in the few years ahead because some of the foreigners are so happy about Tamale that they are saying good things about us on various media networks like the South African Broadcasting Corporation,” Alhaji Iddris further pointed out.
He urged media practitioners to publish stories that would help market the potential of the region rather than publish negative and untrue stories about it.
The Spokesperson for the Bassare chiefs, Mr James Yanwube, thanked the President and his government for the development in their area, particularly improved road network and schools.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

THE Headmaster of the Kalpohini Senior High School, Mr Shaibu Wilberforce Adams, has called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to revert to the policy that enabled second cycle institutions to admit 30 per cent of its fresh students from the school’s locality.
According to him, most of the communities where some schools were located had expressed concern about the inability of the school authorities to consider students from their localities.
Such a measure, he said, would therefore help promote a healthy working relationship between the schools and the communities, thereby reducing to the bearest minimum petty squabbles between the two parties.
The issue of not allowing schools to admit at least 30 fresh students from their respective localities has deepened encroachment, land litigation and trespassing issues in our schools, Mr Adams observed.
Mr Adams was speaking to the Daily Graphic in Tamale on various concerns expressed regarding the Computerised Schools Selection and Placement System (CSSPS).
The headmaster, however, indicated that after the selection exercise, “there were 15 vacancies in my school, but I was given 30 students so the school had to send back the rest of them”.
A visit to a number of schools by this reporter showed that all vacancies had been filled.
“I must confess that the computerisation process has eased the pressure on heads of institutions and changed the perception of most parents that they used the selection exercise to make money,” he stated.
Currently, he said out of the 300 fresh students the school has admitted, not even 100 of them were girls and this was not the best.
Vacancies at the Tamale Senior High School (TAMASCO) and the Ghana Senior High School (GHANASCO) have all been filled up.
The Assistant Headmaster of TAMASCO, Mr Dan Biitir, indicated that most often students admitted to the school did not accept the admissions and this issue also created vacancies.
The Headmaster of GHANASCO, Alhaji Tahitu Mahama, said there were 29 vacancies after the computerisation exercise but these had been filled up.


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

INMATES and officers of the Tamale Central Prisons now have the opportunity to acquire skills in technical, vocational education and Training (TVET) through the President's Special Initiative on Distance Learning (PSI-DL).
The PSI-DL was recently inaugurated at the Tamale Prisons to enable beneficiaries of the programme to acquire skills in catering, block-laying, concreting, basic English and mathematics.
The programme has also afforded the inmates the opportunity to improve on reading and numeracy skills.
A number of items have been provided under the programme to help ensure the smooth implementation of the programme.
The items included television sets, video compact discs (VCDs), digital video disc players and VCD lesson notes on Junior High and Senior High schools’ English and Mathematics.
The Tamale Prison has thus become one of the four learning centres of the open schooling system under the PSI-DL introduced in a number of prisons in the country.
The PSI-DL was introduced in April 2002 to co-ordinate and make operational alternative models of education to complement the government's efforts to ensure that Ghana attains the target of “Education for All” by the year 2015.
In her inaugural address, the Co-ordinator of the PSI-DL, Madam Abena Agyakoma Kwarteng, said one thousand needy, poor and vulnerable students had been targeted to benefit from the pilot project.
“Eleven study centres made up of public and private vocational and technical institutions nationwide have been selected to take part in the project”, she said.
According to the co-ordinator, the open schooling TVET started on a pilot basis at the pre-tertiary level in September 2007.
“Currently, PSI-DL is telecasting on GTV science lessons, namely integrated science, physics, chemistry and biology. We anticipate transmitting 1,280 half-hour lessons under the science lessons on GTV”, she further stated.
Madam Kwarteng stated that the PSI-DL was closely collaborating with local and international institutions renowned for distance education delivery. They include the University of Education, Winneba; the Commonwealth of Learning, and Regional Training and Research Institute for Open and Distance Learning (RETRIDAL).
“PSI-DL has created learning centres in partnership with some churches, the Ghana National Association of Teachers and some non-governmental organisations. These learning centres have been equipped with television sets and video decks”, she pointed out.
The co-ordinator added that that the PSI-DL had produced VCDs from the already telecast lessons for sale to schools and the general public as learner support materials.
The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Iddris, urged beneficiaries of the programme to put the facilities to good use.
“Every Ghanaian including you can contribute meaningfully to the accelerated development of this country. The purpose of this intervention is to help integrate you into society after you are out of this place”, the minister further stated.
The Regional Commander of Prisons, Mr Erle Adjei-Koreeh observed that the intervention had come at the right time as 95 per cent of the inmates were “stark illiterates”. He, however, urged both officers and inmates to take advantage of the intervention to help improve their educational status.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Story: Vincent Adedze, Pong-Tamale

Eleven persons died in a road accident at Pong-Tamale in the Savelugu/Nanton District in the Northern Region. Nine of them died on the spot.
Among the dead are the drivers of the two vehicles involved in the accident, a pregnant woman and a young boy.
Others who sustained various degrees of injury, including a three-year-old girl who had one leg amputated, are currently receiving treatment at the Tamale Regional Hospital.
The passengers were travelling in a 70-seater bus from Accra to Bawku when it ran into a stationary tipper truck at Pong-Tamale on Thursday morning.
Names of the deceased whose bodies have been deposited at the morgue of the Tamale Hospital are Abu Ayaala Mahama, Umar Alabira (tipper truck driver), Kouri Tinga, Ali Nurudeen, Ouedraogo Bukari and Mohammed.
Five of the deceased are, however, yet to be identified.
The number of persons that escaped unhurt could not, however, be readily established but 17 persons were treated and discharged at the Savelugu Hospital.
The Northern Regional Police Commander of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU), Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Nana Kumi, told the Daily Graphic that the accident occurred at about 6 a.m. when the 70-seater bus ran into the tipper truck on the outskirts of Pong-Tamale.
He said the tipper truck, which was loaded with sand, was travelling from Walewale to Tamale.
According to the commander, the tipper truck driver, Umar Alabira, decided to park on the shoulder of the road when he sensed danger as the bus had veered off its lane into that of the truck.
Nana Kumi said the tipper truck driver was killed instantly when the bus ran into his vehicle and mangled it in the process. The driver’s mate on the bus is reported to have jumped off the bus when he sensed danger.
He said in all 20 people were on admission at the Savelugu and Tamale hospitals and another four in critical condition were receiving treatment at the Tamale Teaching Hospital.
The Regional Road Safety Co-ordinator, Mr Sumani Mbo, who led a team to the accident spot to assess the situation, entreated drivers not to drive for more than eight hours in a day.
He equally warned drivers against driving consistently for more than four hours without having at least 30 minutes of rest.
"I wish to urge vehicle owners to get spare drivers for long distance vehicles to avoid such fatal accidents and the loss of lives," Mr Mbo added.

Friday, February 1, 2008


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

THE Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Iddris, has asked various pressure groups and residents of Tamale to make the metropolis a conducive place for the successful hosting of the Ghana 2008 tournament. He warned against acts that would disturb the prevailing peace in the area.
“We should be guided by the supreme national interest and not by our parochial interests,” he said.
Alhaji Iddris gave the warning during an end-of-year get-together organised by the Tamale Collection point of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS).
The occasion was used to honour deserving CEPS staff.
He stressed: “We want Tamale to remain calm as we host the tournament; please let’s do our best to make the place a safe haven for our visitors.”
Alhaji Iddris said residents and pressure groups must respect the laws of the land and the judiciary, “a cardinal arm of government”.
“Tamale has enjoyed tranquillity for the past one and a half years and so nothing should be done to disturb the peace,” the minister further warned.
The Sector Commander, Assistant Commissioner Ernest Frimpong-Nuamah, expressed disappointment at the inability of his outfit to meet its revenue target for 2007.
“We were charged to collect GH¢46,190,000 but we could collect only GH¢44,493,908, which is negative variance of about 27.4 per cent,” he said.
He attributed the situation to low petroleum returns and the indebtedness of some oil marketing companies.
Mr Frimpong-Nuamah said, for instance, that oil companies owed the sector GH¢263,000,894 while the petroleum sector left a deficit of GH¢90,000.
He further noted that inadequate staff and activities of smugglers in areas like Makango, Salaga and Gushegu were critical areas of concern to his outfit.
“The vastness of the Northern Region, coupled with the porous nature of its terrain makes anti-smuggling operations quite difficult and dangerous and the success stories we have chalked up so far could be attributed to dedication and commitment of our officers,” the commander stated.
He further observed that the Ghana 2008 tournament posed many challenges and pressure on the collection point but expressed the determination of his outfit to intensify “our tax educational programmes”.