Sunday, November 30, 2008


PARTICIPANTS at a workshop on the Co-operative Draft Bill have entreated Parliament and other partners to facilitate the early passage of the bill into law.
They noted that, when passed into law, it would regulate and sanitise activities of co-operatives in the country and ultimately help address the numerous socio-economic and poverty problems facing people in the rural communities.
The participants further maintained that the inability of Parliament to pass the bill into law since the process was initiated in 2001 was a major source of worry to co-operative societies in Ghana.
The participants, who were mainly members of the Ghana Co-operative Council (GCC) from the three northern regions, expressed their determination to evolve strategies such as lobbying, media encounters, peaceful demonstrations and community sensitisation programmes to facilitate the process.
The workshop was organised by the GCC in Tamale, to collate views from the participants and formulate effective strategies that would ensure the early passage of the bill.
The bill re-enacts the Co-operative Societies’ Decree, 1968 (NLCD 252) and modernises it in line with the current liberalised economy.
Co-operative societies were formally introduced in Ghana in 1928 in an attempt to improve the quality of cocoa for export. They were so successful that in 1960, the co-operatives were marketing about 40 per cent of the entire crop.
According to the participants, they would lobby with support from parliamentarians, assembly members, chiefs, religious and opinion leaders, to ensure the early passage of the bill.
They urged the leadership of the GCC to do follow-up visits to trace wherever the bill was sent and facilitate its passage.
The participants noted that all annual general meetings of co-operative societies should discuss the process as a way of promoting advocacy on the passage of the Bill.
The Project Manager of the GCC, Mr Samuel Addo-Newton, expressed regret that members of co-operative societies were not committed enough to the process, hence the delay in the passage of the bill into law.
The Administrative Manager of the GCC, Mr George Gyimah, observed that lack of funds had been hampering the smooth operation of his outfit.
He, therefore, appealed to the participants to “sacrifice a little” to enhance the fortunes of the GCC.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


THE Deputy Commandant of the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) in Accra, Brigadier General Adjetey Annan, has challenged development partners and residents of the Tamale metropolis to use the technical know-how available to them to accelerate the development of the area.
He said the metropolis had enormous potential, including vast arable stretch of land that was yet to be fully developed to improve the quality of life of its citizens.
“I would be happy to retire and stay here in Tamale, because I have seen the potential of this area. Those who have negative perception about the place will later discover that they made a mistake for not investing in the area,” Brigadier General Annan further pointed out.
The commandant stated this in an interview with journalists in Tamale when he led a 17-member delegation from the GAFCSC to undertake a week-long study tour of the region.
The delegation was made up of students and staff of the GAFCSC as well as some officers from the army in Nigeria, Rwanda, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone.
The tour enabled the delegation, particularly the students to acquaint themselves with the challenges facing the region. The students are expected to use such knowledge to produce their research work as part of their training.
The delegation was briefed on the security situation in the region, the impact of guinea worm and malaria on the people, the government’s poverty intervention measures, flooding, among other issues.
I promise you that Tamale and northern Ghana, for that matter, will forever not be a land of conflict as is the perception of some people. That trend will certainly change in the years ahead, the commandant observed.
“The most important thing now is for the people to use dialogue to settle their differences and to be committed to accelerating the development agenda of the area”.
He explained that the tour was an annual affair on the academic calendar of the GAFCSC and was aimed at exposing the students to the socio-economic and political challenges facing the regions they visited.
“We are training our students for middle-level appointments in the Ghana Armed Forces; we are also training them to take up similar appointments in our neighbouring countries,” he stated.
The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, told the delegation that the region’s major challenge was security, but stressed the need for the negative perception about the region to change.
He expressed optimism that the elections would be peaceful in the region.
The Deputy Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Jacob Mahama, stated that the region had only 20 doctors at post, which, he noted, did not augur well for effective health care service in the area.
According to him, last year, 532 died of malaria, adding that poor management and inadequate funds at the district level had also hindered effective health care in rural communities.
Touching on guinea worm, Dr Mahama said there were 450 cases of the disease in the region.


A group of Accra-based musicians has urged media practitioners in the Tamale metropolis to let their reportage portray the positive issues in the metropolis and help increase investment flows into the area.
The musicians, who had visited the metropolis for the first time, made the call during an interaction with this reporter at the Jubilee Park in Tamale where a musical show dubbed: “Believe in Ghana” (BIG) was held for residents of the area.
According to the musicians, most of whom were from a gospel musical group called “No Tribe”, they had been surprised when they roamed the streets of Tamale at night and discovered that the area was well lit with streetlights which beautified the city.
They said that they never believed the metropolis could have beautiful and good roads, which they claimed were far better than those in Accra.
“My brother, living in Accra is like hell. Now that I have found Tamale, I will think of relocating to this place,” they noted.
According to them, when people in the south heard stories about disturbances in the area, it was usually portrayed as if the whole of Tamale “is burning”.
One of the musicians particularly said because he wanted to travel and see things for himself, he decided not to tell his family members where he was going for fear that they might discourage him from going to Tamale.
“In fact, you have a lot of work to do away with the bad image about the place. This is because the perception about the place down south is not good enough,” one of them advised.
They said they were surprised to see that there were Internet cafes located at strategic areas of the central business district of the metropolis.
Indeed, these musicians are not the first people to express misgivings about the negative publicity Tamale has gained over the years.
About a year ago, a group of journalists who went for a workshop in the area also expressed similar sentiments about the bad perception that people had of the area in southern Ghana.
One nagging question bothering residents of Tamale, however, is, how long will this bad perception about Tamale last? But time will certainly tell.


THE Regent of Dagbon Kampakuya-Na, Yakubu Abdulai Andani, has advised politicians not to renege on their promises when the electorate vote them into power.
“As you are aware, the electorate of today are very sophisticated and enlightened; they would keep track of all the promises made to them before the elections, hence I would advise politicians to fulfil their promises when they are given the nod” the regent stated.
The Kampakuya-Na gave the advice in Yendi when the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and his entourage called on him at his palace.
The visit formed part of the flag bearer’s latest campaign tour of the Northern Region as the date for the December general election draw nearer.
Nana Akufo-Addo also called on the Bolin-Lana, Mahamadu Abdulai, at his residence.
The Kampakuya-Na equally acknowledged that politics was fraught with “so many obstacles hence politicians could make it if they avoid listening to detractors”.
He told Nana Akufo-Addo that the Yendi town lacked social amenities like potable water and motorable roads, noting that he could provide them for the town if he remained focussed
“We are happy about your visit to Yendi and this palace and I want to assure you that we will never forget about this,” the regent further pointed out.
He advised the flag bearer to be patient as a leader and to focus on what God would direct him to do when he was elected as President of the country.
Nana Akufo-Addo for his part thanked the Kampakuya-Na for the advice and assured Ghanaians that he had too much respect for them to make promises and not fulfil them stressing that “I would make sure I fulfil them”.
According to him anytime he visited Yendi it brought back to him both sad and happy memories and thanked the chiefs and people of the area for according him the warm reception.
The flag bearer said that the Dagbon chieftaincy problem still brought back sad memories and entreated the people to forge ahead in unity despite the crisis to help restore peace and stability in the area.
“Our Nation Ghana is always stronger when Dagbon is stronger and united; therefore all well-meaning Ghanaians are hoping that all outstanding issues with regard to the chieftaincy problem would be resolved” he stressed.
The NPP Presidential hopeful also assured the people that “you have in me a true friend and I would ensure that in whatever capacity I find myself I would promote peace and unity in Yendi and for that matter in Dagbon”.
He told the Kampakuya-Na that he was a friend to his father and would always be a friend to him.
The Bolin-Lana on his part, wished the flag bearer a successful campaign tour and expressed the hope that Yendi would remain peaceful after the December 7 poll.
The NPP Vice-presidential candidate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumiah, Messrs Alan Kyeremanten, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Prince Imoro Andani, former Northern Regional Minister, Ben Bukari and Miss Gloria Akufo, Ghana’s Ambassador to Ireland, accompanied him.
The others include Alhaji Malik Yakubu Alhassan, the Member of Parliament for Yendi and Madam Grace Omaboe (Maame Dorkunu).A large number of residents in the area lined up the streets to welcome Nana and his entourage and also trooped to the two palaces as he paid separate courtesy calls on the Kampakuya-Na and Bolin-Lana.

Monday, November 24, 2008


THE Northern Regional Director of Education, Mr John Hobenu, has expressed concern about what he described as the alarming rate at which some students and pupils spend time on modern electronic gadgets such as the computer, the Internet and mobile phones.
He said by so doing, most children neglected to read books to enrich their vocabulary in the English language, adding that “they rarely make conscious efforts to read books which accounts for their abysmal performance in examinations.”
Mr Hobenu stated this at the inauguration of a book fair for the region in Tamale on Wednesday. The fair, among other objectives, was aimed at bringing together producers and end-users of books for interaction among themselves as well as providing a platform for publishers to showcase their books (past and current) for the benefit of students and pupils.
The fair was on the theme “The Child Has the Right to Read” and was jointly organised by the Ghana Book Development Council (GBDC), the Ghana Education Service (GES), the Ghana Book Publishers Association (GBPA) and the Children’s Literature Foundation (CLIF).
The regional director emphasised that “students must understand that they can only enjoy the fullest benefits of this technological development if much time is devoted to books at the libraries which will eventually push them to greater academic heights.”
According to Mr Hobenu, the falling standards of languages (both local and official) is a major source of worry to educationists.
“The problem is even worse for English language; that is why a lot of efforts are being made to improve upon readership in our schools and indeed this book fair is one of the solutions to this embarrassing situation”, he pointed out.
Mr Hobenu acknowledged that the poor performance of pupils and students respectively in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) over the years was quite worrying and that concerted efforts were needed to reverse the trend.
“The reasons for the abysmal performance in the BECE and WASSCE obviously include lack of understanding of examination questions. This is because our children are not exposed to library facilities, hence have very limited store of vocabulary”, he lamented.
The Executive Director of the GBDC, Professor Samuel Boateng, said the fair was geared towards getting pupils and students, as well as teachers and parents to get to know first hand, the group of people behind the books published.
“Most importantly, the book fair is premised on the grounds that students, pupils, parents, philanthropists and other members of our society will take advantage of the fair to buy books at reduced prices”, he stated.
The Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, for his part, urged the youth to spend much of their time reading instead of watching films and visiting nightclubs.
The minister also entreated parents, teachers and educationists to help inculcate the habit of reading in children to broaden their knowledge and enrich their vocabulary in the English language.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


THE Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr Safo Kantanka, has entreated political parties not to buy into rumours suggesting that any of the parties could manipulate the electoral process to alter the election results.
He noted that the EC had formulated strategies that made the processes so transparent and difficult to change stressing that “nobody should disturb you with rumours and strange stories about rigging the elections since they are all fantasies”.
Mr Kantanka stated this at a forum in Tamale on safeguarding the integrity of the ballot. The forum was aimed at, among other objectives, sensitising parliamentary candidates to the electoral process as part of preparations towards the December Polls.
The forum discussed issues such as inbuilt integrity of Ghana’s electoral process vis-à-vis the last lap of the 2008 election calendar as well as the importance of polling agents.
It was organised by the EC with support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and KAB Governance Consult (KGC).
“It is not true that the results are tampered with in Accra; people who peddle such rumours do not understand the electoral processes and that is why we are encouraging all parties to engage the services of people who are knowledgeable in the electoral process”Mr Kantanka stressed.
He intimated that the EC did not “direct anybody to cheat as the commission is taking concrete steps to make the election very credible”.
The deputy chairman equally urged political parties to resist the temptation of giving money to some people to change the results.
“We know that even presiding members cannot manipulate the system because we have our own ways of checking the loyalty of presiding members” he further explained.
Mr Kantanka advised political parties to engage the services of good party agents who should have adequate knowledge about the electoral process.
“It is necessary that political parties do not allow their followers to vandalise any electoral materials such as ballot papers and boxes; such negative tendencies are a recipe for violence and can further cause delays in declaration of the results where such incidents occurred” he cautioned.
Touching on the issue of minors, Mr Kantanka reiterated the resolve of the EC to prosecute those who engaged in double registration before the elections.
The Regional Director of the EC, Mr. Sylvester Kanyi, noted that the issue of double registration and minors were perpetrated by some political parties who turned round to blame the EC for those negative tendencies.
Some of the parliamentarians suggested to the EC to make known to the public, people found to have engaged in multiple registrations during the recent limited registration exercise as a way of safeguarding the elections.

Friday, November 21, 2008


AFRICAN Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Oversight Committees for the Tamale, Tolon-Kumbungu and Savelugu-Nanton districts have been inaugurated in Tamale, with a call on district assemblies to be more proactive towards the implementation of the APRM to further deepen democracy at the grass roots.
The committees, with nine members each, have been tasked with the responsibility of monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the APRM in the three districts to help address some of the shortfalls and weaknesses identified in the country’s self assessment reports.
So far, 88 of such committees have been inaugurated nationwide under the auspices of the National African Peer Review Mechanism Governing Council (NAPRM-GC).
The Executive Secretary of the NAPRM-GC, Dr Francis Appiah, in an interview with newsmen, stressed the need for the members of the committee to sensitise people in their respective communities to the APRM.
Touching on the sustainability of the APRM in communities, Dr Appiah noted that the committees would be expected to administer questionnaires, collate them, analyse them and present them to their respective communities for validation every six months.
He further explained that the committees would also produce a progress report to be presented to the President for submission to the African Union (AU).
Dr Appiah intimated that “the committees would participate in regional and national validation processes depending on the extent of freedom enjoyed by the people at the grass roots vis-à-vis the extent to which the rule of law is working in the communities”.
“In other words the critical role of the committees is to give democracy full meaning in terms of its content and not just the rhetoric” he explained.
According to him, it would be unfair and improper for “us to sit in Accra and judge what is going on in the districts that have the committees”.
The Chairman of the NAPRM, Rev. Professor Samuel Adjepong, observed that the APRM was “a people centered process that is to promote a sense of ownership among the various communities”.
“Essentially, the committees would be involved in the education of the people in the district on the APRM as applied in Ghana”Rev Prof. Adjepong stressed.
The Public Affairs Officer of the NAPRM-GC, Mrs Cornelia Amoah, for her part stated that it was a policy that four out of the nine-member committee for each of the district should include women as a way of ensuring gender parity in the composition of the committees.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


THE Waste Management Department of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) is to erect community signboards on which event organisers would post their programmes for a fee, at vantage points in the metropolis
The measure is to help check the indiscriminate posting of bills on street lights, road signs and buildings located in the central business district (CBD) of the metropolis, particularly during the electioneering period.
The head of the department, Mr Abubakari Zakari, explained to the Daily Graphic in Tamale that the indiscriminate posting of bills marred the beauty of the city.
Mr Zakari also said but for the commitment of the department and other stakeholders to the maintenance of a clean environment in the metropolis, the city would have been unsightly as a result of the posting of bills by some unscrupulous individuals.
“Event organisers are mostly culpable of that offence, which creates a lot of nuisance in the metropolis. When they commit such acts we don’t see them so they go scot-free”, he stressed.
Mr Zakari also expressed regret that those who posted the bills did not remove them after they had served their intended purposes and that created a lot of problems for sanitary inspectors and sweepers of the city.
The waste management official, however, indicated that the department would leave no stone unturned to ensure that the right thing was done.
The Tamale Metropolitan Works Engineer, Mr Stephen Tecku, for his part, said that some political parties had also engaged in such negative acts.
He alleged that some of the parties posted bills on their political activities on road signs.
“When they do these things it looks so ugly that my heart bleeds any time I see such things; but unfortunately we are unable to trace and arrest the perpetrators,” the engineer added.
He, therefore, suggested to the TAMA to take the initiative to ensure that event organisers did not take things for granted.
Some residents have also condemned the act and urged event organisers to stop posting bills on houses of individuals to help keep the metropolis clean.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


THE Northern Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana has directed its members to put in place the necessary arrangements that will ensure that they conduct their worship on the eve of the Election Day or close their services before 10:00 a.m. on voting day.
The directive was part of measures by the leadership of the church to ensure that all eligible members within their fold voted.
“All preachers in our local congregations should make it a point to preach peace and pray for peace whenever they come before the face of the Lord” it further indicated.
The Chairman of the Northern Presbytery of the Church, Rev. Dr Martin Bugri Nabor, gave the directive at a press conference in Tamale.
The conference formed part of the church’s programme to promote interaction between it and the media in the north.
Rev. Dr Nabor entreated the members to “leave the polling stations immediately after casting their votes and continue to pray for their preferred candidates and for peace”.
He stressed the need for members to “avoid grouping around the polling stations for discussion, which may result in arguments that have the potential for violence”.
The Chairman equally called on churches in the country to be “vanguards of peace” and also appealed to the Electoral Commission to conduct the elections in such a way that both losers and winners would be happy with the results.


• At Tamale Central

Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

THE vice-presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has said the NPP government would “never renege on its promises to the electorate when it is returned to power”.
He has, therefore, assured the electorate that a vote for the NPP would ensure a brighter future for the country and reflect in all sectors of the economy.
Dr Bawumia said this when he addressed supporters of the party at the Jubilee Park in Tamale shortly after he arrived in the metropolis to embark on a two-week campaign and familiarisation tour of the Northern Region. A significant number of NPP activists in the metropolis lined up the streets to welcome him.
Dr Bawumiah said “this year’s election is about the future of our dear nation, which is bright and so you need a party with a future to


Story: Vincent Adedze, Tamale

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, Mr Inusah Fuseini, has advised supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) not to be complacent but to translate their unflinching support for the NDC into votes to ensure the victory of the party in the December polls.
He noted that over the years, NDC activists had rallied behind the party's leadership but stated that such support would be meaningless unless the activists exhibit their love for the party by voting massively for it during the elections.
Mr Fuseini stated this at a rally to inaugurate an Action Youth Group for the Tamale Central Constituency of the party. Members of the group would, among other things, serve as traffic wardens to ensure safety during the political campaigns to help reduce accidents in the area.
Similar rallies were held in the Tamale South and North constituencies of the NDC. A good number of party sympathisers, most of whom were draped in NDC colours, thronged the three constituencies to take part in the events.

ELECT ASSEMBLY MEMBERS, DCEs ...Along partisan lines — Candidates (LEAD STORY)

THE four leading presidential candidates in the December 7 polls were yesterday unanimous in the need to elect district, municipal and metropolitan chief executives (DMMCEs) as well as assembly members, along partisan lines.
They said the present arrangement where district elections were conducted along non-partisan lines was a mockery because political parties influence the election of assembly members and the confirmation of DMMCEs.
They also identified corruption as a major national issue against which they would wage a relentless war if elected into office.
Pitting their strengths against one another in the second edition of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) live television debate in Tamale yesterday, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Prof John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Dr Edward Nasigre Mahama of the People’s National Convention (PNC) also outlined measures to deal with the canker.
The debate, which was attended by dignitaries from the country’s political spectrum, lived up to its billing as an exercise involving guts and wits as the four candidates sold out their policies and programmes in a bid to win the minds and hearts of the electorate as they approach the home stretch in the race to the Golden Jubilee House.
The Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Studies (GILLBT) Hall in Tamale where the event was held came alive on many occasions as some of the candidates, particularly Dr Mahama, Dr Nduom and Prof Mills, made hilarious comments that made the audience break their ribs with laughter.
The questions posed by the two moderators, Prof Ivan Addae-Mensah, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, and Israel Laryea, a broadcast journalist with Joy FM, covered a wide range of issues, including constitutional reforms, the deepening of the decentralisation process, the election of district assembly members, measures to deal with corruption, asset declaration, rural transformation, waste disposal and management and addressing poverty in the three northern regions.
Responding to the issue of corruption, Prof Mills said there was the need to first admit that corruption was rife, adding that when elected President, he would lead the fight against corruption and let the law take its course.
He said he would also strengthen institutions that dealt with corruption, adding that he would lead the crusade against corruption because it had a very harmful effect on national development.
“You must be seen to be biting and not just barking,” he added.
Prof Mills said corruption was breaking the society because people were getting away with it.
“We are not showing the right signals; when people are fronting with corruption, leadership must crack the whip,” he stated.
For his part, Dr Mahama said he would offer leadership by example and separate the Attorney-General’s Office from that of the Ministry of Justice.
He said corruption could be controlled and that there was the need to put in place conflict of interest laws to help check the menace. Additionally, he said under his presidency he would he would ensure that the Whistleblower Law was passed.
Nana Akufo-Addo intimated that fighting corruption required more than just rhetoric, noting that it required strong leadership.
He said he did not have any difficulty prosecuting corrupt Ministers of State and made reference to the fact that when he was the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, he had the occasion to prosecute a colleague minister on corruption charges.
He, however, admitted that much more needed to be done for the institutions mandated to deal with corruption, such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
In all of that, he noted that “leaders of government must show example”.
Commenting on the issue, Dr Nduom largely agreed with the sentiments raised by his colleagues but pointed out that there was the need to deal with the perception associated with corruption.
He said there was the need to introduce efficiency in fighting corruption by utilising technology, as well as strengthening institutions, including the Police Service, to deal with the issue.
On asset declaration, Dr Mahama said he would declare his assets publicly at the beginning and the end of his term in office as President and also require his ministers to do likewise.
He said Dr Kwame Nkrumah and Dr Hilla Limann in the First and Third Republics, respectively, “did not own hotels and they went about governance demonstrating leadership by example”.
“This is what I will do if elected President,” he stated.
For his part, Nana Akufo-Addo said he did not have any difficulty in declaring his assets publicly.
He, however, said the assets declaration system Ghana was currently operating had a lot of problems and that he would ensure a legislative framework that allowed that a law for fighting corruption was passed.
Dr Nduom said the situation was not acceptable and wondered why assets declaration remained a secret.
“It should not remain a secret at the AG’s Office”, he stated, stressing that the Right to Information Bill must be passed.
He said it was a constitutional anomaly that the President did not pay tax and said under his Presidency he would reverse the trend, saying, “Leaders must be honest and let seriousness prevail.”
Prof Mills said asset declaration must be verifiable, saying that at the end of everything it should be declared and verified.
He pointed out that the exercise must be extended to surrogates and not just spouses.
On constitutional reforms, Nana Akufo-Addo said he would initiate the processes for amending the Constitution, considering the various concerns expressed on the subject.
Dr Nduom said he would also initiate a process for a constitutional amendment in the first 100 days of taking office, adding that he would pursue the separation of the Attorney-General’s Office from that of the Ministry of Justice.
Prof Mills agreed that there were areas in the Constitution that needed amendment and that there was the need to collate views so that at end of the day we would learn from our mistakes.
Dr Mahama, for his part, noted that the Constitution was not the problem but that the issue had to do with good governance.
“Tampering with the Constitution is not the problem; what matters is the effective strengthening of institutions to work effectively,” he stated.
On the deepening of decentralisation, Dr Nduom stressed the need to put power in the hands of the people and ensure the devolution of power.
By so doing, he said, we must ensure that more revenue and resources went to the local level for its rapid development.
Prof Mills said appointing DCEs had some inherent challenges. However, he agreed that there was the need to ensure that district assemblies were accountable to the people.
Dr Mahama said there was too much concentration of power in the hands of central institutions and also agreed that all DCEs must be elected.
Nana Akufo-Addo stressed the need to put in place structures to begin the process of transferring power from the centre to the districts.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


A branch of the Ghana Traditional Healers Association has been inaugurated in the Tamale Metropolis with the primary objective of complementing the efforts of public health institutions to cure diseases in the area.
The association, which has a 13-member executive with Alhaji Fuseini Alhassan as its chairman, is also expected to help cure epilepsy and mental illness in the entire Northern Region.
The Regional Co-ordinator of Psychiatry, Mr John Abdulai Ibrahim, said from 1981 to date the region had recorded a total of 1,358 cases of epilepsy and mental illness.
He further explained that 848 cases were recorded for epilepsy and 510 for mental illness.
Mr Ibrahim mentioned insufficient provision of psychotropic and anticonvulsant drugs, stigmatisation of the mentally ill and epileptic patients as challenges to curing such patients and integrating them into the society.
He also expressed concern about the lack of logistics such as spare parts, fuel and adequate funds to facilitate periodic visits to patients at home as a way of monitoring their state of health and conditions.
The Administrator of the Basic Needs Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Mr Matthew Pipio, stated that the organisation was very much committed to the work of traditional healers.
“My outfit has since 2002 always worked closely with traditional healers; studies have shown that most people who fall sick first approach traditional healers for cure,” he pointed out.
Mr Pipio, therefore, stressed the need for the association to work in collaboration with other groups and bodies, as well as the mother association in Accra to facilitate the smooth running of the association in the north.
The administrator urged traditional healers to avoid all forms of negative practices that abused the human rights of patients who came to them to seek cure for their various illnesses.
“You must avoid acts like beating up the mentally ill persons, chaining them, as well as confining them in a place for long time, thereby making it difficult for them to be integrated into the society,” he advised.
The Programme Co-ordinator of the Gub-Katimali Society, Shiekh Yakubu Abdul-Kareem, said there was a correlation between the increasing number of kayayei and the prevalence of such diseases as HIV/AIDS, mental illness and drug addiction among people from Northern Ghana.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


THE Director-General of Operations at the Ghana Police Service, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Mr Patrick Timbillah, has called for the intensification of education of the electorate on the electoral laws to enable them to know their responsibilities during the polls.
“Are people aware for instance that they have to leave the polling stations immediately after voting?” he asked.
DCOP Timbillah was addressing security personnel in the northern sector at the launch of; “Exercise Peace Angel” to harmonise their operations to ensure maximum security during and after the December polls in Tamale.
The exercise would also serve as a platform to brainstorm on how best to anticipate incidents during and after the elections, taking into consideration flashpoints that had been identified in the area.
Mr Timbillah further called on the personnel of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) and the Ghana Immigration Service to be vigilant and beef up security at the country’s borders as a way of contributing to the conduct of peaceful elections.
“You must know the electoral laws yourselves and be firm, fair, neutral and resolute in the performance of your duties” the Director-General advised.
He urged the media and political party activists not to engage in acts that would inflame passions during and after the elections.
According to him, the inauguration of the national, regional and district electoral security task forces were among measures being put in place to ensure peaceful elections.
He stated that 1,399 flashpoints had been identified in the country and stressed that the security services would leave no stone unturned to nip in the bud any political violence that might occur in any part of the country.
“This election is a real test case for our democracy and the whole world is watching us; although the elections would be tough we are also going to be tough to ensure successful elections” DCOP Timbillah promised.
The General Officer Commanding the Northern Command of the Ghana Armed Forces, Brigadier General J.N. Adinkra stressed the need for the electorate to know the difference between criminality and politics.
The Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Mr Ofosu-Mensah Gyeabour, assured the electorate that the police would remain impartial, resolute, fair and neutral in the performance of its duties,
“I also want to assure the public that we the regional electoral security taskforce have put in place effective measures to ensure peaceful elections” he said.
The Deputy Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr Bruce Ayisi, told security personnel to be punctual when assigned to their respective duties as a way of ensuring smooth take off of the elections.
He further cautioned the security personnel against interfering in the voting processes.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


THE road sector in the Tamale metropolis is to undergo another face-lift next year.
Currently, the Metropolitan Roads Unit of the Department of Urban Roads under the Ministry of Transportation has earmarked a total of 12 roads to be rehabilitated at the cost of GH¢5.7 million in the metropolis.
With a total road network of 15.06 kilometres, the roads would, among other things, improve on the traffic situation in the fast growing metropolis as well as commercial activities that have seen tremendous improvement in recent times.
Already, the metropolis has been acknowledged nationwide as having some of the best roads in the country. The well laid out bicycle and pedestrian lanes coupled with the excellent road network partly contribute to making the city the cleanest and most beautiful in the country.
According to the Maintenance Engineer of the unit, Mr Abraham Danquah, work on the projects included the upgrading of the Tishegu area, Old Karaga road, Vitting-Target road, Choggu Low Cost main road, Village water road-second ring road.
The others are the Naluro-NOBISCO-Kumbungu roads, Gumani-Kanvilli road, Relax Lodge-Ward K road, Radach Memorial-Industrial area, Nyohini link, Fuo main road and the Moshi-Zongo area roads.
Mr Danquah further explained that the completion of the second ring road that stretched from the Taysec junction, through to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) junction to the Agricultural traffic light through the Choggu roundabout to the New stadium roundabout, Nyohini and industrial area roundabout back to the Taysec junction would soon be completed.
He pointed out that from last year to date, his outfit had spent GH¢4 million to rehabilitate a total of 12.1 kilometres stretch of roads, including the construction of culverts and routine maintenance works on some of the roads in the metropolis.
He said the Sakasaka road, Iranian, Radach Memorial, new stadium road, Seventh-Day Adventist road had been completed while the Yapei- Builpela, Russian Bungalow-Kukuo roads were nearing completion.
“During the period we also procured a number of road signs while pedestrian guard roads were constructed to avoid pedestrians crossing unauthorised roads; most of our traffic lights are also functioning properly, ” he further stated.
The engineer also expressed concern about negative practices by some motorists and residents that destroyed the roads.
He said for instance that the washing of vehicles on the roads by some residents and washing bay attendants was not the best as such practices weakened the roads.
“When water seeps onto the roads it will weaken the strength of the pavements and thereby deteriorate the roads faster; repairing of vehicles and motorbikes on our bituminous surfaces destroys the roads as oil seeps onto the roads and dissolves the bitumen thereby damaging the roads, ”Mr Danquah observed.
He reminded residents that the government was using the tax payers' money, in this case their money, to construct the roads for them at a very high cost so they must take good care of the roads.
“Motorists must also maintain their vehicles properly and respect road traffic regulations since it will ultimately enhance the lifespan of the roads” the engineer stressed.
He said the unit had received petitions from a good number of suburbs for the erection of speed rumps because of the frequent accidents and loss of lives in those areas.
He said the unit was seriously considering such petitions and would respond appropriately.
Investigations conducted by the Daily Graphic, however, indicated that work on the 2.5 kilometre stretch of access roads to the Tamale Polytechnic had incurred the displeasure of students of the polytechnic, who took to the streets last week to protest against what they described as slow pace of construction of the road.
The GH¢890,000 project started in February 2007 and was expected to be completed within 19 months.
The Metropolitan Road Unit authorities, however, explained that the contractor, Mola Construction Company, would soon move to the site to continue the work as all the necessary materials had been procured for the completion of the job.


THE Supervisor of the Tamale Children’s Home, Madam Augustina Quainoo, has said the increase in expenses made at the home was a big challenge to the management.
She said the 29 inmates of the Home, most of whom were babies, needed extra care including medical attention and feeding, and these expenses kept rising.
“Babies for instance need to take at least four cartons of lactogen in a month because their mothers were not available to breast feed them, while we are also grappling with the problem of school fees and other expenses for the children,” Madam Quainoo lamented this in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Tamale. The supervisor acknowledged that although a significant number of public-spirited organisations and individuals had made donations to the home, the truth of the matter was that they were still inadequate.
She said all cash donations were paid into the home’s account at the Barclays Bank in Tamale and that if the authorities had not used the resources judiciously, the home would have collapsed.
“Our major challenges here include lack of funds, inadequate feeding grants, poor access roads, lack of transport, fence wall, rampant defecation around our premises, poor lighting system and lack of potable water supply,” she stressed.
She further emphasised the need for the staff strength of 19 to be augmented to include more childcare givers, labourers and night watchmen.
Madam Quainoo expressed regret that most of the used clothing that were donated to the home were not good enough to be worn by the inmates.
She, however, thanked all donors and volunteers for supporting the home.
“Sometimes things get so tough that I have to go about begging for lactogen for the babies and these items are so expensive to buy these days; please help us, ” she pleaded.
Established in 1969 by the government, the home serves as a foster home to the 29 inmates who are between the ages of three weeks and 17 years.


WORK on the GH4¢100,000 modern Information Communication and Technology (ICT) centre project in Tamale has been completed but the facility is yet to be furnished.
The project, which begun in July last year, was executed by the Dagban Construction Works Limited based in Tamale. It was funded by the Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GC-NET), a private ICT soft and hardware company.
The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, performed the sodcutting ceremony for the project in December 2006, witnessed by a cross section of residents in the metropolis.
The facility will, among other things, help to train the youth in ICT skills and empower them to fit into the job market.
The site Foreman, Mr Alhassan Damba, told the Daily Graphic that the project was redesigned to provide toilet facilities for the physically challenged in the metropolis.
“We are also happy that the project has finally been completed and we hope it will go a long way to equip the youth to face the challenges ahead,” he said.
The Northern Regional Co-ordinator of the National Youth Council (NYC), Mr Ziblim Shaibu, commended the Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Mohammed Amin Adam, the Vice President and the GC-NET for their commitment to the execution of the project.
Mr Shaibu said the project was now ready for inauguration and that a date was yet to be fixed for the ceremony.
He made a promise to ensure that the facility was put to good use, but entreated the government to help adequately resource the NYC to enable it to perform its mandatory roles effectively.
The co-ordinator also urged Parliament and the government to “promulgate the National Youth Policy”.

Monday, November 3, 2008


THE Tamale District Court on Monday remanded in custody Awal Abdulai following his alleged involvement in the murder of one Gazal Fuseini.
The suspect, who had been on the wanted list of the police for years, was arrested by the Northern Regional Police Command at the weekend.
Awal together with seven others is suspected to be behind the murder of Fuseini.
He, however, escaped arrest in 2003 while his alleged accomplices were arrested, prosecuted, acquitted and discharged by the Tamale High Court.
Briefing newsmen in Tamale on the case, the Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Ofosu-Mensah Gyeabour, said the other suspects were acquitted and discharged for lack of evidence.
They are Yakubu Alhassan, Rufai Yakubu, Awal Mustapha, Musah Razak, Iddrisu Musah and Jafaru Abdul-Rahman.
The commander further explained that in April 2003, there were some disturbances around the vicinity of the Assemblies of God Church in Tamale where the deceased lived.
He said this later led to the attack of the deceased by his assailants compelling him (the deceased) to lock himself up in his room, which was later set ablaze by the attackers leading to his death.


FIVE persons alleged to have been involved in an assault case at Yendi following a misunderstanding between supporters of an independent candidate and a New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate in the area, have been remanded in prison custody by the Yendi Circuit Court.
The suspects who include four campaign executive of the independent candidate, were expected to reappear in court scheduled for yesterday.
The Yendi Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Patrick Adusei Sarpong, who made this known to the Daily Graphic in a telephone chat, said the incident occurred last weekend, when both parliamentary candidates organised rallies in the area.
According to him, after both rallies had closed, an argument ensued between supporters of the two candidates who were coming from opposite directions.
This led to a misunderstanding and two persons were attacked in the process. He asserted that the police did not receive notification from the organisers of the rally for the independent candidate but that the NPP candidate notified the police they would hold a rally that weekend in consonance with the Public Order Act.
“There has never been an occasion when we refused to grant permit to independent candidates to hold rallies; we encourage them to just inform us and we would grant them the permit to go ahead with their rallies”, Mr Sarpong added.
The commander explained that anytime the situation became critical due to possible clash of rallies, the police met with the parties involved and a new date would be fixed in order to promote peace in the area.
“Yendi is a small town and we do not want to encourage parties to hold rallies on the same day, to avert any possible disturbances”, Mr Sarpong stressed.