Friday, May 29, 2009


From Vincent Amenuveve, Tamale

A man who defiled a 12-year-old primary five girl at Salaga in the East Gonja district has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour by the Tamale High Court.
At the court presided over by a High Court Judge, Mrs Angelina Mensah Homiah, the 22-year-old, Bashiru Alhassan Tinjani pleaded not guilty to the charge of defilement.
The facts of the case as presented by a State Attorney, Mr Agbeko Kra, were that the girl who was staying with the grandmother at Salaga sold “Hausa beer” or “tankwa beer” for the mother each day after school.
Mr Kra stated that during one of her usual rounds to sell the beverage on September 21, 2007, the convict invited her to his house under the pretence of buying some of the local beer.
According to the prosecution, after buying some beer, the convict collected the rest of the drink and sent it to his room and invited the girl into the room to collect her money but the girl declined.
The convict then pushed the girl into his room, undressed her and had carnal knowledge of her.
The prosecution said after the act, the girl fell very sick but never told the grandmother as the convict warned her not to tell anyone else she would die.
Mr Kra further stated that since the girl’s sickness got worse, she was transferred from Salaga to the Tamale Teaching Hospital for treatment.
According to the prosecution, a member of the Community Protection Unit of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) who was a witness to the incident, reported the matter to the Salaga Police, and this led to the arrest of the convict.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


PARTICIPANTS at a workshop in Tamale on social auditing have bemoaned the inability of the citizenry to hold their elected representatives, duty bearers and public officials accountable for their stewardship.
They stated that such a situation had impacted negatively on poverty reduction efforts by the government, non-governmental organisations and other development partners in rural communities.
According to the participants, both the government and its development partners must provide adequate resources to the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to effect behavioural change among Ghanaians, particularly regarding their civic responsibilities.
They further observed that the NCCE was “cash strapped”, making it virtually impossible for the institution to function properly and to fulfil its mandatory roles that included making the public aware of their civic responsibilities.
The participants included heads of decentralised departments, security service personnel, representatives of civil society groups, assembly members and community-based organisations.
They entreated public-spirited organisations to partner the NCCE in its social auditing project, among other interventions.
The workshop was aimed, among other objectives, at brainstorming on how best to facilitate the creation and use of civic centres like Area, Zonal and Urban Councils, for effective civic engagement with service providers and people in authority.
It was organised by the NCCE in collaboration with Action Aid International, a non-governmental organisation.
The Northern Regional Director of the NCCE, Mr Husheini Sulemana Haruna, urged the participants to form formidable social groups to cross-fertilise ideas to effect rapid change in the society.
According to him, social auditing promoted good governance, the right to engage duty bearers, the involvement of citizens in the development process and civic engagement.
The Tamale Metropolitan Director of the NCCE, Alhaji Mohammed Baba, said the benefits of social auditing included achievement of intended results, safeguarding of local and national assets and citizens participation in governance to reduce poverty.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

WFP, GES SUPPORT 33 GIRLS — With SHS education (page 17)

THE World Food Programme, in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service (GES) has supported 33 girls in the three northern regions with their senior high school (SHS) education.
The gesture was made possible through a scholarship and awards scheme instituted by the two organisations with support from other partners in 2001.
Fifteen of the girls were granted scholarships, under which they each received a cheque for GH¢400, a quantity of books, certificate and hamper. The remaining 18 girls were each given hampers, a quantity of books and certificates.
Speaking at a ceremony at Dungu, a suburb of Tamale, to present the items to the beneficiaries. The Project Co-ordinator, Mrs Veronica Jackson, said the scheme was part of efforts by stakeholders to encourage girls to take their studies seriously.
According to her, the beneficiaries had aggregates between 6 and 15 in the 2008 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), which qualified them to enjoy the facility.
Mrs Jackson, therefore, commended teachers and staff of the GES for their immense contribution to the high academic performance among the beneficiaries.
The Head of the Tamale office of the WFP, Mr Thomas McKnight, observed that girls education was critical to lifting societies out of endemic hunger, poverty and violence.
“WFP believes that girls education and women’s empowerment are a sure way to achieving economic empowerment,” he pointed out.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Nayina, noted that the region had numerous challenges in the education sector.
He bemoaned the poor academic performance of schools in the Tamale metropolis and charged directors of education to put in place effective mechanisms to ensure that children performed excellently at all levels of education.
The Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive, Alhaji Abdulai Haruna Friday, said many girls in the peri-urban communities needed to be encouraged to go to school.
He, therefore, entreated the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the secretariat of the School Feeding Programme to ensure that more primary schools in the metropolis benefited from the programme.

Friday, May 22, 2009


WORK on the first phase of an ultra-modern livestock market located at Guunayili, a suburb of Tamale, is progressing steadily and barring any hitches the project will be completed by the end of this year.
Currently, the project has reached roofing level and a fence is being constructed around the facility.
When completed, the facility will be equipped with such facilities as a loading area, rest room for traders and pens for animals.
The GH¢100,000 project will facilitate trading between Tamale, Burkina Faso and other Sahelian regions.
The project is being funded under a Canadian government programme known as the District Wide Assistance Project (DIWAP).
According to the Tamale Metropolitan Co-ordinating Director, Mr Mohammed Baba, when the project was completed, Guunayili would become a transit point for livestock trade between Ghana and the Sahelian countries.
“In other words, traders from Southern Ghana can now stop at Guunayili and purchase their livestock instead of travelling all the way to Burkina Faso, while those from Burkina Faso can also stop at the same place and buy what they want, rather than travelling to the south,“
he explained.
The director said that a stakeholders’ meeting would be held to discuss both the internal and external works, including an access road to the market.
Mr Baba further indicated that a livestock market committee would meet with the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Alhaji Abdulai Haruna Friday, to put in place a market plan to run the facility smoothly.
The director said two potential livestock suppliers from Fada N’Gourma and Kaya had expressed interest to transact business with traders in the metropolis.
He said in April, some members of the Livestock Rearers Association from Kaya in Burkina Faso toured the project site and said they were impressed with the progress of work on the facility.
He said the project, when completed, would increase employment opportunities for the youth, particularly women.
Mr Baba said it would also enhance the income levels of women in the metropolis as most of them would be engaged in trading.
“Traders from countries such as Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso will benefit immensely from the project; let us all support the assembly in this endeavour, because Tamale has a lot to gain,” he added.
The project was one of the many benefits of the Sister City relationship initiated in October 2003 between the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) and the people of Fada N’Gourma in Burkina Faso.
The relationship was aimed at promoting socio-economic and cultural activities between the people of the two cities in particular and Ghana and Burkina Faso in general.
In 2003, the Mayor of Fada N’gourma, Tandamba Iddrissa, led a four-member delegation to Tamale to finalise agreements with the authorities of the TAMA on the relationship.
Another Sister City relationship between Tamale and Louisville in the State of Kentucky in the United States of America (US) which was initiated as far back as 1979, is also yielding positive results.
The proposed establishment of a plant in the metropolis to process solid waste into gas for power generation, for instance is one of the benefits of the Tamale-Louisville relationship.


BARELY five years after residents of Kpanvo, a suburb of Tamale, established a community health centre with the aim of complementing the government’s efforts at increasing access to health care, the management of the facility has run into difficulties.
Currently the facility has neither electricity nor drugs to ensure efficient health care service.
Besides, bats have invaded the centre while the few staff at post do not have the needed logistics to work with.
The centre has a solar panel which can only power a radio set.
During a visit to the facility by the Daily Graphic, it was realised that outpatients’ attendance over the five-year period had dropped significantly. Records showed, for instance, that from July to December, 2004, the centre treated 637 patients with all forms of ailments as against 11 between January and May 15, this year.
The reporter also gathered that the centre was only active in rendering such services as child welfare and antenatal programmes.
Investigations further revealed that a seven-member committee was put in place to manage the affairs of the centre after its inauguration in July 2004.
When contacted on the issue, a member of the committee, Duli-Lana Ibrahim Yussif, indicated that the facility could no longer generate enough funds to meet the increasing demands of clients.
Duli-Lana, who is also an assembly member of the Kakpagyili Electoral Area and Chairman of Social Services of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA), however, acknowledged the deplorable situation under which the few staff at the centre worked.
The Duli-Lana, Yussif, further entreated the assembly and the Metropolitan Directorate of Health Services to support the community in its bid to revive the centre.
He appealed for the provision of a midwife although he acknowledged that there was a midwife who allegedly left the place without informing the committee members.
A security officer at the centre who pleaded anonymity complained that he had not been paid for the past five years although he had the desire to contribute to the growth of the centre.
The Tamale Metropolitan Director of Health Services, Dr John Abenyeri, and the Head of the Builpela sub-metro, Madam Vida Vouche, said a midwife was provided for the centre since its establishment in 2004.
They, however, explained that the first midwife, Madam Cecilia Agbeko, was later replaced by Ms Ayi Alhassan upon request by the committee members.
According to them, Madama Alhassan, was at post until recently when she started facing some health challenges.
During a visit to the centre two weeks ago, the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Alhaji Abdulai Haruna Friday, observed that the deplorable situation at the centre was hampering efficient healthcare, particularly for expectant mothers.
The facility was established by Dr Abdulai Sando Alhassan, the Kpanvo-Naa, who is now resident in Germany. A seed capital of GH¢1,000 was mobilised during its inauguration to help run the facility smoothly.
The former Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, inaugurated the centre which is equipped with nurses quarters, nurses room, a theatre, laboratory, dispensary and an intensive care unit.
Kpanvo is a farming community with a population of two thousand and it is envisaged that the health centre if managed effectively, would be expanded and upgraded to a hospital status to serve the needs of the community and its environs.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


FARMERS at Bihinaayili, a farming community in the Savelugu-Nanton District in the Northern Region, can now store their food produce in a more cost-effective and sustainable manner using Neem tree extracts.
This new initiative was made possible through a series of research conducted by the African Farm Radio Research Initiative (AFRRI), an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), with support from some radio stations, including the Simli Radio, a community-based radio station at Dalun in the Tolon-Kumbungu District.
The research by the AFRRI and its partners was conducted in some communities such as Tali-Zonayili and Kpilo, both in the Tolon-Kumbungu District, and Bihinaayili and Takpeli in the East Gonja District.
Addressing a campaign on the use of the Neem tree extract at Bihinaayili, an Executive Committee member of Simli Radio, Mr Mohammed Issifu Salisu, observed that the plant had many uses.
According to him, research had shown that the plants could be used as insecticides, mosquito repellent and medicines in treating wounds.
Mr Salisu added that the Neem tree was abundant in northern Ghana, and so it was a more cost-effective means of storing grains to curb post-harvest losses.
He further explained that the use of the Neem tree extract for storage was better than the use of chemicals to preserve farm produce.
“The leaves of the Neem tree can be used for composting and treating of malaria, while it is also cheap and contains no poison,” Mr Salifu stressed.
Farmers who attended the campaign expressed delight about the introduction of such new initiatives.
“We hope with the application of such initiatives, we would be able to improve storage and maximise sales,” one of the farmers stated.
The farmers appealed to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and other stakeholders to assist them acquire such technologies to enhance food security in the area.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Management of Umarib Ghana Limited, a company that enforces road traffic regulations in the Tamale metropolis, has called on the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) to consider increasing the percentage of revenue allocated to it from the proceeds that it generates for the assembly.
It explained that the current 18 per cent of total revenue which the assembly paid to the company from the revenue it generated for the TAMA was woefully inadequate.
The Director of the company, Mr Imoro Adinan Bawa, told the Daily Graphic that in spite of the company’s s efforts at enforcing road safety in the Central Business District (CBD), the various stakeholders were not co-operating to complement the efforts of the Motor Traffic and Transport Union (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service.
“I have 29 boys who formed the taskforce but currently I am left with only six of them because they have left the job because it is no longer lucrative for them, “he said.
According to Mr Bawa, he single-handedly financed the provision of tools such as clamps and other office equipment but the investment was not yielding the desired result due to the inadequate revenue it received from the TAMA.
He also said that initially the company’s taskforce fined drivers who parked wrongly GH¢50 but expressed regret that the assembly had slashed the fines to GH20.
“On the other hand the problem we have with the residents is that they sometimes proved difficult when caught parking wrongly or engaging in acts that contravened the road traffic regulations, ”Mr Bawa said.
He urged the MTTU of the Ghana Police Service to support the company by undertaking effective road safety campaigns to help check indiscipline on the streets of Tamale.
When contacted, the Metropolitan Co-ordinating Director, Mr Mohammed Baba, said activities of the Umarib company were not meant to be a revenue generating one in the first place but rather to ensure safety on the streets of Tamale.
According to the director, the “park and pay system “ being operated by the company which could improve on its revenue base was not yielding the desired results since residents were yet to embrace the system .
He gave the assurance that the assembly would take a critical look at the company’s operations and review the terms under which it was being paid if the need arose.
Mr Baba also expressed concern about the way some staff of the company misconducted themselves, incurring the displeasure of residents.
The company was established in 2006 with the aim of complementing the efforts of the police to bring sanity onto the roads and to reduce accidents in the metropolis.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


CONFUSION broke out between some residents of Kandem, a village near Sheini in the Zabzugu-Tatale District of the Northern Region, and the Chief of Zabzugu, Salifu Lagsu, over an alleged decision of the latter to enskin a new chief for Kandem.
As a result, two houses were burnt down and a motorbike destroyed.
The acting Northern Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACOP) Patrick Adusei Sarpong, who confirmed the story to the Daily Graphic, indicated that residents of the Kandem community claimed preparations towards the enskinment of one Nakyi Kudomdon Kandem was illegal, since the community already had a chief.
ACOP Sarpong explained that the police in Zabzugu earlier stopped Chief Lagsu from going ahead with the enskinment ceremony because he (the chief) had not complied with the Public Order Act that enjoined him to give notice to the police five clear days before the ceremony.
According to the acting commander, at the weekend, the police had information that the Zabzugu chief still wanted to go ahead with the enskinment last Sunday and claimed that he had been authorised by a higher traditional authority to do so.
ACOP Sarpong intimated that on Sunday morning, as the prospective chief was preparing to move from Kandem to Zabzugu to be enskinned, a misunderstanding ensued between those opposed to his enskinment and his followers, leading to the destruction of his motorbike and the burning down of his house and that of his brother in the same locality.
The acting commander stated that when the police got to the scene, they discovered that Kandem village had been deserted and only a few elderly people who could not go into hiding had been left behind.
ACOP Sarpong stressed that there were adequate police personnel in the area and that the situation had been brought under control.
He also appealed to the people to come out from their hiding place and assist the police in investigations.

Monday, May 11, 2009


WORK on six out of the 32 road projects earmarked for rehabilitation under the Northern Region Flood Reconstruction Programme, has been completed.
The projects include the rebuilding and construction of culverts to facilitate the free flow of water, construction of roads, and improvement in water supply and sanitation situation in the region.
The projects are located in 12 districts of the region that were hardest hit by the floods in 2007.
The World Bank (WB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are jointly funding the projects at a cost of $2.814 million. The WB provided $1.5 million while the IFAD made available $1.3 million.
The Regional Economic Planning Officer, Mr Gregory Addah, and the Community-Based Rural Development Programme (CBRDP) Engineer at the Regional Planning Co-ordinating Unit (RPCU), Mr Kwaku Boateng, made this known in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Tamale.
They mentioned the completed roads as Machayilli-Wala, Chereponi-Gbong, Chereponi-Wenchiki, Jimli-Tijo, Sambu-Machayilli and Pwalugu-Arigu.
The officers further indicated that four of the projects were more than 90 per cent complete and would soon be handed over to the respective communities.
According to them, the projects are located in Tolon-Kumbungu, Savelugu-Nanton, Nanumba North and South, Saboba, Chereponi, Yendi, Zabzugu-Tatale, West Mamprusi, Central Gonja, Karaga and Gushiegu districts.
At a stakeholders meeting to evaluate the state of projects that were affected during the 2007 floods in Tamale on March 26, 2009, participants in the meeting agreed to facilitate the termination of contracts awarded but whose work seemed to be either abandoned or slow.
Other contracts were given new scheduled dates of completion after they were reviewed by the meeting.
Some engineers at the meeting, however, explained that progress of work on some of the projects delayed because at a point in time they were revised to ensure that the issue of flooding in some of the communities was resolved permanently.
During an assessment of the flood situation in October 2007, by stakeholders including development partners, it was realised that an estimated GH¢98.25 million was needed to reconstruct facilities that were destroyed by the floods in the three northern regions.
Northern Region alone required GH¢51.27 million while the Upper East Region needed GH¢27 million and Upper West GH¢20 million to help repair damaged facilities.
Reconstruction efforts are needed in such sectors as roads, water, sanitation and hygiene, provision of shelters and sustainable livelihood programmes.
According to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) in the Northern Region, the 2007 floods claimed 20 lives while 224,226 people were displaced and 9,707 houses were destroyed while 82,730 acres of farmlands food crops and livestock were washed away by the floods. A total of 1,499.7 kilometres of roads were destroyed cutting off some communities. Also, 22 health facilities and 18 school structures were damaged by the floods.


GHANA and Burkina Faso have resolved to work together towards achieving their fibre optic interconnectivity by the end of 2010.
Consequently, the two countries at the weekend signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Tamale to facilitate the process. The interconnectivity is expected to bridge the communication gap and open up enormous business opportunities between the two countries, as well as in the West African sub-region.
Ghana’s Minister of Communications, Mr Haruna Iddrisu and Burkina Faso’s Minister of Posts, Information Communication and Technology, Mr Noel Kabore, signed the MoU. The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Nayina, witnessed the signing ceremony.
The MoU, among other things, spelt out the need for both countries to fulfil their part of the bargain to ensure a successful connectivity before the stipulated completion period of the project.
The Government of Ghana is contributing $40 million towards the project while the Burkinabe government is providing 300 million CFA to enhance connectivity between the two countries.
Ghana’s National Communications Backbone Company (NCBC) will continue with its plan to bury its fibre connection from Bolgatanga to Kulungungu via Bawku in the Upper East Region and provide a back-up solution while ONATEL of Burkina Faso would extend its fibre optic connection from Bittou to Bawku urgently.
Under the agreement, NCBC would construct Optic Fibre Ground Wire (OPGW) over power grid from Bolgatanga to Bawku and extend the network through buried fibre to Kulungungu.
Burkina Faso on its part would accelerate its plan to construct fibre optic from Ouagadougou to Po to connect with Ghana at Paga.
Both countries agreed that Bawku-Kulungungu in Ghana remained the most practical point to achieve interconnection between the two countries.
The two ministers observed that due to the terrain challenges around the tributary of the White Volta at Mognori, the two countries should rather focus on the Bolgatanga-Bawku-Kulungungu-Mogande-Bittou route.
The two ministers equally pledged to “maintain regular dialogue and report on the agreement reached to regional economic communities like the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Mr Iddrisu for his part noted that “Ghana cherishes bilateral relations with countries such as Burkina Faso; President Atta Mills has therefore put in place the necessary measures to enhance such a co-operation”.
He underscored the importance of expanding fibre optic connectivity to facilitate trade and reduce cost of doing business in the sub-region. According to him, it is the government’s vision to use such interconnectivity to improve security, education and international trade among other sectors.
Mr Kabore expressed optimism that the agreement would yield positive results to enable the two countries to derive maximum benefits from the project. “However, we have to critically look at the technical constraints to make this project successful“ he further observed.
Earlier, technical experts from both countries had embarked on site visits to assess the practical feasibility of the interconnection of the fibre optic network and the possible time frame for its implementation.
The fibre optic interconnectivity has become necessary because of the decisions and commitments made at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and the summit on the need to connect Africa, which entreated governments to develop broadband linkages connecting the main towns and capitals of Africa by the year 2012.
The summits also observed that there were some missing linkages of fibre optic interconnectivity between Ghana and Burkina Faso; Ghana and Togo, and Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.


HEALTH institutions in the Northern Region particularly along the border towns have been placed on high alert to prevent the transmission of the Influenza A (H1N1) also known as the swine flu.
Additionally, health authorities in the region have cautioned the various health facilities to step up their surveillance system and formulate strategies to prevent the transmission of the flu.
According to the Regional Health Promoter, Alhaji Abdul-Rahman Yakubu, six subcommittees have been formed to ensure an effective surveillance of the disease. They include the communications/publicity, surveillance, public health, assessment and compensation subcommittees.
He, however, maintained that the region had not yet recorded any case but “we are on high alert to investigate and manage any suspected case”.
The health promoter equally entreated residents of the region to cooperate with the health authorities by reporting any flu-like illnesses to the nearest health facility.
He explained that the regional task force committee on the influenza had met three times to strategise on how best to manage the situation in case of an outbreak of the disease.
Alhaji Yakubu said one of the key strategies was to use a multimedia approach to reach out to the public.
He stated that key messages had been designed and the Institute of Languages had been tasked to translate such messages into Dagbani, Gonja, Lekpakpa and Mampruli to help articulate and drive home what was expected from the public.
“The region has been given 500 capsules of Oseltamivir (Tami flu) to help contain any emergency situation that might arise due to transmission of the disease,” he said.
Alhaji Yakubu further indicated that a number of radio discussion programmes and jingles, were being done while key messages on the prevention of the disease had been sent to mosques and churches in the region.
“We also intend to use the National Commission for Civic Education and the Information Services Department to organise street announcements especially along border towns on the disease,”he added.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that 1,893 cases of the influenza have been reported in 23 countries worldwide with 31 deaths recorded.
According to the WHO, the disease should be called Influenza A (H1N1) instead of the swine flu. The disease is caused by a virus that affects the respiratory system. Its symptoms include high fever, cough or sore throat and body aches.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


THE Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) is to set aside GH¢2,000 to support the Peace Initiative by the Chief of Tamale, Dakpema Mohammed Alhassan Dawuni.
The Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Alhaji Abdulai Haruna Friday, made this known in Tamale when he led members of the Metropolitan Security Committee (METSEC) to call on the Dakpema at his palace.
The visit was to wish the chief well and seek his blessing for a successful tenure of office as the MCE.
According to Alhaji Friday, the decision of the assembly to contribute to his peace fund was based on positive initiatives being taken by the Tamale chief since his ascension to the throne.
The MCE also announced the establishment of a "Bilchinsi task force" to spearhead the organisation of meetings to inculcate the indigenous Dagbani way of life into the youth.
Alhaji Friday explained the "Bilchinsi" to mean indigenous pride and that the task force would be used to bring together task forces in the various electoral areas with representatives of chiefs, assembly members, and religious and opinion leaders for a common goal.
"Until recently, the cherished indigenous Dagbani way of life was the envy of most ethnic groups in Ghana," the MCE observed.
He indicated that the media, non-governmental organisations and relevant bodies like the West African Network for Peace Building (WANEP) would be contacted in due course, since the various task forces would also engage in peace and cultural activities.
Alhaji Friday, therefore, called for the support and co-operation of everybody to enable the TAMA to succeed in the implementation of the programme.
The Dakpema, for his part, thanked the MCE for his support and expressed the hope to have a fruitful working relationship with the assembly for the accelerated development of the metropolis.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


THE Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament, Mr John Akologo Tia, has proposed a clear separation of powers between the executive arm of government and the legislature to ensure efficiency of Parliament.
He stressed the need for a critical look at Article 78 chapter 8 of the 1992 Constitution, which among other things stipulates that majority of ministers of state should be appointed from among members of Parliament.
Mr Tia further explained that when such a system was reviewed, it would help erase the general perception among Ghanaians that the legislature was not an autonomous body and was loosing its grips on the executive arm of government.
The deputy majority leader was responding to questions from the media regarding public perception that the legislature was ineffective in checking the executive arm of government at a press conference in Tamale. The conference was to help sensitise the public to the proposed implementation of the universal adult suffrage of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Parliament by 2010.
“As it is now, I do not think it is good enough for a Member of Parliament to be elected by the people to champion their course and later relinquish that when it comes to voting on particular issues. MPs must have some independence to satisfy the aspirations of members of their respective constituencies” Mr Tia pointed out.
Mr Tia, who is also the MP for the Talensi Constituency and leader of Ghana’s eight-member delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament, said the current system of governance did not give the legislature financial independence as it always had to depend on the executive to address its financial needs.
“One limitation Parliament has is its inability to provide some basic needs that will enhance its work; Parliament is handicapped when it comes to the provision of a well resourced library, personnel and adequate resources for instance to pass a bill into law,” Mr Tia observed.