Tuesday, July 28, 2009


FORTY communities in the Northern and Upper West regions are now enjoying potable water.
This was made possible through the provision of 40 borehole facilities to the beneficiary communities estimated at GH¢280,000.
Communities like Wawa, Gbankurugu and Tojing in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo district, as well as Kolinva, Bilalugri and Nakpazong in the East Mamprusi district were the latest to have been provided with the facilities.
The intervention was made possible through the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in collaboration with residents of Seattle in the United States, CARE Ghana, Buffet Foundation, the Global Water Initiative and district assemblies of the beneficiary communities.
During a ceremony at Wawa to inaugurate the facilities, the Global Solidarity Co-ordinator of the CRS, Mr Thomas Awiapo, indicated that the intervention by his outfit and its partners were aimed at addressing challenges such as inadequate access to potable water and poor community management of water resources.
According to him, the people of Seattle alone provided $72,000 to provide 20 out of the total 40 borehole facilities.
He explained that the facilities were provided over a period of four years while six of them were constructed this year.
Mr Awiapo stated that the CRS had for the past 50 years implemented programmes in such sectors as school feeding, maternal and child health, water and sanitation, HIV and AIDS, safety net initiatives, peace-building, conflict transformation and agribusiness.
The co-ordinator intimated that CRS had utilised its private resources with technical assistance from district assemblies and contributions from community members to construct over 1,000 household latrines in the 40 beneficiary communities.
“In the last five years, the CRS has been actively engaged in the provision of potable water and improved sanitation rural communities in the Northern Negion,” he stressed.
The Leader of the Seattle Team, Madam Jan Kline, noted that a total of 50 people in the city had visited the beneficiary communities and interacted with them over the past four years.
She urged the people to send their children to school now that they would no longer travel long distances in search of water, thereby losing contact hours in their respective schools.


THE Northern Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Akwasi Twumasi, has called for genuine collaboration between non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in the health sector and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to address the poor health indicators in the region.
According to him, the relatively high number of maternal and infant mortality deaths in health institutions, poor nutrition status of pregnant women, malaria and low coverage of family planning were among the challenges facing the health sector in the area.
Dr Twumasi made the call at the first regional forum on health in Tamale organised by the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health.
The forum was aimed at among other objectives, identifying strategies and suggesting ways of advocating and influencing government policies for the benefit of the marginalised and vulnerable in the society.
Representatives of NGOs, Community Based Organisations (CBOs), health associations, research and professional groups attended the forum.
It was on the theme “The role of civil societies in bringing about equity in healthcare”.
The director observed that “our efforts towards the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals 4, 5 and 6 continue to be a big challenge and there was the need for co-ordinated approach to ensure that these targets are reached”.
He further explained that as partners in development work, a great deal of efforts were needed to influence greater collaboration and understanding among partners.
That, he noted, was a “necessary ingredient for healthy and genuine collaboration without which our efforts though very essential and great may not be recognised”.
Dr Twumasi equally entreated civil society organisations to be “prudent in the use of donor resources since donor fatigue has set in”.
“We must first admit that donor inflows of resources have reduced drastically due to the global financial reprisals and also due to our own attitude of reckless use of resources”, he pointed out.
Dr Twumasi expressed concern about the number of women who died from complications from illegal abortions in the Northern Region between 2007 and 2008 and noted that couples were either afraid of or had negative perception about family planning and as such, would not use it to plan their.
He, therefore, urged couple to consider family planning as an option when making major family decisions to avoid unwanted pregnancies with its related problems.
He said the GHS was ready to collaborate and work effectively with the Coalition to promote quality and equitable health care delivery towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the country.
The Regional Chairperson of the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health, Hajia Hajara Telly, announced that her outfit was a registered umbrella body of NGOs and civil society organisations in the health sector established in March 2000.
According to her, the formation of the Coalition is in response to a call by the Ministry of Health and other health partners to effectively co-ordinate the efforts of NGOs and civil society organisations to enhance their capacity to play a significant role in health service delivery.
Hajia Telly indicated that the coalition had registered 48 member organisations, 30 of which were active.
She noted that the coalition was aimed among other objectives, at influencing policy formation and decision-making, improving networking and information sharing among NGOs, as well as providing a forum for NGOs in health to advocate and campaign for all under a common banner.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


SEVERAL attempts by the authorities of the Tamale Central Prisons over the years to get the government and stakeholders to increase the feeding grants of the inmates have still not materialised.
Currently, the daily allocation of 60Gp as feeding grant to each inmate is woefully inadequate, while the prisons is still grappling with overcrowding, lack of access to good health care for the inmates and inadequate staff and accommodation facilities, among other challenges.
Ironically, the Ghana Prison Service Decree NRCD 46 of 1972 enjoins the service to primarily ensure the safe custody and welfare of inmates, and where practicable, reform and rehabilitate them.
As a result of the trying conditions under which the authorities of the prisons work, it has become increasingly difficult for the service to fulfil its statutory and mandatory roles.
According to the acting Officer-in-Charge of the Prisons, Mr Samuel Tannor, “we are working under trying conditions as we are not spared the global credit crunch because ours was very manifest before the crunch began”.
He explained that more than half of the staff at the prisons stayed outside the barracks, adding that this did not augur well for the smooth administration of the prison.
The officer indicated that in spite of the challenges confronting his outfit, reformation and rehabilitation of the inmates had “engaged our attention nonetheless”.
Mr Tannor stated that 41 inmates were undergoing studies under the President’s Special Initiative on Distance Learning (PSI-DL).
He said other inmates were also being trained to acquire such skills as block laying and concreting, catering, tailoring, electrical/electronics, shoemaking and blacksmithing.
The female prison also trains inmates in pastries and preparation of kenkey.
The officer further intimated that the local prisons engaged the inmates in large-scale farming activities in maize, yam, cowpea, groundnuts, fuel wood, teak and moringa cultivation.
“Both our Religious Affair and Counselling officers and external religious persons visit the prisons regularly to give religious and moral counselling to the inmates,“ Mr Tannor said.


WORLD Vision (WV) Ghana, in collaboration with its partners, is supporting selected communities in the Northern and Upper East regions which do not enjoy from the national grid to acquire affordable rechargeable solar lanterns.
The initiative that was made possible through a pilot scheme dubbed: “Affordable lighting for all” (ALFA), is aimed at distributing a total of 1,500 Philips rechargeable lanterns to communities in nine districts in the two regions.
Speaking at the inauguration of the project at Gingani in the Tolon-Kumbungu District, the Associate Director, Micro Enterprise Development of the WV, Mr Harry Akama, mentioned the beneficiary districts as some communities in the Tamale metropolis, Zabzugu-Tatale, Savelugu-Nanton, Tolon-Kumbungu, Gushiegu and Karaga districts in the Northern Region.
The rest are Kassena-Nankana, Builsa and Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.
According to Mr Akama, apart from his outfit, the other facilitators of the ALFA project were the New Energy, Free Energy Foundation, Deng Limited, the Netherlands Development Organisation and the Kumasi Institute of Technology and Environment.
He stated that the project aimed at providing services to 10 million deprived people in sub-Saharan Africa, while developing a commercially sustainable distribution chains for the products.
The director added that “micro finance arrangements of the retailers and other forms of social marketing will be deployed to invest in recharging equipment stock and spare parts”.
He, however, expressed regret that Ghana’s rate of electrification was not the best, as only 11 million of its population had access to power supply.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Northern Sector Director of WV, Mr Daniel Salifu, observed that low-income levels, low-population density and scattered communities were among factors that had made on-grid electrification expensive and unattractive.
According to Mr Salifu, the ALFA project sought to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 1 by stimulating local economic development and income generation.
He said it also sought to contribute to MDG 7 by making sustainable energy services accessible for undeserved people in our communities.
“The Philips rechargeable lantern contributes to safety at home due to reduction in fire hazards. It also improves health and hygiene at home, because it is smokeless,” Mr Salifu stated.
The Northern Sector Branch Manager of the Association of Entrepreneurial Development Programme of WV, Mr Francis Amoah, said prices of the lanterns had been subsidised, with the market price for each lantern which was GH¢350 now cost GH¢150.
He, however, stressed that mechanisms had been put in place to enable the communities to acquire the facility.
The Tolon-Kumbungu District Chief Executive, Mr Iddi Manzah Mahama, stated that plans were far advanced to connect communities that did not enjoy electricity to the national grid.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


THE Central Gonja District Assembly is collaborating with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) to establish farmers service centres at vantage points in the district to provide tractor services for farmers.
The measure is to encourage farmers to go into mechanised farming as a strategy to help increase food production in the area.
The Central Gonja District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Issifu Salisu Be-Awuribe, announced this at the assembly’s first ordinary meeting this year at Buipe.
He stressed that the initiative was one of the assembly’s top priorities to modernise agriculture and reduce the drudgery farmers went through in their farming activities.
“Mechanisation will take the centre stage and plans are afoot to increase the number of tractor services to our farmers,” Mr Be-Awuribe stated.
According to the DCE, more fertiliser sales points would be opened in various parts of the district to afford many farmers accessibility to fertilisers.
Mr Be-Awuribe further explained that the government would improve upon the fertiliser subsidisation policy to cover more farmers.
“To reduce the over-reliance on rainfall for agricultural production, we shall ensure that all irrigation schemes in the district which are at standstill would be reactivated at the shortest possible time,” he stated.
The DCE said the Buipe and Yapei irrigation schemes would be fast-tracked to ensure their early completion.
“Despite the importance of agriculture, it is still rudimentary and highly dependent on rainfall although the district is blessed with two great rivers — the Black and White Volta,” he stated.
Touching on rice production in the district, Mr Be-Awuribe announced that plans were far advanced to put the over 2000 acres of Valley Buttoms located at Kusawgu, Juni, Kadegbonto and Jani Kuraa into cultivation.
In the area of livestock development, Mr Be-Awuribe said more of the youth in the district would be encouraged to enter veterinary training colleges and come back to serve the farmers.
“We shall also encourage the youth to keep improved breeds of various livestock through public education and demonstration farms,” he added.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


From Vincent Amenuveve, Tamale.

A victim of a broken home in Burkina Faso has made a passionate appeal to non-governmental organisations and public-spirited individuals to support him to achieve his dream of becoming a footballer.
The 21-year-old boy, Kwame Opew, who is currently an inmate of the Tamale Children’s Home, got missing in Burkina Faso at the age of nine when his parents got divorced over a decade ago. Opew could no longer trace the whereabouts of his parents and sister since the incident occurred.
Narrating his experiences to The Mirror in Tamale, the boy claimed that even if he met his only sister and parents, he might not be able to make them out.
“Because of my predicament, I have developed a serious inferiority complex such that all I see in me is a good-for-nothing boy living in the dark,” he stated regretfully.
According to him, he got missing when his mother left for an unknown destination after the divorce.
Opew stated that when he failed to find his mother, he boarded a bus from Burkina Faso to Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, where a “good Samaritan” took him to the police station.
According to the boy, he was detained at the police station, during which time several announcements were made in the media, but his parents failed to show up.
Opew further intimated that a female politician, whose name he gave only as Madam Boliko, came to the police station and decided to adopt him.
He claimed that the woman accommodated him in her house and provided his needs for about a year, but later brought him to the Tamale Children’s Home as she claimed she was too busy and had to focus on her political career.
According to the boy, he was brought to the Home at the age of 11, but stressed that he no longer wanted to be at the orphanage.
“In fact, I know I have great talent in football and my vision is to join any club and be nurtured to become a star like the Michael Essiens, the Sulley Muntaris and the Stephen Appiahs,” he stated.
When asked about his educational background, the boy explained that he was a first year student of the Pong-Tamale Secondary School, but stopped along the line because he lacked some basic learning materials to make his studies smooth.
He said although the government had granted him scholarship, he wished to be a footballer and, therefore, appealed for support to enable him realise his dream.
On how he came by his name, he told The Mirror that he was found on Wednesday after he got missing and was given the name Kwaku. He, however, added that he did not know how he came by his surname, Opew. He further claimed he neither knew his home town nor his tribe.
The Supervisor of the Home, Madam Augustina Quainoo, for her part, stressed that the boy must be supported to do something meaningful to earn a living, since his continuous stay in the Home was not the best, considering his age.
She suggested that he should be trained to acquire requisite employable skills.


THE Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Benjamin Kumbuor, has expressed concern over the spate of conflict of interest among some stakeholders and managers of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The development, he stated, was seriously affecting the smooth implementation of the scheme.
According to him, some managers of the scheme were using the initiative as a “fierce battle ground” for the achievement of their parochial interests, thereby defeating the purpose of the scheme.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting on the NHIS in Tamale, Dr Kumbuor stressed that the government would no longer tolerate such practices since they impacted negatively on the nation’s quest for efficient and accessible healthcare delivery.
The meeting was aimed, among other objectives, at creating a platform for stakeholders to deliberate on issues affecting the implementation of the NHIS.
The minister observed that the scheme still faced a number of policy and operational management challenges.
He stressed that the government and the World Bank had set up an inter agency steering committee as a governing body of the National Health Insurance project to address key challenges that required technical assistance.
Dr Kumbuor further explained that the main objective of the National Health Insurance project was to help address financial and operational management issues affecting the NHIS.
According to him, the scheme’s project had three components, namely, policy development, information and communication technology (ICT) and management training.
The minister cautioned service providers against failing to fulfil their part of the bargain in the implementation of the scheme, stressing “the social credibility of the scheme will suffer if service providers did not act responsibly”.
“Lack of or limited access to healthcare services has contributed to recent stagnation in key health indicators such as maternal and child mortality”, he stated.
Dr Kumbuor, therefore, stressed the need to address all possible barriers of accessing quality healthcare by all people living in Ghana.
He stated that preparations for the implementation of the proposed one time premium payment by the beneficiaries of the scheme was almost completed, and expressed optimism that the initiative would be successful.
The Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Mr Sylvester Mensah, called on stakeholders of the scheme to work as a team to help achieve the desired results.
According to him, authorities of the scheme would soon computerise its operations to inject some level of sanity and efficiency into the system.
He stated that the operations of the NHIS would be restructured to ensure accountability and efficiency in consonance with the objectives of the scheme.
Mr Mensah mentioned retraining of its staff and addressing the abuse in claims as some of the challenges that needed urgent attention.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Nayina, expressed regret about the non-availability of the anti-snake bite drugs in some farming communities.
He wondered why the drug was not available in some health institutions and yet a few individuals sold it secretly.

Monday, July 13, 2009


SENIOR citizens in the Northern Region have expressed worry about delays in the payment of their monthly allowances.
They said the inconveniences they usually underwent at the various banks were not the best, and that, that was a clear manifestation of the ills in our society.
They expressed this sentiment at a reception organised for them in Tamale by the Northern Regional Co-ordinating Council to mark the 49th celebration of the Republic Day. They entreated the coordinating council to intervene to ensure that the right thing was done.
“We are so old that if we are supposed to be going through such drudgery, we might not live long because what we go through is enough to make the old and elderly to break down,” they pointed out.
They also complained that some of the pensioners came from rural communities and other remote parts of the region to receive their meagre allowances, but were usually disappointed.
Other senior citizens also called on the youth in the region to lead exemplary and healthy lifestyles such as eating more vegetables and fruits as well as exercising their bodies frequently.
The Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Nayina, for his part, appealed to the old folk to take up leadership roles in their respective communities and help inculcate positive virtues and attributes in the youth.
“We, therefore, rely on you to champion our resolve to redeem the image of the region from conflict to peace; hatred to love and divisiveness to reconciliation,” he stated.
Deserving senior citizens were presented with Ghana@50 souvenirs and certificates.
From Koforidua, Nana Konadu Agyeman reports that about 110 persons, comprising 20 heads of departments and agencies; 27 retired officials from the Eastern Regional Co-ordinating Council and three senior citizens from each of the 21 municipalities and districts in the region were honoured in connection with the Republic Day celebration.
In an address, the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, commended senior citizens for their contributions to the country’s development over the years.
“Old age, as a symbol of honour, associated with wisdom, wise counsel and knowledge, is an asset which must not be allowed to go waste,” he stated, and gave the assurance that the government was prepared to tap the potential of the aged.
Mr Ampofo appealed to the youth to be mindful of the plight of the aged in society and give them the needed support to enable them to live a happy life.
“Equally, I also appeal to senior citizens to make available to the youth the benefits of their rich experience and expertise, so that together, we can move the nation forward in the right direction,” the minister added.


THE implementation of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) Fund will begin by the close of this month.
The fund will, among other objectives provide long-term financial assistance to meet the retirement needs of both current and future NAGRAT members. It has such components as a Provident Fund, Mortgage Fund for housing purposes and Welfare Fund for the purposes of assisting NAGRAT members to acquire cars, furniture and other needs.
The Vice President of the NAGRAT, Mr Christian Addai-Poku, who made this known at a teachers’ durbar in Tamale, called on members of the association to contribute meaningfully to the fund to enhance their well- being.
He explained that deductions from salaries of beneficiaries would begin at the end of this month. According to him, the fund would be financed by contributions from membership dues, monthly contributions for pensions, investments, among other sources.
The Vice President, therefore, observed that the durbar was to help collate concerns and views of the members regarding the implementation of the fund, educate them on the nitty-gritty of the fund as well as update them on current trends in the labour market, particularly salary negotiations .
Mr Addai-Poku entreated members to help contribute meaningfully to the growth of the association by embracing such initiatives as the fund, which he noted, would ultimately enhance their living conditions.
He intimated that the Gh¢930 being paid to pensioners under the welfare fund was phasing out.
The President of the NAGRAT, Mr Kwami Alorvi, for his part, urged teachers to come together to champion their cause.
He, however, bemoaned the meager allowances being paid to teachers who worked tirelessly and were committed to undertake such national exercises as the polio immunisation exercise.
Mr Alorvi noted that if the trend continued, teachers would soon shy away from such activities which would consequently affect the nation .
The President further explained that “I am not against teachers engaging in national exercises, but they go there because they are poorly paid; yet when they sacrifice, they are equally not paid well”.
Touching on salary negotiations, Mr Alorvi indicated that the Labour Commission had met on the issue four times already, and that proposals had been sent to the government regarding teachers’ demands.
He stated that this time around, individual associations would not fight for salary increases on their own, but all associations would make their demands through the Labour Union.


THE Northern Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Nayina, has advised the police not to allow their political preferences to influence the discharge of their professional responsibilities.
He told the police to remain neutral, live above reproach and exhibit a high sense of professionalism in the discharge of their duties.
Mr Nayina gave the advice during an interaction with personnel of the Ghana Police Service in Tamale as part of his familiarisation tour of government departments and security agencies in the metropolis.
The minister visited the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), the Prisons and Fire Services and the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS).
The minister observed that the Dagbon chieftaincy problem was still a major challenge in the efforts to ensure peace in the region and charged the personnel to support the peace efforts.
The minister said the police themselves must “weed out the bad lots” in their fold, noting that some of them took “bribes” to satisfy their selfish interests to the neglect of enforcing the laws rigidly.
The Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Angwuntogne Awuni, assured the minister that the personnel would perform their duties professionally.
He, however, indicated that some opinion leaders, politicians and traditional rulers were interfering in the work of the police and this most often impacted negatively on curbing crime in the region.
For his part, the Regional Commander of the GIS, Mr Divine Narlobie, thanked the minister for facilitating the allocation of a new office building to the service.
The Regional Fire Officer, Mr Herbert Acquah, mentioned poor staffing, broken-down vehicles, lack of residential accommodation for personnel and poor hydrants as some of the major challenges facing his outfit.
He stated that last year, 137 fire outbreaks were recorded in the region causing damage to property estimated at GH¢650,504.
According to Mr Acquah, 60 fire outbreaks had been recorded for the first quarter of this year, damaging property worth GH¢224,000.
He further said four deaths were recorded last year as against 41 registered during the first quarter of this year.


INMATES of the Tamale Central Prison have expressed concern about delays in the adjudication of their cases in court, since that is a denial of justice.
They said the adjournment of some cases by the courts as a result of lack of witnesses, effective coordination between the police and the courts, and inconclusive investigations were partly responsible for the delays.
The inmates, who are mainly remand prisoners, expressed their concerns when the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Sumani Nayina, and his deputy, Mr Moses Mabengba, interacted with them as part of their familiarisation tour of some government departments and security agencies in the Tamale Metropolis.
There are 251 inmates in the Tamale Central Prison. Out of the number, 10 are females, 168 are convicts; prisoners on remand are 83, while 47 are Fulanis.
The Fulanis have jail terms of between five and 30 years and were mainly involved in murder and armed robbery cases.
The inmates cited the instance where a significant number of cases such as murder and armed robbery were still pending at the district court in Tamale; a situation which eventually affected them.
“We, however, blame ourselves because perhaps we took a wrong path that is why we are here; but one must not forget that it is not every prisoner on remand who would be jailed because until proven guilty we are still innocent,” one of them said.
They, therefore, appealed to the law courts and the Ghana Police Service to work as a team to dispose of all cases pending at the courts without any further delay, since “justice delayed is justice denied”.
Some of the prisoners who had served for about 30 years at the prisons and appeared old, sick and frail, appealed to the prison authorities to liaise with health authorities to enable them to seek medical attention immediately.
For his part, Mr Nayina advised the prisoners not to be “too upset” about their conditions.
“You must reflect on your past life and chart a new course for yourselves. But regarding your concerns, we would see what we can do about them,” he stated.
He also expressed concern about the high number of Fulanis in the prisons and pointed out that it was not a healthy sign for them, since thorough investigations by the police had identified Fulanis as perpetrators of a good number of armed robberies, murders and rape cases in some communities of the region.
Mr Mabengba advised the prisoners to heed instructions from prison authorities and not to do anything untoward that would further worsen their plight.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


From Vincent Amenuveve, Tamale

A fierce fight between two lovers, both 18, over a girl in Yendi has left one of them in critical condition after he had been stabbed in the chest in the brawl.
The victim, Sisu Seidu, is currently receiving treatment at the Yendi Government Hospital.
Meanwhile, the suspect, Abdulai, has been remanded in prison custody in Yendi, while the girl at the centre of the controversy, Kande Mahama, 20, and one Suleman, 16, are both assisting the police in their investigations.
The Northern Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Angwuntogne Awuni, who confirmed the story to The Mirror in Tamale, stated that Kande had been dating the two lovers for some time now.
However, about 8 p.m. on June 22, this year, a misunderstanding ensued between the two, leading to the brawl.
Onlookers shouted for help and Seidu was quickly rushed to the Yendi Hospital where he is currently responding to treatment.
Abdulai was arrested and remanded into prison custody by the Yendi Circuit Court pending further investigations into the matter.
The commander further intimated that the uncles of the victim claimed that their nephew had been in a relationship with Kande for some time now and, therefore, they did not understand the reason for the impasse between Seidu and Abdulai.


From Vincent Amenuveve, Tamale

FOR his inability to pay for a cow he had killed for grazing on his farm, Sulemana Kasim has allegedly committed suicide to save himself from any embarrassment.
The body of the deceased has been deposited at the Salaga Hospital for autopsy.
The incident occurred at Kafaba, a farming community near Salaga in the East Gonja District of the Northern Region, in June this year.
The deceased, Sulemana Kasim, 32, reportedly shot and killed himself following his inability to raise the GH¢1,500 he had been asked by a chief to pay as compensation to the owner of the cow.
The Northern Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Angwuntogne Awuni, told The Mirror that the deceased was asked to compensate the owner of the cow on June 20, 2009 but when he could not raise the money, he decided to kill himself.
He intimated that the police also retrieved an unregistered SB short gun from the scene of the incident.
According to the commander, the deceased went to his farm and saw cattle grazing on it, a development which angered him, causing him to subsequently kill one of them.
ACP Awuni further explained that the owner of the cattle, who did not take kindly to the act, reported the incident to the chief, who ordered the deceased to compensate the owner within a month.
He indicated that when the deceased was summoned by the chief to find out whether he had got the money or not, the deceased told the chief that he had no money because he could not raise the amount.
Later, it was found out that the deceased had shot and killed himself.
Following the unfortunate incident, the commander has entreated chiefs to stop adjudicating cases of crime in their communities and rather report them to the police.

Friday, July 3, 2009


THE mysterious death of five farmers, including two siblings, after taking a meal on a farm has sent shock waves through Tatale in the Zabzugu-Tatale District in the Northern Region.
The owner of the farm, one Atta Tidame, whose children were among the deceased, had employed the services of the three other victims on his farm.
The deceased are Podoo Tidame, 25; Atta Tidame Jnr, 16; Ngoseme, 28; Mashin, 28, and Kosi Adam, 26.
Their bodies have since been deposited at the Yendi Hospital for autopsy.
The Northern Region Police Commander, ACP Angwubutoge Awuni, told newsmen in Tamale that four of the deceased died on the farm, while the fifth person died later at the Tatale Clinic.
According to him, the deceased drank water and ate food allegedly prepared for them on the farm by Atta Tidame.
He explained that the owner of the farm, Tidame, who lived at Tatale, had gone to the farm together with his two sons, Podoo and Atta Jnr, and the three labourers to work.
According to ACP Awuni, after working on the farm for a while, Tidame decided to cook for all of them to eat but while eating they started having uncomfortable feelings in their stomachs.
The police commander further stated that a farmer who was also working on his farm nearby heard an unusual noise and when he rushed to the scene, he found all the six persons, including Tidame (the farm owner), lying helplessly on the ground and groaning.
He indicated that the farmer then rushed to inform the relatives of the victims about what had happened but when he returned, four of them had died, leaving Tidame and one of his children.
They were both rushed to the Tatale Clinic but Tidame’s child died on arrival there, while Tidame, in a critical condition, was later referred to the Yendi Government Hospital where he is currently responding to treatment.
ACP Awuni said samples of the food and water had been sent to the laboratory to help establish the cause of death.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


THE Executive Secretary of Northern Ghana Network for Development (NGND), Mr Ismail Lansah, has called on political parties to consider funding their own activities instead of relying on government.
He suggested to them to find ways of levying their respective parliamentarians and organising fundraising activities to mobilise resources for their political activities.
Mr Lansah who made the call in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Tamale, also stated that the subtle attempt by some politicians to make the state fund political parties was unacceptable and likely to create serious consequences for the country socially, politically and economically.
He stressed that state sponsorship of political parties would create an elitist class in the name of political party leadership.
“Let us remember that government has withdrawn all forms of subsidies on basic and essential social services such as education, health, housing, water and sanitation, leaving the poor Ghanaian worker to pay exorbitant school fees, “he pointed out.
According to Mr Lansah, it would be unjustifiable to overburden the poor Ghanaian worker whose taxes would have to be squeezed to subsidise the political ambitions of politicians.
“Why should a group of elites who have come together with the sole aim of winning political power which is a ‘private initiative” be sponsored by the state”, he asked.
The secretary observed that economically, state funding of parties was not sustainable because “how much money does a political party need to survive in an atmosphere full of allegations of vote buying and other corrupt practices that political parties accuse each other of during electioneering?”.
He further stated that the funding of political parties would stall the growth and expansion of partisan politics in that the parties that get the initial funding would take the lead and eventually subdue the emergence of new political parties.
“State funding would also undermine the constitutional provision on independent candidature because how would an independent candidate be catered for when contesting both the presidential and parliamentary elections?” he asked.
He contended that the issue should not be handled in a way that would suggest that political parties were the only key players in multi-party democracy because without the electorate, there would be no voting and the perceived “championing of the whole democratic process by political parties would be meaningless”.
He, however, acknowledged that political parties were contributing immensely to the growth and sustenance of the country’s democracy, but stressed that it must not be exaggerated to the neglect of other key players.
Mr Lansah, therefore, entreated parties to put in place effective mechanisms to intensify the organisation of fundraising activities such as dinner dances to ensure that their patrons contribute towards the sustenance of their respective political parties.
“Just as the Trades Union Congress and other labour unions generate income through contributions of their members, political parties should do the same,” the secretary stressed.


From Vincent Amenuveve, Tamale.

A self-proclaimed Mallam at Choggu, a suburb of Tamale, has been fined GH¢600 by the Tamale District Magistrate Court for possessing fake currency notes.
The convict, Sulemana Mahamudu was earlier charged on two counts of defrauding two persons by false pretence and possessing fake currency notes. But he pleaded not guilty to defrauding by false pretence and pleaded guilty to possessing fake notes.
The court presided over by Mr Gabriel Mate-Teye, found him culpable of possessing fake currency notes and subsequently fined him.
The facts of the case as presented by Chief Inspector Isaac Ampofo were that in February this year, one Ebenezer Boison and his friend approached the convict and expressed their desire to further their education but said they had no money.
According to Chief Inspector Ampofo, Mahamadu convinced Boison and his friend that he could perform some magic for them to get money to achieve their vision.
The convict then collected GH¢2,500 and a Samsung D99 mobile phone from Boison and his friend respectively to buy items for the performance of some rituals.
The convict told the two friends to come the next day and when they complied with the instruction, Mahamudu performed some rites and conjured some American dollars and Ghana cedi notes which convinced the two friends.
The convict, according to the prosecution, then told the two friends that their money was ready.
According to the Chief Inspector, the convict told the two friends that he did not trust them and that they should go home and bring him GH¢1,000. The two left but could not raise the money. The prosecution indicated that on March 10, 2009, Boison’s mother, who is a baker in Tamale gave her son GH¢1,500 to deposit into an account at the Stanbic Bank. The two friends went together and rather gave the money to the convict in exchange for the dollars.
The convict, after collecting the money, went into hiding but Boison’s mother reported the case to the police and later the youth chief at Choggu, invited the convict in a bid to settle the issue.
Chief Inspector Ampofo further stated that the convict refused to cooperate with the chief and rather reported to the police that the youth chief had seized his motorbike.
The convict was arrested after investigations into the issue but during interrogation, denied ever collecting money from the two friends.
When a search was conducted in the convict’s room at Choggu in his presence, a total of 12 fake US$100 bills were found in a Quran and a wooden box.
According to the prosecution, Mahamadu (the convict) claimed ownership and after investigations, he was charged on two counts of defrauding by false pretence and possessing fake currency notes.


THE Northern Regional Police Command has identified Fulani herdsmen as the main perpetrators of armed robbery cases that have claimed many lives on the Tamale-Kumasi highway.
As a result, the new Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police, (ACP) Angwuntogne Awuni, last Thursday led a team of police personnel to interact with the Fulani community at Kabilpe, near Buipe in the Central Gonja District.
The interaction was aimed at sensitising the people to such negative practices as armed robbery, murder and rape which were rampant in the area.
According to ACP Awuni, most of the robbers had maimed and killed innocent citizens during their attacks on them, and warned that his outfit would deal ruthlessly with the perpetrators.
Statistics show that between December 2008 and June, this year, six highway robberies occurred along the Mpaha Junction-Buipe road, resulting in the death of three persons and injury to three others from gunshots. The figures also showed that a number of items such as mobile phones, and various sums of money had also been stolen from the robbery victims.
The commander warned that the police would not hesitate to deal ruthlessly with perpetrators of such crimes.
According to him, investigations showed that most often, the perpetrators used cattle to block the road during the robbery.
ACP Awuni equally observed that some Fulanis also allowed their cattle to stray into people’s farms in order to destroy their farm produce, which sometimes led to communal violence.
ACP Awuni urged the people to report to the police strangers with suspicious characters in the community.
The Regional Crime Officer, Superintendent Peter Baba, for his part, indicated that the police would soon institute an incentive package for informants who volunteered information to the police on various crimes.
He intimated that cattle rustling, murder, rape and armed robbery were the common crimes being committed in the area.
The Regional Commander of the Motor Traffic and Transport Union (MTTU), Deputy Superintendent of Police, Nana Kumi, entreated chiefs and opinion leaders to support the police to combat crime in the area.


Mawuli Senior High School in Ho placed first in the finals of a national competition dubbed “Project Citizens” for senior high schools (SHS) in Ghana which took place in Accra last month.
Tamale SHS (TAMASCO) and Adisadel College in Cape Coast took the second and third positions respectively.
The competition was jointly organised by the Ghana Education Service (GES), the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and Civitas Ghana, a non-governmental organisation.
Project Citizens is a portfolio-based inter-disciplinary civic education programme that promotes qualitative youth participation in governance and trains students to monitor, as well as influence, public policy.
The winning schools received various prizes, including flat screen computers with accessories, food items, assorted books, including abridged versions of the 1992 Constitution, publications on the activities of Project Citizens Ghana and shields.
In addition to coming first in the competition, TAMASCO beat Wesley Girls’ High School in the Central Region by 80 to 77 points in the ongoing National Science and Maths Quiz.
The Headmaster of TAMASCO, Alhaji Tahiru Mahama, attributed the school’s achievement to the high level of academic standards being maintained in the school.
“We have teachers who can assist our students to develop their talents and compete favourably with their [counterparts] in top-rated schools in academic and co-curricular activities,” he noted.