Sunday, September 13, 2009


PASSENGERS on board the Metro Mass Transit Limited (MMT) buses in the Tamale Metropolis will no longer be allowed to ride free on the buses to their respective destinations.
This is because the management of the MMT has inaugurated a new project dubbed “Operation Show Your Ticket” in the metropolis and the entire Northern Region. The project would, among other things, help to check lapses in the company’s revenue generation efforts.
The measure has also become necessary because investigations by the MMT revealed that there was a high incidence of revenue loss in its operations.
The project would ensure that residents and prospective passengers were held responsible for not possessing valid tickets on board the MMT buses.
According to the officer in charge of the MMT Depot in Tamale, Mr Malik Ibrahim Gombilla, as part of the project, a number of educational campaigns had been earmarked to ensure that residents understood the need to pay and acquire tickets.
He said a team from Accra was supporting the implementation of the project.
Mr Gombilla said inspectors and point officers were expected to educate passengers in MMT buses and terminals, as well as the Tamale Central Market.
He further said radio discussion programmes and jingles for the project were being aired on the various radio stations in the metropolis.
The officer also urged drivers, conductors, inspectors and other staff of the MMT to be committed to the exercise.
“If the passengers are well educated it will reduce about 80 per cent of our problems regarding revenue generation. Some passengers are ignorant about the fact that they need to request for tickets after paying their fares,” he observed.
He entreated residents and passengers to support the efforts of the MMT to enable it to offer quality services to them.
The three-member team, comprising Madam Juliet Molisha Ofori, Mrs Adjoa Appiah Cabbold and Mr Kwame Korang, expressed optimism that the project would ultimately help increase the revenue base of the company.
In a related development, the new site for the MMT bus terminal at the Aboabu timber market has been awarded on contract to the Drops of Water Enterprise.
At the moment the site has been cleared and the contractor is getting ready to move to the project site.
When completed, the long-standing misunderstanding and rivalry between the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and the MMT in the metropolis would be a thing of the past.
Currently, both the GPRTU and the MMT operate from the Savelugu lorry station in the central business district (CBD) and it is envisaged that the relocation of the MMT terminal would ease the congestion at the park and enhance the free flow of traffic at the station.
In May last year, members of the GPRTU threatened to go on strike over what they described as “unfair and unhealthy competition” from the MMT.
Among the arguments advanced by members of the GPRTU was the need for the MMT to reduce the “relatively high number of its buses plying the routes in the area”.


THE Northern Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Anwguntogne Awuni, has entreated residents of Kalariga and Kpanvo, both suburbs of Tamale to bury their differences in order to promote peace in the area.
He noted that the land dispute between the two communities that had been ongoing for nearly a decade now was likely to breach the peace in the area and for that matter the metropolis if their respective leaders failed to preach peace to the residents.
ACP Awuni stated this at a meeting with traditional rulers and opinion leaders of the two suburbs in Tamale.
The two suburbs are litigating over a parcel of land located between the two towns with each of them claiming ownership of it.
The meeting was, therefore, aimed at promoting dialogue between the factions involved in the land dispute to forestall violence in the two suburbs.
According to the commander, the timely intervention by the police averted what could have been disturbances in the two suburbs recently due to the dispute.
He stressed that henceforth, the police would be compelled to bond all parties involved in the land litigation at the court if they failed to reach a compromise on the issue.
“If you dare move out to fight among yourselves I will arrest you all and especially pick all the leaders and process them for court,” he further warned.
ACP Awuni explained that the police had no business meddling in the affairs of both parties involved in the dispute but would certainly not compromise on of violence.
The commander also cautioned the media against heightening tension in the area.
According to ACP Awuni, he was prepared to send a combined team of police and military to maintain peace in the area.
“We will not sit down for innocent blood to be shed and so we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure amicable settlement of the dispute,” he emphasised.
The two factions assured the police administration that they would live up to expectation by ensuring that peace prevailed in their respective areas.

Friday, September 11, 2009


PARTICIPANTS at a regional policy dialogue on the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) in Tamale have bemoaned the politicisation of the programme , saying this has affected its smooth implementation over the years.
They observed that political interference made it almost impossible for the key implementing agencies to adhere strictly to the laid down procedures in programme implementation.
The participants were made up of representatives of non-governmental organisations, civil society groups and co-ordinating directors of district assemblies.
The dialogue was aimed among other objectives at promoting advocacy on the GSFP as well as to help broaden participants’ knowledge on the programme through information sharing.
SEND Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, organised the event.
The participants contended that the interference by some politicians largely accounted for the numerous challenges currently bedevilling its implementation.
“Let us try to down play the politics and rather involve the beneficiary communities and key implementors to do what is expected of them; politics is meant to help improve on the lives of the people and not to worsen their plight”, they further stressed.
They suggested for instance that the District Implementation Committees (DICs) and district emergency committees should be reviewed to enhance the effective implementation of the programme.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Nayina in a speech read on his behalf, observed that the GSFP in the region had so far disbursed more than GH¢7.2 million to cater for 46,614 pupils.
He, however, stated that the region was targeted to cover 220,000 pupils by the close of 2010.
Mr Nayina explained that the national target was 1.2 million pupils by 2010, adding that so far 595,000 pupils were currently benefiting from the programme nationwide at a cost of GH¢65.7.
He said a number of strategies were being put in place to ensure the successful implementation of the GSFP.
They include the strengthening of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to boost production at the local level, the subsidisation of fertilisers to farmers and the formation of Farmer Based Organisations (FBOs) to link farmers and marketers to the GSFP at the community level.
The Project Officer of SEND Ghana, Madam Diana Ndego stated that a survey conducted by her outfit within the last quarter of last year revealed numerous issues affecting the smooth implementation of the GSFP.
She said poor kitchen infrastructure in GSFP schools, inadequate water supply and storage facilities in beneficiary schools, majority of food procured from open markets instead of from beneficiary schools, were among the challenges facing its smooth implementation.
According to her, the report recommended among other things, the sensitisation of stakeholders, particularly community members, officials of collaborative decentralised directorates and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
The Education Advisor of the Netherlands Development Co-operation (SNV), Ms Adama Jehanfo, said in 2006, the SNV carried out a research which revealed that similar issues identified by both participants and SEND Ghana needed to be addressed.


THE staff of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and other security operatives have attended a three-day training workshop in Tamale on fraud detection and intelligence reporting.
It was aimed among other objectives at upgrading the skills of the participants to keep them abreast of current trends in the performance of their respective duties.
The participants were taken through topics such as basic security features, passenger assessment and profiling, document personalisation, impostor detection, document examination, interviewing of victims and witnesses, intelligence process and report writing.
The GIS organised the workshop with sponsorship from the European Union Commission under its “AENEAS” programme. It was on the theme: “Countering document fraud in Ghana”.
Addressing the participants, the Northern Regional Commander of the GIS, Mr Divine Narlobie observed that human resource development was critical in any meaningful development.
He, therefore, called for concerted efforts to upgrade the skills of the staff of the security services.
Mr Narlobie entreated participants to put into practice the knowledge they had acquired at the workshop.
“This training programme would keep you abreast of current issues while exercising your duties at your respective duty posts”, the commander stressed.
Some of the participants told the Daily Graphic that intelligence process and report writing were relevant to their work.
They added that such workshops were needed periodically to keep security operatives abreast of the changing trends in document security.
They further said it was not possible to achieve full document security because of the technological advancements and the use of sophisticated gadgets to process documents.
“You might even sign your own death warrant or terminate your appointment without knowing because of the use of modern gadgets by some persons”, a participant remarked.


FIVE candidates, including two women, have filed their nomination at the Electoral Commission (EC) to contest the Chereponi by-election scheduled for the September 29.
The five who filed their papers by the close of nominations last Wednesday are contesting on the tickets of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC), the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) and the New Vision Party (NVP).
The only person who campaigned to run as an independent candidate, Tamado Kofi Bashiru, withdrew from the race before the close of nominations.
The aspirants are Samuel Jabanyite who is contesting on the ticket of the NDC, Abubakari Aminu for the NPP, Rebecca Namana Jabari and Iliasu Fati for the PNC and the DPP respectively, and Issah Yaw for the NVP.
The by-election is to fill the vacancy in parliament created last month by the death of the Member of Parliament for the area, Doris Asibi Seidu.
Already the various political parties have started campaigning ahead of the by-election.
Figures from the EC indicate that 23,270 eligible voters were registered for the 2008 general election with a voter turnout of 80 per cent.
According to the Regional Director of the EC, Mr Sylvester Kanyi, the exercise was peaceful and that his outfit was prepared for the by-election.
Mr Kanyi explained that materials had started arriving for the by-election and reiterated that the inaccessibility to most polling stations due to floods could pose a major challenge during the by election.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


FIVE aspiring parliamentary candidates, including a female, are expected to file their nominations to contest the Chereponi by-election in the Northern Region by the close of nominations at 4p.m. today.
Four political parties and an independent aspirant are contesting the Tuesday, September 29, 2009 by-election in the area.
The four parties are the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC), and the New Vision Party (NVP).
The forthcoming by-election followed the death of the Member of Parliament, Madam Doris Saibi Seidu, last month.
According to the Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr Sylvester Kanyi, the aspirants are Samuel Jabanyite, who is contesting on the ticket of the NDC. Abubakari Aminu is doing it for the NPP, while the only female, Rebecca Namana Jabari, is contesting for the PNC. Issah Yaw is contesting on the ticket of the New Vision Party while Tamado Kofis is an Independent candidate.
Mr Kanyi explained that the EC was prepared for the exercise, adding that materials had started arriving for the by-election.
He observed that the inaccessibility of most polling stations due to floods was a major challenge facing the EC.
He, therefore, appealed to the Ministry of Defence to support his outfit by providing helicopters to airlift election materials, officials and security men to and from the area.
The Northern Regional Police Command is also expected to meet all stakeholders, including the various political parties, this week to ensure a peaceful by-election.
There were 23,270 eligible voters during the 2008 general election with an 80-per cent voter turnout.
According to a GNA report, Mr Samuel Abulai Jabanyiti, a 36-year-old teacher at the Chereponi Senior High School in the Northern Region, was elected by the NDC to contest the Chereponi parliamentary seat.
He polled 117 votes to beat three contestants to win the primary election organised by the party and conducted by the Electoral Commission at Chereponi.
His closest rival, Mr Emmanuel Kando, the Presiding Member of the Chereponi District Assembly and a health worker, had nine votes, Madam Mary Nakobu, a teacher polled four votes, while Mr Jaminja Ndaka got two votes.
Mr Jabanyiti expressed optimism that the NDC would wrest the seat from the NPP, saying: "The wind of change swinging everywhere is an indication that the people of Chereponi would want to be associated with the ruling party for effective development for the constituency."
He said when given the nod, his priority attention would be the improvement of agriculture and education to raise the living standards of the people.
Mr Jabanyiti said 80 per cent of his share of the MP's Common Fund would be channelled into scholarships to students and teachers in the constituency.
He appealed to the constituents to vote massively for the NDC to complete its "I care for you" development agenda.
Mr Jabanyiti appealed to the rank and file of the party to see his victory as a challenge to the unity of the NDC and should discard ethnic politics since Chereponi was bigger than any ethnic consideration. — GNA


Torrential rains in about 42 communities in six districts in the Northern Region has destroyed many acres of farmlands and displaced a number of persons in two of the affected communities.
No casualties were, however, reported while the number of displaced persons was yet to be determined.
The districts are Tolon-Kumbungu, Central Gonja, East Gonja, Kpandai, Zabzugu-Tatale and West Mamprusi.
A report released by the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) on the situation in the region, indicated that although the Burkinabe authorities had spilled excess water from the Bagre and Kompienga dams, its impact was yet to be felt in the region.
The Deputy Regional Co-ordinator of NADMO in charge of operations, Mr Chris Tanga, made this known during a stakeholders meeting in Tamale yesterday to assess the possible impact of the spillage of the dams.
According to him, the impact of the spillage would be experienced in the next few days.
“Reports received from the eastern part of the region indicated that River Oti has overflown its banks, thus affecting communities in the Chereponi and Saboba districts,” Mr Tanga stated.
He expressed regret that the organisation in the region, “was not in the position to monitor or assess the situation in our present state. We lack means of transport to visit the affected areas”.
The co-ordinator however expressed optimism that NADMO in Accra was working round the clock to support the north to help bring urgent relief to the affected people.
He, therefore, suggested the formation of a rapid assessment team to visit flood-prone areas and stressed that “for now, the flooding as being reported is exclusively due to heavy rains”.
The Area Manager of the Volta River Authority-Northern Electrification Department, Mr Danladi Bukari, observed that the volume of water as a result of the spillage was increasing daily but was yet to be experienced in the region.
He, therefore, urged stakeholders to intensify public education on the need for the residents to move upland while measures are put in place for an evacuation exercises if the need arose.
The Regional Co-ordinator of NADMO, Alhaji Abdulai Mahama Silimboma, indicated that water levels in the areas visited so far by his outfit were rising while many more farmlands were under threat of being submerged.
According to him, some communities were becoming more inaccessible.

Friday, September 4, 2009


From Vincent Amenuveve, Tamale

Drama unfolded at the Tamale Circuit court when Johnson Kombian alias Garkum, 32, an elusive armed robber, told the court that he was “fooled” by his late friend to escape from the Tamale prisons in January 2006.
Johnson, therefore, pleaded for clemency as he claimed he did not know what he was doing but the court, presided over by Mr John Nabrase, did not take his plea.
He was sentenced to 56 months imprisonment with hard labour for escaping from lawful custody.
A Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Police Service, Chief Inspector Ebenezer Tetteh, who made this known to The Mirror in Tamale last Monday, said the facts of the case indicated that Johnson escaped from prison custody at Gambaga in 2005.
He was re-arrested and remanded into prison custody but escaped again in early 2006 which led to the dismissal of a number of officers at the Tamale prisons as well as the reduction in the rank of some of the officers who were on duty.
Mr Tetteh said on August 24, 2009, Johnson was nabbed by the police at his hideout in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.
Three out of his seven alleged accomplices were also arrested during separate operations carried out by the police at Nakpanduri and Bolgatanga.
They are Fiindib Kona alias Soja, 32, Fuseini Ibrahim, 30 and Naana Kofi alias Accra boy, 25.
Briefing the media last week on the arrests, the Northern Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Angwubutoge Awuni, said Johnson had been on the wanted list since 2005 for his alleged involvement in eight robberies including the murder of a military personnel at Nakpanduri in 2007.
Johnson was also alleged to be responsible for the robbery at the BESSFA Rural Bank at Garu, the robbery, kidnapping and attempted murder of one Mathias Jato at Nakpanduri on August 1, 2005, May 5 and June 20, 2009, respectively.
According to ACP Awuni, the criminal records also showed that Johnson stole an AK 47 assault rifle from the Nakpanduri Police Station on April 26, 2005, adding that other crimes committed by Johnson were still under investigation.


THE National President of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), Mr Joseph Adjei, has called on the Ghana Education Service (GES) to review the quota system policy on study leave to enable more teachers who pursued further studies to be re-absorbed into the system on completion of their courses.
If the policy is relaxed, he said, it would help solve the problem of acute shortage of qualified teachers, particularly for the sciences, English Language and technical subjects in schools.
Speaking at the opening of the third quadrennial Northern Regional Delegates Conference of GNAT in Tamale at the weekend, Mr Adjei suggested to the GES to ensure that qualified teachers who were denied postings because they pursued various courses at the universities without seeking permission under the system were re-absorbed to curb the situation.
He stressed the need for the Government and the GES to review the policy and tap the full potential of the affected teachers who are currently “languishing at home”.
The conference discussed, among other issues, salaries and conditions of service, creation of new district secretariats, education and professional development and the election of new regional executives.
The conference was on the theme “Challenges to education delivery in Northern Ghana”.
According to the president, 567 graduate teachers who completed their studies and duly submitted their posting forms to the GES, were denied the chance to teach.
The explanation, he noted, was that their names were deleted from the pay roll when they were pursuing their courses and, therefore, on completion of their courses, they could not be posted, he pointed out.
Mr Adjei expressed concern about the low responsibility allowances paid to teachers, and entreated the Government to take a critical look at the allowances.
He mentioned political interference in certain areas of the GES, delayed emoluments and problems with upward adjustment in salaries as issues that needed to be addressed urgently.
The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Mr Moses Mabengba, observed that conflicts in the north had in one way or the other affected educational development.
According to the minister, it was imperative for the Regional Co-ordinating Council to team up with traditional rulers, the GES and civil society groups to educate the people to halt conflicts and whip up communal spirit.
The Regional Industrial Relations Officer of the Teachers and Educational Workers Union of Ghana (TEWU), Mr Ralph Apaaya, hoped the conference would help resolve issues relating to harmonious working relationship between employers and employees.