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National: Our leaders are either complicit or incompetent – Ken Ashigbey on galamsey

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The Convenor of the Media Coalition Against Illegal Mining, Dr. Ken Ashigbey, says the failure of government to appropriately tackle the galamsey menace might be either because they are complicit in the illegality or they are incompetent.

According to him, the failure of government to decisively deal with key persons who have been identified as being active participators and facilitators of galamsey in the country is rather telling on the government’s lack of commitment to the galamsey fight.

He was in particular referring to the recent brouhaha surrounding the activities of Akonta Mining Limited in the Tano Nimri Forest Reserve.

The company, owned by Bernard Antwi-Boasiako, the NPP Ashanti Regional Chairman and one other, is said to have been mining in the reserve despite a declaration by government that it has not granted any entry permit into the forest reserve.

While, the Lands and Natural Reseources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has stated that the activities of the mining firm are in direct breach of Ghana’s laws, no actions by the state have been taken to bring the company and its owners to book.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Dr. Ashigbey said government’s actions and inactions in this rather clear illegality shows it is actively aiding and abetting the impunity that has characterised galamsey activities in the country in recent times.

He noted that as such, the government has no moral right to arrest others for committing the same crime.

“And to think that as we speak, the IGP nor the Attorney General has not invited Akonta Mining who has self-confessed, you know, they have confessed that they are mining, they have confessed they have leases, but the leases they have are not in the place they’re mining, not in the forest reserve. And as we speak, we have not heard anything about an invitation to these suspected criminals to answer for their crimes.

“And, you know, Kofi mentioned all the challenges that we’re having. Now Kidney diseases in these communities are on the rise; the turbidity of water has gone way beyond what we were supposed to be using to process water for consumption; our cocoa is under economic warfare, so you have the Chinese who are now beginning to produce cocoa and they are the majority of the foreigners who are involved in the destruction of our farmlands but our leaders are oblivious to it.

“It is either that they are complicit or are incompetent and in both case they don’t deserve to be where they are,” he said.

Commenting on the actions and inactions of district and regional authorities as the destruction of the Tano Nimri forest was on-going, he stated that there needs to be a wake-up call for state officials to realise that they are destroying the country.

“And that’s where I agree so much with Otumfuor on one hand when he talks about holding the District Chief Executives accountable. Why would we not find 2,000 chang fangs sitting on the Offin River when about 50 metres from the Nimri police station you see a factory manufacturing these dredgers and nobody, you know, the District Police Commanders are passing there and they’re not seeing it?

“How is it possible that 12 football fields have been destroyed in the Tano Nimri Reserve and there’s a Minerals Commission officer in that place, there’s a Forestry Commission person in that particular area. You know, we really need to wake up and smell the coffee that we are destroying our country.

“So the thing that is happening is that people are seeing people close to power doing these things and nothing happens to them and so no wonder Erastus will see those people by the [river] side and they think that why shouldn’t they mine?

“So it is really important for all of us as Ghana to wake up and say to our leaders that you cannot continue doing this thing, our lives are beyond risk,” he said.

Source Myjoyonline

 

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National: 2023 Budget: TUC to reject government’s salary projection of ₵44.9m

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Deputy-General-Secretary-of-the-Trades-Union-Congress-TUC-Joshua-Ansah

After several attempts to reach an agreement with government over an increment in their base pay, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is expected to meet government on Wednesday to finalise a deal.

But before that meeting gets underway, the Trades Union Congress is warning that it will not accept government’s projections in the 2023 Budget.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, reading the 2023 Budget in Parliament projected compensation of employees at GH¢44,990 million (5.6% of GDP).

Earlier, government also proposed a 12% salary increment during the last negotiation with Organised Labour but it was turned down.

 

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on Tuesday, Deputy General Secretary of TUC, Joshua Ansah stated that they would not agree to the projected figure.

According to Mr Ansah, government must expect a fight if they turn up at the meeting with the same proposal.

JoyNews/AdomNews · TUC to reject government’s salary projection in 2023 Budget
“There is no way Organised Labour is also going to accept what has been put in the budget. Well, if the government has made up its mind that it is the way it thinks that he can actually force down the throat of workers, then we are in for a big fight, because there is no way government can pay anything below what we are expecting,” he said.

He noted that Organised Labour will not compromise on their demand for 60% increment in their base pay.

Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Justice Yankson says government has created a problem by not reaching an agreement with the labour unions earlier.

JoyNews/AdomNews · Dr Yankson on organised labour and government’s negotiations
He believes the current mess could have been prevented.

“These are some of the problems that sometimes we create for ourselves. We had a whole period in which we could have sorted these things, we waited to the last end. Now we can see that we are on a collition course, it is clear,” he said.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Politics: Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory

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A Wenchi High Court has thrown out a petition against New Patriotic Party (NPP) legislator in the Techiman South 2020 election.

The petitioner was seeking the nullification of the poll which saw the NPP candidate, Martin Agyei Mensah Korsah, emerge victorious.

But at the hearing Wednesday, the court explained that the NDC 2020 Parliamentary candidate, Christopher Bayere, who was pursuing the matter, failed to prove the burden of petitioning.

The court was attended by some leaders of the NDC including General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
He was sighted leaving the court premises a few minutes before the judgement.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate had contested the EC’s verdict which gave the NPP’s candidate victory with 49,682 votes representing 50.2 percent of the total valid votes cast, whilst the NDC’s candidate had 49,205 votes representing 49.8 percent of the total valid votes cast.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate insisted that the figures were not a true reflection of the election.

According to him, per the pink sheets of the NDC agents at each of the 267 polling stations, he garnered 50,306 votes in the Parliamentary election whilst the 1st Respondent polled 50,013 votes.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
Electoral Commission fined in 2021

In August 2021, the Electoral Commission of Ghana was fined GH¢4,000 by the court after the Court refused to grant the EC’s request for a stay of proceedings in the dispute on July 30, 2021.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
The EC’s application for a stay of proceedings was to enable it to file a motion to challenge the ruling of the Court at its previous sitting, when it granted the petitioner a motion to amend the title of the writ.

TCounsel for the EC, Emmanuel Addae said the stay of proceedings was to enable him to file supplementary statements in support of the application filed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, Mr Christopher Beyere Baasongti.

However, reacting to the EC’s stay of proceedings, the Counsel for the petitioner, Justin Teriwajah argued that the motion was frivolous and unnecessarily geared towards delaying the adjudication of the case.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Football: Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style

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It was the much-needed win for Ghanaians who were largely sitting on tenterhooks for the final quarter of the game.

And from the reactions, after the South Koreans netted a quickfire double between the 58th and 61st minutes, something had to definitely happen.

Kudus rose to the occasion, found himself at the end of a Gideon Mensah cross and curled the ball past the goalkeeper to restore Ghana’s lead and eventually sealed the game for Black Stars.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
The 68th-minute winner triggered a thunderous celebration across the country and on social media.

Despite late attempts from the Koreans, the game ended 3-2 with Ghana earning a vital win in Group H.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
Alban Bagbin

The jubilation started right from Ghana’s legislative arm where the Speaker, Alban Bagbin was caught on camera dancing to one of the goals on the day from his office.

The ecstatic Speaker punched the air while clad in his Black Star jersey in the company of other officials of the House.

Asamoah Gyan runs

Former Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan was on punditry duty at SuperSports TV.

However, the ethics of being on a live set could not suppress his excitement when the deciding goal was scored.

Filled with elation, the former skipper run out of the set in jubilation shouting atop his voice.

His iconic goal celebration was his response when asked about his reaction to some moments of the game.

Fans in clean-up mode

Now, supporters of Japan’s national team have been earning praise in Qatar for their zeal toward cleanliness after each game.

This win seems to have presented Ghanaian fans with the opportunity to emulate this off-pitch tradition.

While many celebrated the win at full-time, other fans were seen moving boxes around to collect the waste left by their colleagues.

South Korea’s Son not in selfie mood

Another interesting sight came from an official from the Ghana dressing room posing for a selfie.

The subject Son Heung-min was almost in tears after his team lost at full-time.

Otto Addo’s side will now face Uruguay in their last game looking to secure qualification to the next stage of the competition.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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