The year 2016 was one of the most interesting years in Ghana’s history.

It was a year that saw the truncation of the reign of ‘The Johns’ who have ruled Ghana in the last two decades.

It was a year that saw a number of scandals bedevil the Mahama-led administration, introduction of killer taxes, hosting of GITMO 3, brouhaha over 3 South African security operatives, rejection of a new voters register.

The Fulani menace in Agogo and other parts of the country also at some point in time came up for discussion after some farmers accused the Fulanis of destroying their farms and killing their relatives.

The year 2016 also saw the defeat of President John Mahama by the New Patriotic Party’s three time presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and subsequently last minute award of fresh contracts and new appointments and recruitment.

12 biggest stories that kept Ghana talking in January 

President John Dramani Mahama while addressing the nation on the eve of New Year admonished Ghanaians to eschew cynicism and be hopeful for the coming year 2016.

He further assured of his willingness to listen to the concerns of Ghanaians and tackle their challenges, saying “I have listened, I am listening and I will continue to listen…” adding that any of his official who does not share in his vision should tender in their resignation letters.

However, little did Ghanaians know that the government will take certain decisions that will upset citizens.

1. Killer taxes

Some of the decisions that did not go down well with Ghanaians in January 2016 include implementation of new taxes approved by parliament in December 2015.

They include the introduction of the energy levies that saw an increment in prices of petroleum products, the rise in withholding tax as well as the implementation of a one percent tax on savings and interest.

Organised labour became furious over the hikes in petroleum products as well as the hikes in utility tariffs which was announced by the PURC in 2015 and demanded a drastic reduction.

They embarked on a nationwide demonstration to have their demands met including an increment in the salaries of public sector workers by 50%.

Government following several negotiations with Organised Labour subsequently reduced electricity prices for low power consumers.

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The latest increase of between 18 to 27 percent in the prices of petroleum products occasioned by the passage of the Energy Sector Levy (ESL) by Parliament last month, took effect Monday January 4.New information from Parliament revealed that the Ministry of Finance only sanctioned a 5% and a 2.9% increase in the price of petrol and diesel, which took effect from January 4, 2016.Parliament to summon Finance Minister, Seth Terkper and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Moses Asaga for providing what it describes as misleading information for the passage of the controversial energy sector levy.Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, said any attempt to reverse the increased utility tariffs and new taxes will negatively affect government’s ability to fix the energy crisis.

2. Send Gitmo detainees away!

Government’s decision to also host two former inmates from Guantanamo Bay detainees in the country did not resonate well with Ghanaians as it created fear and panic among citizens who believed that the two despite receiving assurance from the US government that they pose low risk could return to unleashing terror on them.

Several groups, bodies and political parties, Members of Parliament put pressure on government to return the former inmates.

guantanamo-detainees-495x330

President Mahama while addressing the press called for compassion for the detainees, a statement which further muddied the waters.

The president also discounted claims that he had received monies from the US government before hosting the two Gitmo detainees in the country.

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Government announced that it will receive some Yemen and Syrian refugees in the country including some two former Guantanamo detainees.The US government said it has clarified and addressed all security lapses before transferring two Yemeni detainees from the Guantanamo Bay prison to Ghana, nearly six years after their transfer approval.The United States Embassy in Ghana assured citizens that the presence of the two former detainees from the Guantanamo prison, poses no threat to the security of the country.A former Interior Minister in the erstwhile Kufuor administration, K.T Hammond, admonished the government to send the former Guantanamo Bay detainees back to the United States, where they were repatriated from.A Member of Parliament’s Committee on Defence and Interior said he will urge his colleagues to invite and question Foreign Affairs and Interior Ministers over the Guantanamo detainee’s brouhaha.Mustapha Abdul Hamid, a lecturer at the Department of Religion and Human Values of the University of Cape Coast said Ghanaians must be alarmed by the decision of government to keep the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees despite wide public outcry.The NPP is demanding the government disclose the terms of agreement backing the decision to resettle the two former detainees and Yemeni terror suspects from the American Guantanamo Bay Prison.The two Guantanamo Bay ex-detainees in Ghana spoke for the first time in an attempt to allay the fears of  apprehensive Ghanaians, who say they are security threats to the country.President John Mahama has appealed for compassion from Ghanaians for the Guantanamo Bay detainees who will spend two years in Ghana.The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ conference  described government’s decision to resettle the two former detainees from the American Guantanamo Bay Prison as “wrong” and “dangerous,” joining forces with other christian organisations against the move.Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, described the ongoing saga over government’s decision to host the two Guantanamo Bay detainees as yet another example of the failure of leadership on the part of President John Mahama.

3. EC rejects new voters’ register proposal

Following claims by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) that Ghana’s voters’ register is bloated with names of foreigners and minors, the Electoral Commission constituted a five-member committee to hear the arguments and make recommendations.

Charlotte Osei

Charlotte Osei

The Committee recommended that there was no need for a new voters’ register because the arguments were “unconvincing.”

Whereas the NDC welcomed the decision, the opposition NPP said they were disappointed at the EC and accused it bias.

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The governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) welcomed the decision by the Electoral Commission (EC) not to compile a new register.The Convention Peoples Party (CPP) said it is not happy with the decision of the Electoral Commission to reject demands to compile a new voters’register for the 2016 general elections.Pro-opposition pressure group, Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA), hinted of a court action to compel the Electoral Commission (EC) to compile a new voter’s register.The New Patriotic Party (NPP) described as “disappointing,” the Electoral Commission’s decision not to compile a new voter’s register.In defense of its decision not to create a new voters’ register for this year’s general elections, the Electoral Commission (EC) revealed that the New Patriotic Party failed to provide sufficient evidence to support its claims that there were foreign nationals on the current register.The NDC called for the arrest of the NPP’s running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for allegedly “fabricating falsehood” about Ghana’s voters’ register.

4. BNI arrests former NHIA boss 

News of the arrest of the former NHIA boss, Sylvester Mensah by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) also surprised a lot of Ghanaians.

Sylvester Mensah was in the grips of the BNI over allegations of financial malfeasance at the Authority under his watch.

sylvester mensah released (4)

All his bank accounts were also frozen by the Financial Intelligence Centre after an ex-parte application sought by the centre at the court,

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The immediate past Chief Executive Officer of the NHIA Sylvester Mensah was held at the headquarters of the BNI for questioning.The Ghana Financial Intelligence Centre has frozen all the bank accounts of the former Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA ) Sylvester Mensah.The former Chief Executive of the NHIA, Sylvester Mensah, admonished the NDC members in the Dade Kotopon Constituency, to halt the attack on party offices following his interrogation by the BNI.

5. Brave Taxi driver

A taxi driver took on a very dangerous responsibility to stop two robbers who had just shot a lady.

He rammed his vehicle into the two who were on a motor bike, and for his bravery, got a presidential treat by meeting the Vice President at the Flagstaff House, and was rewarded with a brand new house by President John Mahama.

Popular super market, Koala also bought him a brand new saloon car.

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The Police say a Supervisor at the Cantonments Branch of the Koala Shopping Mall, masterminded a robbery attackon one of its staff on Saturday.Ghana’s former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, commended a taxi driver who knocked down two armed robbers who attacked and robbed a lady of an undisclosed sum of money at Cantonments in Accra on Saturday morning.The taxi driver who used his car to prevent the two armed robbers involved in the Cantonments robbery incident from escaping is to be given a new car by the Management of Koala for his bravery.An Accra circuit court remanded the three men arrested in connection with a robbery involving a worker of Koala.

6. Ministerial reshuffle

The former Chief of Staff, Prosper Douglas Bani, was named Minister Designate for Interior in President Mahama’s first reshuffle list for 2016.Minister for Food & Agriculture Franklin Fiavi Fiifi Kwetey, was nominated as the Minister of Transport to replace Dzifa Ativor, who resigned from her position on December 23, 2015 over the controversial GHc3.6 million bus re-branding scandal.

Government later asked Smarttys, the company at the centre of the bus branding scandal to refund over GHC1,5 million to the state.

7. Pneumococcal meningitis 

The outbreak of the deadly Pneumococcal meningitis has put fear in Ghanaians. The disease which was first reported in the Brong Ahafo Region, has been recorded in six other regions. It has so far claimed nearly 40 lives.

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One more person has been confirmed dead in the Tain District of the Brong Ahafo Region following an outbreak of Pneumococcal meningitis.The Pneumococcal Meningitis disease which has so far killed nine people in Tain, Wenchi and Bruohan in the Brong Ahafo Region, has spread to Techiman, in the same region, killing 6 people there.

8. DKM and other dubious microfinance institutions

DKM

Some disgruntled customers of one of the microfinance companies which had their license revoked by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), say they will petition the president, John Dramani Mahama, to help them retrieve their monies.President John Mahama ordered the Bureau of National Investigations to confiscate properties of DKM Microfinance as government rolls out plans to pay customers whose investments have been locked up.

9. British murder suspect

Murder suspect, Arthur Simpson-Kent

Murder suspect, Arthur Simpson-Kent

A British man, Arthur Simpson-Kent suspected to have killed his girlfriend, an ex-soap opera star and her two children, fled to Ghana.The Government of Ghana confirmed the arrest of a British murder suspect, Arthur Simpson-Kent, in the country and is working on his extradition to the UK for trial.

10. CPP Congress

Three other persons filed their nomination forms to challenge Samia Yaaba Nkrumah for the presidential slot of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) ahead of the November general elections.The Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP) started the vetting process of flagbearer aspirants for the congress.A flagbearer aspirant of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Samia Yaba Nkrumah, urged members of the party to choose her to lead the party in the November elections.One of the aspirants, Onzy Nkrumah,  accused the party’s former Chairperson and her sister Samia Nkrumah, of masterminding his disqualification from the race.The Convention People’s Party (CPP) completed the vetting of all four presidential aspirants.The former General Secretary of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Greenstreet was shockingly elected as the flagbearer for the general elections in November.

11. Smarttys bus re-branding

An amount of GHc1.9 million expected to be refunded to the state by Smarttys Management and Productions Limited, the company at the centre of the bus re-branding saga, has been reduced by over GHc400,000.The Minority spokesperson on Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Joe Osei Owusu, described the decision by Government to review the amount from GHc1.9 million to GHc1.5 million, as another attempt to cover up rot.

The branded buses

The branded buses

12. PNC’s Ayariga forms new party

The Electoral Commission is expected to present a provisional license to a new political party; the All Peoples Party (APC). The APC, founded by the former flagbearer of the People’s National Convention (PNC) Hassan Ayariga, is expected to contest the November general elections.

hassan ayariga apc

The 10 most talked about stories in February

The month of love, February, did not start on a good note for Ghanaians who were already unhappy with hikes in fuel and utility prices in December 2015, and January 2016..

1. TRANSPORT FARES UP BY 15%

The transport operators, following a near 30% increase in fuel prices, also increased fares by 15% on February 1, 2016.

Several assurances from the government and meetings between them and the transport operators aimed at ensuring a reduction of the fares yielded no positive results.

trotro

The issue dragged for some few days after which no one bothered about it any longer.

Some headlines:

Stakeholders in the transport sector finally increased transport fares by 15%. The new fares took effect from Monday February 1, 2016.The Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Moses Asaga accused thetransport unions of acting in bad faith, by side-stepping their negotiation plan to announce new fares.

2. MENINGITIS

The cases of Pneumococcal Meningitis and its related ailments which was first recorded in the Brong Ahafo Region further spread to other parts of the country.

About nine regions recorded various cases of other strains of meningitis, with nearly 100 lives lost.

Government later released an amount of GHc200,000 to boost efforts to control the spread of the disease in the country.

Some headlines:

Laboratory results on four out of five suspected cases of meningitis recorded at the Ridge hospital in Accra tested negative.In a bid to curb the outbreak of the deadly meningitis disease in the country, the health ministry released additional GHc200,000 to tackle the situation.

3. CPP ELECTION OF IVOR GREENSTREET AS FLAGBEARER

The National Delegates Congress in the Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP) also took centre stage in the country’s political arena.

The congress, which was held was held on January 30, 2016, saw former General Secretary of the party, Ivor Greenstreet, who is physically challenged, emerge winner after crushing Samia Nkrumah, Bright Akwetey and Joseph Agyapong.

CPP-Congress-Ivor-Greenstreet-wins-party-flagbearership

Ivor Greenstreet had 1,288 votes representing 64.7% while Samia had 578 representing about 29%.

Although the election was held in January, subsequent issues dragged into February.

There were accusations from the camp of Samia, who claimed  that Ivor Greenstreet bribed delegates to vote for him; a claim he debunked.

Samia Nkrumah subsequently announced her decision to contest the Jomoro Parliamentary seat, which she lost after a first term before contesting for the party’s chairmanship slot and now her failed presidential bid.

Some headlines:

Samia Yaba Nkrumah, daughter of Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah accused Ivor Greenstreet of vote buying.CPP’s Presidential candidate, Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, commenced a nationwide “Thank you tour,” to show gratitude to the party’s delegates who elected him at the congress.Ivor Greenstreet told Citi News he will hold discussions with the party leadership on a possibility of wooing back the 2012 Flagbearer of the party, Dr. Abu Sakara.Defeated presidential aspirant, Bright Akwetey declared his support Mr. Greenstreet, going into the general elections in November this year.Ivor Greenstreet vowed to drag Samia Nkrumah and others before the party’s Disciplinary Committee to prove allegations of bribery against him.

4. ABUAKWA NORTH MP KILLED BY TEENAGER 

Ghanaians woke up on February 9, 2016 to hear reports of the murder of Joseph Danquah-Adu, the Member of Parliament for the Abuakwa North constituency in the Eastern Region.

JB Danquah was allegedly killed by a 19-year-old at his residence at Shiashie in Accra where he lived with his family.

jb-danquah

The teenager, Daniel Asiedu claimed he had gone to the house to steal but was caught by the MP red-handed, thus he stabbed the Abuakwa North legislator to death.

The suspect who has since been arrested is in the custody of the BNI pending further court appearances.

Some headlines:

Scores of NPP stalwarts thronged the house of the MP for Abuakwa North, who was stabbed to death by unknown assailants.President Mahama said he was shocked by the death of his friend and Member of Parliament for Abuakwa North, Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu. President Mahama in a tweet said he “received news of my friend J.B. Danquah-Adu’s murder with shock. My heart goes out to his siblings, Frank etc, his wife & children.”The Accra Regional Police Command arrested a man suspected to have killed Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu.Former President John Agyekum Kufuor  described the death of Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu as a loss to the party since he was a real political gem in the country’s politics.The MP for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea, described the death of his colleague, Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu as a contract killing.

5. PASTOR CHRIS IN TOWN

The Closure of about seven roads in the capital city Accra ahead of a planned all-night service by popular Nigerian preacher, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of the Christ Embassy Church got Ghana talking.

That was the first time Pastor Chris was visiting Ghana.

Pastor-Chris-Oyakhilome

Thousands of Christians from across the globe showed up at the Black Star square for the all-night service held on Friday February 5, 2016 which was dubbed “Night of Bliss.”

Whereas some were happy about Pastor Chris’ visit to Ghana, others took to social media to vent their spleen over what they claimed is the preferential treatment which was given the Nigerian pastor as against his counterparts in Ghana.

Some headlines: 

The Ghana Police Service temporarily closed down some major roads in the national capital, Accra, ahead of a major crusade by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.Thousands of Christians were seated at the Black Star square hours ahead of renowned Nigerian pastor, Chris Oyakhilome’s crusade.Thousands of Christians thronged the Black Star square for Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s “Night of Bliss” crusade.

6. AGOGO FULANI CRISIS

The Agogo township in the Asante Akyim North Municipality of the Ashanti Region later in the month, came under the spotlight after the Member of Parliament for the area, Kwadwo Baah Agyemang, held a press conference to express the displeasure of the townsfolk about the continuous stay of Fulani herdsmen in the area.

The residents accused the nomads of destroying their crops with their cattle and killing their relatives who protest over the issues.

Fulani

Security personnel made up of military and the Police were deployed to the area in a bid to evacuate some of the Fulani herdsmen from Agogo.

Some headlines:

The MP for the Asante Akyem North Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Kojo Baah Agyeman led a demonstration against the Agogo traditional authorities for what he calls, their failure to sack Fulani herdsmen in the area.The outgoing Ashanti Regional Minister, Peter Anarfi Mensah promised to expel Fulani herdsmen from Agogo.Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Hannah Bissiw proposed the establishment of a permanent cattle ranch as the solution to the impasse between Fulani herdsmen and locals in the area.Parliament waded into the recurring issue of disagreements between Fulani herdsmen and residents of Agogo by requesting for an audio tape on which the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Kofi Boakye, allegedly threatened to arrest the MP for the area, for inciting violent attacks against the Fulanis.A Security Analyst, Dr. Kwesi Aning described as xenophobic the massive public outcry against Fulanis in Agogo.A special joint taskforce of military and Police personnel was dispatched t0 Agogo, ostensibly to drive out a section of Fulanis from the area.The Agogo Youth Association (AYAS) banned all forms of political activities in the town following the disagreement between locals of the town and nomadic Fulani herdsmen.A group calling itself, the Agogo Youth Association (AYAS) petitioned the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to help find a lasting solution to the long-standing conflict between Fulani nomads and residents of Agogo.

7. TAFO CLASHES

Still in the Ashanti Region, the Tafo community in Kumasi took the media coverage away from Agogo.

The town was placed under curfew because of clashes between the Muslim community and the youth of the town over a piece of cemetery land.

The Muslims had accused the Traditional Council of taking over the cemetery land which belongs to them. They therefore erected a fence wall to secure the land in contention.

Scenes of destruction from the Old Tafo clashes

Scenes of destruction from the Old Tafo clashes

But the youth of the area did not take it lightly and allegedly pulled down the wall triggering the clashes. One Muslim died in the process, several others were injured while some churches and Mosques were attacked.

Several persons were arrested, with a dawn to dusk curfew placed on the community which was subsequently reviewed from 8am to 6pm.

Some headlines:

The Ashanti Regional Security Council placed a curfew on the Tafo township following clashes between the Muslim Community and the traditional authorities. Scores of persons were wounded in the clashes.Academic work in some schools was affected at Tafo in the Ashanti Region, following violent clashes between indigenes and Muslim youth that left one dead and several injured.The Ashanti Regional Police Command later screened some 40 persons arrested in connection with the Tafo clashes.The MP for Asawase, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka also appealed to the Police to release the over-40 individuals arrested in connection with the recent riots at Tafo in the Ashanti Region.The Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) subsequently reviewed the curfew it imposed on the troubled Tafo township. The security council reduced the curfew hours to span between 8pm-4am.The National Chief Imam, Sheik Usman Nuhu Sharubutu expressed worry about the developments in Tafo.The mandate of the committee set up by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly to mediate the dispute between the traditional council and the Muslim community in Tafo was extended.

8. EC’S ELECTION STEERING COMMITTEE IN LIMBO

The Electoral Commission came under fire in the month of February 2016 for including supposed NDC activists in its National Election Steering Committee.

Pro-opposition groups including the Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA) and the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) demanded the removal of the 3 supposed NDC members or the dissolution of the election committee.

The Electoral Commission after and IPAC meeting later assured to look into the concerns raised over the composition of the committee.

Some headlines: 

The Electoral Commission on February 8, 2016 inaugurated an 18-member election steering committee ahead of this year’s election scheduled for November.Days after the committee was formed, pro-opposition pressure group, Let My Vote Count Alliance, wants the 10-member Elections Steering Committee to be dissolved, because in their view, the composition is politically biased.The Executive Director of the National Service Secretariat, Dr. Michael Kpessa Whyte, defended the initial selection of Dr. Karl Marx Arhin as the representative of the NSS on the National Election Steering Committee, saying nothing bars him as a citizen from holding that position even though he is a card bearing member of the NDC.The Acting Director of Public Relations at the Electoral Commission, Christian Owusu Parry rubbished media reports that the Electoral Commission (EC) has suspended the Election Steering Committee.The General Secretary of the incumbent NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said it was unfair to accuse the Electoral Commission of bias, following the setting up of the Election Steering Committee.The National Organiser of the NDC, Kofi Adams has said his party was not worried about the composition of of members of the adhoc committee formed by the Electoral Commission to supervise the November polls.

9. KINTAMPO ACCIDENT

A massive public outcry also greeted an accident that occurred near the Kintampo water falls involving a Metro Mass Transit bus and a truck fully loaded with tomatoes.

President John Dramani Mahama and Nana Akufo Addo, among others expressed condolences to the bereaved families and consoled those injured.

The death toll which was around 50 later rose to 61.

The accident ignited calls for safety on our roads.

Some headlines:

Over 50 people died in an accident that occurred on the Tamale-Kintampo stretch of road in the Brong Ahafo Region on February 16, 2016.The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) constituted a team of professionals to investigate the fatal accident.President John Dramani Mahama who visited the injured person in the hospital announced a Ghc100,000 support for survivors of the accident.48 victims of the Tamale-Kintampo road accident were later identified at the Kintampo mortuary.More lives could not be saved in the accident due to logistical challenges facing the Brong Ahafo Regional Ambulance Service.Initial investigations into the  Wednesday night accident on the Kintampo-Tamale road killed 61 people revealed that the driver of the Metro Mass Transit (MMT) bus, caused the accident by overtaking wrongly in a sharp curve.The driver was also said to have overloaded.State transport operator, Metro Mass Transit (MMT), announced that it will foot the bills incurred by some passengers who survived the fatal accident.

10. THE ALMIGHTY STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS(ES):

President John Dramani Mahama was in Parliament on February 25 were he presented the State of the Nation Address.

He touched on all sectors of the economy and also brought to Parliament some beneficiaries of government projects and initiatives.

mahama speaks sotn 2016

However, the NPP also held what it termed the “Real State of the Nation” address to counter what the president said.

The address done by the NPP flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo sought to rubbish the achievements of the NDC.

Some headlines:

President John Dramai Mahama said efforts made by his administration to fight against corruption clearly prove that the canker can be tackled.President Mahama touted his achievements in the power sector, saying about 80 percent of Ghanaians now have access to electricity.President John Dramani Mahama introduced what appears to be a novelty, by displaying for applause beneficiaries of his government’s various social intervention programmes, while delivering his State of the Nation address in Parliament.Flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has described President Mahama’s ‘evidence-based’ State of the Nation Address as an embarrassing exercise that shows mediocrity.Nana  Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, pooh-poohed President Mahama’s state of the nation address, saying he only told tales that did not reflect the real state of affairs.

The ten most talked about stories in March

1.Independence Day brochure errors

Highlights from Ghana’s 59th Independence Day Parade was not the display of military force or instances of school children fainting in the scorching sun but the numerous grammatical and typographical errors in the Independence Day brochure approved by Government.

President John Dramani Mahama later blamed what he called the “printer’s devil” for the error-ridden brochures that were distributed at the event held at the Black Star Square.

Photos of the grammatical and typographical errors went viral on social media which also had the “Coat of Arms” wrongly spelt among other errors.

error ridden brochure for indepedence day parade

As the narrative unfolded, a statement signed by the acting Director of the ISD, Francis Kwarteng Arthur on Monday, said his department authored the content of the brochure and thus accepted full responsibility for the mistakes.

He later confessed to forging ISD letterhead of the apology letter in a bid to get ahead of the backlash.

2.South African trio arrested

On March, national security arrested three former police officers of South African nationality who were reportedly training the security detail of the New Patriotic Party presidential candidate, Nana Addo Akufo-Addo.

The three South African ex-Police officers were in the country to train some young people in various security drills, including unarmed combat, weapon handling, VIP protection techniques and rapid response manoeuvres.

They were identified as; Major Ahmed Shaik Hazis (rtd); 54, Warrant Officer Denver Dwayhe; 33, and Captain Mlungiseli Jokani, 45, and they were charged with conspiracy to commit crime and unlawful training.

The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) eventually repatriated the three South African ex-Police officers because they allegedly concealed the true reasons for their visit to Ghana.

The story however evolved to focus on the Head of Nana Addo’s security team, Captain (rtd) Edmund Koda, who was arrested in connection with the three South Africans.

3.Captain Koda brouhaha

Captain (rtd) Edmund Koda and the owner of the EL-Capitano Hotel Captain (rtd) Acquah was controversially re-arrested on the day charges against him had been dropped.

The 69-year old retired Captain of the Ghana Armed Forces, was held by the BNI for five days for his alleged role in the invitation of three ex-police officers.

Captain Koda was then released on health grounds after he was taken ill while in BNI custody.

His lawyer, Nana Asante Bediatuo, complained that his client was not being treated fairly and that his rights had been abused under the laws of Ghana.

The Interior Ministry later roped in the questionable past of the retired captain by issuing a statement to the effect Captain Edmund Koda had been involved in the AFRC regime following accusations of corruption leveled against him but his legal team rubbished those claims.

4.Mahama’s Scotland trip goes sour

President John Dramani Mahama travelled to Scotland to receive an honorary Doctorate Degree of Laws (LLD) from Aberdeen University.

The trip however became infamous for the sections of the Scottish Parliament that hit hard at President Mahama over perceived human rights issues.

Reports indicate that the Scottish MPs, mostly from the opposition wing, called on their government to confront President Mahama on Ghana’s alleged abuses of lesbian and gay citizens.

5. Cashew nuts saga

This past month saw the Ministry of Trade and Industry suspending a ban it placed on exportation of raw cashew nuts after it received intense bashing from Parliament.

A statement signed by the Minister of Trade, Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah said the decision to suspend the ban was mainly influenced by the view that the timing for the move was wrong.

Cashew_nut-300x232

The Ministry earlier explained that the directive banning the cashew nuts exports was an attempt to improve local processing sector.

This ban however infuriated MPs and some cashew nut farmers who mounted intense pressure on the Ministry to rescind its decision.

Despite the Trade Ministry’s decision to bow to the pressure from the MPs, it said it will soon put in place some measures to streamline the cashew industry.

6.BoG governor and British ‘drug lord’ arrest

The circumstances of a major drug arrest effected in Ghana yet again pulled the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah, into the lime light for the wrong reasons.

The governor’s British son-in-law, David McDermott, who has been married to his step-daughter, Ramona Wampah for three years, was on March 11, arrested at his home in Accra’s affluent Burma Hills.

David McDermott (3)

According to UK officials, David McDermott, had been working in Ghana’s mining industry and had been on the run for the past three years, for attempting to import cocaine into the UK.

The suspect is said to be a member of an organised crime syndicate from Liverpool and he has been on the run for three-years, following his role in a plot to import £71 million worth of cocaine into the UK.

These events forced Dr Wampah to issue a statement denying any knowledge of his son-in-law’s dealings.

He also came out to state emphatically that he will not resign over his British son-in-law’s alleged involvement in the drug trade.

He was later extradited.

7.BoG Governor steps down

Dr Kofi Wampah however did announce he was going to step down as BoG governor after a quite tumultuous tenure that saw him besieged by the DKM saga, the failing cedi and the rest of his son-in-law on drug charges.

Wampah, whose term was officially to end on August 5, told Reuters he had informed President John Mahama of his intention to leave by the end of March 2016, explaining that the decision was partly linked to presidential and parliamentary elections planned for November.

Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah is BoG governor

Dr. Henry Kofi Wampah is BoG governor

He said one of his two deputies, either Millison Narh or Abdul Nashiru Issahaku, was expected to serve as interim central bank governor until President Mahama chooses a permanent successor.

Millison Narh was eventually appointed as his temporary successor but Abdul Nashiru Issahaku was given the job full time by President

8.PURC blows money on hampers

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), was indicted in the Auditor General’s report for spending GHc99,663 on the distribution of Christmas hampers.

According to the report, the amount was expended on such items “during the 2012 Christmas and New Year break.”

The 152 page report submitted to Parliament also revealed that 43 assemblies  failed to account for over 1 billion Ghana Cedis.

PURC Public Relations Director, Nana Yaa Jantuah

PURC Public Relations Director, Nana Yaa Jantuah

This followed the failure of the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, to pay into their bank accounts revenue collected despite regulations which require them to do so.

The report further cited several cases of embezzlement of funds amounting to over 500,000 Ghana Cedis through diversion of cash inflows into personal accounts and insertions on cheques after they had been endorsed.

9.Zanetor’s woes

The Electoral Commission confirmed that Dr. Zanetor Rawlings, the National Democratic Congress’ parliamentary candidate for the Klottey Korle Constituency, was not a registered voter according to their records.

The EC made this known in a letter written by Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, to a private legal practitioner, Thaddeus Sory, giving him instructions to represent them in court, in a suit filed against Dr. Zanetor Rawlings and the EC, by incumbent NDC MP for Klottey Korle, Nii Armah Ashietey.

Zanetor

This set the tone for a rather bad month for Dr. Zanetor as her suit praying the court to throw out the case challenging her eligibility filed by incumbent Member of Parliament for the Klottey Korle Constituency, Nii Armah Ashietey was dismissed on two occasions.

She later had the opportunity in April and during the during a limited voter registration exercise to have her name captured on the voters register.

She also won the Klottey Korle parliamentary race hence retaining the seat for the NDC.

10.Jake passes on

Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey died in the early hours of Sunday, March 20, in a London hospital where he had gone for treatment.

Jake Obetsebi Lamptey

Jake Obetsebi Lamptey

He was 70.

Tributes poured in  from all sections of the political divide for the late NPP chairman who is expected to be buried on April 22.

Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey,  played an integral part in former President’s John Kufuor’s victory in 2001, as his Election Campaign Manager.

He served as the first Chief of Staff in the Former President’s administration and variously as Minister of Information and Presidential Affairs, and Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City.

Nine issues that kept Ghanaians talking in April

Atebubu Traditional Council bans Sanja Nanja

The month of April was not a good one for the Member of Parliament of Atebubu-Amantin following some altercation he had with the Queen Mother of the area.

He is said to have insulted the Queen mother on live radio and was subsequently banned by the traditional authorities from engaging in any social activity in the area.

Sanja Nana with President Mahama

Sanja Nana with President Mahama

Several efforts including from big wigs of the National Democratic Congress to make amends however proved futile.

He will later on December 7 lose his seat to the New Patriotic Party.

EC’s new logo

The Electoral Commission also came under a wave of bashing for deciding to design a new logo as part of some reforms it adopted prior to the December 7 polls.

ec-logo

The commission however went ahead to adopt the new logo despite agitations from stakeholders and Ghanaians.

Fear and panic over terror attacks

Ghanaians were also put in a state of fear and panic following a a prophecy by the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Prophet T.B Joshua, predicting a possible terrorist attack on Ghana and Nigeria.

A leaked memo from Ghana’s security operatives confirmed the prophesy and sighted a Malian terrorist.

TB Joshua’s prophesy came on the back of a similar terror alert issued by the National Security Council in March, which said countries within the West African sub-region are at risk.

The Council said based on intelligence from other agencies, it has every reason to believe that countries including Ghana is at risk.

Leaked WASSCE papers

There also the widespread leakage of three papers; Oral English, Integrated Science and Social Studies, during the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) however, WAEC failed to cancel those papers.

WAEC later in the year released the results of the WASSCE exam but cancelled a total of 1,576 results of some of the candidates while 598 candidates had their entire results cancelled.

NPP boycotts Okay FM, Neat FM

The NPP boycotted two radio stations in Accra belonging to the Despite Group of Companies, owners of Accra-based Peace FM.

According to the NPP, the radio stations, which are Neat FM and Okay FM, “consistently discuss all matters of the NPP with a negative slant.”

Adakabre makes U-turn over claims against Nana Addo

Following the boycott host of Neat FM’s talk show Host, Adakabre Frimpong Manso alleged that he received death threats from NPP leader, Nana Akufo-Addo but later made a U-turn on the allegations.

Uproar over textbook depicting the head as ‘load carrier’

Ghanaians were also outraged by reports of a science text book for teaching kids which captured the human head as a load carrier.

Several others including the Vice President of  policy think thank, IMANI Ghana, and Lecturer at Ashesi University, Kofi Bentil took to social media to call for the withdrawal of the text book from schools.

Confusion over reports of ‘NDC re-branding NCCE cars

Reports of the NDC rebranding some supposed pick-up vehicles meant for the NCCE into NDC colours also kept Ghanaians talking throughout the month of April.

The person who supposedly took photos of the vehicle which went viral was also arrested by the National Security for questioning.

leak ndc branding car

The NDC however rejected claims that the vehicles were for the NCCE.

Panama exposé

The eldest son of Ghana’s former President John Agyekum Kufuor was named in the Panama papers scandal.

The Panama papers, which is said to be the biggest and latest leak, larger than the US diplomatic cables released by Wiki leaks in 2010, represented the latest disclosure of confidential documents regarding offshore companies of politicians, their relatives and associates — more than 100 in all.

The Ghanaian part of the document featured, John Addo Kufuor, who is said to have controlled a bank account in Panama worth $75,000.

MAY

Delete names of ‘NHIS card voters’ – Supreme Court orders

The Supreme Court on May 5 ordered the Electoral Commission to expunge from the voters’ register the names of all persons who registered and voted in the 2012 elections, with the National Health Insurance card as a proof of identity.

In the ruling the Supreme Court, presided over by Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood, also ordered the Commission to take steps to re-register the persons whose names would be deleted by ensuring that they use the authorized process to get their names back onto the electoral roll.

Supreme Court

Supreme Court

The apex court made the ruling in a case brought before it by a former National Youth Organizer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Abu Ramadan and one Evans Nimako, who were challenging the credibility of the voters’ register.

The Court later ordered the EC to furnish it with the list of the NHIS registrants which the EC did and was later asked to delete such names and re-register them if they were able to proof their Ghanaian citizenship.

Parties accuse IEA of being bias 

Some parties in the country accused the IEA of being biased following its decision to organise presidential debates for only the two largest parties in Ghana and a separate one for the smaller parties.

The NDC however boycotted the IEA platform. Although the NPP assured to be at the IEA platform several efforts by the institute to have the NPP’s presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo to appear for their encounter proved futile.

Police recruitment

The Ghana Police service in May began enlisting more people into the service. Thousands of Ghanaians applied.

Ayariga’s APC opens nomination with Ghc100,000 filing fee

The All People’s Party, formed by Hassan Ayariga, opened nominations for persons seeking to stand as presidential and parliamentary nominees on behalf of the party in May 2016.

Hassan Ayariga

Hassan Ayariga, APC Flagbearer

The party pegged filing fee for presidential hopefuls at GHc100,000 whilst that of parliamentary hopefuls were slated for GHc 5,000.

JUSSAG strike

The Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSSAG) on May 19 declared a strike over government’s failure to implement the consolidation of salaries and allowances for its members.

According to JUSSAG, it would no longer deal with the government lackadaisical attitude towards their demands and hence the withdrawal of service.

The strike was however called off in June.

Cabinet approves Inter-Agency Taskforce on ECG billing anomaly 

The President announced that Cabinet had approved the Inter-Agency Taskforce put together to resolve complaints from the public regarding the bills and charges they receive from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) in respect of power consumption.

He further stated that “the present situation has to end, and I assure my fellow Ghanaians that this too, like other challenges we have faced together, will be fixed.”

Police consider shut down of social media on election day 

The Ghana Police Service on May 26 said it is considering shutting down social media services in the country on  election day.

According to the Inspector General of Police, John Kudalor, the abuse of social media platforms by both political parties and ordinary Ghanaians often created unnecessary tension in the country hence the idea.

This did not go down well with millions of Ghanaians who put pressure on the Police to rescind the decision.

UK High Commission denies Allotey Jacobs’ arrest

The British High Commission on May 30 dismissed reports of the arrest of the Central Regional Chairman of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Allotey Jacobs at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Allotey Jacobs

Allotey Jacobs

According to a statement from the British High Commission, “Jacobs was not detained, nor was he questioned.  There was absolutely no evidence of money laundering or drugs.”

News of Allotey Jacobs’ reported arrest by the UK National Crime Agency on suspicion of money laundering and cocaine trafficking went viral on social media.

Komenda Sugar factory

President John Mahama this month inaugurated the defunct Komenda Sugar Factory in the Central Region.

mahama-on-komenda-sugar-factory-2

Soon after the inauguration, the factory was shut down for close to seven months before it was re-opened.

JUNE

Cocobod blows $20,000 on signing ceremony

It emerged that the Ghana Cocoa Board spent $20, 000 out of the $1.8 billion syndicated loan for the 2015/2016 crop season, for the renting of a venue for a signing ceremony.

Some members of the Minority caucus in Parliament raised concerns about the utilization of the syndicated loan proceeds for the 2015/2016 crop season.

The company also explained that $8,000 of that amount was used to secure a domain name for a special website.

Mahama defends privatisation of ECG

President John Dramani Mahama defended government’s attempt to privatize the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), saying the move is necessary to make the company more efficient.

Defending his claim with examples, President Mahama explained that government had to similarly deregulate the telecommunication network, Ghana Telecom [now Vodafone Ghana] years ago because it was not working.

Bagbin predicts one time victory for Mahama

Majority Leader in Parliament, Alban Bagbin, predicted a resounding second-term victory for President John Dramani Mahama in the 2016 general election.

Speaking at a programme to inaugurate “a youth working committee” for his constituency, the outspoken and one of the longest serving lawmakers, in the Upper West Region, described President Mahama as “a dedicated humble leader” who is committed to developing Ghana.

Our manifesto ideas are original – Mahama

Following counter claims by both party of the other stealing manifesto ideas, President declared that his party has no fears of opposition political parties copying the ideas contained in their manifesto.

We’ll repeal ‘nuisance’ taxes- Bawumia

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in an interview on the the Citi Breakfast Show reiterated his party’s resolve to repeal what he described as “nuisance” taxes.

Dr. Bawumia has for sometime now waged a campaign against some taxes introduced by the NDC government.

Mahama inaugurates 1,500 housing units 

President John Mahama inaugurated a 1,500 housing units at Ningo in the Greater Accra Region as part of the phase one of the affordable housing project.

ningo-afforadable-housing

The entire project is expected to produce 5,000 housing units for low and middle income earners in the country.

Mahama’s mother passes away

The Mother of President John Dramani Mahama, Abiba Nnaba also passed away in June 2016.

Mahama subsequently suspended President John Dramani Mahama has suspended his “Accounting to the People” tour to mourn his mum.

Mahama hot over Ford gift saga

President Mahama in June came under massive bashing after accepting a a 2010 Ford Expedition vehicle gift from a Burkinabe contractor.

The contractor, Djibril Kanazoe was accused of ‘bribing’ President Mahama with an the expensive vehicle in an attempt to win a contract to execute a road construction project.

He admitted giving President Mahama a 2010 Ford Expedition vehicle as a gift, for which the President called to thank him.

Government also admitted the incident occurred but said it cannot constitute corruption or conflict of interest since the car was added to the pool of government vehicles.

CHRAJ which was petitioned by the PPP and CPP said the gift was not a bribe.

Minority MPs move to also impeach Mahama over the issue also did not materialize.

Nana Addo promises one-district-one-factory

NPP leader, Nana Akufo-Addo promised to build factory in all the districts in the country. He also promised to give each constituency one million dollar each for development.

The promise was tag by the NDC as unrealistic but the NPP argued that it is feasible.

UK votes to leave EU
The UK on June 24 voted by 52% to 48% to leave the European Union after 43 years in an historic referendum.

London and Scotland voted strongly to stay in the EU but the remain vote was undermined by poor results in the north of England.

Bill to make November 7 election day laid before Parliament

The act that sought to amend the 1992 Constitution to move the mandated December 7 date for presidential and parliamentary elections, to the first Monday in November, was laid before Parliament on Tuesday June 28.

Parliament

Meanwhile because Parliament did not get approval from majority of MPs in the House hence the bill was rejected.

JULY

Montie trio saga

Some two radio panelists and a presenter at Montie FM in Accra were sentenced to four months imprisonment for threatening the lives of some Supreme Court judges in the country.

The three; Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn and Salifu Maase, alias Mugabe were released by President Maham after spending close to a month in prison.

Montie trio

Montie trio

President Mahama said he freed the trio following consultations with the Council of State.

Prior to that a petition signed by NDC bigwigs and Ministers was sent to the President.

Nigeria’s Abacha gave me $2M not $5M – Rawlings confesses

Former President Jerry John Rawlings rejected claims that he received $5 million from former Nigerian President Sani Abacha.

Mr. Rawlings while speaking to the Guardian Newspaper in Nigeria, admitted receiving the money from then President of Nigeria, but said it was $2 million and not $5 million as alleged. Mr. Rawlings, who allegedly received the money in 1998, was rebuked by the opposition New Patriotic Party.

Asanteman Council demands removal of KMA boss
The Asanteman Council has called for the immediate removal of the Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Kojo Bonsu.

A complaint was filed against him at the Council over the construction of the Kejetia Central Market redevelopment project. Mr. Bonsu is reported to have unilaterally removed Amoamanhene, Nana Agyenim Boateng from the Kejetia Market project board without informing the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

Though he apologized for his decision it was not accepted and thus stepped down.

Gov’t restores ‘scrapped’ nursing trainee allowances 

The Mahama-led administration in July restored allowances of trainee nurses after it cancelled it some time ago.

Government announced a scrapping of the allowances in order to remove the restrictions on admission to the various training institutions due to the huge amount it had to pay in the form of allowances.

This was in order to give more students the opportunity to gain admissions into these institutions. However, the scrapping was met with much resistance from some students who rely on the allowances to support themselves in school. This led to the setting up of a committee to advise on the way forward.

nursing-trainee-receiving-cash-1

Per the committee’s recommendation, 34,500 students who were pursuing various levels of health professional training across the country were paid a lump sum of GHc450 which was GHc150 each month.

CLOGSAG strike

The Civil and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) also embarked on a strike over non-payment of their market premium. The strike lasted for close to a month bringing work at the local level to a stand still.

EC fires 2 officials for allegedly verifying Bawumia at residence 

The EC fired two of it’s polling station officers in the Walewale District for breaking the country’s electoral laws after they allegedly sent a copy of the provisional voter’s register and verification materials to the residence of the NPP’s Vice Presidential nominee, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

The two EC officials identified as Jobe Ambrose and Mumuni Latifa were also accused by the NDC  of accepting a GHc 10,000 bribe from Dr Bawumia for bringing the register to his residence.

Although the EC said Dr. Bawumia was verified outside the polling centre it however couldn’t confirm the bribery allegations.

AUGUST

Former Miss Ghana Brigitte Dzogbenuku named Nduom’s running-mate

The flagbearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Papa Kwesi Nduom named Executive Director of Mentoring Women Ghana (MWG), Brigitte Dzogbenuku as his running mate for the December 7 elections.

Oti Bless hot for over Montie trio comment
The deputy Local Government Minister-designate, John Oti Bless issued an apology to the Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood and members of the judiciary for derogatory comments he made against them on Accra-based radio station Montie FM.

This follows a directive from the Speaker for deliberations over his nomination to be put on hold until the Nkwanta North Member of Parliament apologised for the comments he made.

John Oti Bless

John Oti Bless

The Nkwanta North MP’s nomination for the position came under scrutiny following his performance at his vetting which many described as unconvincing. His nomination was again questioned further by revelations that he had made some derogatory comments about the Chief Justice, Georgina Woode on same Montie FM programme which the two jailed panelists and radio host had made death threats on Supreme Court justices.

NDC launches campaign in Cape Coast; manifesto in Sunyani

The NDC launched its 2016 campaign at the Cape Coast stadium in the Central Region and later launched its manifesto in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region.

ndc-manifesto-launch

Only 63% of Ghanaians believe EC will be neutral 

A survey conducted by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana, discovered a worrying public perception about the Electoral Commission’s (EC) ability to effectively declare voting results.

Even though 63% of Ghanaians believe the Commission will perform its duties neutrally, guided by law, almost half of the voter population believes that the EC will likely announce wrong vote tallies or switch election results.

Mugabe’s trip to Ghana cancelled

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe cancelled his trip to Ghana.

Robert Mugabe speaks at his 92nd birthday party held in Masvingo, Zimbabwe, 27 February 2016.Image copyrightEPA Image caption Mr Mugabe said Zimbabwe "had not received much at all" from the diamond sector.

The 92-year old African leader was expected to deliver a presidential lecture at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra, on the occasion of the Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize.

Obinim spends night in Police cell

The Founder of the International Godsway Church, Bishop Daniel Obinim spent the night at the Police cell after he turned himself in because the Police requested for his presence for allegedly defrauding someone to the tune of GHc 11.6 million.

obinimarrest

He was later granted bail.

Prior to that, a video of him allegedly flogging some teenagers of his church for fornicating.

Apologise for calling Mahama incompetent – NDC to Nana Addo 

The NDC demanded an apology from the NPP’s presidential nominee Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for calling President John Dramani Mahama incompetent.

The NDC argued that the consistent attacks on President Mahama by Nana Akufo-Addo and his party must end if they want an issue-based campaign.

But the NPP refused to apologize.

Justice Dery petitions GJA for awarding Anas’ journalist of the year

One of the judges implicated in the judicial corruption scandal, Justice Paul Uuter Dery petitioned the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), for crowning investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas Best journalist of the year.

Anas Award

The GJA decorated Anas with the award and gave him a brand new SUV for his investigative piece on the judiciary which saw about 26 out of 34 of the judges sacked.

Justice Dery challenged the GJA to stip Anas of the award because it rather celebrates ‘unethical journalism‘ and also because his piece is under contention. He also threatened legal suit if the GJA does not adhere to his directive.

I rejected politicians’ Trasacco house; $100K bribe – Prof Martey

The outspoken outgoing Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Professor Emmanuel Martey, revealed that political parties have made several attempts to buy his silence and keep him from criticizing the government.

The blunt Prof. Martey, during his tenure as Moderator, often made public statements against some government decisions and policies.

Prof. Martey

Prof. Martey

At a press conference, Professor Martey said he had rejected several gifts and monies thrown at him by politicians with the sole purpose of silencing him.

“Politicians had tried all means to muzzle me, to get me but they can’t, they come with bribes, fat envelopes, $100,000,” he said.

SEPTEMBER

‘I won’t stop begging to be president’ – Nana Addo

Nana Akufo-Addo, has said he is prepared to beg Ghanaians to make him president if that is what he needs to do save the country from decline.

Nana Addo noted that, he sees nothing wrong with begging to serve as President despite criticisms by his opponents.

“I’m prepared to beg the people of Ghana to be president, if that is what is required to be done,” he added.

Uproar over exorbitant filing fees

The Electoral Commission pegged prices of filing fees for presidential candidates at GHc50,000 and that of parliamentary aspirants at GHc10,000

The issue provoked some smaller political parties including the Progressive People’s Party who sued the EC demanding the amount to reduced drastically.

Parties pick nomination forms

Several parties including the NPP and NDC picked nomination forms to contest in the December 7 elections.

Pull down ‘racist’ Gandhi’s statue from Legon – Professor demands 

A former Director of the Institute of African Studies, Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo, started a campaign asking for the removal of the statue of Indian independence icon, Mahatma Gandhi, from the University of Ghana campus.

ghandi-statue

Prof Adomako Ampofo urged members of the University of Ghana Council to heed her petition arguing among other things that, Gandhi was racist against black people and honouring him set the wrong example for students.

Mahama needs $24billion to fulfill 75% promises – IMANI 

John Dramani Mahama, would need more than $24 billion to enable him fulfill more than half  the promises in the party’s 2016 manifesto.

The amount according to policy think tank IMANI Ghana, would enable him to implement about 75 percent of the promises in his manifesto.

Bawumia chases Amissah-Arthur with 170 questions on economy

Dr. Bawumia delivered a lecture and made some 170 questions on the economy and challenged Vice President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, former BOG boss to answer.

bawumia-veep-491x330

However, several efforts by Bawumia to get Mr. Amissah-Arthur to answer his questions en bloc proved futile.

BRT buses hit streets

The much hyped Bus Rapic Transport (BRT) this month hit the streets of Accra with free rides.

BRT buses

The was for a start made  be only available for passengers on one of the four routes under the BRT service – thus, Amasaman through Achimota to Circle and then to Tudu, at the Central Business District.

BNI releases Fadi Daboussi

The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) arrested a journalist and writer, Fadi Samih Daboussi at the Kotoka International Airport for allegedly publishing a book which many say contains offensive comments about President John Mahama.

Although he was subsequently released, his lawyer explained that he was not arrested because of the book.

Fadi Samih Daboussi

Fadi Samih Daboussi

Lawyer Hassan Tampoli said his client was picked up because of some articles he published on some online portals in the country.

OCTOBER

PPP’s Eva Lokko dead

Running mate for the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) during the 2012 elections, Eva Lokko, has passed away.

Eva Lokko

Eva Lokko

Eva Lokko, who was also the party’s parliamentary hopeful for the Klottey Korle constituency died after a short illness.

BoG justifies US$504K gold watches

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) justified its decision to spend US$504,000 on gold watches to reward retiring staff as part of their conditions of service.

Noting that this policy of rewarding deserving staff has been with it since the 70s, the BoG has said it will not devalue the dedication and commitment of loyal employees who have toiled for the company.

Don’t be deceived by Mahama’s goodies – Nana Addo

Nana Akufo Addo, urged Ghanaians to expect several attempts by President Mahama to ‘buy their votes with goodies’ ahead of the December polls.

According to the leader of the party Ghanaians are no longer interested in the politics of deceit being perpetuated by the NDC.

NDC targets 1 million votes in the Volta Region

The NDC in October said they were expecting about a million votes from the Volta Region in the elections.

NPP launches manifesto at Trade Fair

The NPP launched its manifesto at Trade Fair in Accra on October 9, 2016.

NPP Manifesto Launch

NPP Manifesto Launch

Help us pay our filing fees – PPP begs Ghanaians

The Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) appealed to Ghanaians to help it pay an amount of GHc2.8 million as filing fees for its flagbearer and its 275 parliamentary nominees  for the December polls.

Their case was struck out by the court hence giving the EC the green light to collect the filing fees.

12 presidential aspirants disqualified 

The EC disqualified 12 presidential aspirants from the December 7 polls. Some of them included flagbearer of the PPP, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, NDP’s Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, APC’s Hassan Ayariga, PNC’s Dr. Edward Mahama among others.

The EC cleared only four aspirants which included the NDC’s John Mahama, NPP’s Akufo-Addo, CPP’s Ivor Greenstreet and an independent candidate, Jocab Osei Yeboah.

Some of the disqualified aspirants; PPP, PNC, NDP, IPP among others sued the EC for their disqualification.

PPP subsequently won its case in court by the EC took the matter to the Supreme Court. The was ordered to extend the nomination period for additional days which enabled the parties to amend their nomination forms.

After the completion of the process, only six parties and an independent candidate were able to sail through.

EC disqualifies 24 parliamentary nominees in Ashanti Region 

The Electoral Commission disqualified 24 parliamentary aspirants from contesting in the parliamentary elections in the Ashanti Region. They were disqualified because they could not pay for their nomination fees.

CJ designates 17 courts to handle electoral disputes 

In a bid to fast track election related cases, the Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, designated 17 specialised courts to deal with electoral disputes that may arise before the December 7, 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Parliament approves GHc10.9bn for critical expenditure in 2017

Ghana’s Parliament approved a GHc10.9 billion request by the government to help finance “critical government expenditure” in the first quarter of 2017.

This followed the recommendation for the approval of the budget by the Finance Committee of Parliament.

Nana Addo ran away from one-on-one debate – Mahama 

President John Dramani Mahama on October 18 accused Akufo-Addo of running away from an opportunity to debate him on issues surrounding his term of office.

mahama-and-nana-addo

“I have challenged him (Akufo-Addo) to a debate, I have said bring all these points you are raising one by one and let’s have a debate. Let me and you debate to the Ghanaian public about the points you are raising; inflation, infrastructure and things. But he has ran away,” he said.

Over 50 chiefs endorse Nana Addo in Ashanti Region

Over fifty chiefs in Atwima Kwanwoma in the Ashanti Region prior to the election declared their support for Nana Akufo-Addo. According to the chiefs, Nana Akufo and the NPP remainrf the country’s best bet for good governance hence their decision to endorse him.

Media cabal blocking ‘my transformation’ message – Mahama 

President John Dramani Mahama expressed worry over what he calls the control of Ghana’s media by a cabal who are blocking his message of transformation.

According to him, a certain group of people had taken control of the Ghanaian media and are blocking his government’s message, a situation which in his view, makes it difficult for people to know the truth.

I’ll not abandon uncompleted NDC projects – Nana Addo 

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo promised not to abandon uncompleted projects being executed by the NDC if he is elected president of Ghana on December 7.

This he said is because of several pleas made to him by Ghanaians during his campaign tour of the country.

I’m overwhelmed by Volta Region reception – Akufo-Addo

During his campaing in the Volta Region, Nana Akufo-Addo pulled a massive crowd in the region.

“Sometimes on this trip, my breath has been taken away by the exuberance and enthusiasm of the crowd. Something tells me that I can dare to hope that this year, the message of the NPP is making inroads in the Volta Region as well as the rest of the country,” he said.

CDB task force to spend $6 million in pursuing $1.5 billion gas loan

A Presidential Special Task Force leading negotiations for the procurement of a $1.5 billion from the China Development Bank was set to expend a total of $6 million dollars while shuttling between Ghana and China.

The task force according to a document sighted by citifmonline.com is made up of five members.

Minority questions €38M loan agreement for Eastern Region university 

Parliament on October  passed a 38 million euro loan agreement between the Government of Ghana and Deutsche bank for the construction of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development in Somanya and Donkorkrom in the Eastern Region.

Before the agreement was passed however, the minority raised concerns about value for money for some of the components of the agreement.

The Minority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu cited the proposed use of about 1.7 million euros for the construction of a residential facility for the Vice Chancellor of the University saying it is “dangerous for the economic health” of Ghana.

NOVEMBER

AG discontinues Woyome’s GHc51m judgement debt case 

The Attorney General’s Department on November 2  filed a notice at the Supreme Court to discontinue a case it filed against businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, in the controversial GHc51 million judgment debt saga.

The notice of discontinuance stated that “please take notice that the 1st Defendant Judgment Creditor [Attorney General] herein has this day [26th Day of October 2016] discontinued the present application to orally examine the 3rd Defendant Judgment Debtor [Alfred Agesi Woyome] with liberty to reapply.”

Former Attorney General, Martin Amidu later applied to orally examine Mr. Woyome but the defendant filed a counter application challenging that of Mr. Amidu.

Journalists sue EC over accreditation fee

Some journalists in the country sued the EC for deciding to charge media personnel GHc20 before giving them accreditation to cover the December 7 polls.

The case was however struck out by an Accra High court.

NDC sacks 23 members for going independent

The NDC prior to the election sacked some 23 disgruntled members who were contesting the elections as independent parliamentary candidates.

A statement signed by the General Secretary of the party, Johnson Asiedu Nketia said the National Executive Commission (NEC) took the decision because the candidates per their actions have breached the party’s constitution.

Show us your husband – George Andah dares Hanna Tetteh 

The NPP’s George Andah came under intense pressure for raising concerns about his opponent, Hanna Tetteh’s marital status.

george-andah-hanna-tetteh-awutu-senya

Mr. Andah at mini rally at Bawjiase in the Central Region  this week, threw an open challenge to Hanna Tetteh to introduce her husband to the constituents.

NDC, NPP supporters clash at Nana Addo’s residence

Supporters of both the NDC and NPP clashed in front of Nana Akufo-Addo’s Nima residence in Accra on Sunday November 13.

The clash ensued between the two parties during a health walk organised by the NDC.

Mahama inaugurates Nkrumah interchange 

President John Dramani Mahama on Monday November 14 cut the tape to officially open to traffic the Kwame Nkrumah Circle interchange project.

The project funded with a loan from the Brazilian government has been touted as one of the major achievements of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC).

File photo

The three tier flyovers also has a fancy water fountain, library, police, fire and ambulance posts as well as bus terminal.

Citi-Updates-Kwame-Nkrumah-Circle-Interchange-–-drone-shots

Vote against Mahama or forget Woyome cash – Amidu

Former Attorney General, Martin Amidu has stated that the GHc51 million judgment debt paid businessman and NDC financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, can only be recouped if there is a change of government. According to him, the governing NDC is only deceiving Ghanaians in its quest to retrieve the money from Mr. Woyome.

Martin Amidu

Martin Amidu

“I am a senior and foundation member of the NDC, the Governing party. But I am compelled to put Ghana First and to defend the 1992 Constitution by saying that the only way Ghanaians can have the Woyome/Austro-Invest joint loot refunded is to change the Government that created, looted and shared the loot with them during the Presidential elections this year.”

Scientific polls show I’ll win on Dec. 7 – Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama while addressing Ghanaians on radio in the Upper East Region said various independent scientific polls clearly show he will win the elections in December.

The President failed to mention which organizations conducted the polls, but said the polling results reflect the feedback from his campaign activities across the country.

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Apologize for tribal comments – MWFA to Mahama

President Mahama while campaigning at Lawra in the Upper West Region, said the NPP will not allow Dr. Bawumia to be their flagbearer because the party is largely not in support of northerners taking up such positions.

But the comment has been described as ethnocentric.

In line with this, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) asked President Mahama to apologize for making such comments.

“The MFWA therefore calls on the President to publicly apologize for his comments,” a statement from the Foundation stated.

Gov’t blows GHc30m on 500 boreholes – NPP

The NPP at a press conference organised in November accused government of spending about GHc30 million on some 500 boreholes in the country.

A former General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie who addressed the press, said the amount has been inflated, and it’s being executed by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), to enable the Mahama-led administration siphon public funds for its campaign activities.

Meanwhile the PURC defended the move and said the amount was value for money.

APC divided; Executives endorse Nana Addo, Ayariga chooses Mahama

Few days to the election confusion broke out among executives of the All People’s Party formed by disqualified presidential hopeful, Hassan Ayariga following a decision by some of his executives to support the NPP.

APC General Secretary [L] and Ayariga's running mate [R]

APC General Secretary [L] and Ayariga’s running mate [R]

Whereas Ayariga’s running mate and General Secretary threw their weight behind Akufo-Addo, Ayariga supported the NDC.

He later fired the two from the party.

6 ballot boxes ‘missing’ in Western Region

The Western Regional office of the Electoral Commission prior to the December polls confirmed to Citi News claims by the NPP in the region; that six of its ballot boxes meant for the polls, had gone missing.

missing-ballot-boxes

According to the NPP, the incident occurred when the six boxes, which were part of a bulk of 44 boxes, were being transferred from the Western Regional Head Office of the Electoral Commission to the various constituencies.

Two out of the six missing ballot boxes were later found at Apowa in the Ahanta West Constituency of the Western Region.

Mahama bribed Bugri Naabu with Ghc3.3m, cars to smear Nana Addo – NPP 

President John Dramani Mahama and his brother, Ibrahim Mahama, according to the NPP also tried to bribe the NPP’s Northern Regional Chairman, Daniel Bugri Naabu, to destroy his own party from within.

bugri-naabu-mahama-bribe

According to the NPP, Mr. Naabu was offered a brand new V6 Mitsubishi, a brand New V8 Land Cruiser and GHc 3.3 million to resign from the NPP and paint the NPP Flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo as a dictator and damage him “beyond electability.”

ELECTION MONTH DECEMBER 2016

Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh loses to Adama Barrow

Still on the African continent, the Gambia’s President, Yahya Jammeh, lost the Gambian election to an estate agent, Adama Barrow, who led a collation of seven opposition parties.

Yahya Jammeh (L), Adam Barrow (R)

Yahya Jammeh (L), Adam Barrow (R)

The head of The Gambia’s electoral commission declared Adama Barrow, 51, as the winner of the 2016 presidential election, with 263,515 votes to Yahya Jammeh’s 212,099 votes. The third candidate, Mamma Kande, polled 102,969 votes.

Though Jammeh conceded defeat, he later made a U-turn and decided not to stop down. Several efforts including deployment of some African leaders including John Mahama failed to convince Jammeh to let go.

I won’t move Ghana’s capital to Kyebi – Akufo-Addo

Back in Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo denied claims that he planned to move the country’s capital to Kyebi in the Eastern Region, if he is voted into office at the December polls.

Images of a purported leaked email attributed to Nana Akufo-Addo and an official of the New Patriotic Party, circulated on social media suggested that the NPP flagbearer planned to move the national capital from Accra to his hometown, Kyebi.

The said email also saw the purported candidate promise a German firm, one of the NPP’s top financiers, a contract to build a new Township in the Eastern Region, to serve as Ghana’s new capital.

Tsatsu Tsikata ‘not guilty’ of causing financial loss – Court of Appeal 

Former GNPC boss, Tsatsu Tsikata also had his name cleared by the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal overturned a High Court judgment which sentenced Tsatsu Tsikata to jail, for willfully causing financial loss to the state.

Tsatsu Tsikata is also a lawyer with many years of experience.

Tsatsu Tsikata is also a lawyer with many years of experience.

According to the Court of Appeal, the judgment of the High Court was a miscarriage of justice, because it did not give Mr. Tsikata a fair opportunity to defend himself.

Voters angry over ‘missing’ names in special voting exercise 

During the special voting exercise in the country, some persons who were supposed to vote on December 1 were angry because they could not find their names on the voters register in the constituencies in which they were to vote.

The EC gave such persons a second chance to vote.

NPP conniving with EC to rig elections – NDC alleges

The NDC said it intercepted a leaked recording that proves that some leading members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), including Mike Oquaye and Lord Commey, attempted to connive with some Election officers to rig the polls.

The party at a media briefing said it will report the matter to the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to take swift action.

NPP, NPP holds final rallies

Both the NPP and NDC held their final rallies in Accra.

The NPP held its own on Sunday December 4 at the Trade Fair Centre whilst the NDC held its own at the Accra Sports stadium on Monday, December 5.

Election day December 7

The election was held as scheduled on December 7, 2016. The EC however declared Nana Akufo-Addo winner of the presidential election on Friday December 7, 2016.

He beat President John Mahama with 53.85 percent of valid votes cast. President Mahama secured 44.40 of valid votes cast.

The NPP also won majority seats in Parliament hence would form the Majority in Ghana’s next Parliament.

Concede defeat – NPP to Mahama

Prior to the declaration, the NPP had put pressure on President John Mahama to concede defeat claiming that figures available to them projects a commanding lead for Akufo-Addo.

But the NDC also countered the NPP’s claim and said they were also John Mahama was in a comfortable lead per their own figures.

Mahama later in the evening of Friday, December 9 called Akufo-Addo to concede defeat.

Stop attacking NDC supporters – Police warn NPP

The Police on December 11 cautioned supporters of the New Patriotic Party to desist from attacking members of the National Democratic Congress.

According to the Police perpetrators of such attacks risk arrest and prosecution if they go ahead with such acts of vandalism.

The Police in a statement signed by its Director of Public Affairs, Superintendent Cephas Arthur said “it has come to the attention of the Police that some people are attacking supporters of NDC in various parts of the country” but failed to name areas in which such acts were being perpetrated.

Mahama assures smooth transition in government

President John Mahama further assured to peacefully hand over power to the new president of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo on January 7, 2017.

He on December 11 inaugurated a joint NPP NDC transition team.

 

Defend yourselves – NDC charges members

Chairman of the NDC, Kofi Portuphy also charged members of the party to retaliate and defend themselves if they are attacked by supposed supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Kofi Portuphy [Middle]

Kofi Portuphy [Middle]

According to him, despite several calls on the NPP leadership to caution its supporters over such attacks, NDC supporters are still being attacked.

Last minute contracts, appointments

Both sides of the transition team reached a compromise regarding the signing of new contracts and other decisions with major financial implications by the President John Mahama-led administration in its last days.

According to President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo’s transition team, the outgoing administration will hence take all such decisions in consultation with the incoming administration.

Give me more time to select ministers – Akufo Addo

President-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo, asked for more time to enable him name ministers who will serve in his government from January.

Parliament approves Mahama’s ex-gratia

Ghana’s Parliament has approved the report of the Presidential Committee on salaries and emoluments for Article 71 office holders including ex-gratia for outgoing President John Dramani Mahama.

President John Mahama will be retiring on a salary of GH¢22,809, up from the non-taxable salary of GH¢15,972 previously approved for presidents.

This reflects about 43 percent increase from the amount previously paid to presidents. This was contained in the Presidential Emoluments Committee on the conditions of service of Article 71 office holders’ report available to citifmonline.com.

Gov’t increases NSS allowance by 60%

Government on Decmeber 20 approved a request from the National Service Secretariate (NSS) to increase the allowance of service personnel by about 60%.

Service personnel will from January 2017 be paid a monthly allowance of GH¢559 from the GH¢350 they currently receive.

Kwesi Botchwey chairs committee to diagnose NDC’s defeat

The National Democratic Congress (NDC), formed a 13-member committee to investigate the cause of the party’s historic defeat in the December 7 polls.

The committee, which was formed by the NDC’s Functional Executive Committee (NEC), and approved by its Council of Elders, is being chaired by a Former Minister of Finance and Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Kwesi Botchwey.

Mahama to deliver final State of the Nation on January 5 

President John Mahama will however deliver his final State of the Nation address to Parliament on January 5, 2017 at 10 am.

According to a statement signed by the Deputy Director of Public Relations of Parliament, Kate Addo, the President will exercise this duty in accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution.

Nana Addo takes over on January 2017

President Mahama will however hand over the administration of the state to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on January 7, 2017.

By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana
Follow @AlloteyGodwin

Disclaimer: News Ghana is not responsible for the reportage or opinions of contributors published on the website.

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