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We have peace and development under Nana Addo, we are grateful – Zabzugu chief

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We have peace and development under Nana Addo, we are grateful – Zabzugu chief

The Chiefs and people of Zabzugu have expressed their deep appreciation to the Akufo-Addo administration for the lasting peace being enjoyed in Dagbon after years of conflict and misunderstanding.

This peace, as well as the provision of massive infrastructure in the Zabzugu District in the past three and a half years, is testimony of the NPP government’s commitment to the development of northern Ghana, the chiefs affirm.

Addressing a durbar in honour of Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia at Zabzugu on Friday, 4th September, 2020, the Paramount chief of Zabzugu, Yelzoli-Lana Iddirisu Imoro II, expressed the appreciation for the ongoing efforts to make life better for his citizens.

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“I wish to vehemently express our gratitude to His Excellencies President Nana Akufo-Addo and the Vice President for the lasting peace in Dagbon and the enskinment of the new Ya-Naa and by extention the subsequent enskinment of the Yelzoli-Lana and other chiefs.

“Your Excellency, I and my Elders and the entire people of Zabzugu wish to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to you and your government for the massive infrastructural development you have brought to the people of Zabzugu.

“Words cannot express our gratitude for the ongoing Zabzugu-Kworli road construction as well as the storey building accommodation for the Zabzugu Senior High School as well as many other projects,” the Yelzoli-Lana indicated.zabzugu bawumia3

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The Vice President, who is on a working visit to the five northern regions, said the NPP administration has plans to do even more to accelerate the development of the and bridge the divide between the north and the south.

“The government of Nana Akufo-Addo is a government for all, that is why we are spreading developmental projects evenly across the country. Everyone will get his fair share.

“As you can see, we are a party and government that fulfills its promises. Free SHS, One Constituency One Ambulance, Planting for Food and Jobs, One District One Warehouse and many more promises are being fulfilled.

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“That is why we are asking for four more years to do even more for you”, Dr Bawumia appealed.

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Source: www.graphic.com.gh

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Akufo-Addo hired $14K-an-hour luxury jet to US while Oppong Weah uses Ghana's presidential jet – Ablakwa

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Akufo-Addo hired $14K-an-hour luxury jet to US while Oppong Weah uses Ghana's presidential jet – Ablakwa

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on his latest trip to the United States of America for the 6th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, chartered the same ultra-luxury aircraft he used to the UK and Germany — the Luxembourg-based luxury jet registered LX-DIO, operated by Global Jet Luxembourg – Member of Parliament for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has disclosed.

According to Mr Ablakwa, at US$14,000 an hour, Ghanaians should be expecting to pay US$616,000; that is GHS3.7million by the president’s return.

Mr Ablakwa noted that while Nana Akufo-Addo was travelling in a luxurious jet at the expense of the taxpayer, Ghana’s presidential Jet was being used by Liberian President George Weah.

“Our monitoring reveals that President Weah landed at the Roberts International Airport (Robertsfield) in Liberia onboard Ghana’s Falcon at 10:00GMT on 18 September 2021. It was the second time in the same week the Liberian leader was exclusively using our presidential jet,” he stated in a post on Facebook.

Mr Ablakwa further said a cumulative sum of President Akufo-Addo’s recent three luxury trips abroad imposes a colossal GHS10million on the Ghanaian taxpayer.

This is not the first time Mr Ablakwa has raised concerns over the cost the nation incurs anytime the President travels abroad and hires a luxurious jet for his trip.

The Boeing 737-900ER BBJ3 with Manufacturer Serial Number (MSN) 62515 and Line Number 5659 is a 19-seater luxury jet which has a HEX code 4D0213 which is configured VIP, has 2x CFMI engines and was delivered to the current operators in November 2015.

According to Mr Ablakwa, the jet comes equipped with multiple sections to guarantee exceptional comfort.

“It provides a VIP lounge for relaxation, Five-Star dining facilities, Royal Master bedroom, Cinema Room specially delineated for watching movies which is a separate accessory from other in-flight entertainment systems, and of course complete with a luxury shower.”

Mr Ablakwa said he will file another urgent question in Parliament demanding full disclosure on the cost of the President’s foreign travels.

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Below are details of Mr Ablakwa’s full post:

It is bad enough to be obstinate and continue to exhibit metastatic arrogance by treating the Ghanaian people with gross disrespect as you continue to dissipate taxpayer funds to charter ultra-luxury VIP aircraft at the neglect of our functioning presidential jet but for God’s sake don’t add blatant lies.

President Akufo-Addo’s spokesperson, Mr Eugene Arhin looked Ghanaians in the eye from the Jubilee House on 7th September 2021 and peddled naked untruths when he claimed the President did not use the Boeing 737-900ER BBJ3 operated by Global Jet Luxembourg and registered LX-DIO for his travels to the UK and Germany. (See: https://www.myjoyonline.com/ablakwas-information-on…/).

A presidential spokesman should not be desecrating what is expected to be hallowed precincts of the seat of government in this Goebbelian manner.

I can authoritatively confirm without a scintilla of doubt or any equivocation for that matter that President Akufo-Addo on his current trip to the United States of America has again chartered the same ultra-luxury aircraft he used to the UK and Germany — the Luxembourg-based luxury jet registered LX-DIO and operated by Global Jet Luxembourg. Same Boeing 737-900ER BBJ3 with Manufacturer Serial Number (MSN) 62515 and Line Number 5659.

The blue and white LX-DIO’s features have not changed: 19-seater luxury jet which has a HEX code 4D0213 which is configured VIP, has 2x CFMI engines and was delivered to the current operators in November 2015.

As is now well known, this luxury monster comes equipped with multiple sections to guarantee exceptional comfort. It provides a VIP lounge for relaxation, Five-Star dining facilities, Royal Master bedroom, Cinema Room specially delineated for watching movies which is a separate accessory from other in-flight entertainment systems, and of course complete with a luxury shower.

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So Mr. Eugene Arhin doesn’t accuse me of fabrications ever again, may I provide some further particulars: the LX-DIO carrying President Akufo-Addo took off at 20:50GMT from Accra on Friday 17th September, 2021; refueled at Lajes International Airport on the Azores Islands (North Atlantic) resumed flying at 04:00GMT; it finally landed at William Hobby Airport in Houston at 7am Houston time on the 18th of September, 2021. Our unimpeachable real time tracking continues.

Rather intriguing, it does appear other Presidents have more confidence in Ghana’s Presidential Jet than President Akufo-Addo. While President Akufo-Addo was engaged in his Arabian-King-style cruise on the LX-DIO at our expense, our Presidential Jet was being used by Liberian President, George Weah. Our monitoring reveals that President Weah landed at the Roberts International Airport (Robertsfield) in Liberia onboard Ghana’s Falcon at 10:00GMT on 18th September, 2021. It was the second time in the same week the Liberian leader was exclusively using our presidential jet.

While the Ghanaian taxpayer is being burdened with the bills from the President’s insatiable and unconscionable appetite for obscene luxury, it is obvious the struggling taxpayer is additionally being saddled with extra presidential travel cost from at least one other President who has happily discovered the availability of the Ghanaian Presidential Jet.

As President Akufo-Addo continues with his intransigence and disdain for the Ghanaian people who had been misled to believe he was sincere when he promised to protect the public purse, other African leaders are giving us a glimmer of hope and shaming President Akufo-Addo. The Namibian President, Hage Gottfried Geingob continues to use Namibia’s Presidential Jet for all presidential travels. The jet known as NAM 001 (No link to NAM1) flew President Geingob to the USA last Saturday. Interestingly, Namibia has a similar Presidential Jet – a Falcon 900B which is much older than ours. The Namibian jet was purchased in 1991. 19 good years before our Falcon arrived in Ghana and yet President Geingob keeps faith with it unlike his Ghanaian counterpart. (See last slide for picture of NAM 001)

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Another ray of inspiration from the continent is Zambia’s new President, Hakainde Hichilema who insisted on flying commercial via Qatar Airways to the UN General Assembly and he impressively did so with a lean delegation of three.

These African Presidents are showing President Akufo-Addo how the public purse is protected.

At US$14,000 an hour, Ghanaians should be expecting to pay a staggering US$616,000; that is an elephantine 3.7million Ghana Cedis by the President’s return.

This is the flight distance breakdown: [6 hours to Azores; 1 hour refueling; 10 hours to Houston; 3 hours from Houston to New York; New York to Accra 11 hours plus 1 hour of refueling break; 12 hours of pick up and drop off time — this works out to a total flight time of 44 hours).

A cumulative sum of President Akufo-Addo’s recent three luxury trips abroad imposes a colossal GHS10million on the suffering Ghanaian taxpayer. Reflect on what GHS10million can do in the ailing health sector or the limping education sector of our dear nation.

Just imagine for a second if President Mahama had engaged in this wanton wastage just to satisfy his creature comforts when there’s a functioning presidential jet in pristine condition and what would have happened to him!

President Akufo-Addo has only recently courageously launched a campaign targeted at Ghanaian professionals accusing them of not paying taxes; the question is, even if some Ghanaian professionals aren’t paying up their fair share in taxes, why should they be motivated to do anything else when the President doesn’t give a hoot how much he squanders on his vulgar extravagance?

One thing is certain: the unrelenting pursuit of full accountability when Parliament resumes. This debauchery must be stopped!

 

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Takoradi: She wasn't pregnant; it was all fake! Regional minister

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Takoradi: She wasn't pregnant; it was all fake! Regional minister

It is turning out that the claims by a 28-yer-old woman in Takoradi that she was pregnant and kidnapped are false, Western Regional Minister Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah has said.

Speaking on Kessben TV’s morning show, Mr Darko Mensah said: “I received a call from NIB yesterday that she had been found and was at the Axim hospital”.

“According to the police, they suspect that the story was fake per their preliminary investigations”, he said.

He noted that the “medical doctor who attended to her even suspects that she may not have been pregnant, as has been reported.”

“They are even surprised at how this story has gone so far”, the minister noted.

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He said “this is the immediate information I have”.

“Nevertheless, the police are still with her and are conducting further investigations,” he added.

Mrs Josephine Simons went missing on Thursday, 16 September 2021.

She was later found on Tuesday, 21 September around Axim and taken to the Axim Government Hospital for treatment.

She said in writing that she was kidnapped and delivered on the day she went missing.

Mrs Simons, according to her husband, Michael Simons, had been living with her mother since she was expecting a child.

As part of her daily physicals, she went on a routine morning walk from the Amanoo road to the Paa Grant Roundabout area but did not return home on that fateful day.

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After her mother reported the case to the husband, a search team was formed and combed the major health facilities in the area suspecting she may have gone into labour and was rushed to one of the health posts but to no avail.

In the course of the day, the husband told local media that some strangers called his mother-in-law demanding a ransom so they release the heavily pregnant wife.

Takoradi became infamous for the kidnapping and killing of some four young girls a couple of years ago.

Their remains were later found in a septic tank.

 

 

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I'll unite, engender discipline, commitment in NPP as Chairman – Ameyaw-Akumfi

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I'll unite, engender discipline, commitment in NPP as Chairman – Ameyaw-Akumfi

Prof Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi has declared his intention to run for the National Chair slot of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) once the party officially opens the processes for the contest.

President Nana Akufo-Addo’s yet-to-be-sworn-in Board Chair of Public Procurement Authority (PPA) made the declaration in an interview with Kwame Appiah Kubi (Mr Speaker) on Accra100.5FM’s morning show Ghana Yensom on Wednesday, 22 September 2021.

“For now, I’m declaring my intention to you, Mr Speaker, on Accra FM”, the former Minister of Education said, adding: “I’ll do the proper declaration once the party has officially opened the processes for doing so”.

Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi outlined three pillars for his aspiration – to unite the party, engender discipline and spur commitment without inducement.

“I’m standing on these three pillars for the big challenge ahead of us”, Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi said.

Profile of Prof Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi:

Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi was born on 21 August 1945 at Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region. He is currently the Minister for Education who has been providing support for novel reforms in the educational sector. Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi is a well-respected academician with long-standing involvement in an evolutionary educational process.

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He attended the Adisadel College in Cape-Coast for his GCE O’ and A’ Levels before entering the University of Ghana in 1965 obtaining a B.Sc. Hons in Zoology in 1969. He pursued his Masters in Zoology at the same University and completed the course in a year in 1970. He left the shores of Ghana for the United States specifically the University of Michigan in 1972 where he spent four years studying for MS in Zoology and a PhD in Zoology.

His contributions to the educational sector are well manifest not only in his present position as Minister for Education but also in his days as a lecturer at the University of Cape Coast. He has participated in a number of activities related to Higher Education in Ghana.

He co-coordinated the introduction of the Semester and Course Unit System at the University of Cape-Coast as well as the production of academic programmes for the University College of Education, Winneba in the Central Region.

He chaired various committees at the University and acted as Vice-Chancellor in the absence of the substantive Vice-Chancellor during his tenure as the Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

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One significant activity he undertook in relation to higher education when he served as the Chairman of the Committee was to review staffing in the polytechnics.

He presented a lead paper on Decentralisation at the University at a seminar for university administration under the auspices of the Tertiary Education Project.

Also presented appear on University Financing at a workshop on Tertiary Education Financing in Akosombo in 1966.

He has attended many conferences in and out and outside Ghana where he presented papers on Science Education. He has to his credit twenty-six publications on various topics in Biology.

Awards obtained include the following: The University of Ghana, Scholar, 1969-1970, AFGRAD Scholar, University of Michigan 1972-1977 Senior Research Fellow, Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship at University College of North Wales Bengor1984-1985 and Fullbright Scholar- Marine Research Laboratory Bodega Bay University of California.

He is currently a member of several professional bodies, including, the Ghana Science Association, West African Science Association, and Crustacean Society. A past member of the New York Academy of Sciences as well as the International Association of Astocologists and American Society of Zoologist. He is currently the Vice President of Ghana Institute of Biology.

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On the national level, he served as a member on the National Committee on Fisheries, Ghana National Oceanographic Committee, University Rationalisation Committee and a member of the Board of Directors of New Times Corporation.

He is the current Chairman of the Natural Science Committee of the National Commission on UNESCO and he served as the Vice-Chairman for Commission III at the 28th UNESCO Conference held in Paris, France in 1995.

He participated in the National Economic Forum in 1997 and served as a member of the Post Forum Committee set up to prepare a final document on the forum. He has also served as Chairman of the Sunyani Polytechnics Council.

Until his appointment as the Minister of Education, he was the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service. He was the Dean at the Faculty of Science, University of Cape Coast and Policy Adviser to the Ministry of Education. In his first two years as Director-General, he and his team succeeded in getting newly recruited teachers to be paid their allowances the first month they reported for duty.

He is married with several children.

 

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Isaac Adongo: As economy gasps for breath, Ofori-Atta goes AWOL

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Isaac Adongo: As economy gasps for breath, Ofori-Atta goes AWOL

When investors and rating agencies look to Ghana, what worry them most about the economy? It is the unsustainable debt levels, rising costs of debt affordability, high debt service, faltering revenue mobilization, spiraling non-performing loans, credit squeeze to the private sector and the alarming gross financing requirements of Government and rising fiscal and external vulnerabilities. 

In recent times, Moody’s, one of the rating agencies, just like Fitch, has articulated these concerns aptly in its report on the economy. 

But instead of reading the report in the whole for proper appreciation and self introspection, the government expectedly zeroed in on the agency’s comment on growth after the easing of COVID effects to continue tickling itself for laughter on something it has less control on.

To start with, Moody’s optimism that growth would rebound is the obvious. As COVID-19 restrictions ease and lives return to normal, economic activities will pick up and that should lead to strong growth, especially when compared to prior year. That is why the news from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) that the economy grew by 3.9% year on year to June 2021 from a negative 5.7% in the same period of 2020 should worry the government and all well-meaning analysts the more.

At 3.9%, the economic recovery is rather sluggish, suggesting that most businesses are still doing far below capacity as Government’s fiscal measures and worsening financial sector are unable to help in reviving businesses and funding growth. 

Clearly, this is an automatic or auto-pilot growth consistent with the survival instincts of individuals, households and businesses.

To celebrate this in the manner in which the government is doing, especially when Moody’s affirms Ghana’s growth outlook at negative, is mediocre and a demonstration of the lack of appreciation of the potential of the economy. 

As a matter of fact, Ghana’s foreign currency denominated bonds have been downgraded by Fitch due to worrying major fiscal risks and external vulnerabilities. 

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Ghana’s recent growth trajectory as reported by the Ghana Statistical Service provide a clear case of lack of Government support. For example, what has Government done to take credit for the reopening of restaurants, drinking bars, chop bars and hotels, among others? Was there any special incentives in 2021? Absolutely nothing. 

These are some of the businesses that were closed due to COVID-19 restrictions in the period to June 2020. If the pandemic is gradually dying off and the restrictions are being relaxed, expect the businesses to reopen naturally, albeit at a lower capacity. It is, therefore, understandable that there will be growth, but the rates will be uninspiring because Government has done nothing to support them. 

From the effects of a negative growth rate in 2020, a strong recovery of the economy towards its original potential required real quarterly non-oil growth of between 7% to 9% to achieve what can be described as robust economy. Interestingly, this level of growth requires no effort from Government. It ought to come naturally and automatically because, man is rational and a predictable economic agent. This is trite knowledge.

The fact that we are rather registering economic growth of 3.9% from negative or zero betrays a struggling economy with huge challenges afflicting businesses, militating against their ability to breath adequately. 

One of these challenges is the tax regime and the austerity being pursued by Government in the midst of COVID-19 that is suffocating businesses. Over the period, Government’s desperate desire for revenue has pushed it into other awkward policies that are compounding the problems of businesses in Ghana: taxes have been increased, the cedi IS struggling, port charges are on the ascendancy and petroleum prices are increasing on an hourly basis in the dark. 

Instead of giving businesses real stimulus packages, the borrowing-minded government has even compounded the problem with their monstrous presence in the market on a daily basis, competing with and crowding out the private sector in their search for money to borrow.

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Which competent economic management team does this?

Under such circumstances, how is this Government expecting businesses to recover to their potential after COVID-19? 

It is more worrying, given a negative growth of 4.8% in quarrying and mining and more than 18% contraction being experienced in the oil and gas sub-sector . 

To achieve Government’s revenue targets, the economy must return to its full growth potential of the pre-COVID-19 era and a rebound in growth in the mining and quarry sub-sector. 

The 5.2% growth of non-oil GDP and -4.8% in mining and quarrying show an economy gasping for breath to put people to work and food on their tables.

A lot of hard work is needed to fix this limping economy, not a lot of talk and propaganda.

Instead of shopping for experts to help them out of this quagmire, they are spin-doctoring and obfuscating the issues and celebrating an economy that is morbid and needing real fiscal and financial aid and  robust monetary policies to recover.

Clearly, the ordinary Ghanaian (corporate or individual) has not yet been restored to the level of comfort in which they were before Nana Addo and his COVID-19 came. 

The economy must be brought back to the pre-COVID-19 era and begin to register more positive numbers to create an impact on the lives of people. In order words, until we get there, it is safe to say that the economy is still struggling to return the people who lost their jobs  during Covid-19 back to work, talk less of employing the hundreds of thousands of those already unemployed. 

It takes sound policies to achieve this. For now, Government hasn’t done anything close to that. Conversely, people are being made worse off by the harsh economic environment.

Under Nana Addo and Bawumia, ‘the average man’s hand goes towards the mouth only when there is the need to drive away flies, not to put food into the mouth’. 

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Where’s Ofori-Atta?

Whike this is ongoing, Ghana’s financial governance has been in limbo with the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta conspicuously missing. Instructive, this is the time when he is needed to provide leadership and direction to steer this country out of their own ditch.

As President Nana Addo and his Vice, Dr Bawumia continue to launch one mediocre project after the other, the key official to drive the financing of these Government’s programs to ensure sustainable funding, is nowhere to be found. Ghana under NPP is being treated like a family property where people work at will. 

Even when they claim they have several competent people who can provide leadership to get us out of this quandary, the President thinks it must just be only one man (his nephew). 

Why is it that only that one person from the President’s family must hold on to the role of a Finance Minister? This obviously speaks volumes about what this “trusted family member” is sitting on for which the  President feels uncomfortable to relinquish him from power.

Ken Ofori Atta’s continuous presence there has nothing to do with competence. He is there for a reason that only he and the President know. 

Telling Nana to sack Ken Ofori-Atta is the biggest joke. The only way Ghanaians can get to see the most cherished secrets of Nana Addo and the NPP that his Finance Minister is sitting on is for the good people of Ghana to intervene at the polls of 2024. 

We are further making a passionate appeal to the good people of Ghana to help save our economy from brazen and unmitigated robbery, hopelessness and ultimate collapse by voting out this administration and any surrogates or leaches that they intend to impose on our destiny.

Let’s safe Ghana from becoming a failed state.

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'Go to hell', 'go burn the sea' have been Akufo-Addo's response to public outcry – Apaak

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'Go to hell', 'go burn the sea' have been Akufo-Addo's response to public outcry – Apaak

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cares less about what Ghanaians think and or expect of him, the member of parliament of Builsa South, Dr Clement Apaak has said.

According to Dr Apaak, anytime there is public outcry about the president’s conduct or that of his appointees, his response or reaction is: “Go to hell”, “go burn the sea.”

Dr Apaak’s comment comes on the back of the president’s use of a private jet for his trip to the United States that is costing the Ghanaian taxpayer US$14,000 an hour, according to North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

Despite public outcry after the president first hired the jet for his trip to Germany and Luxemburg, he again hired the jet for the 6th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in US.

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Dr Apaak is convinced the president does not care about what Ghanaians say about him.

“As evidenced, consider his reaction and conduct regarding the unjustified use of taxpayers’ money to rent and fly around in luxury jets; look at his reaction to the fraudulent Sputnik V deal; look at his reaction to the issue surrounding the former and current Auditor General, just to mention a few,” he stated in a Facebook post.

According to the lawmaker, President Akufo-Addo’s disregard and lack of respect for Ghanaians is condoned by the NPP as a party.

The party, according to him, “accepts his impetuous and inconsiderate conduct.”

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He said although Nana Akufo-Addo will not be on the ballot in 2024, “Ghanaians have an opportunity to exact their pound of flesh by punishing the NPP in both the presidential and parliamentary polls for ‘birthing’ him and enhancing his insensitive and reckless leadership.”

He is asking Ghanaians to say no to the NPP on December 7, 2024.

 

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UN: Using COVID-19 vaccines as immigration control tool 'retrogressive' – Akufo-Addo to EU

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UN: Using COVID-19 vaccines as immigration control tool 'retrogressive' – Akufo-Addo to EU

President Nana Akufo-Addo has told the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly that it was regrettable some European countries were using the COVID-19 vaccines as a tool for controlling immigration.

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“One unfortunate development appears to be the recent measures on entry into some countries in Europe, which suggests that Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in India, is not recognised by these countries”, the Ghanaian leader told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, 22 September 2021.

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“What is intriguing”, the Chairman of the Heads of Authority of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said, “is the fact that this vaccine was donated to African countries through the COVAX facility”.

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“The use of vaccines as a tool for immigration control will be a truly retrogressive step”, Nana Akufo-Addo noted.

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As far as the COVID-19 situation in his country is concerned, the Ghanaian leader said: “We, in Ghana, have, so far, received five million doses, which have been administered to frontline health workers and those classified as being most at risk”.

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“Five million is not a figure to be sneered at, particularly when we consider the situation in many other African countries”, he noted.

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“We are grateful that our efforts at the management of the pandemic and vaccine distribution have been recognised, and we have received these amounts so far. We are still hoping to vaccinate 20 million of our people by the end of the year”.

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