U.S Assists Ghanaian Poultry Farmers

The Deputy Agriculture Secretary of the United States of America (U.S.A), Mrs. Krysta Harden has assured of the U.S’ readiness to support poultry production in Ghana to improve quality feed.
Mrs. Harden who believes that Ghana should have a robust poultry industry, assured that they will provide farmers with tools that will increase their production.

‘Ghana should have a robust industry; we are going to solve issues relating to production and the entire value chain. We are going to make sure that the producers have some tools they need to work with,’ she promised.
The U.S Deputy Agriculture Secretary indicated that her outfit will ensure that farmers’ produce do not rot in the farms but get to the markets.

‘We want to help them by giving them technical assistance and we will try to get their produce to the market and ensure that consumers get what they want and need,’ she assured.

Mrs. Harden who paid a working visit to Akate Farm project peanut and butter in Kumasi to get first hand information about the Agric sector, observed that lots of people in Ghana consume poultry products.
‘U.S is interested in all types of agriculture, poultry is a very important factor, lots of people in your country like poultry, so we will help improve the sector,’ she said.

She hinted that ‘Food for Progress’ agreements was signed few days ago in Accra to support agricultural development and trade within Ghana’s poultry sector.

The agreements she noted target producer groups and co-operators to improve quality feed and veterinary services.
‘It’s a joint partnership which is really driven by the kind of assistance your farmers want and need,’ she said.
‘I talked to two women farmers and they have 1,000 birds of which some are layers and broilers but they lack tools, but no need to worry that is why we are here, we are going to change their lives by solving their problems,’ she stated.

The ‘Food for Progress’ agreements are the latest examples of the partnership between the people of Ghana and the United States.

The two- face agreements which are valued at 36.6 million and 21 million will operate over five years.
The project is to support poultry farmers and feed mills to produce quality feeds for the poultry sector.

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Kejetia construction suffers setback as workers go on seat down strike

Construction of Kejetia bus terminal has suffered a setback as workers working on the project site embark on a seat down strike due to remunerations and failure to formalize their engagement.

The president John Mahama few weeks ago cut a sod for the construction, which is been executed by a Brazilian construction firm known as Brazil contracta to formally begin construction works

 

According to the workers, some of them receive as low as 370 Ghana cedis as salary and most of them have had the probation of six months continuously without been formalized.

Speaking to Ultimate News, an artisan who would will not disclosed his identify for fear of been victimized said all attempts to get these issues resolved has proven futile.

 

Meanwhile the consultant for the project Emmanuel Danso has told ultimate news; they will engage the labour ministry and the workers to resolve the problem. He however denied some the claims made by the workers.

 

Five residents arrested after attacking teachers

Five persons have been arrested after residents of Atrama near Adjako Buoho attacked teachers of Osei Kwadwo Junior High School.

School activities is said to have come to a halt in the community after three teachers were hospitalized and four others suffered minor injuries when some residents of Atrama at Afigya Kwabre District in Ashanti Region attacked them for spanking a female student

Assemblyman for the area, Duncan Nkrumah Poku who confirmed the arrest to Ultimate Fm’s Joseph Oppong Brenya said it took the intervention of the regional police commander for the arrest to be made.

He said teachers have abandoned the classroom since the attack which happened last Wednesday.

Meanwhile the Afigya Kwabre District director of education Stella Ofori Atta told Ultimate news; the teachers may reconsider their decision since some of the perpetrators of the attack have been arrested.

87 Assemblymen danger as NPP youth invoke deity

The NDCs quest to obtain one million votes in the Ashanti region and the NPPs vision to sweep 90% of the votes is polarizing the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly. The KMA has 147 members, 91 of them elected, 44 appointed and 10 ex-officio members, who are Members of Parliament (MPs).

On the 6th of October, The KMA failed to elect a Presiding Member (PM) after two rounds of voting ended in a stalemate. None of the five contestants – Nana Kofi Senya and Baffour Agyei Kesse, both former PMs, Nana Yaw Wiredu, Mr. Hamidu Gariba and Mr. Michael Adusei Bonsu, was able to secure the two-thirds majority votes required by the law.

Baffour Kesse polled 56 votes with Nana Senya, receiving 46, while Mr. Bonsu Nana Wiredu and Gariba had 27, four and two votes respectively during the first round of voting.
The three candidates with the least votes withdrew their nomination to make the second round a straight battle between the two former PMs.

Nana Senya this time round won the backing of 68 members as against the 65 who gave their votes to Baffour Kesse.
With no winner, the Electoral Commission (EC) decided to postpone the election.

The contest is now between Nana senya believed to be with the NPP and Baffour Kesse with the NDC. Kumasi Mayor Kojo Bonsu is alleged to have said he cannot help his party to achieve the one million votes if Baffour Kesse is not voted for. The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP Bernard Antwi Bosiako is also alleged to have appealed to the Assembly members to vote for Nana Senya for the NPP to obtain more votes.

In what appears to be the worse to happen, some NPP members who claim 87 member of the Assembly are NPP members and that they campaigned on the ticket of the NPP, yesterday at the party’s regional office invoked curses on the Assembly members, who they alleged have taken bribe to vote for Nana Baffour in the next election.

The NPP whose premise was used to invoke the curses say it is not aware. The regional secretary of the party could not condemn the act when he was asked

The NDC has denied bribing the Assembly members; the deputy regional secretary of the party, Kwame Zu has described the act as pedestrian politics

Now tension is brewing, Traditional authorities are being called in to revoke the curses, but factions in this issue unabated push their agenda. The NPP members believe they can put the mayor on his toes if their member is not the presiding member. No one is ready to allow cool heads to prevail. Those in the realm of power are using it to their interest. Assembly regulations are ignored, there are no clear signs that common agreement is in sight

MFWA blames recent defamatory cases against media houses on sensationalism

The Media Foundations for West Africa (MFWA) is blaming recent defamatory cases filed against media houses in the country on unprofessional-ism and sensationalism. Some media houses have been sued for defamatory publications.

Recent one is a defamatory case I against the daily guide newspaper for wrongfully publishing a picture of a lady in the alleged Asamaoh Gyan sex tape. The lawyer for the plaintiff is seeking GH¢600,000 damages.

Another case is filed by the youth organizer of the opposition New Patriotic Party, John Boadu against global publications, the publishers of the Republic news paper over claims that the plaintiff has bought a Hyundai SUV vehicle worth $43,000 with his party’s cash. He is seeking GH¢50,000 general and exemplary damages, retraction and apology from the news paper over the report.

A number of cases have been recorded apart from these two in just a month. Speaking to ultimate fm on the subject, Programs Officer at the Media Foundation for West Africa, Dora Boamah Mawutor said factors contributing to these happenings are the quest to be the first to put out a story and lack of training for journalists “Is a competitive market and each media house want to be the first and by so doing, few blunders and factual inaccuracies are committed. If you are ready to cross check your facts you will be able to do the right thing, sometimes some of these are overlooked”.

Mrs. Mawutor conceded the media is doing well despite these short comings. “To the large extend the media is informing right. We have occasionally as an organization, had to complaint about the media, the clergy, organizations and government have had course to complain. So there are successes and challenges. The use of abusive language is gaining prominence, insinuations and provocative languages and all these are not helping.

How much did Rattray Park Cost us? Kumasi wants to know

rattray park
The newly constructed Rattray Park is a nice recreational park and the brains behind it must be applauded. In doing so, the brain behind it should also tell us the amount used in the construction of this beautiful recreational park.

A bird in the Assembly whispered into my ears that is only the power that be, that is aware of the amount used in the construction of the park.
Even in the realm of the powers that be, the most powerful in the kingdom remains in the dark when it comes to the amount that was used in the construction. The park offers a good environment for business discussions, children playgrounds, and since its construction has served as a catalyst for nurturing relationship between lovers in the region.
The pleasure this park presents has however clouded earlier demands by residents of the region to actually know the
amount involve.

I happened to be in a discussion with a powerful chief from the most powerful chieftaincy abode in the region and to my outmost dismay; the powerful person in the region is not even privy to the cost of Rattray Park. In my quest to get answers to this much asked question my ears came to a rumor that only the powerful person in Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly and the most powerful man in the country hold information about the cost.

The region has endured and disregarded much show of power by people who are appointed to serve the people. A happening in recent times portrays real abuse of power and show of this power on people who give the power.
Those in dominion of power in this region are excising power in a very arrogant way that leaves much to be desired of.
They are untouchable and lords over the people they were appointed to serve. This attitude is becoming a model to the scope that nobody can ask them questions to get answers that the masses thirst for.
These powers have been exhibited to extent that the institution that has been mandated by the constitution to ask these questions have the powers taken from them with egotism and impunity.

Now Kumasi want to know why the cost of the construction of Rattray park has not been made known to the tax payers whose money was used in the execution of the project?
This makes me hanker for the passage of the right to information bill.

One thing that still remains a mystery is, why tax payers whose money were use to constructed the park have to pay 10 cedis to enter the park even though they are not told how much of their taxes were used in the construction.
One day the power givers will shift the power to a different holder through the thumb. Whiles we wait for this day, we can take the life of a gentleman who has now been a protracted visitor of police cells as an allusion.

The gentle man was once the holder of that same power to the extent that at his command the security will act without thinking. I hope the holders of these same powers today will look at the life of this gentleman and change their way of leadership.
W
hen the siren no longer blow for you to have it through the thick traffic, when your phone no longer rings and friends no longer bast in the adulation of your political powers, that is the day reality will don on you

It’s a curse for your conduct or actions to be the caveat to repeal or amend a law. A time will come when all distinct will cease and death, the grand leveler of human greatness will reduce us to the same state.
Article By

Joseph Osei O Brenya
A Journalist
Osei2000@gmail.com

Modern evolution of microfinance in Ghana; the perverted angel

By Joseph Osei Oppong Brenya

It is absolutely true that institutions, industries and indigenous set-ups, structures and their modus operandi, evolves through various stages of transformation. I am surely not against this trend since change has become the only constant in today’s fast growing world. My only beef is when the focus and utmost objective of the so called evolving entities which form the backbone of the entity gets compromised for questionable motives to the extent that vulnerable beneficiaries of the entity gets thrown overboard. I am referring to no other but the microfinance industry in Ghana.

The name and spirit of the term and concept of microfinance seems to constantly suffer unnoticed perversion which if not checked will plunge the country into the same problem this institution seeks to solve.
Microfinance, in its unadulterated sense is an economic developmental tool that seeks to provide financial and social intermediation services to the low income self-employed clients. It is a very critical sector to the financial system of our economy considering that an estimated 80 percent of eligible Ghanaian population is said to be either unbanked or under banked.

The obvious reason is the incompatibility of many stiff jacketed operations of the commercial banks with the informal economic life styles of the indigenous people and/or less educated low income micro entrepreneurs.
Microfinance provides much solace in the financial system to these clients since its products are flexible and tailored to offer adequate financial services to this large percentage of people who do not fit into the commercial banking system. It serves as a tool to also mop up extra liquidity while offering other social intervention services to bring economic empowerment to the poor. If these definitions were what pertained today in its entirety, I wouldn’t be in the least perturbed. However I find so much difficulty understanding what today’s meaning of microfinance really is.

Microfinance has become a budding ground for courting big income earners. With its core objectives bordering on helping the poor and/or indigenous people and/or less educated low income micro entrepreneurs, one would have thought the first point of call would be in the rural and less endowed areas of the country.
To the contrary, the larger chunk of microfinance companies is concentrated in the urban centers. This I believe constitutes the biggest source of the perversion of the industry.

The names they will choose for their companies in recent times do not even resonate with the premier target group for microfinance. We no longer hear the local names like the SINAPI ABAs. We rather hear the U-Track Financial Services, Aiden Microfinance, Mighty Financial Services Limited and the kind. Even those that have gained the financial base to expand into the rural areas keep pushing into the central business districts of bigger cities.
They claim to have come into the microfinance industry with the aim of reaching the Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises MSMEs in the urban centers but that’s just it. No social interventions, just courting them for juicy returns on deposits after maintaining levels of deposits within stipulated periods.

This clandestine agendum aimed at feeding their big investment gambles often fail over poor liquidity risk management. This accounts for the highly indebtedness and the eventual running down of these companies shortly after their take off. The rippling effect of these bad nuts is the dinting of the image of this relatively young industry. Victims of these companies are still licking their wounds and variously vow never to deal with financial institutions and sure spread this message to others. Where then does this leave us when we ground back to square one?

Where, one may wonder are the social intervention services in the definition of microfinance to these quickly springing up microfinance companies.
The village banking system introduced by the founder of the concept of microfinance, Mohamed Yunus which sees people organized into groups easily accessible for quick social services finds little or no expression in today’s microfinance.

ROTATING SAVINGS and Credit groups ROSCAs have been left unattended to in the hands of non professionals. It shouldn’t have been out of the normal occurrence for microfinance staff to leave their air-conditioned offices to offer some non financial services to their clients. Some of the basic operations of microfinance was to form groups and train them in issues of record keeping, management, financial literacy, how to live healthful lifestyles and the like in very understandable language.

These groups which also acted as loan guarantee units of the institution also occasionally received training in specific areas of their enterprise to make the best out of their trades. Microfinance companies in the spirit of Rural and Agricultural Finance should be leading extension officers to educate farmers on better ways of increasing yields. It is very sad to note that a negligible number once in a while inculcate these activities into their operations.

They are rather engrained in the financial inflows and care less about how the monies come in. I guess the financial service brings much financial masters into the industry than the social service creates service driven men in the industry. A supernormal profit at the expense of social services to the target group of microfinance is simply not acceptable to the epistles of microfinance. The better these institutions got this into their books the better.

Another sphere of perversion quite wincing to speak of is the large effective interest rates charged to its relatively poor clients. I will recall a preacher from the Netherlands who asked “do you claim to be helping the poor in Ghana with loans whose effective interest rates amount to 47%?” I suppose he was even more stunned at this realization considering the fact that large multinational corporations in his country borrowed at less than 5% per annum. He might have passed out if he dug deeper to see the 60 and 70 percents per annums.

The worse pinch of this interest rate calculation is that, microfinance companies would rather use straight line computations rather than the reducing balance method to calculate these rates on loans disbursed to these MSMEs and other clients. Oblivious to their clients, with the reducing balance system, interest is charged on outstanding balance in arrears while with the straight line method the interest is charged on the whole principal amount contracted even when part has been defrayed. At least conscience should tell you not to rob the poor person of his meager possessions.

No one is advocating playing charity with a business enterprise in the face of target profits, inflation, interbank commercial banking rates and the scarcity of donor funds and the leaning of concessionary loan facilities. However something can largely be done to beat down the effective interest rates of clients.

Most of these institutions raise the argument of the high credit risk to these sky rocketing interest rates. They see enough ground to push very high figures for “provision for bad dept” and insurance to their interest rate computations. However in the same vein, these institutions boast of recording very low bad debts which should have translated into lowering of these percentages but will deliberately fail to effect these changes. Some also take advantage of the fact that their clients are not so sophisticated to calculate their accumulative and effective rates and con them with less informative nominal interest rates.

Milking the poor over technicalities of nominal interest rates and staggering the payments to shroud the aggregated effects of the huge interest rates accumulated from each monthly payment is how I call this. This could be described as stabbing someone with a knife embellished with roses. They would come to a defense with “the end justifying the means” but forget that the win-win situation in their context came at a higher cost to the weaker among the two.

Microfinance has now become a stepping stone to commercial banking status. It is just a mark time mode until enough money is raked in to meet Bank of Ghana BOG minimum capital for commercial banks.
The posture and communication of most managers of microfinance companies reveals a hidden agenda or better put a long term objective to abandon microfinance and get into the traditional commercial banking arena.

Does microfinance seem less dignifying to these managers? I dare to think so. You will see it in the upgrading of status of most of these institutions. From XYZ microfinance to “we are now called XYZ savings and loans”. That I guess gratifies status and then finally you will hear XYZ is now a bank. UT financial services limited to mention a popular brand played this out beautifully and is now UT bank. Not to preempt their motives, SINAPI ABA is now in the Savings and Loans level and First Capital Plus a Savings And Loans company is tying in all the ends to attain commercial banking license by the end of this year.

The utterances and posturing of the staff and managers of this industry betrays their misunderstanding of what microfinance is all about. The backgrounds of most of the managers of these companies as well as their employees leave much to be desired in terms of professional training in microfinance. The course is even in short supply in the country’s educational system.

It will surprise you to know that a few and quite magnanimous ones really know the background and origin of microfinance. How can an industry thrive if the very managers of the industry lack the requisite knowledge of what the industry stands for and aims at? You can’t imagine how these staff clamor for positions in the commercial banks like the Zeniths, and the Stanbics and the Barclays and ECO Banks. How they would love to deal with the clients with the big cars and the fat L’argents. At least they will not get to deal with the local market woman who comes in speaking vernacular, smelling of fish for her job or the “trotro” mate who comes in sweaty allover and will demand some close range direct assistance to drop some cash and rush back to his bus.

Not to talk of gaining the internationally recognized big names in commercial banking on their CVs other than the “Amansan Boafour”, “Kuafour Adamfo” and “Akurofuom” microfinance. The work of microfinance, I accentuate, is a calling to its large extent which yet requires that academic polishing to make it glitter in benefit to its large target customers abundantly available in developing economies. It is not just a mere job and demands a heart and a character to operate with honesty in the industry. Some of their managers are not also spared from this worrying development. Some just perceive their employment status or their entrepreneur status as an agenda to test their financial management prowess with their current clients who possess little or no academic competence to interrogate their operations. The little spoken of them, the better.

Microfinance companies should do an objective check of their operations against the untainted object of their trade. I dare say that the current definition of microfinance is gradually becoming “Microfinance is a temporal stepping stone profit amassing tool that seeks to provide financial and no social intermediation services to the urban folk, the rich and self employed people in promising businesses with milkable financial returns in the country”. I will tell them now “If they want to play microfinance let them play. If they want to play commercial banks they should stick to the game.

Don’t enjoy the benefit of the former and seek comfort in the over burdened arms of microfinance if you don’t measure up to its tasks and challenges. Be the wolf or the sheep to the people and expel your shrouded and counter beneficial agendum. If you feel there is a middle ground then lets create a new industry within the financial system and call it say “macrofinance industry”. That will sure align with your style of business and vindicate you. Oh! And be ready to pay for the mid-way requirements which the regulator will seek from you”.
I don’t think this will be a big deal for these players since they should have accumulated more than much of a projected amount. They can do the mid way math and project the mid-way requirements.

I will also urge the Bank of Ghana to step up its efforts at ensuring sanity in the system and draw the lines of demarcation more clearly. The various umbrella bodies like the Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies GAMC and the Ghana Corporate Susu Collectors Association GCSCA, if not also swimming in this perversion, should as a matter of urgency sit up and ensure that best practices are adhere to in this sector. If we are really serious about the long term sustainability of this Industry, it’s about time we put meticulous spectacles on these companies and hook them to some parameters to make this all important industry thrive. The industry still promises a lot of benefit to Ghanaians. It still has a large untapped customer base especially in rural Ghana.

It has to develop better targeted services required to reach these people more strongly. Players in this industry who religiously go by the tenets of the profession should even be hooking some clients from the commercial banking system to access their better targeted services. Cleaning up the house will see this industry set itself on a high way of respect, progress and development while offering the best of services to Ghanaians.

Why do you have to embarrass women in this manner, Minister??

VIC

By Joseph Osei Oppong Brenya.

“Sending an immature person on an important errand is Child labor” I have been speaking in this parables for quite a long time and most people misunderstood me, but is really true as it is said in an old Akan adage that “Aserewa bo tam Kasie a Otuwie” which can be translated in English as “when a small Child wears garments meant for adults it weighs him down” By this i want to connote that, Governance is not for shallow minds, in fact is not for preschoolers.

I got really scared stiff when i read about the secret recording of the Deputy Information Minister Vitoria Hammah’s telephone conversation that went viral on the internet and radio. I understand she has been booted out of that office. Well, i would have done same as President of Ghana has done by firing this young lady immediately.


It does not matter whether the recording was illegal or not because i understand her driver has been arrested and the offense is yet to be defined. What matters is that, this young lady has an intention which is dangerous, malicious and evil..

For the benefit of my readers who don’t know what this minister did to warrant the wrath of my blazoning pen, well.  Miss Hammah, in what is purported to be her voice…, actually she has indirectly admitted it by causing the arrest of her driver who was with her at a time she went verbal loopy. She made sombre and pejorative revelations regarding the President Mahama’s administration in a conversation with a female friend. On a tape, Miss Hammah is heard telling her friend she will not quit politics until she makes at least US$ 1million. She also alleged on the tape, that The Children and Social Protection Minister, Nana Oye Lithur met with the Supreme Court Judges ahead of the verdict on the 2012 election petition which saw John Mahama winning the case which was filed by the opposition party against the conduct of the 2012 Elections. She was also heard; insulting her colleague minister to the extent of saying the said minister is very revolting and should rather remain hushed and amass wealth before she is sacked as a minister.

These statements have demeaned and reduce Ghana’s governance system to nothing. Is hard to say but i must say that, i have lost the little respect i have for governance in this part of the world.

 


The truth be told, she has been very refractory as a Minister of State since her questionable appointment as a Minister. i have always had my reservations about Victoria Hammah driven from the fact that she exhibited an attitude of dis-respect, pride and arrogance by walking out of the studio during a live TV show dub “constituency profile” on Joy News on Multi TV. That night, i felt for the host of the program Nii Smart Abbey and felt so terrible and embarrassed because she virtually rained insults on him and walked out as if she was on the street.


Recently, she could not hold her cool when she realized a speech she intended reading had been tampered with. As much as i condemn who so ever perpetuated that act, i vehemently believe Ms. Victoria Hammah could have maturely handled the matter without necessarily embarrassing herself and her subordinates.  Her attitude is o
ne that amiss the quirks of the serenity of the environment.  No wonder she lost in the parliamentary elections in 2012 elections to represent the people of Ablekuma West Constituency.

 


Just today, she has become a news maker obviously for the wrong reason.

My worry here is, why has she decided to embarrass women in this manner? Over the years, there has been calls for women to be given equal attention in matters of leadership and hence politics. What about the issue of affirmative action? Is this how most women in high positions behave?


Ms. Victoria, you had a great opportunity to serve as a pride and a role model for young women especially to your follows and admirers. Why would you just blow this off to the wind? What image have you created for many women like you who are in similar positions? These questions bother my mind but i conclude with the popular saying that “If you live in a glass house, you don’t throw stones”.

“I tell you friends, If a well-constituted individual refrains from blazoning aught amiss or calamitous in his family, a nation in the like circumstance may without reproach be equally discreet”.

This development has demeaned and reduces Ghana’s governance system to nothing. Is hard to say but i must say that, i have lost the little respect i have for governance in this part of the world.

 Indeed Miss Hammer’s unruly behavior, have shot up when she became a minister, that paragons description and wild fame; one that excels the quirks of blazoning pens.

 Vic, you messed up big time!!

Osei2000@gmail.com   http://www.oseiview.blogspot.com

 

Witchcraft Hunting, a lucrative business, the woes of Northern women

witches_campBy JOSEPH OSEI

Witchcraft, superstition or reality? Is gradually becoming a scourge and a business. There are no efforts by government and society to control and restrain the activities of some self-styled traditional priestesses who claim they can detect and exorcize witches and wizards from society.


The number of such priestesses, known in the Frafra community as Tigaris, in the Upper East Region of Ghana, is increasing by the minute and they are causing more harm than good. The priestesses have been forcing some poisonous substances down the throats of alleged witches and wizards in an aggressive bid to tap confessions from them.

In many cases, their victims rather have died than uttering any true confessions after taking poisonous concoctions. The priestesses are also said to have been demanding a fine of four hundred Ghana cedis (GH¢400), a cow, a sheep and a carton of gin from every accused person. Many of these self-styled witch Hunters practice of exorcism by the priestesses was nothing more than extortion.

Am Using the term “Witches” to generalize the believe, and make my case because is not common for a man to be accused of being Wizard, not because there are no men believe to be wizards but the fact is women are always accused because they are the weak in society

There is evidence of violations of the fundamental human rights of the accused persons. The accused is not supposed to take food or water; he or she is not allowed to either urinate or defecate and is made to stand for several hours or even till daybreak as a punishment for being a witch. Sometimes, the accused are always beaten for them to tell the truth. One case which really stroked me was the three men of Zorko who denied of being wizards and was made to drink cement to vindicate them and after drinking the cement, two of them passed on…It is worth mentioning the humiliation and shame the family members of the accused go through. Some accused are even ostracized from their families,” Another observation is that more girls, apparently lured by the financial gains in the practice, are now abandoning school to enroll as apprentices in shrines belonging to such priestesses and set up their own shrines upon completion of apprenticeship.

The shrines have also become offices for young men who parade themselves as shrine guards reportedly not because there is anything to protect but because there is always free alcohol to drink in those shrines courtesy of accused persons. The embrace of this practice by a swelling number of young people should call for a collective worry as it holds potential damage not only to the youth but to the national economy as well.

“The ‘tigari’ is a business venture and people engage in it just to make money as such they try by hook and crook to convict the accused so as to charge him or her exorbitantly. The accused is also subjected to severe maltreatment so as to allude to the accusations leveled against him or her. As such we call upon the government especially the Ministry of Women, Gender and Social Protection, development agencies, civil society organizations and human rights watchdogs such as Commission for Human Rights Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to intervene and safeguard the sanctity of these people who are unlawfully accused,”

Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) and the Ghana Education Service (GES). Interestingly, all basic school believes that witchcraft existed and that they all had encountered and survived evil manipulations from some of their pupils.  Some of those pupils are said to have boldly disclosed to school authorities that they were witches and that they had at times run evil errands against some teachers on behalf of their invisible masters. Some of those operations, the pupils are quoted to have later revealed, were abortive particularly with prayerful targets.

But some school-going young witches and wizards are said to have confessed to caging “stubborn” teachers in bottles, a spiritual manipulation they say would later manifest in physical limitations and sickly state in the lives of their victims. Working in the north two years ago in the north, i handled Witchcraft case where a woman was accused of being the cause of a young lady’s sickness; she was hauled to a shrine in Sirigu in the Kasena-Nankani District of the Upper East Region. This Accused woman was taking through all forms of ordeal to prove her innocence. A relative of her happen to know me and we intervene for her to be released and we caused the arrest of the priest.

“In 2008,” said Mrs. Bibiana Abilla, Saint Charles Headmistress. “I admitted P-One children. And later on, we realised that one of them had witchcraft. I also believe in witchcraft. I have nothing to test, but circumstances and science made me to believe. And also, I’m a Christian and it’s in the Bible; and once I believe the Bible, I believe that there is witchcraft. But I don’t believe in the treatment that they give to them.”

A research conducted shows that teachers and headmistresses had abandoned their classrooms and schools due to torment from schoolchildren linked to witchcraft and wizardry.  She equally asked that people alleged to be in possession of mystic powers should be dispossessed devoid of harm.

Are these superstitious stories enough to exorcise women and others from the society? An advocacy group in the Upper east region of Ghana believes the practice of exorcism by the priestesses was nothing more than extortion.  The pressure group calling itself Save Our Women Foundation has urged government to help restrain the activities of some self-styled traditional priestesses who claim they can detect and exorcize witches and wizards from society. The leader of the group Eugene Savio Alagskoma tells me his group is working hard to abolish the practices in the society, the fight I urged him to seek spiritual bathing before embarking on the expedition.

By Joseph Osei

Osei2000@gmail.com

 

Bawku Assembly members grants youth’s request, reject president nominee

By Joseph Osei
Assembly members in Bawku have voted to reject the president’s nominee for the position of Municipal Chief Executive of Bawku. 19 out of the 28 assembly members voted against Adam Karimu.

Prior to the election, Security was beefed up at the premises of the Bawku Municipal Assembly following threats by some NDC youth there, to attack the assembly members if they confirm the President’s nominee The youth have not been happy about the nomination of Amadu Karimu for the position describing him as a stranger to the NDC. They have accused the Minister for Information and Media Relations, Mahama Ayariga, who is also the MP for the area, of lobbying  for Adamu Karimu to be nominated. In what turn out to be granting the request of the youth, 19 out of the 28 Assembly members voted against the nominee
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