CODEO COMMENDS GHANAIANS FOR THEIR MATURITY DURING THE ELECTIONS

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has commended the uprightness of this year’s general elections.

CODEO observers presented electoral results based on the PVT observers received from 1,491 observers located in all the 275 constituencies in Ghana and the outcome of CODEO’s PVT observations results affirmed the final results set by EC declaring Nana Akuffo-Addo as president-elect.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Co-Chair of CODEO, Prof. Merinda Greenstreet stated with confidence that the results of the 2016 presidential polls declared by the Electoral Commission are the accurate reflection of how Ghanaians voted in the December 7 polls.

Accordingly, she advises the contestants in the presidential election, their supporters and the general public to place confidence in the official presidential election results as declared by the Electoral Commission.   

Prof. Miranda Greenstreet further commended Ghanaians for the maturity shown by remaining calm and peaceful throughout the voting, counting and collating processes.  

Prof. Greenstreet reiterated its earlier call for the need for the political parties, their leaders, and the entire political class to take adequate measures to bridge the political polarization that characterized the 2016 election campaign especially between the NDC and the NPP and to reduce the winner takes all tendencies in our politics.

CODEO commended, His Excellency, John Dramani Mahama, and all other contestants for the presidential elections for conceding defeat, and congratulating the president elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo for his victory.  

CODEO RELEASES PRELIMINARY STATEMENT ON 2016 ELECTIONS AND CONDEMNS POLITICAL PARTIES DECLARING RESULTS AHEAD OF THE EC

codeoThe Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) provided preliminary findings regarding the conduct of the presidential and general elections. The Preliminary statements is based on the reports CODEO received from 1,447 of 1550 PVT Observers form every region and constituency, with the exception of Jaman North in Brong Ahafo Region as of mid-night on Wednesday December 7, 2016. Due the quality transfer voters’ list; voting was suspended in the Jaman North Until Thursday December 8, 2016.

Justice Charles Crabbe, Co-chair of CODEO stated that 99% of polling stations, electoral officials respected CODEO observers’ status as Electoral Commission (EC)’s accredited election observers and permitted them to observe the polls. She added only 1% initially had challenges which were quickly and successfully resolved. Preliminary analysis of CODEO PVT observers report on set-up and opening of polls.

“At the time of the set-up, the two, main political parties had their party agents present in almost all polling stations, NDC 99.3%; NPP 99.5% respectively. The presence of party agents of the parties fielding presidential candidates and independent presidential candidate varied from 12.3% to 28.4% of the polling stations while party agents for parties only contesting the parliamentary election were present in 7.3% that of the polling stations” he detailed.

VOTING AND COUNTING

Prof. Miranda Greenstreet, Co-chiar of CODEO further went on to give percentages of voting proceedings in the various districts observed by PVT observers. She listed the percentage of stamped ballot papers, failed biometric machines in some regions, the percentage of people who were not rejected by the biometric device and those who with valid ID cards had their finger prints rejected by the BVD, percentage of people marked with indelible ink among others.

CODEO observers in 98% of the polling stations reported zero incidents of harassment and intimidation of polling agents during the counting of ballots. Party agents were not prevented from observing the vote count in 97% of the polling stations, similarly 96% of polling stations permitted no authorized persons into the inner perimeter during ballot count, 90% of polling stations accepted the results and did not request for a recount for the presidential results, 83% of polling stations pasted presidential election results for the public eye and 82% of the polling stations as well as presiding officer in 99.8% signed the parliamentary results declaration form. In addition, 99.6% of CODEO Observers reported they agreed with the results, he added.

REPORTED INCIDENTS

CODEO observers reported a total of 436 cases of verified incidents during the opening, voting and counting stages of the polling process. The Incidents centered around harassment and intimidation of polling officials, and voters was the most recorded 116, incidents of polling station either not open or opened late 66, unauthorized persons at polling stations 44, violence 34, voting or counting suspension 31 and polling station running out of materials 30. Most of these cases were resolved by the polling officials and key election stakeholders such as the security services, and thereby did not affect the polling process, Prof. Miranda Greenstreet informed.

CODEO condemned attempts by political parties to announce results and calls for calm ahead of EC declaration of results. The appeal was made at a press conference held at the CODEO National Information Center in Accra by the Coalition to share its preliminary findings.

Per Justice Crabbe, Co-chair of CODEO urged all political parties and citizens to be law abiding and allow EC to completed its work. He added that the CODEO can confidently confirm that the arrangement put in place by the EC for setup and opening of the polls were adequate for most polling stations, and that the polling and counting processes were generally credible.

Prof. Miranda Greenstreet stated that CODEO has completed its Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) and has its estimates for the presidential election results. However, in keeping with their protocols CODEO will release its PVT estimates for the presidential elections results following the official announcement by the EC to provide independent veridiction of their accuracy.

CODEO AVAILS TO SET TRANSPARENCY IN ELECTIONS

 

dsc_0392

CODEO’s preparations for the Electionn Day field observation includes; the deployment of Rapid Response Observers (RPOs) and Roaming Observers (ROs). CODEO has trained 30 Regional Coordinators (RCs), 550 Constituency Supervisors (CS) and 7000 stationary PROs.

At each level of the training CODEO observers were taken through a legal framework and stimulation exercises during the training. For free and fair elections members selected to observe the elections by CODEO were recruited based on professionalism and non-partisan ties to any parties.

Co-chair of CODEO, Prof. Miranda Greenstreet announced the deployment of 8000 observers including 1500 Parallel Voters’ Tabulation Observers throughout the country on election.

The polling station observation will be monitored by 7000 Rapid Response Observers (PROs) to a representative sample of polling stations throughout the country. In addition to the 7000 PROs, CODEO will deploy close to 1000 Regional coordinators, Constituency Supervisors and General Assembly Members as Roaming Observers in all 10 regions.

Parallel Vote tabulation (PVT) is the observation of all 275 Constituency Centers as well as the National Results Collations Centre (NRCC ) in Accra. They will observe and report on results collation, tabulation and declaration. The Parallel Vote methodology employed in the 2008 and 2012 elections will be employed using time tested statistical principle allowing CODEO to provide the most comprehensive and accurate account of the voting and counting process, as well as the quality of the election process across the country.

The PVT methodology will allow CODEO to independently verify the accuracy of the tabulation process and the official presidential results declared by the EC. CODEO will share its findings on the Presidential result after the declaration of the results by the Electoral Commission.

OBSERVATION AND REPORTING

All CODEO polling station observers will wear shirts and caps embossed with CODEO’S name. CODEO observers will report to polling stations on arrival and stay till the end of official declaration of the ballot count either at the polling station or the constituency collating center. Observers will monitor all procedures and file reports on any incident throughout the day.

CODEO will thoroughly observe AND analyze the conduct of voting around the country with the help of observers observing and reporting using Short Message Service (SMS) technology to the CODEO national/information Centre at the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre where CODEO will be issuing regular statements on the election process.

An incident desk will be mounted at the CODEO National Observation Centre where reports of irregularities, disruptions and other negative incidents in the voting process.

Justice Vincent Cyril Richard Arthur Charles Crabbe former Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana, also a Co-chair of CODEO advised Ghanaians to hold once again another reasonably, credible, peaceful and transparent election. Crabbe urged Ghanaians to use this opportunity to elect leaders and representatives to demonstrate willingness to participate fully in the democratic process, and, above all, commitment to accountable governance.

He added that it is critical that the Electoral Commission, and indeed, all stakeholders in the process play roles diligently and with integrity ensure that the process and its outcomes enjoy widespread public acceptance.

THE REALITY I DEBUT

Just this evening, I saw my mother walk up and down the hall with such pain on her face. I asked her “why” and she told me your dad is inside just go see him. Before I reached the door my dad pulled me into the room and in three words to me: “grandpa has left us” in my native tongue. Couldn’t believe that sentence and quickly he asked me not to cause any alarm. I didn’t want to face the truth, I tried so hard to be strong but how can you hide the stabbing knife those words took to my heart?

The surprise on my face left me dumbfounded. Will I walk into his funeral just after we buried grandma three months ago? This man was so lovely, so why take him now? I wished more than ever he would wake up and make me smile like he always did.

He was a father to behold

Snapchat-7562205246429932729
This was our last picture and the last one ever he took

 

A best friend to cherish

A guardian to be adore

A teacher, the best one to regard

 

I am sad I couldn’t have the many laughs I thought I would have with you
I wish I could go back in time- I couldn’t ask for more
I miss the wonderful moments we had
The memories I have was one of yesterday
But where do I go now? What do I do?
How do I continue to live without you knowing the selfie we took was the last

No one will understand that it’s impossible to forget you
Having you in my life, was the best dream come true
But since you’ve left this world, the sky is a different blue
Words can’t express the emptiness within

You can no longer be seen, by the human eye,
But your soul and love that you gave so many, will never ever die
Sometimes I wish I could tell myself that you ain’t dead
If I could make just one wish right now, I’d wish you back to stay
I guess this is the way life goes, and God’s will we must accept
But I hope you didn’t feel this pain or weep the way I’ve wept

I miss a million things, every detail of who you are
I guess this earth can’t handle things so pure and true
People who knew us saw the happiness our meetings always brought you

Grandpa you replaced my dad when no family from dad’s side ever wanted to be there

You gave us all the encouragement we needed

I wish our last selfie in the hospital that morning wasn’t the last
I look around and see so many mean people who get to keep living
I have thought maybe He chose you

Your last message to me in the hospital told me all
You only deserve the absolute best
They say that only the good die young, never were words so true
You weren’t so young but your deeds made you

d6746d0aa2c68cbd665f498b52c2b2f2

THE CHANGING FACE OF MEDIA OWNERSHIP IN GHANA – PART TWO

In part one of this story, published, I brought to the fore the changing dynamics of the Ghanaian media landscape and unveiled the names behind some of the media houses in the country. I also brought to light the fact that some of these media owners also own other businesses, pointing out the interplay between the media and these businesses, and the attendant undercurrents of public opinion formation. Part two takes the discussion further: it is enlightening, instructive and in some respects mind-boggling.

STARR – The Station to Watch

STARR FM is the station to watch. Managed by Kwabena Anokye Adisi, a.k.a. Bola Ray, formerly of JOY FM, STARR mimics Joy FM, both in terms of content and style – and it does it quite well. STARR is owned by former Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffour, who has recently acquired Choice FM from its previous owner, Fred Oware, and re-christened it ‘KASAPA FM’, and intends to turn it into an Akan language station.

Prior to his appointment as a Finance Minister of Ghana in February 2009, under the Mills administration, Dr Kwabena Duffour served as the Governor of the Bank of Ghana from July 1997 to 2001.

Dr Duffuor worked briefly with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as an Economist in the African Department. He has interest in over fifteen (15) businesses cutting through insurance, banking, media, real estate and farms. The notable ones are Star Assurance and Unibank.

It is not exactly clear what has been the motivation for Dr Kwabena Duffour’s investment interests in the media. Starting with ‘Heritage’ in the early years of the millennium, the man has proceeded to acquire live FM, STARR FM, and is in the process of setting up a television station.

One can however draw a link between Dr Duffour’s investments in the services sector and his fast growing media empire. Adverts from the entities that make up the Duffour business empire are carried almost exclusively on his media networks, recycling in the process part of his investments within his own.

The Local Language Market

It is almost uncontestable that the local language segment of the Ghanaian media market is dominated by Akan, and that Peace FM holds the controlling share of that market. Hot in pursuit are Okay FM, Adom FM, Asempa and Oman FM.
Atinka FM, one of the newest entrant in the market, has however caused a stir since its advent on the media scene.

Peace FM which controls the lower middle income and the working class market segment, exemplifies the ‘Multi-media’ business model. Its owner, Osei Kwame Despite, has created a media empire that boasts of big names like Peace, Okay, Neat, Hello FMs, and UTV. Peace is credited to be the trail-blazer in Akan broadcasting. This claim however, does not suggest that before Peace FM there was absolutely no radio broadcast in Akan or the other local languages. Indeed, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) has since independence broadcasted in the local languages. But Peace FM took Akan broadcast to new levels of appeal.

Like Kwasi Twum, Kwame Despite is not known to have any active partisan affiliation, but has other business interests which have benefited from his dominance of the media landscape. Almost all the commercials on his music, food and beverage industries are carried exclusively on his media network, a fact that underscores the consumerism motive of his investments in the Ghanaian media.

Atinka FM has made the boldest incursion into the Akan language segment of the market in recent times. Atinka, formerly Sena FM, announced its presence on the Ghanaian media scene with a BIG Bang. By bringing down Kwame Adinkra, a popular Kumasi-based radio presenter to anchor its morning show, Atinka promises to give Peace, Okay, Adom, and Asempa a run for their money.

Atinka is owned by Mr Samuel Amo Tobbin, the proprietor of Tobinco Pharmaceuticals Limited (TPL), currently one of the leading pharmaceutical marketing and distribution Companies in Ghana.

Samuel Tobin is also the man behind Abii National, a savings and loans company, and Priority Insurance.

Mr Tobbin’s brush with the industry regulator, the Food and Drugs Board, in 2013, following allegations that some of the drugs imported by his company were fake and dangerous, made him realize the power of the media. There is no doubt that the Ghanaian media played an instrumental role in his release from custody, and in the resolution of the dispute over the efficacy of his imported drugs.

Clearly, Tobinco sees the protection that ownership of a media outlet affords.
The convergence of Business, Politics and Media

Businessman and politician, Dr Papa Kwesi Ndoum, is among those who have demonstrated substantial investment appetite for the media. Himself a writer, who has contributed articles to the Ghanaian Chronicle, and edited an online publication (www.233times.com), Dr Ndoum’s first major investment in the Ghanaian media was the Today newspaper. In recent times he has moved to acquire or set up a string of electronic media outlets, most of which are located in the Central and Western Regions. Among them: Ahomka, Enyidado, Agoro, Golden Pod, Adepa, Kasapa FMs, Amansan TV (ATV), Business Television Africa (BTA), First Digital T.V., Ocean 1 T.V. (Elmina), Light FM (Aflao) and others.

Dr Ndoum was the Member of Parliament for the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem constituency during the Kuffour administration and served as minister of state under various portfolios between 2001 and 2007. In 2008, Dr Paa Kwesi Ndoum was the Convention People’s Party’s (CPP) Presidential candidate. After his unsuccessful bid for the presidency, he left the CPP to form his own party, the Progressive Peoples’ Party (PPP) which he currently leads.

Like Osei Kwame Despite, Dr Ndoum uses his network of media outlets to promote his businesses which includes Coconut Grove hotels, GN Bank, GN Quarry and Concrete Products, Yorke Properties, Gold Coast securities, Pentrust (Pensions), and a football team, Elmina Sharks. His advertising budget is exclusively spent on his own media outlets.

Though his media empire controls only a marginal share of the audiences and readership Ndoum spares no opportunity to have his views on national affairs heard through his own networks. Though he professes to be a left wing politician, his views on economic governance resonates more with the social democratic philosophy, which perhaps is the reason many find his association with the NPP government between 2001 and 2007 as a complete betrayal of his political ideology.

There is no doubt that Ndoum is on the move to becoming Ghana’s Berlusconi, in the sense of using whatever control he is able to leverage with his media empire in future, to advance his political ambitions.

The Kenpong Conundrum

Hon. Kennedy Agyapong is another businessman and a politician, who has shown a lot of interest in the media in recent times. He is the NPP Member of Parliament for Assin North Constituency.

Mr Agyapong owns 14 businesses and a media empire “KenCity” which manages Net2 TV, Oman FM, Spice FM, Ash FM, National Agenda newspaper (which suffered a still birth), and Gold Coin Communications.

Some say Mr Agyapong was provoked to set up his string of media companies because he could not have his way in media discussions hosted by other radio stations where he was a panelist. The truth in this assertion is perhaps borne out by the fact that on his own media networks, nobody stops him from having his say on an issue.

Though Mr Agyapong also uses his media network to promote his business interests, it appears his prime motivation for setting up his media companies is to advance the political fortunes of the New Patriotic Party than his personal political ambitions. Analysts say, as a businessman, it is his way of positioning himself for lucrative contracts should his party return to power.

Roland Enters with a Baggages
Roland Agambire is arguably the most controversial business figure in Ghana today, and his entry into the media industry is bound to raise suspicions. The CEO of Agams Holdings, Chairman and CEO of the ICT company Rlg Communications, and hosts of other business ventures has been linked to several financial scandals, which makes him a candidate for future investigations and possible prosecutions should Ghana experience a regime change.

Agambire established Roagam Links in March 2001, then as a mobile phone repair outlet transforming later to become the pioneer indigenous ICT manufacturing, assembling and training firm in Ghana. The Rlg Group currently has presence in China, Dubai, UAE, Angola, Nigeria, Kenya and the Gambia, South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda and still expanding.
It is not difficult to guess that, Roland’s interest in the media industry is actuated by a felt need for protection under the media, should he come under any political harassment in the event of a regime change in Ghana.

The man currently owns the General Telegraph Newspaper and Radio 360 which is currently streaming online but would soon commence commercial broadcasting on the frequency 90.1 in Takoradi, in the Western Region.

For the trail-blazers, particularly Joy FM and Peace FM it is apparent that their media investments have been driven by just their interest in the media, as a business. Recent entrants however appear to see the media as an instrument for advancing either their business interests in other sectors of the economy or their political ambitions. This particular development could erode the public thrust that the media enjoys today, especially, if the media owners do not distance themselves from the management and day-to-day operations of their media. We have been there before, and Ghanaians have not forgotten how government’s control of the public broadcast media turned many listerners into fans of the B.

THE CHANGING FACE OF MEDIA OWNERSHIP IN GHANA

They are more importantly about the control of the hearts and minds of the people who make up the society. The ability to win over the hearts and minds within the society can no doubt be translated into tastes and preferences that favour particular goods and services, in as much as it can be translated into votes at the polls.

Clearly, the media ownership transformation that has manifested itself in Ghana in the last decade, speaks to an agenda to capture consumer preferences and to a lesser extent, galvanize political support in favour of certain political parties. Unmasking the beneficial owners of dominant Ghanaian media therefore helps to objectively decode media content and to understand the motive that drives a particular media house in its choice of content. In other words, we want to understand whose agenda the media is pursuing in order to determine how we respond to certain media content.

The Battle for the Middle Class

In the Marxian era, the term ‘middle class’ referred to the class of people in the middle of the social structure. In contemporary society it refers to those who by their income and influence in society fall between the ‘working class’ and the upper class. This is the group which shapes the destiny of a nation. They have the purchasing power, and shape public opinion. In the context of Ghana this group by necessity must have attained some level of education and therefore have preference for English language media.

The competition for the middle class audience, made up of professionals, businessmen and women, policy makers and the intelligentsia in the nation’s capital and beyond, has been mainly between Joy FM of the Multi-media family, and City FM of the Omni Media stock; even though Radio Gold and Choice FM were early entrants into this market segment.

For Radio Gold, we have over the years seen a drift in its appeal, from the middle class, towards lower middle class, mostly serving a group we will conveniently refer to as party foot-soldiers.

Choice FM on the other hand, remained in this market segment and held on to a marginal share until it was bought over by Dr Kwabena Duffuor, who has decided to turn it into a local language station.

Joy FM, arguably the market leader, is owned by Mr Kwasi Twum, described in some media circles as Ghana’s Ted Turner. Kwasi Twum owns in addition to Joy FM, Hitz, Asempa, Adom, all in Accra; Luv, Nhyira (Kumasi); Multi-TV, and Myjoyonline.

It is not clear what drives the ‘Multi-media’ empire. Kwasi Twum is not known to own other significant business interests apart from the Multi-media group, therefore controlling the market in order to direct preference to favour particular goods and services couldn’t be the motive for his investments in the media. Again, he is not known to have political ambitions or active political affiliations, and so political control can’t be assigned as his objective. Indeed, some have described the Multi-media group as ‘regime changers’, and this is the extent to which we are able to read into the motive for Kwasi Twum’s domineering influence on the Ghanaian media landscape.

The arrival of Citi, and JOY’s unease

Citi FM, arguably the biggest threat to Joy FM’s dominance of the middle class market segment, created some discomfort for Joy FM at inception. Launched with a number of poached staff from the Joy stable, and copying the Joy programme format, Citi made its mark almost effortlessly. The station is owned by Omni Media Ltd, a company in which Nick Amarteifio has controlling stake. Nick is also Chairman of Dannex Ltd, a pharmaceutical manufacturer. He is also said to be the co-founder and promoter of a host of business ventures in various sectors of the Ghanaian economy, including mining, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and agro-business. He has an offshore oil company known as Chemu Power, and represented the Norwegian oil giant, Aker, whose block was transferred to AGM Petroleum. Nick’s relationship with Citi FM perhaps explains the rationale behind the spirited campaign mounted by the station in the matter related to the transfer of Aker’s block to AGM; and represents a classic example of how the media’s convening power can be appropriated to advance the business interest of its owners.

New Entrants into the Battle for the Middle Class

Other media outlets that are fast making in-roads into the middle class market segment are Radio XYZ and STARR FM. Radio XYZ came in earlier than STARR FM and was doing pretty well until the demise of its owner, Mr David Lamptey. The station remains in competition, working its way from the fringes.

David Lamptey was one of Ghana’s foremost entrepreneurs and a politician. He founded Sidalco, a fertilizer company together with his wife, Mrs Gifty Lamptey. Sidalco is said to be an example of a successful African business that showcases excellence in local entrepreneurship in collaboration with foreign counterparts.

In 2000, Mr David Lamptey entered parliament on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party. He later defected to the National Democratic Party (NDC) and still won a parliamentary seat on the NDC’s ticket, becoming one of the few in the history of Ghanaian politics to have switched political parties and successfully won parliamentary seats either way.
It is not clear what his motivation was for setting up Radio XYZ but given his love for politics and business, the motivation must have been to promote both his business interests and political ambition.

STARR – The Station to Watch

STARR FM is the station to watch. Managed by Kwabena Anokye Adisi, a.k.a. Bola Ray, formerly of JOY FM, STARR mimics Joy FM, both in terms of content and style – and it does it quite well. STARR is owned by former Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffour, who has recently acquired Choice FM from its previous owner, Fred Oware, and re-christened it ‘KASAPA FM’, and intends to turn it into an Akan language station.

Prior to his appointment as a Finance Minister of Ghana in February 2009, under the Mills administration, Dr Kwabena Duffuor served as the Governor of the Bank of Ghana from July 1997 to 2001.

Dr. Duffuor worked briefly with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as an Economist in the African Department. He has interest in over fifteen (15) businesses cutting through insurance, banking, media, real estate and farms. The notable ones are Star Assurance and Unibank.

It is not exactly clear what has been the motivation for Dr Kwabena Duffuor’s investment interests in the media. Starting with ‘Heritage’ in the early years of the millennium, the man has proceeded to acquire live FM, STARR FM, and is in the process of setting up a television station.

One can however draw a link between Dr Duffour’s investments in the services sector and his fast growing media empire. Adverts from the entities that make up the Duffuor business empire are carried almost exclusively on his media networks, recycling in the process part of his investments within his own

.

MY IMPOSSIBLE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY, JUNE 3RD EXPERIENCE

June 3rd marked my one year anniversary of the June 3rd flood that happened in Accra last year.

I had woken up that morning not knowing what the day had set ahead of me. It was a terrifying experience when I felt the floods dragging me into the big gutters below the bridges opposite the Paloma Hotel, Kokomlemle. Then and there, I knew I just had one life. This while I felt I was immortal because people kept dying and I was alive, little did I know it was because of the GRACE I enjoyed as a child of God.

It all began when I closed from work at 5pm and was ready to set off for the house but the rains began and I decided to stay back at work till it subsided.

I couldn’t wait any longer; all my colleagues had left with the exception of our senior staff, Mr. Suleman. he didn’t have second thoughts about going home and advised me to do same because he got news regarding the blast at the filling station that killed dozens of people. Still impatient, I called my cousin to notify her, telling her about the reason why I had stayed longer at work and she prompted me to stay if I could for a while because there was a serious flood at Circle in Accra.

At exactly 8:30pm, I called my dad living in Kumasi to report the ongoing eventualities to him. He also pleaded with me to stay at work but I couldn’t because I had to travel the following day. After talking for a couple of minutes, my dad asked me to get a taxi from Kokomlemle to Spintex-Lashibi where I live. I agreed but to my shock I couldn’t locate a single cab in the environs.

I concluded that I will still leave the office; so I packed and waved my
colleague good-bye. he pleaded with me to be careful. I smiled and replied “okay, goodnight” and sternly i walked out into the torrential rain which got me wet in seconds. I managed to walk pass several buildings and with no indication of the flood, I assumed it was all well. Descending the hill right in front of Société Générale Bank, my heart skipped a beat.

People were struggling to walk in the waters while some guys cautioned groups on where to pass and where not to. I asked myself if I was going to walk in that pool of water too; but before I could finish with that thought I saw myself in the waters. The waters reached my knee; it was like walking into a pool. Many p3eople were still in town, shops and cars were filled with water and people struggling to find something higher to climb or hold on to. It looked like I was in a movie scene; I immediately recalled how the bible had described how God used water to cleanse the world in Noah’s time. Where was Noah’s ark, did it leave me because I was too late?

I climbed a stairs which led to a shop close to a bridge.  After an hour, the waters rose and covered the stairs; now it reached my thighs.  I descended and walked down with the thought of walking home if that was possible which I knew wasn’t. Right after I de
scended the stairs a force dragged me towards the bridge which overflowed and had seized over three cars turning them upside down.

I screamed for help but what I got back was a scolding from the people around who were also protecting their lives. To them I was careless to have descended my safe spot. While screaming I shouted for God to help me. On the verge of giving up, something held my legs tight preventing me from moving further. I then forced myself to walk back into my safe zone (the stairs).

I felt I was all alone now; tears filled my eyes. I imagined how peaceful my family would be sleeping while I struggled out here for my life not sure if I was going to make it. Shaking in my clothes, I wept bitterly in silence until I saw a man walk pass me and I followed. I didn’t know where he was heading to but I heard him talk about going to start his bus. We got to his bus and I stared at him like a puppy. He sat in his “trotro” (bus), started his engine which according to him hasn’t responded after the flood but this time it did. Not caring where he was heading I jumped into the bus and I saw people running towards it too.

Thankfully, he was heading to Madina; a suburb of Accra. I had to alight at the mall and get another bus from there. It was 12:00am midnight. I felt I was safe around the mall until I saw two suspicious guys heading my way; hurriedly I mingled with a crowd close by. My savior was here; a cab. I stopped it and asked how much the driver was going to charge. I got so angry when he sought to charge me four times the usual price. I scolded him and told him to leave.

I turned and realized the guys were still monitoring my movement.  I nervously jumped into a bus that had stopped right in front of me, I didn’t know where it was heading to either but God was always good to me; as the bus was heading to Spintex. I alighted in front of KFC, community 18 and got myself a cab home – it was now 2:00am. I rushed to the kitchen, boiled some hot water and had a good bath to wash the mud of me. Dora my cousin was happy to see me; she didn’t sleep till I had arrived.

Early that morning, I packed and left Accra. I needed to leave for Kumasi to tackle pressing issues and to stay away from the thoughts of what had happened hours back. On my way to the VIP station, I had flashes of the cars that drowned in the bridge and people I had heard were dead and my eyes were filled with tears. I didn’t enjoy my peace for long when I heard a girl of 15 wailing at the back of the bus. I was getting pissed until people in the bus asked her what was wrong. She told them her mum and three little siblings never made it home the previous day. She got a call that morning informing her that her mum and siblings were found dead.

It was GRACE that brought me this far. If I can recall and share this testimony, I believe I am not immortal but mortal. I only have a life and must live to guide this life I have on earth. All thanks goes to GOD in heaven for protecting me.

.

 

 

MR PRESIDENT, GHANA IS WASTING WASTE

Modernisation and progress has caused the pollution on Mother Earth. With increase in the global population and the intensifying demand for food and other essentials, there has been a rise in the amount of waste being generated daily by households.This waste is ultimately thrown into public waste collection centres from where it is collected by the municipalities to be further thrown into the landfills and dumps. However, either due to resource lack or inefficient infrastructure or ineffective management, not all of the waste is well disposed. If the management and disposal is improperly done, it can cause serious impacts on human health and the environment

Ghana, as a developing country, can easily stand out among other developing countries on the same pedestal. Yet, the country has not learnt to make good use of the waste, and allow it to make people ill or kill them. I know our country knows about the ill health impacts of waste which recently claimed a lot of precious Ghanaian lives.The outbreak of cholera in 2014 reported in the Greater Accra Region increased from 3,600 to 5,000, with 45 deaths, the Greater Accra Regional Health Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Linda Van Otoo, said.100 death A total of 9,542 cholera cases, with 100 deaths, were reported in Ghana in 2012. But no deaths were recorded in 2013, despite some reported cases of the disease in the country. In 2011, 10,628 cholera cases, with 105 deaths, were reported.

Between 1970 and 2012, Ghana recorded a total of 5,498 cholera deaths, according to data compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Between 1991 and 1999, cholera claimed 1,067 lives, and between 2000 and 2012, 627 deaths were recorded.
Waste has got very good use in the world today. No one should pave the way for it to destroy lives. Ghana is a much of a prudent country to let filth be its major concern and be ranked as the second dirtiest country in West Africa in 2008 and 2011 by UNICEF/WHO.
Ghana produces a large quantity of waste and these waste products which are dumped behind houses produce bad stench. The waste attracts animals and microbes which bring about diseases such cholspera.

Unscientific Disposal

Our Government keeps fighting the waste, and has set the first Saturday of every month as National Sanitations Day (NSD).The areas at risk from the unscientific disposal of solid waste include the populations in slums where there is no proper waste disposal. Persons most at risk are pre-school children, pupils, waste workers and workers in facilities producing toxic and infectious material.

Other high-risk groups include people living close to waste dumps, landfill sites and those whose water supply has been contaminated either due to waste dumping or leakage from landfill sites. Organic domestic waste poses a serious threat since it ferments, creating conditions favourable to the survival and growth of microbial pathogens. Direct handling of solid waste can result in various types of infectious diseases.

Mr President, excuse me to say Ghana is wasting waste. The waste produced by people can be used for our benefit, not for our detriment. Waste of various types can be used for different recycled products. Mr President, with the environmental challenges raised above, there is a need to remind the citizens of the importance of cleanliness, which is often said to be close to Godliness. The central government must ensure that the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) up their game in waste management. The voluntary NSD is not the panacea.

Save money

Reducing waste and managing waste effectively and efficiently help to save money. To re-use is also another method. It means to use an item again after it has been used. Re-used waste also makes more of what you have rather than simply throwing it away. Mr President, let us recycle waste so that less waste goes into landfill, reducing waste’s negative impacts on health and the environment. Turning left-over food into green transport fuel helps in enriching the soil, and producing heat or electricity.
This is the time to stand up as a country and fight waste to our benefit; for, we have wasted waste for long. And it has, in turn, given us a tough combat by giving us diseases and causing death.

 

DAVID OSCAR-I don’t see anything wrong with me speaking my mind

IMG-20160525-WA0030

In an exclusive interview with David Oscar he gives an in-depth detail, why he moved from comedy to music and why the beautiful celebrities clutch whatever comment he makes and craft it into news.

David Oscar is a trained actor and graduate of the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana. He works on creative contents for both TV and Radio. David hosted the humorous friendly show “LAUGH A MINUTE” which aired on VIASAT 1.

He stared in Sparrow Production’s PEEP, ADAMS APPLE and TENANTS both incredibly interesting series. His works on radio took root in different radio stations in the various regions.

Much recently he has branched from the world of comedy and movies into the competitive world of music. In this interview David Oscar will tell us more about himself and the banter with his beautiful celeb ladies.

Abanema: Welcome David

David Oscar: Thank you…(smiling)

Abanema: The Graphic Showbiz made headlines when Yvonne Nelson asked if you were a Ghanaian. Where are you from David?

David Oscar: I’m from Ghana. Koforidua is the only hometown I’ve known since I was born. I was born and raised there but my dad is from the Volta Region and my mum from the Eastern Region.

Abanema: Interesting! Where did you attend your basic and high school education?

David Oscar: Freeman Methodist from nursery to Junior High, then to Pope Johns SECONDARY and Junior Seminary for Senior High. Finally, to the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana.

Abanema: Long journeys sometimes end successfully, and with your education you found your stand. Why the diversion from comedy and acting to music?

David Oscar: As an artist, I’m in constant search for ways of expressing myself. I could sing but never imagined I will take it up professionally someday, I guess what necessitated the switch was when it became difficult to express my feelings and experiences comically , music became the necessary outlet and here I am.

Abanema: Are your fans expected to see you on the screens again anytime soon, not doing music but comedy?

David Oscar: Never say never.  At the moment music takes bulk of my time so am content.

Abanema: So far how many albums or singles do you have out there?

David Oscar: I have four singles out , Blow, MonaLiza, Get There One Day ft Afriyie Wutah and my recent release Rasta Love with songstress Angel. I’m still working towards my maiden Album.

Abanema: that’s going to be grand I believe. From what I read on the internet I assume you are a ladies’ man, getting all the ladies pounce on you for the comments or statements you make. The famous ones were the Yvonne Nelsons’ dumsor demo and Chrsitabel Ekeh’s response to the suggestion you made to fund Anas to investigate female actresses and presenters who land themselves roles. What do you think went wrong in those comments or statements you made?

David Oscar: It’s a democratic society so I have no qualms with anyone expressing his or her opinion about what I said or thought I said wrong. Just as I spoke my mind without attacking anyone, I would encourage all and sundry to do same with all civility. If we pride ourselves as being democratic, then we should be tolerant towards one another’s opinion.

To answer your question, I don’t see anything wrong with me speaking my mind. It just happens to look like certain people don’t want their opinions to be challenged when they speak, which perhaps explain all the abuse I suffered on social media.

Abanema: Thank you David. Are you ready to play? Yes or no, you are. Let’s get ready for this then.

 

“LET’S GO CLANDESTINE”

Name one actor or actress you will love to go out with and why?

D.O: Actress? Helena Asante because she looks like someone I can carry

How many ladies have you dated in the entertainment industry, be frank.

D.O: I haven’t dated anyone in the industry. Not yet.

Not yet? That means you have hopes of dating someone, right?

Not about having hopes, you never say never, do you?

That’s rhetorical and explains itself. Are you currently dating?

D.O: I’m actually married to my music. I’m still looking for a match.

What is worst thing you regret ever doing?

D.O: I don’t regret anything, I have only one life to live, so I plan carefully before I execute anything.

Have you achieved anything in life that led you to believe you can do better?

D.O: I believe I can do better than I have so far so I try to maintain my appetite for more and keep dreaming

You keep dreaming…very inspirational. Aside cracking the ribs, music and acting, do you have any other hobbies or interest?

D.O: Yeah…I like to read…(pause) and sleep

Thank you so much David for your time……..

 

 

 

WELCOME POST

12189655_896389330396903_1071295674338277660_nWelcome to my very first blog post!  PWEEEW!  I am sure you are as excited as I!

As this is my maiden blog, my blog writing will most likely be somewhat of a stream of consciousness…almost like a talking dialogue and also contain features.

To describe myself, you can actually think the exact opposite of cool.  More like a cautious, curious and wanna-know more kind of girl.  I tend to be quite an accomplished worrier, such that I was thinking of writing a feature titled: “don’t sit there get busy” or ”
why teens are swayed by modern lifestyle”.

But then I tried to see the bigger picture, and think about what I would like this blog to become down the road. Hence, I would like this blog to eventually be a source of all things but especially a site for critic and praise of the Government of Ghana. I took root to write on political, social and entertainment stories after asking one inspirational sub-editor of a newspaper in Ghana for advice.

I am student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, working hard to finish my degree in Journalism. A frafrarian from the Upper East Region of Ghana. I got quiet a lot of hobbies which i guess might dominate this page if i begin to list. I enjoy watching movies and from my friends got nicknamed “MOVIE-MANIAC”, i go on road trips, refresh myself going on photo shootsand enjoying the beautiful scenery nature gives, i release stress riding motors and cycles among others.

My thoughts for this blog are to write about my life experiences in feature forms adding to it vivid facts, as well as entertaining and staying political, with the main purpose of helping promote my motherland, as well as to offer some motivational / inspirational / relaxational quotes i write personally.

Thanks for passing through.  I wish you all a good day.