Battle Lines Drawn For 2020 Elections

The leading political parties in Ghana have given different interpretations into their positions on the ballot paper for the 2020 Presidential Elections scheduled for December 7.

The flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and that of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), former President John Dramani Mahama, on Tuesday picked up the first and the second spots, respectively, on the ballot paper.

While the NDC have described their spot on the ballot as “the second coming” of Mr Mahama, the NPP says the number one spot was perfect for the party.


A few minutes after the balloting was conducted, supporters of the various political parties took to social media with interpretations on the positions of their flag bearers on the ballot paper.

Almost every party claimed its position had a special connotation to its performance at the polls.

One of the NPP’s 2012 campaign songs: ‘Nana Addo Wo soro ho’, composed by highlife singer, Kwabena Kwabena, instantly started making waves on social media.

While some NPP supporters also claimed that the number one position meant that their flag bearer would win the election, supporters of the NDC were out with art works having the two fingers (two sure) sign, describing the number two position of their flag bearer on the ballot paper to signify the second coming of former President Mahama.

Spots on ballot paper

Nine other candidates of political parties who have qualified to contest the presidential election also booked their spots on the ballot paper after participating in the balloting.

At the end of the process, which lasted about two hours, the flag bearer of the Ghana Union Movement (GUM), Mr Christian Kwabena Andrews, picked up the third spot, while Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Madam Akua Donkor of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), Mr Henry Herbert Lartey of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) and Mr Hassan Ayariga of the All People’s Congress (APC) picked the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh spots, respectively.

The flag bearer of the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG), Mr Kofi Apaloo; Mr David Apasera of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Ms Brigitte Dzogbenuku of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings of the National Democratic Party (NDP) secured the eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th spots, respectively, on the ballot paper.

An independent candidate, Mr Asiedu Walker, was not allowed to participate in the process, although he was present with his running mate, Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah.

The EC handed him the 12th spot on the ballot paper.

Important process

The balloting process is one of the last procedures initiated by the EC as part of the consensus building and transparency processes towards the conduct of polls.

According to a Deputy Chairman of the EC in charge of Operations, Mr Samuel Tettey, who supervised the balloting, the process was adopted by the EC as a mechanism to bring openness and fairness to the electoral process, although it was not stipulated in the electoral laws of the country.

“The placement of candidates on the ballot was done on a first-come, first-served basis and the struggle for positions on the ballot paper by candidates led the commission to adopt the balloting system,” he explained.

The balloting was conducted in two stages, with the first round determining the order in which the parties could pick the secret ballots.

Independent candidate reacts

Speaking with the Daily Graphic in an interview after the balloting, Mr Walker said it was unfair for the commission to ignore an independent candidate in any aspect of the electoral process.

He said although his team was not perturbed by the default position rendered him, restricting balloting to candidates sponsored by political parties alone should not be repeated in the future.

“We all paid the same GH¢100,000 and must go through the same process. But our position is rather great because if you put the NPP’s number 1 spot and the number 2 of the NDC together, you will get 12 and that is the winning position,” he said.



President Commissions Naval Training Command In Volta Region

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Tuesday commissioned the new Naval Training Command at Nutekpor, in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region.

The Command, which will host all the Navy’s training schools, will serve as the nerve centre of the Navy’s training doctrine, to improve the development of human resources in the Navy and other stakeholders in the maritime industry.

The seven major schools under the Command are: The School of Maritime Operations, Supply Application School, Marine Engineering and Electrical Application School, Basic Leadership Training School, the Recruit Training School, Special Forces Training School and the Diving School.

At a short ceremony at Nutekpor, the President pointed out that increasing economic activities and associated challenges in Ghana’s maritime domain, particularly in the oil and gas and fisheries sectors, called for the presence of a well-trained maritime force for the purposes of offering enhanced protection.

He noted that the threats presented by piracy and armed robbery to national and regional maritime activities in the Gulf of Guinea demanded that every naval officer and sailor “was equipped with creative solutions to deal with present and future maritime security challenges, and stay ahead of the criminal actors at sea.”

President Akufo-Addo who is on a tour of the region, said the establishment of Naval Training Command was a greater part of government’s policy to secure Ghana’s maritime environment.

He stated that the schools under the Command would impart the knowledge and skills required of naval personnel to attain the appropriate professional standards, and maintain operational readiness in accordance with the Navy’s operational procedures.

The President also indicated that the schools would be equipped to leverage technology, and use new training methodologies to enhance learning and achieve greater efficiencies in line with Government’s agenda of technology and digitisation.

The facilities that have been completed and ready for use, under Phase One of Project, are the Command Headquarters, the School of Maritime Operations, the Recruit Training School, the instructors’ and students’ accommodation blocks, library, medical centre and a mini Mosque.

All these, and other facilities, earmarked for construction, sit on a 114 acre land, which has been fenced to ward off encroachers. In addition, the Ministry of Defence is in the process of securing 250 acre land on the outskirts of the Command for the construction of an outdoor shooting range to support training.

President Akufo-Addo noted that, upon the successful completion of the remainder of the schools, “the Training Command will become a maritime training centre of excellence, attracting trainees from other security services and maritime stakeholders from both within and outside Ghana, in line with the tenets of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct.”

“We believe that retooling the Armed Forces, in general, and the Navy, in particular, is the surest way to support the principles of the Code of Conduct, which calls for resourcing the navies in the Gulf of Guinea States to enhance collaboration in joint operations and information sharing.

“We, in Government, would, therefore, give maximum support, and ensure that the construction of the remaining schools commence in earnest to make the Command fully operational,” he assured, and thanked the Chiefs and people of the Agave Traditional Area for thier support to the project.

Source: GNA

EC Woman

EC Confirms 12 Candidates For December 7 Presidential Election

The Electoral Commission (EC) on Monday confirmed 12 out of the 17 presidential aspirants who filed nomination as eligible to contest the December 7 general election.

Mrs Jean Mensa, Chairperson of EC, said the candidates who met the requirements of law and therefore, qualified to contest the December 7 Presidential Election included incumbent President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and former President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The rest are; Mr Alfred Kwame Asiedu Walker, Independent Candidate, Mr Christian Kwabena Andrews of the Ghana Union Movement (GUM), Madam Brigitte Akosua Dzogbenuku of the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP)and Madam Akua Donkor, Ghana Freedom Party (GFP).

Others are; Mrs Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Mr Hassan Ayariga, All People’s Congress (APP), Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, Convention People’s Party (CPP), Mr Henry Herbert Lartey of the Great Consolidated People’s Party (GCPP), Mr Percival Kofi Akpaloo of the Liberal Party Ghana (LPG) and Mr David Asibi Ayindenaba Apasera of the People’s National Congress (PNC).

Mrs Mensa said five of the 17 presidential aspirants were disqualified for not meeting the requirements of the law.

The disqualified candidates include Kofi Koranteng, an independent candidate, Mr Marricke Kofi Gane, an independent candidate, Mr Akwasi Addea Odike of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Mr Kwasi Busumbru of People’s Action Party and Nana Agyenim Boateng of the United Front Party.

Mrs Mensa said reasons for the disqualification of some of the candidates, ranged from forging of signatures of supporters to failure to acquire the required number of supporters to endorse the forms.

Mrs Mensa urged the qualified candidates to engage in a decent campaign – a campaign based on policies and programmes that would lead to the betterment of the Ghanaian society.

“As referees, our role is to arrange and organize orderly, fair, transparent, peaceful and credible election. We assure you that we are working to do just that,” she said.

“We do not have the power to determine who wins the elections. It is not in our power or control to determine the outcome of the election. That power lies with the good people of our dear country. The citizens and the citizens alone can determine who should lead them – Not the Electoral Commission.”

“It is the Candidate who is given power to lead this country by the citizens who will be declared President of the Republic of Ghana by the Electoral Commission come the 7th of December, 2020.”

She said the EC had institutionalised a fair, open, transparent and accountable process to guide the declaration of the results.

“To the aspiring Presidential Candidates who did not make this process, we wish you better luck next time. Your filing fees of GHC100,000 will be refunded to you,” Mrs Mensa said.



North East Floods: Large Farmlands Submerged

The torrential rains that devastated parts of the North East Region recently have subsided, but the humanitarian situation in the area remains dire.

Some 13,469 people across the region have had their houses completely destroyed by the floods and are currently putting up in schools, churches and temporary camps set up by the North East Regional Secretariat of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO).

Speaking to the Daily Graphic yesterday, the North East Regional Director of NADMO, Mr John Kweku Alhassan, said aside from internally displaced people, 51,736 others were also affected by the floods in other ways.

The North East Regional NADMO Office itself is overstretched and has called for support to contain the situation.

Mr Alhassan, who described the development as “very devastating,” appealed to corporate bodies and individuals to go to the aid of the flood victims to lessen their plight.

Heavy rains/spillage

From the middle of August to the end of September this year, parts of the North East Region experienced massive flooding as a result of heavy rains, which were compounded by the opening of the spill gates of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso.

This year’s spillage was seen as unprecedented. The daily average rate of release from the dam was between 76.5 cubic metres per second (m3/sec) and 473.1 m3/sec, with an exceptional rate of 1,108.02 m3/sec released on August 27, 2020.

Veep donation

Recently, the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, made a cash donation of GH¢135,000 and relief items to the victims, while NADMO also presented quantities of relief items to them.

While commending the Vice-President for the donation, Mr Alhassan said more was needed to restore normalcy.

He said the organisation was concerned about the safety and protection of the thousands of vulnerable in these trying times and “that is why I am appealing to corporate institutions and benevolent individuals to come in to save the situation.”

Depressing statistics

Providing more depressing statistics to back his appeal for support, Mr Alhassan zeroed in on internally displaced people on a district basis.

He gave the district breakdown of people who were internally displaced by the floods and had their buildings collapsed as: 8,662 in Chereponi; 882 in Mamprugu Moaduri; 1,496 in West Mamprusi; 1,297 in East Mamprusi; 547 in Yunyoo-Nasuam and 612 in Bunkpurugu-Nakpanduri.

The gender breakdown was 10, 990 male adults, 12,724 female adults, 13,087 male children and 14, 935 female children below 18 years, he said.

He added that the death toll in the region stood at 10.


Large swathes of farmlands were not spared, with official figures putting the total acreage devastated by the floods at 19,690.

Food crops destroyed included rice, millet and sorghum.

Following that, there have been concerns that the region, which is one of the food baskets of the country, could experience food crisis if support does not come in.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic yesterday, the North East Regional Director of Agriculture, Dr Bernard My-Issah, said farmers had had a terrible experience.

“If you quantify the loss, it is unimaginable,” he said.

Cut off

Mr Alhassan said presently some communities in the Mamprugu Moaduri District and the West Mamprusi municipality could still not be accessed, as they had been cut off by flood waters.

He said NADMO officials would have to wait for the flood waters to recede before they could access those places with canoes.

“If you want to go to the Mamprugu Moadri District, you cannot use the Kpefenkpa road from Walewale, the West Mamprusi capital, through Wulugu, a journey of about three hours. Now you have to go through Bolgatanga-Navrongo-Fumbisi in the Upper East Region, which is about eight hours, before reaching Yagba-Kubori, the capital of Mamprugu Moaduri,” he said.

He added that some farmlands below the Nakpanduri Scarp in the East Mamprusi municipality could not be accessed because of the high level of flood waters.

Relief items/cash

The NADMO regional head said the flood victims who had so far received the GH¢135,000 cash donation and relief items from the Vice-President were 1,619 in the West Mamprusi municipality and 8,423 in the Mamprugu Moaduri District.

Mr Alhassan said NADMO had also distributed relief items, comprising rice, maize, cooking oil and non-food items such as blankets, rubber mats and mosquito coils, to some affected people in East Mamprusi municipality and the Bunkpurugu and the Yunyoo districts.

Those meant for Chereponi were yet to get there because the items were not enough for the 15 communities along the Oti River, he said.

Northern Region

The Assembly Member for Nawuni in the Kumbungu District in the Northern Region, Mr Alhassan Yussif, whose house collapsed in the floods that hit Nawuni and Afayili, said he and families from about 70 houses that collapsed were currently putting up in the Nawuni Roman Catholic Primary School.

He said what they needed now were roofing sheets and bags of cement to enable them to rebuild their collapsed houses before schools reopened in January next year, adding that their predicament would have worsened if schools were in session.

He thanked NADMO, the Member of Parliament for Kumbungu, Mr Ras Mubarak, and benevolent organisations for going to their aid with food items to support their upkeep.

Mr Yussif said Stanbic Bank had also pledged to donate some relief items and build them temporary structures with sanitary facilities to alleviate their suffering.



UN Supports Ghana To Recover From COVID-19

The United Nations is supporting Ghana with 90 million dollars and mobilising additional 40 million dollars in the next 18 months to aid Ghana’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Charles Abani, the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, has said.

Mr Abani said the UN would soon roll out its Socioeconomic Response and Recovery Plan to support Ghana’s Coronavirus Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises programme, with focus on developing sustainable Micro and Small Medium Enterprises as a critical part of Ghana’s post COVID-19 recovery strategy.

He said the UN support would focus on five strategic areas – health, social protection and basic social services, economic recovery, macroeconomic response and multilateral collaboration, and social cohesion and community resilience.

The UN Resident Coordinator said this at the launch of the “For Better Business Together” project – a global partnership to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and strengthen businesses in the wake of COVID-19.

The event was on the theme: “Post COVID-19-Rebuilding Global Business Together”.

The programme was organised by the Ministry of Business Development in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, the International Chamber of Commerce and the Business for Peace Foundation in Norway.

He said the UN was consolidating the SDG financing landscape in Ghana’s ecosystem by identifying financing gaps and promoting private sector investments through the establishment of an integrated national financing framework.

“The UN will deploy innovative tools for efficient prioritisation of infrastructure projects and develop a pipeline of bankable projects to be presented at the global SDG investment fair.”

Mr Abani said the UN would also build SDG Investor Maps to link private sector to viable investment opportunities and attract investments in the sanitation and waste management sector.

Research shows that developing countries need an estimated investment of US$ 2.5 to US$ 3 trillion annually in addition to existing resources to achieve the 17 SDGs to close the financing gap.

Mr Abani said the World’s Gross Domestic Product was estimated at over US$ 85 trillion dollars and global gross financial assets at over US$ 200 trillion, according to the World Bank.

However, the International Monetary Fund projected Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product growth to decline from 6.8 per cent to 1.5 per cent, equivalent to loss of US$ 3.5 billion.

According the recent survey by the Ghana Statistical Services supported by the UN and World Bank, an estimated 35.7 per cent of business establishments had to close during the partial lockdown, leading to 41,952 job losses.

The State also recorded significant revenue shortfalls from declining exports and imports, low oil revenues, and with non-negotiable health expenditure increases.

Based on the statistics, Mr Abani said Ghana needed approximately US$4.4 billion to close post COVID-19 financing gap and to finance its economic response and recovery programme.

Ms Silke Hollander, the UNDP Deputy Representative to Ghana, commended Ghana’s bottom-up approach in fostering integrated financing to improve local economies through initiatives such as the one district one factory, one village one dam, and planting for food and jobs.

She said Ghana was one of the four countries and the only African country selected to benefit from the UN transformative initiative of the COVID-19 Private Sector Facility, launched during this year’s UN General Assembly.

Ms Hollander said the facility would provide support to SMEs, including women-owned businesses through digitisation and trade facilitation.

“We remain committed to the efforts to supporting businesses to recover better from the impacts of the pandemic and with the sight on the future,” she said.

Mr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, the Minister of Business Development, said the country’s high democratic credentials, political stability, visionary leadership and vibrant entrepreneurial and start-up ecosystem made her the choice for the global launch of the programme.

Source: GNA


Second Year Students Return To School Today

Junior high and senior high schools in the country will open their gates to second year students to enable them to complete their respective third term and second semester of the current academic year.

The students are expected be in school for 10 weeks to study and write their end of term and semester examinations.

Students are safe

The Ghana Education Service (GES) in a press release signed and issued by the Head of the Public Relations unit of the service, Ms Cassandra Twum Ampofo, assured parents and the general public that the students would be safe while in school.

The statement said personal protective equipment (PPE) had been distributed to all schools which had also been fumigated and disinfected against COVID-19.

“Management of Ghana Education Service (GES) wishes to remind all students, parents, teachers and the general public that Form Two students in junior high and senior high schools will be returning to school on Monday October 5, 2020.

“This is to enable them to complete the 3rd term and 2nd semester, respectively, of the current academic year,” the release said.

The statement said management wished to assure the students, parents, teachers and the general public that all the necessary measures had been put in place to ensure their safety while in school.

“All schools have been fumigated and disinfected. In addition, personal protective equipment (PPE) have been distributed to all schools,” the statement added.

Closure of schools

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, all universities, SHSs, basic schools, both private and public in the country, were closed down.

However, final-year SHS students were recalled back to resume academic work on June 22 to undergo a six-week academic work up to July 31, 2020 before the commencement of their final examinations from August 3 to September 4, 2020 when they completed.

Additionally, second-year Gold Track students also went back to school for six weeks, starting from June 22 to July 31, before proceeding on vacation.

In the case of the JHS final-year students, they underwent 11 weeks of academic work from June 29 to September 11, 2020 this year, and wrote their Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) between September 14 and 18.

On August 30, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his 16th address to the nation on measures taken to control the spread of the coronavirus disease announced that JHS and SHS in their second year (Form 2) were to resume today, October 5, 2020, to complete the 2019/20 academic year.

The President directed that JHSs would operate with a class size of 30 while SHSs would operate with a class size of 25.


President 2

Gov’t Extends Free Water Policy To End Of 2020

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has extended the free water policy dubbed, “Free Water for All Ghanaians” for another three months from October 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020.

A statement signed by Madam Cecilia Dapaah, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday, explained that the step was to enable Ghanaians to continue adhering to the protocols, especially the washing of hands with soap under running water, to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry appealed to consumers to use water judiciously in the observance of the protocols.

“The Ministry further wishes to urge all landlords and tanker service providers to refrain from charging or selling water to consumers as Government is paying for the water,” the statement said.

The President introduced the free water policy from April 2020 as part of measures to alleviate the hardships of COVID-19 and to enhance the observation of the COVID-19 hygiene protocols.

It was initially to cover three months but has since been extended.

Source: GNA

Dr Bossman Asare

EC To Split Polling Stations With Over 700 Registered Voters

All polling stations with more than 700 names on the voters register will be split into two — A and B — for the December 7 general election, the Electoral Commission (EC) has said.

The decision, it explained, was to ensure that long queues were reduced at those polling stations, which number 6,000.

A Deputy Commissioner of the EC, Dr Bossman Eric Asare, who made this known at the 2020 Star Ghana Foundation 2020 Call Learning Event in Accra yesterday, added that the decision was in line with the COVID-19 safety protocols.

The event was on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on election programming in the country.

Dr Asare said each polling station would have a COVID-19 ambassador, whose duty would be to ensure that all the COVID-19 safety measures were in place and observed.

He said the voters registration exercise passed without anybody contracting the COVID-19.

Ballot papers

Regarding the printing of ballot papers, the deputy EC chair said the political parties would be involved in the process, as their representatives would be invited to observe the printing process.

The move, he said, was to ensure greater transparency for the elections, as well as prevent rigging.

“This is what the commission does and this year we are not going to depart from tradition and best practices. When it comes to the printing of ballot papers, we go to the printing houses with representatives of the political parties. For instance, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will have their agents at each of the printing houses,” he said.

Security measures

Ahead of the elections proper, Dr Asare said, the EC would go to the regions to meet various stakeholders, including youth groups, to educate them on the electoral process.

“We are doing whatever it is to deliver credible elections,” he said.

On the transfer of votes, he said only students and members of the security agencies would be allowed to transfer their votes.

Final register

Asked when the final register would be ready, he said hopefully as soon as the transfer of votes was done by October 25, 2020, the EC would begin the process for the finalisation of the register.

“We are looking at the second week in November and so we are looking around November 10. The C.I. is very clear on how we make the register available to the parties.

“It says the commission should give the register to the political parties in the form that will be determined by the commission; that is in the C.I.,” he said.


An Assistant Director at the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Dr Imurana Mahammed, indicated that threats by some communities not to vote because of the failure of the government to provide them with certain amenities were a disincentive to the elections.

According to him, that could give rise to vigilantism, since community members might think that electing people into office could not address their problems.

The Executive Secretary of the National Peace Council, Mr George Amoah, said the council had a series of activities to undertake as part of its programme to ensure peaceful elections.

Civil society

The Executive Director of the Star Ghana Foundation, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, said the COVID-19 had impacted negatively on civil society’s resource mobilisation for election activities.

The Director of Operations of the Ghana Police Service, DCOP (Dr) Sayibu Pabi Gariba, said all election security taskforces that had been set up from the national to the district levels were currently operational.


EC voters

EC Introduces Short Code For Voter Verification

The Electoral Commission (EC) has introduced a short message service (SMS) platform to enable registered voters access their registration details.

The short code, 1422, will be activated on Friday, September 18, to Friday, September 25, 2020.

To access registration details, voters would have to text their voter ID card number to the short code.

The exhibition of the voters register would commence on Friday, September 18, to Friday, September 25.

The eight-day exercise would give registered voters the opportunity to authenticate their personal information.

The exercise would also help the EC rid the register of unqualified persons ahead of the December 7 polls.

The EC provisionally registered 16,963,306 people at the end of the biometric voters registration exercise which ended on August 9, this year.


Mali Coup: Hand Over To A Civilian Leader – ECOWAS Orders The Military

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has advised the military in Mali to return to civilian rule in the coming days.

The chairman, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, stated that the meeting with Mali’s new military junta headed by Col. Assimi Goita was progressive.

Col. Assimi Goita was reported to have left the shores of Ghana for Bamako after he disagreed with ECOWAS leaders over a handover by close of September 15.

But President Akufo-Addo after a closed-door meeting told journalists that the military leader had agreed that upon his arrival in Mali, he would engage the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP) further as part of measures to implement the commitments agreed to at the ECOWAS meeting.

“I am hoping that by the time he [Col. Goita] gets there, these things [will] have been completed so that the sanctions will be lifted. We’re talking, hopefully in days, not in weeks,” he said.

Akufo-Addo further said that Col. Assimi Goita “participated in the discussion but we insisted that he goes back and do the consultation with those who are responsible for the decisions and get their buy-in.”

The West Africa Heads of State/ Heads of Government also cautioned further sanctions if the military leaders failed to observe the conclusions reached at the meeting.

These sanctions, ECOWAS noted, will range from the closure of Member States’ borders to Mali, restriction of financial inflows and sidelining from decisions concerning the Member States.

This development follows calls on ECOWAS to ensure former president Keïta’s reinstatement.

The West African Heads of State were in Ghana to deliberate on possible solutions to the political crisis in Mali following a coup that ousted President Bubakar Keïta in August.