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Gunmen kill woman, four children in Anambra

A woman and her four children have been killed by gunmen in Anambra state.

 

The incident was said to have taken place in a community in Orumba north LGA of the state over the weekend.

 

Confirming the development on Tuesday, Tochukwu Ikenga, Anambra police spokesperson, said investigation into the incident has commenced.

 

“Investigation has since commenced and our deployment is very strategic and intelligent-driven aimed at unraveling the identities of these perpetrators,” he said .

 

The killing of the woman, who is said to be a resident of Hausa extraction, has elicited criticism in the light of recent attacks across the state by gunmen.

 

Echeng Echeng, Anambra police commissioner, on Tuesday, paid a visit to the Hausa community in the LGA.

 

In his remarks during the visit, Echeng said the police will ensure adequate security for the community.

 

Also reacting to the development in a statement issued on Tuesday, Christian Aburime, spokesman to Chukwuma Soludo, governor of Anambra, condemned the killing, but said it had no religious or ethnic undertones.

 

“While it is true that there is general insecurity across the country, there is no targeted religious or ethnic killings in Anambra State. As a matter of fact, Anambra indigenes have suffered more casualties as a result of the unfortunate killings,” the statement reads.

 

He also said the state is stepping up efforts to tackle insecurity.

 

“It is on record that Ndi Anambra and people of the North and other parts of the country who live and do business in the state, not only share common values, but have always lived at peace with each other in the state,” he said.

 

 “Governor Soludo’s administration has not only demonstrated commitment in tackling insecurity but has continuously reassured both indigenes and non-indigenes in the State of their protection and safety.”

News

EFCC finally arrests Okorocha after forcefully entering his home

 

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested Rochas Okorocha, former Imo governor.

 

He was whisked away at 6:48pm on Tuesday.

 

The senator representing Imo west had earlier declined to be taken away by the operatives, insisting that he will not submit himself to the anti-graft agency without a warrant.

 

But security operatives had broken the entrance doors to get into the home of the former governor.

 

In a statement on Tuesday, Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC’s spokesperson, said they were at the house in order to bring the former governor to stand trial before a federal high court in Abuja.

 

At the residence, things took a different turn after supporters of the Imo west senator thronged the premises, singing and chanting Okorocha’s praises.

 

The security operatives then fired into the air after the supporters refused to leave when they were asked to.

 

The operatives also chased everyone away, including staff of the senator and journalists.

The EFCC had, on January 31, filed a 17-count charge against the former Imo governor before a federal high court in Abuja.

 

According to the EFCC, the former Imo governor who is seeking to contest the presidency, allegedly conspired with others, including a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and five companies to steal N2.9 billion in public funds.

 

Aside from Okorocha, other defendants listed are Anyim Nyerere Chinenye, Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited.

News

ASUU: FG agrees to pay N34bn minimum wage arrears

 

The Federal Government says it will spend about N34 billion as arrears of Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments in the education sector effective from 2019.

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige said that this was aimed at resolving the lingering crisis in the sector, NAN reports.

 

Ngige made this known while speaking with newsmen on the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and others on Tuesday in Abuja.

 

Ngige said that the beneficiaries of the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments included the members of the striking ASUU and their counterparts in the polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

 

According to Ngige, the universities will get N23.5 billion, the polytechnics N6 billion and the Colleges of Education N4 billion, bringing the total sum to N33.5 billion.

 

The minister, while giving an update on the ongoing strike, said committees were set up during the last tripartite meeting of the government and university based unions.

 

He said they were given a fortnight to turn in their report, adding they were still working and the reports of the committees were being expected at the end of the week.

 

“Those committees are working. The one on NITDA is testing the three platforms, the government’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

 

“Also the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) of ASUU and the Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPPS) of the non-teaching staff.

 

“They started the testing last Thursday. The National Salaries, Wages and Incomes Commission (NSWIC) has issued their amendment circulars.

 

“The unions also have copies to take care of responsibility and hazard allowances wherever it has not been properly captured.’’

 

Ngige assured that there might likely be wage adjustments as the government intensified efforts to streamline wages through the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

 

“For example, we have done it for the police . It wasn’t envisaged that we should do it in pockets.

 

“You can also see university teachers saying that their own should be done immediately, since we have done for the police. So, something is being done. It was part of the 2009 negotiation they had with the government then.

 

“So, the committee of Prof. Briggs is on it, discussing with the university unions and their employer, the Federal Ministry of Education. They will bring up something for the government to see.

 

“There are other people. The doctors are complaining about brain-drain, this and that. Their hazard allowance has to be touched and it was touched by close to 300 per cent.

 

“From N5, 000 paid across board for each person, the least person in the health sector is getting N15, 000, while the big ones are getting N45, 000. So, that is the quantum leap.’’he added.

 

The minister therefore, appealed to ASUU and other university-based unions once more to suspend their strike so that academic activities could resume once again in public universities across the country.

News Politics

2023: Dino Melaye loses senatorial ticket to TJ Yusuf in Kogi

 

A former lawmaker representing Kogi West, Senator Dino Melaye, has lost the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket to a serving House Representatives member, Hon. T.J Yusuf.

 

Recall that there was a deadlock in the Kogi West PDP Senatorial primary election where Dino Melaye scored 88 and TJ Yusuf polled 88 votes, which led to a rerun election on Tuesday.

 

In the rerun election conducted on Tuesday, Hon. T. J. Yusuf defeated Sen. Dino Melaye by 163 to 99 votes to pick the PDP ticket

 

Yusuf, while speaking after he was declared the winner, extended the olive branch to his co-contestants, urging hem to join hands with him to win the general election.

 

He commended the peaceful conduct of the primaries, promising to continue with his good work if elected at the general election.

News Politics

E.I 144 is in breach of Act 925 – Minority on declassification of Achimota Forest

The Minority in Parliament has asked President Akufo-Addo to revoke Executive Instrument 144 which seeks to declassify some portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu in a statement on Tuesday noted that Executive Instrument 144 is in breach of the provisions of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925).

He explained that per the Act, the regulation of land use and spatial planning in Ghana is not conferred on the President.

He contended that the President’s exercise of power for the issuance of the Executive Instrument 144 pursuant to section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157) is untenable as “Section 90(1) of Act 925 provides that: Where a provision of this Act is in conflict with any other enactment relating to land use, the provision of this Act shall prevail.”

“The Executive Instrument numbered 144, the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 issued “By Command of the President” and signed by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, claims to be made in exercise of the power conferred on the President by section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157). However, the current law regulating land use and spatial planning in Ghana is the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925). It is clear that Executive Instrument 144 is in breach of the provisions of Act 925,” portions of the statement read.

For this reason, the Minority wants the President “to do what is right and proper by respecting the provisions in the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925) and the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution of actually holding public lands on behalf of, and in trust for, the people of Ghana.”

“It would be in the President’s own interest and the interest of his Government simply to revoke the E.I. 144 instead of, once again, showing contempt for the laws of Ghana and the interest of the Ghanaian people,” the statement from Minority read.

The Caucus said Section 93(4) of Act 925 which relates to the change or use or re-zoning of a public space requires Parliament’s approval before such action. Thus, they believe once Parliament has not given approval to such action, government cannot declassify the Achimota Forest reserves land.

“Section 93(4) of Act 925 which relates to the change or use or re-zoning of a public space, states unequivocally that: “the change of use or re-zoning of a public space shall be subjected to approval by Parliament.

E.I 144 is in breach of Act 925 - Minority on declassification of Achimota Forest
Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor

“Therefore, besides the role of the District Spatial Planning Committee, Parliamentary approval is, therefore, a requirement for the change of use or re-zoning of the Achimota Forest Reserve area. Section 96 of Act 925 requires that the re-zoning to be done before Government can convey the land to any person.”

Background

Last week, the President signed an Executive Instrument to declassify the Achimota Forest.

The Instrument gazetted on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, stipulated that effective May 1, 2022, the land on which the Forest is located shall cease to be a forest reserve, pursuant to Section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157).

The cessation, per that document, was to be effective on May 1, 2022.

However, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said the government is not selling the land.

According to him, plans are rather afoot to upgrade the Achimota Forest into a world-class asset.

Addressing the press on Tuesday, May 17, the sector Minister emphasised that widespread reports about the supposed sale of the Forest are false and baseless, as government has no such plans.

“The government intends to enrich the Achimota forest, revamp it and hopefully, in the not too distant future, transform it into the likes of High Park of London and Central Park of New York, where Ghanaians can go and enjoy the beauty of nature and forest reserve as it happens in other parts of the world”.

News Sports

GFA maintain Otto Addo as head coach; Boateng, Dramani and Hughton also stay at post

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) have confirmed the re-appointment of Otto Addo as the head coach of the Black Stars ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Just the like the technical team for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier playoff against Nigeria, Addo will be assisted by George Boateng, Mas-Ud Didi Dramani while Chris Hughton will continue to work as the technical advisor for the team.

The four coaches, who played a key role to Ghana securing qualification to the global showpiece will stay on the technical team of the Black Stars as they prepare for the AFCON qualifiers as well as the World Cup to be staged in Qatar.

According to the Ghana FA, the decision to maintain the four comes after various engagements with all relevant stakeholders as well as the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Addo, Boateng, Dramani and Hughton will stay on as the technical team until December 2022. 

They are expected to name their squad in the coming days for the qualifiers against Madagascar and Central African Republic. 

News

At least 15 dead in Texas primary school shooting

Fourteen students and one teacher are dead following a shooting at an elementary school in Texas.

According to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the gunman was an 18-year-old male who lived in the area. The shooting took place in the town of Uvalde, about 83 miles (133km) from San Antonio, America’s seventh largest city.

Mr Abbott said that the shooter used a handgun and possibly a rifle during the shooting, although that is not yet confirmed.

He was shot dead, it’s thought by police. Two officers were also hit during the exchange of gunfire but were not seriously injured.

A news conference with more details is expected shortly. Stay here for all the details.

News

African Liberation Week: How a Pan-African movement is driving African youth to action for African Liberation

From its founding in 2016, Africans Rising (africansrising.org) has endeavoured to raise the profile of Pan-African solidarity especially among the youth of the continent and its diaspora.

Its African Liberation Day commemoration brings thousands of Africans home and abroad on the same platform connected by the same desire to see a peaceful, just and dignified Africa.

Through a consultative, grassroots-led, innovative process, the movement has created a truly unique way to commemorate the historic moment when Africa almost became a country 6 decades ago. In this way, a strong connection is built between the struggles of the youth and the endearing past of their forebears, from which they must learn.

Each year, choosing a theme that resonates with the African masses, Africans Rising makes the effort to rally people from all walks of life encouraging them to take action.

The notion of African Liberation Day has its roots in the formation of the Organisation of African Unity in May 1963 at a 3-day conference of then new independent countries.

That conference starting from 23rd May that year in the ancient African city of Addis Ababa was a decisive platform for the future of Africa. The discussions centred on many things but principally liberation and unity. It was to be decided whether African countries were to bind together to form one giant country or to move independently but with cooperation amongst themselves.

Those who advocated immediate unity became known as the “radicals” while those who advocated separate sovereignties were known as “gradualists”. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, two of the foremost theorists on African unity came to symbolise the opposing perspectives on that critical question.

The latter was later in 1997 to admit the correctness of the position of the “radicals”. Back then in 1963, in the tense debate between Africans who saw themselves as siblings divided by colonialists in an 1884 Berlin conference, the gradualists carried the day and the conference ended on 25th May with the formation of the Organisation of African Unity to work towards gradual unity.

While all that is history, African youth are taking inspiration from this historic moment. And Africans Rising is rallying and supporting them to do this in actionable and consequential ways.

History of Africans Rising’s African Liberation Day Mobilisations

On May 25, 2017, 2000 volunteers, partners, supporters and friends organised a total of 300 actions and events in 42 countries on the African continent and the Diaspora to march the launch of Africans Rising. On May 25, 2018, the mobilisation was even more massive as hundreds of individual actions and events were carried out in 54 countries including 6 in the African Diaspora. In 2019, activities spanned from film screenings, media engagements, public symposia, to panel discussions and several other activities on modern day slavery. In 2020 and 2021, Africans Rising focused on the health and wellbeing of Africans and African communities, given the COVID-19 pandemic and its disastrous consequences across all aspects of life, through our#Rise4OurLives campaign.

African Liberation Week; #AfricaforAfricans

This year, the mobilisation has been expanded to include a whole week of activities. The uniqueness of African Rising’s approach is in its emphasis on supporting grassroot movements and activists in organising and taking action rather than duplicating their action. This is buoyed by the understanding that the grassroot movements are best placed to carry out meaningful actions and spread the fervour of African Liberation among the people. Unlike, other commemorations which hold grand events at the continental level, the focus on grassroots brings the conversation on African liberation to the people where it truly belongs.

Under the theme, #AfricaforAfricans, the African Liberation Week spanning the entire week of 25th May (i.e 23rd May to 29th May 2022), promises to galvanize the youth for African liberation way beyond the May and perhaps even far beyond 2022. The theme itself highlights the hope and ambition of the African youth.

#AfricaforAfricans draws inspiration from Marcus Garvey’s Pan-African rhetoric of the early 20th Century meant to rally people of African descent to embrace their land – Africa. In its contemporary rendition, Africa for Africans connotes the need for Africans to take ownership and control of the destiny of their continent.

This means a commitment to ensure that the wealth of the continent benefits the people, not external forces and not a small clique of African elites, but the people – all the people.

It also underscores the burning imperative to protect the land from destruction as the sub-theme climate and environmental justice highlights. People protect what they own. Within a neo-colonial context, Africa has been extracted from the African.

In other words, when the great wealth that is extracted from the belly of the continent is juxtaposed with the mass poverty and other iniquities afflicting the people, Africa can hardly be said to be present in the lives of the masses of African people. It is time to restore hope to African youth to realise their potential within an Africa that is peaceful, just and dignified.

Africa for Africans goes with specific sub-themes that speak to specific contemporary issues – Decolonisation rallies those Africans both within the continent and in the diaspora who are working on decolonising educational curriculum, financial systems, economic, social and cultural institutions many of which continue to perpetuate exploitation; Gender justice seeks to mainstream the idea of a gender equal society in creating the #AfricaWeWant; Health as a sub-theme continues the conversation on COVID-19 within the African context especially as regards equitable access to healthcare, vaccines, investment in health expertise and equipment as have become even more imperative given the COVID reality; and Climate and environmental justice meant to capture the important and urgent issue of climate change and the need to protect the environment.

African youth in various fields of endeavour are making strides, trying whatever they can to leave their mark. All they need is an environment that values and harnesses their potential, the systems that support and enable them rather than curtail their growth and the platforms that unify their actions towards the #AfricaWeWant.

Africans Rising has started a process and together with partners who are doing invaluable work, a peaceful, just and dignified Africa is achievable in our lifetime, even if it at present looks too distant.

News

Gunmen kill woman, four children in Anambra

A woman and her four children have been killed by gunmen in Anambra state.

 

The incident was said to have taken place in a community in Orumba north LGA of the state over the weekend.

 

Confirming the development on Tuesday, Tochukwu Ikenga, Anambra police spokesperson, said investigation into the incident has commenced.

 

“Investigation has since commenced and our deployment is very strategic and intelligent-driven aimed at unraveling the identities of these perpetrators,” he said .

 

The killing of the woman, who is said to be a resident of Hausa extraction, has elicited criticism in the light of recent attacks across the state by gunmen.

 

Echeng Echeng, Anambra police commissioner, on Tuesday, paid a visit to the Hausa community in the LGA.

 

In his remarks during the visit, Echeng said the police will ensure adequate security for the community.

 

Also reacting to the development in a statement issued on Tuesday, Christian Aburime, spokesman to Chukwuma Soludo, governor of Anambra, condemned the killing, but said it had no religious or ethnic undertones.

 

“While it is true that there is general insecurity across the country, there is no targeted religious or ethnic killings in Anambra State. As a matter of fact, Anambra indigenes have suffered more casualties as a result of the unfortunate killings,” the statement reads.

 

He also said the state is stepping up efforts to tackle insecurity.

 

“It is on record that Ndi Anambra and people of the North and other parts of the country who live and do business in the state, not only share common values, but have always lived at peace with each other in the state,” he said.

 

 “Governor Soludo’s administration has not only demonstrated commitment in tackling insecurity but has continuously reassured both indigenes and non-indigenes in the State of their protection and safety.”

News

EFCC finally arrests Okorocha after forcefully entering his home

 

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested Rochas Okorocha, former Imo governor.

 

He was whisked away at 6:48pm on Tuesday.

 

The senator representing Imo west had earlier declined to be taken away by the operatives, insisting that he will not submit himself to the anti-graft agency without a warrant.

 

But security operatives had broken the entrance doors to get into the home of the former governor.

 

In a statement on Tuesday, Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC’s spokesperson, said they were at the house in order to bring the former governor to stand trial before a federal high court in Abuja.

 

At the residence, things took a different turn after supporters of the Imo west senator thronged the premises, singing and chanting Okorocha’s praises.

 

The security operatives then fired into the air after the supporters refused to leave when they were asked to.

 

The operatives also chased everyone away, including staff of the senator and journalists.

The EFCC had, on January 31, filed a 17-count charge against the former Imo governor before a federal high court in Abuja.

 

According to the EFCC, the former Imo governor who is seeking to contest the presidency, allegedly conspired with others, including a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and five companies to steal N2.9 billion in public funds.

 

Aside from Okorocha, other defendants listed are Anyim Nyerere Chinenye, Naphtali International Limited, Perfect Finish Multi Projects Limited, Consolid Projects Consulting Limited, Pramif International Limited, and Legend World Concepts Limited.

News

ASUU: FG agrees to pay N34bn minimum wage arrears

 

The Federal Government says it will spend about N34 billion as arrears of Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments in the education sector effective from 2019.

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige said that this was aimed at resolving the lingering crisis in the sector, NAN reports.

 

Ngige made this known while speaking with newsmen on the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and others on Tuesday in Abuja.

 

Ngige said that the beneficiaries of the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments included the members of the striking ASUU and their counterparts in the polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

 

According to Ngige, the universities will get N23.5 billion, the polytechnics N6 billion and the Colleges of Education N4 billion, bringing the total sum to N33.5 billion.

 

The minister, while giving an update on the ongoing strike, said committees were set up during the last tripartite meeting of the government and university based unions.

 

He said they were given a fortnight to turn in their report, adding they were still working and the reports of the committees were being expected at the end of the week.

 

“Those committees are working. The one on NITDA is testing the three platforms, the government’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

 

“Also the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) of ASUU and the Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPPS) of the non-teaching staff.

 

“They started the testing last Thursday. The National Salaries, Wages and Incomes Commission (NSWIC) has issued their amendment circulars.

 

“The unions also have copies to take care of responsibility and hazard allowances wherever it has not been properly captured.’’

 

Ngige assured that there might likely be wage adjustments as the government intensified efforts to streamline wages through the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

 

“For example, we have done it for the police . It wasn’t envisaged that we should do it in pockets.

 

“You can also see university teachers saying that their own should be done immediately, since we have done for the police. So, something is being done. It was part of the 2009 negotiation they had with the government then.

 

“So, the committee of Prof. Briggs is on it, discussing with the university unions and their employer, the Federal Ministry of Education. They will bring up something for the government to see.

 

“There are other people. The doctors are complaining about brain-drain, this and that. Their hazard allowance has to be touched and it was touched by close to 300 per cent.

 

“From N5, 000 paid across board for each person, the least person in the health sector is getting N15, 000, while the big ones are getting N45, 000. So, that is the quantum leap.’’he added.

 

The minister therefore, appealed to ASUU and other university-based unions once more to suspend their strike so that academic activities could resume once again in public universities across the country.

News Politics

2023: Dino Melaye loses senatorial ticket to TJ Yusuf in Kogi

 

A former lawmaker representing Kogi West, Senator Dino Melaye, has lost the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket to a serving House Representatives member, Hon. T.J Yusuf.

 

Recall that there was a deadlock in the Kogi West PDP Senatorial primary election where Dino Melaye scored 88 and TJ Yusuf polled 88 votes, which led to a rerun election on Tuesday.

 

In the rerun election conducted on Tuesday, Hon. T. J. Yusuf defeated Sen. Dino Melaye by 163 to 99 votes to pick the PDP ticket

 

Yusuf, while speaking after he was declared the winner, extended the olive branch to his co-contestants, urging hem to join hands with him to win the general election.

 

He commended the peaceful conduct of the primaries, promising to continue with his good work if elected at the general election.

News Politics

2023: Gov. Ikpeazu emerges PDP candidate for Abia South

Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu on Tuesday picked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket to contest for Abia South Senatorial District seat in the 2023 general election.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Ikpeazu, the lone aspirant, emerged unopposed as the party’s candidate at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba.

Chief Ndidi Okereke, the Returning Officer, while announcing the result, said 198 delegates were accredited for the exercise.

Okereke said Ikpeazu polled a total of 198 votes and emerged unopposed as the winner of the primary election.

Speaking after the exercise, Ikpeazu thanked the party leadership, and lauded the conduct of the election which he described as “clean and transparent”.

He said he was poised to evolve programmes and policies that would change the fortunes of Abia South Senatorial District in the days ahead.

Ikpeazu said he would deliver quality representation and protect the interest of the people, if he emerged winner at the 2023 senatorial election.

“I want to thank the delegates from the six local government areas and dedicate this victory to our statutory delegates.

“They have been excluded from today’s exercise not because of any wrong on their part but because of some laws that have not received assent from Mr President.

“I am particularly interested in women, youths and the voiceless. I pray that Almighty God will through the instrumentality of the mandate you have given me, the power, strength, opportunity and privilege to serve Abia South people to the best of my ability,” he said.

News

Girl whose foster mother burnt her fingers needs Psychological attention – Clinical psychologist recommends

A Clinical Psychologist with the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Daniel Fordjour has recommended immediate and intensive psychological attention for Stephanie whose hand was damaged by a foster mother.

Nine-year-old Stephanie had her hand held in boiling water for taking two Ghana Cedis belonging to her guardian, without asking, to buy food.

The injury was managed at home for days until the fingers began deteriorating.

Responding to cases of child abuse, where victims often do not access support from the Social Welfare Department, Mr. Fordjour stated the psychological damage on the girl may be irreparable due to the lasting imprints of the incident on her mind.

“The child is a girl. She’s going to grow up to be a mother. She is going to have anxieties about how mothering another human being is because of what she’s gone through. 

“This is a damage that is going to be difficult to repair. Even the physical ones we are struggling to do this. Psychological one will be much more difficult,” he said. 

Stephanie has undergone two surgical operations at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, and there is the fear of losing some of her fingers.

Speaking to David Akuetteh on Luv Fm, the Clinical Psychologist said the actions of the foster mother will not only affect the emotions of little Stephanie but her children, too.

“What this mother has done has caused a lot of traumas for the child, including the 5-month-old baby she’s breastfeeding.  Because it is already on social media. This child is going to grow up.

“By the time they start looking at videos on social media, they will find their mother there. Their mother’s name is going to be all around and they will find out what their mother had done,” he said.

Daniel Fordjour recommends intensive psychological attention for children who suffer abuse.

“Certain psychological help that will follow-up should go on for a while to deal with all the negative conditions that Stephanie might have formed in her own mind and even will be forming per the experiences she will face as she’s growing.

“This is a long-term kind of help that this child needs,” he added. 

News

‘Charity begins at home; comply with asset declaration law’ – Speaker tells MPs

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has charged Members of Parliament to strictly comply with the asset declaration law.

In his view, MPs can only hold members of the Executive accountable if they comply with the law.

“Parliament must be open, transparent and accountable to the people. As the saying goes, charity begins at home.

“As the Constitutional and Legal Head of the institution of Parliament  … I pledge to lead this effort by example,” he said.

According to him, “he will take up this role together with the leadership of the House “initiate discussions with relevant state actors to put in place measures and systems to ensure that all members and staff of Parliament comply with the declaration of assets, tax obligations and honour all outstanding issues of overpayment and underpayment reported on by the Auditor-General, from 2001 to 2008 and 2009 to 2016.”

The Speaker added that he would ensure the process begins soon.

'Charity begins at home; comply with asset declaration law' – Speaker tells MPs
Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin chairing Parliament proceedings.

“Sooner than later, members will be informed through the usual channels about how this will be done. The proposal is to put a team in place to liaise with the state and non-state actors to smoothen the compliance of this initiative,” he said.

Mr. Bagbin said Parliament in its second session will take “further vigorous steps to strengthen the hand of the House to hold government and state institutions accountable for the people for the power, trust, resources and hope reposed in us.”

“The Executive President assisted by cabinet and state …shall be called upon to account for the stewardship of the country to succeed to implement this agenda.”

He also observed that a mechanism will be put in place to ensure MPs who received double salaries refund the monies to the state.

On his part, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu also asked for a review of the asset declaration law to robe in MMDCE’s and other public officials such as; the Council of State and Special Prosecutor.

According to him, the assets declared per the Constitution of Ghana in Article 205 or 206 “have to be lodged with the Auditor-General.”

“The rationale for this is for the Auditor-General to interrogate assets acquired by public officers. Unfortunately, the construct of the Constitution is such that once they are lodged with the Auditor-General, he himself is disabled from opening the assets so declared, to ensure that people who have acquired assets respond to their tax liabilities. It is the reason why the assets are lodged with the Auditor-General, for whatever reason, our Constitution threads on a different path, Deposit it with the Auditor-General and that is the end of it” he said.

News Politics

E.I 144 is in breach of Act 925 – Minority on declassification of Achimota Forest

The Minority in Parliament has asked President Akufo-Addo to revoke Executive Instrument 144 which seeks to declassify some portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu in a statement on Tuesday noted that Executive Instrument 144 is in breach of the provisions of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925).

He explained that per the Act, the regulation of land use and spatial planning in Ghana is not conferred on the President.

He contended that the President’s exercise of power for the issuance of the Executive Instrument 144 pursuant to section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157) is untenable as “Section 90(1) of Act 925 provides that: Where a provision of this Act is in conflict with any other enactment relating to land use, the provision of this Act shall prevail.”

“The Executive Instrument numbered 144, the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 issued “By Command of the President” and signed by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, claims to be made in exercise of the power conferred on the President by section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157). However, the current law regulating land use and spatial planning in Ghana is the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925). It is clear that Executive Instrument 144 is in breach of the provisions of Act 925,” portions of the statement read.

For this reason, the Minority wants the President “to do what is right and proper by respecting the provisions in the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925) and the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution of actually holding public lands on behalf of, and in trust for, the people of Ghana.”

“It would be in the President’s own interest and the interest of his Government simply to revoke the E.I. 144 instead of, once again, showing contempt for the laws of Ghana and the interest of the Ghanaian people,” the statement from Minority read.

The Caucus said Section 93(4) of Act 925 which relates to the change or use or re-zoning of a public space requires Parliament’s approval before such action. Thus, they believe once Parliament has not given approval to such action, government cannot declassify the Achimota Forest reserves land.

“Section 93(4) of Act 925 which relates to the change or use or re-zoning of a public space, states unequivocally that: “the change of use or re-zoning of a public space shall be subjected to approval by Parliament.

E.I 144 is in breach of Act 925 - Minority on declassification of Achimota Forest
Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor

“Therefore, besides the role of the District Spatial Planning Committee, Parliamentary approval is, therefore, a requirement for the change of use or re-zoning of the Achimota Forest Reserve area. Section 96 of Act 925 requires that the re-zoning to be done before Government can convey the land to any person.”

Background

Last week, the President signed an Executive Instrument to declassify the Achimota Forest.

The Instrument gazetted on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, stipulated that effective May 1, 2022, the land on which the Forest is located shall cease to be a forest reserve, pursuant to Section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157).

The cessation, per that document, was to be effective on May 1, 2022.

However, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said the government is not selling the land.

According to him, plans are rather afoot to upgrade the Achimota Forest into a world-class asset.

Addressing the press on Tuesday, May 17, the sector Minister emphasised that widespread reports about the supposed sale of the Forest are false and baseless, as government has no such plans.

“The government intends to enrich the Achimota forest, revamp it and hopefully, in the not too distant future, transform it into the likes of High Park of London and Central Park of New York, where Ghanaians can go and enjoy the beauty of nature and forest reserve as it happens in other parts of the world”.

News

ASUU: FG agrees to pay N34bn minimum wage arrears

 

The Federal Government says it will spend about N34 billion as arrears of Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments in the education sector effective from 2019.

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige said that this was aimed at resolving the lingering crisis in the sector, NAN reports.

 

Ngige made this known while speaking with newsmen on the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and others on Tuesday in Abuja.

 

Ngige said that the beneficiaries of the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments included the members of the striking ASUU and their counterparts in the polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

 

According to Ngige, the universities will get N23.5 billion, the polytechnics N6 billion and the Colleges of Education N4 billion, bringing the total sum to N33.5 billion.

 

The minister, while giving an update on the ongoing strike, said committees were set up during the last tripartite meeting of the government and university based unions.

 

He said they were given a fortnight to turn in their report, adding they were still working and the reports of the committees were being expected at the end of the week.

 

“Those committees are working. The one on NITDA is testing the three platforms, the government’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

 

“Also the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) of ASUU and the Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPPS) of the non-teaching staff.

 

“They started the testing last Thursday. The National Salaries, Wages and Incomes Commission (NSWIC) has issued their amendment circulars.

 

“The unions also have copies to take care of responsibility and hazard allowances wherever it has not been properly captured.’’

 

Ngige assured that there might likely be wage adjustments as the government intensified efforts to streamline wages through the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

 

“For example, we have done it for the police . It wasn’t envisaged that we should do it in pockets.

 

“You can also see university teachers saying that their own should be done immediately, since we have done for the police. So, something is being done. It was part of the 2009 negotiation they had with the government then.

 

“So, the committee of Prof. Briggs is on it, discussing with the university unions and their employer, the Federal Ministry of Education. They will bring up something for the government to see.

 

“There are other people. The doctors are complaining about brain-drain, this and that. Their hazard allowance has to be touched and it was touched by close to 300 per cent.

 

“From N5, 000 paid across board for each person, the least person in the health sector is getting N15, 000, while the big ones are getting N45, 000. So, that is the quantum leap.’’he added.

 

The minister therefore, appealed to ASUU and other university-based unions once more to suspend their strike so that academic activities could resume once again in public universities across the country.

News Politics

2023: Dino Melaye loses senatorial ticket to TJ Yusuf in Kogi

 

A former lawmaker representing Kogi West, Senator Dino Melaye, has lost the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket to a serving House Representatives member, Hon. T.J Yusuf.

 

Recall that there was a deadlock in the Kogi West PDP Senatorial primary election where Dino Melaye scored 88 and TJ Yusuf polled 88 votes, which led to a rerun election on Tuesday.

 

In the rerun election conducted on Tuesday, Hon. T. J. Yusuf defeated Sen. Dino Melaye by 163 to 99 votes to pick the PDP ticket

 

Yusuf, while speaking after he was declared the winner, extended the olive branch to his co-contestants, urging hem to join hands with him to win the general election.

 

He commended the peaceful conduct of the primaries, promising to continue with his good work if elected at the general election.

News Politics

2023: Gov. Ikpeazu emerges PDP candidate for Abia South

Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu on Tuesday picked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket to contest for Abia South Senatorial District seat in the 2023 general election.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Ikpeazu, the lone aspirant, emerged unopposed as the party’s candidate at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba.

Chief Ndidi Okereke, the Returning Officer, while announcing the result, said 198 delegates were accredited for the exercise.

Okereke said Ikpeazu polled a total of 198 votes and emerged unopposed as the winner of the primary election.

Speaking after the exercise, Ikpeazu thanked the party leadership, and lauded the conduct of the election which he described as “clean and transparent”.

He said he was poised to evolve programmes and policies that would change the fortunes of Abia South Senatorial District in the days ahead.

Ikpeazu said he would deliver quality representation and protect the interest of the people, if he emerged winner at the 2023 senatorial election.

“I want to thank the delegates from the six local government areas and dedicate this victory to our statutory delegates.

“They have been excluded from today’s exercise not because of any wrong on their part but because of some laws that have not received assent from Mr President.

“I am particularly interested in women, youths and the voiceless. I pray that Almighty God will through the instrumentality of the mandate you have given me, the power, strength, opportunity and privilege to serve Abia South people to the best of my ability,” he said.

News Sports

Champions League: Why I’m not angry with Mbappe for snubbing Real Madrid – Benzema

Real Madrid captain, Karim Benzema, has said he is not angry Kylian Mbappe snubbed a move to the club to remain at Paris Saint-Germain.

Benzema, however, admitted he wanted his compatriot to join him in the Spanish capital.

Mbappe was widely expected to sign for the LaLiga champions as a free agent this summer.

But the 23-year-old opted to commit to PSG for another three years, sparking outrage among some figures in La Liga.

But Benzema told Canal+: “It was a long year for him, he had to decide.

“It’s his choice, I wish him the best although, as I said before, I would have liked him to play at Real Madrid.”

He continued to Movistar+: “I prefer not to talk. I’m not angry, I can just tell you that I’m focused on the Champions League final [against Liverpool on Saturday] which is more important than listening to anything else.

“Now is not the time to talk about these little things.”