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‘32,000 Muslims killed in 3 years’ — MURIC counters US lawmakers on Christian persecution in Nigeria

 

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) says 32,000 Muslims were killed within three years in Nigeria.

 

Ishaq Akintola, director of the organisation, said this on Thursday at a media briefing in Lagos in reaction to the request by five US senators for Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, to re-designate Nigeria as a country of particular concern (CPC).

 

In December 2020, the US listed Nigeria among countries blacklisted for “violating religious freedom” under the CPC designation.

 

However, in November 2021, Nigeria was removed from the list.

 

Citing the attack on St Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo state and the lynching of Deborah Samuel, a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, the senators wrote to Blinken, saying there is no “demonstrable improvement in the country’s religious freedom conditions”.

 

The senators who signed the letter are Josh Hawley, Marco Rubio, Mike Braun, James Inhofe, and Tom Cotton.

 

Speaking on Thursday, Akintola accused the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) of claiming that only Christians are being killed in Nigeria and of lobbying US politicians until the five senators wrote to Blinken.

 

He said to claim that the federal government is failing to protect the religious freedom of Christian citizens is a “shameless attempt to upturn the facts of history”, adding that millions of Muslims have faced harassment in southern Nigeria.

 

“Boko Haram in particular has killed, maimed and displaced more Muslims than Christians, more Muslim clerics and more Muslim traditional rulers have been killed or kidnapped than Christians,” he said.

 

“Most importantly, more Muslim majority states are under siege by these terrorists than Christian majority states while more Nigerian Muslims have been impoverished by insecurity than Christians. Insecurity in Nigeria has had greater impact on Muslims more than Christians but our Christian neighbours are standing history on its head.

 

“The US should not encourage Nigerian Christians who are entangled in a cobweb of entitlement syndrome. Christian leaders are taking advantage of the precarious security situation in Nigeria which has been compounded by the Libya factor.”

 

Akintola challenged the US senators to provide the source of their claim that 4,000 Christians were killed in Nigeria as at 2021, adding that Christian leaders are simply capitalising on the enormity of the security challenge facing Nigeria.

 

“But the fact remains that 90% of the victims of Boko Haram and ISWAP are Muslims and the operations of these terrorist groups are mainly restricted to the North where Muslims are the majority. Therefore, Muslims constitute majority of the victims of violence in Nigeria. No data can dispute that even if it is from a satellite operating on Jupiter,” he said.

 

“Boko Haram killed 37,500 persons from 2015 to 2018. Of this figure, 32,000 were Muslims, while 5,500 were Christians. This means that 85% of those killed were Muslims. Mosques have been bombed or burned. Imams, Shaykhs and emirs have been abducted and killed. But CAN still wants to deceive the world by claiming that it is Christians alone who are being killed in Nigeria. CAN has lost all credibility.

 

“The reason killing of Christians appear more pronounced is due to difference in burial culture. Nigerian Christians display bodies of their victims and may even delay their burial for days, if not months, while Muslims bury their victims almost immediately without any fuss. It is photo trick and camera magic that egg on emotions.

 

 “Terrorists are destroying mosques and killing the Muslim worshippers inside in their hundreds. Yet Nigerian Christian leaders say only churches are being attacked. It is absolutely absurd and incomprehensible.”

 

The MURIC director also said there have been reports of Christians launching “premeditated and well-coordinated attacks on Muslims on several occasions” and mentioned several examples including attacks on Fulani herders in the south-east.

 

He, however, said there are still good Christians in Nigeria and appealed to them to “disregard CAN’s false allegation and incitement”.

 

“It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that CAN is a lying cartel. If CAN has lied more than once, it can lie again,” he added.

News

Small businesses exposed to use of social media to grow

Small business operators in Zongo communities are being exposed to opportunities in using social media platforms to increase productivity and lower cost.

The growth of businesses in the sector has been hindered by their low presence in the digital media space.

Beneficiary businesses of the training session are upbeat about prospects on their operations.

Strong digital presence is critical for the success and survival of businesses.

To grow her fashion business, Fati Mohammed has been paying for advertisements on social media.

Though expensive, it has grown her presence on social media.

Yet, she records low patronage.

“It is very expensive. Some celebrities charge 100 cedis a week to advertise your products. With that, they only do it thrice a week. After paying 100 cedis per week, unfortunately, you only get 3 customers out of the adverts. The profit I get in a week does not amount to 100 cedis. A person with a large following can advertise for you, yet you would not record even 1 customer,” she said.

Her inability to design a professional social media profile page has limited the trust of potential customers.

But, attending technology seminars has taught her to design a professional business profile.

“It’s hard gaining followers using TikTok. People will view your content but will not like or follow you. The story is the same with Instagram. But when you have a business account, it is easier gaining followers,” she said.

Business owners of the Ashanti Zongo Youth Union have been undergoing digital marketing training sessions by Open Labs Ghana, formerly NIIT.

It is to help the businesses to render services efficiently.

Abdul Basit is Coordinator for Training and Higher Education at Open Labs Ghana.

“Majority of business owners are into traditional business. This means they do things manually. People open shops in front of their houses, and expect others to patronize. But things are moving from manual to technological. With Open Labs being an IT institution, we have decided to provide such technological services to people in our communities. They will use these technologies to establish and enhance their businesses,” he said.

Open Labs Ghana has embarked on similar community outreaches with financial institutions.

So far, the number of small businesses adopting mobile technologies has been successful.

“Some business owners were not aware of how to use technologies on their mobile phone for their businesses. We are introducing them to such technologies, they now understand they can use their phones to enhance the customer base for their businesses,” he said.  

A participant, Abdullai Abass, shares how he plans to use WhatsApp and TikTok to grow his electrical business.

“With the WhatsApp business application, I never knew it entails a lot of things you can run your business with,” he revealed.

News

Soyinka, Falana back plan to impeach Buhari

 

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and a Human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana, on Tuesday supported the move by the National Assembly members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari over his failure to end insecurity in the country.

It would be recalled that members of the opposition party at the National Assembly, had given President Buhari, six week ultimatum to end insecurity or be impeached.

Speaking at an interactive session, put together as parts of activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Abeokuta Club in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, both Soyinka and Falana submitted that Buhari has failed in the promises he made to Nigerians during his electioneering campaign.

The interactive session, which had the Human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana, the Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede; a  lawyer and Chartted Accountant, Gbenga Adeoye; a businessman in the state , Ogo-Oluwa Bankole and the spokesman of the Electricity Distribution Companies, Sunday Oduntan as  panelists with  the theme “Good Governance or Mis-governance: The Contract called Democracy”, was moderated by Prof. Wole Soyinka.

The Nobel Laureate in his submission said the President should be impeached because he has breached the contract of democracy.

He said, “very often, the grounds for breach  of contract, I think we all agree, is mis-governance and one of the ways of breaking this kind of contract we know even before the duration of a contract is known as impeachment.

“And reason we will go by some legislators to impeach the president who is the head of government. Infact, one cleric has gone even further , he believes that the impeachment should take place not in the legislative home but in the bush with the kidnappers and he appealed to the kidnappers to quicken the process by impeaching the president and take him away alongside some of his aides and one or two governors.”

Soyinka said Buhari is entitled to one vote and that he could campaign for anybody of his liking but added that there is no provision in any democratic constitution which empowers the head of government to appoint his or her successor. 

He said, “I am a moderator here today, If I want to go to the toilet and I will be away for a few minute and I will want to appoint somebody in my replace, I am likely to look for somebody who moderates like I do, someone who shares principles with my moderation , the same methodology and perhaps the same position , somebody whom I believe will moderate effectively as I have tried to do.

“In any democracy, any president, any prime minister or whatever is entitled  to one vote, we are not saying we should disenfranchise somebody because they are on top of governance. They had their right to campaign for any candidate they like but there is nothing in any constitution that I know of , in any democratic constitution which says that the head of government should appoint his or her successor .

“I heard the governors go to this individual, go to this failure and say to him please give us your successor. Many of us in this country, including governors, including chairmen of local governments, what comprehension they have of this process called Democracy because what this governance is telling us is that after a failure has occupied a seat of government for eight years, that failure should give us another failure for another eight years. So, those who feel that those governors who went to Buhari to give us a successor should also be impeached, can I please see your hands up in the air.”

“I hope the governors will make a note of that, please stop desecrating democracy by trying to enthrone the nastic rule by back door because that is what these governors did to intrigue a dynasty of failure, that is the meaning of that appeal to the outgoing president that, please, give us a successor. In fact, it is not democracy and that is not a respect of contract with the people of democracy”.

Falana on his part, corroborated the submission of the noble laurette on the need to stop abuse of democratic process .

The Human Right lawyer lamented imposition of leaders on Nigerians, faulting Buhari for seeking permission from the governors to choose his successor.

“As a follow up, what the president did say was that allow me to choose my successor because in your states, you have appointed your successors without any interference.”

Oloyede in his submission, urged Nigerians not to focus on the faults of the federal government, but concentrate on the state governments’ involvement in the failure.

Oloyede lamented poor condition of education sector, adding that the governments are responsible for the damage.

“Look at how long our universities have been closed now, five months, six months and somebody was telling me some people came from Ukraine and the National Assembly should look at them.

“What of those who are at home who did not go to Ukraine at all and they have not been going to school for five months but because the elites have sent their children to Ukraine and they are back now, so, they must make it a national agenda and that is why everybody is talking about returnees from Ukraine what about those who did not go to Ukraine.”

News

Help train critical thinking teachers – Dr Adutwum tells Colleges of Education Councils

The Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, has tasked governing councils of Colleges of Education (CoE) to work hard and ensure that the Colleges train critical thinking teachers so they could also train critical thinking students.

He explained that for the nation to be transformed, there is the need for schools to train critical thinking, assertive and problem-solving students and not students who would do “chew and pour”.

Dr. Adutwum announced this when he inaugurated the governing councils of ten CoE in Accra on Tuesday.

The event saw the members of the councils of the various Colleges swearing the oaths of office and secrecy.

The Minister indicated that as council members, they have a critical role to play to ensure that they assist their institutions to help transform the way teaching and learning takes place in their colleges.

Taming students 

“We have to stop taming students and rather help them to be assertive so they could open up at all times and ask critical questions wherever they might find themselves in the course of their lives”. Dr. Adutwum said.

Again he said, “You have a huge responsibility to support the transformation of the nation through education, this you can do by bringing your expertise to bear to ensure that Councils benefit from the huge barrage of your experience and skills to promote the development of education in your institutions”.

He enumerated the various investments and transformation measures being promoted by President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government which is aimed at catapulting the nation’s transformation agenda.

Leakage of minutes 

Dr. Adutwum who is also the Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe charged the council members to ensure that they comply with the oaths of secrecy and office and desist from leaking minutes of meetings to other people.

He explained that leaking of such minutes could discourage members from making inputs at meetings since they would fear it would be leaked out leading to various challenges.

“Remember that you are not here to serve the one who appointed you to the council but the institution to which you have been appointed to,” the Minister said.

Commendation 

The Most Rev. Gabriel Yaw Anokye, Chairperson for the St. Louis College of Education, thanked the government for the confidence reposed in them and pledged to work hard to enhance the training of teachers in the colleges.

He stated that every effort would be made to support the Management and staff of the various colleges to promote teaching and learning in the colleges.

The 10 colleges which had their governing councils inaugurated are St. Louis, Kibi Presby, Peki, Fosu, Holy Child, Tamale, St. John Bosco, Gambaga, St. Monica’s and Ola Colleges of Education.

The governing councils for the remaining 36 colleges are yet to be inaugurated.

News

How an angel investor Ernest Appiah sparked entrepreneurial journey of over 100 UG students

As part of efforts to promote enterprise skills development, and address graduate unemployment and the disconnect between stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Ghana, the officer of research, innovation and development (ORID), the University of Ghana in collaboration with the Imperial College London (ICL), and the impact hub Accra, launched the ‘Innovation for African Universities Connecting Accra Project’.

The two-phased project which was launched in May of 2022, sort to understand the entrepreneurial needs of students in the first phase.

This was done through a series of round-table discussions and virtual coaching sessions. After which student entrepreneurs were sampled and engaged to understand their needs.

The second phase of the project which climaxed on Wednesday at the University of Ghana campus began with an official launch where 28 entrepreneurial teams consisting of over 100 students were recruited, coached and mentored for two and half month period.

The six finalists were CARTAgro, Agrimecarb, Fihankra Comtech LLC, Feathery Care, Stefarms and Mam Ne Fo. Taking her turn at the finals, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana was hopeful

incubators and such competitions will help solve the perineal graduate unemployment problems.

She was impressed with the six finalists and asked for more private sector support to help horn the skills of the students to fend for themselves after school.

To help solve the huge graduate unemployment challenge the University of Ghana teamed up with the private sector to set up an Innovation hub. Pro-vice chancellor of the university Prof. Felix Ankomah Asante, described the hub as the spotlight of the future for students.

The project is fully funded by AMG fertilizer a free zones company owned by a Ghanaian, Ernest Appiah.

Prof. Asante added that the partnership with Agricultural Manufacturing Ghana it would have been just another document on the tables of the university, he believes it will serve as a template for other schools to follow.

The Chief Executive of the company, Ernest Appiah, a well-known angel investor and a philanthropist, a keynote speaker at the event, attributed his life’s challenges as one of the many reasons why his outfit, AMG, sponsored the development of the University of Ghana Business School Innovation and Incubation Hub with millions of Ghana cedis.

Upon engaging the six finalists, he subsequently supported each of them with a seed fund of Ghc20,000.

He admonished the young entrepreneurs not to conform to the status quo due to fear, intimidation or the lack of resources.

Mr. Appiah was willing to support all the other students who engaged in the IAU Connecting Accra Project competition with their business registration to stay compliant.

Mr. Ernest A. Appiah, who is also an alumnus of the University of Ghana Business, further expressed his conviction that projects like the IAU Connecting Accra Project, are essential to

create a vibrant atmosphere where student entrepreneurs are encouraged, trained and given the platform to attract the needed resources to ensure success.

As Ghana’s leading importer of fertilizer, Agricultural Manufacturing Group plays a critical role in feeding West Africa, by helping farmers to increase both crop and food production in a

sustainable manner.

The leading solely Ghanaian-owned fertilizer importer in the country, AMG is noted for constantly improving years of shared success and satisfaction with the farmers, customers, investors and stakeholder.

AMG is a wholly owned Ghanaian Company and currently ranks as the largest importer and

distributor of fertilizer in the country. With its state-of-the-art crop-specific blending unit, it has the capacity to produce crop-specific fertilizer blends for every crop. The company is noted for constantly improving years of shared success and satisfaction with the farmers, customers,

investors and other stakeholders

Feathery care, the unicorn which seeks to reduce the chick mortality rate to as close to zero

during the brooding stage, emerged as the winners of the student enterprise pitch competition termed Dema Day under the IAU Connecting Accra Project.

Innovation for African Universities Connecting Accra Project, was supported by the British Council, Imperial College London and Impact Hub Accra.

News

Insecurity: FRSC commanders get directive to begin enforcement on unregistered motorcycles

The Acting Corps Marshal, Dauda Ali Biu, has issued directives to the 37 Sector Commanders of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to commence full force enforcement on any motorcycle seen without appropriate registration.

Biu, who expressed worry over the increasing number of unregistered motorcycles plying the roads, underscored the urgent need to ensure that all two-wheel vehicles are duly captured in the National Vehicle Identification Scheme database.

In a statement on Monday by Mr.Bisi Kazeem, Assistant Corps Marshal, Corps Public Education Officer, explained that the directive came following the imminent need to comply with the Federal Government’s order on clamping down on the horde of unregistered motorcycles on Nigerian roads.

“The order was necessitated by the state of insecurity and the need to curb it by bringing to a halt the continuous operations of these categories of vehicles without registration on our roads.

“While laying particular emphasis on the security implications of not capturing all motorcycles in the national database, the Acting Corps Marshal charged the Sector Commanders to immediately liaise with the Boards of Internal Revenue in their respective states, set up a Taskforce in conjunction with the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies where necessary, including Vehicle Inspection Office and other stakeholders for effective enforcement.

“Expectedly, the directive also conveyed that the unregistered motorcycles are to be impounded while the owners are mandated to commence and complete full registration of the motorcycles before they are released.

“The Acting Corps Marshal said that the operation is aimed at getting unregistered motorcycles registered and documented in the national database,” the statement said.

The statement said the FRSC operatives may not issue a notice of offence ticket to the operators of motorcycles, adding that, however, all motorbikes impounded must be fully documented.

News Politics

Buhari’s govt looks dazed, clueless – Peter Obi movement

 

A new coalition for Peter Obi tagged, Obidient Movement has hit the President Muhammadu Buhari leadership, saying his government looks dazed and clueless.

The group described the President Buhari administration as incapable of taming the deteriorating economic and political situation in the country.

National Coordinating Council (NCC) of the Obidient Movement, headed by leaders drawn from the six geopolitical zones in the country, briefed newsmen in Abuja on Monday.

Ahead of the 2023 flag-off of the presidential campaigns, the group has commenced a nationwide mobilisation.

According to the Obi Movement, Obi’s presidency will address increasing national woes ranging from an intolerable and high unemployment rate to insecurity of lives and property.

Speaking at the press briefing, former chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Dr Tanko Yanusa, said the Obi Movement is on a mission to reset Nigeria to fulfil her foundational mandate.

He said Nigeria under the Buhari government is bedeviled and buffeted by a myriad of security challenges never seen or experienced since “our independence in 1960.

“The country has indeed been confronted with diverse security threats ranging from election violence, census crises, ethnoreligious conflicts, communal clashes, militancy, and terrorism but most of these were either localised or sporadic before this administration.

“Unfortunately, what we have been witnessing since 2015 is the amalgamation and molten mix of all these crises, all happening simultaneously, unhindered and in a terrifying fashion across Nigeria.

“Nowhere is safe in the 36 States of the country with road, rail and air travels constituting a nightmare for Nigerians. The country is under the siege of terrorists, bandits and other criminal gangs holding sway over swaths of ungoverned territories from the North to the South, East, and West.

“The most disheartening of these challenges is the fact that there is a well-orchestrated plan by foreign terrorists with their sponsors to cause more havoc and entrench a chaotic atmosphere and a dangerous agenda. While the daily killings and bloodletting of Nigerians have continued unabated under the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government.

“To make matters worse, President Buhari’s Administration from all indications looks dazed, clueless and incapable of taming the deteriorating economic and political situation in the country.

“Similarly, the country’s economy is in shambles with little or no effort to turn things around. Poor fiscal and monetary policies under a largely intellectually docile Minister of Finance and a politically compromised Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor in addition to a non-existent Presidential Economic Management Team have combined to usher in the worst form of inflation, scorched-earth economic policies, free fall of the Naira and badly managed Petroleum Industry, especially the downstream sector.

“Consequently, Nigeria is occupying the unenviable position of the poverty capital of the world with poor development indicators in all spheres of the economy. The high rate of poverty has also exacerbated criminal activities and other forms of vices in society.

“Nigerian students have been kept away from institutions of higher learning as a result of long avoidable strike by the ASUU caused by the lack of education priority of the APC led Federal Government.

“What this ugly scenario shows is that APC and the Buhari administration have failed woefully in all indices and indicators of good governance. They failed miserably to deliver on the three key areas they anchored their administration on, which are to improve security, the economy and the anti-corruption fight.

“The ruling party has broken all the negative records and brought the country to its lowest point. The party has only shown a capacity for propaganda and amplifying actions and decisions that further polarised Nigerians along our faultlines. Another four or eight years under a party that has shown an absolute lack of capacity to govern would destroy this country. And we must collectively rise to stop this NOW.”

Speaking on Obi’s chances, Yanusa said, “Obi has most of the qualities of a hands-on 21st-century leader who understands the dynamics of governance both at the local, national and global levels. He represents a paradigm shift and an ideal for a new Nigeria that youths are proud to champion.

“He is a fill-in portrait of what a 21st century Nigerian President should be, beyond the vagaries of a wasteful elite built on patronage and cronyism. Obi who has had a stellar performance both in private and public office has equally picked another breath of fresh air personality in Dr Yusuf Datti-Ahmed as his Vice.

“The Obidient movement is also not limited to Nigeria as our diaspora community consisting of some of the most brilliant brains in the world are actively involved,” he said.

News

Self-Service SIM Re-registration App to be launched, subscribers to pay ₵5

The Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has announced that a self-service sim reregistration app will be launched on August 2.

According to her, this app will enable the public re-register their sim cards in the comfort of their homes without having to queue at any network operator’s office.

Speaking at a press briefing on Sunday, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said that the app will be available for download on both android and IOS this week barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Also, each registration via the app will be subject to a GH¢5 surcharge, she added.

The minister said that the launch of the app was delayed because “the Virtual Private Network (VPN) connectivity and Application Programming Interface (API) integration with all MNOs was only completed this weekend due to unavoidable circumstances.”

She said that “adequate time will also be required for publicity and public education on the use of the Self-Service SIM Registration App.”

This comes after many Ghanaians were faced with challenges during the sim reregistration exercise. Among other things, millions of Ghanaians are yet to receive their Ghana Card which is the main tool for reregistration.

Others are also yet to complete the second stage of reregistration due to long queues and other challenges at the network operators’ offices.

Because of this and other reasons, the Communications Minister announced that the deadline for reregistration has once again been extended.

The final deadline she said is September 30. This she says should give people adequate time to register all their sims.

“That will give us one full year of SIM registration. It will be reviewed at the end of this month and any SIM that has not been fully registered by the end of August will be barred from receiving certain services including voice and data services.”

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful added that “it will also be more expensive to use unregistered SIMs. The full range of punitive measures will be announced at another press briefing in September.”

News

Self-Service SIM Re-registration App to be launched, subscribers to pay ₵5

The Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has announced that a self-service sim reregistration app will be launched on August 2.

According to her, this app will enable the public re-register their sim cards in the comfort of their homes without having to queue at any network operator’s office.

Speaking at a press briefing on Sunday, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said that the app will be available for download on both android and IOS this week barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Also, each registration via the app will be subject to a GH¢5 surcharge, she added.

The minister said that the launch of the app was delayed because “the Virtual Private Network (VPN) connectivity and Application Programming Interface (API) integration with all MNOs was only completed this weekend due to unavoidable circumstances.”

She said that “adequate time will also be required for publicity and public education on the use of the Self-Service SIM Registration App.”

This comes after many Ghanaians were faced with challenges during the sim reregistration exercise. Among other things, millions of Ghanaians are yet to receive their Ghana Card which is the main tool for reregistration.

Others are also yet to complete the second stage of reregistration due to long queues and other challenges at the network operators’ offices.

Because of this and other reasons, the Communications Minister announced that the deadline for reregistration has once again been extended.

The final deadline she said is September 30. This she says should give people adequate time to register all their sims.

“That will give us one full year of SIM registration. It will be reviewed at the end of this month and any SIM that has not been fully registered by the end of August will be barred from receiving certain services including voice and data services.”

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful added that “it will also be more expensive to use unregistered SIMs. The full range of punitive measures will be announced at another press briefing in September.”

News

Sanwo-Olu’s aide dies in Lagos accident

 

An aide to Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Omotayo Sanyaolu has passed on.

 

He was Sanwo-Olu’s Senior Special Assistant on Tertiary Education, Youths, and Students Affairs.

 

Sanyaolu died in the early hours of Friday in an auto accident in the Maryland area.

 

The crash occurred close to Army Cantonment, Maryland in Ikeja

 

Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) Femi Oke-Osanyantolu confirmed it.

 

The official said a black Toyota Camry (LAGH 32), while on top speed, rammed into the Keystone Bank ATM near the cantonment.

 

“Unfortunately, an adult male, Sanyanolu, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle died on impact.

 

“His remains were immediately bagged upon arrival of emergency responders”, he added.

 

The vehicle was recovered with the aid of LASEMA’s light towing vehicle.

 

Special Adviser on Education, Tokunbo Wahab disclosed that he was with the deceased till late in the night.

 

“Mr. Sanyaolu and I worked till the late hours of yesterday, Thursday, July 28, before he was involved in a ghastly motor accident on his way home”, he said.

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos has described the “untimely death” as “painful”.

 

“Tayo was a committed party youth leader who proved himself as a great mobiliser and excelled in all his assignments”, it said.

News

Electoral Fraud: Prof. Uduk’s medical reports were forged – INEC alleges in court

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has told the Akwa Ibom State high court sitting in Uyo that the medical report earlier tendered by Professor Ignatius Uduk, as a reason for not appearing in court was forged.

 

Uduk, a professor of Physical and Health Education, the University of Uyo, is standing trial on a three-count charge of electoral fraud bordering on announcing fake election results, publication of fake result scores and lying under oath.

 

It could be recalled that Prof Uduk’s lawyer, Mr Abasidiong Ekpenyong had presented a medical report from Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, dated June 17, 2022, and signed by the Snr. Registrar, Dr. Akintunbo A. O, testified that his client was suffering from Bladder Outlet Obstruction(stricture) Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (B. P.H).

 

However, during resumed proceedings on Wednesday in Uyo in which the Defence Counsel was absent due to ill health, Counsel to INEC, Clement Onwuenwunor (SAN) tendered a report from the Lagos State Police Commissioner saying the earlier report on the ill health of the accused was forged.

 

Onwuenwunor revealed that the doctor who was said to have signed the fake medical report purportedly received from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), was not on the payroll of the hospital, while the Defence Counsel who skipped court on ill health since last week, was in court the previous day in Ikot Ekpene.

 

Counsel to INEC stated that from January when the accused was supposed to have opened defence, his counsel had used all kinds of tricks to delay court proceedings and prayed the court to revoke the bail of the accused.

 

“He had a medical challenge but unfortunately the letter was not filed in court as required by some of the decisions of the Supreme Court that if you want the court to act upon a letter of adjournment, you must file it appropriately in the registry, that was not done.

 

“For the letter of adjournment also, the excuse given was clearly unfounded because this Counsel, who said he has been sick for several days was seen yesterday in court 2, Ikot Ekpene by one of my colleagues as I reported in court with the suit number where he appeared.

 

“Just to show to the whole world that the gimmicks going on was just to frustrate the successful prosecution of this case, is that after the last date where the accused person was reported sick and the medical report was also presented, we caused an investigation into it.

 

“There is a police report from the Lagos State Commissioner of Police that the letter submitted on that last day was forged and that Prof Uduk was never admitted in LASUTH, and that in fact, the doctor who signed the medical report is not on the nominal roll of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, that is a global institution that has serious prestige, and would never allow anyone to manoeuvre its record.

 

“What today’s proceeding showed for the whole world to see, is that the defence is simply not interested in going on with this case and I believe they have no defence so far, that is why they want to use this gimmick to frustrate this prosecution, but they would not succeed,” he stated.

 

Reacting to the forged medical report, the accused, Prof Ignatius Uduk said he was not privy to the matter, saying the case has dragged for too long.

 

“I am not privy to what is going on. If I was, I would not be here. Let me be taken to the medical clinic here for a test, I am sick and dying here. This case has dragged on for too long and I am not a part of it,” he stated.

 

In his response, the trial judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang who expressed dismay that the defence counsel has delayed the case unnecessarily using all forms of antics, denied the application of INEC to revoke the bail of the accused.

 

Justice Nkanang insisted that the defence must open its defence at the next adjourned date of August 8, 2022, saying, “I will not revoke the bail but we must return within this legal year and complete defences,”. 

News

Nigerians reject Femi Gbajabiamila’s apology, tell him to withdraw from Harvard

Nigerians on social media on Wednesday, reacted to the apology posted by the speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila via his official twitter handle.

The speaker had apologised for posting pictures of himself attending a leadership course in Havard University in the United State of America.

He came under fire due to his post which many considered as insensitive as a result of the shutdown of academic activities in Nigerian universities due to the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

During Gbajabiamila’s tenure as speaker, Nigeria witnessed one of its longest ASUU strike in 2020, the strike lasted for nine months.

But the speaker apologized by saying his tweet was not meant to mock Nigerian students who have been at home for months.

However, some Nigerians admonished the speaker to quit his studentship at the US based university and enroll in a Nigerian university.

A twitter user, Jide Omiyale tweeted, “We accept ur apology and explanation, but more needs to be done. You could have undertaken ur course at OAU rather than the FX investment in Harvard.

“What benefit is it to Nigerians except you alone. With all you said, I expect you to be at the front to resolve the ASUU matter as soon as possible, to show your love more.

Another twitter user, @deenfresh said, “Withdraw from @Harvard and enroll in one of the leadership courses we have in Nigerian Universities (ABU Zaria, Unilag, Uniben etc).

“This is the only way to show that you are with Nigerians. @femigbaja, do you think that Nigerian universities are meant for the less privileged?”

Another twitter user, @abiolaasekun tweeted, “Nigeria is a nation on its own. Does the apology change policies of government or stem the root in government.

“1Apology is not needed, we need mindful leaders; policies on education like we had during Awolowo era, that enabled the child of nobody to get education and become somebody.”

News

El-Rufai Threatens To Sack Kaduna Lecturers Involved In ASUU Strike

 

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has threatened to sack all the Kaduna State University (KASU) who are currently observing the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike.

ASUU has been on strike since February over the failure of government to meet their demands.

Several attempts to make the lecturers return to the classrooms have not yielded results. On Monday, labour unions commenced solidarity protest with ASUU.

But speaking on a radio programme in Kaduna on Wednesday, El-Rufai asked the lecturers to return to classrooms to avoid having their positions declared vacant.

The governor said KASU lecturers had no reason to join any strike. He said ASUU had problem with the federal government, not the state government.

“The Acting Vice Chancellor has assured me that they will resume but and I have asked them to find out if they actually resumed work because I initially instructed that their salary be stopped. But I was later told they didn’t join the strike so I asked that it should be investigated and those that collected salary and joined the strike will be asked to refund the salary.

“This is because Nigeria’s law says ‘no work, no pay’. This is the law. So whoever joined the strike will not be paid salary. We have been telling the KASU Lecturers that they have no problem with State government. ASUU’s problem is with the Federal government, therefore why will our staff who have no problems with us joined the strike?

“If this continues, I will wake up one day to sack them all, I swear to God. We will sack them all and declare their positions vacant on the pages of newspaper. They once did same thing and we gave them warning, now they repeated it. I’m only waiting to receive the report from the commissioner for education. I swear to God, we will sack all those that joined the strike if they refuse to resume work.”

News

ASUU: Labour unions kick-off fresh mega rally in Abuja over varsities strike

 

In keeping with their words, members of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, have kicked-off their mega rally in Abuja to press home the request for the Federal Government to accede to demands raised by unions within the Nigerian university system.

 

Key among the unions which have downed tools for over 170 days are the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, the Non Academic Staff Union of University and Allied Institutions, NASU, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT.

 

The protest, which kicked-off at the Unity Fountain, Abuja, saw over 3000 members making up the affiliate unions chanting solidarity songs.

 

Before proceeding to the National Assembly and probably the Presidency, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba addressed the crowd, telling them to be orderly in their actions.

 

He criticised the Federal Government for paying lip service to education and the welfare of workers in the tertiary institutions.

 

He noted that most of those currently in the helm of affairs were beneficiaries of a thriving education sector in the past as they enjoyed free and quality education.

 

News

Izwe Savings and Loans opens applications for tertiary education scholarship

Izwe Savings & Loans invites Senior High School (SHS) graduates who have excellent grades and are truly financially needy to apply for the Izwe Scholarship Fund to pursue undergraduate or equivalent tertiary programs of their choice for the 2022/2023 academic year.

The Chief Executive Officer, Raymond Kwakye Bismarck, stated that, “the fund is activated annually to support successful candidates through their whole tertiary education as part of Izwe’s continued commitment to positively impact lives through sponsored education.

The scholarship is intended to develop capacities and empower our young generation to drive change and contribute to the development of Ghana”.

Scholarship Benefits

The scholarship Fund is offered for the minimum period necessary for the individual to complete an academic program specified by their chosen educational institution.

The scholarship will cover the required academic user fees and approved course textbooks needed for the beneficiary to pursue their program of choice.

Eligibility

Applicant must be a Ghanaian SHS graduate in need of financial support for tertiary education. They must have a Senior High School certificate with a maximum grade of aggregate 10 and not be older than 22 years of age.

Applicant must have also gained admission to any of the public tertiary universities in Ghana. First year students currently at any public university who meet the criteria above can also apply.

How To Apply

Applicant must complete an application form at www.izwe.com.gh including a brief motivating write up (500 words) on why the applicant should receive the scholarship.

Finally, evidence of eligibility detailed above is required (i.e. SHS certificate from School attended & result slip, birth certificate, Letter of admission to tertiary institution etc).

Deadline for Submission of Application: 25th August, 2022.

About Izwe

Izwe Savings and Loans Plc is a subsidiary of the Izwe Africa Group, which is now head – quartered in Mauritius and operations in Zambia and Kenya with Support from South Africa.

After operating in Ghana for over a decade, Izwe, a non-bank financial institution, specialises in personal finance loans, business loans, asset-backed finance, savings & investment and offers tailored to the needs of people from all walks of life including entrepreneurs, traders, teachers, soldiers, healthcare workers, business owners and any small to medium sized enterprise.

News

RENEF petitions DOVVSU over alleged cases of abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation in Bono

The National Office of the  Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) has been served with a petition from the Reproductive Needs and Fitness Foundation (RENEF) regarding incidents of abuse, neglect, violence, and exploitation in the Bono region.

According to the foundation, the growing instances of sexual and gender-based violence in the Sunyani Municipality and Bono region require immediate attention since the regional office is apparently unable to handle it.

In response to concerns from victims who were unhappy with how the DOVVSU handled their cases after reporting, the RENEF Foundation reportedly intervened.

The petition cited a 32-year-old woman named, Ama Serwah, (not real name) who described her trauma and claimed that her 13-year-old daughter was often defiled by the husband. In this woman’s situation, the man in question allegedly had a sexual relationship with both her and the daughter at the same time. Along with that, whenever she objected or declined to have sex with him, the man would physically assault her to the extent that, she would hospitalized.

The DOVVSU office received a complaint about the incident. A letter of invite was sent to the husband as ordered by DOVVSU.

The man accepted the invitation, but the DOVVSU Coordinator advised them to go to their hometown for rituals to be perfomed, so they did as she had advised.

The DOVVSU Coordinator then informed, Ama Serwah, the victim, that since the partner had admitted wrongdoing and begged for pardon, they ought to balance justice with kindness.

Ama Serwah, the complainant, felt powerless and let down by the way the situation was handled; her only choice was to return home.

The petition stated that “not even a police form was issued to visit the hospital for her 13 years old girl to be examined.”

According to the petition signed by co-founder of RENEF Foundation, Abigail Antwi-Baafi, and two other executives, Ama Serwah was ready to leave the alleged violent relationship but lacked the money to pay for her rent.

“We supported to get her a place, because we realized the matter could only be taken up again if she is independent.”

The spouse, Kofi Antwi (pseudonym), insisted he would not permit Ama Serwah to move into her new apartment with her children ( 13 years old defiled girl and a 3 years old boy).

In order to help the complainant, RENEF Foundation requested the assistance of the Regional Directors of the Departments of Gender and Social Welfare. After questioning her, they were appalled by the Regional DOVVSU Coordinator’s handling of the situation and went to see her at her office with the complainant.

The DOVVSU Coordinator fiercely refuted the allegations, offering justifications why she was unable to resolve the matter. She has now requested the husband’s arrest following the meeting.

“A Sensitive issue of this nature reported in July 2021, had to wait for over six (6) months (around March 2022) before attempts were made to arrest the suspect, even that was based on the intervention of the stakeholders and RENEF Foundation. Otherwise, it would have been swept under the carpet.”

Madam Antwi-Baafi of the RENEF foundation and her staff were shocked by how the DOVVSU handled other instances.

A case involving 13-year-old Abena Elijah (not her real name), who was 8 months pregnant without her parents’ or siblings’ knowledge, was sent to the RENEF Foundation by the Ghana Education Service for help.

According to the girl’s account, the suspect continued to reside at his former residence even though, she and her family had moved out of the area.

A DOVVSU officer took a statement and asked for the suspect’s contact information so he could set him up for an arrest.

“He claimed it would be very easy to arrest him once he had the guys contact number and there was no need visiting the house since that will raise an alarm.”

The officer, according to Madam Antwi-Baafi, called the suspect on a loudspeaker and set him up with a job contract.

The dialogue between the officer and the suspect was overheard, and a sigh of relief came to the family.

There was a warning given to Madam Antwi-Baafi not to tell anybody what had happened or how things had gone up to that point.

The mother of the 13-year-old, who knew the suspect and even offered a contact number, wanted to assist in his swift arrest since she was absolutely certain of his presence in the house on weekends, especially on Sundays.

However, the officer argued that, he should be permitted to carry out the arrest using the setup plan.

The victim’s mother was reassured by a RENEF official to calm down and refrain from interfering with the officer’s efforts to apprehend the suspect.

“Fast forward, it was past 3 weeks with no news from Officer. Together, we called to enquire about the arrest and the Officer claimed he will now need assistance to arrest the suspect since he cannot do it all alone. We were dazzled by he latter response because the victims was almost due for delivery and there was no evidence of who impregnated her after three weeks of reporting.”

According to a RENEF executive, the Mother was given assurances to comply with the officer for the arrest after receiving updates from the officer, notwithstanding her disappointment.

A few days later, the officer called RENEF executive in a furious mood and indicated that the victim’s mother had not cooperated with the arrest.

The victim’s mother was contacted, and she rather explained that they had succeeded in setting the suspect up, but that he was able to flee because the officer acted carelessly.

“A conference call with Madam, Officer and RENEF executive was done and there were exchange of words between Madam and Officer angrily, however, RENEF executive managed to instill peace at the end and a second attempt to arrest the suspect was agreed by all parties. Updates after the conference call indicates that suspect refused to show up this time round.”

When the officer was contacted again about how to proceed with the arrest after a short while, he allegedly gave excuses, because the suspect was now aware of his arrest, and that, he could no longer proceed until he was given specific information about the suspect’s whereabouts.

Abena gave birth to a baby boy on May 13. However, the officer was still unable to help the victim and her family, let alone seek legal action, to at least establish the baby’s father.

RENEF Foundation expressed its concern with the officer’s handling of the case and the victim’s and her family’s harsh treatment.

News

RENEF petitions DOVVSU over alleged cases of abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation in Bono

The National Office of the  Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) has been served with a petition from the Reproductive Needs and Fitness Foundation (RENEF) regarding incidents of abuse, neglect, violence, and exploitation in the Bono region.

According to the foundation, the growing instances of sexual and gender-based violence in the Sunyani Municipality and Bono region require immediate attention since the regional office is apparently unable to handle it.

In response to concerns from victims who were unhappy with how the DOVVSU handled their cases after reporting, the RENEF Foundation reportedly intervened.

The petition cited a 32-year-old woman named, Ama Serwah, (not real name) who described her trauma and claimed that her 13-year-old daughter was often defiled by the husband. In this woman’s situation, the man in question allegedly had a sexual relationship with both her and the daughter at the same time. Along with that, whenever she objected or declined to have sex with him, the man would physically assault her to the extent that, she would hospitalized.

The DOVVSU office received a complaint about the incident. A letter of invite was sent to the husband as ordered by DOVVSU.

The man accepted the invitation, but the DOVVSU Coordinator advised them to go to their hometown for rituals to be perfomed, so they did as she had advised.

The DOVVSU Coordinator then informed, Ama Serwah, the victim, that since the partner had admitted wrongdoing and begged for pardon, they ought to balance justice with kindness.

Ama Serwah, the complainant, felt powerless and let down by the way the situation was handled; her only choice was to return home.

The petition stated that “not even a police form was issued to visit the hospital for her 13 years old girl to be examined.”

According to the petition signed by co-founder of RENEF Foundation, Abigail Antwi-Baafi, and two other executives, Ama Serwah was ready to leave the alleged violent relationship but lacked the money to pay for her rent.

“We supported to get her a place, because we realized the matter could only be taken up again if she is independent.”

The spouse, Kofi Antwi (pseudonym), insisted he would not permit Ama Serwah to move into her new apartment with her children ( 13 years old defiled girl and a 3 years old boy).

In order to help the complainant, RENEF Foundation requested the assistance of the Regional Directors of the Departments of Gender and Social Welfare. After questioning her, they were appalled by the Regional DOVVSU Coordinator’s handling of the situation and went to see her at her office with the complainant.

The DOVVSU Coordinator fiercely refuted the allegations, offering justifications why she was unable to resolve the matter. She has now requested the husband’s arrest following the meeting.

“A Sensitive issue of this nature reported in July 2021, had to wait for over six (6) months (around March 2022) before attempts were made to arrest the suspect, even that was based on the intervention of the stakeholders and RENEF Foundation. Otherwise, it would have been swept under the carpet.”

Madam Antwi-Baafi of the RENEF foundation and her staff were shocked by how the DOVVSU handled other instances.

A case involving 13-year-old Abena Elijah (not her real name), who was 8 months pregnant without her parents’ or siblings’ knowledge, was sent to the RENEF Foundation by the Ghana Education Service for help.

According to the girl’s account, the suspect continued to reside at his former residence even though, she and her family had moved out of the area.

A DOVVSU officer took a statement and asked for the suspect’s contact information so he could set him up for an arrest.

“He claimed it would be very easy to arrest him once he had the guys contact number and there was no need visiting the house since that will raise an alarm.”

The officer, according to Madam Antwi-Baafi, called the suspect on a loudspeaker and set him up with a job contract.

The dialogue between the officer and the suspect was overheard, and a sigh of relief came to the family.

There was a warning given to Madam Antwi-Baafi not to tell anybody what had happened or how things had gone up to that point.

The mother of the 13-year-old, who knew the suspect and even offered a contact number, wanted to assist in his swift arrest since she was absolutely certain of his presence in the house on weekends, especially on Sundays.

However, the officer argued that, he should be permitted to carry out the arrest using the setup plan.

The victim’s mother was reassured by a RENEF official to calm down and refrain from interfering with the officer’s efforts to apprehend the suspect.

“Fast forward, it was past 3 weeks with no news from Officer. Together, we called to enquire about the arrest and the Officer claimed he will now need assistance to arrest the suspect since he cannot do it all alone. We were dazzled by he latter response because the victims was almost due for delivery and there was no evidence of who impregnated her after three weeks of reporting.”

According to a RENEF executive, the Mother was given assurances to comply with the officer for the arrest after receiving updates from the officer, notwithstanding her disappointment.

A few days later, the officer called RENEF executive in a furious mood and indicated that the victim’s mother had not cooperated with the arrest.

The victim’s mother was contacted, and she rather explained that they had succeeded in setting the suspect up, but that he was able to flee because the officer acted carelessly.

“A conference call with Madam, Officer and RENEF executive was done and there were exchange of words between Madam and Officer angrily, however, RENEF executive managed to instill peace at the end and a second attempt to arrest the suspect was agreed by all parties. Updates after the conference call indicates that suspect refused to show up this time round.”

When the officer was contacted again about how to proceed with the arrest after a short while, he allegedly gave excuses, because the suspect was now aware of his arrest, and that, he could no longer proceed until he was given specific information about the suspect’s whereabouts.

Abena gave birth to a baby boy on May 13. However, the officer was still unable to help the victim and her family, let alone seek legal action, to at least establish the baby’s father.

RENEF Foundation expressed its concern with the officer’s handling of the case and the victim’s and her family’s harsh treatment.

News

Aspects of culture that fuel abuse against alleged witches must be reassessed – Prof Azumah

The Founding Executive Director of Sanneh Institute has called for the review of cultures, beliefs and customs that are targeted at abusing old vulnerable women.

According to Prof John Azumah, some cultural practices that currently exist in the country still allow for women in this predicament to be subjected to torture under the guise of witchcraft.

“Indeed, Ghana is a very religious country, just like many other African countries. This is a deeply religious belief, it is deeply traditional and cultural. And we hold our traditions and our religions and our culture very dearly, yet, some of these things are harmful.

“As we can see lives have been destroyed, and the families that have been broken apart, countless families, countless lives that have been broken asunder in the north and across the country,” he said.

 Prof Azumah was speaking on JoyNews’ The Probe which focused on Human rights violations: a case of alleged witches.

He insisted that the canker will continue to exist if measures are not taken to eliminate these outmoded aspects of some Ghanaian traditions.

Noting that education is not enough to nib the witch hunting practice in the bud, the Executive Director called for stringent legislation that will serve as deterrent to others.

“These are traditions and beliefs that we need to confront and deal with. Nobody’s attacking believe nobody’s attacking tradition, numbers or packet culture, but if believes culture or tradition, can cause such harm to individuals, to the vulnerable, especially the most vulnerable, then we have to wake up and do something about it.

On Thursday, July 23, 2020, a 90-year-old woman, Akua Denteh was lynched after a traditional priestess at Kafaba near Salaga in the East Gonja Municipality accused her of being a witch.

In a video that went viral, the deceased was slapped, kicked, and caned she became unconscious and died.

The incident was heavily criticised by Ghanaians including President Nana Akufo-Addo who joined the masses to condemn the gruesome murder of the 90-year-old.

The President who described the act as barbaric and urged security personnel to ensure speedy delivery of justice on the matter.

However, two years on, justice is yet to be served as the case is still before court.

News

Girl branded a witch for getting aggregate 30 in BECE

The issue of unfounded allegations of witchcraft against women is back on the front burner.

The abuse that such supposed witches are subjected to grievous situations which sometimes lead to death.

Speaking on The Probe on Sunday, women’s rights activist Margaret Brew-Ward explained that the scope of persons who are susceptible to such attacks is very wide.

She revealed that the even a young student in a rural area who surpassed expectations in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) was also branded a witch.

“Recently, there was a case we heard when we visited one of the communities that a girl who got around aggregate 30 in the BECE was [branded a witch]… meanwhile you know in the cities people are striving for aggregate 8, eight 1s and whatnot.

“Just because in that community no girl had passed to go to the secondary school so for a girl to do that, she [must have been a witch]” she explained on JoyNews.

This, the Action Aid Campaign Manager believes, is disheartening.

The activist says it took a collaboration between her outfit and some state institutions in order to get her the needed assistance.

Mrs Brew-Ward listed other groups of people who are regularly tagged as such and the need to get a roadmap towards its eradication.

Executive Director of The Sanneh Institute, Prof John Azumah who was also on the show believes legislation is a good way to go.

He told Emefa Apawu that legislators in various constituencies are afraid to tackle the issue because of political interests.

“It is not a vote winner… The politicians are tiptoeing around it,” Prof Azumah suggested.

Executive Director of the Ark Foundation, Dr Angela Dwamena wants state intervention.

She wants the countries leaders to gather political will and resources towards nip the problem in the bud.

News

Delay in disbursing allowance affecting teacher trainees – TTAG 

Government is reported to have defaulted on the payment of teacher trainees’ allowance for about 7 months, as the country is plagued by economic hardship. 

According to the Teacher Trainees Association of Ghana (TTAG), the development has compounded economic difficulty for trainees across the country. 

The TTAG National President, Jonathan Dzunu, detailed that the allowance is in arrears for 7 months for the 2021/2022 academic year, spanning from January to July 2022. 

He was speaking at the 26th General Assembly of the TTAG held at the St. Francis College of Education in Hohoe in the Volta Region,

Mr. Dzunu said teacher trainees continue to struggle with their upkeep and find it difficult to purchase academic materials in schools.

He said that the allowance had served as a poverty alleviation intervention, cushioning teacher trainees studying and undergoing teaching practice in basic schools. 

He asserted that food shortage is imminent in the Colleges of Education because suppliers are being reluctant in supplying food items to the colleges due to their inability to pay for previous supplies. 

“Looking at the current economic hardship in the country, you can imagine the difficulty students are going through, life on campus without allowance has become very unbearable for us.

Madam Chairperson, it is our view that the colossal delay in payment of allowances is going to send the clock backwards and the little successes chalked as a result of the implementation of the teacher trainee allowance whittled away, taking into consideration the historical antecedent that led to the implementation of the allowance scheme and the positive effect it has had on teacher education in particular and basic education in general over the years”, he said. 

Mr. Dzunu implored the government not to use the teacher trainee as a sacrificial lamb due to the current economic and financial crisis and appealed that “utmost priority should be attached to the payment of teacher trainees’ allowance”. 

Licensure examination

Mr. Dzunu also suggested that the teacher licensure examinations introduced three years ago should be made a component of the courses offered in the colleges, to address the high failure rate.

“The National Teaching Standards and the National Curriculum Framework be part of the colleges of education course structure since most student teachers do not know about the teaching standards and framework.

We think that, if student teachers are taken through the courses on the licensure examination thoroughly and are given much time to receive a form of practical training before sitting for the licensure examination, the high failure rate would reduce drastically”, he explained. 

Available data indicates that 69% of the 128,493 candidates who have sat for the licensure exam within the last 3 years have passed. 

84 candidates took the exam five times and 372 candidates sat for it four times but are yet to pass.

This, according to Mr. Dzinu, is worrying hence hinting at the TTAG’s intention to meet stakeholders to digest the above suggestion and map out a plan for its successful implementation. 

Infrastructure Challenge 

Mr. Gunu highlighted infrastructure challenges and how it’s hampering academic activities, “compelling Colleges of Education to run a double track system”.

He lamented how the construction of lecture halls, dormitories, classrooms, teacher’s bungalows and other projects initiated in 2016 had stalled for unexplained reasons. 

He advised the government to partner with philanthropic organisations and philanthropists in a bid to ensure there is adequate infrastructure to contain all the 4-year groups on campus.

He also called on the teacher unions to partner management of Colleges of Education to construct hostel facilities to augment infrastructure on the campuses to aid in accommodating the increasing student population. 

He appealed to the Ghana Education Service to post teachers to communities where they can communicate in the local dialect to ensure effective training of pupils.

“The system where newly trained teachers seek sponsorship from the District Education Offices of their choice must be brought back to avert the problem of language barrier since the current system does not warrant newly trained teachers to choose their preferred regions and districts.”

He entreated teacher unions and managements of the Colleges of Education to introduce a system to identify and sponsor the education of brilliant but needy teacher trainees.