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News

The military to establish 15 FOBs in the northern regions – Defence Minister

The Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, has called on the general public to not panic but cooperate with the security agencies to protect and defend Ghana.

According to him, the military is currently doing everything within its power to ensure that the country is safe, all it needs is the cooperation of the citizens to identify report suspicious activities in the country.

In the meantime, the military has already deployed personnel to the northern parts of Ghana as parts of measures to foil the advancement of any terrorist group into the country.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, the Minister noted that the government was sponsoring the military to set up 15 Forward Operating Bases in the northern regions.

“They’re mini barracks, that’s where the military will stay and do the work. The military were largely in about three towns and were in many operational centres – Operation Gong Gong, Operation Cow Leg…then Operation Calm Life. Then recently you know the border operation that we launched, Operation Motherland which is in the Volta Region.

“So all these operations that we have which are about 27 of them, some with the police, some of them with the military alone, some of these operations we have military stationed in the north, but when you come to where they stay as a barracks or an FOB, they were just three. We are moving it to about 15, if you add the other three there will be 18 all in the north,” he said.

According to him, the stationing of all 15 new FOBs in the north is to help enhance efficient response to any threat of violent extremism in the area.

He explained: “It’s not saturation, it is very necessary. We looked at the military plan in the north, we assessed it over a period of time and we felt that it was necessary for them to do that. Because you see, one FOB should be able to talk to the other FBO effortlessly without any difficulty.

“So if you have an FOB here, they should be able to talk to another FOB and say that ‘look, we are suspecting that some people are crossing the border, we’re looking and we think something is happeneing around this area’. The reaction time should not be more than one hour or 30 minutes from one FOB to the other to the scene.

“So the positioning was strategic, it was well thought out, the type of material that we needed, the type of communication equipment that we needed, the type of things that we needed in each FOB was thought out, and the military said this is what we want to do, give us that and we can do our work.”

He said the military will be provided with armoured vehicles, and communication equipment among others to aid in the smooth performance of their duties.

Meanwhile, he has called on Ghanaians not to panic; according to him, “The Military has a plan that they’re rolling out and we are funding it to make sure that that plan is working” so Ghanaians should cooperate with them.

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 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”.

Music News

Don’t be local champions — Camidoh advises artistes

It is a good feeling for musicians to have huge support from their home country but Afrobeats artiste, Camidoh, says that is not enough for an artiste who wants to make it globally.

To Camidoh, Ghanaian musicians should not be content with just their fans in the country but also move from their comfort zone to win more fans outside by touring other countries.

In an interview with Graphic Showbiz, Camidoh said “it is just right that a musician tours different countries, make themselves popular there and win more fans. That is the only way we can be heard beyond Ghana and become global artistes and I am working towards that.”

“I want to be a global icon and as we talk now, I am currently preparing to go to Nigeria and other African counties to make myself and my music popular. We will only be known in Ghana if we don’t make it a deliberate attempt to move out of our comfort zone and make ourselves popular.”

Camidoh noted that he also understands that many don’t have the support, especially on the financial front to help push their crafts beyond Ghana.

He stated that a corporate entity, for example, could team up with some artistes and support them with whatever is needed to go global.

Asked if it was difficult to be consistent as a musician, the Sugarcane hitmaker answered affirmatively and added that it is especially tough for a young musician in the industry.

“If you don’t have people investing and pushing your music out there, how can you be consistent? You will just have the best songs and it just stays with you. How can you be consistent when you play shows and you are not paid?”

“You need money to record new songs, pay for music videos and get your name out there. I am glad I have a team who sees to it that my music career reaches the topmost height. With such a solid team behind you, you are rest assured that you will go places,” he said.

Talking about how Sugarcane became a massive hit, Camidoh said the media helped in pushing the song everywhere.

“While TV and radio were busily pushing the song, TikTok Ghana was also promoting it. In all, I am grateful to Ghanaians for pushing the song. 

“Massive shout out to King Promise, Darkoo and Mayorkun from Nigeria who made the song number one in Nigeria when he featured on the remix. Mayorkun promoted the song for me and that tells how powerful collaborations can be,” he said. 

News

OccupyGhana demands Commission of Inquiry into return of State lands to pre-acquisition owners

Achimota forest. Photo: Edem Srem

OccupyGhana, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has demanded a Commission of Inquiry into return of state lands to “pre-acquisition owners.”

The Organisation in a release stated, “we (OccupyGhana) think that, in accordance with Article 278 of the Constitution, the President should be satisfied, or the Council of State should advise, or Parliament should request, that a Commission of Inquiry be appointed. The people of Ghana need to be informed of ALL return of state lands to “pre-acquisition owners” since the Fourth Republican Constitution came into being on 7 January, 1993.”

They added that “there is no better way of doing this than by establishing a Commission of Inquiry appointed under Chapter 23 of the Constitution, with “the powers, rights and privileges of the High Court or a Justice of the High Court at a trial” specified in Article 279.”

OccupyGhana demands Commission of Inquiry into return of State lands to pre-acquisition owners

According to OccupyGhana, although they appreciate and commend the move by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor to set up an “independent audit on the specific issue of the acreage de-gazetted, we do not think that the “independent audit” and its stated remit will suffice.”

This, they explained, is because the issue is “a grave matter of public interest.”

“Evidence abounds on how some of these lands have ended up in the hands of government officials and their privies. It even appears that some of these officials-beneficiaries were involved in the processes leading to the alleged return of lands. In the face of such apparent conflict of interest and conflict of duty as are outlawed by Article 284 of the Constitution, we are not certain that a mere “independent audit” would suffice,” parts of the release dated May 24, 2022 indicated.

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

Francis Amuzu reveals why he would play for Belgium ahead of Ghana

Anderlecht forward, Francis Amuzu, says it would be a better opportunity to play with Belgium at the World Cup than don the Black Stars jersey.

The 22-year-old is said to be one of the players the Ghana Football Association (GFA) are looking to convince to represent Ghana ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be stages in Qatar.

However, Amuzu has ended the Ghana FA’s chances of further pursuit, stating he would prefer to play with the Red Devils at the global showpiece as there is a better chance of getting to the latter stages of the competition.

“They [GFA] call my broker [agent] every day, but I keep it [the decision] off,” Amuzu told Het Nieuwsblad.

“Look, I was born in Ghana and when I’m there, I feel at home there because of the African atmosphere. My sporty heart lies with Belgium. With Belgium you can go very far at such a World Cup, with Ghana there is a real chance that you will be out quickly.”

Amuzu has nine goals and three assists in 37 appearances in the 2021/22 season for Anderlecht.

News

Climate change will increase gap between rich and poor if not addressed – Environmentalist

The Founding Director, Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, University of Ghana has called on the government to immediately address the issues with climate change in the country.

Professor Chris Gordon said climate change is widening the gap between the rich and poor in society.

A situation he maintained can make most people unhappy, as it has in other parts of the world.

As a result, the professor wants climate change to be seen as a social issue.

The professor made this known on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show with Kojo Yankson on Monday, May 23.

“I’m going to say something here which may be controversial. Now if you are a peasant farmer with your hoe and cutlass under the heat, you feel the effect of climate change because you no longer can work as you used to but compare that to a government dignitary who sleeps in an air-conditioned bedroom, drives in an air-conditioned car to his air-conditioned office, he doesn’t feel climate change.”

“So climate change is going to increase the gap between the rich and the poor and the quality of their lives and that is not fair. That is not equitable. So we shouldn’t see climate change just as an environmental issue but also a social issue which can drive nations to a point where the people are so unhappy about the current situation as has happened in several other countries in the world.”

He was speaking in relation to last Saturday’s downpour.

Following hours of rain, parts of Accra and other urban centres in the Greater Accra Region, including North Kaneshie, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, and Kasoa in the Central Region were flooded.

This led to some destruction of homes and other properties of some Ghanaians.

The issue also affected the free flow of traffic on some major roads in the capital.

News

Government will act on improper acquisition of public lands, regardless of how it was procured – Lands Minister

Lands Minster, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor has said government is committed to protecting all public lands from unlawful possession by individuals and state officials.

He says government will act on any improper acquisition of public lands, “regardless of how it was procured, whether now or in the past, and the Achimota Forest lands will not be an exception.”

Mr. Jinapor said this in a statement he issued on Tuesday, May 24 over claims that the late former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, owns lands at the Achimota Forest and Sakumono Ramsar Site.

Owing to those allegations, the Minister says he has tasked the Forestry and Lands Commissions to take immediate actions over the claims.

He says those alleged lands must be treated as invalid, saying they would not be given to the said relatives, even when they are found to have been legally acquired.

“That said, given the totality of the circumstances of the said allegations, I, as Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, have directed the Lands and Forestry Commissions to deem any ownership of lands, both in the Achimota Forest and the Sakumono Ramsar Site by the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie as void and are to take the appropriate actions accordingly.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the bequeathing of the aforesaid lands, if established, will not pass any interest/title to the named beneficiaries in the alleged Will. These lands, the subject matter of the alleged Will, shall remain public lands, whether or not it falls within the de-gazetted lands pursuant to E.I. 144,” the Damongo legislator said.

He added that further checks at the Lands and the Forestry Commissions show no record of ownership of lands at the Achimota Forest or the Sakumono Ramsar Site by the late Sir John.

According to him, preliminary investigations have revealed the alleged Will of Sir John is a subject matter of litigation in the courts.

CSOs protest declassification of Achimota Forest

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), including the OccupyGhana, have demanded the suspension of the operation of Executive Instrument (E.I.) 144 by government.

In a letter dated May 23, 2022, the CSO said, “We write to demand that you revoke or suspend the operation of the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 (EI 144) and the Forests (Achimota Firewood Plantation Forest Reserve) (Amendment) Instrument, 2022 (EI 154) forthwith.”

OccupyGhana added that “Instead, we demand a full public inquiry under Chapter 23 of the Constitution into the matter of the Achimota Forest Reserve.”

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

National Chief Imam urges Mosque Management Committees to install CCTV cameras

The Spokesperson of the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, has, on the advice of the Chief Imam, urged the various Mosque Management Committees to install Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) at various mosques as a means of ensuring safety.

Speaking on Top Story on Monday, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu also called on the leadership of the Committees “to engage the services of private security organisations who will be monitoring the activities of strangers who come around.”

He also recommended that the Committee engages the services of security analysts or consultants to keep them up to date on terrorists’ tactics. This, he explained is because “working on security is not just monolithic. It is not just one modus operandi and so therefore, we need different strategies.”

This comment comes after the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, charged Ghanaians to be vigilant, in the wake of increased terrorist attacks in the sub-region.

According to him, the activities of terrorists have become prevalent in recent times, and therefore the need for all citizens to pay closer attention to their ‘personal and communal security.”

Also, the Deputy National Security Coordinator, Edward Kweku Asomani, during a media engagement in Accra on Monday on measures being taken by government to combat terrorism, said the African continent has experienced about 346 terrorist attacks within the first quarter of the year.

He said out of the recorded attacks, 49 per cent occurred in the West African Sub-region.

Mr. Asomani said the figures indicated that the sub-region had become a hotbed for terrorism and, therefore, necessary to create awareness on security consciousness among the citizenry.

According to Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, the porous nature of Ghana’s borders is a clear indication for the country to take the necessary steps.

“We are aware, based on information, how the terrorists have moved from Nigeria through Niger-Mali- Mauritania. They have descended in Burkina Faso and now the latest place we hear is Togo,” he said.

He added that “we want to survive and be safe. You know peace and security are bedmates… as a nation, we really must work hard and ensure that we keep our country safe from the activities of the terrorist.”

According to Mr. Shaibu, since the religion teaches them to be hospitable and kind, he called on the Muslims to be alert so that they may not be exposed to the risk of terrorist attacks whiles following the teachings.

In doing so, he advised “members of the Moslem community and the mosque to be very alert in identifying people who approach the mosque with strange behavior. For example, coming with materials in bags.

“Secondly, those who enter our mosque and sleep for long hours and whose background we do not know about.”

He said the National Chief Imam is especially concerned about teachings that could instigate young people to become involved in terrorism.

News

National Chief Imam urges Mosque Management Committees to install CCTV cameras

The Spokesperson of the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, has, on the advice of the Chief Imam, urged the various Mosque Management Committees to install Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) at various mosques as a means of ensuring safety.

Speaking on Top Story on Monday, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu also called on the leadership of the Committees “to engage the services of private security organisations who will be monitoring the activities of strangers who come around.”

He also recommended that the Committee engages the services of security analysts or consultants to keep them up to date on terrorists’ tactics. This, he explained is because “working on security is not just monolithic. It is not just one modus operandi and so therefore, we need different strategies.”

This comment comes after the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, charged Ghanaians to be vigilant, in the wake of increased terrorist attacks in the sub-region.

According to him, the activities of terrorists have become prevalent in recent times, and therefore the need for all citizens to pay closer attention to their ‘personal and communal security.”

Also, the Deputy National Security Coordinator, Edward Kweku Asomani, during a media engagement in Accra on Monday on measures being taken by government to combat terrorism, said the African continent has experienced about 346 terrorist attacks within the first quarter of the year.

He said out of the recorded attacks, 49 per cent occurred in the West African Sub-region.

Mr. Asomani said the figures indicated that the sub-region had become a hotbed for terrorism and, therefore, necessary to create awareness on security consciousness among the citizenry.

According to Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, the porous nature of Ghana’s borders is a clear indication for the country to take the necessary steps.

“We are aware, based on information, how the terrorists have moved from Nigeria through Niger-Mali- Mauritania. They have descended in Burkina Faso and now the latest place we hear is Togo,” he said.

He added that “we want to survive and be safe. You know peace and security are bedmates… as a nation, we really must work hard and ensure that we keep our country safe from the activities of the terrorist.”

According to Mr. Shaibu, since the religion teaches them to be hospitable and kind, he called on the Muslims to be alert so that they may not be exposed to the risk of terrorist attacks whiles following the teachings.

In doing so, he advised “members of the Moslem community and the mosque to be very alert in identifying people who approach the mosque with strange behavior. For example, coming with materials in bags.

“Secondly, those who enter our mosque and sleep for long hours and whose background we do not know about.”

He said the National Chief Imam is especially concerned about teachings that could instigate young people to become involved in terrorism.

News

Suspend de-classification of Achimota Forest Reserve – Edem Senanu

Co-Chair of Citizens Movement Against Corruption, Edem Senanu, has asked the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry to suspend the de-classification of the Achimota Forest Reserve.

The Anti-Corrpution campaigner added his voice to calls for an independent investigation.

“The whole idea of de-classifying the forest reserve should be suspended and I would probably suggest for us to have an independent investigation running simultaneously either from the end of the Special Prosecutor or CHRAJ, so that we are quite certain that we are getting all the relevant information,” he said on NewsNight on Monday.

Edem Senanu believes the investigation ought to be done to find out who else aside the allodial owners may have documentation to prove ownership of the forest reserve.

“Really speaking, the question on our minds is who else may have documentation showing that our forest reserve has actually become part of their property,” he wondered.

Suspend de-classification of Achimota Forest Reserve - Edem Senanu
Achimota Forest

His call for the de-classification of the forest reserves follows the emergence of a document believed to be the will of a former General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as ‘Sir John’.

At the time of his demise, Sir John was the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, the organisation that has direct oversight for the Achimota Forest.

The will contains four parcels of specified and unspecified acres of land in the Achimota Forest, which the late politician bequeathed to his children and nephew, “forever”.

Reacting to this, Edem Senanu said “it is not the kind of thing that one will expect that once he was entrusted responsibility for a representative of the people, you will find that they are acquiring properties in that space”.

It would be recalled that last week, government issued 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

Lands Commission flood: Your land documents are intact – Deputy Lands Minister assures

Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, responsible for Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio has assured Ghanaians that all land documents at the Lands Commission Accra Regional office are safe and intact.

He said this in contrast to a news report circulating on social media that rains have destroyed all Land documents at the Greater Accra Regional Lands Commission head office including those of Achimota forest.

Addressing the media during an inspection of the flooded offices at the Lands Commission on Monday, May 23, Mr Benito said, “Yes, it is true the rain got into the building from the construction site next door but upon inspection on arrival to verify the reports, nothing has been  destroyed as most documents were safely placed on shelves above floor level.”

Lands Commission flood: Your land documents are intact - Deputy Lands Minister assures
Deputy Lands Minister, Benito Owusu-Bio

He further stated that even documents that were wet by the rainwater have been promised to be replaced.

“The Executive Secretary has assured us that all the documents the water got into will be reprinted and replaced. The electronic data are also intact and so there is no cause for alarm.”

The Deputy Minister said moving forward, they are going to ensure that no documents are kept on the floor in the offices to ensure such an occurrence does not repeat itself.

He stressed that the rain was an act of God which could not have been predicted and therefore should not be linked to the Achimota Forest land saga or any other land matter whatsoever as it will be unfair if that is considered.

Mr Owusu-Bio gave a word of encouragement and appreciation to the employees of the Lands Commission for their hard work regardless of all current happenings “we see your efforts and we appreciate it, Keep up the good work,” he said.

Lands Commission flood: Your land documents are intact - Deputy Lands Minister assures
Source: GNA

Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, Mr. James Dadson pointed out that the main offices that were affected include the basement, records, records annex and the digital capturing room but he was also quick to add that most of the documents affected by the rain have been retrieved and dried up by the sun, adding that those that could not dry will be reprinted and replaced.

Mr. Dadson also assured the media and Ghanaians that the rains did not interrupt their work in any way, adding that they will be ready to work, anytime they are called upon.

“This has not disrupted any of our work. As a matter of fact, we have restored lights to all the affected offices and we are ready and will be at your service anytime we are called upon to work,” he concluded.

News

Lands Commission flood: Your land documents are intact – Deputy Lands Minister assures

Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, responsible for Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio has assured Ghanaians that all land documents at the Lands Commission Accra Regional office are safe and intact.

He said this in contrast to a news report circulating on social media that rains have destroyed all Land documents at the Greater Accra Regional Lands Commission head office including those of Achimota forest.

Addressing the media during an inspection of the flooded offices at the Lands Commission on Monday, May 23, Mr Benito said, “Yes, it is true the rain got into the building from the construction site next door but upon inspection on arrival to verify the reports, nothing has been  destroyed as most documents were safely placed on shelves above floor level.”

Lands Commission flood: Your land documents are intact - Deputy Lands Minister assures
Deputy Lands Minister, Benito Owusu-Bio

He further stated that even documents that were wet by the rainwater have been promised to be replaced.

“The Executive Secretary has assured us that all the documents the water got into will be reprinted and replaced. The electronic data are also intact and so there is no cause for alarm.”

The Deputy Minister said moving forward, they are going to ensure that no documents are kept on the floor in the offices to ensure such an occurrence does not repeat itself.

He stressed that the rain was an act of God which could not have been predicted and therefore should not be linked to the Achimota Forest land saga or any other land matter whatsoever as it will be unfair if that is considered.

Mr Owusu-Bio gave a word of encouragement and appreciation to the employees of the Lands Commission for their hard work regardless of all current happenings “we see your efforts and we appreciate it, Keep up the good work,” he said.

Lands Commission flood: Your land documents are intact - Deputy Lands Minister assures
Source: GNA

Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, Mr. James Dadson pointed out that the main offices that were affected include the basement, records, records annex and the digital capturing room but he was also quick to add that most of the documents affected by the rain have been retrieved and dried up by the sun, adding that those that could not dry will be reprinted and replaced.

Mr. Dadson also assured the media and Ghanaians that the rains did not interrupt their work in any way, adding that they will be ready to work, anytime they are called upon.

“This has not disrupted any of our work. As a matter of fact, we have restored lights to all the affected offices and we are ready and will be at your service anytime we are called upon to work,” he concluded.

News

National Chief Imam urges Mosque Management Committees to install CCTV cameras

The Spokesperson of the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, has, on the advice of the Chief Imam, urged the various Mosque Management Committees to install Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) at various mosques as a means of ensuring safety.

Speaking on Top Story on Monday, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu also called on the leadership of the Committees “to engage the services of private security organisations who will be monitoring the activities of strangers who come around.”

He also recommended that the Committee engages the services of security analysts or consultants to keep them up to date on terrorists’ tactics. This, he explained is because “working on security is not just monolithic. It is not just one modus operandi and so therefore, we need different strategies.”

This comment comes after the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, charged Ghanaians to be vigilant, in the wake of increased terrorist attacks in the sub-region.

According to him, the activities of terrorists have become prevalent in recent times, and therefore the need for all citizens to pay closer attention to their ‘personal and communal security.”

Also, the Deputy National Security Coordinator, Edward Kweku Asomani, during a media engagement in Accra on Monday on measures being taken by government to combat terrorism, said the African continent has experienced about 346 terrorist attacks within the first quarter of the year.

He said out of the recorded attacks, 49 per cent occurred in the West African Sub-region.

Mr. Asomani said the figures indicated that the sub-region had become a hotbed for terrorism and, therefore, necessary to create awareness on security consciousness among the citizenry.

According to Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, the porous nature of Ghana’s borders is a clear indication for the country to take the necessary steps.

“We are aware, based on information, how the terrorists have moved from Nigeria through Niger-Mali- Mauritania. They have descended in Burkina Faso and now the latest place we hear is Togo,” he said.

He added that “we want to survive and be safe. You know peace and security are bedmates… as a nation, we really must work hard and ensure that we keep our country safe from the activities of the terrorist.”

According to Mr. Shaibu, since the religion teaches them to be hospitable and kind, he called on the Muslims to be alert so that they may not be exposed to the risk of terrorist attacks whiles following the teachings.

In doing so, he advised “members of the Moslem community and the mosque to be very alert in identifying people who approach the mosque with strange behavior. For example, coming with materials in bags.

“Secondly, those who enter our mosque and sleep for long hours and whose background we do not know about.”

He said the National Chief Imam is especially concerned about teachings that could instigate young people to become involved in terrorism.

News

OccupyGhana calls for suspension of reclassification of Achimota Forest Reserve

OccupyGhana, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has demanded the suspension of the operation of Executive Instrument (E.I) 144 by government.

In a letter dated May 23, 2022, the CSO said, “We write to demand that you revoke or suspend the operation of the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 (EI 144) and the Forests (Achimota Firewood Plantation Forest Reserve) (Amendment) Instrument, 2022 (EI 154) forthwith.”

OccupyGhana added that, “Instead, we demand a full public inquiry under Chapter 23 of the Constitution into the matter of the Achimota Forest Reserve.”

OccupyGhana calls for suspension of reclassification of Achimota Forest Reserve
Achimota forest. Photo: Edem Srem

“The purpose of the inquiries would be to reverse any illegal acts perpetrated, and improper gains made, by government officials under the guise of returning lands,” the CSO explained.

OccupyGhana also referenced a letter addressed to the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor dated May 18, 2022 in which it expressed, “vehement disagreement with the alleged plans to return substantial portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve to its former owners.”

OccupyGhana alleged that since sending that letter to the Minister, “we have had further cause to believe that this state of affairs is worse and much wider than is apparent. We are also concerned that there might have been serious instances of conflict of interest and conflict of duty involving government officials and other government actors, concerning those lands.”

OccupyGhana calls for suspension of reclassification of Achimota Forest Reserve

The group also called on government to institute an inquiry into all alleged return of government lands to former owners that have occurred under the Fourth Republic.

It would be recalled that last week, government issued 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

Suspend de-classification of Achimota Forest Reserve – Edem Senanu

Co-Chair of Citizens Movement Against Corruption, Edem Senanu, has asked the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry to suspend the de-classification of the Achimota Forest Reserve.

The Anti-Corrpution campaigner added his voice to calls for an independent investigation.

“The whole idea of de-classifying the forest reserve should be suspended and I would probably suggest for us to have an independent investigation running simultaneously either from the end of the Special Prosecutor or CHRAJ, so that we are quite certain that we are getting all the relevant information,” he said on NewsNight on Monday.

Edem Senanu believes the investigation ought to be done to find out who else aside the allodial owners may have documentation to prove ownership of the forest reserve.

“Really speaking, the question on our minds is who else may have documentation showing that our forest reserve has actually become part of their property,” he wondered.

Suspend de-classification of Achimota Forest Reserve - Edem Senanu
Achimota Forest

His call for the de-classification of the forest reserves follows the emergence of a document believed to be the will of a former General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as ‘Sir John’.

At the time of his demise, Sir John was the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, the organisation that has direct oversight for the Achimota Forest.

The will contains four parcels of specified and unspecified acres of land in the Achimota Forest, which the late politician bequeathed to his children and nephew, “forever”.

Reacting to this, Edem Senanu said “it is not the kind of thing that one will expect that once he was entrusted responsibility for a representative of the people, you will find that they are acquiring properties in that space”.

It would be recalled that last week, government issued 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

OccupyGhana calls for suspension of reclassification of Achimota Forest Reserve

OccupyGhana, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has demanded the suspension of the operation of Executive Instrument (E.I) 144 by government.

In a letter dated May 23, 2022, the CSO said, “We write to demand that you revoke or suspend the operation of the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 (EI 144) and the Forests (Achimota Firewood Plantation Forest Reserve) (Amendment) Instrument, 2022 (EI 154) forthwith.”

OccupyGhana added that, “Instead, we demand a full public inquiry under Chapter 23 of the Constitution into the matter of the Achimota Forest Reserve.”

OccupyGhana calls for suspension of reclassification of Achimota Forest Reserve
Achimota forest. Photo: Edem Srem

“The purpose of the inquiries would be to reverse any illegal acts perpetrated, and improper gains made, by government officials under the guise of returning lands,” the CSO explained.

OccupyGhana also referenced a letter addressed to the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor dated May 18, 2022 in which it expressed, “vehement disagreement with the alleged plans to return substantial portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve to its former owners.”

OccupyGhana alleged that since sending that letter to the Minister, “we have had further cause to believe that this state of affairs is worse and much wider than is apparent. We are also concerned that there might have been serious instances of conflict of interest and conflict of duty involving government officials and other government actors, concerning those lands.”

OccupyGhana calls for suspension of reclassification of Achimota Forest Reserve

The group also called on government to institute an inquiry into all alleged return of government lands to former owners that have occurred under the Fourth Republic.

It would be recalled that last week, government issued 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

Suspend de-classification of Achimota Forest Reserve – Edem Senanu

Co-Chair of Citizens Movement Against Corruption, Edem Senanu, has asked the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry to suspend the de-classification of the Achimota Forest Reserve.

The Anti-Corrpution campaigner added his voice to calls for an independent investigation.

“The whole idea of de-classifying the forest reserve should be suspended and I would probably suggest for us to have an independent investigation running simultaneously either from the end of the Special Prosecutor or CHRAJ, so that we are quite certain that we are getting all the relevant information,” he said on NewsNight on Monday.

Edem Senanu believes the investigation ought to be done to find out who else aside the allodial owners may have documentation to prove ownership of the forest reserve.

“Really speaking, the question on our minds is who else may have documentation showing that our forest reserve has actually become part of their property,” he wondered.

Suspend de-classification of Achimota Forest Reserve - Edem Senanu
Achimota Forest

His call for the de-classification of the forest reserves follows the emergence of a document believed to be the will of a former General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as ‘Sir John’.

At the time of his demise, Sir John was the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, the organisation that has direct oversight for the Achimota Forest.

The will contains four parcels of specified and unspecified acres of land in the Achimota Forest, which the late politician bequeathed to his children and nephew, “forever”.

Reacting to this, Edem Senanu said “it is not the kind of thing that one will expect that once he was entrusted responsibility for a representative of the people, you will find that they are acquiring properties in that space”.

It would be recalled that last week, government issued 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

National Chief Imam urges Mosque Management Committees to install CCTV cameras

The Spokesperson of the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, has, on the advice of the Chief Imam, urged the various Mosque Management Committees to install Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) at various mosques as a means of ensuring safety.

Speaking on Top Story on Monday, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu also called on the leadership of the Committees “to engage the services of private security organisations who will be monitoring the activities of strangers who come around.”

He also recommended that the Committee engages the services of security analysts or consultants to keep them up to date on terrorists’ tactics. This, he explained is because “working on security is not just monolithic. It is not just one modus operandi and so therefore, we need different strategies.”

This comment comes after the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, charged Ghanaians to be vigilant, in the wake of increased terrorist attacks in the sub-region.

According to him, the activities of terrorists have become prevalent in recent times, and therefore the need for all citizens to pay closer attention to their ‘personal and communal security.”

Also, the Deputy National Security Coordinator, Edward Kweku Asomani, during a media engagement in Accra on Monday on measures being taken by government to combat terrorism, said the African continent has experienced about 346 terrorist attacks within the first quarter of the year.

He said out of the recorded attacks, 49 per cent occurred in the West African Sub-region.

Mr. Asomani said the figures indicated that the sub-region had become a hotbed for terrorism and, therefore, necessary to create awareness on security consciousness among the citizenry.

According to Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, the porous nature of Ghana’s borders is a clear indication for the country to take the necessary steps.

“We are aware, based on information, how the terrorists have moved from Nigeria through Niger-Mali- Mauritania. They have descended in Burkina Faso and now the latest place we hear is Togo,” he said.

He added that “we want to survive and be safe. You know peace and security are bedmates… as a nation, we really must work hard and ensure that we keep our country safe from the activities of the terrorist.”

According to Mr. Shaibu, since the religion teaches them to be hospitable and kind, he called on the Muslims to be alert so that they may not be exposed to the risk of terrorist attacks whiles following the teachings.

In doing so, he advised “members of the Moslem community and the mosque to be very alert in identifying people who approach the mosque with strange behavior. For example, coming with materials in bags.

“Secondly, those who enter our mosque and sleep for long hours and whose background we do not know about.”

He said the National Chief Imam is especially concerned about teachings that could instigate young people to become involved in terrorism.

News

Ghanaians are oblivious of dangers of terrorism – Dr. Vladimir Antwi-Danso

The Dean of Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFSC), Dr. Vladimir Antwi-Danso is advocating for government to intensify awareness creation on the dangers of terrorism in the country.

He contended that 90 percent of countries that have been able to detect and fight terrorist attacks have done so through awareness creation and artificial intelligence.

Speaking on Top Story, Monday, Dr. Vladimir Antwi-Danso urged the government to make Ghanaians aware of the modus operandi of terrorists.

“For me, the most important thing is to make the people aware of terrorism and our security. You go to Israel and a two-year-old knows what to do, what to report and what to look out for and that they will never pick toffee or pen or balloon from the ground…We are not very aware of anything at all…People are oblivious of the dangers of terrorism and insecurity around them and these are the things that we should be looking out for, that we should make the citizenry to be very much aware of their surroundings,” he said.

Although Dr. Vladimir Antwi-Danso commended the government for its efforts against terrorism so far, he noted that a lot more has to be done in that regard.

Ghanaians are oblivious of dangers of terrorism - Dr. Vladimir Antwi-Danso

The situation, he said is not just about deploying armed men to border towns.

“It is not the numbers [in terms of armed men] that fight terrorism. Our military, how many are they? Put all the security forces together and put them on the streets, it doesn’t change anything. You know the London thing you talked about, they augmented it through artificial intelligence.

“There are CCTV cameras on every building in London and that is healthy, that is more important and the people there are very much aware…so let’s add some more men but the artificial intelligence will do more for us and our awareness of knowing what is not correct and reporting ” he added.

Dr. Vladimir Antwi-Danso’s call comes on the back of the Deputy National Security Coordinator’s comment regarding about 346 terrorist attacks within the first quarter of the year.

Edward Kweku Asomani said out of the recorded attacks, 49 percent occurred in the West African Sub-region.

Mr. Asomani said the figures indicated that the sub-region has become a hotbed for terrorism and, therefore, the need to create awareness on security consciousness among the citizenry.

The Security Coordinator said this during a media engagement in Accra on measures being taken by Government to combat terrorism.

He said Ghanaians needed to be vigilant because the nature of the threats is unconventional – did not involve Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) or fighter jets.

The Ministry of National Security on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, would launch the “See Something, Say Something campaign,” to encourage Ghanaians to own their personal security and be aware and conscious of their environment to reduce the threat of an attack on the country.