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Weekly Wrap: Apeatse explosion, Nima gang clash, UTAG’s strike action and Black Stars’ AFCON exit

Per recent reports from the Police Service, thirteen individuals have died after an explosion in Apeatse in the Western Region on Thursday.

According to the Director of Public Affairs of the Service, officially, 190 casualties were recorded by the National Ambulance Service and allied agencies.

During the course of the week, rival gangs in Nima and Mamobi in Accra engaged in a scuffle, leading to many injured. Nine have been arrested and are being prosecuted.

Also, Government has been unable to get members of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) to suspend their strike action and resume work. The Association began its strike on January 10.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Black Stars have left citizens disappointed over their abysmal performance in the 2021 African Cup of Nations. They were knocked out of the Group Stage with only one point.

These are some of the major stories that featured in this week’s news. Hannah Odame has the wrap:

News

PDP chairman, former governors in closed-door meeting with Obasanjo

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, is currently in a closed-door meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Ayu had on Saturday led four former governors and members of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) to Obasanjo’s residence in Abeokuta, the Ogun State.

The PDP leaders arrived at the former President’s Pent House residence at Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Oke Mosan, at about 12:25 pm.

The PDP Vice Presidential candidate in 2019, Peter Obi; former Governors Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, as well as Liyel Imoke and Donald Duke, both of Cross River State, are at the meeting.

Also, the Deputy National Chairman of the PDP (South), Taofeek Arapaja, and other officials of the party were part of the entourage.

News

Apeatse explosion: GPA offers to provide psychological assistance to victims

The Ghana Psychological Association (GPA) has offered to provide psychological assistance to the victims of the Apeatse explosion.

In a statement commiserating with the victims and their families, the Association noted that though the physical loss is immense, the trauma associated with the loss is also tremendous.

“This can be overwhelming for the victims especially men, women, and children who are victims of the explosion as well as those who experienced it indirectly.

“We are therefore poised to lend our maximum support in response to the disaster management team to render crisis/trauma therapy services to families and other affected persons of Apeatse explosion,” the statement said.

The GPA in the statement noted that the unpleasant incident has recorded loss of lives and property worth millions of cedis.

“An entire community has been brought down, parents and breadwinners have died while others are severely injured. Homes have been destroyed and families including children have suddenly become orphans and homeless.

In view of this, the GPA has encouraged all victims and community members to remain calm and cooperate with authorities as they investigate the issues and reach out to them to alleviate their plight.

“We use this opportunity to also appeal to society to place value on the psychological dimension of life. Issues in this area of life can have long-lasting effects if there is no intervention.

“Once again we express our deepest condolences to all families and victims of the Apeatse accident,” the association added.

News

Apeatse explosion: NDC suspends outreach programme in Western Region; commiserates with victims

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has suspended its ongoing outreach programme in the Western Region to commiserate with the victims of the Apeatse explosion.

In a statement issued by the party’s National Chairman, Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, on Friday, the party indicated that it has been saddened by the mayhem which has affected hundreds of households in Apeatse.

The party has therefore pulled the breaks on its ongoing outreach programme, and called on government to restore normalcy in the community as soon as possible.

“The NDC joins other well-meaning Ghanaians first in expressing our deepest condolences to the families of all persons who lost their lives through this tragic event. The party further takes this opportunity to request the healing mercies of the Almighty God for a speedy recovery of all injured persons. No one could have foreseen a calamity of such magnitude befalling the good people of Apeatse at a time such as this.

With a reported estimate of 95% of all households in Apeatse reduced to rubble due to the impact of this disaster, it stands to reason that Government must double-up its efforts in finding temporary shelter for all displaced persons while urgent steps are taken to reconstruct the town and bring normalcy back to the lives of the good people of Apeatse.

The leadership of the NDC has suspended its ongoing outreach program in the Western Region and has directed the regional leadership of the party to visit and commiserate with the victims of this disaster as soon as possible”, portions of the statement read.

The statement by the NDC, adds to the scores of solidarity messages and well wishes, that have poured in following an explosion that has severely affected indigenes of Apeatse in the Western Region.

Earlier, the party’s flagbearer in the 2020 general election, John Dramani Mahama, also expressed his condolences to the victims and urged government to take necessary steps to lessen the impact of the disaster.

Speaking in an interview on News Night on Thursday, the District Director of the National Disaster Management Organisation, Sedzi Sadzi Amedonu, revealed that about 500 houses have been affected by fire and debris following the incident.

According to him, the impact of the explosion has been very severe, leaving many local folks totally displaced.

Meanwhile, Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has assured that measures are being put in place to construct temporary housing facilities for all displaced residents of Bogoso-Apeatse. He says the government has engaged the State Housing Corporation and mining companies in the area to provide an instant haven for the stranded community members in the coming days.

According to the police, 13 persons have so far lost their lives, with about 190 others injured. 384 indigenes have been displaced, with some four other persons in critical conditions.

News

Apeatse explosion: Show responsibility by going to the aid of victims – Chairano told

A former CEO of the Minerals Commission, Dr Tony Aubynn, has asked Chairano Mines to as a matter of urgency go to the aid of residents of Apeatse.

His statement follows the explosion of a vehicle that was transporting mining explosives to the community on Thursday, January 20, 2022.

It has emerged that Chairano Mines was the entity that requested for the explosives which couldn’t reach its destination due to the accident.

Speaking on Newsfile on Saturday, Dr Aubynn opined that the company could as part of its Cooperate Social Responsibility go to the aid of the community with relief items.

“If I were Chairano, I wouldn’t wait for a fine to be hefty or less. I’ll actually boldly come to the support of the community knowing very well that they are the entity that was requesting the explosives to be transported.

“Purely, even on moral grounds, and on Cooperate Social Responsibility grounds, if I were Chairano or if I were to advise them, I’ll ask them to show responsibility immediately and take it from them,” he said.

On Thursday, an explosion of a vehicle carrying mining explosives left Apeatse, a mining community in the Western Region in ruins.

The incident claimed about 13 lives and have rendered many homeless.

The accident is said to have occurred after a tricycle collided with the vehicle carrying the mining explosives.

Residents are calling on all sundry to come to their aid with relief items to help restore their livelihoods.

News

Investor concerns about Ghana are being exaggerated – John Kumah

The Deputy Minister of Finance, John Kumah has said the concerns raised by investors over Ghana’s ability to stabilise its debts have been exaggerated.

International ratings agency, Fitch, has downgraded Ghana’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘B-‘ from ‘B’ with a negative outlook.

The downgrade of Ghana’s IDRs and Negative Outlook reflect the sovereign’s loss of access to international capital markets in the second-half of 2021, following a pandemic-related [COVID-19] surge in government debt.

Fitch in a report said “this comes in the context of uncertainty about the government’s ability to stabilise debt and against a backdrop of tightening global financing conditions. In our view, Ghana’s ability to deliver on planned fiscal consolidation efforts could be hindered by the heavier reliance on domestic debt issuance with higher interest costs, in the context of an already exceptionally high-interest expenditure to revenue ratio.”

But speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile, Mr John Kumah said Ghana has been unfairly treated.

“We sincerely believe that the concerns are being exaggerated and that Ghana particularly in this instance is being unfairly downgraded especially if the basis of the downgrade or concerns being raised is about the budget.

Let us understand that this economy recovering from Covid-19 last year, has grown on an average of 5.2 per cent.”

He explained that the economy has grown over time and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has been able to raise more than its target.

“If you check the first-quarter growth from 2021, it was 3.3 per cent. Then we did 3.9 per cent. In the third quarter, Ghana grew by 6 per cent. We don’t have the fourth quarter yet but we all know that due to the Christmas festivity, the fourth quarter will be the highest.

So if you take the average of the three quarters there is 5.2 per cent. The growth rate target for 2021 was 5 per cent. So if you are doing 5.2 per cent, it means you are doing well. Our budget deficit for last year was 9.4 per cent which I think we did 9.5 per cent, slightly above it.

If you look at our revenue targets, GRA was given a target of GH¢57 billion, they ended up collecting about GH¢57.3 billion. So it is an economy that is growing above 5 per cent, meeting its revenue target. “

The Deputy Finance Minister, therefore, said “we don’t see the basis for such an exaggerated concern.”

According to Mr Kumah, the misunderstanding may be as a result of the impasse on government’s E-levy Bill in Parliament that seeks to widen the country’s net tax.

“Except to say that it is because of the E-levy impasse in Parliament, because of the nature of Parliamentary strength which is equal. So they are not sure about how our revenue targets are going to go in 2022, otherwise, we don’t see the very basis and the fears.”

Meanwhile, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has said that the Electronic Transaction Levy (e-Levy) Bill will be resubmitted when Parliament reconvenes on January 25, 2021.

News

Nnamdi Kanu denies drawing Biafra map, blames IPOB’s detractors

 

The National leader of the outlawed indigenous people of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu on Friday berated detractors accusing him of drawing a map of Biafran land.

 

The leader of the group, Kanu cautioned detractors to desist from misinforming and deceiving the general public.

 

He gave the warning in a statement signed by Emma Powerful and made available to journalists in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital.

 

The statement reads in parts: “Our attention has been drawn to the blackmail being sponsored by our detractors that IPOB has drawn the Biafra map. We, therefore, want to debunk such fallacious narrative. We did not draw any Biafra map.

 

“We understand that some people in the coastal region of Biafra are misinformed and deceived with false information that IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu and Igbo have drawn the map of Biafra. It is false and intended to set us against ourselves. The issue of the Biafra map should not generate any heat because we know ourselves.

 

“Igbo people never conquered any tribe in the old Eastern region because our fathers saw themselves as one family, and today IPOB and Nnamdi KANU have towed the peaceful steps and accommodating spirits of our fathers. Being part of BIAFRA will never be by coercion but a voluntary matter through referendum.

 

“Any tribe or ethnicity who doesn’t want to be part of Biafra will never be forced to do so. Such tribes are free to go on their own but you must conduct a referendum for your people to decide their fate on the agitation for Biafra.

 

“We can attest that Igbo people never fought against any tribe in olden days because Igbo believe in (Onyeaghala Nwanne ya and Ibiri Kamu biri) (live and let live). Again Ijaw tribe and other tribes in the old Eastern region including Mid Western region are Igbo brothers and sisters today, tomorrow and forever.

 

“Igbo are not going to force anybody or tribe to join the fight for Biafra freedom. Let every tribe try what they can to wake up for their freedom because freedom is good and remains the best for all of us.

 

“No tribe in the old Eastern region and Western region should allow themselves to be deceived because Nnamdi KANU and IPOB did not draw any map for Biafra. Instead, we are staking our precious lives for all and it is the sacrifice we ought to pay for the realization of our freedom and independence.

 

“We are staking all we have for this freedom project, without Igbo tribe being in the forefront of this struggle the struggle would have been a thing of the past and we must continue until freedom is totally achieved” the group stated.

News

Apeatse explosion: Interdicting Chief Inspector of Mines a knee-jerk reaction – Government told

A Mining Engineer, Theophilus Dzimegah, has criticised government over the interdiction of the Chief of Mines following the explosion which occurred at Apeatse on Thursday.

According to him, such a decision at a time when preliminary investigations into the accident are yet to be completed is a knee-jerk reaction.

“We shouldn’t have interdicted the Chief Inspector of Mines at this stage. We are yet to even have a preliminary report so it will mean that we’re jumping too quick,” he said.

The Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, on Friday, January 21, 2022, instructed the CEO of the Minerals Commission, Martin Kwaku Ayisi, to interdict the Chief Inspector of Mines with immediate effect over the explosion at Apeatse in the Western Region.

In a press statement issued by the Lands Ministry, the Minister explained that “Pursuant to Regulation 2 of the Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012, (LI 2177), the Chief Inspector of Mines is the chief inspector of explosives, and is responsible for the supervision of the manufacture, storage, transportation, and use of explosives for mining and mine support services.”

Therefore, Richard Kofi Adjei has been interdicted pending investigations.

Mr Jinapor, however, clarified on Newsfile that the interdiction is not to fault him for any wrongdoing.

He explained that to ensure a credible investigation, Maxam Company, and Mr Richard Kofi Adjei had to be withdrawn as both parties are at the center of investigations.

But Mr Dzimegah believes the interdiction should not have happened in the first place.

“We need to look at the incident and circumstances that led to it critically and patiently [before any decision is taken]. The action of the Minister was a bit quick and a knee-jerk reaction. We have been told that there was a collision with another vehicle. Why is the CEO of DVLA not being asked to step aside or the Minister of Roads and Transport not involved?

“If we are just saying that the explosive truck for which the Chief Inspector of Mines has responsibility for its transport is being introduced, what of the other truck that collided with it. So I think that it’s a knee-jerk reaction,” he said.

An explosion of a vehicle carrying mining explosives has left Apeatse, a mining community in the Western Region in ruins.

The incidents which occurred on Thursday claimed about 13 lives and have rendered many homeless.

The accident is said to have occurred after a tricycle collided with the vehicle carrying the mining explosives.

Residents are calling on all sundry to come to their aid with relief items to help restore their livelihoods.

News

Ghana records remarkable improvement in timber exports – Samuel Abu Jinapor

Ghana has in the last three years recorded significant improvement in the quantity of timber exported and revenue generated from the domestic timber market.

Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, who made this known said Ghana had as of October 2021, exported some 248,657.909 cubic meters of timber worth over €133,000,000.00 to the international market.

The domestic trade in timber wood species also accounted for about 392,117.75 cubic meters.

Between the years 2019 and 2020, a total of 526,613.29 cubic meters of timber were exported to the international timber market.

The volume was worth over €266,000,000.00, whilst the domestic market accounted for 678,406.90 cubic meters within the same time frame.

Mr Jinapor said although the data showed much improvement in the timber sector, Ghana had the capacity and ability to do more.

He was speaking to journalists after launching two cutting-edge digital application platforms for the Forestry Commission at Akyawkrom in the Ejisu Municipality in the Ashanti Region.

The platforms were the E-Property Mark Registration/Renewal System and the Ghana Electronic Wood Tracking System.

Mr Jinapor said the Ministry had recently commissioned a study aimed at revamping the timber industry to help position the nation to take its rightful place on the international timber market.

He pointed out that lack of modern and appropriate technology had been a major challenge affecting Ghana’s performance on the international timber market.

“The technological infrastructure for accessing the international market and attracting the requisite investment demand a level of sophistication that yesterday’s systems and norms can no longer respond to.

We must, therefore, innovate constantly, and keep pace with the technological advancements necessary to access the international market.”

According to the Minister, the Ministry and its agencies had intensified efforts aimed at implementing an aggressive digitization agenda, adding that the efforts were yielding desired results.

They included the Minerals Commission online processing applications for mineral rights, and the tracking of all earth-moving equipment and machines used for mining to be able to determine, in real time, the location of this equipment and ensure they were used in a manner consistent with the mining laws.

The Lands Commission, on its part, has moved some of its services, including searches online, making it possible to conduct a search from the comfort of one’s home.

The Commission is also implementing a digitization programme to digitize all of its records, to help facilitate effective and efficient land administration.

Mr Jinapor said these initiatives if well implemented would improve the performance efficiency of all the agencies for the benefit of the players in the sector and called for support to achieve these goals.

News

Interdicting Chief of Mines, suspending Maxam Company’s license prove no wrongdoing – Lands Minister

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has noted that interdicting the Chief of Mines and suspending the license of Maxam Company ahead of the investigation into the Apeatse explosion does not indicate the parties are responsible for the incident.

The Lands Minister earlier instructed the CEO of the Minerals Commission, Martin Kwaku Ayisi, to interdict the Chief Inspector of Mines, Richard Kofi Adjei.

Mr Abu Jinapor again directed that the Mineral’s Commission boss suspends its registration of Maxam Company Limited.

Providing the rationale behind his directive on JoyNews’ Newsfile, Mr Jinapor explained that to ensure a credible investigation, Maxam Company and Mr Richard Kofi Adjei had to step aside as both parties are at the centre of the exercise.

“It is just proper for the investigation and for the internal investigations of the Mineral Commission that the Chief Inspector steps aside in order for these investigations to be one that will be credible.

If you look at the law, the one who is directly responsible, if he (Kofi Adjei) is at post, I don’t know how credible the investigations will be. So it is just the right thing to do. Then you have this company which is at the centre of this situation. You don’t preclude the company from continuing its business of manufacturing and transporting explosives.”

According to Mr Jinapor, his directive does not assert that Mr Kofi Adjei and Maxam Company are to blame for the unfortunate incident that occurred at Apeatse on Thursday.

“Let me point out that this directive of mine by no means suggest that the Chief Inspector is guilty of any wrongdoing or is culpable. That should not be the conclusion to be drawn.

Interacting with host, Samson Lardy Anyenini, Mr Jinapor further revealed that the protocols of Maxam Company have not been perused yet and to ensure a similar incident involving the company does not recur, its operation must be suspended so as not to drag the image of government in the mud.

“We have not had the opportunity to interrogate their protocols yet and to conclude the investigation. God forbid, if we wake up tomorrow and we are told transportation of explosives by this same company in another part of the country has resulted in a similar tragic event, what will that tell of the managers of the country?

That will tell a very bad story of us and smack of bad judgment so I think that in the interim, while the investigations are ongoing, it is proper this company is precluded from the business that has resulted in this tragic incident. These are the fundamental reasoning that precipitated this action.”

In a press statement sighted by JoyNews, the Lands Minister explained his directive was pursuant to Regulation 2 of the Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012, (LI 2177).

Per the regulation, “the Chief Inspector of Mines is the chief inspector of explosives, and is responsible for the supervision of the manufacture, storage, transportation, and use of explosives for mining and mine support services.”

Therefore, the Chief Inspector of Mines had to be interdicted pending investigations.

Apeatse explosion

On Thursday, January 20, about 500 houses were destroyed after an explosion at Apeatse between Bogoso and Bawdie in the Western Region.

Videos circulating on social media showed the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) officials conveying what looked like bodies out of the rubble.

Preliminary investigations conducted by the Police revealed that a vehicle loaded with mining explosive moving from Tarkwa to Chirano mines collided with a motorcycle resulting in the explosion.

The Police stated that the rider of the motorcycle from the opposite direction rode under the vehicle at around 1:25 pm on Thursday.

According to the Police, due to the impact of the crash, the motorcycle caught fire and ignited the explosives on the DAF van. The DAF vehicle thus burst into flames.

According to the Service, 190 casualties were recorded by the National Ambulance Service and allied agencies. Thirteen people have been confirmed dead.

About 36 people have been admitted to various hospitals and four out of the figure are in critical condition.

So far, 96 individuals have been discharged.

News

2023: Zone presidential ticket to South, coalition urges parties

 

A group, the Coalition of Civil Society Groups, has urged political parties to zone their presidential ticket to the South in the spirit of fairness and equity.

The coalition said it had been mobilising young Nigerians to collect their Permanent Voter Cards ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Friday, the coalition President, Bassey Williams, said the North has had its fair share of the nation’s leadership and should therefore yield the presidency to the South.

He said, “We have watched with keen interest various agitations across the zones of our federating units and we come up with the agenda of championing and clamouring for power shift to the South come 2023.

“There is no doubt that the North has had its fair share of the country’s leadership and now, it is time to zone the Presidency to the southern part of Nigeria, which in our opinion, deserves it.”

According to Williams, the political parties cannot exist without the nation and national interest should override the personal interest of those clamouring for the North to retain power in 2023.

 “Let it be known that there won’t be either the All Progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party if there is no country called Nigeria. The national interest must override the personal interest of those pushing the parties to jettison the conventional rotation agenda on the Presidency,” he submitted.

The group noted that the nation was already overwhelmed by insecurity and other social and economic challenges, warning politicians not to compound her woes.

Meanwhile, the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum comprising Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Middle Belt Forum, and the Pan Niger Delta Forum, described the groups and individuals opposed to the zoning of the presidency to the South in 2023 as enemies of Nigeria.

This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the Chief Chairman SMBLF, Dr E. K. Clark; Afenifere Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, the President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor, and President, Middle Belt Forum, Dr Pogu Bitrus, on Tuesday.

SMBLF said the persons involved in the call against power rotation were only fanning the embers of dissent and disunity, adding that such could worsen the crisis in the country.

The group stated that the suggestion that the 2023 presidential contest should be left open to every region of the country was borne out of infantile political irrationality, noting that no region lacked credible and competent persons.

News

Social media reacts to Milovan’s removal as Black Stars head coach

Information reaching JoySports indicates that Black Stars head coach, Milovan Rajevac has been removed from post.

The decision was taken after an emergency meeting between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ghana Football Association (GFA) on Friday.

Social media platform, Twitter, has been chirping intensely since the news broke.

Some users are pleased by the news and have commended the Ghana Football Association for its decision.

Others have however urged that such exercise be carried out at the grass root to nip the issue of “Black Stars’ ill-performance” in the bud.

The call for Milo’s removal emerged after the abysmal performance of the senior national team at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. The Black Stars failed to win a single game in the group stage and exited the tournament with a point.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Football Association is yet to release an official communique announcing the removal.

Below are some tweets:

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News

Insecurity: I will crush all terrorists – Buhari assures

President Muhammadu Buhari has again vowed to crush terrorism before leaving office.

Buhari said the Nigerian Armed Forces, under his watch, will crush terrorists and criminal gangs operating in Kaduna State and across the country.

He spoke at a State Banquet to commemorate his official visit to the state

The president’s latest promise is contained in a statement signed by his spokesman, Garba Shehu on Friday.

Buhari applauded the Governor Nasir El-Rufai-led government for the support extended to security agencies.

The President said, ‘‘I wish to assure the people and government of Kaduna State that the Federal Government is doing its utmost to contain and crush the terrorists that have been menacing our citizens and their property in parts of the country.

‘‘On behalf of the Federal Government, I commend the efforts of the Kaduna State Government to respond to the demands of development.

‘‘The relationship between our tiers of government represents an instance of successful collaboration between the national and state governments for progress, peace and prosperity.

‘‘I urge Malam Nasir El-Rufai to push on and not relent in his efforts to accelerate change and progress in Kaduna State.”

News

PVCs issued in 2011 don’t need revalidation, says INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says all permanent voter cards (PVCs) issued by the commission do not require revalidation.

 

A message stating that PVCs issued in 2011 need to be revalidated has been circulating on social media platforms.

 

But in a statement on Friday, Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, said voter cards issued in 2011 can be used to vote in future elections — without revalidation.

 

“The Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) issued by INEC in 2011 and after can be still be used by their respective owners to vote in all elections, including the upcoming Federal Capital Territoy (FCT) Area Council Elections, the Ekiti and Osun Governorship elections, as well as the 2023 General Election,” the statement reads.

 

“To be sure, PVCs issued in 2011 and after do not need any revalidation.

 

“It is also not true that the Commission will use the so-called ‘New Card Reader’ for the 2023 General Election.

 

“What the Commission intends to use is a multi-purpose gadget, known as the INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED). It is currently being used for the physical registration of voters. During an election, it will facilitate the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), which provides for both fingerprint and facial authentication.

 

“The device will also be used to upload individual polling unit election results to the INEC Result Viewing portal (IReV) in real time on election day.

 

“The general public should therefore disregard the fake news making the rounds that the PVCs issued in 2011 need revalidation. There is no need to revalidate any PVC issued by INEC for election purposes.”

 

INEC’s clarification comes days after Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos and presidential aspirant, had said the PVCs in the possession of citizens have expired.

 

He, however, later apologised for the statement and for any confusion it may have caused. 

News

Church chairman arrested for allegedly engaging in financial malpractices

Police have arrested one Apostle Ebenezer Boahene, chairman of the Christian Divine Church (CDC), in Tarkwa, for allegedly engaging in financial malpractices.

He has been accused of diverting church funds into the accounts of a private company that he created with his own people.

He was taken to the Tarkwa Divisional command where his statement was taken. Speaking to the media after the arrest, the Tarkwa Divisional Police Commander, ASP Andrew George Kuma said the Christian Divine Church had a leadership problem which was at the court.

The complainant of the case, who is a presiding elder and a member of the National Finance Board, Elder David Agyekum indicated that the fact that it was a church organization did not warrant him to take the law into his own hands to apply funds meant for the church anyhow.

Meanwhile, Apostle Ebenezer Boahene has been granted a self-recognizance bail.

News

GFA directed to reconstitute Black Stars Management Committee; review Milovan’s technical team’s capacity

The Ministry of Youth and Sports has directed the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to reconstitute the Management Committee of the Ghana Black Stars.

The decision was taken after an emergency meeting between the Ministry and the Association on Friday, January 21.

At the meeting, the parties reviewed the performance of the Black Stars at the 2021 Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations and discussed preparations towards the 2022 World Cup playoffs.

In a press statement sighted by JoyNews, the Ministry “made it clear to the GFA that the people of Ghana have lost confidence in the capacity of the current technical team of the Black Stars to deliver success.”

The GFA was therefore also directed to “review the work and capacity of the current Black Stars’ technical team, led by the head coach, Milovan Rajevac.”

Prior to the meeting, the Sports Ministry had expressed its disappointment in the senior national soccer team for its abysmal performance at the ongoing AFCON tournament in Cameroon.

The Black Stars failed to advance from the group stage in the tournament after losing to Comoros in its final game in Group C.

The team exited the tournament with a point. They also lost to Morocco in their opening game and drew with Gabon in their subsequent game.

The Sports Ministry’s directives to the Ghana Football Association come at a time when some Ghanaians are calling for the disbandment of the current Black Stars team and the removal of Milovan Rajevac as head coach.

They argue that the current state of the team is not formidable to come up against any team in the World Cup.

Although the Ministry of Youth and Sports has not followed through with public demands, the Ministry has assured the public “it will always act in the best interest of the country with the ultimate goal of improving the performance and competitiveness of our national team”.

GFA takes blame for Black Stars’ early exit

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Kurt Okraku says he accepts the blame for the Black Stars’ poor performance at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Speaking on Asempa FM, Mr Okraku said: “our plans did not happen at the tournament, it is unfortunate and this is not what Ghanaians deserve. Ghanaians deserve a very very competitive team, a team that will bring glory to the country a team that will bring happiness to our people.”

The GFA President added: “It didn’t work. I’m a leader of the family, I take full responsibility but it is also our collective responsibility to remain calm to support these gallant players who have offered themselves to serve our country.

“They need support so they can grow and win trophies for Ghana. For those who were not ready to serve Ghana we cannot force them, of course, these are the players who have dedicated themselves to the national calls and who want to sacrifice even in difficulties and I’m saying this group of players were ready to sacrifice their blood for Ghana.”

News

Apeatse explosion: ECG working to restore power to areas affected

Bogoso District Manager of the Electricity Company of Ghana, Ebo Sagoe says his outfit is working assiduously to restore power to areas that suffered a cut in power supply due to the explosion at Apeatse.

Over thirty thousand residents in close to three operational districts of ECG that rely on power from the Bulk Supply Point at Bogoso are currently without electricity due to Thursday’s explosion.

According to Mr Sagoe, after the explosion which occurred close to a transformer, major districts including residents in Enchi, Amenfi East and Amenfi Central were massively affected.

“The power supplied to those areas, emanate from here, so with this incident which affect the lines, it affected these areas,” he said to the media on January 21.

Mr Sagoe said that although power was restored in a few areas, many residents still do not have light but his team is working to ensure supply is restored within 24 hours.

“Managing Director of ECG has directed that we reinstate the network as it was before the incident. So we are on getting it done. My men have been on the field since yesterday,” he stated.

He added that “when the incident happened, we quickly rushed in to save the situation so that there wouldn’t be an additional electrical accident.”

Mr Sagoe said the team returned to site on Friday, January 21, to prepare the place for the Vice President’s address and continue work.

“We are confident that we would be able to restore supply to affected residents,” he added.

The aftermath of the horrific explosion that happened at Apeatse, near Bogoso in the Western Region is still being felt.

Thursday’s incident occurred when a truck conveying mining explosives collided with a motorcycle and a third vehicle close to an electricity transformer.

As a result, the town was reduced to rubble in the blast, killing some inhabitants and injuring many.

So far, over 500 homes have been affected by the blast. Thirteen people were confirmed dead by the Information Ministry, with about 59 injured as of 5 pm on Thursday.

But updates coming from the region indicate that the casualties could increase.

Several households at Apeatse near Bogoso were destroyed after Thursday’s explosion which reduced the whole community to debris.

Survivors of the unfortunate incident have been rendered homeless after almost 95% of the houses in the community were ravaged in the blast.

The displaced residents have been relocated to a makeshift camp at the Bogoso St. Michael Parish Hall.

Meanwhile, Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has assured that measures are being put in place to construct temporary housing facilities for all displaced residents of Bogoso-Apeatse.

He says the government has engaged the State Housing Corporation and mining companies to provide an instant haven for the stranded community members in the coming days.

Dr Bawumia said this when he led a government delegation to ascertain the state of affairs in the community after a vehicle carrying mining explosives exploded and reduced the whole settlement to ground zero.

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This week on #TwitterGhana: Black Stars exit tournament, KiDi’s NAACP awards nomination and more

For up to the minute updates on trending stories and news, Twitter remains the social media platform that keeps you informed. This Week on Twitter #TwitterGhana captures the latest in music, movies, sports, entertainment and more you might have missed.

AFCON Updates: BlackStar’s shock exit from the tournament

Ghana’s Black Stars suffered a shock Group stage exit from the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) after failing to win any of their three games in Cameroon. In a further upset during their final match on Tuesday against Comoros Islands, Ayew Andre received the first-ever red card of a #TeamGhana Captain at AFCON. This left the Black Stars with ten men for the rest of the match which they eventually lost 3-2. 

As expected, this elimination received lots of reactions from football fans across the continent, including sports journalist Oti Adjei who Tweeted his disappointment.

Juliet Bawuah whose #AFCONwithJuliet Spaces have kept fans up to date on the latest AFCON commentary also Tweeted about the loss.

Sports channel3SportsGh, asked fans in a Tweet if the red card was a fair call? What’s your take? Share your opinion using the hashtag #AFCON2021

Thomas Partey back in London after BlackStars exit AFCON 

Thomas Partey picked up two yellow cards in less than ten minutes, in the latter stages of Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat against Liverpool! This follows his return to the Premier League side, after being called back by Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, in the aftermath of Ghana’s exit from AFCON – marking a miserable week for the star midfielder. GhanaWeb confirmed his return to London as seen in this Tweet, but Partey will now miss Sunday’s clash with Burnley. Read all the comments about his return to Arsenal here.

KiDi’s ‘Touch it’ gets first global nominations at NAACP awards

Multiple award-winning artiste KiDi Music has earned his first international award nomination at the 2022 edition of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Awards, with his hit song ‘Touch it’. The song, which debuted on May 6, 2021, ahead of the release of his hotly anticipated second album, “The Golden Boy”, was nominated in the Outstanding International Song category. Here is a Tweet from NAAACP Image Award congratulating the outstanding nominees, and KiDi also acknowledging the nomination with a Tweet.

#TweetItIntoExistence Affirmation Tweets take Twitter by storm

On Tuesday, people across Canada and the U.S. woke up to see billboards featuring Tweets from celebrities expressing hopes and dreams prior to their goals being achieved. Starting a thread with a Tweet captioned, “If you can dream it, Tweet It”, people on Twitter were encouraged to express their own dreams and goals. Taking a cue from the campaign, Ivy Barley, Ghanaian host of the popular tech-focused Spaces with Ivy, put out a Tweet expressing a desire to host Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal on one of her Spaces.

He responded with a Tweet affirming his interest, which received an overwhelmingly positive response! Follow the hashtag #TweetItIntoExistence for more wholesome and affirming Tweets.

Why Waakye Trended on Wednesday

#Waakye was trending on Wednesday after the French Ambassador to Ghana’s Twitter page Tweeted a photo of her buying a pack of the favourite dish at Makola. This was well received with some humorous reactions from popular Tweeters like Kaly Jay.

 @Twitter remains your official source for what’s happening!

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Black Stars head coach, Milovan Rajevac sacked

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has sacked Black Stars head coach, Milovan Rajevac.

After supervising Ghana’s woeful performance in the ongoing AFCON in Cameroon, the Serbian has been relieved of his duties.

This comes after the Sports Ministry directed GFA to reconstitute the Management Committee of the Ghana Black Stars.

The decision follows an emergency meeting between the Ministry and the Association on Friday.

At the meeting, they reviewed the Stars’ performance at the AFCON 2021 and discussed preparations for the 2022 World Cup playoffs.

In a press statement sighted by JoyNews, the Ministry “made it clear to the GFA that the people of Ghana have lost confidence in the capacity of the current technical team of the Black Stars to deliver success.”

Black Stars head coach, Milovan Rajevac sacked

The GFA was therefore also directed to “review the work and capacity of the current Black Stars’ technical team, led by the head coach, Milovan Rajevac.”

According to Joy Sports, the GFA at the meeting was hesitant about axing the Serbian particularly because of the severance fee the country is liable to pay – an estimated minimum of $270,000 which could rise to $370,000 if a sign-on fee is included.

Before the meeting, the Sports Ministry expressed its disappointment in the senior national soccer team for its abysmal performance at the ongoing AFCON tournament in Cameroon.

The Black Stars failed to advance from the group stage in the tournament after losing to Comoros in its final game in Group C.

The team exited the tournament with a point. They also lost to Morocco in their opening game and drew with Gabon in their subsequent game.

A statement from the Ghana Football Association announcing Milovan’s removal is expected soon.

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Livestream: Newsfile discusses Apeatse explosion, Speaker’s security and Ghana’s economy downgrade

Today on JoyNews, Newsfile will discuss the measures needed to ensure Apeastse is rebuilt following Thursday’s explosion that claimed 13 lives and destroyed about 500 homes.

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has noted that Government is launching a full-scale investigation into the incident caused by a collision between a vehicle carrying mining explosives and a motorcycle.

To mitigate the effects of the incident, government has donated GH₵200,000 to the victims and pledged to foot the medical bill of all injured persons.

Also, government says it has engaged the State Housing Corporation and mining companies in the area to provide an instant haven for the stranded community members.

Host, Samson Lardy Anyenini and his panellists will also take a look at the education system for pre-tertiary institutions. This is needful as government has reversed its decision to introduce a semester-based system for basic schools in the country.

The Education Ministry last Thursday announced the introduction of the semester-based system in place of the trimester one.

The show will again dive into the security of the Speaker of Parliament.

Following the withdrawal of four officers attached to the office of Speaker Alban Bagbin, Parliament has written to the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to request four military personnel as security detail for the Speaker.

Both the Majority and Minority Group have been in contention over the subject matter.

Meanwhile, International ratings agency, Fitch, has downgraded Ghana’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to ‘B-‘ from ‘B’ with a negative outlook.

The downgrade of Ghana’s IDRs and Negative Outlook reflect the sovereign’s loss of access to international capital markets in the second-half of 2021, following a pandemic-related [COVID-19] surge in government debt.

Samson Lardy Anyenini and his guests will take a bite on this matter as well.