• Thursday, April 19, 2018

5 Things That Can Tear Down The High Drive As The 2017/2018 Ghana Premier League Starts.

The smiles and joy on the faces of Ghanaian football lovers when the Ghana premier league commenced last Saturday was an authentication of the love that fans still have for the domestic game.

The crowd at the Tema Sports stadium on Saturday even though the game was telecasted live was enough substantiation to give you an idea on what the local game meant to the fans.

A day after the first game took place, there were 6 other games across the various league centres and reports gathered further confirmed the massive quest for the start of the  local football game, the   by the fans, the Ghana Premier League.

For the domestic football fans that have spent long weeks and months for the return of the Ghana Premier League now have it served on the table.

In the mix of the joy and euphoria surrounding the start of the league, here are 5 things that could possibly destroy and lower the high momentum greeting the start of the premier league.

Poor performance of Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko

It is no secret that when both Hearts and Kotoko are performing well in the league, the competition becomes more interesting and attractive. Their quest for excellence increases day in day out and the crowd can’t afford to sit back but rally round their clubs .The narrative of who gets the bragging rights?, mostly drives fans to cheer their teams on.

We roll back the years and take a look at the massive attendance at game venues anytime two giants played against the other sides in the league.

It is no rocket science that, when we have both teams performing well, it generally attracts fans to watch the game and even patronize the local game to the fullest.

Remember both clubs have the greatest following as far as Ghana football is concern, so it easy to say that; success with these clubs is success for the local football game.

Both teams can’t afford to put up poor performances this season that, they have to come to the party this time around to save and secure the interest shown by the local football lovers.

Poor and biased officiating

We have gone back and forth on this situation for God knows how long, this season can’t afford to be spared of this situation. Officiating in the Ghana premier league is always at the top of the pool whenever problems in the league are discussed.

Poor officiating has always been the concern of most clubs which more often result in allegations being levelled against certain officials.

Complains of poor officiating is not new in association football but it becomes a problem when it consistently occurs. It is already a new season and I wouldn’t want to draw readers back to the dark ages but this season could be better off than previous seasons when issues concerning officiating are minimum.

Poor communication between the PLB and clubs

The Premier League Board and the various clubs needs to ensure there is effective communication between the two parties to avoid ambiguity in execution of duties.

Mostly, information is carried to clubs at PLB meetings which has representatives of the clubs present at meetings.

To avoid the reoccurrence of misunderstandings between clubs and the PLB, both parties will have to make sure, there is clearer understanding and conclusions at their meetings so as to avoid excuses whenever decisions are made.

Crowd violence/hooliganism

Club officials, security personnel would have to be on top of their game as far as issues of crowd violence is concern that, act of terrorization at game venues must be a thing of the past and quite disheartening how fans pounce on referees and jostle them; how coaches and some club officials insinuate and incite fans, with their comments and actions, to pounce on match officials and how security officials are mostly outnumbered by fans and sometimes overlook some of these vicious actions.

Attacks on media personnel/ refusal to allow TV coverage

With this particular area, I refuse to delve deeper into it for it is still early days especially when there is now a regulation that means points will be deducted as punishment for this offense (disallowing television coverage), which I personally think is one of the best decision ever made to curb the act and would personally be surprised if clubs and their fans still go ahead and violate this directive.

 I think this year’s Ghana Premier League would be a stand out even without a major headline sponsor if these 5 things I have brought to the fore are avoided. It could end up to be an attractive package again.

God bless our homeland Ghana.

 

 

Credit: NANA ADWOA YIRENKYIWAA

Martin Amidu writes: My parting thoughts as citizen vigilante

 

The right to criticize a fellow citizen, however vigorous, cannot be defamatory of that citizen or even in contempt of court when it is kept within the limits of reasonable courtesy and good faith. As Lord Justice Salmon said in R v Metropolitan Police Commissioner; Ex Parte Blackburn at pages 155-156:

“…The criticism here complained of, however rumbustious, however wide the mark, whether expressed in good taste or in bad taste, seems to me to be well within limits.”

It is in this spirit that I have taken comments and criticism arising from my responses to the Appointments Committee of Parliament at my approval public hearing on 13th February 2018. Since I met the President on 9th January 2018 for a nomination confirmation discussion and accepted the potential nomination for consideration for approval by Parliament, I considered myself a potential public servant and stopped my citizen’s constitutional defence activism under Article 3 of the Constitution by not responding to unconstitutional comments and criticisms about my constitutionally mandated activities. As I put it at my approval public hearing, the nomination gagged me from speaking or writing in the press as a private citizen would.

From the moment I take my oath of office, I will be a quasi-judicial officer enjoined to act impartially and independently in the execution of my duties. My voluntary acceptance to be appointed Special Prosecutor imposes upon me strict compliance with the Code of Conduct and Ethics of the legal profession in which I am viewed as an officer of the court, whether in or outside the court room while I remain in office. In view of my acceptance, there will of necessity be a change in the way I will exercise the plentitude of my cherished rights as a citizen in accordance with Article 3 of the Constitution.

Before then I wish to say my response at my approval public hearing that some of my articles are based on my perceptions and opinions does not mean that they were not based on fact or reality. An in-depth acquaintance with the Philosophy and Methods of Research will show that perceptions and opinions need not be based on conjecture or non-facts or illusion. Those learned in research methods and intelligence know that my answers were intended for the protection of my sources and collection methods giving rise to the conclusions I arrived at in my several articles on corruption and abuse of power for private gain.

Article 3 of the 1992 Constitution would be hopeless if constitutional activists could not protect their sources and collection methods of information disclosing breaches of the Constitution and suspected commission of crime, and in particular corruption offences. I could not have given facts of corruption allegations in my articles to a partisan questioner without revealing or naming my informants and other sources and collection methods as a Citizen Vigilante. Safeguards in the rule of law enable investigators and prosecutors to use intelligence and sensitive law enforcement information as evidence, in a manner that protects sources and collection methods and that maintains the suspect’s right to a fair trial. In the protection of my sources and collection methods as Citizen Vigilante under Article 3 of the Constitution, I used the words “perceptions” and “opinions” to stand for the intelligence acquired from my sources and collection methods; my perceptions and opinions were formed from real human sources and other real collection methods and therefore could not have been based on conjecture.

I am writing these parting thoughts because the hearing was widely publicized, and many viewers and readers may not be well versed in the philosophy of research, research methodology, security and intelligence studies, and conflict resolution studies. It is therefore important to dispel in the matter of the debate whether perceptions and opinions are necessarily based on only speculation, or illusion or non-reality or non-fact.

These parting thoughts are in recognition of the fact that as a quasi-judicial officer, after my appointment I will have to behave as a justice of the superior court will do and will henceforth be unable to answer to several unfounded criticisms. I would have to adhere to the admonition of Lord Atkin in delivering the judgment of the court in Ambard v Attorney General [1936] AC 322 when he stated at page 335 that:

“The path of criticism is a public way: the wrong headed are permitted to err therein: provided that members of the public abstain from imputing motives to those taking part in the administration of justice… Justice is a cloistered virtue: she must be allowed to suffer the scrutiny and respectful, even though outspoken, comments of ordinary men.”

I will also live by the dictum of Lord Denning in R v Metropolitan Police Commissioner; Ex parte Blackburn (N0 2) [1968] 2 QB 150 at 155 where he said:

“It is the right of every man, in Parliament or out of it, in the Press or over broadcast, to make fair comment, even outspoken comment, on matters of public interest. Those who comment can deal faithfully with all that is done in a court of justice. They can say that we are mistaken, and our decisions are erroneous, whether they are subject to appeal or not. All we would ask is that those who criticize us will remember that, from the nature of our office, we cannot reply to their criticisms. We cannot enter into public controversy. Still less into political controversy. We must rely on our conduct itself to be its own vindication.

Exposed as we are to the winds of criticism, nothing which is said by this person or that, nothing which is written by this pen or that, will deter us from doing what we believe is right; nor, I would add, from saying what the occasion requires, provided that it is pertinent to the matter in hand. Silence is not an option when things are ill done.” (For the words “a court of justice” substitute the words “the Office of the Special Prosecutor”.)

There is no need for any citizen to go into exile as some are alleged to have done, or to contemplate or fear my approval and pending appointment as Special Prosecutor, so long as that citizen has not seriously violated any law worth investigating or prosecuting in the national interest under my remit. The 1992 Constitution protects every citizen from capricious exercise of discretion and I will ensure strict compliance with the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution in protecting the citizen’s rights and as well as any abuse of the public purse.

 

Author: Martin A. B. K. Amidu

SONA: A SAD SPECTACLE IN POETRY, PROMISES, & PROPAGANDA

 

 

The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) is stunned the President, in his 2nd State of the Nation Address, completely ignored the true state of the Nation, which is known to every Ghanaian and no eulogy can change.

The State of our Nation Ghana is one where the government has completely abandoned the change agenda and adopted the laissez-faire attitude of previous regimes from 1992. All the macroeconomic gains touted by the President – a phenomenon that has characterized successive governments since 1982 – are not reflective of the realities on the ground because Majority of Ghanaian do not experience these economic gains.

We are equally surprised the President failed to mention the state of Ghana’s health Sector. The health sector is one that cannot take care of its own Vice President. The mere fact that the President could not stick his head out on the number of jobs He has created is tacit admission of failure on the part of government.

Our nation is a country divided along ethnic lines where tribal bigotry is the order of day, where Political parties deliberately spin on an innocent comment(s) in order to score tribal points. Very Unfortunate! Ghanaians voted for change not a continuation of the status-quo.

How can the government explain the continuous rise in the prices of goods and service, and the petroleum increment in just the last two weeks, in the face of all these economic gains? How long can the President continue to poetically school Ghanaians on his vision without commensurate action? It is unpardonable for the President to omit Oil & Gas – an important commodity upon which our economy depends – from his address. Clearly the President was trying to avoid the petroleum discourse in the media.

The President must realign the BECE and redefine basic education to include SHS as promised in his manifesto. Surely, the state of the current Free SHS can best be described as being ‘in limbo’, which the government must urgently find a permanent source of funding to, if this noble idea is to be sustained like the NHIS.

The stark and concrete realities of hardship, pain and suffering of the ordinary Ghanaians are glaringly clear as the day light. It is a tale of stagnation and movements around circles without progress. The state of Ghana is that of insecurity and fear as Ghanaians wake up every week with news, or rumor, of violent incidences spread across the length and breadth of this country. Political vigilantism or “gangsterism” has taken over this country in the name of change of government. Members of the New Patriotic Party have openly destroyed government properties with impunity in just a year of inhabiting the mantle of leadership.

The President has proven beyond reasonable doubt how alienated He is with the people. He and His 110 Ministers have elevated themselves above the people who elected them in just a year. They must begin the process of formalizing the Ghanaian economy by the issuance of the National ID cards and synchronize all other existing identification cards in Ghana. This was promised to occur in the first year of an NPP Government but they have failed to deliver on their promise, highlighting the struggle between NDC and NPP as more important than the National agenda. This bipolar phenomenon continues to define what is good and what is bad, with the problems and solutions based on which political party’s lens you are wearing. This country is stuck between two political parties whose main agenda is to win political power by any means necessary. Our purpose in a nutshell is to illustrate to the people that the real state of the nation is one of a nation in disappointment, too much talk with nothing to show for, a reality the President has chosen to ignore.

Murtala Mohammed: PPP GEN. SEC.

 

Source:wisetvonline.com

WORLD CANCER, AWARENESS CREATION AND IMPACT

 

Yesterday February, 4  was world cancer day. A day set aside to create cancer awareness, its preventiondetection, and treatment. World Cancer Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008. The primary goal of the World Cancer Day is to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer by 2020.

World Cancer Day seeks to correct misinformation, raise awareness, and reduce stigma. Several groups and organizations have stage campaigns to help eradicate the disease as well as give support to those affected by it across the world.

Worldwide statistics indicate that the world received 14.1 million cancer cases as at 2012, an alarming rate of cancer cases which health practitioners, corporate bodies, organizations and individuals are working to reduce by the 2020.

In 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the United States and 595,690 people died from the disease.

There several types of cancer with the common one being breast cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, throat cancer, and leukemia, cancer of the lever  and brain cancer.

The most common types of cancers in Ghana are breast and prostate cancers, with cervical cancer alarmingly becoming a cause of concern for health workers.

It its estimated that 16,600 cases occurs annually in Ghana. Crude estimates suggest that cancers are expected to continue increasing.

Several unhealthy activities may cause cancer in the human body, example include smoking, excessive intake of alcohol, exposure to radioactivity and chemical as well as other hazardous agents. One can also get cancer from his /her genetic make-up or hereditary and life.

Cancer prevention is action taken to lower

 

Source:Naayirimaa Dery/wisetvonline.com

POOR SANITATION IN ACCRA

 

 

It is uncommon to walk the streets of Accra and not to be met with cabbage. The filth, isn’t just an Accra problem, our entire country is dirty. All major towns and cities are engulfed in piles and piles of stinky filth.

It gets worse, people are not just dumping their rubbish anywhere, they are also defecating and dumping human excreta anywhere. In Accra, city authorities proudly dump untreated liquid waste into the sea.

According to UNICEF, only 15 percent of Ghanaians have access to improved sanitation and one in five Ghanaians do not have access to a toilet. All these people defecate in the open. In the three regions of the North, about 70 percent of residents practice open defecation.

 

The unsanitary conditions in which we live have implications for the economy, tourism, and above all, our health and well-being. It is estimated that Ghana loses about 290 million dollars to poor sanitation and bad hygiene.

Every year, hundreds die from preventable diseases, notable among them is cholera. Reports suggest about 500 people died in Ghana from cholera.

Data from the World Bank again, indicates that “19,000 people, including 5,100 children under the age of five die each year of diarrhea, with 90 percent of these deaths attributed directly to poor water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services.”

Disturbingly, all of Accra’s major markets have become engulfed with filth, flies and overpowering smell. The Kaneshie, Makola, Agbogbloshie, Mallam Atta and Mallam markets are also flooded with plastic waste, decayed food crops and choked gutters.

The most affected places are the Agbogbloshie, Kaneshie and Mallam markets where traders, have to deal, on regular basis, with the unbearable stench that emanates from the dumpsites close to them.

 

At the Mallam market, for instance, the dump site is just a stone’s throw from the market, thus making it extremely difficult for traders to ignore the stench that meets them every morning.

Compounding these problems is the existence of the choked gutters. Virtually all the aforementioned markets have their gutters heavily choked with plastic waste.

Most of the gutters in front of these markets are filled with rubbish, making it extremely difficult for water to flow. The place has, therefore, become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and cockroaches

The worst part of it is that food vendors sell by these

gutters, a situation which can easily lay the foundation for cholera outbreak

Why are our streets so filthy?

The general answer to this question is simple; the rate at which rubbish is dumped on the street far exceeds the rate at which rubbish is taken off.

Our roads and public places are either never swept or swept so infrequently as to make no difference to the place

Rubbish accumulates on our streets because people throw refuse indiscriminately about; there are insufficient bins in the city of Accra. When available, these bins are insufficient, wrongly designed and not user-friendly or they are either already overflowing with rubbish or covered in such a manner as to make their use unattractive to members of the public. Rubbish bins are either not emptied or emptied so infrequently that their effect is not felt.

Over the years, governments have promised and failed to fix it. They have failed because we let them. The good thing is, our new president recognizes the importance of clean communities – he has created a ministry of sanitation, and appointed someone to clean Ghana up. He won’t succeed if things are done the same way past governments did – throw laws, promises and money at the problem.

Clean communities are a shared responsibility; we cannot have clean towns and cities if everything is left to the politicians and local assembly officials who are often distracted by the need to secure their votes. There are things residents and all Ghanaians can do to make our towns and cities civilized again.

 

Source:wisetvonline.com

Nigeria’s Boko Haram attacks in numbers – as lethal as ever

 

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has repeatedly said that the Boko Haram jihadist group has been defeated but BBC analysis of its attacks shows little change.

Research by BBC Monitoring shows the group killed more than 900 people in 2017, marginally more than it did in 2016.

It consistently mounted attacks during the year, defying Mr Buhari’s assertion that the militants had been routed.

We have crunched the numbers to show in a series of graphs, the type of attacks Boko Haram stages, which areas they target and which month is most deadly.

Who are Boko Haram?

Boko Haram launched an insurgency against the Nigerian government in 2009 with the aim of establishing an Islamic caliphate in West Africa.

Mostly focused in north-eastern Nigeria, the conflict has reportedly left around 20,000 dead and displaced at least two million.

  Nigeria's Maiduguri continues to be the epicentre of the insurgency
                        Image caption Nigeria’s Maiduguri continues to be the epicentre of the insurgency

Led by Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group (IS) in March 2015.

In August 2016, the group split into several factions after IS announced that Shekau had been replaced.

How the figures were compiled

Boko Haram is one of the least understood jihadist groups in the world.

To gain more insight into how it operates, BBC Monitoring tracked local and international media reporting of its attacks in 2016 and 2017, logging the specific details of each attack.

The results of this research must be balanced with the limitations of covering jihadism in West Africa.

Nigeria-focused journalist Andrew Walker told BBC Monitoring that the uneven nature of local media reporting and the roaming nature of the group mean that the full extent of attacks cannot be accounted for with great accuracy.

But by tracking reporting from 48 different media sources in English, French, Arabic and the West African languages of Kanuri, Hausa and Zarma, this research gives an insight into the scale and geographical spread of Boko Haram’s deadly operations.

Attacks increase, locations remain the same

Boko Haram reportedly mounted a total of 150 attacks in 2017, an increase on the 127 attacks it is said to have mounted the previous year.

In both years the group launched its highest number of attacks in January, with both these spikes followed by President Buhari’s claims that Boko Haram had met its demise.

The group’s attack locations have broadly remained the same over the last two years.

Nigeria suffered the majority of attacks in both 2016 and 2017, with Borno State – the birthplace of the insurgency – being the most common target.

Boko Haram proved it could still strike further afield in 2017, with reported attacks in Cameroon’s Far North region, Niger’s Diffa region and Chad’s Lac region, all of which border north-eastern Nigeria.

This broadly mirrors where it chose to attack in 2016, but there are slight differences between the two years, with Nigeria experiencing more attacks in 2017 while Niger saw fewer.

Methods of attack

Boko Haram reportedly launched 90 armed assaults and 59 suicide attacks in 2017.

Nigeria bore the brunt of these attacks, with the most common method being armed assault.

Across the border in Cameroon the group appeared to follow a different strategy, mounting more suicide attacks than armed assaults.

The same methods in these two countries were also seen in 2016.

The data show a growing overall emphasis on suicide attacks.

In Nigeria, the group increased its suicide attacks from 19 in 2016 to 38 in 2017, with Cameroon experiencing a similar increase.

Suicide attacks were the most common method of attack in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, which continues to be the epicentre of the insurgency, whereas armed assaults were more common elsewhere.

Fatalities increase, targets remain the same

At least 967 people were reportedly killed by Boko Haram attacks in 2017, an increase on the previous year when 910 deaths were reported.

The highest concentration of fatalities in 2017 was in Maiduguri, which has seen its population double to two million in recent years as people flee Boko Haram violence in rural areas.

Elsewhere in Nigeria, there were also high concentrations of fatalities in the localities of Magumeri, Konduga, Damaturu and Mubi.

There have been no big changes in the group’s targeting in the last two years, with Boko Haram attacking hard and soft targets.

Its most common targets in 2016 and 2017 were villages and militaries.

Boko Haram also continues to target mosques and internally displaced people (IDPs) fleeing the violence.

Relationship with IS

The relationship between IS and Boko Haram is unclear.

Only 13 of 151 reported Boko Haram attacks in 2017 were claimed by IS, suggesting operational links between the two groups are weak.

This may be due to the military pressure placed on IS in Iraq and Syria, where the group lost its so-called caliphate in late 2017.

The disparate nature of Boko Haram may also make it difficult for IS to issue claims as it cannot verify which faction is behind an attack.

Why is Boko Haram so resilient?

For years, critics have accused the Nigerian military of not properly equipping its soldiers to deal with Boko Haram.

This may change in 2018, with the US agreeing to sell weapons to Nigeria.

Until then, the group looks set to remain a significant threat, says BBC Africa Security Correspondent Tomi Oladipo.

  Nigeria's military has struggled to defeat the Boko Haram threat
Image caption Nigeria’s military has struggled to defeat the Boko Haram threat

“Despite repeated claims by the Nigerian government about Boko Haram’s demise, the group’s different factions continue to threaten the stability of Nigeria’s north-east and the wider Lake Chad Basin area,” he said.

According to Oladipo, Boko Haram has relied on stealth to keep its insurgency alive in the face of government offensives.

“Over the years, the ability of the jihadists to blend into local communities, or to conceal themselves in the vast terrains of the region, has aided their campaign of violence,” he said.

 

Source:bbc.com/news

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