• Monday, August 20, 2018

HOMOSEXUALITIES TO GAIN ROOT IN GHANA?

Homosexuality, a subject that has caused much provocation among the public. The right and acceptance of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender (LGBT) was topical during the recent Commonwealth meeting with the UK Prime Minister pushing for reforms among members countries to legalize the practice. Recent comments by the United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister, Theresa May, promising to help Commonwealth nations amend anti-gay laws she termed as ‘outdated’ have incited suggestions that African Countries, including Ghana, can legalise homosexuality if the need arises.

 

Ms. May seem to have convinced the audience when she told delegates at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that “nobody should face discrimination or persecution because of who they are or who they love”. Crusaders have urged Ms. May to intervene over the colonial-era legislation affecting millions of people who have been denied of same-sex relations in 36 Commonwealth countries. According to her, the U.K. was ready to help Commonwealth nations to abolish anti-gay laws and embrace homosexuality.

On the other hand, Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, said recently that he would rather resign than preside over a pro-gay bill during his tenure. “If anybody should bring such a thing to parliament and I have to preside over that, I’d rather resign than subscribe to this delusion,” The House has taken a stand with a strong warning to the executive not to agree to any foreign pressure to legalise the practice.

Officially stating the position of parliament on the issue, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin emphasized that Africa believes in procreation and for that matter same-sex relationship cannot be encouraged. “We know the purpose of creation and we will not stand against God and we will not be misled by those who believe they are civilized. The future of the world belongs to Africa and we will not be misled again,”

Members of the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship have also strongly condemned what they described as moves to force Ghana to legalise Homosexuality, saying it is unacceptable to pressurise the government of Ghana to accepting it as a human right. In a statement signed by its President, Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, the Christian MPs vehemently oppose any consideration of the idea.

The General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Asiedu Nketia, who reportedly told NDC members in Kumasi that “Nana Addo says men will marry men, and women will marry women,” moved the government to release a statement rejecting claims that President Akufo-Addo will legalise same-sex relationships in Ghana.

 

President Nana Akufo-Addo said a change in the law to decriminalise homosexuality is not of concern to Ghanaians at present. However, the President, in his stance as once a human rights activist and a lawyer, stated in an interview with Qatar Aljazeera  that if activism in favour of the legalisation of homosexuality heightens, that could trigger a change in Ghana’s laws.

Looking at Ghana as a very tolerant society, in terms of ethnicity, religious tolerance and even tolerant of such behaviours though it is illegal, the question is: can there be a time in Ghana where homosexuality and same-sex relationship would be promoted even though the issue has triggered much provocation?

 

 

Source:Marain Baaba Mensah/wisetvonline.com

DISABILITY NOT INABILITY

Members of the public perceive the disabled as inferior just because they are physically challenged. The disabled are reminding those in doubt about their contributions to national development to take into consideration their abilities and look over disabilities.

People often say the disabled are physically challenged and therefore they cannot do what abled persons can do. I do not agree with their myopic views with the fact that if one is physically challenged, it does not mean that his brain is also handicapped.

Performances of disabled persons sometimes, comes as a surprise and leave people thinking. Looking at the world of music, we see the best and well renowned musicians being disabled persons.  Notable amongst them is the world’s famous musician Steve Wonder, who is blind. In Ghana, we cannot forget about Pozo Hayes, Onipa Nua and others who are disabled but doing well. These disabled persons earn income and they even serve as a source of employment for others.

Also, in the world of academia, one can think of academic giants like brainy professors. Teachers, lawyers and research fellows among others who are disabled, but the fact still remains that, they impact knowledge to pupils who grow to become useful citizens.

Let us recall our minds again to the domain of artisans. Talk of masons, skilled weavers, carpenters, sculptors, painters and others, disabled persons are among the best. Some of the products and services of these artisans, be it visible or invisible, fetch the nation it’s scarce foreign income. All these among others are immense contributions to national development.

In Sports, Ghanaian athletes with disability continue to excel in both national and international events with two of them winning four medals at the Abuja All Africa Games in 2003, six athletes winning nine medals including a gold at the All Africa Games in Algeria in 2007 but regrettably with all these achievements they are not given the due recognition.

Ghana became the 119th country in the world to endorse the Disability Rights Convention, a landmark international treaty that orders the protection and promotion of human rights for the more than 1 billion people with disabilities worldwide. More than 5 million people with disabilities live in Ghana, yet According to the UNICEF Ghana Country Report (2000:18) the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare estimates that the number of persons living with disabilities is 10%.

Article 28(4) of the 19992 constitution of Ghana states that ‘Disabled persons shall be protected against all treatment of a discriminatory, abusive or degrading nature.’ Despite this right, the disabled still face challenges of discrimination and unfair treatment in one way or the other wherever they find themselves.

The constitution  throws more light on the right of the disabled persons in article 28(7) that ‘special incentives shall be given to disabled persons engaged in business and also to business organisations that employ disabled persons in significant numbers.’

Persons with disabilities have talents and can also make meaningful contributions towards national development. The physically challenged should not be sidelined but be treated fairly in accessing social, economic and developmental opportunities.

Has it now been realized that the disabled also have rights? Though a disability bill (Persons with disability Act, 2006, Act 715 Section 10) has been passed in favour of the disabled, which stresses on promotion of employment of persons with disability, how serious is the government taking the plight of these people into consideration? If it is really true that the disabled too have their rights in this nation, then why are they being deprived for so long?

In their bid to promote national development, the government must empower vulnerable groups, especially persons with disabilities to do something profitable for themselves and also invest in those who already have their businesses to expand. Let us remember that disability does not only come by birth but can also happen to anyone at a point in life.

 

 

 

Source:Marain Baaba Mensah/wisetvonline.com

HOOLIGANISM IN LEAGUE CENTERS MUST STOP

One way to promote equity in football and to maintain the good face of the game is to avoid hooliganism. Clubs and football officials have been focusing on branding, seeking sponsorship, talent hunting and proper football administration to promote the game but ignored an aspect that is tarnishing the image of football which is off the pitch incidents.

The tugging of some of venues as no go areas have trigged retaliation of some supporters anytime they feel are being maltreated. This phenomena is across every facet of football divisions and activities in the country.

Hooliganism prevents people from watching football matches at stadiums due to fear they might be harassed or beaten if they turn up.

In promoting football leagues, the media was urged to discuss the details of the match and give vivid account of football matches witnessed but we cannot overlook incidents that occur outside the pitch which takes the shine off the game.

Supporters of various teams had comported themselves very well from the start of the 2017/18 league season, in match day seven and eight, there were series of unaccepted behaviors meted out on club officials and officiating officials by supporters.

Ahead of the super clash between Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak on Sunday, supporters must desist from any act of hooliganism.

Last Sunday Accra Hearts of Oak’s Public Relations Officers, Kwame Opare Addo and Hackman Aidoo were heckled by the supporters for not winning against Bechem United, after the team drew 1-1 with Bechem United at the Baba Yara Sports stadium.

The Chief Executive Officer of Kumasi Asante Kotoko, Dr. Kwame Kyei, Mr. Oduro Sarfo, Chief Executive Officer for Berekum Chelsea and Referee Nuhu Liman who officiated the match between Elimina Sharks and Medeama FC are all victims of hooliganism in football.

Referee Nuhu was allegedly brutally beaten by a section of the supports when he was officiating the match between Elimina Sharks and Medeama.

Chief Executive Officer for Brekum Chelsea, Mr. Oduro Sarfo had to monitor commentary from his hotel room in the match between Asante Kotoko and Brekum Chelsea due to fear of hooliganism because he had received threatening messages warning him not to show up at the stadium.

In Dr. K.K Sarpong’s era at Kotoko, Mr. Oduro Sarfo was nearly attacked for being vociferous in the media landscape.

 

So how can football be used to attract investors if major stakeholders are going through hustle and tussle? Football has solve about 70% of unemployment among the youth in the country, therefore, the government and stakeholders should come together and work hand-in-hand to curb hooliganism.

People will feel safe to invest and promote sports when there is no hooliganism during football matches.

We tend to forget that comments before and after matches spice up the sport, being vocal or expressive does not mean people should be assaulted.

Football administrators must not condone and connive with their supporters to put up such uncivilized behaviors at league centers. Culprits should be apprehended and handed to the police to face the necessary punishment in order to deter others who intend doing so.

With one accord towards development of the game, hooliganism should be condemned in league centers.

 

 

 

Source:Emmanuel Odei/wisetvonline.com

ASOMDWEE PARK IN A SORRY STATE JUST AFTER SIX YEARS

In this episode of “STATE OF GHANA’S MONUMENTS” our reporter Naayirima Dery takes a look what has become of the Asomdwee Park six years after the burial of the late president John Evans Atta-Mills.

The Asomdwee Park is one of the parks in the capital city of Ghana, Accra, the park has the features any other park in the capital has except that it’s the place where the mortal remains of the first sitting Ghanaian president to die in office, John Evans Atta-Mills was buried.

The park is located a few meters from the Black Star Square, just before the Christiansburg Castle. When the news team visited the place on Monday the 23rd April, 2018, they noted that the park is unkempt, with dried grass and leaves scattered all over. The wire mesh that is used as wall are fast corroding with the pictures of the funeral of the late president Atta-Mills falling off.

An interaction with a patron who gave her name as Esther, revealed that most of the birds were either killed by neighboring dogs or were stolen by neighbors. “I live across the street, years ago, anytime I pass here with my son to school, I can see a large number of birds, when you are passing by the road side without even entering the park but now the number has decreased.”

When asked if she’s paid any money to visit the place she said she has not paid any money at the gate as it was free.

Speaking to wisetvonline.com in an interview, another patron who was there with her family, Yaa Boatemaa, noted that Ghanaians have little interest in tourism as they will prefer to either work or stay at home. ‘People will gladly go on with their day-to-day activities rather than go sight-seeing.

She called on Ghanaians to patronise the museums and other tourists sites in the country not give financial gains to the site but also to relax and release stress. “Most of these sites are there for you to come and releasing stress from work and to be free themselves from burdens and worries. Some countries out there do not have half of what we have as a country but they are making it work for them. Why can’t we be proud of what we have as a country” she queried.

A source who spoke to the news team on condition of anonymity, stated that the government as well as those in charge of the park are not enthused to upgrade the park due to the low patronage of the park “very few people come to visit the park since its inception so we can’t put money into upgrading and establishment because we won’t make that much of money to recover what will be invested.”

Several media reportage have focused on the tomb of late president with considering the state of the entire park, which could be a source of income to the country. The when refurbished will not only attract Ghanaians but foreigners as well as business tycoons who may doing business in the country. This will not just bring foreign exchange it will give the local people jobs to do which will reduce the social vices and help decrease poverty.

 

 

 

Source:Naayirima Dery/wisetvonline.com

CHRISTIANSBURG CASTLE IDLE

Osu Castle, also known as Fort Christiansburg or simply “The Castle”, is  one of the castles in Ghana located in Osu, Accra Ghana, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean‘s Gulf of Guinea.

The first substantial fort was built by Denmark-Norway in the 1660s, the castle has had different owners from Denmark-Norway, Portugal, the Akwamu, Britain, and finally post-Independence Ghana, and was rebuilt numerous times.

The area was first occupied in 1550 by the Portuguese, and in the 17th-century, the Portuguese influence diminished. The area then came under the control of Sweden in the 1650s, led by the Dutch trader Henry Caerlof. In 1652, he was given permission to build a small fortified lodge by the King of Accra, with whom he had previously done business.

Again in 1660, control passed to the Netherlands but it was soon lost to Denmark-Norway. In 1657, Caerlof had again traveled to Africa, this time representing Denmark-Norway. In its early life, the castle was primarily used in the gold and ivory trade, but under Dano-Norwegian control it increasingly began and dealt with slaves

For most of the castle’s history, it has been the seat of government in Ghana with some interruptions, the latest when the John Agyekum Kufuor administration moved the seat of government to Golden Jubilee House after 6 January 2009, which was quickly reversed by the John Atta Mills administration. The castle also serves as the place where the late president of Ghana John Atta Mills is buried; in a bird sanctuary, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Christiansburg Castle has been the seat of government since the capital city of Ghana was moved from cape coast to Accra. The castle has seen successive governments have taken turns to stair the affairs of the country in it. Kwame Nkrumah was the first Ghanaian leader to live in the Christiansburg castle, followed Joseph Arthur Ankrah, Akwasi Amankwaa Afrifa, Hilla Limann, Jerimiah John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kuffour, and Late President John Evans Atta-Mills.

Until 2013 when President John Dramani Mahama left the castle to live in the presidential palace now called the Jubilee House. Today, in the “state of Ghana’s monuments” Naayirima Dery takes a look at state of the castle since the seat of the government was moved to the Jubilee House.

The castle is now a tourist site opened to the general public for sight-seeing in 2017. Touring the castle in the company of a tour guide, the news team noted that but for members of the public that were visiting the castle, little business is ongoing within it walls. The place which uses to be busy with administrative activities is now quiet and empty.

Interacting with a tourist, Eric Agyemang, he noted that “the castle is gradually losing its value; those in charge should not let it decay before they renovate it”

Explaining the state of the cattle to the news team, the guide said, “the castle has not been fully handed over to the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board but future plan is to turn it into the Ghana Heads of State Museum”.

The castle is one of the most important buildings in the history of Ghana but apart from it being embedded into the Fifty Ghana Cedis note, the present picture of the castle shows that it has no use as it stands now.

The question is, will those in charge of the castle wait for it decay before it is  upgraded and turned into the Heads of State Museum years later or they can add some value to it now and use it as tourists centre and later upgrade into the museum.

 

 

 

source:Naayirima Dery/wisetvonline.com

ADDING VALUE TO GHANA TOURISTS SITES WILL BOOST TOURISM

The world marked World Heritage Day with a special look at monuments and sites. The International Day for Monuments and Sites is held on 18 April each year around the world with different types of activities, including visits to monuments and heritage sites, conferences, round tables and newspaper articles, with this, our news team visited some of the Monument and sites in Ghana.

Our first point of call was the Jamestown forts, then the usher fort, through the lighthouse to the Kwame Nkrumah memorial park and National Museum all in the greater Accra Region and what was discovered is just too revealing.

Both the Jamestown and the Usher forts were closed to the public due to their deplorable states, the lighthouse was under rehabilitation and thus was unavailable to the public, the Kwame Nkrumah memorial park and museum was open and tourists were seen having a good time but a portion was used as a refuse dump.

Attempt to speak to authority proved futile.

Ghana is one of the countries in the world that can boost of great tourists sites but the inability to manage these sites is the country’s woes.  The country can boost of sites like the spectacular scenery of the 400-year old stilt propped water settlement of Nzulezu, built on Lake Tadane in the Western Region, it stands out as a magnificent interplay between man and his environment.

Other magnificent cultural landscapes in the country consists of outstanding balancing rock formations and many sacred Talensi ancestral shrines, all lying at and near the base of a Horseshoe-Shaped hain of hills.

There is also the Nalerigu Defence Wall, the remains of the Naa Jaringa Walls, which lie under grove of trees in Nalerigu.

Then the Larabanga Mosque, which is thought to be the oldest mosque in Ghana and West Africa. It is popularly referred to as the ‘Mecca of West Africa’, because of its rich historical and architectural values.

Mole National Park is Ghana’s largest national park and can be located in the Northern Region of the country.

The Paga crocodile pond is the only place you can get up close and personal with crocodiles in Ghana and it is located in the Upper East Region.

If a country like Ghana with a rich heritage and cultural sites is receiving little to nothing in terms of revenue from the tourism sector is either due to the little or no attention given to these sites or these sites are inaccessible to the tourists.

Some of the sites are in deplorable state that, they have to be closed to the public thereby denying the country source of revenue. If Ghana is to generate income from the tourism sector the government and stakeholder should allocate fund that will be upgrade and provide basic social amenities in such area. It should also be opened to the hotel and hospitality industry. Roads leading to such areas should be constructed.

 

 

 

Source:Naayirima Dery/wisetvonline.com

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