Feature/Opinion: Investigate and Punish

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There is a real crime here; it is called “Voting Fraud.”
Electoral Fraud.” Or “Election Fraud.” This is the proverbial elephant in the room, as members of the U.S. intellectual community are wont to say. And yet, this is what even the leaders of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) are curiously refusing to discuss or talk about. Instead, they simply want the current Voters’ Register thoroughly scrapped and replaced with a new one.

Hopefully, this new register will not be compromised by the 76,286 Togolese citizens whose photo IDs and vital statistics appear on Ghana’s Voters’ Register. You see, you cannot claim to love justice and fair play and not want the culprits to be brought to justice.

In other words, what Messrs. Akufo-Addo and Bawumia and their associates ought to be fighting for is to have whoever wilfully participated in this epic scam to be promptly brought to justice. There is absolutely no reason to expect that this massive fraud will not be reprised, unless those engaged in it, irrespective of sociopolitical status, are brought to justice. Attempting to make an ethnic or tribal issue out of the Ketu-South scandal would not work. So far, the latter instance appears to be the most serious of all the uncovered cases of massive voter fraud in the country, because the criminal syndicate that orchestrated such fraud had crossed international boundaries to commit such heinous act of criminality. It is tantamount to a foreign occupation, whereby non-Ghanaian citizens are made to determine the choice of who succeeds to the presidency.

Indeed, many of us have always suspected that the leaders of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), led by President John Dramani Mahama, were in cahoots with some of our ECOWAS neighbors to hijack and prejudice our country’s democratic culture. Now it appears we were always on the side of the truth, as painful as this may come to those of us proud of our inviolable Ghanaian identity, dignity and sovereignty. The devious attempt by Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, the General-Secretary of the NDC, to play the tribal/ethnic card expediently against his own Akan ethnic group will not wash. It will not wash because it is patently irrational and politically motivated.

For starters, it was not only the Anlo-Ewe constituency of Ketu South, in the Volta Region, that was forensically examined and exposed by the Bawumia-led team of NPP biometric-technology experts; other predominantly Akan constituencies such as Ga-West, Adenta Municipality, Kpone and Katamanso, all in the Greater-Accra Region, were spotlighted and highlighted. Then also, Nzema-East, Suaman, Amanfi-East and Sekondi were also determined to have Voters’ Registers jam-packed with ineligible voters, largely minors.

Mischievous political operatives like Mr. Asiedu-Nketia, alias General Mosquito, who find it convenient to play the tribal card, had better read what Mr. Chris Bukari Atim’s “Letter of Resignation” addressed to the then-Chairman of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), dated December 3, 1983, in which the former Rawlings cabinet appointee extensively details the intrinsically “Ewe-Duopoly” that was the Rawlings-Tsikata-dominated PNDC and draw their own logical conclusions.

Source: Read more at: http://www.modernghana.com/news/638253/1/investigate-and-punish.html

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Feature: Wedding gifts banned: Blamed for spiritual attacks on marriages

Presenting gifts at a couple’s wedding ceremony is an age-old tradition. For many, the whole idea of a present is to please the couple and make them happy; for others, the main intent is to ‘shower’ the couple with things they may need for their future home.

Ordinarily, some couples may be genuinely hurt that some people who are close to them did not think of them by presenting them with a gift to start their new lives together. It is a common scene to see friends and family shower the newlyweds with confetti while there are tables dedicated at wedding receptions purposely for gifts. But all too soon, this beautiful tradition is gradually giving way to superstition, myths and varied other reasons that make accepting gifts undesirable for many people planning to tie the knot.

The first casualty of these age-old traditions was the showering of confetti on couples as they walk the aisle. It was a common sight to see relatives and friends wipe the faces of the couple with handkerchiefs and sing their praises at they do the first dance or walk the aisle. All that is in the past now as spiritual connotations to such acts have compelled most churches to ban the act. The idea behind the ban was strongly grounded in superstition. It was widely believed that people with ulterior motives could cause harm to the couple through ‘juju’ (black magic).

There are tales of how people with ill motives have spiritually wiped away the joy of the couple’s marriage by a simple act of wiping their faces with a handkerchief.

Now, a second casualty is the presentation of wedding gifts by people who may want to show their love to the couple. Indeed, the emerging trend is that couples now explicitly state on their invitation cards their preference for cash, as opposed to leaving the choice of gifts in the hands of friends and family. And in instances where gifts are allowed, couples direct invited guests to specific shops where they have placed a list of items so that guests go through the list and purchase an item for them. By doing this, the couples are assured of two things: they will receive gifts they so much desire and the quality they want.

Once an item is purchased, it is cancelled from the list to prevent another guest from purchasing the same item. This may seem odd from any perspective but since there is no smoke without fire, Weekend Finder hit town to sample views on why the old order is gradually changing.

Pastor Solomon Palmer, founder and leader of the Charismatic Grace Ministry, at Lapaz says gifts often serve as a convenient point of contact for persons who mean ill to harm many marriages.

“Often during deliverance services, there are revelations to the effect that many of the attacks on people’s marriages are as a result gifts they received on their wedding day”.

A couple who spoke to the Weekend Finder on condition of anonymity , said a day before their wedding, their pastor called to advise them not to take a gift from a particular person as it was meant to destroy the marriage.

The couple narrated that when the gift was eventually presented by the person as described by their pastor earlier, they also gave it out as a gift to someone else. There are also tales of how couples end up childless or face many other challenges due to gifts they were presented with on their wedding day.

These notwithstanding there are other who fervently look forward to those gifts from friends and family.

Are you planning to tie the knot anytime soon, would you accept gifts? Do you have any experience to share on the subject?

Share your story or opinion with us in the comment section.

Source: The Finder

Inside Ghana: Enduring the ‘pain’ of schooling in rural community

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You went to school hoping that one day you would become “somebody” in future.
However, unknown to you as a child is the fact that the ramshackle infrastructure under which you study, could undo that dream.

Such is the situation at some six community basic schools in the Greater Accra, Eastern, Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Northern Regions.

They are: Tupaa MA Basic School, Ga South Municipal Assembly, Accra, Obeng Yaw Basic School, Upper West Akyem District, Eastern Region, Hiawoanwu African Faith Basic School, Ejura Sekyeredumase Municipal and St Joseph’s RC KG Unit School for Special Needs Children, Wawasi-Obuasi all in the Ashanti Region.

The rest are: Banda Ahenkro African Faith Tabernacle School, Banda District in the Brong Ahafo Region and Dimabi DA Kindergarten and Primary School Dimabi-Tolon District of the Northern Region.

The structure at the Banda Ahenkro African Faith Tabernacle School cannot even pass an assessment if they were to be used as a slaughter house let alone they being described as classrooms where tomorrow’s leaders are educated and developed.

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St Joseph’s RC KG Unit School for Special Needs Children

In some instances, the classrooms are abandoned because even the teachers who are better positioned to protect themselves upon sensing danger, no longer feel safe, let alone these little innocent ones.

Where they are fortunate enough to have a roof over a make-shift structure, they struggle for space with animals in search of forage on meadow.

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Banda Ahenkro African Faith Tabernacle School

There is not even electricity connected to the structure you see in the picture above therefore, no need to mention teaching and learning of a major subject like Information Communication Technology (ICT).

It is a wonder how and why pupils from a school as this would be registered to sit for the Basic Education Certificate Examination conducted annually by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and they are expected to compete with their colleagues well-endowed schools in the cities.

Only a droopy blackboard can best be used to separate pupils in various grades. How the teachers manage to keep the attention of pupils is another mystery.

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Apart the structures being death traps, some of them also pose hazard to the health of the little ones as the volumes of dust inhaled from the un-concreted floor enter their system and cause various sicknesses.

Source: Atinkaonline.com

Feature/Opinion Article: The Nursing Canker In Ghana

In recent times, nursing has become the order of the day in Ghana. Arguably about 80% of Young girls who complete senior high schools will opt for nursing against any other profession in Ghana. Not degree nursing but diploma and a government nursing school preferably. As good as it may sound as an indication to the quest for higher education by Ghanaian girls as against the past when most of them settled for vocational apprenticeship, it equally raises eyebrow.

Those who find it difficult to gain admissions into the public nursing schools because they didn’t pass their WASSCE also seek educational asylum in some unaccredited private mushroom nursing schools which have been springing up at a faster rate as fuel filling stations in Ghana. Such students have developed an idea that their only hope to survive in life is nursing. Inasmuch as nursing is a noble profession, the reasons why these students choose diploma nursing over degree nursing leaves much to be desired. In this article I wish to add my voice to this career bandwagon of young girls, the nursing training syndrome.

Most senior high schools leavers especially girls rush into the nursing training institutions such as the Korlebu teaching hospital, Komfo Anokye teaching hospital etc. to purchase the nursing training forms to be trained as professional nurses and midwives mainly because nursing has become the haven for job security and the educational bursary they enjoy but not job satisfaction. It’s no wonder that the professional ethics of nurses have been questioned by patients in Present times. Many attribute the disrespectful attitude of some nurses to frustration on the job.

Corruption has eluded admissions into nursing training schools because of the mad rush for placements in these schools but limited vacancies created by the quota system impose by government on public nursing schools. Also some of these young girls do not pass their final examinations and therefore their parents turn to pay huge amount of money in the form of bribes to compensate some heads of the nursing training institutions in other to secure admissions for their wards. It is interesting to know that fees of public diploma nursing schools have escalated above that of public degree nursing awarding universities.

Interestingly, general arts students are admitted in the public nursing schools whilst their science counterparts are left at bay for reasons only the registrars in these schools can tell.

The trepidation of majority of girls with nursing ambitions has escalated because of the gloomy picture the recent planned demonstration by 2000 unemployed nurses and midwives paints about the future of nursing and its job security. It is no doubt the manner in which trainee nurses fail their licensure exams can be an orchestrated attempt to downsize their numbers so government can absorb them. Moreover there is a debate on the cancellation of their bursaries.

It is about time senior high schools embark on career guidance to educate these young girls on other career opportunities so that most Ghanaian girls will take up equally and even more challenging careers in science, mathematics and engineering. Example, we can’t wait to have as many female pilots and the likes in Ghana.

To this end, I think if the government lay down the necessary policies that will create more job opportunities in the country, it will drastically reduce the rate at which these young girls rush into the nursing training institutions.

Addy Anita-Anapaula

addyanita15@yahoo.com