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Amandla

Volume 10 Issue 12

Founded October 2003 Global African Newspaper Telephone: 973-419-0073 / 973-731-1339

December 15 , 2011

MfantsimanAssociation is Inaugurated in New Jersey By Kwabena Opong Ghanaians of Fante descent in the State of New Jersey have been urged to unite and contribute meaningfully to the development of their home towns in Ghana. This was the major theme of the speeches made at the event. The Mfantsiman Association is the first grouping of Fantes from Ghana in the State of New Jersey. The chairman for the occasion, Dr. Rockson, a dentist in South Orange appealed to members of the association to consider putting together a package aimed at helping people at home. He said that helping the poor and the disadvantaged is not work to be finished in a year, month or weeks, as the case may be. It should be an unending process. Dr. Rockson reminded the audience of the saying by the late President J.F. Kennedy that Fantes should “ask not what their country would do for them and not what their country would do for them.” In his opening statement, the president of the Mfantsiman Association, Samuel Mensah recounted the begin-

nings of the association and their plans for their homeland. He appealed to members to dedicate themselves to the ideals of the association and help in the development efforts of their homeland. Nana Ahor Kakabaah I, a New Jersey resident and a chief and spiritual leader in the Gomoa traditional area in Ghana advised his fellow Fantes to think of home and how to help the needy. He advised unity among the various Fante groups in the area and reminded them of their responsibility to help kin in need. “Children who should be in school are walking the streets because their parents cannot just afford their fees,” he said in Fante. He urged Fantes to come together and pledged his willingness to help the association in the state. The highlight of the night was the arrival of Mr. Beautiful, a comedian and actor in Ghana who was invited to lead the fundraising exercise.He urged the association to emulate the various Ghanaian ethnic associations who have come together to help their people Continued on page 2

Mr. Samuel Mensah, leader of the Mfantsiman Association of New Jersey leads the inaugural dance

Disabled Children in Congo DR remembered in New York By Kwabena Opong

Mr. Roland Pepere Moleka, making a short statement at the event. On his left is Dr. Uchenna Ekwo of CMPI who collaborated in the effort. Also in the photo are some of the organizers

Ojukwu for Burial Feb 2, 2012 Christopher Isiguzo It emerged Sunday, that the remains of the former Biafran warlord and leader of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, who died in a London hospital on November 26, would be laid to rest on February 2, 2012. This is coming on a day the Anglican Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Rev. Emmanuel Chukwumah, declared that the demise of Ojukwu would not bring to an end the struggle for Biafra, urging

Odumegwu Ojukwu

Igbo leaders to rise up without further delay in demanding for their fair share in the country. Also, the leader of the World Ndigbo Youth Council, (WNIC), Chief Ndubuisi Igwekala, said his group would mobilise all Igbo youths both at home and in Diaspora to be part of Ojukwu's burial on February 2, insisting that the late elder statesman fought to give Igbos true identity. Chairman of the South-east Governors' Forum and Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, announced the burial date, while addressing journalists, shortly after a meeting of the forum at the Enugu Government House, Sunday. The governor said all burial activities Continued on page 15

Disabled children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo DR) received the attention of some New Yorkers on Friday, December 2 when they gathered at the St. Peter’s Church in Midtown Manhattan to raise funds for their welfare. Congo DR has for a long time been blighted by the incidence of wars, and in some places, particularly the eastern part of the country bordering Rwanda, the natural calamity of a volcano which erupted a few years ago devastating the area and

displacing a number of people. The event, which attracted people from various walks of life is the brainchild of Roland Pepere Moleka, a native of Congo DR who lives in New York. Mr. Moleka, in a short address, spoke about his personal convictions about the issue of children’s disability and his dedication to their cause. He believed it was a cause worth donating for. Speaking at the event, Ms. Ugoji Nze, a human and women’s rights activist and a lawyer justified the need to Continued on page 2

Merry Christmas to our readers

Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Hanukkah

Amandla wishes our readers and the community Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa and a Happy ew Year. We appreciate your sincere patronage.


Amandla Vol. 10 Issue 12 Dec. 15

Editorial Ghana must not burn Ghana’s current political climate is a time bomb on a short fuse. Every indices points to a clear and imminent danger during the December 7, 2012 parliamentarian and presidential general elections. How and when did Ghana, supposedly a peaceful country, descend this low? Never in the recent history of the 54 -year old country have flammable insults, loose talk, and irresponsible accusations described relations among political parties, particularly the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Until the parties cease fire the venom traded between them will not augur well for peace in the country. The onus is on the current government to ensure that Ghana does not burn. And President John Atta Mills has promised that Ghana would not burn. Unfortunately, we cannot rely on the president’s promise, if current trends are anything to go by. So far President Mills, the self-professed asomdweehene (king of peace) has not been able to contain foot soldiers who earlier in his administration seized toilets and government offices. In the meantime, none of his appointees who spew forth venom against their political opponents has been reined in. We believe the president should rein in his indisciplined officials. In a country where illiteracy is high, politicians seize on statements and utterings (contextual or otherwise) that emanate from opponents, sanitize the information to suit their parochial interests and throw them unto an emotional and sensitive electorate. It is a universally acknowledged fact that political opponents do not share the same ideas most of the time. In Ghana, however, not sharing the same political views translates into enmity. Back when the president was the opposition leader, he warned that Ghana would turn into Kenya should the ruling NPP government attempt to rig the 2008 elections. The leader of the opposition NPP earlier this year entreated his supporters to fight to death if need be, to prevent being cheated, hence the “all die be die” war cry. The NPP has conceived the idea that it would win the elections come December 2012. The President has said that he would hand over power in 2017 yet in his recent meeting with the General Secretary of the U.N. President Mills was alleged to have claimed that he has no inordinate desire to be Ghana’s President by any means possible. President Evans John Atta Fifi Mills must act, and act now! He needs to put structures in place to exhaust any electoral excuses the NPP or any other opposition party for that matter, might have should it (the opposition) lose the elections. It is under this premise that we call on the government of Ghana to ensure that the Electoral Commission is well-funded to carry out its biometric registration and verification (and maybe e-voting in future). We impress on the Electoral Commission not rush to introduce electronic voting if there are doubts with the available equipment. It could study tried and tested systems in countries like Nigeria, India, and South Africa and come out with optimized technology that would leave no room for doubting thomases to speculate or complain. The confidence in the E.C. by the public must remain solid and unflinching. Anything less is a recipe and/or excuse for chaos. We therefore hope and pray the E. C. would continue its good work thus far without fear, favor, and/or intimidation. To a very large extent sustainable peace in Ghana depends on Dr. Afari Gyan and his Electoral Commission, more so than President Mills and his government. We don’t want to see Ghana going the way of post election Ivory Coast, burn like Kenya or explode like Rwanda (threat from the NPP) or “power of the people” (the Arab Spring). Posterity would never forgive any government under whose watch Ghana would be thrown into ANY of the above. The nonsense must stop.

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Community News Mfantsiman Association Inaugurated in New Jersey Contd. from front page at home. He lamented that Fantes are not as forthcoming as other ethnic groups in contributing to the development of their hometowns and urged them to change that attitude. Among the invited guests were Nana Kweku Mensah, chief of the Fante community in Staten Island, Nana Otwuwaa, a queen mother from the Fante traditional area in Ghana and leaders of the various associations in the Ghanaian community. Fantes occupy most of the Central Region of Ghana with its capital at Cape Coast, an ancient town that used to be a trading post between the people of the Gold Coast and Europe. Cape Coast and nearby Elmina are known also for their castles that served as the repository of slaves that were carted from the interior of the Gold Coast. Fantes are Akans and share the same cultural practices and traditions like other Akan groups as Ashantis and Akyems. Historically, Fantes are believed to have migrated to the coast from the Techiman area in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana. Cape Coast is the home to Ghana’s first university of education and such famous schools as Mfantsipim School, Adisadel, Wesley Girls High School and St. Augustines. Some of the schools were established in the 19th century.

Disabled Children in Congo DR remembered in New York Contd. from front page raise funds for the children in that part of the world. She added that it is also pertinent to realize the plight of children in similar circumstances in countries which are afflicted by wars and civil strife. Disabled children, unfortunately are the first to be ignored and/or suffer the dire ef-

fects of war and pestilence, she added. A health and human rights activist, Medi Ssengooba, a Finberg fellow and lawyer spoke about his life as a disabled person in his native Uganda. He recalled the lack of interest showed by the school authorities, even though he was a brilliant student. Mr. Ssengooba bemoaned the total disregard for the care for the disabled even by the authorities. It is not rare to find schools among several public places in Africa where no provision is made for the disabled. Disability is considered a condemnation to a life of helplessness in Africa. In a short conversation with Amandla, the human rights lawyer admitted that even though such conditions as autism are a disability, most victims are confined to mental institutions, mostly because, autism is not wellunderstood. He agreed with Amandla that such medical specializations as psychiatry are rare in Africa because of the stigma attached to mental health. Families do not believe mental health is a medical requirement and so the practice of psychiatry is not beneficial. Other speakers included Wale Ajibade of African Views and Dr. Uchenna Ekwo of the Center for Media and Peace Initiative. Not even the grievousness of disability in children would dampen the spirits of the audience that night. Artistic performances enlivened the gathering with renditions from Isaac Kataly, a Congolese musician. Ms. Mari Claude Mukamabano, genocide survivor and an accomplished dancer in her own right performed a dance she calls the African mother. The final event of the day was a dance that attracted all the disabled persons in wheel chairs to the floor.

pong, when the dean recently visited the US on a working visit to Fordham University. Speaking to AGLA members in an informal setting, Dean Sarpong commended AGLA for its efforts at linking back to the Ghanaian legal community, and to the country. Dean Sarpong encouraged AGLA to participate more actively in the development of legal education in Ghana. Among other issues, the group discussed how to inculcate practical legal skills into the curriculum of Ghana Law School through pro bono work. Such an innovation will enhance students’ practical skills by the time they graduate law school and also provide essential needed legal representation to indigents. Referring to discussions AGLA held with former Attorney General, Betty Mould-Iddrisu, on her visit to the US last year regarding the backlog of cases involving remanded prisoners without the benefit of a trial or proceedings, AGLA president Kwaku Boafoh Agyeman, stated that with some supervision, law students can be a great resource for legal representation. Mr. Agyeman suggested that, in addition, law firms in Ghana could be prevailed upon to provide mandatory pro bono services to those who cannot afford legal representation. The group also discussed with Dean Sarpong ways in which AGLA can help to infuse technology into legal education in Ghana. Victor Essien, professor of law at Fordham Law School in New York, and a frequent

visiting professor to Ghana, commended Dean Sarpong for his remarkable leadership at the Ghana Law School. “We are particularly proud to hear of the new alumni association of Ghana Law School and, as AGLA members, we will assist your efforts to coalesce the resources of all alumni everywhere,” said Professor Essien. AGLA members also suggested that, in the future, professors who teach the post-call program in Ghana may consider providing instruction to AGLA members in the United States toward licensure in Ghana. Dean Sarpong promised to take these issues back to the appropriate bodies for further discussion. He charged AGLA to improve its presence in the legal community in Ghana and thanked members for their involvement in Ghana’s development in various ways. Dean Sarpong also visited with the newly-formed AGLA chapter in the Maryland, Virginia and DC metro area under the leadership of chapter president, Kwaku D. Ofori where similar pertinent collaborative legal issues were discussed.

The green twig is easily bent - a Turkish saying

Correction

Association of Ghanaian Lawyers of America meets Dean of Ghana Law School Members of the Association of Ghanaian Lawyers of America (AGLA) met with the dean of Ghana Law School, George Sar-

Our attention has been drawn to the erroneous caption of the picture above during the African Day Parade in Harlem this year. The man on stilts was part of the Gambian contingent and not the Ivorian as we wrote. Amanda sincerely apologizes for the mistake.

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Nigeria, anti-gay law and foreign aid By Amanze Obi Last week, the Senate went all out to consign gay relationship to the pit of infamy when it passed the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill. But the Upper legislative chamber did not stop at prohibiting the practice, it prescribed harsh punishments for those who engage in it. According to the report of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters which the upper chamber adopted, persons who enter into same sex marriage contract or civil union commit an offence and are liable on conviction to a term of 14 years imprisonment. The bill also imposes a jail term of 10 years on any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organizations or makes public show of amorous same sex relationships. Ordinarily, you would think that laws made in Nigeria by its lawmakers are for the good governance and welfare of the people. They are supposed to be for the consumption of Nigerian citizens. But that is hardly the case under the present circumstance. The government of Britain has taken more than a cursory interest in Nigeria’s anti-gay law. Before the Senate took the bold step last Tuesday, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, had warned that countries that refused to recognize the rights of the sexuality of some people would be sanctioned. He said his country would consider withholding aid from countries that do not recognize gay rights. Upon the passage of the bill last week, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Andrew Lloyd, rose against the action of the Senate and de-

clared that Britain and other western countries would not tolerate any law that prescribes punishment for gays. He said punishment amounts to an infringement of their fundamental human rights, an action he said the western countries would not condone. The interest of the British government in this matter is really strange. Its pronouncement that it would withhold aid from countries that do not recognize gay rights is much more so. One is constrained to ask whether the law is for Nigerians or for British citizens or nationals of western countries. Why is Britain so concerned about this matter? What does the country stand to gain by seeking to impose its ways on Nigeria? Is this neo-colonial tendency a betrayal of Britain’s subtle or surreptitious hold on Nigeria’s affairs? The position of London is not only an arm-twisting tactic, it is of a clear act of blackmail whose objective is to whip non-conforming countries into line. No doubt, developing countries such as Nigeria are in dire need of foreign aid. We depend on such aids and grants for the implementation of a number of development programmes. It will therefore be scary to mention that Nigeria or any other third world country for that matter would lose foreign aid on account of an issue that has to do with the pleasures of the flesh. If the scenario being painted is subjected to debate or analysis, many are bound to beat a quick retreat out of their anti-gay posturing when it is weighed against foreign aid. In fact, many will be tempted to say that Nigeria should look the other way while gay affairs take a pride of place. However, it is matters that have to do with stick and carrot that expose the true faith or

worth of men, institutions or governments. Those who do not have the courage of their convictions are likely to jump ship the moment certain carrots are dangled at them. They are likely to abandon their original position and flow with the tide of inducement. In this matter, it is significant to note that the Senate has stood on the side of what we as a people cherish and value. The President of the Senate, David Mark, was unequivocal about it. He said during the debate on the bill that our values are sacrosanct and that any country that wants to withhold its aid and assistance on account of our principled stand on issues of culture and values was free to do so. That is the point. As a country or a people, we must defend our mode of seeing and knowing. This is essentially embedded in our culture, and it is our culture that defines our essences. To sacrifice this on the altar of foreign aid is to diminish ourselves and abandon who we are. Human rights as being alluded to by Britain makes sense. But the right in question is not inalienable. It is not one of those rights that mankind cannot do without. They are invented or contrived rights which cannot take precedence over a people’s essence or time-honored values. If issues of human rights must make sense, they must be viewed from the lenses of time and space. Our epoch in Nigeria does not, as yet, permit such luxuries. It looks and sounds abhorrent in our environment. These contradictions necessarily vitiate whatever right anybody many lay claim to. The Senate of the Federal Republic is therefore right in the position it has taken. Nigeria should refuse to be swayed by self-serving arguments such as the ones emanating from Britain.

Ghana Second Dirtiest Country in West Africa

ad nt s i th scou 2 g n di 01 i Br 10% n. 2 a for till J

GHANA HAS been ranked among the most unsanitary countries in the world due to stinking filth in the capital, Accra and other parts of the country, according to information provided by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Asokwa, Maxwell Kofi Jumah. Contributing to the debate on President Atta Mills’ 2012 budget statement and economic policy, the Asokwa MP quoted what he indicated were rankings by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), pointing out the two international bodies recently ranked Ghana the fourth most unsanitary country in Africa, out of 52 nations judged, and second dirtiest out of 15 West African countries. Mr. Jumah, a former Chief Executive of Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), said the country had been ranked so because the Mills administration had failed to fulfill its campaign promise to rid Accra and other the cities of filth.

A typical garbage dump in Ghana’s capital, Accra The former KMA boss, who is also the Deputy Ranking Member for the Select Committee on Local Government and Rural Development, stated that three years after the Mills administration promised to get rid of filth in Accra, there was still stinking garbage all over the place. According to him, the sanitation situation was so appalling that the Supreme Court had to order Accra Metropolitan Assembly to put up more public toilets. Mr. Kofi Jumah entreated President Mills to declare a state of emergency on sanitation rather than chasing phantom enemies with vile threats. “Instead of declaring red alerts to ghost enemies and instead of daring political opponents, His Excel-

lency Prof. Mills, should declare a national emergency on sanitation in Ghana,” he challenged president Mills. Touching on other issues in the 2012 budget, which he described as ‘Dayie budget’ (Rest In Peace Budget), Mr. Kofi Jumah slammed President Mills for failing to honor promises he made two years ago, to support MPs to effectively perform their parliamentary duties. “I believe my colleague MPs are still waiting for the implementation of the MPs Development Fund and the constituency offices promised us two years ago. Just like other promises, these announcements excited all of us only to disappear in thin air,” the Asokwa MP said. gna


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African News Minerals Commission Confirms Discovery of Gold at Elmina Ghana’s Minerals Commission has confirmed the discovery of gold at the Elmina Beach in the Central Region which has attracted thousands of people to the area to prospect for the mineral. Even though authorities of the commission contend that the ounces which have been discovered so far are not in large quantities, illegal miners (galamsey operators) continue to inundate the area with the hope of making a fortune. After conducting research, the geologists who had been dispatched to Elmina on Wednesday to verify the authenticity of the mineral find presented their report to the commission, whose Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Benjamin N.A. Aryee, stated that further investigations would be conducted into the source of the mineral. At a news conference in Accra Thursday to respond to recent developments in the small-scale mining sub-sector, Mr. Aryee warned of disastrous consequences for Elmina and other towns in the country that were home to illegal miners if the activities of illegal miners did not stop. He stressed that the current situation at Elmina posed a threat to the Elmina Castle, the lagoon and the sea because the galamsey operators had turned the area into a beehive of activities. Portuguese traders, led by Fernao Gomes, arrived in Elmina in 1471 and on arrival Gomes found a thriving gold trade already established between the local people and the Arab Berber tribes. Gomes established his trading post and it became known to the Portuguese as ‘A Mina’, meaning ‘the mine’ because of the gold that could be found there.

Mr. Aryee cautioned that the embankment of the sea which the illegal miners were operating could be seriously eroded, with its attendant health and environmental implications. He said it was instructive to note that by Article 257(6) of the Constitution, every mineral in its natural state was by law vested in the President on behalf of the people of Ghana. Therefore, he said, before any mineral could be explored or mined, the individual or company had to acquire a license from the ministry responsible for mining and an environmental permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, the possible impact of the current operations includes shoreline degradation, exposing the land to sea invasion of the surrounding communities, and fishing, which is the main livelihood activity of these communities, will be threatened. As a way forward, Mr. Aryee said there was the need to urgently dialogue with all stakeholders to understand the impact of their operations on the environment and the community at large as a way of managing the activity. The Minerals Commission, at a recent validation workshop to brainstorm, made recommendations to be incorporated in its master plan on how to minimize the impact of galamsey operations. Meanwhile, galamsey operators at the Elmina Beach have been asked to suspend their activities for a three-day period to enable the Edina Traditional Council, the Central Regional Police Command and the Minerals Commission to fashion out an acceptable mode of mining for the benefit of all. They have also been asked to maintain

Illegal miners actively searching for gold at the Elmina Beach peace and order within the period in their own interest and in the interest of all stakeholders. The Omanhen of the Edina Traditional Area, Nana Kodwo Conduah VI, gave the advice when he addressed a section of the operators who hit the streets of Elmina yesterday morning in protest against a directive from the Minerals Commission to bar them from engaging in illegal gold mining at the beach. Following the discovery of gold along the beach about a week ago, a large number of people have thronged the area to prospect for the precious mineral. The Minerals Commission, which visited the area and was said to have

taken samples of the sand for tests to ascertain the claims of the gold find, was reported to have asked the operators to stop their activities while it carried out the tests. Nana Conduah said he was meeting with officials of the Minerals Commission and the Central Regional Police Command to discuss all the issues. He said it would be in the interest of all stakeholders to maintain the peace, law and order while discussions were held for the way forward. He expressed the hope that a favorable decision would be arrived at to calm the nerves of the operators for their sustained livelihoods. Nana Conduah said since the gold find

was a resource that was vested in the state, there was the need to take the necessary steps to streamline the operations of the illegal miners to make them sustainable. He said the police would undertake snap patrols of the area to ensure compliance. A spokesman for the prospectors, Mr. Paul Richmond Hayford, promised, on behalf of his colleagues, to abide by the advice and expressed the hope that the meeting would arrive at a decision that would enable them to go about their activities and create wealth for themselves and the community. gna

Confusion in Nkrumah’s party, gold rush, 'witches' played up in Ghana media A huge confusion in the party of Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, a gold rush in the coastal town of Elmina and tussle between the authorities and “witches” over plans to close down a “witches’ home” dominated the media in Ghana this week. The Convention People’s Party (CPP) is now led by Nkrumah’s daughter, Samia, whose assumption of the position after elections recently is seen as a big boost to reverse the fledgling fortunes of the party that dominated Ghana at independence in 1957 until 1966 when Nkrumah was ousted. An off-shoot of the CPP, the People’s National Party, won the 1979 election and ruled Ghana until the 31 December, 1981, coup. But its popularity has slumped with many other proNkrumah parties claiming his legacy. “CPP will not be stampeded into early congress”, was the headline of the state-owned Graphic as demands for a congress this year to elect a flag bearer to contest the December 2012 polls have brought to the fore deep cracks that are threatening to sink the party. The story in the Graphic said the Chairperson of the party, Ms. Samia Yaba Nkrumah, had declared that the Party (CPP) would not be forced to hold an early congress to elect a presidential candidate. According to the party’s Chairperson, the decision was to ensure that the party did not repeat its poor showing at the 2008 presidential and general elections when it won less than 2% of the votes. “We will not be stampeded into taking actions that do not advance the interests of the party,’’ she told reporters. Samia Nkrumah said the party would not tolerate any ’’negative campaign’’ from Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, the party’s aspiring flag bearer, in what she claimed were attempts to lure a minority of the National Executive Committee to force its national congress.

CPP Chairperson Samia Yaaba Nkrumah The state-owned Ghanaian Times headline said “CPP leadership furious with Dr. Kwesi Nduom”. According to the story, the leadership of the CPP said it was elected to advance strategies that would make the party a credible political force and would therefore not be stampeded into taking actions that would not advance the interest of the party. Samia said calculated attempts were being made to discredit the new leadership of the party. “Prominent among these is the call by one section of the party, led by Paa Kwesi Nduom, our former flag bearer, for us to hold congress to elect our presidential candidate before the end of the year,” she said. But Samia’s younger brother, Sekou, has descended heavily on her with the pro-opposition Daily Guide carrying the story under the headline “Sekou slams Samia.” The story said Sekou Nkrumah, son of Ghana’s first president, appears to have jumped to the defense of Dr. Nduom who faces expulsion from the CPC, blaming his sister, Samia

Paa Kwesi Nduom, immediate past CPP flagbearer

Nkrumah’s “immaturity” for her recent confrontation with Dr. Nduom. According to Sekou, some people in the CPP were capitalizing on Samia’s political immaturity to promote their selfish agenda, saying that her criticism of Nduom was too harsh. “He said his sister hit below the belt when she described Dr. Nduom’s behavior as 'nonsense'.” “I’ll sympathize with Dr. Nduom because he has made his intent to run for president. It looks like the party chair is taking sides. Her position to single out Dr. Nduom as somebody who is trying to create problem is most unfortunate,” he added. The party eventually held a Central Committee meeting to announce a timetable for election of the presidential candidates from 4-27 January, 2012. Nduom then called for “ceasefire in the CPP”, saying time will tell whether there will be a ceasefire. The sudden discovery of gold on the beaches of Elmina in the Central Region attracted huge media coverage.

“Galamsey (illegal mining) at Elmina,” was the headline of the stateowned Graphic. It said illegal mining activities had now moved from the forest belt, where mining operations had been carried out for years, to the coast. The Graphic said for the past few weeks, most of the youth at Elmina had been washing the sand at the beach looking for gold. The residents said they had been making good money and would resist attempts to stop them, especially as environmentalists are complaining that their activities were creating problems such as land degradation and poisoning of the sea through the use of mercury and other chemicals. Fishermen have also abandoned fishing to join the illegal mining business which they say gives them more money than fishing. “School children have not been left out as some have also joined the rush for gold on the beach in their school uniform,” the Graphic said. The Geological Survey Department has said the area is not known to have

gold and that the precious mineral was probably carried to the coast from up country by a river. “It’s gold – Minerals Commission confirms Elmina find,” was the headline in the Graphic. It said the Commission had confirmed the discovery of gold at the Elmina Beach, which had attracted thousands of people to the area. It said even though the Commission contended that the quantity was not much, the illegal miners continued to inundate the area with the hope of making a fortune. The residents staged a demonstration to protest against the directive from the Minerals Commission to stop their illegal mining. The Ghanaian Times said 'Witches say ‘no’ to ministry's offer” with the story saying some inmates of witch camps in the Northern Region had kicked against the calls for the camps to be disbanded. Techina Mutaru of the Gambaga Witches Camp, who stated the position of the inmates, said they felt safer and more secure in the camps than living in their original communities. According to her, some of them would lose their lives if they were reintegrated into their communities without a proper education and orientation for the community members. Techina, vice president of the Alleged Witches Coalition, was speaking at the opening of a two-day conference organized by Action Aid-Ghana in collaboration with a local NGO, Songtaaba, to discuss issues affecting the alleged witches. The Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs, in concert with some NGOs, has been calling for the closure of witches camps in the country, but Madam Techina advised that the matter be treated with care and diplomacy. She said though they would have wished to go back to their communities, but the environment was not safe for them to be reintegrated now. Source: PANA


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Africa Defies world economic crisis says MDG Report. Doing better than expected This year’s annual report, Assessing Progress in Africa towards the Millennium Development Goals” (MDGs), shows that Africa continues to forge ahead on the MDGs, despite world economic crisis. Africa has increased its primary school enrollment rates from 65 percent in 1999 to 83 percent in 2008; eighty percent of the 36 African countries that have data for 1990 to 2010 increased the number of woman in parliament over that period; and HIV/AIDS prevalence rates have decreased from 5.9 percent in 2001 to five percent in 2009. However, many goals are a cause for concern. The food, fuel, and financial crises, coupled with the recent instability in North Africa in 2011, are adding to the challenges. For instance, Africa faces a formidable challenge in reducing maternal mortality. While all regions made progress on this indicator, the rate remains exceedingly high and tops 1,000 deaths per 100,000 in several countries. More than half the pregnant women deliver without skilled assistance. Sanitation is still a struggle in most countries, especially for the rural population; only one-third of this segment has access to improved sanitation.

Youth unemployment is another area of concern. More that 20 percent of youths in North Africa remained unemployed in 2008, while 75.8 percent of the labor force in Sub-Saharan Africa had vulnerable jobs in 2009. Social Protection and the MDGs According to the report, African countries should target the poor through social policies aimed at offsetting the effects of the global economic crisis, conflict and natural disasters. Social protection mechanisms in Africa have assumed various forms, including free provision of tax-funded national health services, voucher instruments; cash transfer schemes, and contribution- based systems such as social health insurance. These interventions can help to correct market failure; even out consumption; build productive assets and human capital; and advance social justice and cohesion. Country Studies Well-targeted and efficiently-managed social protection in several African countries has generally had a positive impact on the MDGs. • Algeria’s social protection scheme has contributed to reducing unemployment from 30% in 2000, to

15.3% and 10.2% in 2005 and 2009 respectively. • In Ethiopia, between 2005 and 2008, public works project led to the construction of 4,494 classrooms in rural communities, 2.1 million kilometers of stone embankments to prevent soil erosion and improved food security for 7.8 million citizens. • Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme, covering 67% of the population has reduced out-of-pocket expenditure for health by 50% and enhanced access to health services, improving infant and maternal health. • In Malawi, agricultural subsidies and extension services have resulted n a substantial increase in the number of food secure households, from 67 percent in 2005 to 99 percent in 2009 but it has also increased school enrollment by 5 percentage points among children aged 6-17. • The implementation of a universal social pension in Mauritius is contributing to the low poverty rate in the country. For instance, the poverty rate for older people living with more than one younger person was 30 percent lower than it would have been without the universal pension. • Namibia’s old age pension and cash transfer schemes have con-

tributed to reducing the poverty incidence by 4.3 percent, in addition to increasing primary school enrollment, empowering women and preventing diseases. Over the past decade, Africa has experienced rapid economic growth which began to generate social dividends. Yet the continent is still prone to shocks, requiring urgent social responses. Social protection that addresses the needs of the most vulnerable and protects them from relapsing into poverty can make a strong impact on several MDGs. The report urges policymakers to re-calibrate their social protection programs, so that they are perceived not as hand-outs but as measures to strengthen productive assets. These perspectives are timely in light of the impact of the food, fuel, and financial crises. The role of the state in designing innovative and fiscally sustainable social protection programs is more vital than ever before. About the Report “Assessing Progress in Africa Toward the Millennium development Goals” continues the tradition of collaboration among the Pan African institutions –the African Union Commission (AUC), the UnitedNa-

tions Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and theUnited Nation Development Programme (UNDP). It provides the latest update on Africa’s progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and examines the issues that are key to achieving the goals. For more information, please visit: www.undp.org/africa/mdg. About the MDGs The MDGs are eight internationallyagreed targets to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, disease, gender inequality and environmental degradation by 2015. They include: Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education; Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women; Goal 4: Reduce child mortality; Goal 5: Improve maternal health; Goal 6: Combat HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseases; Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability; Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development. --IPI

Nigeria: The Country Imports Fuel From Cote d'Ivoire - - NNPC GMD Juliet Alohan And Uchenna Awom The group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Austin Oniwon, has revealed that Nigeria imports refined petroleum products from neighboring Cote d'Ivoire as well as from Holland and England. Oniwon disclosed this yesterday when he and the executive secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr. Reginald Elijah, appeared before the public hearing of the Senate joint committee probing the N1.3trillion fuel subsidy. Oniwon told the stunned Senate committee that out of the 445, 000 barrels allocated to the NNPC daily, the corporation could only refine 170, 000 barrels per day at the two functional refineries in Port Harcourt and Kaduna, while 60, 000 bpd is sent to

Zimbabwe: Local Diamond Groups Added to U.S 'Sanctions' List Alex Bell The US has added two diamond mining firms operating at Chiadzwa to its list of targeted sanctions, which remain in place against Robert Mugabe and key figures and companies of his regime. The US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) updated its 'specially designated nationals list' to include Mbada Diamonds and Marange Resources, which are both joint venture groups with the Stateowned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC). The ZMDC is already on the 'sanctions' list, meaning legally no US company or individual is allowed to do business with it. This update of the sanctions list follows the recent decision by the diamond trade watchdog group, the Kimberley Process (KP), to give diamond exports from Chiadzwa the green light, despite reports of human rights abuses there. There are also claims that the proceeds from diamond sales could be used to shore up the Mugabe regime, with top ZANU PF officials said to be the primary beneficiaries of the mining firms. These concerns had originally left the KP deadlocked for more than two

SIR Company in Cote d'Ivoire which has an installed capacity of 80, 000bpd. He further informed the lawmakers that another 90, 000 bpd is swapped for refining by Duke Refinery, an overseas subsidiary that is wholly owned by the NNPC, and another 60, 000 bpd is refined at the United Kingdom-based refinery, Travigora Refinery. Elijah also confirmed that refined petroleum products were imported from Cote d'Ivoire and Holland at N140 per liter as against locally refined products at N128.13 per liter. The PPPRA added that the federal government paid N75 as subsidy per liter of fuel imported into the country, saying imports came from Cote d'Ivoire and Holland. He added that the PPPRA did not provide security at private tank farms

where imported petroleum products for which the government has paid subsidy are stored. But the NNPC yesterday failed to account for 65,000 barrels out of the 448,000 barrels allocated to it daily to be refined for domestic consumption. Oninwon was, however, unable to account or give vivid details for the balance of 65, 000 bpd out of the total barrels of crude oil allocated to the corporation. Nonetheless, he denied allegations that unnamed private companies benefit from the allocation to the corporation. According to him, between 2006 and August 2011, the NNPC received N2.157 trillion as subsidy on petroleum products with N220 billion outstanding payment for subsidy on kerosene. "Subsidy by implication is very easy to abuse because you're carrying the risk

on behalf of others and as a policy, it's not good for the economy," he said while justifying the removal of subsidy on fuel. Cote d'Ivoire refinery is situated in the commercial capital, Abidjan, and has the capacity to process about 80,000 barrels of crude a day. The plant is currently operating at a rate of 25,000 to 30,000 barrels and is fast depleting its stockpiled crude. Cote d'Ivoire has a 28 per cent stake in the refinery, while Burkina Faso's government holds 5 percent. Total SA owns another 25 per cent and Sonangol SA, Angola's state-owned oil company, has 20 per cent. Meanwhile, for the second time in less than a month, residents of the Federal Capital Territory are faced with the discomfort of waiting hours on queues to purchase fuel. The long fuel queues, which re-sur-

faced yesterday, has already forced the price of the product above the official selling price of N65 a liter in some filling stations across Abuja. As would also be expected, illegal vendors popularly referred to as black marketers have taken over most filling stations and other strategic places in Abuja to make brisk business. At the Total and Conoil filling stations opposite the NNPC Towers in Central Area, Abuja, long fuel queues were noticed, even as the black marketers seized the opportunity to make quick money. As at the time of filling this report, the immediate cause of the queues could not be ascertained. However, the NNPC spokesman, Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, has repeatedly assured of ample supply of the product, noting that the scarcity was artificially induced.--Leadership/allAfrica.com

years over how to deal with Zimbabwe, which came under pressure to fall in line with the minimum standards of the industry. But despite these standards still not being met, the KP has since appeared to bow to pressure from Zim supporters by allowing trade to resume. It is for this reason that international rights group Global Witness, last week pulled out of the civil society wing of the KP. The group said last Monday that the KP's "refusal to evolve and address the clear links between diamonds, violence and tyranny has rendered it increasingly outdated." SW Radio Africa./(allAfrica.com

ing the program to help several thousand Liberian youth living in the poorest communities. The youth empowerment initiatives are expected to target densely populated communities in Montserrado including West Point, New Kru Town, Red-light, Clara Town, Gardnerville, as well as communities in Grand Bassa, Bong County and Lofa counties. Beneficiaries of the program will benefit from a wide range or projects including various vocational training initiatives, workshops on small business development, employment, and small business loans. Dr. Weeks hinted that this was the first stage of a multi-staged initiative that will ultimately target at least 10,000 young people in the first year. In phase two of the program, several hundred of young Liberians will receive microloans to help them start new businesses or expand existing ones. Weeks say that his organization will invest at least US$500,000 in a major micro-loan initiative for young people across the country. He noted: "While our heavy concentration and dedication of resources will remain in Montserrado because of its high density of young people, we also intend to invest resources in empowering youths across the country. Youth Action International is a US based organization, started by Kimmie Weeks in 2005. The organization has worked in five African countries including Burundi, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and Uganda. Youth Action International has a mission to provide education, health care and eco-

nomic empowerment for children and young people. Since its establishment, YAI has invested close to US$2 million in programs that have benefited over 150,000 young people in West and East Africa.

ployed to lower costs of health care, while opening up new modalities for patient treatment and welfare. We will need to deploy ICT to increase accessibility to health care especially for those that are vulnerable or in the remote areas that are mostly in need of health care. "Equally paramount is to ensure that we deploy ICT to improve the quality of health care delivery. The time is very much ripe to have Electronic Medical Record system in all Federal Health institutions," he added Areas where ICT could be of help in the health sector to include leadership and governance, health service delivery, human resources for health, financing for health, national health management information system, community participation and ownership, partnerships for health and research for health. In the view of Country Director, WHO, David Okello, "The role of ICT is integral to achieve the national need as functional health information systems depend on harmonised and interoperable data elements and appropriate use of ICTs." -- Vanguard

Liberia: U.S.$200,000 Empowerment Program for Youth Announced The Executive Director of Youth Action International, Dr. Kimmie Weeks, has announced a new program that will invest L$14 million (US$200,000) in the next six months on major vocational training and youth economic empowerment programs in Liberia. Making the announcement, Kimmie Weeks said that Youth Action International in partnership with the Alabaster Foundation, the Burt Family Foundation and Chevron-Liberia was launch-

allAfrica.com

Nigeria: ICT to Reduce Healthcare Costs Victoria Ojeme The Federal Ministry of Health is partnering with the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology towards making the health sector to be Information Communication Technology (ICT) driven to boost health care and make it more accessible to Nigerians. Declaring open a National Conference on ICT in Health in Abuja last week, Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu noted that the present traditional health care delivery system in Nigeria has the challenge of increasing costs. "Our traditional ways of doing things can no longer be accepted. There is need to find innovative ways to bring down costs in the health care delivery. Whereas the traditional systems of health care delivery has been known over the years to be tainted with increasing costs with Primary Health Care. "ICT has potential if properly de-

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Amandla Vol. 10 Issue 12 Dec. 15

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Op-ed Herman Cain and the Midnight Train to Georgia By U.K. Uwadinobi The Cain train to Washington D.C., with scheduled stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and the rest of the Caucus states, was heavily rocked by sex scandal allegations, the latest of which finally derailed it and caused Mr. Cain to be summoned home by his wife Gloria for explanation. He caught the midnight train to Georgia. Imagine this conversation between Herman Cain and his wife when he got to Atlanta. HC: (Hands stretched to hug his wife who met him at the door with a rueful smile) I know, I know, Gloria that I asked you to forgive me for all those sexual harassment allegations and to come out before the press and do for me what Hillary Clinton did for her husband Bill Clinton when he ran for President. GC: Yeah, Herman, I know, but the latest allegation to which you have admitted giving money behind my back to another woman? I don’t care what kind of help it was, Herman. C’mon, don’t you know me after 43 years? HC: I know, I know… Gloria listen to me, here’s the deal, I want you to look at it this way: look at the political odometer reading of the Herman Cain train, we’ve gone from zero (I mean ZERO) to 99.9 per cent name recognition in America. That’s why I came up with Plan B: The Cain Solution dot com. You get my point? “Have we been duped, dumped, used or taken for a ride?” That is the $999 question on the lips of many Herman Cain supporters, who got on board the Cain train in the Republican nomination race for the 2012 presidential election before it got derailed by swirling winds of multiple sex scandal allegations against the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO many believed would win the Republican nomination. Until the Cain train derailed, Mr. Cain’s supporters and donors were so confident and dismissive of the charges against him that the financial contributions to his campaign grew even as the sexual harassment accusations dominated the media. Then came “the last straw that broke the camel’s back for me,” lamented

Michael Savage, nationally syndicated radio talk show host of the Savage Nation, who was arguably Mr. Cain’s most ardent supporter until he heard Herman Cain allegedly concede to giving money repeatedly over a thirteenyear extra-marital affair to the latest accuser--Atlanta businesswoman Ginger White--without the knowledge of Mr. Cain’s wife Gloria. On his radio show, Savage passionately unleashed a daily barrage of disparaging commentary about the accusations characterizing them as “high-tech lynching” of a highly successful businessman and conservative African American Republican presidential candidate. He went further. Evoking the sentiments of outrage that similarly filled the air in the country nearly two decades ago, Michael Savage railed that the accusations against Herman Cain were reminiscent of the Anita Hill sexual harassment charge against then Supreme Court nominee Judge Clarence Thomas, who nearly lost his chance of becoming the second African-American jurist in US history to serve on the nation’s highest court. “Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me,” Savage used the idiomatic expression to describe to his audience how he had been savagely hurt and let down by Herman Cain and his self-inflicted political tragedy. From the onset Herman Cain’s critics, including ironically some in the Republican establishment, have been dismissive of his candidacy as not a serious pursuit of the oval office. Other critics with more scathing assessment have posited all along that his run for the Republican nomination was a charade designed as cash generating publicity stunt to gain name recognition, increase book sales and land lucrative deals in speaking fees on the lecture circuit. It would appear that no where was the speculation by Herman Cain’s harshest critics of a campaign assembled for pecuniary interests made more evident than in his major announcement last Saturday afternoon in Atlanta, Georgia, in which he effectively called off his bid for the presidency and offered a substitute he branded as his Plan B: The Cain Solution dot com. “Today with a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign,” Mr. Cain told a sizeable crowd

WHY DON’T THEY LIKE HIM? TOO PLASTIC

of supporters who’d anxiously waited for almost an hour to hear him. There appears to be a collective impression among observers at the event, as well as those among the television audience across the country who watched it on their sets at home, that Mr. Cain and his handlers had cleverly in the days leading up to the event, hyped it to milk as much media attention from it for prime time ratings that would substantially benefit the Herman Cain brand name. Hours before Herman Cain went back home to see his wife Gloria face-toface on Friday and have some family discussion over the swirling allegations of sexual improprieties that would eventually derail the Herman Cain Train for president, Mr. Cain made a statement during a press conference, which suggested that his Saturday major announcement would

include an effort to jump-start his badly flailing campaign and put it back on track with the opening of a new campaign office in the Atlanta area. Part of the lengthy interlude filled with remarks evoking the sentiments of a concession speech when Mr. Cain finally took to the podium, was the difficulty he seemed to be having telling the audience the truth about his candidacy, which many of his critics had suspected all along was not a real run for the presidency. The American public has now come to know that there’s more than one Herman Cain. There’s the Herman Cain who has a problem with Washington, D.C. spending money on fellow Americans down on their luck or helping them by spending to get jobs created in order to get the American economy moving again, and the Herman Cain who has no problem spending money on “a friend” who

CHANGING POSITIONS

FOR FOR

What a man is at seven is also what he is at seventy a Turkish proverb

AGAINST

OBAMNEY CARE

needed his help to pay rent on her house and, of course, there’s the Herman Cain who says President Barack Obama has failed in providing national leadership, and the Herman Cain who has apparently failed to provide family leadership where leadership matters most in the life of a nation. The eagerly awaited speech reached emotional climax, when Mr. Cain, an associate pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, declared: “I am at peace with myself and my wife is at peace with me; I am at peace with my family and I am at peace with my God.” A note with a moving spiritual undertone and a ring of penitence to it, he hoped perhaps would heal the wounds inflicted by the grubby details of the damaging allegations that have hurt his family, derailed his campaign and disappointed his supporters.

AGAINST

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Kwabena Opong Kofi Ayim

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New York Accra, Ghana Accra, Ghana

Pamela Appea Kobby Smith Daneil Abugah

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Amandla is a monthly publication of the Amandla Company. It is an associate member of the New Jersey Press Association The publishers of Amandla do not necessarily share the opinions and viewpoints expressed in articles that appear in the publication.


Amandla Vol. 10 Issue 12 Dec. 15

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Photo Report The Mfantsiman Association of New Jersey was inaugurated on Saturday, November 26. Amandla was there to bring you scenes recorded at the scene.

Mr. Samuel Mensah, President, reads his inaugural address

Dr. Rockson (center) was chairman for the occasion

Nana Kweku Mensah (2nd from right) represented Staten Island Fante Community

Mr. Beautiful, a comedian being led to the event

Mr. Beautiful launches the fundraising. With him is Kwaku Manu, a comedian

A section of the inivited guests

Nana Ahor Kakabaah (center) takes the floor with a Queen mother

The Novisi Association of New Jersey was ably represented


Amandla Vol. 10 Issue 12 Dec. 15

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Ojukwu for Burial Feb 2, 2012 Continued from front page

would be held in Enugu on the same day, while his remains would be taken to his country home, Nnewi in Anambra State, solely for interment. According to him, a committee would soon be set to discuss further on the burial arrangements of the former Biafran leader. Obi said all the states of the defunct East Central State, where the late Ojukwu held sway as the military governor as well the presidency would participate in the ceremonies which would take place in Enugu State. "On February 2, 2012, the burial ceremony of Ojukwu will take place in Enugu, after which his corpse will be taken to his country home Nnewi for internment," he said. He explained that the decision to commence the interment ceremonies for the late APGA leader in Enugu was informed by the fact that Enugu was the capital of the former Eastern Region. Apart from the Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Sullivan Chime, who was represented at the meeting, the other governors of Abia, Imo, Ebonyi State were all present. In another development, the Anglican Bishop of Enugu, Bishop Chukwuma, said while briefing newsmen in Enugu that the death of Ojukwu would not mark an end to be Igbo struggle for justice, equity and fair-play.Chukwuma also described the statement credited to former president Olusegun Obasanjo to the effect that he advised Ojukwu to apologise for the civil war as unfortunate, stressing that should there be any form of apology, it should come from Obasanjo for enthroning a culture of corruption on Nigeria during his eight years "misrule". The Anglican cleric who said Obasanjo was "talking rubbish', noted

that there was no reason for the apology as according to him, Ojukwu stood for a just cause. He said there was no dispute to the fact that Ojukwu was governor of the former east central state, insisting that should the federal government refuse to give him a national burial, the governors of the south east and their south-south counterparts should come together and give him a state burial. Speaking further on how Ojukwu can be immortalised, Chukwuma asked for the naming of the Nnewi Teaching Hospital, as well as the Anambra State University after the late Biafran leader. "As far as we are concerned, Ojukwu made national influence and left no one in doubt as to his contribution to the growth and development of the nation. Although he may have his handicaps, but he was a courageous Nigerian and his type is not easy to come by. Nigeria should immortalize him", Chukwuma said. Similarly, the Leader of the World Ndigbo Youth Council, Chief Igwekala said in Enugu yesterday that his group was prepared to mobilise all Igbos to ensure that Ojukwu received a befitting burial on the stipulated date. Igwekala, who was formerly the Director of Youth and Sports of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) noted that there was no level of contributions to the burial of Ojukwu that would be too much noting that "Ojukwu fought to the extent of putting his life on the line in a bid to give the Igbo man an identity. "We have lost a great father, a motivator, our symbol of struggle physically but spiritually Ojukwu is not dead. We have several thousands of Ikembas and we are determined to actualise his dreams before long. We will be part and parcel of the burial programme," he noted.

Ojukwu’s burial ‘ll unite Igbo – Uwazurike

selfless services while he was alive. He disclosed that Ojukwu' s family and other stakeholders had commenced plans to give him a befitting burial, adding that his children had arrived Nigeria from London.

By TONY EDIKE ENUGU-THE Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, said yesterday that the burial of former Biafran leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, would be a unique platform for the unity of Ndigbo. Leader of MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazurike, stated this during a briefing at the Enugu residence of Ojukwu where the 7-day prayers and mourning declared by his organization for the departed elder statesman last week was concluded. Uwazurike thanked Ndigbo in Nigeria and in the Diaspora for observing the mourning period and their tremendous support for Ojukwu while he was in hospital in London, expressing happiness that the mourning and prayers were very successful. He recalled MASSOB's earlier plan to convene a meeting of Igbo leaders at Ojukwu's residence this month to chart a new course for Ndigbo but regretted that the death of the ex-Biafran leader laid the plan to rest. Uwazuruike stated that the burial rites of Ojukwu would be announced by his family, adding that MASSOB would assist the family to make arrangements for a befitting funeral for the late icon. Also speaking, the National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, assured that all interested parties would be accommodated in the burial rites of Ojukwu. Umeh said although the mourning and prayers declared by MASSOB ended yesterday, Igbos would continue to mourn their late leader because of his

Gaddafi family tried to escape to Mexico – official MEXICO CITY (AFP) – Mexican authorities said Wednesday they foiled an audacious bid by one of toppled Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s sons to illegally smuggle himself and family into the country as the regime cracked. Government Secretary Alejandro Poire said intelligence officials uncovered an elaborate plan, at the height of prodemocracy protests in the north African nation, to bring Saadi Gaddafi and other relatives into Mexico on false papers. Poire said Mexican authorities had broken up a well-funded international ring that included two Mexicans, a Canadian and a Danish national who had bought properties in Mexico “to be used as safe houses.” On September 6, “Mexican intelligence detected an illegal entry plan by Saadi Gaddafi and his family,” Poire told reporters. “The government avoided that risk and broke up an international network aimed at providing them with false identities as Mexicans,” he said. The group was preparing to use an extensive network of private flights that would eventually fly Gaddafi’s relatives to an area on Mexico’s Pacific coast, he disclosed. Government spokesman Alejandro Sota said Mexico’s “Operation Guest” led to the “capture and disruption of the network, which will face justice for alleged crimes related to the use of false documents, trafficking individuals and organized crime.”

Poire identified the ringleader as Cynthia Ann Vanier, a Canadian with direct links to Saadi Gaddafi She was captured in Mexico City on November 10. A day later authorities arrested Gabriela Davila Huert, the plot’s primary Mexico contact, and document forger Jose Luis Kennedy Prieto, both Mexican, and Denmark’s Pierre Christian Flensborg in charge of the plan’s logistics. Gaddafi, officials said, was to be given the false name of Daniel Bejar Hanan. Saadi Kaddafi 38, fled Libya across its southern frontier to Niger in early September during the fall of Tripoli amid the protests against his authoritarian father’s 42-year regime. On September 14, eight days after Mexico uncovered the smuggling plot, Niger officials announced he was under guard in the capital Niamey after being put on an air force plane from the northwestern town of Agadez. Last month Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou announced his government had granted Saadi asylum “for humanitarian reasons.” Mexico has been under a harsh spotlight in recent years as President Felipe Calderon’s war on drug traffickers has failed to stem the tide of violence that has left some 45,000 people dead and terrorized communities across the nation. But Poire insisted that the success in foiling the Gaddafi plot demonstrated “the ability of Mexican authorities” to contribute to regional security. Muammar Gaddafi and another of his sons were killed in October after their capture in Libya by forces loyal to the National Transitional Council. Libya’s new leadership wants Saadi Gaddafi to stand trial for crimes allegedly committed while heading the country’s football federation. Another Gaddafi son, Seif al-Islam, has been captured and the International Criminal Court has called on Libya’s new rulers to inform them if and when they intend to hand him over to face charges for crimes against humanity.


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Environment Africa: For Africans, Climate Change is a Question of Adaptation Julie Frederikse and Thembelani Moyo High-level international role-players have arrived for climate talks (COP17) in Durban, South Africa, and are debating the key issues as they try to hammer out an accord. But what is the impact of climate change on ordinary people from Africa? AllAfrica's Julie Frederikse and Thembelani Moyo spoke to Africans attending COP17 in an effort to understand their personal experiences of global warming and changing weather patterns. If you've heard a lot about climate change but never encountered an actual victim, then meet Ruth Baivule. The activist from Nigeria's Port Harcourt doesn't miss a beat when you ask her how her community is experiencing climate change. "We have lower rainfall and it is less frequent, and when rain does come it sometimes floods," she says. "Our children get sick with diseases like diarrhea. We also have less revenue as we have less crops, and less possibilities to plant food - but we don't want to import food as it costs too much." She says that these factors are driving their community's youth to migrate from rural areas to the cities, and even

South Africa: Rural Women Make Themselves Heard in Durban Durban — While heads of state and negotiators gathered behind closed doors at the 17th conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban, more than 500 women from across Africa arrived by the busload at the nearby University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) chanting and singing. "They are refusing to sign the deal! We want a legally binding agreement with sanctions. Men, you don't know what you want!" a woman sang, echoing the same frustration that negotiators from developing countries are facing inside the UN conference center, trying to push more powerful countries to commit to emissions reductions. For the duration of the official conference, UKZN hosted an alternative, a "People's Space", where activists, environmental justice organizations and social movements converged to build solidarity at the grassroots level and pressure governments to take a tougher stance on causes of climate change. The Rural Women's Assembly, a network of women's groups from more than 10 African countries, including Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Burundi, came together in Durban, joining the civil society meetings outside the conference seeking to raise awareness about the impact climate change will have at the grassroots level. A 2010 Oxfam report states that 75 percent of the world's poor live in rural areas and that rural livelihoods are especially vulnerable to climate change. "You know, we feel the impact of climate change, but it is difficult for us to understand it. Sometimes we have a lot of rain, sometimes we have none at all," Ana Paula Tauacale of the National Union of Farmers of Mozambique, told IRIN. "The problem affects us as women because we are the main food producers and we depend on the rain. We are not like men, who can migrate to find work elsewhere." People power: demonstrators from the Democratic Left Front in Durban The Durban conference, unlike previous climate gatherings, included substantial participation from NGOs. But many on the outside of the conference

to other countries, because they cannot live on what they earn from the land. Allan Zambia of the Zambian Land Alliance, was also quick to respond when asked how his area is experiencing climate change. "I was just ringing my wife now and she told me that she has not yet planted, yet this is supposed to be the rainy season," said Zambia, who is from Zambia's Eastern Province. "The temperatures are high but you wouldn't believe that this is our rainy season. Also there's the issue of animals that are supposed to be feeding right now, but because it's dry there is no water for them and no grass, as it has all dried up. Zambia says the lives of his family and community have worsened due to these unexpected weather patterns. "When you expect that there will be no rain, it rains heavily, and when you expect it to rain, it will not rain," the 39year-old social worker said. "So it messes with our farming programs, and as a result there is no production." What is his community doing about it? "We will change, as we now have to adapt to the effects of climate change," he said. "For us it is now about adaptation."

Zambia and his organization came to South Africa as part of his country's civil society delegation, the Zambia Climate Change Network. The culmination of more than seven months of planning, they made a seven-day-long road trip to Durban, stopping in various countries en route to raise awareness about COP17. Kenyan Japhet Muroko also has a long list of the impacts of climate change on his community. "It affects agriculture, education, employment, rainy seasons and road networks, and it causes a lot of diseases," said Muroko, a member of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance from Nairobi. Muroko's group spent a year planning their journey to COP17. He says they traveled for 12 days by bus from Burundi, through Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, stopping in each country to give out petitions. "Climate change and global warming is deadly and catastrophic, so everybody should take it seriously," said Muroko, 35. Like many other Africans, he believes that the response to climate change must be adaptation. "I hope everyone will accept change,

that things will never be the same again, and I request all the world leaders to accept the change before the change comes to change them," he said. Muroko feels that as a musician he can help his community to respond to climate change. "We carry out day-to-day education and I prefer to educate people through song," he said. "I strongly believe that there is plenty of power in music, and I think it is a fast way that you can spread the word." Olonana Pulei is at COP17 representing Kenya's Maasai community through the Manyoito Pastoralists Integrated Organisation. When asked about the impacts of climate change on his community, he cites effects on the animals that are key to pastoralist farming. "There is this issue of drought and when the drought comes all the animals perish, and we are left with nothing and poverty rises," Pulei said. "When animals are not there, even people are at the risk of perishing as we depend on animals." Like so many Africans, he sees the need for adaptation to climate change. But he is not optimistic about the out-

come of COP17. "I actually don't see a positive result because these people have been speaking the same thing for the past couple of years and we have not seen a good result," Pulei said. "With all the COPs (Conference on the Parties on climate change) they have been having, we have just witnessed a lot of talk. So I am not expecting much." Allen Zambia, on the other hand, is less pessimistic. "I expect that these leaders should really honor the commitments that they have been making for the past 16 meetings they have had," said Zambia. "Because some of the big countries like the United States and Japan are not showing any serious commitments - yet we are the ones who suffer most." "I feel they will take things seriously as we have come as a mobilized crew," said Zambia, comparing this Africanbased COP with the others. "All the other meetings that have been held previously have been out of our reach, but now this one is for us. We are in Africa and we have used our own means to reach were they are. So they will really feel that we are here and they will act on our demands." Source: allAfrica.com

felt they did not sufficiently represent their interests. "Ninety-five percent of NGOs cannot represent us," said Mercia Andrews, director of the Trust for Community Outreach and Education, part of the Rural Women's Assembly. She added: "There is hardly any or no relationship between the conference and social movements. They say that the negotiations are too technical for poor people and therefore they, the technocrats, have the knowledge and can negotiate. We are saying no, there should be no negations without us, that we don't inform. It is us, the mass base and peasant and labor movements, which hold power. We are the ones who can push for change. Both NGOs and governments must begin to realize this." Resistance In Durban, more than 6,000 people took to the streets on 3 December in a Global Day of Action, calling for climate justice and for a legally binding mechanism on emissions reductions. Holding banners like "Stop Cooking Africa" and "Listen to the people, not polluters", the protesters made their way through the city to the conference center. South African activists made a link between apartheid and climate change, with banners such as "19482010 - it's just the same game for the same companies that equipped apartheid". Some activists called for the conference to be shut down entirely. "For 16 times now, it's been failure by these elites to make a deal that will save the planet. And each group here has separate grievances, so there may be women farmers, trade unionists, democracy activists," Patrick Bond, from UKZN's Centre for Civil Society, told IRIN. "People are not optimistic because the balance of forces is so adverse. Think of the 1 percent doing all the deals on Wall Street and the London Stock Exchange. These are the same people that are here in Durban, and all they are interested in is their own national interests, especially fossil fuel interests." As the conference comes to a close, the EU and an alliance of developing countries are urging the US and big developing countries such as India and China to sign a deal that will enable a roadmap toward a legally binding agreement on emissions reductions.

ally concerned because time is running out. If we continue along this path, it's been estimated by the International Energy Agency that in the next five years, we won't be able to prevent the worst onset of climate change."

counts for around one fifth of the world's population, increases in its emissions could dwarf any cuts made by the industrialized countries. The average Chinese person consumes only 10-15 per cent of the energy of an average US citizen, but with the economy developing at high speed many analysts expect China's per capita emissions to overtake America's by mid-century. There are attempts by some developed countries to lobby the Africa group to soften their stance and back off the Kyoto Protocol, but Ayittey said there is no backing down on the Kyoto Protocol. Securing the necessary climate finance forms a critical part of the official African position. "We've heard great things about the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Now some countries want to step back from it. It's unacceptable. They have to walk the talk - we need the finance to cope." Referring to pledges by developed countries jointly mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020, Ayittey said, "You have to be responsible if you commit to a legally binding instrument. If your country doesn't keep its word, it shouldn't be trusted". The marathon talks entered their second week on Monday, but there has been no clear indication as to what will happen to the Kyoto Protocol. Countries have to sign up for another legally binding emissions reduction period if they want to keep the protocol going after 2012. The African position is that, should a second commitment period be achieved, developed nations should reduce their carbon emissions by at least 40 percent in the period 2013 to 2017 and by at least 95 percent by 2050. She said, "Developed countries have shown us economic leadership, political leadership and sometimes military leadership - and now we want them to show us climate leadership." Call for review of Clean Development Mechanism On adaptation and finance, the Minister Africa wanted Durban to agree on a review of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which she said was currently not effective, with very few states benefiting from it.

(CER) credits, each equivalent to one ton of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets.

"It's really frustrating to developing countries that developed countries are not increasing their ambitions," said Rashmi Mistry, climate change advocacy coordinator for Oxfam. "We're re-

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

Africa: 'We'll Be Tough With the Big Boys' Suleiman Mustapha Ghana's Environment and Science Minister, Sherry Ayittey has warned that the 54 African countries at the UN climate change conference in Durban will not be bullied into making concessions to the developed countries at the expense of the African poor. "We have come to Durban with very clear and precise objectives; and that is to negotiate for a second commitment for the Kyoto protocol", she said. "It's a tough negotiation and we are going to be tough, we will not be pushovers" Ayittey stressed at a news conference in the South African port city of Durban. African Ministers and other developing countries have been fighting for the survival of the Kyoto Protocol in the form of a second commitment period, as the first period ends next year. The minister who is leading the Ghanaian delegation to the Durban conference said developing countries are demanding an ambitious second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding instrument under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Kyoto Protocol signed by most developed nations, excluding the United States, had undertaken a legally binding regime to cut emissions, leaving all developing countries out of it. Delegates at the climate change conference in Durban are struggling to find common grounds to extend it. Some developed countries including Canada, Russia, Japan and Australia are resisting African demands to move ahead with a second period of commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. China is currently the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, but as a developing country is not yet required to reduce its emissions. As China ac-

The CDM allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries. Such projects can earn saleable certified emission reduction

Ghana: Kyebi in ruins over galamsey Joy News investigations have revealed rampant conversion of huge farm lands into deep galamsey pits in Kyebi in the Eastern region. The effect of the illegal mining on residents is very devastating and appears to have been under-reported. Young people there have dug galamsey pits on every available land and have polluted the main source of water. The situation has forced the Ghana Water Company to shut down its treatment plant in the area. The illegal mining received unprecedented attention when a royal of the Akyem Abuakwa traditional area accused the Okyehene of complicity in the illegal mining. A charge the king has vehemently denied. Joy News’ Sammy Darko and Benjamin Henaku have been into some of the pits in Kyebi and reported of young and energetic men engaging in the illegal mining with so much impunity in the outskirts of the town. The workers dig and sift through red soils in between houses and school compounds in dire search for gold. A cocoa farmer named only as Bukari lamented how his farm he had worked on for over 50 years was taken over by the galamsey operators after the land owners sold the land for bigger money. According to the residents, the cost of living has become so expensive because the youth have given up on farming and have taken to galamsey. The activities of the galamsey operators have affected water supply in the area in unimaginable ways, with the residents resorting to the use of pure water and bore holes. JoyOnline

A bad habit that lasts more than a year may turn into a customAn Igbo proverb


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that I was down with illness. Even when I left Akure for Abuja, the calls kept coming from worried concerned friends and associates who wanted to know what had happened to me." In the story, which Obey read out to LIFE&BEAT, he was said to have been rushed home during a show, in which he was billed to perform. Written by Ademola Olonilua The publication also indicated that members of his family contemplated Evangelist Ebenezer Obey on flying him abroad for medical treatWednesday denied rumors that he ment. was sick. A Lagos-based Yoruba Obey said, "They said I shouldn’t magazine had insinuated that Obey have been driven there, since it was was suffering from ill health as a renot far from my house. They even sult of the death of his wife, which added that I at arrived the place in my Escalade car and held by more than four persons. "I don’t mind people writing about me, but I get disturbed when people just sit down and write anything that comes to their imagination and publish. They said the death of my wife had taken a toll on my health which was all speculation. "I am a friend of the media, no doubt; but I have consulted with my lawyers for necessary action. I have done that because that is not the first time that something like this has been Ebenezer Obey: I am not dead written about me and I kept quiet. I guess people occurred few months ago. have taken my silence for granted. The former Juju music maestro told "By the special grace of God, I am LIFE&BEAT that he wondered why okay; I am not sick and I just arrived the magazine would go to town with from Abuja by flight on Saturday. As such a story without bothering to hear a friend of the media, I so much befrom him. lieve in the ethics of journalism by He said the write-up had got his close cross-checking every piece of inforfriends and relations worried, as they mation before publishing." had been calling him on the telephone to ask after his wellbeing. He said, “I was in Akure for a social function and people started calling me to find out whether it was true

I am not sick - Ebenezer Obey

Afe Nhyia Pa

Artcultainment Christmas Today – ‘Tis a Reason for the Season By Kofi Ayim “Merry Christmas” is what we used to say to each other not long ago in the old country. The month of December brings in its wake the special aroma of Christmas. The mood is festive and expectant. Christmas at home in Ghana was always special, particularly when we were kids. We would put on (or were made to put on) the best of our cloths. It was also the one time in the year many of us would be allowed to wear our shoes. Parents saved to buy something special for their children. And on that day even the poor would strive to find something decent for the family; and usually it was a meal of chicken and fufu. The rich ones would feast on goats and sheep. We never mounted a Christmas tree, and Father Christmas, known in America as Santa Claus was out of reach. We heard about him, but never knew where he lived or when he would come to our village. Yet the air around was charged with the spirit of the occasion. In our new clothes we would start the yearly rounds of visiting as many homes as our tiny legs and new shoes could carry us. At each home, we would be served portions of the Christmas feast and showered with Huntley & Parkers (misnomer “crackers”) Gem biscuits and/or portello/muscatella soda. We would string the crackers and use them as necklaces and hand bands as we moved from house to house. In the late afternoon we would go back to our families and enjoy dinner with visiting family members and friends. In the evening we would go to the center of the village to share the exclusive dinner with peers and have fun. If we were lucky to lay hands on “rocket,” bandit” or “nsoroma” firecrackers we would use them to play prangs on friends; or throw them as

far as possible, enjoying its lighted trail of sight and sound. That was our fireworks. We would retire home late and exhausted to wait eagerly for another Christmas. For the initiated, the night before Christmas was a time for binge drinking. Christmas has always been a time of excesses. The Akans of Ghana used to celebrate their own kind of “Christmas” long time ago. In the Tekyiman area of modern Ghana, that festival is called “Fertile Monday” (bo me tuo). The Romans were the first known Europeans to have celebrated such a holiday - Saturnalia, a winter solstice festival of drinking, gambling, cross dressing and free for all debauching. It was a time when the cold weather helped to preserve meat and other produce. Because the winter solstice was characterized by dark, cold long nights, Saturnalia was a weeklong holiday. It was also a time when masters would serve servants. It was indeed a “free” time celebrated after harvesting of farm produce. Excess grains would be processed into alcoholic drinks for the festivities. Merrymakers would go from house to house in inebriated mood demanding to be invited for whatsoever is available to be had. The Roman Saturnalia was to some extent akin to the Emancipation Day celebrated in the Caribbean - a time to celebrate freedom from slavery. Commercialization of the winter solstice has dimmed the essence of the once celebrated and glorified holidays. The once spirited occasion of giving and sharing willingly is being replaced by stressful and obligatory giving, compounding our indebtedness. Not surprisingly “Merry Christmas” is gradually being replaced with “Happy Holidays.” Despite the growing tribulations of the season, the essence of the times still holds true. ‘Tis the reason of the Season – Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukkah, Happy Kwanzaa; and most of all Happy Holidays to all.

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year

History Corner

THE VOLTA RIVER & THE DAM ON IT

The Volta River has been called “a sovereign river”. It is a thousand miles long from its main tributary, the Black Volta in Burkina Faso before it swells the Gulf of Guinea. The Black Volta enters Ghana in the northwest and forms a natural boundary with the Ivory Coast and then swerves east into the country. The White and Red Volta also rise beyond Ghana’s upper borders, curve west as one river and meet the Black Volta. At the point of confluence about 40 miles north of Yeji and 230 miles from the coast, the Volta proper is born. Rivers Oti and Afram merge with Volta before it meanders into the Accra plains and empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Ada. The Volta River, it is said, provided the route by which the people of the ancient kingdom of Ghana fled south from the Islamic invaders in 1076. The early Portuguese who “discovered” (as if they were no indigenes before they came) the river gave it the name “Volta” which means ‘to meander”. It was the route of the Volta River by which the French trader J.T. Bonnat and the African merchant Robert Bannerman reached the then famous Salaga market in 1876 in attempt to trade with caravans from Timbuktu, the Niger, Senegal etc. Steamboat services were introduced on the lower portions of the river while canoes continued to be used in the higher areas where steam boats could not be used. In 1915 a survey by A.E. Kitson was carried out in the Gold Coast. He pointed out among others that, a dam on the Volta River could produce power for the production of aluminum from local bauxite deposits at Mpraeso and Yenahin. Kitson suggested Akosombo as the point to dam the meandering river. Akosombo, a village near Akwamufie founded circa 1733 was originally a village called “Nkonson-konson-bo” or “chain of rock.” In March 1959 following President Nkrumah’s visit to the U.S. and dialogue between President Eisenhower and himself, the consulting engineering firm Henry J. Kaiser was contracted for further feasibility studies on the Volta River. Kaiser reaffirmed that the gorge pinpointed by Kitson at Akosombo was the ideal place to dam the Volta River, where the valley of the Volta forms one of the narrowest sections of the entire river gorge. The lake would have an area of 3275 square miles, a length of 250 miles and a storage capacity of 120 million acre feet of water. Kaiser also recommended future smaller hydro-electric projects at Kpong and Bui should the need arise. It also suggested Tema instead of Kpong as the site of an aluminum smelter factory. The new town of Tema and its harbor were fast rising at this point in time. It was realized that the Volta River Project would supply electric power to the whole of southern Ghana and enhance the agrarian industry. Besides, the project had the potential of developing a navigational and transportation system and would promote inland fisheries on the largest man-made lake in the world. This was indubitably an industrial revolution for the small and nascent country of Ghana. It was estimated that availability of hydro-electric power would greatly reduce Ghana’s foreign exchange expenditure on imported fuel oil. The Volta River Project brought about several developments in Ghana. Included was the Volta Aluminum Company Limited (VALCO) at Tema with majority ownership at the time (90%) Kaiser Corporation and the rest Reynolds Metals Company both of the U.S., Tema Oil Refinery etc. Began in January 1962 and completed February 1965 under Ghana’s First President Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the Volta Project had several Herculean tasks to overcome in its formative and constructive years. It resettled about 80,000 people scattered from about 700 villages at 52 resettlement towns such as Nkwakubew, Mpakadan, and Todome. One year after its completion, Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown by a joint police-military coup d’etat. Culled from “The story of Ghana’s Volta River Project by Keith Jopp


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Sport Al Ain warn Sunderland over Asamoah Gyan Nigeria: Arsenal Okays Abuja Stadium, Transcorp Hilton for Tour

Al Ain coach Cosmin Olaroiu is confident Asamoah Gyan will see out his loan deal with the club, as he has developed an affinity for the club. Ghana star Gyan signed for Al Ain on a season-long loan deal from English Premier League side Sunderland in September, having fallen out with then-Black Cats boss Steve Bruce. Gyan has gone on to score seven goals in nine games for his new club – including six in six in the league – and was on target again on Friday night as his penalty set up a 2-0 win over Al Wasl at the Tahnoun Bin Mohammed Stadium. Olaroiu hailed that performance as the best since the striker arrived in the UAE, and he is confident the club can hang on to their prized asset despite new Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill admitting he was keen to explore the possibility of bringing Gyan back to the Stadium of Light. “Asamoah played one of the best games since he came here,” the Romanian said. “What I have received from him, always he plays with the team and for the team. “He’s a player who’s learning. With Ghana when he plays really well he’s always alone up front, with support from the back. What is happening now in this way, he feels more comfortable. “I think he feels good here, I think we supported him to come back into shape

Adiyiah, Kingson Dropped…From Ghana AFCON Squad Turkey-based striker Dominic Adiyiah has been dropped from Ghana's final 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations, according to MTNFootball.com. The Karsiyaka player has been placed on a three-man stand-by list to be unveiled by the Serbian coach when the squad is released on Thursday. Experienced goalkeeper Richard Kingson was also dropped from the final squad to be officially unveiled during Thursday's press conference. South Korea-based striker Derek Asamoah was a surprise inclusion in the Black Stars final 23-man for next month's tournament. Just two homebased players made the final squad list. Goalkeepers Daniel Agyei and Ernest Sowah will make the trip to the tournament. Stromgodset duo of Mohammed Abu and goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey will make their maiden appearance in Africa's flagship tournament. All the key players in the Black Stars will make the trip to the Nations Cup apart from Kingson who has fallen out of favour with coach Goran Stevanovic. According to MTNFootball.com's insiders, John Mensah, Jonathan Mensah, Lee Addy, Isaac Vorsah, Daniel Opare and Samuel Inkoom made the cut. Other key players are Derek Boateng, Agyemang Badu, Andre Ayew, Sulley Muntari, Kwadwo Asamoah, Asamoah Gyan and Prince Tagoe. Ghana will be seeking to win their fifth continental title and Serbian coach Goran Stevanovic presented his final squad to the Ghana FA over the weekend. Source: MTNFootball.com

The Green Eagles of Nigeria Olawale Ajimotokan

Asamoah Gyan: He just scored his first goal for Ain and to do good things for the national team in the African Nations Cup. It is also my opinion that he feels some-

thing for this team and for the people who work with him, and he will remain here.”

Ghana Picks London 2012 Ticket

Youth & Sports, IQRA Ltd, National Sports Authority, Miklin Hotel, Aristocrat Hotel, Ghana Police Service (MTTU), Disability Options-Ghana, National Council on Persons with Disability (NCPD) and Promasidor Ghana Ltd for sponsoring the international event.

Team Ghana sealed a sure qualification berth towards the upcoming London 2012 Paralympic Games after a sterling performance in this year's 4th edition of Africa Para cycling championship held on the Kanda Highway in Accra on Sunday. Ghana battled it out against South Africa, Burkina Faso, and Albania in the male and female Tandem (blind) race, Hand cycling and Cycling CClass on the completely blocked Kanda Highway. Ghana secured precious points in the C-2 Class with Alem Mumuni covering a total distance of 51.2km in the road race and 12.8km in the time trial whiles maintaining the Africa Number 1 spot for the 3rd consecutive time in the two-day tourney. Ernest Ayisi from Ghana was crowned Africa's Number 2 with in-form Abubakari Zakari as Africa Number 3. In the C-5 category, John Mensah Badu and Thomas Ayine of Ghana became Africa Number 2 and Number 3 respectively after an impressive rollout of 8 laps. South Africa's Francois Bezuidenhoud is Africa's number one in the male blind cycling after riding a total distance of 76.8km in the road race and 25.6m in the time trial with Ghana's Peter Dery Davuro and Frederick Assor as Africa's number 2 and number 3 respectively. The International Cycling Union (UCI) has more programs to clear before the Paralympic Games and Ghana needs to be represented in these programs to augment their slots for next year's London 2012 Paralympic Games. At the closing ceremony on the Kanda Highway, Director General of the National Sports Authority, Mr. Wolanyo Agra confirmed the government's support in ensuring that the team goes through adequate preparations with the standard equipment ahead of the London Games. He was full of praise for the Local Organizing Committee for staging a successful international event. Officials of the Cycling Federation expressed gratitude to the Ministry of

From The Sports Desk

Nigeria: Keshi Sets Conditions for Eagles Hopefuls Super Eagles chief coach, Stephen Keshi will tomorrow in Abuja meet with his employers to discuss about modalities for the resumption of camp for the home-based Eagles. The coach confirmed in a chat with Sports Vanguard when he said, "I will be meeting with officials of the NFF Wednesday and that is when I can talk on the camp issue." Keshi would not be dragged into disclosing the players he would be inviting to camp, insisting, "call me back after our meeting." The former Mali coach wants to pick 10 domestic players to join his Super Eagles A squad, but says that will only happen if they earn it. The Super Eagles coach is expected to name a squad of 30 domestic players this week for a training camp in Abuja this month. But he insists there will be no free passes. "The local league is the foundation of our football, and we want to get about 10 players from the league into the Super Eagles. "But they have to prove that they can get there on merit. We are not just going to include them in the team because we want home-based players. "Our target is to get 10 but if we find that only two are good enough, then we will take just that two and leave the rest," Keshi said. In saying that however, Keshi reiterated his belief in the ability of players from the domestic league. "I don't believe there is any position we have a problem in the team that we cannot find a home-based player to solve it," he said.

Advance team of Arsenal Monday gave Abuja the nod to host the English side's preseason tour coming up next summer. Marketing Director of Arsenal, Angus Kinnear and the First team Travel and Equipment Manager, Paul Johnson expressed satisfaction with the facilities at the Abuja National Stadium and Transcorp Hilton Hotel, where the English Premier League side are expected to put up during their stay in Nigeria. Kinnear and Johnson were accompanied on the tour by a mix of Nigerian consultants, including Hon Razak Bello- Osagie of the House of Representatives, David Omigie, John Okosi, Ibrahim Danbatta and Shehu Dikko. The Abuja Stadium Manager, Victor Osunsanmi took them on the guided tour of the National Stadium, shortly upon their arrival to the nation's capital via Lagos. They were satisfied with the state of the 60,000 capacity stadium after inspecting the VIP stand, state box, changing rooms and the main pitch. The Arsenal officials also gave Transcorp Hilton Hotel a wink of approval after they were taken to the meeting rooms, gym, restaurant and guest rooms. They later paid separate courtesy visits to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) where they were received by the Secretary General, Musa Amadu and the Director General of National Sports Commission (NSC), Chief "I think what they need is guidance and somebody to believe in them and they will excel, if they work hard."

Agbeko Apologises To Nation Former International Boxing Federation bantamweight champion, returned to Accra last Saturday with a plea for Ghanaians to forgive him. “I ask all Ghanaians to forgive me for disappointing them. I am very sorry for the loss,” Agbeko said on arrival. “Ghanaians gave me all the support I needed, and even in defeat I am still grateful for following me in spirit into the ring.” Agbeko lost his IBF title rematch to Mexican Abner Mares at the Honda Centre in Anaheim, California, USA, on December 3 by a unanimous points verdict. He said he was going to take stock of the fight, “see where I went wrong and how I could have done things better.

Patrick Ekeji. Amadu told the Arsenal delegation that football is an intense passion in Nigeria which some commentators even elevate to a religion at times. Kinnear said their choice of Nigeria was informed by the large fan base of Arsenal in Nigeria which he described as "overwhelming and probably the largest in the world outside the United Kingdom". "There is a large fan base for Arsenal in Nigeria. We are also happy with the reception we got at the airport, hotel and everywhere. The reception is unbelievable," Kinnear said. He promised that all the big actors in Arsenal including Richard Van Persie, Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosisky, Mikel Arteta, Alex Song and others will be keen to visit the homeland of Nwankwo Kanu, one of Arsenal's living legends. Kinnear said that the key consideration behind the decision to come to Nigeria was to engage their fans rather than to make financial benefits. According to him, the team's itinerary of Nigeria is still a work in session as they were in the country to see the facilities on ground. "The benefit for us is really about engaging our supporters. We want to meet them. We had a very successful tour of the Far East last year. And we know that will exactly be the same in Nigeria if not more so. Arsenal fans are global," Kinnear said. Two English Premier League sides, Man United and Portsmouth visited Nigeria in 2007. allAfrica.com “In the meantime, I need to access myself again, in terms of the fight,” he said. He said he would rest for a while before returning to training. Source: Michael Quaye - Daily Graphic

Joseph Agbeko


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