Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia says most ceremonies the President and Vice President attend are politicised.
According to him, most events he has attended where a government delegation is present, turned out as though they were organised for members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
“It is not the national celebrations alone. In fact, it has now descended into practically all social gatherings to which the President or the Vice President is invited.
“I have complained about even funerals, festivals, not state funerals, but private funerals which the President or the Vice President has been invited to,” he said on JoyNews’ The Pulse show.
Mr Nketia thus wondered if national events are supposed to be organised with such partisanship.
“I don’t know whether it is a national policy, but some way somehow efforts will be made to edge out other participants. Yes, I have had cause to complain as some of the key festivals in the country to which President Mahama and Buwumia had been invited.
“When the NDC is being invited to a function they will invite him [Dr. Bawumia] and then we also go together around our former President… and so I have attended about two, three festivals where you realise that the master of ceremonies would intentionally be doing things that are clearly disrespectful to the former president,” he added.
Narrating an experience at a Bawku festival where both former President Mahama and the Vice President were attendees, he said, “there was an occasion you will go to the festival and the original program that has been drawn will provide for some address by former President, some address by Vice President. Some way somehow in the course of the program, they will be insisting that if they allow former President Mahama to speak the Vice President will leave the function and it actually happened in Bawku at a festival where I was present,” he told host, Blessed Sogah.
The NDC stalwart added that he was subjected to similar treatment when he attended the burial of his former colleague in Parliament. He said at this funeral, members of the NPP did not give room for his donation to be announced. He therefore forced his way to the stage to self-announce his contribution.
However, Mr. Nketia noted that during the tenure of ex-President John Agyekum Kufour, this trend was not the case.
It would be recalled that on March 6, Former President Mahama said he boycotted the national event in the Northern Region because the ceremony had been politicised.
According to him, not only has the celebration become a “party jamboree” but there was also no need to fund this year’s celebration in the face of current economic hardship.
“I have stopped going to the Independence Day, because it has become a party jamboree. When I went to Tamale, they told GBC to take the camera off me. They bused their supporters in and filled the whole stadium,” he said
Gov’t to restrict importation of rice, ‘yemuadie’ and other products
The government is set to lay before Parliament today, November 21, a Constitutional Instrument (C.I) seeking to restrict the importation of selected strategic products into the country.
The items, numbering over 20, will include rice, tripe (popularly called “yemuadie” in Ghana), and diapers.
The government said the move is part of efforts to enhance local production.
Speaking during a press briefing in Parliament, the Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T Hammond said, “Stomach of animals, bladder and the chunk of intestines (yemuadie), the country had had to put in an amount of about $164 million towards the importation of these items. We are taking steps to ensure that in terms of rice, there’s no poverty of rice in the country.”
He emphasized, “By these restrictions, we are not going to ensure that there’s no food in the country at all; that is not the point at all. There have to be some efforts by the government to ensure that we go back to Acheampong’s operation feed yourself. There are about 22 items on the list, one of them, I think, is diapers.”
He announced the introduction of the Ghana Standards Authority Regulations 2023, which also seeks to streamline the manufacturing of cement to ensure competitive pricing.
Mahama doesn’t understand 24hr economy; don’t vote for him – Bawumia
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says former President John Dramani Mahama does not understand the 24-hour economy policy he is proposing.
According to the Vice President, that policy is already being implemented in the country, as hospitals, fuel companies, among others, operate a 24-hour system.
Dr. Bawumia, therefore, urged Ghanaians to ignore Mahama during the 2024 polls since he has nothing new to offer and vote for the New Patriotic Party.
“John Mahama says he has a new idea. What is the idea? He says he wants a 24-hour economy. He doesn’t even understand that policy. Today in Ghana, our hospitals work 24 hours, our electricity company works 24 hours, our water company works 24 hours, our fuel stations work 24 hours, and many chop bars work 24 hours. Today because of digitalisation, you can transfer money 24 hours, you can receive money 24 hours… So he doesn’t understand his own policy. It doesn’t make sense.”
“So I want you to vote for me in 2024 because I will bring a new vision, I will bring a new policy. Mahama is the past, Dr Bawumia is the future. If John Mahama was there, we would say we have a dumsor economy, you can’t have a 24-hour economy in dumsor. So, you want to vote for Dr Bawumia in 2024, we will take the country to new heights,” Dr Bawumia stated.
Bagbin rebukes IMF over alleged pressure to pass some bills under certificate of urgency
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of pressuring the House to pass a number of bills under a certificate of urgency.
Mr. Bagbin cited bills such as the Affirmative Action Bill, which is allegedly being pushed by the IMF as part of the conditionality for the balance of the $3 billion credit facility for Ghana.
Speaking at the Speaker’s Breakfast Meeting on Monday, Alban Bagbin insisted that the House will not be coerced by the IMF to pass the bill.
“Even in this budget, you can see the arm of the IMF in a lot of provisions in the budget. A critical bill like the Affirmative Action Gender Equality Bill has come to Parliament under a certificate of urgency. Please, it won’t happen; we won’t pass it under a certificate of urgency.”
“There are critical stakeholders we must consult and make sure we go together. We will not be dictated by the IMF; that one, you can be assured. This is a very critical bill that the IMF should know that we need the buy-in of the stakeholders to be able to implement it,” Alban Bagbin said.
The Affirmative Action Bill, when passed into law, would seek to expunge the historically low representation of women in decision-making spaces and promote democracy and development through all-inclusive participation.