PRESS STATEMENT ON WORLD YOUTH DAY  

PRESIDENT MAHAMA HAS FAILED THE YOUTH OF GHANA

 

Good Morning ladies and Gentlemen of the Press

I am most grateful, for honoring the invitation to attend this press meeting despite the short notice. Indeed your presence here is a giant testimony of the fact that the media in Ghana is very much alive and conscious of its role as the fourth estate of the realm.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, we have invited you here today to express our utmost dismay, displeasure and disappointment at the seemingly unconcerned attitude of the John Mahama led National Democratic Congress (N.D.C) government in addressing key issues affecting the multitude of young men and women in this country as we mark World Youth Day on this day (i.e Tuesday August 12, 2014). The youth of this country have had it to the brim and simply cannot take it anymore. The astronomical levels of economic hardship for many young people coupled with the ever rising cost of living in this country makes us wonder if indeed  government   is  committed in any way to advancing  the welfare of  the youth of Ghana. The blatant misappropriation of public funds coupled with the litany of scandals that continue to hit this government second after second, minute after minute and day by day have weakened our confidence in Government’s commitment to advancing the common good of all Ghanaians particularly that of the country’s teaming youth. Our confidence is further weakened by President Mahama’s desperate attempt to restore the credibility of his government by heading to the International Monetary Fund (I.M.F.) to bail himself out of the mess he has superintended over as president. Under President Mahama, we have become leaderless as a country.  Indeed Boys ne Girls abr3 under President Mahama.

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT

Ladies and Gentlemen, in the last 6 years this country has witnessed worse levels of youth unemployment with nothing consistently being done to help ameliorate the situation. Walking down the streets of our cities and towns, it’s quite evident that Government has lost track and abandoned its promise of creating job opportunities for young men and women in this country.  Many able bodied young men and women present here have despite your persistent efforts remained unemployed and underemployed. Graduates from both the formal and informal training institutions are increasingly becoming destitute day in day out with virtually no sign of hope under this government. At present, the National Youth Employment Program (N.Y.E.P) which gave the Ghanaian youth a glimmer of hope after its introduction in 2006 by the Kufour led N.P.P government is in complete tatters. My heart bleeds for the youth of this country, whose worsening condition is expected to get worse in the wake of imminent job cuts as condition for a bailout. Colleagues, I am of the opinion that the bailout we need as a country now is to bail President Mahama out of the Flagstaff House come 2016. I Have no doubt that the youth of this country who have been let down by this insensitive government will lead this charge.

NON FULFILLMENT OF STATUTORY PAYMENTS TO THE EDUCATIONAL SECTOR

Ladies and Gentlemen, without mincing words, our nation’s educational system risk a total collapse should government keep to its current lackadaisical posture on honoring statutory payments to various institutions within the educational sector. It is very sad to reveal that contrary to the postulations of the NDC government on enhancing quality Education in our basic schools, capitation grant for basic schools remain a problem.  Consequently, essential teaching and learning materials like common chalk, textbooks, teachers’ notebook, classroom registers, Continues Assessment (CA) and several others are lacking in our schools. Engulfed in this pathetic situation we can only imagine the effectiveness of teaching and learning in our nation’s public basic schools. Ladies and gentlemen, our hearts bleed for the future of this country.

Additionally, we wish to express our dissatisfaction at government’s halfhearted attitude towards the School Feeding Programme. It is increasingly becoming obvious that the programme which at inception was a novelty risk total collapse since government is showing little commitment to settling its huge indebtedness to the caterers employed under the scheme. As a result, a number of these caterers have stopped providing meals to pupils in their designated schools. The situation, ladies and gentlemen is even worse in our second cycle institutions. Till date the N.D.C. government, has paid subvention  for only the first term of the 2013-2014 academic year, a situation which has left creditors breathing down the neck of school authorities in our second cycle institutions. We are therefore not surprised at the threats of the Conference of Heads of Assisted Senior High Schools (CHASS) not to reopen in September if all outstanding subventions are not paid.  The case is no different in our schools of Special Need (ie School for the blind, School for the deaf) Indeed the mercilessness of the John Mahama led government knows no bounds. It is instructive to note, that amidst all these unpardonable failure, President Mahama still goes round the country making unrealistic promises. We are till date yet to see a five (5) inches cement block laid for the first of the 200 senior high schools as promised ahead of elections 2012. We are tired of the empty promises Mr. President.

Again, we find intriguing that despite the GETFUND component on VAT, the fund is in arrears to the tune of more than 600 Million Ghana Cedis, a situation that we deem as pathetic, ill-starred and ill-fated. As a result of this irresponsible action on the part of the N.D.C. government, many students on GETFUND scholarship outside the country have abandoned their studies and in their attempt to survive resorted to begging and in some cases the sale of personal belongings. We wish to use this day to remind President Mahama and his N.D.C. government of the recent ruling in the Nyamah vrs the Republic in which the court ordered the state to pay all outstanding arrears to the fund. President Mahama, you cannot pick and choose which court order you wish to comply with.

WITHDRAWAL OF ALLOWANCES FOR TEACHER AND NURSE TRAINEES

We are highly disheartened by the brutish treatment Government is meting out to Health worker trainees in Ghana by not paying their allowances for close to 3 years.  We further    find it extremely inhumane and coldhearted to learn of Government’s decision to abolish the meagre allowances paid to both teacher and nurse trainees.  Evidently, these allowances although not sufficient go a long way to motivate trainees, help them to pay their fees and enable them to do research in their respective fields of study. Scrapping these allowances as announced by government will compound the hardship that these students already face and most likely lead to poor education outcomes in these fields. We therefore call for an unconditional reversal of government’s decision regarding the abolishment of trainee allowances.

STRIKES IN THE EDUCATIONAL SECTOR

We further bemoan Government’s unwillingness and persistent lack of seriousness towards addressing the needs of associations such as POTAG and UTAG. The blatant disregard and lack of cooperation by Government in settling the needs of these bodies is obviously having a huge toll on tertiary education in Ghana. It remains obvious that if government does not wake up to its responsibility, our Universities just like our Polytechnics would be closed down. We are hereby urging government to seek an amicable end to the POTAG and UTAG strikes rather than maintaining a dismissive posture as has always been case since 2009.

OUR DEMANDS AS WE MARK WORLD YOUTH DAY

In view of the above, we demand of the N.D.C. government the following within the shortest possible time or incur the wrath of the youth of Ghana;

  1. Prepare and present to the entire Ghanaian population a comprehensive approach/framework in addressing the high youth unemployment situation in Ghana as opposed to the empty rhetoric on the matter.
  2. Fulfill all statutory payments to the educational sector (Capitation grant, School Feeding Program, CHASS, Special Schools and GETFUND)
  3. Pay in full all outstanding arrears due Nurse trainees and restore the decision to continuously pay Teacher and Nurse trainee allowances
  4. Settle all outstanding issues with POTAG and UTAG including the payment of book and research allowances due.

Finally, to the youth of Ghana who have endured the pain and hardship brought about by the slow motion and limping government of the N.D.C, I still believe there is hope.

I still believe the future is bright. I believe we can collectively rise together as youth, but I also believe our dreams, hopes and aspirations cannot be realized under this government.

Ladies and gentlemen, we accused late President Mills of being slow, but from hindsight we have come to the realization that Mills’ Slow Motion is far better than President Mahama’s No Motion.

God bless our homeland Ghana.

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Signed

 

Samuel Awuku

 

(National Youth Organizer)

 

Advertisements

PRESS STATEMENT ON THE INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY

On this occasion of the International Youth Day, we are presented with the opportunity to boost the awareness drive on matters that concern youth development. The youth face all kinds of obstacles as they struggle to acquire the skills needed to transition into adulthood.

Today, they find limited opportunities to express new ideas and are often not in positions of power to grow them. Although problems of the youth have been acknowledged in various documents, culminating into a national youth policy, its impact is yet to be felt.

In commemorating this important day, we must ensure that, the development of the youth begin from the basic units of society like the family, schools and religious establishments.

I believe strongly that older generations must inspire the young to reach for greater heights and create avenues for them to test new ideas and develop new science. Corporate organisations and political parties must also appreciate the need to prepare their youthful members to take over in future.

The youth is often called the future of the world, and rightly so. But at a time when 85 per cent of the world’s population fall within the youth bracket, with most living in emerging economies, we must acknowledge also that the future is now.

The UN, which set aside this day for the youth has dedicated it to raising awareness of their mental health needs. It says wide ranging efforts at all levels are needed to discourage stigmatisation and discrimination against people with mental health challenges. Increased education is crucial to reducing stigma and in changing how we talk about and perceive mental health.

On the local front, we are threatened by the outbreak of the Ebola virus. Since February it has ravaged through a few of our West African neighbours, causing much suffering and fast approaching the toll of a thousand deaths.

The youth, who form a majority of our population, will not be spared if this disease crosses over into the country. Authorities must boost the sensitisation efforts not just in the urban areas but in the rural places where quick access to proper health care is non-existent. Especially when there is no known cure for this disease, our rural folks must be taught preventative practices and signs to look out for possible infections.

There is hope for Ghana, I therefore encourage the teaming youth of our country not to live in despair but embrace the present moment by believing in themselves and their God-given talents for a prosperous future.

…SIGNED…
ALAN JOHN KYEREMATEN

STOP THE CAMPAIGN OF LIES

The attention of the Campaign Headquarters of Alan John Kwadwo

Kyerematen has been drawn to a renewed campaign of lies and vilification by

elements within the Nana Addo campaign against Alan Kyerematen, and do

hereby call on those bent on throwing mud at Alan to stop forthwith in the

interest of party unity.

In a recent publication in The Publisher of Wednesday 6th

August, 2014, one Hopeson Adorye who is an active supporter of Nana Addo

is charging that Alan is spreading leaflets which are claiming that Nana has

suspended his campaign activities on grounds of ill-health.

The Alan for President Campaign Headquarters, hereby, states categorically

that these claims are false, unfounded and fabricated with the motive of

undermining Alan’s clean, decorous and manifestly issues-based campaign.

We wish to let all and sundry know that Alan’s message is clear, credible and

strong, that he is the best placed candidate to unite the party, resource the

party adequately to fight and win elections. Alan Kyerematen also has what it

takes to fix the economy of Ghana within a matter of two years of becoming

President of Ghana.

With such a critical focus both on the party’s rejuvenation and national

reconstruction, we wish to emphasise that Alan’s campaign team has no time

to spare on trivialities and propaganda. Such trivialities and propaganda only

have the potential to undermine party unity, and also jeopardise the party’s

chances of winning the crucial elections of 2016.

We, hereby, admonish all, especially, Hopeson Adorye and his ilk that the

party faces a critical and uphill task of fulfilling the expectations, hopes and

aspirations of Ghanaians, of bringing the NPP coming back to power in 2016.

The focus of Alan’s campaign will not be diverted to such inconsequential

matters, personal attacks and divisive tendencies that do not contribute

anything to the party’s or Ghana’s good. What NPP and Ghana need now are

positive ideas and a productive campaign that will bring NPP to power and

Ghana out of the current leadership and economic mess inflicted on us by the

August – Sunday 10th

Mahama-led NDC government.

In a related development, we wish to correct the false reporting by the

Daily Guide of Monday, August 11, 2014, that only a handful of constituency

chairmen attended the meeting with Alan Kyerematen in Tamale last

Thursday. For the record, twenty-nine out of the total of thirty-one

constituency chairmen attended the meeting with Alan in Tamale. This is a

simple matter of record which a newspaper of the stature of Daily Guide could

easily have cross-checked and avoided such misrepresentation of facts.

The Alan for President Campaign Team do appreciate and value our

partnership with the media. We however call on the media to verify and

cross-check such important details of facts as such misrepresentation of facts

have the potential to undermine the credibility of the media and our valued

partnership.

Nana Ohene-Ntow

Director, Communications

AKUFO-ADDO LAMENTS LACK OF PUBLIC EDUCATION ON EBOLA

In the last few weeks,  in my travels across the country, I’ve used the opportunity to have conversations with ordinary people on issues of public concern, including the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in some neighbouring countries. I have been disturbed by the lack of public education out there. There appears to be no comprehensive nationwide programme to give the people of Ghana proper information on Ebola. It is as if the work of public education has been left entirely to the mass media with no policy direction or deliberate support from Government.
Key to preventing and controlling this outbreak lies in the hands of public officials in the form of public education programmes.  We need to see and hear more about how to prevent, detect or deal with the disease in our efforts to stop it from spreading to Ghana and beyond.
Lack of public education fuels panic and the consequences of public ignorance could be disastrous.
It is better to spend wisely now to educate the public than to spend more later to deal with the  predictable, potential consequences of being hit by the pandemic because we did not prepare well enough against it.
Join me in urging Government to do a lot more to increase public education  about Ebola. It is imperative in preventing and containing this unprecedented outbreak. Prevention awareness education is the best cure.
God bless you.
……signed……
Nana Akufo-Addo

AKUFO-ADDO URGES NPP POLLING AGENTS TO REMAIN VIGILANT

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has congratulated all polling agents of the New Patriotic Party for doing a good job in protecting the party’s interests in the ongoing limited voter registration exercise, urging them to remain vigilant in the last few days of the exercise.
Akufo-Addo made this known when he toured 6 registration centres in the Agortime-Ziope, Adaklu, Central Tongu and Akatsi constituencies of the Volta Region on Sunday, as part of the monitoring exercise which has seen him visit so far a few registration centres in the Greater Accra and Central Regions.
Accompanied by Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, his running mate in the 2008 and 2012 elections; John Peter Amewu, Volta Regional NPP Chairman; Nii Adjiri Blankson, former Mayor of Accra; Elizabeth Ohene, former Minister of Education; regional NPP executives, and some constituency chairmen of the party in the region, the Afegame E.P. Primary registration centre, located in the border constituency of Agortime-Ziope, was the first centre visited by Akufo-Addo and his team.
Prior to visiting the registration centre, Nana Akufo-Addo paid a call on the Chief of Agortime Afegame, Nene Mawumasro XIV, as a mark of courtesy before proceeding to the registration centre in Agortime Ziope.
“The fact that you have travelled to Agortime to see us is very rare. We have been on the other side for a long time without any development or prosperity coming to us. We are going to make the change in 2016 and you will see the difference in the votes you will receive in 2016,” Nene Mawumasro XIV assured Nana Akufo-Addo.
Witnessing at first hand, activities at this registration centre, some ten yards from the Togolese border, Nana Akufo-Addo took time to interact with polling agents of the party and EC registration officials.
The NPP polling agents told Nana Addo that “registration has been slow”, as they have recorded a very low turnout since the start of the registration exercise. Newly elected voters confirmed their eligibility through two residents who already have their names in the voters’ register, the registration officials told Nana Addo.
Akufo-Addo urged the NPP agents and EC officials to ensure that only eligible voters are registered in the 10-day exercise.
At Kpetoe, still in the Agortime Ziope constituency, Akufo-Addo called on Nene Noe Keteku III, the Chief of Agortime Kpetoe, who prayed to God for “a new environment to engulf the nation in 2016.”
Akufo-Addo then proceeded to visit the Agortime SHS registration centre, where he appealed to the NPP agents to ensure that the number of new voters recorded in the log book, provided by the party, tallies with the number of voters registered by the Electoral Commission. Additionally, he urged the NPP polling agents to make it a point to demand, from the EC registration officials, a copy of the daily print out of registered voters.
Moving to the St. Anthony’s Catholic Church registration centre in Adaklu Ahunda, in the Adaklu constituency, Mr. Paul Ege, the NPP polling agent, told Akufo-Addo that the process had been smooth, with only 23 persons registering at the centre since the commencement of the registration exercise.
The E.P Primary School registration centre located in Mafi-Kumase, and the Adidome District Assembly Hall registration centre, all in the Central Tongu constituency, were also visited by Akufo-Addo.
At the Pioneer Tobacco Company Hall registration centre in Akatsi, hundreds of residents poured into the registration centre upon learning of the arrival of Nana Akufo-Addo with shouts of “Naa Nana, Naa ShoƆ” and “No Nana No Vote”, a scene described by NPP regional executives as “never seen before.”
Nana Akufo-Addo told the gathering that, “Thus far, I have been to a few registration centres in the Greater Accra and Central Regions to monitor proceedings in the ongoing limited voter registration exercise. From what I have observed in the centres I have visited, the process appears to be proceeding smoothly.”
He continued, “However, we cannot tell if this situation pertains to all the registration centres across the country. When the exercise is completed on August 13, that is when we can analyse reports from all parts of the country and determine whether or not the registration exercise was a success.”
Akufo-Addo also took the opportunity to thank all well-wishers across the country who, in diverse ways, have been helping NPP agents at the registration centres and feeding them as well. He pleaded with them to continue their good deeds until the end of the exercise.
The Eastern Region, on Tuesday, August 12, will be the last region to be toured by Nana Akufo-Addo, ahead of the August 14 resumption of his campaign for the flagbearership of the NPP.