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1.Rawlings opens up on execution of General Afrifa & others, says Afrifa was being provocative.
Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, Head of State during the AFRC days of mid-1979, says he signed Lieutenant General Akwasi Amankwaa Afrifa’s death warrant because he, the former, was naive, and trusted the admonition of a general who asked, "Where is the rogue?"
“It must interest you to know that Afrifa was being provocative and I had him locked up, and he wasn't feeling too good so I asked that they [take] him to hospital. After he recovered, the gentleman keeping an eye on him was called Dennis, asked what needs to be done to Afrifa so I asked him to let him go home,” Rawlings told Kwaku Sakyi-Addo of Asaase Radio in part two of their controversial interview.
According to Rawlings, some true proper Generals who should have paid the price would have been 80 or more.
“Unfortunately, too many of the names belong to a certain ethnic group. If we had to punish them with the execution [which people wanted], it was going to look like ethnic cleansing. That's how come we had to load the faults on the heads of the commanders, including innocent ones and to limit the number,” the former military leader recounted.
He said that the execution of the innocent Generals was very painful “because some of them were good people and didn’t deserve to die but that was the only way we could prevent the thing from getting out of hand”.
Rawlings added that on the eve of the execution, with a heavy heart and tears in his eyes he presented the list of those to be executed to a senior colleague officer who was also a General and the latter asked “where is the rogue? The rogue’s name is not on the list.”
Rawlings said that even though he didn’t know who the general was talking about, he was at a point very shocked.
“So, I turned towards him expecting him to say who he meant by that rogue. Because here you are, trying to prevent a situation with such a list, for him to be asking for an additional name, a name that was not on the list, took me aback a little. Then he said General Afrifa," Rawlings added, refusing to disclose the name of the general.
Rawlings explained that this officer convinced him by stating, “Afrifa had been advanced a good lot of money to wage a campaign against Acheampong’s union government and instead of using that money for that purpose,...he used the money to edge out Paa Willie [William Ofori-Atta] and took over the leadership of that party…so I kept quiet collected the list and went away and did what I had to do.”
When asked whether General Afrifa’s name was added to the list, Rawlings stated: “it was obvious that his name would have to be added, because we would have to make some serious sacrifices and the guiltier you are, the easier you could be”.
A "naïve" Rawlings would later understand the politics at the time, he gave an alibi.
Rawlings explained that what the said General told him about Afrifa could very well be true, “however, I think he wanted that man out of the way because he felt upstaged by General Afrifa by virtue of the 1966 coup. Until then, he thought he was a rising star, the point man for Western Intelligence Organizations."
“When we compiled the list, none of us had Afrifa in mind. But when you hold such a General in awe and you’re just a young officer flashed into a situation like this and people have to go...it is not illogical.”
2.Remind Ghanaians of 'the bleak' situation we inherited – Akufo-Addo to NPP communicators.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has urged communicators of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to remind Ghanaians of his government’s achievements in the past three-and-a-half years as the country goes into another general election.
In a virtual meeting with the party’s 2020 Campaign Communications Advisory Team via Zoom on Sunday, 12 July 2020 from the Presidential Villa where he is self-isolating over COVID-19 fears, the President said: “We need to set before the Ghanaian people clearly, the situation we inherited on the 7 of January 2017”.“
It is critical”, the President stressed, “because, without that reference, it is difficult to measure the quality of the achievement”.
“You have the records: dumsor, high rate of inflation, low rates of growth, widespread unemployment, a certain level of demoralisation in the country; and within three years, this very bleak economic narrative has been transformed”, he reminded the communicators.
President Akufo-Addo also urged the team to drum home the government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think there is a need to continue stressing the need for respecting the COVID-19 protocols. We are in government and it is very important that, that aspect of our concern about the need for our people to be safe comes out positively in everything we say. People have to take the protocols seriously.”
Ahead of the President’s virtual meeting, the Campaign team had issued a statement urging the communicators to focus on the government’s records.
The statement, signed by Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, Deputy Manager of the NPP’s 2020 Campaign Team, said: “The President of the Republic of Ghana and presidential candidate of the NPP and the 2020 campaign team, wish to remind its faithful that the party’s philosophy of positive engagement still holds valid”.
“We, therefore, urge all who speak for, or purport to speak for the party, to refrain from attacking political opponents. We specifically ask that no reference should ever be made to opponents’ ethnicity, religion or gender”.
“We shall campaign on our record and win. Indeed, there is enough to speak about with regard to our record. We cannot beat our opponents in the politics of calumny. Let us, therefore, refrain”.
3.President Akufo-Addo has told NPP communicators to insist on comparing his record with that of former President John Mahama as they campaign for his reelection in the upcoming polls.
The President has also charged the communicators to ask Ghanaians to make a decision based on records on which of the two leaders is best to be trusted with affairs of the nation.
In a Zoom meeting with NPP campaign communications advisory team, the President who is in isolation said the NPP has a superior message of achievement to tell Ghanaians.
“This is the first time that the incumbent and his immediate predecessor are contesting, it has not happened before. Usually, it is the incumbent and somebody who is coming for the first time. We have to be very very insistent at looking at the records of the two leaders in the period of their governorship,” he said.
The 2020 campaign team of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has advised its communicators against attacking ethnicity or gender of their opponents as they campaign in the 2020 elections.
It comes on the back of the barrage of attacks from some NPP officials on the opposition NDC’s running mate Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang following her announcement by former President John Mahama.
The Deputy campaign manager for the NPP’s campaign team Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid in a statement said: “We, therefore, urge all who speak for, or purport to speak for the party to refrain from attacking political opponents. We specifically ask that no reference should ever be made to opponents’ ethnicity, religion or gender.
“We shall campaign on our record and win. Indeed, there is enough to speak about with regard to our record. We cannot beat our opponents in the politics of calumny. Let us therefore refrain”.
4.NDC will just ‘use’ Prof Jane for ‘Fante votes’ & ‘dump’ her like late Amissah-Arthur - NPP MP.
Elvis Morris Donkor, the Member of Parliament for Abura/Asebu/Kwamankese says the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is only using Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang to gain 'Fante votes'.Prof Naana Opoku-Agyemang was announced as the Running Mate for John Mahama recently.
Morris Donkor said just like how the late former Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur was 'used and dumped' NDC will do same to Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang.
"NDC has a habit of using and dumping people; they used Amissah-Arthur to gain Fante votes, and after they dumped him; he was not even allowed to do his work as the Vice President . . . that is what they do best but it won't happen again," he indicated.
5.Mere military presence intimidating -Mahama.
Mr John Dramani Mahama , former President and Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has said the timing for the military deployment in parts of the country was wrong as it could deter people from coming out to register.
He said it could not be mere coincidence that the state deployed military officers to help immigration officers to enforce the border closure directive by the President to stem COVID-19 spread at a time the Electoral Commission was about to commence compilation of a new Voter’s roll.
Mr Mahama said though the military officers might not be beating or harassing residents in the areas they were deployed to, their presence alone was enough to scare people away, as Ghanaians had been accustomed to the presence of the police in town and the immigration at the borders with the military being deployed in “extreme national emergency.”
He called on the citizenry to desist from comments which engender citizenship debates of some ethnic groups in the country saying, the Constitution was clear on who qualified to be a Ghanaian and that no one had the power to redefine another’s citizenship.
The former President cited the civil war in neighbouring Ivory Coast which was sparked by such unguarded comments to underscore the need to avoid hate speech and let Ghanaians be “united in our diversity” for in it lied the strength of the country.
Torgbuiga Amenya Fiti V, Paramount Chief of Aflao, bemoaned the far reaching consequences of the border closure directive brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic on his people, and called for help to alleviate the suffering of the people.
He said despite the relaxation of the restrictions including the lifting of the lockdown, Aflao residents were not seeing any changes at all as people who always crossed over the border to Togo to access basic necessities of life such as food and water could no longer do that and so had to stay hungry and thirsty.
8.ADR Week commences Monday July 13.
Chief Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah has declared Monday July 13 to Friday July 17 as this year’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) week for the legal year term.
The week is under the theme:"Making our Courts friendly through the use of ADR."
A statement issued in Accra and signed by Mr Alex Nartey, National ADR Coordinator, said: "The focus of the week is to reduce the backlog of cases at the 131 participating courts."
The statement said: "The 131 courts comprising 33 Circuit Courts and 90 District Courts shall participate by devoting the whole week for the settlement of court cases with ADR across the country.
"The Bar, disputants, the media and the public are, therefore, encouraged to participate fully and cooperate with the Judicial Service to make this legal year term a success."
ADR has been adopted by the Judicial Service of Ghana as part of its adjudication process "Court Connected ADR."
The aim of the ADR programme is to ensure that access to justice in Ghana are made easier, cheaper, non adversarial, expeditious and flexible to all, particularly, the poor and vulnerable.
9.Outrage in Garu as police keep ‘powerful convicts’ in cells instead of prison custody.
The police in the Upper East Region town of Garu have defied a district court order to keep convicts in prison custody instead of its cells.
Investigations have uncovered that two convicts – Alale Jonah and Awine Jersey – who have links with ‘powerful relations’ are mounting pressure on the police to keep their kinsmen in a ‘decent police cell’ instead of prison custody. The convicts, according to checks, are final year nursing students who stole 19 computers of a public school.
They were convicted on July 2, 2020 to spend a month in prison with hard labour and a fine of 100 penalty units by His Honor, Joseph Akuoko, a Bawku district court judge with oversight responsibilities over Garu.
A source with an in-depth knowledge of the issue disclosed that “there were a lot of lobbyists on this very case. But the judge was angry upon hearing the secret move. The relatives tried all they could.”
But the police command’s decision to keep the convicts away from where they are supposed to be, has sparked outrage in town.
Checks reveal that eight clear days after the Garu district court passed its judgment, the suspects are cooling in a crowded police cell in Garu instead of being in prisons custody. A visit by this reporter on July 10, saw the convicts in cells.
When contacted, District Police Commander, DSP Dan Yaro stated that his outfit has no vehicle to transport the convicts to the Gambaga prisons. “Our vehicle is down. It has been with the mechanics for two days,” he said.
He, however, added that the convicts will be taken to the Gambaga prisons but did not give timelines.
Checks at the court revealed that court authorities are unaware that the convicts are still being kept in police cells contrary to the judgment. A legal brain believes the action of the police amounts to disrespecting the court.
Efforts to get a response from the Garu District Chief Executive and leader of DISEC, Emmanuel Asore over his outfit’s inability to resource the police command prove futile as calls and text messages sent to his MTN number went unanswered.
10.John Boadu visits registration centres in Ashanti Region.
The General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu, on Sunday, July 12, 2020, took his tour of registration centres to the Ashanti Region to monitor the ongoing nationwide registration exercise.
The tour took him to the Kwamo Chief Palace registration centre, Roman Catholic Church registration centre, Municipal Assembly registration centre, and LA upper primary registration centre in the Ejisu Constituency.
He also toured some registration centres in the Asante Akim Central Constituency including the Agric quarters registration centre as well as Day Care centre 1 and 2 registration centres in Odumasi.
At each of the registration centres he visited, John Boadu donated some PPE including face masks and hand sanitizers to the officials of the Electoral Commission for onward distribution to registrants.
The NPP chief scribe who doubles as the party’s director of campaign operations and logistics was accompanied by a deputy director of communications of the party, Maame Yaa Aboagye and officials at the NPP headquarters.
The John Boadu-led team was received by the respective Parliamentary Candidates of the NPP as well as party executives from of the constituencies they visited.
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