CPP questions decision to let Asians build Bui Dam

The Convention People’s Party (CPP) has expressed worry over the energy crisis in the country.In this regard, the party has proposed a blueprint to arrest the situation.

In an eight-page document written on March 1, 2013 by Robert Woode, a Crusdaing Engineer and the Party’s Spokesperson on Energy, the CPP has questioned the decision to engage the services of Indians and Koreans in building the Bui Dam, a project whose design had been fully completed at the time Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown in 1966, according to the document.

“Why is it that we as Ghanaians are compelled to bring in a third party to build the Bui Dam? We asked if the Indians or the Koreans had been in this position, would they have called on a third party to do this?” the Party asked.

According to the CPP, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has been in existence “over 50 years ago” and so, expertise would have been readily available for the construction of a “much smaller” dam.

“The South Koreans had the equivalent of our Engineering Universities i.e. KIST – ‘The Korean Institute of Science and Technology,’ 15 years after the establishment of KNUST. The Koreans do not invite third parties to build their hydropower plants, so why? Why? We don’t believe that if Kwame Nkrumah had lived till now, this situation could have happened.”

The CPP blamed the situation on Ghana’s political leaders and called for a change of action.

“Our political leaders must not allow this situation to repeat. We need to take steps to empower our people now to have full capacity to build Hydropower Plants,” it indicated.

The document pointed out that there are rivers and streams across the country that have potentials in hydropower and so, Ghanaians must be engaged to build dams over them in order to generate more power for the country.

“Whatever needs to be done must be done now for we still have a number of small rivers and stream with hydropower potential. The Pra River has potential to produce 120 megawatts of power.”



NPP’s boycott decision was to establish just peace in Ghana – Jake tells GBA

Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey has stated that the decision of the party’s Members of Parliament (MPs) to boycott the vetting of ministerial nominees of President John Dramani Mahama was “based on firm principles and is fully consistent with our commitment to work to deepen and improve our evolving democracy and establish a just peace in our country.”

According to him, though the MPs will participate “vigorously” in everyday business of Parliament, they will not engage in any activity or deliberate in matters that involve the constitution of President Mahama’s government as a result of the legal challenge filed by the party’s presidential candidate, his running mate and the party’s chairman regarding the 2012 Election results.

In a missive signed by Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey to the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) in response to the Association’s public call on NPP MPs to reconsider their decision to take part in the vetting of nominees, the NPP Chairman explained that the party’s parliamentary group was consulted on the legal challenge and since vetting nominee ministers, whose role will be to assist the president, will be contradictory to the challenge, the members of the party’s parliamentary group, who, according to the chairman, form an integral part of the NPP, decided not to show up on the Appointments Committee’s public sittings.

“Reconciling our position to our local culture would be that if one is challenging the elevation of a Paramount Chief one does not, at the same time, recognise such sub chiefs as he may enstool,” Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey analogized.

“I hope this explains our position,” he concluded.



Rescind your decision – Majority tells Minority

The Majority members of the Appointments Committee of Parliament have asked the Minority caucus to rescind its decision to boycott the vetting of ministerial nominees of President John Dramani Mahama.

True to an earlier announcement, the Minority members were absent on the first day of vetting on Thursday, January 24, 2013.

According to some of the Majority members, who were present, the Minority’s decision is “undemocratic”.

“Unfortunately, we can see that members of the Minority caucus who belong to this committee are absent,” said Ebo Barton Oduro, Chairman of the Committee and First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, in his opening address on the first public sitting of the Committee.

“Indeed there has been no official communication except to say that just before I entered this conference room, I received a call from the Minority Leader, who happens to be the ranking member of this Committee to the effect that they cannot be part of it,” he explained.

He was emphatic by stating that he did not consider that move by Osei Kyei Mensa Bonsu official from the Minority.

The question of quorum came to the fore though Alhaji Ibrahim Gombila, Deputy Clerk to Parliament, assured that quorum had been met since 14 out of the 25 members showed up.

Notwithstanding, members of the Committee present asked the Minority to rescind its decision since it was not “too late’ to do so.

“We pray and hope that they are going to rescind their decision as many more Ghanaians are appealing to them because this is in the very best interest of the nation,” said Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed, MP for Asawase Constituency and a member of the Committee.

“I keep asking questions that when these people bring budgets, are they going to boycott them?” he asked. “Does it mean that when these [ministers] do appropriation like the MP’s Common Fund, they will not use it?”

Julian Azumah Mensah, MP for Agotime-Ziope Constituency, was impressed after the first day of sitting but said Minority MPs would have raised more probing questions.

“I believe it’s the same way we normally ask questions but it would have been nice and democratically right to have our colleagues with us so that they can raise other issues that we, clouded by being on the same side, may not have raised,” she pointed out.

“It’s not too late.”

But MP for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa described the Minority’s decision as “undemocratic” and that it “defies logic”.

“We will appeal that they can come back and carry out the responsibility that we have all been voted to carry out.”



Petitioners rescind decision to challenge panel composition

Counsel for the petitioners – Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Mahamudu Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey – in the case against the Electoral Commission and President John Dramani Mahama has rescinded its decision to challenge the composition of the panel to consider National Democratic Congress’ application to be joined in the petition.

In a letter written to Registrar of the Supreme Court on Friday, lead counsel Phillip Addison expressed the petitioners’ decision not to pursue their challenge any further in order to allow the substantive petition to be heard.

The counsel on Thursday, January 10, 2013 challenged the presence of Justice William Anaam Atuguba on the panel, claiming he may be influenced as a result of his relationship with newly-appointed Executive Secretary to the president, Raymond Atuguba. 

This decision, therefore, leaves the Court to schedule a date for NDC’s joinder application to be heard.