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Is Threatening The Nigerian Political Class The Solution To Nigeria's Problems? / Achievements Of Nigeria Political Class- The House Of Rep / Are Nigerians Resident In Uk Jealous Of Their Visiting Counterparts ? (1) (2) (3) (4)
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 9:37am On Dec 14, 2011|
Papua New Guinea in crisis as two claim to be prime minister
Supreme court rules ousting of absent Michael Somare was illegal but Peter O'Neill and his MPs refuse to hand back power
Papua New Guinea's government is in crisis, with two men claiming to the be the legitimate prime minister in a row that has embroiled the country's supreme court and governor general.
Veteran leader Sir Michael Somare was reinstated as prime minister by the country's highest court on Monday after he had been removed and replaced by rival Peter O'Neill while out of the country having medical treatment.
O'Neill has refused to give up power despite the court order and the recognition of Somare's cabinet by the governor general, Sir Michael Ogio. O'Neill's MPs have continued to pass legislation recognising him as leader.
The battle escalated when MPs backing O'Neill stormed the governor general's gates a day after the supreme court ruling that Somare's removal and O'Neill's election by parliament in August was unconstitutional. "We are unarmed and we're the legitimate government," the Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted the MPs as telling police.
Somare said on Wednesday that his cabinet had been sworn in by Ogio, who represents PNG's head of state, Queen Elizabeth II.
Somare insisted he did not need to be sworn in himself because the supreme court had already reinstated him as prime minister. "It is regretful that all of government was put on hold but this situation has been diffused by the swearing-in today of my cabinet," Somare said.
The crisis continued on Wednesday, with MPs loyal to O'Neill passing a motion ordering Ogio to swear in O'Neill as prime minister. O'Neill could not be reached for comment but on Tuesday he said he had met with Ogio briefly after the march to the official residence in the capital, Port Moresby.
The supreme court's 3-2 decision on Monday that ruled O'Neill's election unconstitutional came after O'Neill's government passed a series of retroactive laws legalising its decision to dump Somare from office while he was in Singapore recovering from a heart condition.
One of Somare's first acts when the supreme court ordered his return to power was to reinstate the former police commissioner Fred Yakasa and oust O'Neill's appointee, Tom Kulunga. Both police chiefs were present at the governor general's home and held discussions with MPs loyal to O'Neill.
Somare has based himself at the Ela Beach Hotel, where he has set up a cabinet made up mostly of ministers from his previous government.
Somare had been in Singapore for five months between late March and 6 September, when he returned to parliament after three heart operations.
Kevin Rudd, the foreign minister in neighbouring Australia, said the former Australian territory had entered uncharted waters.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 2:11pm On Dec 15, 2011|
Chirac Found Guilty in Political Funding Case
By STEVEN ERLANGER
Published: December 15, 2011
PARIS — Former French President Jacques Chirac, 79, was convicted on Thursday of embezzlement and misuse of public funds to illegally finance his political party using fake jobs when he was mayor of Paris.
Mr. Chirac, who was not present at the trial because of reported health and memory problems, received a two-year suspended sentence from the judges.
While beloved by many as a grandfather figure, Mr. Chirac’s reputation will inevitably be stained. He is the first former French head of state to be prosecuted, let alone convicted, since Marshal Philippe Pétain, who collaborated with the Nazis, was convicted of treason in 1945.
“Your moral and political responsibility is immense,” said a lawyer for Mr. Chirac, Georges Kiejman, to the judges, while pleading for acquittal. “Your judgment will be the last image given of Jacques Chirac.”
The trial went forward despite the prosecution’s call for an acquittal. Mr. Chirac had denied all the charges, which stem from his period as mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995, when he was elected president. The city of Paris dropped its complaint against Mr. Chirac in return for a payment of more than $3 million, which was provided by Mr. Chirac and the governing Union for a Popular Movement party, the successor to Mr. Chirac’s party.
The anticorruption group Anticor became the prime plaintiff in the case.
Ten people were on trial in this case. Two were acquitted. The others were sentenced to a few months of suspended prison sentences.
Mr. Chirac had been protected by immunity from all prosecutions while he was president of France, and after he left office in 2007, his lawyers have fought to avoid a trial.
The current foreign minister, Alain Juppé, was a deputy financial adviser to Mr. Chirac at city hall and was general secretary of his party. Mr. Juppé was convicted in 2004 on similar charges; he received an 18-month suspended jail sentence and lost the right to run for political office for 10 years. He appealed and had his sentence reduced.
Mr. Chirac faced maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and fines totaling 150,000 euros.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 2:30pm On Dec 15, 2011|
Paddy Paddy (PDP) Arrangement
Alain Juppé: I dey Kampe
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 10:14am On Dec 22, 2011|
12 December 2011 Last updated at 15:04 GMT
Zimbabwe chief fines Morgan Tsvangirai over 'wedding'
Morgan Tsvangirai accuses security agents of interfering in his private life
A traditional court in Zimbabwe has fined Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for breaking a cultural taboo by paying a bride price in November.
He was ordered to pay two cows, two sheep and 10 metres of cotton cloth.
The prime minister refused to attend the hearing because it was "manifestly illegal", his lawyer said.
Mr Tsvangirai paid a bride price to marry a businesswoman before calling off their relationship, saying it had been "hijacked" for political reasons.
He was ordered to appear before a court headed by chief Negomo in Mashonaland Central province.
"Our hearing went on well, despite the prime minister's decision to disrespect the court by absconding," chief Negomo's assessor, Maj Cairo Mhandu, is quoted by Zimbabwe's privately owned The Standard newspaper as saying.
"We gave him 30 days to pay and if he doesn't, we will send debt collectors after him and attach whatever we can."
Maj Mhandu said the family of his former fiancee, Locadia Tembo, was also fined.
"His in-laws were ordered to pay two cattle, two sheep and a goat because they agreed to receive his money during a sacred month," he said, The Standard reports.
Mr Tsvangirai and Ms Tembo belong to the Shona ethnic group, which believes that marriage proceedings in November bring bad luck.
Mr Tsvangirai's lawyer Selby Hwacha said the court had no power to hear the case.
"From a legal point, Tsvangirai will not appear before your court because the entire process is manifestly illegal and void," Mr Hwacha said in response to the chief's summons, The Standard reports.
"It appears to us that you have not read and/or that you do not understand the law, province and your limits as a traditional chief."
The traditional ceremony, where the bride price of several thousand dollars was paid on 18 November, took place in Christon Bank, about 25km (15 miles) north of Harare.
The area falls under the jurisdiction of chief Negomo.
[b]On 30 November, Mr Tsvangirai said he had called off his relationship with Ms Tembo - a commodity trader and sister of an MP in President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF.
He accused the security services of interfering in his private life and said that his relationship with Ms Tembo had been "irretrievable damaged".
[/b]Mr Tsvangirai's first wife, Susan, died in a car crash soon after he became prime minister.
Tension between Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and Zanu-PF has been growing ahead of elections, expected next year.
The two parties have been in a coalition government since 2009, following elections marred by violence and allegations of vote-rigging.
Mr Tsvangirai boycotted a run-off vote, claiming he had been cheated out of victory in the first round.
He and Mr Mugabe agreed to form a power-sharing government following mediation by regional leaders.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 9:32am On Dec 23, 2011|
Congressman apologizes for criticizing Michelle Obama’s ‘large posterior’
By Holly Bailey
Senior Political Reporter
By Holly Bailey | The Ticket – 13 hrs ago, Email
A Republican congressman from Wisconsin has offered a personal apology to First Lady Michelle Obama after he was overheard at an airport lounge criticizing her "large posterior."
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner was overheard loudly complaining on the phone in the Delta Lounge at Reagan National Airport outside Washington about Obama's healthy food initiative.
According to Fishbowl DC, which first reported the lawmaker's remarks, Sensenbrenner was recounting a recent conversation he'd had at church event in Wisconsin.
Obama, Sensenbrenner said loudly, "lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself."
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Daniel Bice, Sensenbrenner made a similar remark at the Wisconsin church he was referencing in his phone call, telling attendees there that Obama has a "big butt."
The Wisconsin lawmaker—who, it must noted, is a bit rotund--sent a personal note to Obama apologizing for his remarks, his spokeswoman Amanda Infield tells Yahoo News. She declined to go into detail about what the note said.
In a statement to reporters, the lawmaker reiterated his apology. "I regret my inappropriate comment, and I have sent a personal note to the First Lady apologizing," he said.
A spokesman for Obama did not respond to a request for comment.
It's not the first time Republicans have mentioned Obama's looks in criticizing her campaign to end childhood obesity. Earlier this year, Rush Limbaugh trashed the initiative, suggesting Obama doesn't physically appear to practice what she preaches.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 8:25pm On Dec 31, 2011|
Tainted New Year Honours: Knighthood for Tory donor who made millions from credit crunch and CBE for jailed tycoon
Ex-convict Gerald Ronson and Conservative Party supporter Paul Ruddock both honoured
David Cameron accused of being 'out of touch' with decent British people
Government source says Prime Minister has no personal involvement in deciding who receives honours
Founder of online gambling company bet365 also appointed OBE
By David Wilkes and Jason Groves
Last updated at 2:51 PM on 31st December 2011
A disgraced property tycoon and a hedge fund trader who cashed in on the credit crunch are both in the New Year Honours list.
Ex-convict Gerald Ronson – the great survivor of the Guinness share-trading scandal – is made a CBE. And there is a knighthood for Tory donor Paul Ruddock, who has given more than £500,000 to party coffers since 2003.
His firm, Lansdowne Partners, made a staggering £100million from the financial crash by betting that the price of Northern Rock shares would fall and also made millions in a matter of days by predicting the likely slide of other banking shares.
Controversial: Ex-convict Gerald Ronson, pictured left with wife Gail, is appointed CBE while Tory donor Paul Ruddock, right, is to be knighted
The honours sparked a cross-party war of words, with Labour accusing David Cameron of cronyism, but Downing Street insisting that the Prime Minister had nothing to do with the decisions.
Michael Dugher, Labour's Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, said: 'David Cameron promised to clean up politics, but in office he has shown he is utterly out of touch with decent British people. He is giving a knighthood to Paul Ruddock, who made millions from the collapse of Northern Rock and has given over £500,000 to the Tories.
Queen Mother film role lands Helena Bonham Carter a gong as she is made a CBE
Point of order! Proof that Bercow is picking on the PM as figures show Speaker has lashed out at Cameron more than any other MP
Oxbridge Labour is too elitist and fails to connect with working classes, says Miliband aide
Apple's Jonathan Ive gets Knighthood in Queen's New Year Honours
'This tells you everything you need to know about the Tories' priorities. When millions of families are struggling to get by, it's the Tories' friends in the City who get the rewards.'
A member of the Treasury Select Committee, John Mann, described the knighthood for Mr Ruddock as a 'disgrace'. The Labour MP for Bassetlaw said: 'The country is sick to death of bankers getting knighthoods from successive governments.
'It is extraordinary that when there are so many hard working people who have done a lot for this country, it is people who have caused us so many problems that are getting awarded. Small business owners who went under and people who lost their jobs when Northern Rock failed will be extremely angry.'
A Government source stressed that the Prime Minister has no personal involvement in deciding who receives honours and dismissed any suggestion of impropriety. The decision, said the source, was taken by an independent committee in recognition of Mr Ruddock's commitment to the arts.
Donating to a political party is not a bar to an honour but the independent committee is made aware of any donations.
Within Government there was anger at Labour's decision to try to make political capital out of the issue, not least because former Capita boss Rod Aldridge, who has given Labour £1million, is knighted in today's list.
Jailed: Gerald Ronson, left, during his time inside Ford Prison is the great survivor of the Guinness share-trading scandal
No decision to make: A Government source said that the Prime Minister has no personal involvement in deciding who receives honours
A Government source said: 'This criticism is pretty rich, coming from a Labour government that gave Fred Goodwin a knighthood – they should wind their necks in.'
Others from the business world whose honours might raise eyebrows include Denise Coates, founder and chief executive of the online gambling company bet365. She receives the CBE for services to the community and business.
The daughter of Stoke City FC owner Peter Coates, she has a £750million fortune and was this year ranked the eighth-richest woman in the Sunday Times Rich List.
Property tycoon and philanthropist Ronson, 72, who was jailed in 1990 for his part in the Guinness scam, has been honoured for services to charity. It is rare for a former prisoner to be bestowed with such an honour.
Indeed, one of his co-defendants, the late Jack Lyons, was stripped of his knighthood after they were convicted along with two other top City figures. Lyons, who was spared a 30-month term because of his poor health, was knighted by the 1973 Labour government and had his title taken away by John Major.
Proud moment: Those people on the New Year Honours list will enjoy a day at Buckingham Palace
Ronson founded Heron Group – now Heron International Plc – when he was 17, brought self-service petrol stations to the UK in 1960s and was once the 14th-richest person in Britain and worth £548million.
In 1990 he was, with Lyons, Ernest Saunders and Anthony Parnes, convicted over Guinness's £2.7billion takeover of the Scottish drinks group Distillers.
The fraud had the effect of boosting the Guinness share price. As it rose, the group's offer to Distillers' shareholders increased in value, helping Guinness fend off a bid from rival Argyll and secure the deal.
Ronson was convicted of conspiring to create a false market, false accounting and one of theft. He was fined £5million and sentenced to a year, but freed after six months for good behaviour.
He has always protested his innocence, saying he did not knowingly act dishonestly.
A father of four, he is also the uncle of chart-topping musician Mark Ronson.
He has raised more than £100million for, and donated more than £30million to, charities such as the Community Security Trust, NSPCC, the Prince's Trust and Jewish Care.
Asked if Ronson's conviction had any influence over the decision to award him a CBE, a Cabinet Office spokesman said every nomination for an honour was considered on its own merits.
Other former prisoners to be honoured in the past include footballer Tony Adams, who was jailed for drink-driving in 1990 and made an MBE 14 years later. And Mick Jagger was knighted in 2002, 35 years after being jailed for possessing drugs. The sentence was reduced on appeal to a conditional discharge.
Paul Ruddock, 53, becomes a Knight Bachelor for services to the arts in today's honours list.
During the credit crunch in 2007 and 2008 the activities of 'short sellers' enraged politicians who were trying to shore up plunging bank shares.
Many observers blamed the practice – based on traders selling stock, allowing the price to fall and then buying it back – for the bailout funded by taxpayers.
Short-sellers were accused of targeting Halifax owner HBOS in particular before it was rescued by Lloyds and then the taxpayer.
Mr Ruddock has given £551,598.42 to the Tories since 2003. He is one of the City's wealthiest men, with a fortune estimated at £280million.
Among his philanthropic work, he is chairman of the Victoria and Albert Museum, for which he has helped raise more than £120million.
And I dub thee, Sir Big Brother
Peter Bazalgette has the dubious distinction of being the man who brought Big Brother – the epitome of downmarket reality TV – to UK screens.
Despite what many will regard as a less than enriching contribution to British life, the media executive has been given a knighthood for services to broadcasting.
The 58-year-old was also credited with being instrumental in the rise of lifestyle and make-over shows, having been behind series such as Ground Force, Changing Rooms and Ready Steady Cook.
Yesterday Baz, as he is known within the TV industry, said the honour was a ‘delightful compliment’.
Bazalgette, great great grandson of civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette, oversaw the launch, and several series, of Big Brother for Endemol as well as shows such as Fame Academy, Restoration and Deal Or No Deal.
While he did not invent the format for Big Brother he was credited with playing a major part in making the show a success.
Delighted: Peter Bazalgette, the man who brought Big Brother to UK screens, has been given a knighthood for services to broadcasting
During his time at the company the reality series was involved in a number of controversies including showing a couple apparently Being Intimate, albeit under the covers, on Teen Big Brother in 2003.
Five years ago, in the ‘celebrity’ version of the show, viewers were treated to the dubious privilege of seeing maverick MP George Galloway dressed in a cat costume and as a vampire, while more recent participants include Sally Bercow, wife of the Commons Speaker.
One critic has accused Bazalgette of doing more to ‘debase’ TV over the past decade than anyone else.
In recent years he has acted largely as a consultant to the TV industry and for digital media.
He has also written about the business of TV formats, with his book Billion Dollar Game published in 2005.
Bazalgette said he viewed the award as an acknowledgment of the work of independent TV production firms.
After graduating from Cambridge University, Bazalgette joined the BBC’s news trainee scheme, moving on to become a researcher for That’s Life and then a reporter for Man Alive. Moving behind the cameras, he produced the long-running series Food And Drink before setting up his own company Bazal, later to be absorbed into the Dutch TV giant Endemol.
He went on to become Endemol’s chief creative officer, leaving the company in 2007.
Bazalgette is president of the Royal Television Society, deputy chairman of English National Opera and the National Film and Television School, and has served on the board of Channel 4.
In January this year he was made a non-executive director to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for his ‘business acumen’ and ‘particular insight into a broad spectrum of media issues’.
Another successful TV executive, Paul Smith, the man behind Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, is made a CBE.
He was also executive producer of the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 8:36pm On Dec 31, 2011|
They STILL don't get it: As train fares rocket, MPs enjoy first-class travel at our expense
Claims for upper-class flights and rail journeys to top £1million a year
Comes despite pledge to ban the practice after expenses scandal
By Jason Groves
Last updated at 8:20 AM on 3rd January 2012
MPs are on course to claim more than £1million a year for first-class travel – despite a promised ban on the practice in the wake of the expenses scandal.
The claims have more than doubled in a year as they exploit a loophole in the latest ‘tough’ expenses regime, figures show.
They highlight the extent to which the system cossets MPs from the crippling rises in the cost of living that are squeezing the incomes of ordinary families.
Cosseted: Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, pictured with Labour leader Ed Miliband (left) on a train to Newcastle, claimed six first-class fares of up to £116 each between London and Wakefield in the months of June and July last year
Beggars belief: Energy Secretary Chris Huhne (left) claimed three first-class fares costing up to £63.60 each, while Labour MP Chris Wilson (right) was reimbursed £382.50p for a first-class ticket from Darlington to London which would have only cost £106.20 as a walk-on fare
While commuters are facing a rise in ticket prices of up to 11 per cent, MPs can simply bill the taxpayer and continue to travel first class.
Figures released by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, covering the months of June and July last year, show that MPs claimed for 1,334 first-class rail journeys at a total cost of £136,800 – a 155 per cent increase on the same period the previous year.
More, The brass-necked MPs who had an SinParty of expenses spending could learn a lesson from frugal Mrs Thatcher
During the same two months, they also took 115 business class flights, claiming £35,722 from the taxpayer.
The combined claims for upper class rail and air fares are now on course to top £1million a year.
Revealed: Some of the claims made by MPs for first-class travel
Emma Boon, campaign director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, called for a clampdown on the practice.
‘It beggars belief that some politicians think they can live the high life at taxpayers’ expense,’ she said. ‘If they want to sit in first class, they can pay the extra themselves.’
MPs’ claims for taxis have also doubled in the past year, despite a supposed ban in all but exceptional circumstances.
In June and July, they claimed £13,681 in taxi fares – up from £6,384 in the same period the previous year.
MPs reacted with fury to proposals for a ban on first-class travel in the wake of the expenses scandal.
The backlash resulted in watered-down proposals that allowed MPs to travel first class if they could find a more expensive standard class ticket.
Accelerating costs: MPs claimed for 1,334 first-class rail journeys in June and July, costing a total of £136,800 - a 155 per cent increase on the same period last year
Because of the expensive prices charged for flexible ‘Anytime’ tickets, this means MPs are often able to travel first class.
MPs exploiting the loophole include Shadow Chancellor Ed spheres, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne.
Tory ministers appear to have made an unspoken agreement to avoid claiming for first-class travel.These tickets are never the cheapest and are often several times the price of a walk-on fare.
For example, Labour MP Phil Wilson claimed £382.50 for a first-class ticket from Darlington to London.
A walk-on standard return costs £106.20, while those booking just a day in advance can pick up two single tickets for a total of £87.
Fellow Labour MP Tony Cunningham claimed three tickets to his Cumbrian constituency at a cost of £291.50 each.
A walk-on standard return costs just £91.20.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 3:32pm On Jan 03, 2012|
'Napoleon would be turning in his grave': Minister's horrified reaction after Salma Hayek awarded France's top honour
By Peter Allen
Last updated at 1:39 PM on 3rd January 2012
France’s honours system was branded a laughing stock today after Mexican-born sex symbol Salma Hayek was made a Knight.
It led to one former minister refusing the same award, with others suggesting the 45-year-old’s new status would see Napoleon Bonaparte ‘turning in his grave’.
Ms Hayek is currently promoting Puss in Boots, a film in which she provides the voice for a character called Kitty Softpaws.
In shining armour: Salma Hayek will become a Chevalier - or Knight - of the Legion of Honour for her services to the French Republic
Just before Christmas she boasted about her very large bosoms, saying she had prayed as a young girl to be given ‘some bosoms’.
Yet President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that she will become a Chevalier – or Knight - of the Legion of Honour for her services to the French Republic.
It is not yet clear what those services are.
Crucially, Ms Hayek is married to businessman Francois-Henri Pinault, who happens to be a close personal friend of Mr Sarkozy.
They have a four-year-old daughter Valentina.
When Hayek is given a medal by Mr Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace in a few weeks’ time, it will be a family affair.
World's apart: French President Nicolas Sarkozy chose the recipients of the award which was created by the former Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802
Her father-in-law, another tycoon called Francois Pinault, has been made a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour in the same list.
Referring to Mr Sarkozy possibly losing a presidential election in the Spring, political magazine Marianne ran the headline: ‘Last distribution of the gongs before leaving!
Mocking Ms Hayek with the Mexican exclamation ‘Caramba!’, it suggested that Mr Sarkozy’s list of recipients was ‘another occasion to have fun’ with people reacting to it with everything from ‘surprise to anger’
They included Henri Torre, the 78-year-old former minister and member of Mr Sarkozy's ruling UMP party, who turned down a Legion of Honour,
saying: ‘Too many people were nominated who do not deserve to me honoured’, adding that the awards had ‘lost their value’.
The link: Crucially, Ms Hayek is married to businessman Francois-Henri Pinault, who happens to be a close personal friend of Mr Sarkozy
Numerous angry French people posted on the website of L’Express, saying Bonaparte would be ‘turning in his grave’.
Knight of the Legion of Honour was created by the former Emperor in 1802 ‘to reward the men and women who have devoted themselves, sometimes to the death, to the nation’, said another Express reader.
The magazine launched its own debate about the award asking ‘Why not Tintin and Milou?’ – a reference to the cartoon boy journalist and his faithful dog.
L’Express said there was widespread bewilderment at a New Year’s Honours list which also included Eric Charden and Annie ‘Stone’ Gautrat – a pop singing duo dating back to the 60s and 70s.
Mr Sarkozy, who is married to the pop singer Carla Bruni, is well known for his love of Middle of the Road music, especially the kind performed by Gallic rocker Johnny Hallyday
France's new knight: The actress is currently promoting Puss in Boots, a film in which she provides the voice for a character called Kitty Softpaws
Others suggested that Mr Sarkozy was trying to ‘buy’ popularity before this year’s presidential elections, with one poster saying he had ‘put a big red nose on France.’
It follows similar criticism of the honours system in the UK, where Prime Minister David Cameron has been attacked for rewarding Tony Party donors, including tycoon Gerald Ronson, who was jailed for his part in the Guinness share-trading scandal.
Hollywood stars have in fact received Legion of Honour gongs in the past in the past in France, but they have tended to be global superstars including Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford and Robert De Niro.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 5:30pm On Jan 17, 2012|
I’ll not resign – Martin Amidu
The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Martin Amidu, has rubbished calls for his immediate resignation for revealing that a colleague minister is concealing “gargantuan crimes against the people of Ghana. ”
He told a private radio station - Joy Fm - that he does not have any intention of resigning now although some pro-National Democratic Congress (NDC) newspapers have been on his heels to resign for non-performance.
Mr. Amidu served notice that he intends to serve his term until the President, John Evans Atta Mills, thinks otherwise. He said he will ensure that all cases involving corruption are fought in court in the best interest of Ghana.
The A-G last Wednesday issued a strongly-worded statement throwing salvos at what he termed “criminal NDC media” - the Daily Post; the Informer; the National Democrat; the Ghanaian Lens - for allowing themselves to be “rented” to soil his reputation.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 5:45pm On Jan 17, 2012|
Explosion At Castle Over Woyomegate
Source: Daily Guide - Daily Guide
There is a flurry of activities at the Castle as the Mills administration struggles to douse the inferno that has engulfed the government over the GH¢58million Woyome saga.
The Attorney General's recent statement condemning certain anomalies in government and an allusion to a minister scheming against him because of a possibility that he would initiate a case which could implicate her criminally in the Woyomegate has for instance shaken the Castle to its foundation.
Unconfirmed information suggests that the AG is being asked to consider resigning, a call being fuelled by die-hard pro-Mills elements.
The Woyome saga remains a major fault-line in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Martin Amidu statement of a few days ago has widened the rift.
Unconfirmed reports said Mr. Amidu had been asked to leave the government following his explosive letter complaining about people allegedly fleecing the state in the name of a political party.
Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, speaking on Metro TV yesterday, said the Attorney General would be made to substantiate his claims, confirming the president's discomfort with the internal feud in his cabinet.
Mr. Amidu had said that some criminally-minded individuals parading as party members were causing harm to the corporate body of Ghana in the name of their political affiliations and that he was against the use of party name to commit crime.
'I have faith and belief in my Ministerial oath of office as a Minister of State and my cabinet oath that requires me to 'uphold, preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the Republic of the Ghana as by law established…
'I wish to assure the people of Ghana that I still stand by my promise in spite of the fact that hard core criminals in our society today have made it a habit to hold paid membership cards of major political parties in the republic as an unconstitutional insurance against crime and criminal prosecutions.
'I wish core members and supporters of the NDC who cherish the principles and ideals upon which the party was founded to know that the attacks against me which started in the Daily Post publication of 3rd January 2012 were planned by a colleague Minister of State, who perceived that my integrity and professionalism as a lawyer was a threat to the concealment of gargantuan crimes against the people of Ghana in which they might be implicated', he said in the statement.
Even though Mr. Amidu did not mention anybody's name, fingers are being pointed at his predecessor, Betty Mould-Iddrisu, who did not put up any defence against the payment of the GH¢58million to Mr. Woyome.
Mrs Mould-Iddrisu, now Minister of Education, is in the firing line, with the opposition NPP calling for her dismissal because of her handling of the Alfred Agbesi Woyome financial scandal.
Woyome did not have any contract with the state but Betty negotiated an agreement with him, leading to the payment of the gargantuan money which latest reports said stood at GH¢92million.
'I have sufficient integrity and experience as a Ghanaian and a legal practitioner who has personally conducted several leading cases reported in the Law Reports of Ghana to naively send hearsay and newspaper accusations to the courts of Justice only to lose them as was the practice a few years past.
'Cool heads are what are needed in the office of the Attorney-General and not emotions, inexperience and crass incompetence in the practice of the law', Mr Amidu stated.
He said some pro-NDC newspapers had been hired to attack his personal integrity.
'As for the section of the rented NDC press calling for my removal or dismissal from office, I wish to assure them that I never begged to be appointed Attorney-General: I opposed it on four separate occasions. That criminal section of the NDC press should be assured that I am ready, able and willing for that eventuality. The inescapable fact is that at the end of the day, truth will prevail over falsehood in the Republic of Ghana', he stressed.
Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa described the comments of the Attorney General as unfortunate.
'He is also going to be pushed to name [the minister plotting against him],' he said, observing that: 'So it appears to me that this is just the beginning of this very, very explosive statement which the Attorney General has uttered.'
Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa also described the attacks on the newspapers as unfair and expressed worry about similar developments he said could damage the NDC and bring down the government.
'There seems to be too much internal feud within the National Democratic Congress.
There seems to be too much mistrust so that when newspapers are after you, a colleague minister should necessarily be behind it… are people in an indecent haste to cause an implosion in the National Democratic Congress? Are they in hurry to return to opposition?'
The issue has opened the floodgates for various groups to trade polemics regarding the money paid to the NDC self-styled financier who made his cash available to President Mills during last year's FONKAR/GAME brouhaha.
The NDC Youth With Conviction of Principles (YWCP), a pro Rawlings group which championed the cause of the reconstruction of the gutted Ridge residence of the Rawlingses last year, had for instance demanded from President Mills a show of leadership in the face of what they considered a corruption of the ideals of the ruling party in its original form as represented by the Woyome scandal and the emanating statement from the Attorney General.
In a statement signed by the group's Coordinator, Alhaji Mohammed Naziru, they frowned at the recent matters arising from the Woyome saga, pointing out that it demanded the President's intervention so that the party's diminishing image could be shored up.
'President Mills should rise to the occasion and salvage the party and government before matters get out of hand. President Mills must show leadership now. This is the time for the NDC leadership to practically demonstrate its commitment to the party's core principles and values. We therefore do not expect anything to be swept under the carpet at the expense of transparency in the supreme interest of the Ghanaian people,' they pointed out.
With their sights on the Martin Amidu bombshell of last Thursday, the group pointed out that the issues raised in the said statement showed a deviation of the party's leadership from the ideals of the NDC.
The statement, they stressed, originating from a high-ranking member of the party and government, raised what they regarded as frightening issues.
The allusion to some elements in the NDC who were seeking to conceal crimes against the people of Ghana because they were implicated in these by the Attorney General, they noted, was also frightening, especially the leakage of official documents to sections of the press to truncate the AG's call for prosecution of criminals.
According to the grouping, 'if this is true, it certainly amounts to a sabotage of government business and injustice to the good people of Ghana.'
While taking exception to the anomaly, they said, 'We do not believe that any true member of the NDC should use his party card as 'an unconstitutional insurance against crime and prosecution' as alleged by the A-G,' adding, 'We also do not believe that any true member of the NDC should stand against probity, accountability and transparency.'
In another vein, they stated that 'neither do we believe that any true member of the NDC should be victimized or vilified for standing up to defend the ideals that form the bedrock of the NDC.'
The pro-Rawlings group's position was in sharp contrast with that of others within the party who thought that Alfred Agbesi Woyome as a member of the party should be supported by all means possible.
Some of them have been vocal on rooftops defending the so-called financial engineer.
In another development, the General Secretary of the People's National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah, has taken issue with the Attorney General's statement, asking that he named the minister he made allusions to.
'To the AG, we say, name the Minister, expedite actions to prosecute the persons and bring justice to Ghanaians. Anything short of this is a slap in the face of the NDC-led government's commitment to fighting corruption, promoting good governance and strengthening democracy,' the PNC demanded.
The PNC, Mr. Mornah pointed out, 'is alarmed, terrified and surprised about the incredulous information contained in the press statement of the Attorney General which borders on potential crimes and attack on free speech and which jointly have adverse effects on Ghana's democracy.'
It is highly regrettable and irresponsible, the PNC noted, 'that his statement falls short of naming, shaming and expediting actions that will prosecute the supposed Minister of State and accomplices so as to bring justice to the good people of Ghana.'
A Daily Guide Report
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 1:54pm On Jan 20, 2012|
Ghanaian president sacks justice minister for “misconduct”
On January 19, 2012 · In News
ACCRA(AFP) -Ghana’s President John Evans Atta Mills on Thursday sacked Justice Minister Martin Amidu for “misconduct” during a cabinet meeting, an official statement said.
According to media reports, Amidu — a lawyer who took office last year — levelled serious accusations of corruption at some of his government colleagues but was unable to substantiate them.
“Mr Amidu’s behaviour is incompatible with acceptable standards expected of ministers and appointees of the president,” said the statement from the office of the president, who chaired the January 13 meeting.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 2:02pm On Jan 20, 2012|
Santorum finished 34 votes ahead of Romney in new Iowa tally; votes from 8 precincts missing
By David A. Fahrenthold and Debbi Wilgoren,
Rick Santorum won the Iowa caucuses Thursday — 16 days after the last vote was cast — when the state Republican Party said a final count showed him 34 votes ahead of Mitt Romney.
That was a shift from the preliminary results the party announced after the Jan. 3 caucuses, which showed the former Massachusetts governor winning Iowa by eight votes. Iowa Republican leaders said that they had still not received results from eight of the state’s 1,774 precincts.
After what was widely considered an unfocused and bloated campaign in 2008, the Republican former Massachusetts governor is returning to the presidential sweepstakes with a more tightly knit team.
The news does not alter the bottom line of the GOP primary race: the number of delegates that Santorum or Romney will receive at the national convention. For all their hype, the Iowa caucuses do not actually decide that.
But Santorum’s belated victory did seem likely to alter the pundits’ narrative of the Republican race — by demonstrating that the long-shot former senator from Pennsylvania did, indeed, have the ability to beat the front-runner.
At least once. By a little bit.
“The narrative that Governor Romney and the media have been touting of ‘inevitability’ has been destroyed,” Santorum communications director Hogan Gidley said in a news release. “Conservatives can now see and believe they don’t have to settle for Romney, the Establishment’s moderate candidate.”
Santorum’s squeaker victory means that Romney can no longer claim to be the only non-incumbent Republican candidate since 1976 to win both the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary.
Romney, for his part, issued a statement calling the results “a virtual tie.”’
Santorum’s strange, belated victory also served to embarrass the Iowa GOP — which had to admit that it had misallocated some votes, and simply lost some others, in a razor’s-edge election where every vote mattered.
It also cast an unflattering light on the old-fashioned and convoluted system that the party uses to collect and count caucus votes.
“It should be like a fine Swiss watch,” said Iowa State political science professor Steffen Schmidt. “It’s really more like a sundial.” He said the system used by Iowa Democrats was not significantly better.
In fact, Iowa Republican leaders seemed to cast doubt on their own results, saying Thursday that it was hard to declare a “winner” without knowing what happened in those eight precincts. Matthew N. Strawn, the state party chairman, simply “congratulated” Santorum and Romney “on a hard-fought effort during the closest contest in caucus history.”
This is how the process is supposed to work:
On caucus night, local volunteers collect the votes of local Republicans. Often, this is done by asking voters to write their choices on small slips of paper, all in a uniform color to prevent fraud.
After the votes are counted up (and bad handwriting is puzzled out), local officials write each candidate’s total on something called a “Form E.” This form — but not the ballots themselves — is then sent to the state GOP.
Thursday’s final count came from these forms, which had to be submitted by Wednesday evening. The Des Moines Register, citing unidentified officials in the Iowa GOP, reported that in 131 precincts, the forms showed numbers different than those reported on caucus night.
But some Form E’s didn’t show up at all.
The state party found that it was missing results from eight precincts, spread across five counties. The eight precincts probably did not account for a huge number of votes — in the 2008 GOP caucuses, they had a total of 298 votes. But in this election, of course, 298 votes could easily have swung the outcome.
But now it is too late for the missing votes to count.
“It’s done,” said a party spokesman, who asked that his name not be used. About the missing votes, he said: “We never got ’em. We tried to track ’em down, and for whatever reason, we don’t have them.”
One of the missing forms was from the Geneva-Reeve precinct, which covers two small towns in Iowa’s midsection. Local volunteers in that precinct were supposed to return Form E to the county GOP chair, Karen Zander.
After the caucuses, Zander said she gathered paperwork that was sent to her from precincts across the county. She emptied the envelopes and sorted the loose papers into piles.
Then she bundled the Form E’s that she found together and sent them in. So how did that single one vanish? Zander said she doesn’t know: Did the volunteers at the caucus site lose it? Did she misplace it in the shuffle of paperwork?
“Now that the count is done, I don’t think that there’s anything we can do about it,” she said. “I’m going to take the blame for it, because I am the county chair. . . . If I blame one of [the volunteers], I’ll never get another precinct chair to volunteer.”
Staff writers Philip Rucker and Rosalind S. Helderman contributed to this report.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 3:23pm On Jan 20, 2012|
I thought they said "it is only in Nigeria that these things happen?"
This is the part I like.
Few people would be like Ms Zander and take responsibility.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 3:45pm On Jan 20, 2012|
Marianne Gingrich, Newt’s ex-wife, says he wanted ‘open marriage’
By James V. Grimaldi,
Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich in 1999 asked his second wife for an “open marriage” or a divorce at the same time he was giving speeches around the country on family and religious values, his former wife, Marianne, said Thursday.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Marianne Gingrich said her former husband called her on May 10, 1999, as she was having dinner with her 84-year-old mother and said, “I want a divorce.”
“Is there anybody else?” Marianne Gingrich recalled saying. “He was quiet. Within two seconds, when he didn’t immediately answer, I knew.”
Two days later, Newt Gingrich gave a speech at a conference titled “The Demise of American Culture” sponsored by the Republican Women Leaders Forum in Erie, Pa. Gingrich extolled the virtues of the Founding Fathers and criticized liberal politicians for supporting tax increases, which he said hurt families and children. In the speech, which was televised on C-SPAN, he spoke often of God, families and values.
“When a liberal talks about values, will he or she actually like us to teach American history?” Gingrich told the women’s group. “Will they actually like young people to learn that George Washington was an ethical man? A man of standards, a man who earned the right to be father of this country?”
Marianne Gingrich said she was surprised at the timing. “How could he ask me for a divorce on Monday and within 48 hours give a speech on family values and talk about how people treat people?” she said.
At the Republican presidential debate Thursday night, Gingrich responded directly to his ex-wife’s allegations for the first time, issuing a blanket denial. “The story is false,” he said.
After Gingrich’s comments at the debate, Marianne Gingrich declined to direcly respond to the denial, other than to say she was sticking by her story, which she said is “the truth.”
Earlier in the day at a campaign event in South Carolina, the former speaker of the House had called the interviews with his former wife “tawdry and inappropriate” and refused to answer questions about them. “I’m not going to say anything about Marianne,” he said with his third wife, Callista, standing a few paces behind him.
Gingrich has said on several occasions that he has made mistakes in his life and has asked God for forgiveness.
Marianne Gingrich, 60, has been publicly critical of her former husband in the past, but her most recent accounts are more explicit about the demise of their marriage.
She said she was speaking out because she wanted her story told from her point of view rather than to be depicted as a victim or suffer a whisper campaign by supporters of her former husband’s presidential bid.
She said she had received so many requests for interviews that “it was unavoidable” and“I knew I wouldn’t get through this year without” doing an interview.
In the four weeks after Gingrich asked for a divorce, the couple saw a counselor, and he seemed to vacillate, Marianne Gingrich said. She had learned the name of his paramour, Callista Bisek — now his wife — although Newt Gingrich never talked about her by name. Callista had worked in the House for a GOP representative from Wisconsin, her home state, and then as clerk of the House Agriculture Committee.
After one counseling session, Newt Gingrich asked Marianne for an “open marriage” — though not in exactly those words — so that he could see other women, she said.
Marianne, who had attended services in a Baptist church with her husband, refused.
“He said the problem with me was I wanted him all to myself,” she said. “I said, ‘That’s what marriage is.’ He said [of Callista], ‘She doesn’t care what I do.’ ”
Marianne said, “He was asking me for an open marriage, and I wouldn’t do it.”
Later, Marianne said, her husband told her, “In a few years I’m going to run for president. She’s going to help me become president.”
The divorce was “ugly,” she said, and the stress exacerbated her multiple sclerosis.
Marianne Gingrich also spoke about her marriage to ABC News’s “Nightline” in an interview aired Thursday. Newt Gingrich’s daughters from his first marriage wrote a letter Wednesday to the network asking that the broadcast be killed.
For more than a decade, daughter Kathy Lubbers served as president and chief executive of Gingrich Communications, which promoted her father’s speeches and activities. It was disbanded last year when he decided to run for president.
Her sister, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, has earned more than $56,000 working for her father’s campaign committees in the past two years, records show.
Marianne Gingrich, who was a full-time political wife when married to Gingrich, said many of her views of her former husband and his political positions are positive. She believes that she and Gingrich, whom she married in 1981, accomplished a lot together when he was in Congress.
She said Gingrich has not spoken to her since the divorce.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 4:11pm On Jan 20, 2012|
NPP Smells Cover Up In Amidu’s Sack
Source: Daily Guide - Daily Guide
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has pointed at a cover-up by government in the Woyomegate debacle, describing the payment to Alfred Woyome as a stinking rip-off.
According to a statement signed by Nana Akomea, NPP's Director of Communications, Martin Amidu's Tuesday 17 th January 2012 press statement exposed 'government's efforts to cover up on the stinking payment of public money to a self-confessed NDC financier, Mr. Alfred Woyome.'
An Auditor General's report to Parliament suggested that in 2010 the NDC government paid out tranches of money to Alfred Woyome, which came out last October 2011.
'The Auditor General reported to Parliament that in 2010, the NDC government paid out GH¢58million (¢580billion) in a so-called judgment debt to Mr. Woyome.
'The report stated that the first payment was done on 4th June 2010 (GH¢41.8 or ¢ 418 billion) and the second payment done on the 26 th of September 2010 (GH¢17.0 or ¢170 billion),' the statement explained.
Additional payments were made in the first week of January 2012 and subsequent months, the NPP said.
'If the Auditor General stated in his letter that the GH¢41.8m payments were stopped in April 2010, how come he reported on it in June 2010 when the payment was supposed to have been stopped in April 2010?' the party queried.
Turning to the President, the party wondered why he did not know about what was happening regarding this issue when 'all letters of this affair from the Attorney General to the Minister of Finance and vice-versa were all copied to the office of the President?', adding, 'If the President really did not know, or was not briefed, what else is our President not told about?'
Another question the NPP posed, whose answer might give a clearer picture about what remained a murky affair was: 'How come after the court had granted the government a stay of execution on the GH¢34m on September 6, 2010, the government still went ahead and paid the GH¢34m in 2011?'
The Amidu press statement, the party noted, put a finality to the deep public suspicion of a cover-up in the Woyome payout as it (NPP) questioned the integrity of the leadership being offered by President Mills under the disturbing circumstances.
The decline by NPP officials to cooperate with the EOCO, the party explained, was borne out of a deep suspicion about cover-up actions in the Woyome affair.
'The officials are fully ready to take part in an enquiry/investigation that would be conducted in public by an independent body, and this is what the bi-partisan Public Accounts Committee of Parliament offers,' the statement expatiated.
The NPP, the statement declared, had joined their compatriots in demanding to know which minister Mr. Amidu alluded to in his bombshell press release, adding, 'The NPP and Ghanaians want nothing less than the whole truth in this Woyome pay-out.!'
By A.R. Gomda
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 4:13pm On Jan 20, 2012|
Politicians only get surprised when they fulfill their campaign promises
By: Bismark Omari Somuah
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 5:24pm On Jan 20, 2012|
MILLS FIRES MARTIM AMIDU……, and leaves anti-corruption mantle in tatters
Source: Ghanaian Chronicle - Ghanaian Chronicle
When the Attorney -General and Minister of Justice, Martin Amidu, openly castigated some colleague ministers of the Mills-led government for their complicity in what he termed as 'gargantuan crimes' against the people of Ghana, there were people who applauded his guts, but not without a pinching thought that he might as well have set foot in a mine field.
Yesterday, the fears of this group of people were confirmed, when the President, John Evans Atta Mills, issued the marching orders for the dismissal of Mr. Amidu as Attorney General.
A statement to this effect, which was signed and issued by the Chief of Staff, John Martey Newman, said: 'His Excellency President John Evans Atta Mills has, with immediate effect, relieved Mr. Martin Amidu of his post as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
'The decision is as a result of Mr. Amidu's misconduct at a meeting last Friday, January 13 th , 2012, presided over by His Excellency.'
A reason assigned to his dismissal, according to the statement said: 'Mr. Amidu's behaviour is incompatible with acceptable standards expected of ministers and appointees of the President.'
Mr. Amidu had earlier concluded that his integrity and professionalism as a lawyer had been a threat to the concealment of 'gargantuan crimes' against the people of Ghana, in which they might be implicated, hence the various attacks on his personality, and the call for the President to sack him from government.
Mr. Amidu had also openly challenged his critics and elements within the government, who are bent on covering up Unclad fraud and corruption in the Mills-led administration. 'Fairness requires that NDC criminals be prosecuted by me as well, as an independent and impartial Attorney-General, albeit appointed by the NDC Government.'
The guts and fearless expressions of the Minister landed before the First Gentleman of the state, who demanded that Mr. Amidu provide a list of the 'criminals' in his government, or be sacked.
This approach by the President has, however, received varied criticisms from sections of the public, who argue that the President Mill's directive was a slap in the face of efforts in the fight against corruption.
Proponents of this line of argument, and equally shared by the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, local Chapter of Transparency International, Mr. Vitus Azeem, say President Mills could have demonstrated his commitment to fighting corruption by investigating Mr. Martin Amidu's claims, instead of asking him to prove them or be sacked.
His dismissal is, however, indicative that Mr. Amidu was not able to furnish the President with the names he requested, or if he did, the President did not see then as tenable.
A few hours after the dismissal of Mr. Amidu the Progressive Nationalist Forum (PNF) issued a statement expressing its resentment at the President's action.
'We are appalled by the lack of sense of judgment on the part of the President, and his decision to dismiss Hon. Martin Amidu, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice,' the group stated.
According to the group, 'the President's dismissal of Mr. Amidu was to save his own skin, as the successful prosecution of the matter would have implicated the President in the scheme to deprive this country of such gargantuan sums of money.'
They said information available to them indicates that President Mills chaired a Cabinet meeting with 20 people in attendance in 2010, at which he authorised the payment of the money to Woyome.
'Mr. Martin Amidu's insistence to prosecute the Woyome saga, and to retrieve the money to the state is borne out of his sense of duty, his integrity, and the fact that his conscience will not allow him to conceal such crimes, and an amount which could have successfully implemented SADA for the three Northern regions, the most impoverished parts of this country, and an area he hails from.'
The group has thus given the President a 21-working days ultimatum to re-instate Mr. Amidu, or they would stage a massive protest against the government.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 5:34pm On Jan 20, 2012|
Politicians and phantom promises
By Ghanaian Chronicle - Ghanaian Chronicle
On Monday, January 16, this year, the veteran prolific writer, Mr. I.K. Gyasi digested Nana Akufo-Addo's campaign promise to make secondary education free in Ghana, if he is elected as President.
The Chronicle columnist noted in his article that tuition from primary up to University level is virtually free, and that the NPP flagbearer should tell Ghanaians how he is going to bear the rest of the cost associated with secondary education.
It is important to note that it is not only the veteran writer who has raised concerns over the promise being made by the opposition. Few months ago, The Chronicle also raised the issue in its editorial and called on Nana Addo to come out and explain how he is going to fund it.
I am, therefore, happy that Mr. Gyasi, who is also an educationist has added his voice to the call for proper explanation on how this ambitious policy is going to be implemented.
Politicians always behave like the proverbial animal which has different ways of crying when it is trapped, and also when it is set free. A hungry politician would always come out with phantom promises he or she knows can never be fulfilled, and I have historical evidence to back my argument.
Soon after the late Dr. Hilla Limann's government was sworn into office, a former military pilot by name Jerry John Rawlings started attacking him for allowing corruption to permeate every fabric of the Ghanaians society. In fact, he based his decision to overthrow the constitutionally elected government that he himself put in place, on the corruption allegation.
But after gaining power and later turning himself into a constitutionally elected President, some of his Ministers became the worst offenders of the same crime. At a point in time, he issued a white paper to exonerate some of the Ministers who had been found guilty of corruption by the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
When he was hungry for power, the Dzelukope born military strongman did everything possible to convince Ghanaians that the Limann government was corrupt, but after grabbing what he was looking for, he started singing a different tune, to the extent of setting free his own Ministers caught in the corruption web.
Enter ex President Kufuor, the Atwima Dabaa born legal practitioner. After being in opposition for many, many years, the man was simply desperate for power and did not care a hoot about some of his criticisms of the Rawlings government.
Whilst on one of his campaign tours, Mr. Kufuor lifted a gallon and asked his audience why a petrol in such a small can should callously be sold for ¢6,000. After brainwashing Ghanaians to believe that Mr. Rawlings was a monster, Mr. Kufuor did not only raise the price of petrol after assumption of office in 2001, but to as high as ¢20,000.
At the time he was leaving office, petrol was being sold for GH¢5.40 per gallon as against 60GP that he criticized in 2000. The 2000 election manifesto of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) also promised to make the District Chief Executive positions elective, but after Ghanaians had bought the idea and voted for the party, that promise was never fulfilled.
Mr. Kufuor also promised to fight corruption with the alacrity it deserves, but when he became President, he was always asking journalists to provide evidence, before his government would investigate such complaints.
Meanwhile, he did not tell the same journalists during his campaign that they must provide evidence before he would investigate any corrupt allegation. His Ministers and other government appointees were also grabbing state lands with careless abandon.
Those who questioned this bad practice were attacked from all fronts. That is President Kufuor and NPP for you. They hoodwinked Ghanaians to vote for them, after which they started singing different tunes.
After reneging on the aforementioned promises, Ghanaians thought the time had come for them to go back for the NDC, headed by the law and tax professor, John Evans Atta Mills. As Kufuor did in 2000, the then candidate Mills also started doing the petrol politics by persistently telling the voters that the Kufuor government had loaded the price build up for petrol with so many taxes, thus making the product expensive.
Led by Kwesi Pratt and veteran Ato Ahwoi, the NDC used the Committee for Joint Action (CJA) as a smokescreen to organize series of demonstration against prices of petroleum products, thereby making Kufuor and his Ministers look like people who did not care about the welfare of Ghanaians.
I attended some of the fora organized by the CJA when I was the Western Regional Correspondent of The Chronicle and heard some of the issues raised, especially by Mr. Ato Ahwoi, about the petrol price build up.
Candidate Mills himself joined some of the demonstrations to protest against the high cost of petrol. The NDC and candidate Mills also wrote in their 2008 election manifesto a promise of one time payment for all National Health Insurance (NHIS) subscribers.
Though Professor Badu Akosa warned against such a promise because it would not be workable, NDC and candidate Mills insisted that they could do it. Like Kufuor's case, Ghanaians again bought the idea and voted for the Ekumfi Otuam born law Professor.
President Mills and his government have been in office for three years now, but nothing has been done to implement the one time premium payment policy, as contained in the manifesto.
The Atta Mills government has now been confronted with the reality that it is impossible to implement such a policy in a poverty stricken country like Ghana.
The big question is, if Ghanaians were asked to pay GH¢1,500 across board as one time NHIS premium, how many of us can afford that money. Instead of admitting that they have deceived Ghanaians and apologise accordingly, some of the hot-headed people in government are still insisting that the one time premium payment will be implemented.
The petrol prices which candidate Mills criticized as being too exorbitant and that the Kufuor government was insensitive to the plight of Ghanaians, has not only being increased by his administration, but the subsidy that cushioned the consumer has also been withdrawn.
As CJA did in the past, the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) is also threatening to go on a demonstration to protest against the withdrawal of the subsidy by the Atta Mills government.
With this 'promise and fail' syndrome that has characterized our politics, one would have thought that politicians have learnt their lessons, but alas, that is not the case.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, the NPP flagbearer is also promising to make secondary education free in Ghana. Meanwhile, he has not told the voters how he is going to fund that ambitious policy.
Granted that Ghana has 200 senior High Schools, and each school has on average 1,000 students, the total student population would be 200,000. Again, if each student spends on average GH¢500 per term on food, books and other items, this would bring the total figure to GH¢300,000,000 per each academic.
It is instructive to note that this is a conservative figure. Implementation of free secondary education could go as high as GH¢600,000,000 per each academic year.
The big question is -where is Nana Addo and NPP going to raise this money from? I do not think the total budget for the Ministry of Education could match the sponsorship of free education at the secondary school level, yet this is what Nana Addo is promising Ghanaians.
To me, it is high time the NPP flagbearer comes out to clarify what he meant by free secondary school education. As I.K. Gyasi noted, tuition is already free, so we need to know whether the free would cover boarding, books and other fees paid by the students or their parents.
Ghanaians are no more prepared to accept another promise and fail from a politician.
To me, this policy, like the failed one term premium payment for the NHIS promised by the NDC, would not be sustainable. In simple terms, the economy cannot support it because we are already running a deficit budget.
To avoid some of these phantom promises in future, I suggest to Parliament to enact a law that would make all the promises made by the political parties legally binding, so that Ghanaians can hold them accountable if they fail to implement them.
Until this is done, politicians would continue to deceive the good people of this country, with the intention of just grabbing power.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 1:32pm On Jan 23, 2012|
We'll deal ruthlesly with and crush imposters to ashes - AFAG warns
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Derick Romeo Adogla
Pressure group, Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), is raising red flags over what it says is the decision by a faceless group to sabotage their planned 'Atta Wayo Demonstration' on Wednesday, in protest of fuel price increases and the controversy surrounding the payment of judgement debts to NDC financier, Alfred Woyome.
In a statement signed by some of its leading members, the group said: “credible information available to the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) indicates that some unscrupulous persons sympathetic to Mr. Alfred Woyome, the renowned NDC financier and beneficiary of a whooping sum of GHS 58.0 million (580 Billion Cedis) of the tax payer's money, are feverishly organizing and arming themselves to cause and create unwarranted confusion on the day of the 'Atta Wayo Demontration' by way of a counter demonstration.”
The statement warned that “AFAG is fully prepared for the occasion and will as a result not hesitate to smoke out, deal ruthlessly with and crush to ashes any imposter who sets out to foment trouble.“
The statement said the attempt to disrupt the demonstration is “a grand machination by the powers that be to derail the focus of AFAG from throwing more light on the corrupt deeds of the NDC government.”
The group said they have concluded every arrangement with the police as required by the Public Order Act and that any other group that would want to stage a demonstration should be law abiding and clear their plans with the police.
“We entreat any group of persons including those sympathetic to Mr. Alfred Woyome and by extension, the Mills-Mahama government interested in demonstrating to take note and follow due process.
“Again, as AFAG, we regard the impending demonstration as a rather sensitive one, given the fact that the issues involved are ones which directly touches on the lives of millions of Ghanaians who reposed their trust in then candidate Mills in anticipation of a better Ghana only to be 'WOYOMIZED' by now president Mills,” the statement added.
The group however promised to ensure the safety of the general public and is thus, inviting the general public to join in the protest against what it describes as the “gross mismanagement and 'killer' policies of the Mills-Mahama government.”
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 6:37pm On Jan 25, 2012|
Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery
"An America Built to Last"
Mr Speaker, Mr Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:
Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq. Together, we offered a final, proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought – and several thousand gave their lives.
We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world. For the
first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq.
For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Most of al Qaeda's top lieutenants have been defeated.
The Taliban's momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home.
These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America's Armed Forces. At a time when too many of our
institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They're not consumed with personal ambition. They don't obsess over their
differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together.
Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example. Think about the America within our reach: A country that leads the world in
educating its people. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs. A future where we're in
control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren't so tied to unstable parts of the world. An economy built to last, where
hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded.
We can do this. I know we can, because we've done it before. At the end of World War II, when another generation of heroes returned home
from combat, they built the strongest economy and middle class the world has ever known. My grandfather, a veteran of Patton's Army, got
the chance to go to college on the GI Bill. My grandmother, who worked on a bomber assembly line, was part of a workforce that turned
out the best products on Earth.
The two of them shared the optimism of a Nation that had triumphed over a depression and fascism. They understood they were part of
something larger; that they were contributing to a story of success that every American had a chance to share – the basic American promise
that if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for
The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either
settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by. Or we can
restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. What's
at stake are not Democratic values or Republican values, but American values. We have to reclaim them.
Let's remember how we got here. Long before the recession, jobs and manufacturing began leaving our shores. Technology made businesses
more efficient, but also made some jobs obsolete. Folks at the top saw their incomes rise like never before, but most hardworking
Americans struggled with costs that were growing, paychecks that weren't, and personal debt that kept piling up.
In 2008, the house of cards collapsed. We learned that mortgages had been sold to people who couldn't afford or understand them. Banks had
made huge bets and bonuses with other people's money. Regulators had looked the other way, or didn't have the authority to stop the bad
It was wrong. It was irresponsible. And it plunged our economy into a crisis that put millions out of work, saddled us with more debt, and
left innocent, hard-working Americans holding the bag. In the six months before I took office, we lost nearly four million jobs. And we
lost another four million before our policies were in full effect.
Those are the facts. But so are these. In the last 22 months, businesses have created more than three million jobs. Last year, they
created the most jobs since 2005. American manufacturers are hiring again, creating jobs for the first time since the late 1990s.
Together, we've agreed to cut the deficit by more than $2 trillion. And we've put in place new rules to hold Wall Street accountable, so a crisis like that never happens again.
The state of our Union is getting stronger. And we've come too far to turn back now. As long as I'm President, I will work with anyone in
this chamber to build on this momentum. But I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the
very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place.
No, we will not go back to an economy weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits. Tonight, I want to speak about how
we move forward, and lay out a blueprint for an economy that's built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy,
skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.
This blueprint begins with American manufacturing.
On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs
at stake, I refused to let that happen. In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. We got workers and automakers to settle
their differences. We got the industry to retool and restructure. Today, General Motors is back on top as the world's number one
automaker. Chrysler has grown faster in the U.S. than any major car company. Ford is investing billions in U.S. plants and factories.
And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs.
We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back.
What's happening in Detroit can happen in other industries. It can happen in Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Raleigh. We can't bring back
every job that's left our shores. But right now, it's getting more expensive to do business in places like China. Meanwhile, America is
more productive. A few weeks ago, the CEO of Master Lock told me that it now makes business sense for him to bring jobs back home. Today,
for the first time in fifteen years, Master Lock's unionized plant in Milwaukee is running at full capacity.
So we have a huge opportunity, at this moment, to bring manufacturing back. But we have to seize it. Tonight, my message to business
leaders is simple: Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country, and your country will do everything we can to help
We should start with our tax code. Right now, companies get tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas. Meanwhile, companies
that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and everyone knows it.
So let's change it. First, if you're a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn't get a tax deduction for doing it. That
money should be used to cover moving expenses for companies like Master Lock that decide to bring jobs home.
Second, no American company should be able to avoid paying its fair share of taxes by moving jobs and profits overseas. From now on,
every multinational company should have to pay a basic minimum tax.
And every penny should go towards lowering taxes for companies that choose to stay here and hire here.
Third, if you're an American manufacturer, you should get a bigger tax cut. If you're a high-tech manufacturer, we should double the tax
deduction you get for making products here. And if you want to relocate in a community that was hit hard when a factory left town,
you should get help financing a new plant, equipment, or training for new workers.
My message is simple. It's time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs
right here in America. Send me these tax reforms, and I'll sign them right away.
We're also making it easier for American businesses to sell products all over the world. Two years ago, I set a goal of doubling U.S.
exports over five years. With the bipartisan trade agreements I signed into law, we are on track to meet that goal – ahead of
schedule. Soon, there will be millions of new customers for American goods in Panama, Colombia, and South Korea. Soon, there will be new
cars on the streets of Seoul imported from Detroit, and Toledo, and Chicago.
I will go anywhere in the world to open new markets for American products. And I will not stand by when our competitors don't play by
the rules. We've brought trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate as the last administration – and it's made a difference.
Over a thousand Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tires. But we need to do more. It's not right when
another country lets our movies, music, and software be pirated. It's not fair when foreign manufacturers have a leg up on ours only because they're heavily subsidized.
Tonight, I'm announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trade practices in countries
like China. There will be more inspections to prevent counterfeit or unsafe goods from crossing our borders. And this Congress should make
sure that no foreign company has an advantage over American manufacturing when it comes to accessing finance or new markets like
Russia. Our workers are the most productive on Earth, and if the playing field is level, I promise you – America will always win.
I also hear from many business leaders who want to hire in the United States but can't find workers with the right skills. Growing
industries in science and technology have twice as many openings as we have workers who can do the job. Think about that – openings at a
time when millions of Americans are looking for work.
That's inexcusable. And we know how to fix it.
Jackie Bray is a single mom from North Carolina who was laid off from her job as a mechanic. Then Siemens opened a gas turbine factory in
Charlotte, and formed a partnership with Central Piedmont Community College. The company helped the college design courses in laser and
robotics training. It paid Jackie's tuition, then hired her to help operate their plant.
I want every American looking for work to have the same opportunity as Jackie did. Join me in a national commitment to train two million
Americans with skills that will lead directly to a job. My Administration has already lined up more companies that want to help.
Model partnerships between businesses like Siemens and community colleges in places like Charlotte, Orlando, and Louisville are up and
running. Now you need to give more community colleges the resources they need to become community career centers – places that teach
people skills that local businesses are looking for right now, from data management to high-tech manufacturing.
And I want to cut through the maze of confusing training programs, so that from now on, people like Jackie have one program, one website,
and one place to go for all the information and help they need. It'stime to turn our unemployment system into a reemployment system that
puts people to work.
These reforms will help people get jobs that are open today. But to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, our commitment to skills and
education has to start earlier.
For less than one percent of what our Nation spends on education each year, we've convinced nearly every State in the country to raise their
standards for teaching and learning – the first time that's happened in a generation.
But challenges remain. And we know how to solve them.
At a time when other countries are doubling down on education, tight budgets have forced States to lay off thousands of teachers. We know
a good teacher can increase the lifetime income of a classroom by over $250,000. A great teacher can offer an escape from poverty to the
child who dreams beyond his circumstance. Every person in this chamber can point to a teacher who changed the trajectory of their
lives. Most teachers work tirelessly, with modest pay, sometimes digging into their own pocket for school supplies – just to make a difference.
Teachers matter. So instead of bashing them, or defending the status quo, let's offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good
teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. In return, grant schools flexibility: To teach with creativity and passion; to stop
teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren't helping kids learn.
We also know that when students aren't allowed to walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma. So tonight, I call on every State to require that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn eighteen.
When kids do graduate, the most daunting challenge can be the cost of college. At a time when Americans owe more in tuition debt than credit card debt, this Congress needs to stop the interest rates on student loans from doubling in July. Extend the tuition tax credit we started that saves middle-class families thousands of dollars. And give more young people the chance to earn their way through college by
doubling the number of work-study jobs in the next five years.
Of course, it's not enough for us to increase student aid. We can't just keep subsidizing skyrocketing tuition; we'll run out of money. States also need to do their part, by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets. And colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down. Recently, I spoke with a group of college presidents who've done just that. Some schools
re-design courses to help students finish more quickly. Some use better technology. The point is, it's possible. So let me put colleges and universities on notice: If you can't stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down. Higher education can't be a luxury – it's an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford.
Let's also remember that hundreds of thousands of talented, hardworking students in this country face another challenge: The fact that they aren't yet American citizens. Many were brought here as small children, are American through and through, yet they live every
day with the threat of deportation. Others came more recently, to study business and science and engineering, but as soon as they get
their degree, we send them home to invent new products and create new jobs somewhere else.
That doesn't make sense.
I believe as strongly as ever that we should take on illegal immigration. That's why my Administration has put more boots on the border than ever before. That's why there are fewer illegal crossings than when I took office.
The opponents of action are out of excuses. We should be working on comprehensive immigration reform right now. But if election-year politics keeps Congress from acting on a comprehensive plan, let's at least agree to stop expelling responsible young people who want to staff our labs, start new businesses, and defend this country. Send me a law that gives them the chance to earn their citizenship. I will
sign it right away.
You see, an economy built to last is one where we encourage the talent and ingenuity of every person in this country. That means women
should earn equal pay for equal work. It means we should support everyone who's willing to work; and every risk-taker and entrepreneur
who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs.
After all, innovation is what America has always been about. Most new jobs are created in start-ups and small businesses. So let's pass an
agenda that helps them succeed. Tear down regulations that prevent aspiring entrepreneurs from getting the financing to grow. Expand tax
relief to small businesses that are raising wages and creating good jobs. Both parties agree on these ideas. So put them in a bill, and get it on my desk this year.
Innovation also demands basic research. Today, the discoveries taking place in our federally-financed labs and universities could lead to
new treatments that kill cancer cells but leave healthy ones untouched. New lightweight vests for cops and soldiers that can stop
any bullet. Don't gut these investments in our budget. Don't let other countries win the race for the future. [/b]Support the same kind of research and innovation that led to the computer chip and the Internet; to new American jobs and new American industries.
Nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy. Over the last three years, we've opened millions of new acres
for oil and gas exploration, and tonight, I'm directing my Administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore
oil and gas resources. Right now, American oil production is the highest that it's been in eight years. That's right – eight years.
Not only that – last year, we relied less on foreign oil than in anyof the past sixteen years.
But with only 2 percent of the world's oil reserves, oil isn't enough. This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that
develops every available source of American energy – a strategy that's cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs.
We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly one hundred years, and my Administration will take every possible action
to safely develop this energy. Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade. And I'm requiring all
companies that drill for gas on public lands to disclose the chemicals they use. America will develop this resource without putting the
health and safety of our citizens at risk.
The development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don't have to
choose between our environment and our economy. And by the way, it was public research dollars, over the course of thirty years, that
helped develop the technologies to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock – reminding us that Government support is critical in
helping businesses get new energy ideas off the ground.
What's true for natural gas is true for clean energy. In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America
to be the world's leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries. Because of federal investments, renewable energy use has nearly
doubled. And thousands of Americans have jobs because of it.
When Bryan Ritterby was laid off from his job making furniture, he said he worried that at 55, no one would give him a second chance.
But he found work at Energetx, a wind turbine manufacturer in Michigan. Before the recession, the factory only made luxury yachts.
Today, it's hiring workers like Bryan, who said, "I'm proud to be working in the industry of the future."
Our experience with shale gas shows us that the payoffs on these public investments don't always come right away. Some technologies
don't pan out; some companies fail. But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. I will not walk away from workers like
Bryan. I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here. We
have subsidized oil companies for a century. That's long enough.
It's time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that's rarely been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that's never been more promising. Pass clean energy tax credits and create these jobs.
We can also spur energy innovation with new incentives. The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now to pass a comprehensive plan to fight climate change. But there's no reason why Congress shouldn't at least set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation. So far, you haven't acted. Well tonight, I will. I'm directing my Administration to allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power three million homes. And I'm proud to announce that the Department of Defense, the world's largest consumer of energy, will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history – with the Navy purchasing enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year.
Of course, the easiest way to save money is to waste less energy. So here's another proposal: Help manufacturers eliminate energy waste in
their factories and give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings. Their energy bills will be $100 billion lower over the next decade, and America will have less pollution, more manufacturing, and more jobs for construction workers who need them. Send me a bill
that creates these jobs.
Building this new energy future should be just one part of a broader agenda to repair America's infrastructure. So much of America needs to be rebuilt. We've got crumbling roads and bridges. A power grid that wastes too much energy. An incomplete high-speed broadband
network that prevents a small business owner in rural America from selling her products all over the world.
During the Great Depression, America built the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge. After World War II, we connected our States with
a system of highways. Democratic and Republican administrations invested in great projects that benefited everybody, from the workers
who built them to the businesses that still use them today.
In the next few weeks, I will sign an Executive Order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects. But you
need to fund these projects. Take the money we're no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do
some nation-building right here at home.
There's never been a better time to build, especially since the construction industry was one of the hardest-hit when the housing
bubble burst. Of course, construction workers weren't the only ones hurt. So were millions of innocent Americans who've seen their home
values decline. And while Government can't fix the problem on its own, responsible homeowners shouldn't have to sit and wait for the
housing market to hit bottom to get some relief.
That's why I'm sending this Congress a plan [/b]that gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage, by refinancing at historically low interest rates. [b]No more red tape. No more runaround from the banks. A small fee on the largest financial institutions will ensure that it won't add to the deficit, and will give banks that were rescued by taxpayers a chance to repay a deficit of trust.
Let's never forget: Millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a Government and a financial system that do the same. It's time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts. An America built to last
insists on responsibility from everybody.
We've all paid the price for lenders who sold mortgages to people who couldn't afford them, and buyers who knew they couldn't afford them. That's why we need smart regulations to prevent irresponsible behavior. Rules to prevent financial fraud, or toxic dumping, or
faulty medical devices, don't destroy the free market. They make the free market work better.
There is no question that some regulations are outdated, unnecessary, or too costly. In fact, I've approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his. I've ordered every federal agency to eliminate rules that don't make sense. We've already announced over 500 reforms, and just a fraction of them will save business and citizens more than $10 billion over the next five years. We got rid of one rule from 40 years ago that could have forced some dairy farmers to spend $10,000 a year proving that they could contain a spill – because milk was somehow classified as an oil. With a rule like that, I guess it was worth crying over spilled milk.
I'm confident a farmer can contain a milk spill without a federal agency looking over his shoulder. [/b]But I will not back down from making sure an oil company can contain the kind of oil spill we saw in the Gulf two years ago. I will not back down from protecting our kids from mercury pollution, or making sure that our food is safe and our water is clean. I will not go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny you coverage, or charge women differently from men.
[b]And I will not go back to the days when Wall Street was allowed to play by its own set of rules. The new rules we passed restore what should be any financial system's core purpose: Getting funding to entrepreneurs with the best ideas, and getting loans to responsible families who want to buy a home, start a business, or send a kid to college.
So if you're a big bank or financial institution, you are no longer allowed to make risky bets with your customers' deposits. You're required to write out a "living will" that details exactly how you'll pay the bills if you fail – because the rest of us aren't bailing you out ever again. And if you're a mortgage lender or a payday lender or a credit card company, the days of signing people up for products they can't afford with confusing forms and deceptive practices are over.
Today, American consumers finally have a watchdog in Richard Cordray with one job: To look out for them.
We will also establish a Financial Crimes Unit of highly trained investigators to crack down on large-scale fraud and protect people's
investments. Some financial firms violate major anti-fraud laws because there's no real penalty for being a repeat offender. That's bad for consumers, and it's bad for the vast majority of bankers and financial service professionals who do the right thing. So pass legislation that makes the penalties for fraud count.
And tonight, I am asking my Attorney General to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorneys general to expand
our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis. This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans.
A return to the American values of fair play and shared responsibility will help us protect our people and our economy. But it should also guide us as we look to pay down our debt and invest in our future.
Right now, our most immediate priority is stopping a tax hike on 160 million working Americans while the recovery is still fragile. People cannot afford losing $40 out of each paycheck this year. There are plenty of ways to get this done. So let's agree right here, right
now: No side issues. No drama. Pass the payroll tax cut without delay.
When it comes to the deficit, we've already agreed to more than $2 trillion in cuts and savings. But we need to do more, and that means
making choices. Right now, we're poised to spend nearly $1 trillion more on what was supposed to be a temporary tax break for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower
tax rates than millions of middle-class households. Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.
Do we want to keep these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Or do we want to keep our investments in everything else – like education
and medical research; a strong military and care for our veterans? Because if we're serious about paying down our debt, we can't do both.
The American people know what the right choice is. So do I. As I told the Speaker this summer, I'm prepared to make more reforms that
rein in the long term costs of Medicare and Medicaid, and strengthen Social Security, so long as those programs remain a guarantee of
security for seniors.
But in return, we need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of Members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes. Tax reform should follow the Buffett rule: If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes. And my Republican friend Tom Coburn is right: Washington should stop subsidizing millionaires. In fact, if you're earning a million dollars a year, you shouldn't get special tax subsidies or deductions. On the other hand, if you make under $250,000 a year, like 98 percent of American families, your taxes shouldn't go up. You're the ones struggling with rising costs and stagnant wages. You're the ones who need relief.
Now, you can call this class warfare all you want. But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most
Americans would call that common sense.
We don't begrudge financial success in this country. We admire it. When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it's not because they envy the rich. It's because they understand that when I get tax breaks I don't need and the country can't afford, it either adds to the deficit, or somebody else has to make up the difference – like a senior on a fixed income; or a student trying to get through school; or a family trying to make ends meet. That's not right. Americans know it's not right. They know that this generation's success is only possible because past generations felt a responsibility to each other, and to their country's future, and they know our way of life will only endure if we feel that same sense of shared responsibility. That's how we'll reduce our deficit. That's an America built to last.
I recognize that people watching tonight have differing views about taxes and debt; energy and health care. But no matter what party they belong to, I bet most Americans are thinking the same thing right now: Nothing will get done this year, or next year, or maybe even the year after that, because Washington is broken.
Can you blame them for feeling a little cynical?
The greatest blow to confidence in our economy last year didn't come from events beyond our control. It came from a debate in Washington over whether the United States would pay its bills or not. Who benefited from that fiasco?
I've talked tonight about the deficit of trust between Main Street and Wall Street. But the divide between this city and the rest of the country is at least as bad – and it seems to get worse every year.
Some of this has to do with the corrosive influence of money in politics. So together, let's take some steps to fix that. Send me a
bill that bans insider trading by Members of Congress, and I will sign it tomorrow. Let's limit any elected official from owning stocks in
industries they impact. Let's make sure people who bundle campaign contributions for Congress can't lobby Congress, and vice versa – an
idea that has bipartisan support, at least outside of Washington.
Some of what's broken has to do with the way Congress does its business these days. A simple majority is no longer enough to get
anything – even routine business – passed through the Senate. Neither party has been blameless in these tactics. Now both parties should
put an end to it. For starters, I ask the Senate to pass a rule that all judicial and public service nominations receive a simple up or
down vote within 90 days.
The executive branch also needs to change. Too often, it's inefficient, outdated and remote. That's why I've asked this Congress
to grant me the authority to consolidate the federal bureaucracy so that our Government is leaner, quicker, and more responsive to the
needs of the American people.
Finally, none of these reforms can happen unless we also lower the temperature in this town. We need to end the notion that the two
parties must be locked in a perpetual campaign of mutual destruction; that politics is about clinging to rigid ideologies instead of
building consensus around common sense ideas.
I'm a Democrat. But I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed: That Government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more. [/b]That's why my education reform offers more competition, and more control for schools and States. That's why we're getting rid of regulations that don't work. That's why our health care law relies on a reformed private market, not a
On the other hand, even my Republican friends who complain the most about Government spending have supported federally-financed roads, and
clean energy projects, and federal offices for the folks back home.
[b]The point is, we should all want a smarter, more effective Government. And while we may not be able to bridge our biggest philosophical differences this year, we can make real progress. With or without this Congress, I will keep taking actions that help the economy grow.
But I can do a whole lot more with your help. Because when we act together, there is nothing the United States of America can't achieve.
That is the lesson we've learned from our actions abroad over the last few years.
Ending the Iraq war has allowed us to strike decisive blows against our enemies. From Pakistan to Yemen, the al Qaeda operatives who
remain are scrambling, knowing that they can't escape the reach of the United States of America.
From this position of strength, we've begun to wind down the war in Afghanistan. Ten thousand of our troops have come home. Twenty-three
thousand more will leave by the end of this summer. This transition to Afghan lead will continue, and we will build an enduring partnership
with Afghanistan, so that it is never again a source of attacks against America.
As the tide of war recedes, a wave of change has washed across the Middle East and North Africa, from Tunis to Cairo; from Sana'a to
Tripoli. A year ago, Qadhafi was one of the world's longest-serving dictators – a murderer with American blood on his hands. Today, he is
gone. And in Syria, I have no doubt that the Assad regime will soon discover that the forces of change can't be reversed, and that human
dignity can't be denied.
How this incredible transformation will end remains uncertain. [/b]But we have a huge stake in the outcome. And while it is ultimately up to the people of the region to decide their fate, we will advocate for those values that have served our own country so well. We will stand against violence and intimidation. We will stand for the rights and dignity of all human beings – men and women; Christians, Muslims, and
Jews. We will support policies that lead to strong and stable democracies and open markets, because tyranny is no match for liberty.
[b]And we will safeguard America's own security against those who threaten our citizens, our friends, and our interests. Look at Iran. Through the power of our diplomacy, a world that was once divided about how to deal with Iran's nuclear program now stands as one. The regime is more isolated than ever before; its leaders are faced with crippling sanctions, and as long as they shirk their responsibilities, this pressure will not relent. Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal. But a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible, and far better, and if Iran changes course and meets its obligations, it can rejoin the community of nations.
The renewal of American leadership can be felt across the globe. Our oldest alliances in Europe and Asia are stronger than ever. Our ties
to the Americas are deeper. Our iron-clad commitment to Israel's security has meant the closest military cooperation between our two countries in history. We've made it clear that America is a Pacific power, and a new beginning in Burma has lit a new hope. From the coalitions we've built to secure nuclear materials, to the missions we've led against hunger and disease; from the blows we've dealt to
our enemies; to the enduring power of our moral example, America is back.
Anyone who tells you otherwise, anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn't know what they're talking about. That's not the message we get from leaders around the world, all of whom are eager to work with us. That's not how people feel from Tokyo to Berlin; from Cape Town to Rio; where opinions of America are higher than they've been in years. Yes, the world is
changing; no, we can't control every event. But America remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs – and as long as I'm
President, I intend to keep it that way.
That's why, working with our military leaders, I have proposed a new defense strategy that ensures we maintain the finest military in the
world, while saving nearly half a trillion dollars in our budget. To stay one step ahead of our adversaries, I have already sent this Congress legislation that will secure our country from the growing danger of cyber-threats.
Above all, our freedom endures because of the men and women in uniform who defend it. As they come home, we must serve them as well as they
served us. That includes giving them the care and benefits they have earned – which is why we've increased annual VA spending every year
I've been President. And it means enlisting our veterans in the work of rebuilding our Nation.
With the bipartisan support of this Congress, we are providing new tax credits to companies that hire vets. Michelle and Jill Biden have
worked with American businesses to secure a pledge of 135,000 jobs for veterans and their families. And tonight, I'm proposing a Veterans
Job Corps that will help our communities hire veterans as cops and firefighters, so that America is as strong as those who defend her.
Which brings me back to where I began. Those of us who've been sent here to serve can learn from the service of our troops. When you put on that uniform, it doesn't matter if you're black or white; Asian or Latino; conservative or liberal; rich or poor; gay or straight. When you're marching into battle, you look out for the person next to you, or the mission fails. When you're in the thick of the fight, you rise
or fall as one unit, serving one Nation, leaving no one behind.
One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden. On it are each of their names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn't matter. Just like it didn't matter that day in the Situation
Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates – a man who was George Bush's defense secretary; and Hillary Clinton, a woman who ran against me for
All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves. [/b]One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn't deserve credit for the mission. It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job – the pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the
compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs. More than that, the
mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other – because you can't charge up those stairs, into darkness and
danger, unless you know that there's someone behind you, watching your back.
[b]So it is with America. Each time I look at that flag, I'm reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those fifty stars and those thirteen stripes. No one built this country on their own. This Nation is great because we built it together. This Nation is great because we worked as a team. This Nation is great because we get each other's backs. And if we hold fast to that truth, in this moment of trial, there is no challenge too great; no mission too hard. As long as we're joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve, our journey moves forward, our future is hopeful, and the state of our Union will always be strong.
Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 2:56pm On Jan 26, 2012|
Another crash for David Cameron as he bumps car while reversing
By Martin Fricker 25/01/2012
Since David Cameron came to power, the stock market and housing prices have crashed. And the PM was at it himself yesterday.
He continued his habit of lurching from one embarrassing clanger to another when he lent his family’s nanny a helping hand to park her car – only to bump it into a stationary vehicle.
Mr Cameron was left embarrassed after he returned home from a workout with personal trainer Matt Roberts. Wearing a personalised Nike tracksuit, the PM went to the aid of grateful nanny Gita Lama in Downing Street.
A source said: “She was struggling to park her Honda Jazz in a tight space as she arrived at work.
“It was just after 8am and Mr Cameron came back home in a Jaguar with his trainer and protection officers. He saw Gita was having difficulties, jumped out of his car and ran over to help.
"She got out of the driver’s seat and he got in. He was trying to carefully move the Honda forward when the front bumper hit the back of a parked Peugeot 206.
“It wasn’t a big noise. It was just the two bumpers coming together. Mr Roberts and the protection guys all burst out laughing. When Mr Cameron eventually parked the car, he got out and glanced down at the bumper to see what damage there was.
“From what I could see there was no damage to the car and everyone saw the funny side.”
It is believed the Peugeot – which also emerged from the bump unscathed – belongs to a Downing Street cleaner.
Last night Downing Street tried to play down the accident. A source close to the PM said: “He helped park the nanny’s car.
“They have a new car and she was trying to park it. The Prime Minister reverse parked it. He did not prang or bump the car.”
His doubters will be hoping he spends less time parking cars and more time on a collision course with City fatcats.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 4:50pm On Jan 26, 2012|
Julia Gillard 'rescued' amid Australia Day protests
Australian PM Julia Gillard and leader of the opposition Tony Abbott had to be rescued after becoming trapped by an angry protest, local media reports.
About 50 police escorted the pair from Canberra's Lobby restaurant after it was surrounded by some 200 supporters of the city's Aboriginal Tent Embassy.
Mr Abbott had reportedly angered them by suggesting it was time for the camp - marking its 40th year - to come down.
The pair had been at a ceremony for the inaugural National Emergency Medals.
The honours - presented as the country marked Australia Day - were introduced to recognise those who served their communities during events such as the 2009 bushfires in Victoria and the floods in Queensland in 2010 and 2011.
But Australia's newspapers reported that riot police were called to the restaurant at about 14:30 local time as protesters gathered outside, with people banging on the glass yelling "shame" and "racist".
Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott were reportedly forced to wait 20 minutes before police escorted them through a side door.
According to the BBC's Duncan Kennedy, chaos ensued as a bodyguard grabbed Ms Gillard by the shoulders and shoved her into a waiting car.
The prime minister appeared to have stumbled in the process and was missing a shoe. Protesters continued to slam on the car's roof and the bonnet as it sped off.
Supporters had gathered for a three-day Corroborree for Sovereignty to mark the 40th anniversary of the tent embassy.
Media reports suggested some had been angered by Mr Abbott's suggestion in a TV interview that it was "time to move on" from the camp in light of current plans to recognise indigenous people in the country's constitution.
The tent embassy was established in 1972 by four men as a protest against the prime minister of the time's refusal to acknowledge indigenous land rights.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 6:03pm On Jan 26, 2012|
President Obama, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Share Tense Tarmac Moment
ABC NewsBy Devin Dwyer | ABC News – 2 hrs 57 mins ago
Longstanding tension between Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Democratic President Barack Obama flared into the public spotlight Wednesday just after Air Force One touched down in Phoenix.
Brewer, who was on the tarmac to greet Obama, hand-delivered a letter before engaging the president "intensely" for several minutes, including pointing her finger directly at him, according to Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown, acting as a pool reporter for other media outlets.
Accounts from both camps later said the terse talk focused on Brewer's book - "Scorpions for Breakfast: My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media and Cynical Politicos to Secure America's Border."
The book, which was released in November, describes a June 2010 Oval Office meeting between Obama and Brewer aimed at diffusing conflicts surrounding Arizona's controversial state immigration law and the administration's immigration policy.
At the time, the White House called it a "good meeting," while Brewer's staff said it was "cordial."
But Brewer paints a much different picture in her book.
Brewer complains in "Scorpions for Breakfast" that she and her staff were treated coldly by White House aides, prevented from taking pictures in the holding room outside the Oval Office and that their cell phones and cameras were "confiscated" by Secret Service.
"Too bad we weren't illegal aliens, or we could have sued them," she writes.
During her meeting with the president, Brewer said Obama was "condescending" and professorial, "lecturing" on his efforts to promote comprehensive immigration reform.
"It wasn't long before I realized I was hearing the president's stump speech," she said. "Only I was supposed to listen without talking. Did he care to hear the view from the actual scene at the border? Did the opinions and observations of the people of Arizona mean anything to him? I didn't think so."
"He was patronizing," she said. "Then it dawned on me: He's treating me like the cop he had over for a beer after he bad-mouthed the Cambridge police, I thought. He thinks he can humor me and then get rid of me."
Obama raised his objections to Brewer's account face-to-face with the governor Wednesday.
"He was a little disturbed about my book," Brewer told reporters after the meeting broke. "I said to him that I have all the respect in the world for the office of the president. The book is what the book is. I asked him if he read the book. He said he read the excerpt."
Obama told Brewer "that he didn't feel that I had treated him cordially," Brewer said. "I said I was sorry he felt that way but I didn't get my sentence finished.
"Anyway, we're glad he's here. I'll regroup," she added.
A senior administration official later told reporters that Obama's comments were in response to Brewer's request for another one-on-one meeting.
"The governor handed the president a letter and said she was inviting him to meet with her. The president said he'd be glad to meet with her again, but did note that after their last meeting, a cordial discussion in the Oval Office, the governor inaccurately described the meeting in her book," the official told reporters, on condition of anonymity.
Brewer, who said in her letter to Obama that she wanted to discuss "Arizona's comeback" with him, did not attend the presidential event at a Phoenix factory today. But she did make several subsequent media appearances to talk about her tarmac encounter.
In an interview with KFYI radio in Phoenix, Brewer said Obama was "somewhat thin-skinned and a little tense, to say the least."
"I was very surprised. I was taken aback. I really was," she said. "I was shocked by the sternness of it all."
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 9:15am On Jan 27, 2012|
God has blown NDC's cover; 'they are hypocrites, liars and thieves'
The opposition New Patriotic Party says their defeat in the 2008 general elections was a blessing in disguise.
According to the campaign manager of the NPP, Boakye Agyarko, the loss suffered by the NPP in 2008 has given Ghanaians the real opportunity to assess the two parties and to know which of them CAN best serve the interest of the country.
Speaking at a news conference to announce the party's first ever national interdenominational prayer session, Mr Agyarko said he was confident Ghanaians' assessment of the Mills administration will bring the NPP back to power.
It was the wish of the NPP to win the 2008 elections but God, in 'His own infinite wisdom', did not grant that wish for a reason, Mr Agyarko stated.
'But I believe God did not grant us because he needed to expose the NDC for what they are - hypocrites, liars, thieves of the first order. Otherwise how does a president who has declared himself righteousness allow such perfidy of taking the nation's money to one person'
Mr Agyarko went Biblical and said God works in a mysterious way, and asked people to remain patient for God's appointed time, professing that unanswered prayer 'does not mean He (God) has not heard you, but He will grant you that wish in His time.'
Boakye Agyarko said the prayer session would be used by the party to pray for peace ahead of their campaign for the December elections.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 9:09am On Jan 30, 2012|
U.S. Senator Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul, detained by TSA after refusing airport patdown
Reuters Jan 23, 2012 – 11:09 AM ET | Last Updated: Jan 23, 2012 5:30 PM ET
By Thomas Ferraro and John Crawley
WASHINGTON — Republican Senator Rand Paul was stopped at an airport on Monday for setting off an alarm and refusing a patdown, prompting his father, U.S. presidential candidate Ron Paul, to accuse security officials of being part of an “out of control” police state.
In a harshly worded attack on the Transportation Security Administration, which handles security screenings at U.S. airports, Ron Paul, known for his strident libertarian views, said the TSA “gropes and grabs our kids and our seniors and does nothing to keep us safe.”
After Rand Paul refused the patdown, he was escorted out of the airport security area in Nashville, Tennessee, by local authorities, the TSA said. Paul missed his flight to Washington, but was later rebooked and rescreened without incident.
As favorites of the anti-Washington Tea Party movement, Paul and his father, who is a U.S. Represenative from Texas, have helped lead the charge against what critics call excessive federal intrusion, from health care to body searches.
At a Senate hearing last June, Rand Paul challenged TSA Administrator John Pistole over his agency’s random patdowns of travelers at airports, including the case of a 6-year-old girl from his home state of Kentucky.
“This isn’t to say that we don’t believe in safety procedures,” Paul said. “But I think I feel less safe because you’re doing these invasive exams on a six-year-old. It makes me think you’re clueless that you think she’s going to attack our country and that you’re not doing your research on the people who would attack our country.”
On the campaign trail, Ron Paul has called for the abolition of the TSA on the grounds that it wastes taxpayer money and violates personal liberties.
Rand Paul has recommended that authorities eliminate patdowns as part of everyday security, saying TSA should more heavily emphasize non-invasive methods for assessing risk.
The senator has even complained that close screening of members of Congress and other frequent fliers known to airlines and security officials is a poor use of security resources.
TSA DEFENDS PROCEDURES
The TSA was created following the Sept. 11, 2001, airplane attacks by al Qaeda on the United States.
Full body imaging and patdowns at U.S. airports began in 2010, and immediately triggered a public backlash and fire from both sides of the political aisle.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a leading member of the Obama administration, weighed in on the controversy at the time, saying she would avoid pat downs if possible.
More than 650 million passengers fly on U.S. airlines, most using one of the more than 400 airports where TSA operates checkpoints.
The agency defends its procedures, which they say are needed to ensure passenger safety.
Paul’s personal showdown with airport security unfolded as he headed to Washington to address an anti-abortion rally and to return to work after a long congressional holiday break.
The senator’s father, Ron Paul, tweeted that his son was detained for refusing a full-body pat-down “after anomaly in body scanner.”
The TSA did not say what triggered the alarm and denied Paul had been detained.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 4:04pm On Feb 08, 2012|
Press Statement: Empty barrels make the most noise
Source: The Statesman
Our attention has been drawn to comments by Koku Anyidoho, who calls himself the Head of communications at office of the President, a presidency which has lost all sense of direction and is being remote controlled by unseen forces and unseen hands.
President Mills has shot up in integrity he says. We will agree with him but we wonder how because an honest man like President Mills who says he is a disciple of Kwame Nkrumah and was a student at the Kwame Nkrumah Ideological institute will gave 92 million Ghana cedis to one man to go and have a good time when National Youth Employment workers have not been paid ,when newly trained teachers, have not received allowances for 2 years and our road projects have become deserts ,with innocent Ghanaians inhaling dust. Will the late Dr Kwame Nkrumah who he worships day and night be happy with this?
We have a few questions to ask Mr Anyidoho whether Professor Mills is indeed an honest man and a man of integrity
1.Why would a man of integrity like President Mills refuse to pay Electricity bills of his own office and incur arrears to the tune of over 600,000 Ghana cedis as exposed by the journalist Anas Aremeyaw's investigations into the corrupt activities at Electricity corporation of Ghana?
2. Why would a man of integrity like President Mills receive token houses, in Koku's Anyodoho's own words from Regimanuel Estates, a private company at a time he already owns a house there using state funds?
3. Why would a man of integrity cost the nation 160,000 dollars worth of landing charges travelling back and forth to the USA claiming he was going to meet investors?
4. Would a man of integrity sack an Attorney General that wanted to do the right thing and expose ministerial colleagues in government who in his words were committing financial gargantuan crimes against Ghana?
5. Would a man of integrity use 48,000 dollars to buy a watch for President Obama's wife when there is no water at Tema General hospital and Ridge Hospital?
6.Would a man of integrity seek to massage figures of his country's population census and instruct the head of the statistical service to be sacked so some figures in some regions could be quietly increased and others decrease to win elections?
7.Would a man of integrity promise Ghanaians he would reduce petrol DRASTICALLY only to increase it 7 times in 3 years ASTRONOMICALLY?
Koku Anyodoho and others whose better stomach agenda would not let them tell Ghanaians the truth will face the wrath of Ghanaians at the ballot box in 2012. We know his body weight before he came into office and his body weight now. Keep up the fruitless talk Mr Anyidoho, Ghanaians will soon have their day.
Source-NPP UK communications team.
London, Northhampton ,Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Aberdeen
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 4:47pm On Feb 08, 2012|
How To Become A One-Term President
Source: Daily Guide
This syllabus is written strictly for presidential candidates who would like to serve only one term and leave office without any legacy. If candidates adhere to the syllabus and thereafter read their books with zeal, their dream of becoming a one-term president of Ghana will come to pass. It is not going to be any strenuous exercise because one candidate who followed the syllabus three years ago is going to go down in history as the first person to serve one term as the president of Ghana.
The watchwords are lies and promises .
To start with, pack your campaign bag with enticing promises and lies. As you go about campaigning, drop the promises one after the other in all the nooks and crannies of Ghana. Always open your mouth widely and bravely tell Unclad and gargantuan lies anytime you address a rally. Tell the electorate that you can bring the sea from Takoradi, through Kumasi to Bolgatanga and open a seaport in all the places that the sea will reach. Tell the people of Tamale when you happen to go there that you will build a bridge at the Jubilee Park because there is a river there which has not been identified by anyone except you. At Yendi, tell the Andanis that after all, the Ya Na is not dead and that you will produce the great king alive when they vote you into power.
Just tell them that the reason why people are finding it difficult to prosecute the suspected killers of the Ya Na was because they had to come to the realization that the man was alive and kicking. To get support from the Abudus, tell them that those who were arrested, tried and acquitted for the murder of the Ya Na will receive compensation for wrongful arrest and detention.
When you zoom to the Central region, tell the Fantes there that when they vote you into power, you will dilute the sea in order to make it less salty so that fingerlings of tilapia can be planted in the sea to increase the fish stock. Do not forget to tell the fisher folks that the use of light for fishing is the latest craze and that you will not only ban pair trawling, but anyone caught pair trawling will be sentenced to death by hanging. When you go to Elmina, tell the electorate that because gold has been detected at the beaches, you will establish a gold mine so that the teaming unemployed youth can get employment. Do not hesitate to tell the people there that when voted to power, 20 fishmongers from Elmina will be given ministerial appointments. Promise the chief fisherman that he will be appointed the Minister for Fisheries and that his linguist will be rewarded with the position of Municipal Chief Executive of Cape Coast.
In the Western region, tell them that because oil has been found there, you will give the people 50 percent of the oil revenue because the sea belongs to them. Try to convince them that the last time when the then running mate of the NDC, Mr. John Dramani Mahama promised to give them only 10 percent of the oil revenue, it was an insult because the percentage was negligible. At Sefwi Akontombra, tell the cocoa farmers that the introduction of mass spraying of their cocoa farms by the Kufour administration was not an ideal one. Do not hesitate to tell them that if by the grace of God you become the president of Ghana, you will import helicopters to do the spraying. At Adabokrom, tell the cocoa farmers that the use of mats to dry cocoa beans is not the best and that when you hold the reins of power, you will introduce the use of electricity to dry cocoa beans.
As for the people of the Volta region, you will have no problem convincing them. Just tell them that when they vote for you to become the president of mother Ghana, you will establish a cat meat factory at Hohoe, where the meat would be canned for export. Tell them the unemployed youth will be organized to form cat-hunting groups to feed the factory and that Dr. Kwabena Adjei would be made the head of the hunting gang.
At Keta, where the sea always eats the land, tell them the Roman Catholic Church which was submerged under water some years ago will be brought ashore for worshippers to benefit.
If you go to Ho and tell them that you will build a university for them, they will not believe in you because President Mills has already built one there and students have started attending that university (sic!!). Because you would be going to that region through the northern corridor, tell them because that road has already been constructed by the Mills administration, you will channel resources to level the scalp from Koforidua through Okere to Ho, so that farmers there could use the land to produce more cassava to feed a proposed starch factory at Sogakope.
Anytime you happen to be at the Brong Ahafo region, try as much as possible to start your campaign tour from Yeji and all the towns and villages along the Volta Lake. Tell them the Volta Lake transport is archaic and cannot withstand the test of time. As a result of that, say you will introduce submarines and luxurious cruise ships like the submerged Costa Concordia. Do not forget to tell the fishermen along the lake that the fish fingerlings Dr. Kwame Nkrumah planted in the lake were not the best and that when you come to power, you will bring whales and seals from the Atlantic Ocean. You need to organize a triumphant entry to Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo regional capital. The people there will vote for you if you tell them that when you hold the reins of power, you will introduce the planting of super highbred Odum, Wawa, Mahogany and other tree species which will take only one year to mature to feed the Oti Yeboah Sawmills.
Electorates from the Upper West and East regions will surely welcome you warmly if you promise to revamp the Tiger Pito at Bolgatanga so that the products could be exported to neighbouring countries to earn foreign exchange. Tell the people of Bolgatanga that instead of using cows as raw materials for the Bolgatanga Meat Factory, you will import camels from the Sahelian countries and elephants from Kenya to feed the factory. Promise the Frafra people one man will be entitled to 20 dogs and you will scoop almost all the votes there.
If you are able to hoodwink the electorate this way, you will become the president of Ghana. But when you fail to honour all those juicy promises, they will surely vote you out to become a one-term president of Ghana. You then become an accomplished loser.
On a more serious note, my dear and cherished reader, it is not good to make empty promises and lie through the teeth. One thing which helped the NDC to come to power was the promise to introduce a one-time premium for the National Health Insurance Scheme. Mills and his cohorts knew very well that what they were telling Ghanaians was not feasible but they went ahead to give that promise. Less than one year to end his first term, Mills and the NDC have rather introduced what they call Capitation on pilot basis. Dentists and doctors have kicked against the introduction of this particular model and promised to bring back the killer Cash and Carry system which led to the death of several Ghanaians before the introduction of the NHIS. In the run-up to the 2008 general elections, Accra in particular was engulfed with filth and the then mayor was finding it very difficult to surmount the situation.
The NDC capitalized on the filth to tell the good people of this country that when voted into power, they would take only one hundred days to rid the city of filth. They even went ahead to include the promise in their manifesto. Go to Maamobi, Agbogbogloshie and Kaneshie and see!!! Less than one year to end his term of office, Mills' regime is about to leave the filthiest environment in the history of Ghana. As for the promise to deal with corruption, only Woyome, Betty Mould, Asimenu and Duffour can tell. Armed robbery? Forget it. They are even robbing soldiers and Molesting victims. They are sprouting like poisonous mushrooms in cow dung and the end to the menace is unforeseeable.
Where I come from, our elders say a promise is like a debt and so anyone who promises should remember that a time will come when you will be called upon to deliver your promises or be damned. The time is this year. In December, when we go to the polls, we will be demanding for the payment of that debt which the Mills/Mahama administration owes Ghanaians. And if that debt is not paid, Professor Mills will be the first president to receive the marching orders after his first term in office as the president of the sovereign state of Ghana. If this comes to pass, politicians in Ghana will dare not play on our intelligence again. It is payback time and we are readying our cheques.
The storm is gathering and the sailors are shivering.
From: Eric Bawah
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 10:23am On Feb 13, 2012|
India Indecency Scandal: 3 State Ministers Resign After Accusations Of Watching Indecency During Assembly Session
NEW DELHI -- Three government ministers in the southern Indian state of Karnataka resigned Wednesday after they were accused of watching a pornographic video during an assembly session.
The right wing Bharatiya Janata Party, which rules Karnataka, ordered the three ministers to resign after local television channels aired footage Tuesday of the men watching the allegedly pornographic video clip while the state assembly proceedings were going on.
The ministers denied they were watching Indecency, but said they were resigning to save their party from embarrassment.
The governor of Karnataka accepted the resignations.
Television footage showed Laxman Savadi, minister for cooperation, watching the video clip on his mobile phone and then passing the phone to C. C. Patil, minister for women and child development.
The mobile phone belonged to the minister for ports, Krishna Palemar, who also resigned.
Soon after television stations aired the footage, outraged residents of Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, held protests outside the homes of the three ministers, demanding their resignation.
The three men said they were not watching Indecency. Savadi said he was watching a video clip of a rave party to prepare for a discussion in the assembly.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 10:41am On Feb 13, 2012|
India ministers quit after caught watching Indecency in parliament
By Nita Bhalla
NEW DELHI | Wed Feb 8, 2012 7:26am EST
(Reuters) - Three Indian politicians from a morally conservative party, including a women's affairs minister, resigned on Wednesday after being caught watching Indecency on a mobile phone during a session of state parliament.
News channels broadcast footage showing Karnataka state Minister for Cooperation Laxman Savadi sharing a Indecency clip with his colleague C.C. Patil, the minister for women and child development, while sitting in the state assembly.
The owner of the phone, state Minister for Ports, Science and Technology Krishna Palemar, also quit.
"We are requesting the honorable Speaker of the House to conduct an inquiry and we'll come out with a clean chit," Patil said, denying that they were deliberately looking at Indecency.
The three men said they did not want to cause any embarrassment for their party, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which rules the state and is in opposition at a national level.
There has been outrage over the incident not just from rights activists and right-wing Hindu groups in conservative India, but also from the riling Congress party which called for the assembly to be dissolved.
"We live in a country where there already is this social mindset that women are disposable commodities and are seen as transferable properties," Renuka Chowdhary, a former federal minister for women's development and a member of the Congress Party.
"It really is troubling that the people who are in positions of power and have the responsibility to change things actually have the same mindset and are busy watching Indecency," she told the CNN-IBN news channel.
Girls and women in largely patriarchal India face a barrage of threats including molestation, dowry-related murder, forced marriage, domestic violence, honor killings and human trafficking.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 6:56pm On Feb 17, 2012|
Germany's President Christian Wulff has resigned after a string of scandals.
Updated: 11:39, Friday, 17 February 2012
Scandal-hit German President Christian Wulff is stepping down as head of state, a day after prosecutors asked parliament to lift his immunity from prosecution.
"I am , today stepping down from the office of federal president to free up the way quickly for a successor," he said in a televised statement from his Bellevue palace.
Over the past two months Mr Wullf has become embroiled in a scandal over money, power and political favours that could damage Chancellor Merkel who installed him in the largely ceremonial office in 2010.
"The state prosecutors of Hannover now have enough actual indications and therefore the start of a suspicion of [the] acceptance of favours," the prosecutors wrote in a statement released last night.
"Therefore they have asked the President of the German Bundestag to lift the President's immunity."
Hannover is the capital of Lower-Saxony, where Mr Wulff was state premier from 2003-2010.
German presidents have limited formal powers but Mr Wulff's nine post-war predecessors managed to become popular leaders as a voice of higher authority.
The President is supposed to embody the nation's conscience largely via speeches and moral suasion.
Cheap home loan
Mr Wulff belatedly apologised for misleading the Lower Saxony state parliament about a cheap €500,000 home loan from a businessman friend.
He also apologised for leaving a message on the answering machine of the editor of Germany's best-selling Bild newspaper threatening a "war" if the daily published a story about his private finance dealings.
He was also later criticised for accepting free upgrades for holiday flights for himself and his family as well as staying free of charge at the holiday villas of wealthy businessmen.
The head of the German parliament's immunity committee Thomas Strobl told daily Die Welt it could possibly debate a request to lift the President's immunity during the next parliamentary session on 27 February.
"The (Social Democrat) SPD will agree to this request," SPD parliamentary floor leader Thomas Oppermann told Die Welt.
The prosecutors said the aim of their request was to be able to pursue their investigations in a formal procedure.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 6:13pm On Feb 23, 2012|
Dominique Strauss-Kahn freed from custody over alleged prostitution ring
7:26AM GMT 23 Feb 2012
The French politician also heard that the first court hearing in a US civil case, brought by the New York hotel maid who alleges that he sexually assaulted her, will take place on March 15.
DSK, as he is known in France, will thus face legal proceedings on both sides of the Atlantic next month.
A French judicial source said Mr Strauss-Kahn, once considered a front-runner to become the next president of France, would be summoned to appear before investigating magistrates in Lille on March 28 on charges linked to prostitution and corruption.
The 62-year-old former Socialist minister was released after being detained for about 32 hours for questioning on the charges of "abetting aggravated pimping by an organised gang" and "misuse of company funds".
He was swiftly whisked away in a car under a police motorcycle escort from the police station in the northern city of Lille, where dozens of journalists had gathered.
During his interrogation, Strauss-Kahn told investigators he did not suspect women he met at SinParties were prostitutes, as they were introduced to him by senior police officers, a source close to the probe said.
"He explained himself fully about all the events he was questioned on," Strauss-Kahn's lawyer Frederique Baulieu said, but she declined to comment on his future summons.
He was also to be quizzed by France's police internal affairs department, the IGPN, which is conducting a separate inquiry into a senior officer, Commissioner Jean-Christophe Lagarde, who has been charged with pimping.
Under French law, aggravated organised pimping carries a prison term of up to 20 years and profiting from embezzlement five years and a fine.
Investigating magistrates want to know whether he was aware that women who entertained him at parties in restaurants, hotels and swingers' clubs in Paris and Washington were paid prostitutes.
They will also ask whether Strauss-Kahn knew the escorts were paid with funds allegedly fraudulently obtained from a public works company by his hosts.
Paying a prostitute is not illegal in France, but profiting from vice or embezzling company funds to pay for sex can lead to charges.
Lawyer Henri Leclerc has said his client may not have known he was with prostitutes as "in these parties, you're not necessarily dressed. I defy you to tell the difference between a Unclad prostitute and a Unclad woman of quality."
The former managing director of the International Monetary Fund acknowledges having an uninhibited sex life, but rejects any role in pimping or corruption and has indicated he will deny any criminal wrongdoing.
New York prosecutors abandoned a sex assault case against Strauss-Kahn last year, but his accuser, an immigrant hotel maid, lodged a civil suit.
The US hearing next month will air arguments on pretrial motions and is not the start of the trial itself.
The Bronx Supreme Court announced the new stage in the saga with a brief statement saying "oral argument on the motions in the Diallo v Strauss-Kahn case pending in Bronx Supreme Court will be held on March 15."
Nafissatou Diallo says Strauss-Kahn attempted To Molest her in his Manhattan Sofitel hotel room where she had gone to clean on May 14 last year. Strauss-Kahn was arrested later that day but insisted he was being framed and prosecutors later dropped charges, saying the maid had credibility problems.
The civil suit seeks unspecified damages from Strauss-Kahn, who is married to a wealthy French journalist.
Friends of Strauss-Kahn have claimed a conspiracy to bring him down, removing what had been seen as a viable challenge to French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Two businessmen, Fabrice Paszkowski, a medical equipment tycoon with ties to Strauss-Kahn's Socialist Party, and David Roquet, former director of a local subsidiary of building giant BTP Eiffage, have already been charged in the French prostitution case.
The pair are alleged to have links to a network of French and Belgian prostitutes centred on the Carlton Hotel in Lille, a well-known meeting place of the local business and political elite in a city run by the Socialist Party.
In all, eight people are facing trial in connection with the "Carlton affair", including three executives from the luxury hotel itself, a leading lawyer and the police chief, Lagarde.
The last of the sex parties is said to have taken place during a trip by a group from Lille to Washington between May 11 and 13 last year.
One day later, on May 14, Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York.
Strauss-Kahn has also been accused by 32-year-old French writer Tristane Banon of attempting To Molest her in 2003. Prosecutors decided there was prima facie evidence of a intimate assault, but ruled that the statute of limitations had passed.
|Re: The Nigerian Political Class And Their Foreign Counterparts by johnie: 8:02am On Feb 27, 2012|
Saturday, February 25, 2012 - Page updated at 10:30 p.m.
Obama's Afghan apology rouses critics
By Scott Wilson
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — When should a president say he's sorry?
President Obama's apology to his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, has resurrected the politically vexing issue of national contrition at a delicate moment in the war in Afghanistan and in the presidential campaign at home.
The president's "I'm sorry," for U.S. military involvement in the burning of copies of the Quran, has resonated in Afghanistan and on the campaign trail, where Republicans have been using it to support their claim that he is more interested in apologizing for U.S. mistakes than in defending U.S. power.
But Obama's decision to apologize sprang from a mix of principle and pragmatism, the hallmarks of presidential apologies over the years.
The mostly partisan outcry over Obama's apology shows the challenge he faces as a candidate for re-election and as a wartime commander in chief, roles whose motivations are sometimes at odds. In this case, his attempt to assuage angry Afghans with an apology he hoped would protect U.S. troops allowed some conservatives to question the strength of his leadership.
Speaking loudest from the Republican field, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called the apology an "outrage," noting that on the day it was announced, two U.S. soldiers were killed in eastern Afghanistan during rioting over the incident. He said that if Karzai did not apologize for those deaths, "we should say goodbye and good luck."
For much of the past year, Republican candidates have mauled Obama's management of foreign policy. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has said Obama "went around the world and apologized for America." Romney called his campaign-style book "No Apology" to draw the contrast.
Much of the criticism stems from the more humble tone Obama has sought to bring to U.S. foreign policy after the swaggering approach of his predecessor, George W. Bush. He has banned the harsh techniques that the International Committee of the Red Cross called torture from U.S. interrogation policy and made clear that he believes living up to American values is an essential source of the nation's power. Repairing U.S. relations with the Islamic world has been a foreign-policy priority.
Polls show most of the country approves of his handling of foreign affairs, and administration spokesman Jay Carney called the criticism of the Karzai apology "fallacious and ridiculous narrative."
"There's the risk of opening yourself to political attack, but obviously for a president they have to make that calculation," said Robert Dallek, a presidential historian, who in defending the apology cited President James Monroe's declaration that "national honor is the national property of the highest value."
When and why a president has chosen to say "I'm sorry" have varied over the years, and Obama's apology to Karzai, a longtime ally in a decade-old war, is among only a few in recent decades that have been delivered in real time.
In 1988, President Reagan, held up by today's Republican field as the embodiment of U.S. self-assurance, apologized for the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
He signed legislation that eventually disbursed $1.6 billion in reparations to those affected by the policy.
Stephen Hess, presidential scholar at the Brookings Institution, said: "The trick is always to apologize for something the country did when you weren't president. What is remarkable is apologizing for something that has happened while you were president."
That same year, for instance, Reagan declined to apologize after missiles fired from the USS Vincennes downed an Iranian passenger jet, killing all 290 people on board.
He expressed regret for the loss of life but not for the event itself. He also did not apologize to Iran, a nemesis, showing that who is on the receiving end often determines whether an apology is issued.
Although no political party has a monopoly on the presidential apology, Republicans, more often than Democrats, have equated a lack of public regret with strength.
Reagan's vice president, George H.W. Bush, who was running for president in 1988, said at the time of the Vincennes disaster that he would "never apologize for the United States of America. Ever. I don't care what the facts are."
Bush was known as a moderate Republican, experienced in foreign policy. But he lived up to his pledge.
His son, however, strayed. George W. Bush said sorry several times as president.
In November 2002, he apologized, through the U.S. ambassador in Seoul, several months after a U.S. military vehicle hit and killed two South Korean girls.
According to news reports at the time, he also said he was sorry — privately — to then-Crown Prince Abdullah, of Saudi Arabia, for published articles saying Bush was unhappy with the kingdom's help on his declared war on terrorism.
The king of presidential contrition, though, was Bill Clinton, who apologized repeatedly over his two terms in office for national policy, past and present, and his behavior.
Clinton apologized for historic mistakes including slavery, the Tuskegee syphilis study and U.S. support for a Guatemalan government that carried out human-rights atrocities during decades of civil war.
He also apologized for ones that happened on his watch, such as the deaths at an Italian ski resort after a low-flying U.S. warplane severed a gondola cable, his lies about his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky, and his failure to act as the genocide in Rwanda unfolded.
Obama declined to apologize in November after NATO warplanes killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers near the border with Afghanistan, an incident a Pentagon investigation concluded was the result of mistrust and miscommunication.
U.S. military responsibility for the burning of the Qurans was more clear-cut than in the NATO airstrikes, and there were more urgent security factors at stake in Afghanistan. Administration officials say Obama's decision to apologize to Karzai was, in part, an attempt to soothe Afghan feelings and protect U.S. troops.
On Friday, Peter Lavoy, a senior Pentagon official, visited a mosque in Northern Virginia to apologize for the incident as violent protests spread in Afghanistan.
For the first time since word surfaced that U.S. soldiers had burned Qurans, protests reached nearly all parts of that country, with demonstrators chanting "Death to America" and "Death to the infidels." In Herat, in western Afghanistan, hundreds attempted to storm the U.S. consulate. Violence also was reported in the northern province of Baghlan, the eastern province of Nangarhar, in Khost province and in Kabul.
Afghan officials said at least 11 people were killed and scores wounded in Friday's protests. More than 20 people, including the two U.S. soldiers and one Afghan police officer, have been killed in the four days of violence.
Nonetheless, U.S. officials in Washington said they were cautiously optimistic that the tensions over the Quran burnings would soon ease. But they kept U.S. troops on heightened alert and reduced the number of patrols.
The criticism over Obama's apology to Karzai has been confined largely to Republicans running to replace him. Other conservatives have defended Obama's decision, given the importance of maintaining a working relationship with Karzai as U.S. forces begin winding down the war.
"It was an important demonstration of respect for the Afghan people and their religious faith," said Lisa Curtis, a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation who specializes in South and Central Asia. "I think the United States dealt with this appropriately, but I also don't think any additional apologies are necessary."
Material from The Associated Press
and McClatchy Newspapers
is included in this report.
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