GREATER ACCRA – Saturday, May 23, 2020/www.gbafrica.net/ – The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Friday, 22nd May 2020, swore into office two newly appointed Justices of the Supreme Court, Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga and Justice Issifu Omoro Tanko Amadu, at separate ceremonies at Jubilee House, the seat of the nation’s presidency.
First swearing in Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga, President Akufo-Addo noted that he had met the stringent requirements of Article 128 clause (4) of the Constitution, and has demonstrated the independence of spirit, proven integrity, high moral character, and impartiality of mind to hold this high office.
According to the President, “your track record, over the last thirty-nine (39) years, speaks for itself – Assistant State Attorney, private legal practitioner, Judge Advocate of the Ghana Navy, Justice of the High Court, Additional High Court Judge sitting on civil matters, narcotics, robbery, and other violent crimes, Director of the Remand Prisoners Project, and long-serving Justice of the Court of Appeal.”
He continued, “Your appointment to the highest court of the land is, thus, truly well-deserved and merited. The post-1966 Supreme Court has developed a positive reputation for the quality of its constitutional jurisprudence, and I am hopeful that you, who have already had good experience of high judicial office in the Court of Appeal, will help strengthen the development of our nation’s constitutional and other jurisprudence in the Supreme Court.”
With Justice Honyenuga having endured a difficult time lately, the President applauded him for comporting himself in a dignified manner.
“I can only urge you to overlook these events, which should be a mere blip on your public career, and dispense justice in accordance with your conscience and the rule of law. It is extremely important that you ensure the strict application of the laws of the land, in the words of the judicial oath, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, which you have just taken, and, therefore, without recourse to the political, religious or ethnic affiliations of any citizen of the land,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo urged Justice Honyenuga to make sure that when anyone falls foul of the law, the law enforcement agencies, including the Judiciary, must ensure the person is dealt with in accordance with law. That, he explained, is the true meaning of the concept of equality before the law.
At the swearing-in ceremony of Justice Tanko Amadu, President Akufo-Addo stated that this is the first time in the nation’s history that a Muslim has been appointed to the highest court of the land, adding that “I am delighted to have been the President to have the honour of doing so, and to do so appropriately in this Holy Month of Ramadan.”
Having worked as a lawyer in the great Federal Republic of Nigeria for nineteen (19) years, and going on to found his own firm in 1997, Justice Tanko Amadu was appointed to the High Court in 2008, and, four (4) years later, was promoted to the Court of Appeal, the President stated that, by dint of hard work and merit, he has been further elevated.
With the Constitution of the Republic affirming that final judicial power in the State is vested solely in the Judiciary, and not in any other agency or organ of the State, the President noted that the Judiciary has onerous responsibilities to protect the individual liberties and fundamental human rights of citizens, to act as the arbiter in disputes between the State and the citizen, to act as the arbiter in disputes between citizens and all persons, and to serve as the bulwark for the defence and promotion of the liberties and rights of the people.
“With all other Courts bound to follow the decisions of the Supreme Court on questions of law, it is obviously critical that Justices of the Supreme Court possess a sound knowledge of the law, and of precedent, the principle of stare decisis,” he added.
The President added that the situation where judges proffer judgements on the basis of decisions from lower courts and cite them as law, is not acceptable, and even less so, when judges cite no authority at all for their rulings, and give orders without reasons.
“Judges, more so Justices of the Supreme Court, must be learned, know their case law and ensure their decisions and judgements are properly motivated. It is in this manner that judges contribute to the orderly development of the nation,” the President said.
President Akufo-Addo noted that all Ghanaians, with their different views and their different perspectives, must work together for the realisation of the Ghana project – a united Ghana, driven by considerations of social justice and solidarity, and governed according to the rule of law, respect for individual liberties, human rights and the principles of democratic accountability.
“In these not so normal times, the era of the Coronavirus pandemic, in which we find ourselves, we must hold on firmly to these values, and work, within the confines of an open society, towards the defeat of the virus,” he added.
Young Ghanaian Politicians Influencing December 2020 Elections
As Ghana heads for the 2020 polls, several players are leading the fort for various political parties and influencing how young people participate in the elections.
From involvement in the National campaign to being a part of manifesto teams, political parties have fervently identified the crucial role young people deserve on the tables of planning the future of the country. With the majority of the voting population being the youth who are also considered as the most active players on the campaign trail, the times when the efforts of young people were undermined are slowly closing.
Former President Jerry John Rawlings became a head of state at 32 and since then various young people have been elected as Parliamentarians and others appointed as, District Chief Executives, Ministers, CEOs amongst many other positions. The political journey, in this 4th republic, for young Ghanaians has been phenomenal and remarkable.
Also, taking our minds back to the works and influence of the Young Patriots during the first republic, we can easily say young people have always been an integral part of the success of any government in Ghana.
Even as social media becomes the main platform for the activities of campaigning during this global pandemic, some young people have demonstrated sterling leadership in carrying out their works with determination, intelligence, foresight, optimism, charisma and exuberant confidence coupled with great communication skills.
This article seeks to outline the young people who have become frontline role models for other young politicians in Ghana. From running for office as members of parliament to being members of the national campaign team, these young people have proven beyond doubt that politics and running a nation is not a job for only older people.
With representation from the 2 major political parties in Ghana and a good dose of gender parity, below are the young Ghanaians influencing the upcoming 2020 elections.
Amanda Okyere (27)
Mrs Amanda Okyere is National Democratic Congress (NDCs) Parliamentary Candidate for the Suhum constituency in the Eastern Region. At 27, She is one of the youngest candidates in the country running for office to become a member of parliament. Her biggest task is to redeem the sit back for the NDC party, an attempt which has been unsuccessful by several former contenders.
Benard Oko-Boye (Dr) (38)
Hon Bernard Oko-Boye is the current Deputy Minister of Health and member of parliament representing Ledzokuku on the ticket of the NPP. He is a known communicator of the party and is running for a second term in 2020. His position offers him the platform to sell the works and accomplishment of his party in the health sector and beyond.
Davis Opoku Ansah (35)
Davis Opoku Ansah popularly known as OPK is a first-time contender for the seat of the Member of Parliament representing the Mpraeso constituency in the Eastern region on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). He successfully defeated the incumbent in his party primaries with sterling performance and is vigorously campaigning to increase the vote margin for his party in his constituency. He served as Director of Communications, then later as Director of Operations for the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG).
Edem Agbana is the deputy National Youth Organiser of the opposition NDC and the party’s manifesto spokesperson on Youth Development. Emerging from a background of student politics after serving as the SRC president in the University of Ghana, his experience in the campaign front is such admirable.
Lawyer Edudzi Tamakloe is a member of the NDC’s legal team and popular spokesperson for the party. His role in the election is evident as to the number of cases the party has to go through. His leadership in the party is also inspiring other young lawyers to join the campaign trail to share the messages of their various parties.
Farouk Aliu Mahama (39)
It is unsurprising to see Farouk Mahama step into the soldering shoes of his late father, Aljahi Aliu Mahama, former Vice President of Ghana. With the influence he holds through his family’s track record, he won the primaries in Northern Region to represent the people of Yendi in parliament on the ticket of the NPP. His win will be another endorsement for the role young people deserve to play in national politics.
Felix Kwakye Ofosu
Hon. Felix Kwakye Ofosu is a former Deputy Information Minister and currently aspiring to be a Member of Parliament representing the Abura Asebu Kwamankese constituency on the ticket of the NDC. He is also a known communicator in the party representing them on several media channels to sell the manifesto and messages of the party.
Francisca Oteng-Mensah (27)
Hon. Francisca Oteng-Mensah is currently the youngest member in Ghana parliament representing the Kwabre East Constituency on the ticket of the NPP. She currently holds the role as Board Chairperson of the National Youth Authority. Her role in the constituency is quite admirable and she has set a great example for other young politicians to follow in the country.
Henry Nana Boakye
Lawyer Henry Nana Boakye is the current National Youth Organiser of the NPP and a strong pillar in the campaign team projecting the works of the ruling government. His role as the leader of the youth of the party allows him to influence the daily activities of the youthful campaign movement of the NPP. He is known to be a formidable influencer among young people in the party and is consulted widely on the role of young people in retaining his party in power.
John Dumelo (36)
John Dumelo is an actor, entrepreneur and politician currently aspiring to be a Member of Parliament on the ticket of the NDC in the Ayawaso West Wuogon. He stands tall as the most followed politician on social media and has been able to use the various platforms to project his campaign activities which have gained admiration across his fan base.
John Ntim Fordjour (34)
Hon John Ntim Fordjour is a pastor and currently Member of Parliament representing the Assin South constituency on0 the ticket of the NPP. He is currently running for his second term.
Julian M. Cobbinah
Julian M. Cobbinah is currently the youngest member of the NDC’s national campaign team. As a former president of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Julian’s influence transcends among various national student bodies across the country.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (38)
Hon Kojo Oppong Nkrumah is the current Minister for Information and Member of Parliament representing the Ofoase-Ayirebi constituency on the ticket of the NPP. As the official spokesperson of the ruling government, Kojo has attained enough recognition and admiration from young people across the country. Contending for the second time, it is expected of him to make an impressive record by increasing his vote margin.
Kow Essuman (34)
Lawyer Kow Essuman Esq. is an assistant secretary and counsel to the President of Ghana and a core member of the communication team assembled to execute the 2020 campaign of the NPP. His actions are expected to reflect in the social media activities of the president and NPP. He is currently a board member of the Minerals Income Investment Fund and was voted as the Most Influential Young Ghanaian in 2017 in a ranking poll by Avance Media.
Prince Hamidu Armah (Dr) (39)
Dr Prince Hamidu Armah is a former lecturer and the current head of the National Council for Curriculum Assessment. He is an aspiring member of parliament for the Kwesimintin constituency for the NPP after defeating the incumbent at the party’s primaries. His national position offers him the opportunity to market himself and his potentials to his constituents.
Sammy Awuku (36)
Sammy Awuku is the current National Organiser of the New Patriotic Party and the board chair of the Youth Employment Agency. His position offers him influence as the director of activities across the country in regards to how the ruling party fairs in the upcoming election.
Lawyer Sammy Gyamfi Esq. is the Communications Director and official spokesperson of the opposition NDC. As the youngest member of the national executive, Sammy’s role in the NDC offers him the platform to influence daily communication strategies of the party.
Samuel Nartey George (35)
Hon Sam George is the current Member of Parliament for the Ningo Prampram Constituency representing the NDC and the spokesperson of the NDC’s manifesto on Infrastructure. He is also running for a second term on the ticket of the NDC.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (40)
Hon Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa is a Deputy Minister and the current Member of Parliament for the North Tongu constituency representing the NDC. He is very outspoken on various national matters and represents the NDC on various panels to tout the achievements and accomplishments of his party and why they should be given a second chance.
Sarah Adwoa Safo (38)
Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo is the current Minister of Procurement, Majority Chief Whip and the current Member of Parliament and candidate for Dome Kwabenya constituency representing the NPP. Her role in the party extends beyond her accolades to have been the face of youth leadership in politics. Her accomplishment stands tall and she represents her people with applauds from her constituents.
Vincent Ekow Assafuah Jnr
Vincent Ekow Assafuah Jnr is the current PRO of the Ministry of Education and aspiring Member of Parliament for the Old Tafo constituency on the ticket of the NPP.
Article authored by Prince Akpah, Managing Director of Avance Media
“I haven’t Endorsed Okada For Any Political party” – Stonebwoy Speaks
As Ghanaians are in high level of preparedness to hit the polls on December 7, 2020 to re-elect or change Member of Parliaments or the Government at large, Politicians are also using the opportunity to easily ride on the influence celebrities to their own advantage. The recent Ghanaian celebrity to fall prey to this stratergy is Africa’s reggae/ragga & dance-hall artiste, Stonebwoy.
In a video sighted on social media, Stonebwoy was seen at the back of an okada rider enjoying the ride, saying, with excessive traffic jams in the capital city, using an Okada to complete a trip is adviceable. This has generated a lot of talks, with reports circulating on mainstream and social media that, the musician has endorsed the legalization of the “Okada” transport business, a flagship campaign message by opposition National Democratic Congress – NDC.
Former President John Mahama says his government will legalise the commercial operation of motorbikes popularly known as Okada when voted into power in 2021. According to him, the Okada business has become a means of sustenance for young people who are unemployed, adding that, legalising the operation will give other youths the opportunity to work and also do their business safely.
However, the 2017 Grammy nominated recording and performing talent in a recent tweet disassociated himself from any politician and political party using the 3-year-old video as an endorsement for their political gains. He explained that, he is not in anyway subscribing to or declaring his public approval or support of the opposition party’s campaign message with the much publicized footage.
“My attention has been drawn to a 3 Year old video of me riding on an OKADA. Which is being Publicized As An Endorsement For A Political Party.. I disassociate Myself From this.. Please I Beg this is NOT in ANY WAY an ENDORSEMENT For ANY POLITICAL PARTY #GodBlessGhana” – He tweeted
17 promises from the NDC to boost Ghana’s Creative Industry
The National Democratic Congress after electing Sadiq Abdulai Abu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of 3 Media Network and 3 Music Awards, and Rex Omar, veteran Ghanaian highlife artiste as spokespersons for the Creative Arts economy, they go on to roll out 17 promises for Ghana’s creative industry at the launch of their party’s 2020 manifesto.
For years now stakeholders have voiced out that governments in power are not paying attention to the creative arts industry. The creative industry in Ghana is a potential source of income generation and employment to most youths in the country yet still is side-lined by most governments.
The NDC after listening to plights from creatives, industry players, and other stakeholders and in their quest to better the industry has identified 17 ways to address these concerns.
Listed below are the policies outlined in their 2020 manifesto:
1. Implement programmes to support the growth of the film, music, and the creative industry to drive job creation and economic growth.
2. Resource nationally recognised creative arts bodies like the Ghana Association of Writers, MUSIGHA, National Film Authority, Ghana Union of Visual Arts(GUVA), among others.
3. Strengthen regulation to protect the copyright of artistes and ensure that they get value for their works by enforcing the payment of user fees under the Copyright Regulations, 2010 (L.I. 1962).
4. Set up a system of legal aid for creative artistes to help fight creative/intellectual theft and plagiarism by others.
5. Pass the Creative Industry Bill into law and implement it to promote the development of the industry.
6. Resource the national museums and empower them to function properly and create space for exhibitions.
7. Promote local patronage of various creative products.
8. Partner with GUVA and other fine art associations to purchase their finished works to furnish and decorate public offices to support the fine art businesses.
9. Through the National Film Authority, encourage our embassies overseas to purchase and periodically show appropriate Ghanaian films on Ghana Day and other special occasions.
10. In collaboration with the Ghana Association of Writers, establish a National Writing Contest and support the promotion of the best literary works.
11. Provide seed money for the creation of a special fund for artists including aged and needy creative artists.
12. Make available scholarship packages for disadvantaged creative artistes to pursue courses or programmes for self-development in the national interest.
13. Facilitate the enrolment of creative artists unto the informal pension scheme.
14. Develop programmes to harness talents and potentials in the industry.
15. Structure the educational curriculum to allow students to appreciate the relevance of culture and creative arts in life and national development.
16. Promote district, regional and national competitions in the creatives among the youth in Tertiary Institutions.
17. Facilitate the placement of creative art products on digital platforms for promotional purposes.
President Akufo-Addo Elected ECOWAS Chairman [SEE PHOTOS]
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has been elected Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), at the 57th ECOWAS Summit held in Niamey, Niger, on Monday, 7th September 2020.
The President, who was elected unanimously by his peers, takes over the mantle of leadership from the President of Niger, His Excellency Mahamadou Issoufou, for a period of one year.
Following in the footsteps of his predecessors, their Excellencies Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor, and John Dramani Mahama, who have enjoyed, in times past, a similar privilege, President Akufo-Addo thanked the Assembly for the honour, and assured that he will do his utmost not to let the side down, and discharge his duties to the best of his abilities.
“Excellencies, I am fully aware of the challenges which confront West Africa. Past leaders of ECOWAS have demonstrated their collective will and determination to drive the agenda of regional integration, opening up our economic frontiers, encouraging healthy competition amongst Member States, and ensuring that we adhere to our formative principles,” he said.
The President continued, “As much as considerable progress has been made since the establishment of ECOWAS, some forty-five (45) years ago, we are all agreed that there is much more to be done to consolidate the socio-economic and political gains made over the years.”
In his remarks, President Akufo-Addo noted that five immediate challenges face the regional organization of ECOWAS, for which Member States must address.
These, he said, are the continuing activities of terrorists in the Region concentrated, for the time being, in the Sahelian area, involving Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and the northern parts of Nigeria; the the COVID-19 pandemic, which has attacked the populations and economies of each Member States; the imminent coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area on 1st January 2021; the 2020 decision on monetary union within the ECOWAS space; and the consolidation of democratic governance in the turbulent conditions of the Community.
“The challenges, in these critical regional spheres, such as security, economy, trade, currency and health, must be addressed in a spirit of genuine co-operation and solidarity, if we are to succeed in overcoming them, which we can.
In so doing, we must protect, at all costs, our freedom and independence of action, so that the development of our Community responds to the needs and aspirations of our peoples, and not to the goals of external agencies and forces.
I am confident that, by the grace of God, I can count on the unstinting support of each one of Your Excellencies in navigating the immediate future of our Community,” he added.
The President urged his fellow Heads of State to recognise that the way forward is to implement regional decisions, such as the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme, recognising that, ultimately, the benefits are in everyone’s interest.
“Those of us who believe strongly in integration can do no better than to give our full support to regional decisions. Through this, we will build institutional confidence and integrity in the structural organs of ECOWAS,” he said.
To this end, he admonished Members of the ECOWAS Community to “collaborate to ensure that we adhere to and maintain common values of governance, i.e. the principles of democratic accountability, respect for individual liberties and human rights, and the rule of law. Such commonality will facilitate immeasurably the process of bonding amongst the peoples of our Community.”
In conclusion, he urged all in ECOWAS to “give enthusiastic support to Community decisions, and build rapidly our Community. Our peoples deserve no less, and the objectives of peace, progress and prosperity will, thus, be within our reach, realising the historic purposes of ECOWAS.”
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