J.H Mensah died a Pauper – Ambassador D.K Osei

Former Secretary to ex President J.A Kufuor, Ambassador D.K Osei has said the late J.H Mensah, Statesman and a stalwart of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) died a pauper after several decades of dedicated service to the country

According to him, J.H Mensah,  a Finance Minister who served ex Presidents Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. K.A Busia and J.A Kufuor, was a selfless public servant and politician who was passionate about working hard to the develop Ghana and never sought to enrich himself while in office.

“At the time that I was getting into the university it was obvious to most of my friends that I was getting into politics but it was J.H who encouraged me to stick to public service. I’ve no regrets for having served this country for well over 40 years as a public servant. I think that I cannot by the greatest stretch of my imagination think that I’ve done one tenth of what J.H did but he led the way. He thought us how to serve and love the country.

“But most important of all his integrity was impeccable, I literally can say J.H died as a pauper. You know, a lot of Ghanaians will be shocked by what I’m saying but he did…he did. I don’t want to get into complex explanation, material things were unimportant to him.Ambassador D.K Osei told Paul Adom Otchere in an interview on Good Evening Ghana show in memory of J.H Mensah .

The 89 year old Economist passed on at the 37 Military Hospital on Thursday 12th July where he had been seeking medical treatment for some time now.

He’ll be buried on Friday August 17, 2018.

Below is the biography of the late JH Mensah

Education

Born on (born 31 October 1928) Joseph Henry Mensah attended the University of the Gold Coast (now University of Ghana) between 1948 and 1954. He then headed to University of London then Stanford University, where he earned his both a bachelor’s and master’s degree with a specialization in economic theory and development. In 1954, Mensah became a Research Fellow in Economics at the University of Ghana, which lasted until 1958.

Political career

Mensah began working as an assistant inspector of taxes in 1953 while the Gold Coast was still under colonial rule. In 1958, Mensah joined the United Nations Secretariat at the Centre for Development Planning, Projections and Policies, in New York City, United States. Mensah returned to Ghana in 1961 as the Head of Agency at the National Planning commission. The National Planning commission drew and implemented the country’s Seven-Year Development Plan (1962–1969). In 1969, he was elected to parliament and became the Finance minister until 1972 when he was replaced by future head of state Ignatius Kutu Acheampong after the military coup.

Post Coup

Beginning in 1974, Mensah worked in the private sector both in Ghana and abroad. He was imprisoned by the National Redemption Council from 1975 to 1978. Although banned from political activity in 1979, he was active for the Popular Front Party in the 1979 elections. He also served as Chairman of the Sunyani District Council in Brong-Ahafo Region (1979–1981), and proprietor of Banka Farms. Exiled in England, in 1983 he headed a group opposing the PNDC.

He also served on the African Advisory Council of the African Development Bank from 1993 to 1997. In December 1996, Mensah contested a parliamentary seat in Sunyani East District as a member of the New Patriotic Party, which he won. He was re-elected in 2000. Prior to John Kufuor’s election in 2001, Mensah was the minority leader in Parliament.

NDC supporters stone Agyeman-Manu over ‘Mahama project’

Supporters of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Ajumako in the Central Region, on Thursday, 16 August 2018, hurled stones at the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, for going there to inaugurate a polyclinic and some health projects ostensibly started by the Mahama administration.

Some of the stones hurled by the NDC supporters injured some journalists who were at the gathering to cover the inauguration ceremony.

Multimedia’s Seth Kwame Boateng reported on Accra-based Asempa FM on Thursday that it took the intervention of the Member of Parliament for the area, Casiel Ato Forson, to calm the youth down.

Mr Forson, according to reports, explained to the youth that governance is a continuum irrespective of which party was at the helm of affairs and that the polyclinic does not belong to either the NPP or the NDC.

Mahama failed to reward loyalty; let’s drop him – Bagbin to delegates

The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has appealed to delegates of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) not to give another chance to former President of the Republic, John Dramani Mahama, to lead the party into the 2020 general elections.

To him, having assessed the performance of the former Ghanaian leader, he can only conclude that he contributed greatly to the defeat of the party in the 2016 elections and therefore does not deserve to lead the umbrella family for a third time.

Per his assessment, he said the former President failed to reward loyalty which therefore gave room for apathy to set in, a situation, he noted, was the root cause of the NDC’s abysmal performance in the last general elections.

Addressing the Chiefs and Elders of Nkwanta in the Volta Region on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, Hon. Bagbin who is also the Member of Parliament for Nadowli/Kaleo said in any human institution, a leader could only get the best from his people if he recognizes and rewards those who have sacrificed their all to make that institution a success.

We used to have a lot of the youth with NDC. Today, the youth are leaving and join NPP and other parties. In Volta Region, the world bank of the NDC where we used to harvest the votes; 2016 they showed us the red card. Something is wrong that is why they did that. Not because they don’t like NDC but something went wrong so they showed us the red card. We used to get over 85% turnouts and voting for the NDC. The last election we got about 62%. Something is wrong. And so when I say we must change I am not talking about only changing the leader John Dramani Mahama but I am also talking about the way we do things as a party”, he said.

He added “Now, the people that are with me who are supporting me and who believe in me, and believe in the things that I said I am going to do – when I get that power, it is those people that I have to use to do what we promised the people. When you get into power and decide to leave them, and then go and bring some other people that have not worked with you; that do not believe in you; that do not know your policies to work with; you will definitely have problems. So, father for all is good but don’t forget that you have a wife and children and so if you can’t even take care of your wife and children, how can you take care of all of them? We have a problem that we have to look into it. It is very important – that you will see that the people who are committed to the NDC they are leaving one by one. Even our first mother, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings has to go and form another party. We don’t see anything wrong with it? The Founding Father, Jerry John Rawlings is now criticizing us. We need to sit up and go into these issues because politics is about numbers and we need all the numbers. When you look at our cadres – when you look at our founding fathers – how have we taken care of them?” he quizzed.

He said his concerns have never changed since he used to express them the way he was doing when the NDC was in government but did not get any results because those in authority didn’t see the need to change their ways.

The results of turning a deaf ear to all those concerns raised by him and some other party functionaries, the Nadowli/Kaleo lawmaker noted, was the woeful defeat the NDC suffered at the hands of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2016 general elections.

In the 2016 Presidential elections, the NDC then led by President John Dramani Mahama polled 4,713,277 votes against 5,716,026 votes that was garnered by then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Kwesi Botchwey C’ttee report not credible – Volta Chief

The Chief of Ho-Dome, Torgbui Adzinakle Howusu VII, has questioned the credibility of the Dr. Kwesi Botchwey report wondering if it indeed captured all the issues that led to the defeat of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 general elections.

According to the traditional ruler, he found it so strange why Dr. Kwesi Botchwey-led Committee that was mandated to go round the country and investigate what led to the NDC’s defeat in the 2016 general elections went to the very people who created the problems and left behind those who really matter in the scheme of the umbrella family and have been on the grounds for years.

“I was asking some people that the NDC set up a Committee to go round the country to find out what happened – what was the problem. Surprisingly, they came to meet the same people who created the problem. What do you expect? They came to meet their executives and party leaders in the region and the country at large. What do you expect them to tell you? At least they should have consulted both executives and those outside. We are on the grounds. If they had met some of us we would have told them what went wrong”, he noted.

Torgbui Howusu VII made this observation, Thursday, in his welcome address when the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Alban Sumana Bagbin who has declared his intention to contest for the vacant flagbearer position of the NDC paid a courtesy call on him together with some other Chiefs and asked for their blessings.

His comments were provoked by a brief by Hon. Bagbin who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nadowli/Kaleo.

Neglect of traditional rulers

The longest serving lawmaker in the country had stressed the neglect of traditional rulers and opinion leaders in the local governance system of the country and how he intends to reform that institution when given the mandate to govern the country.

What was more intriguing in his submission was the failure of the NDC government that was led by the former President, John Dramani Mahama to recognize those who sacrificed all their lives to ensure the party’s victory in both 2008 and 2012 general elections.

The neglect of such party faithful, he noted, was the root cause of the umbrella family’s woeful defeat in the 2016 general elections.

The NDC then led by President John Dramani Mahama polled 4,713,277 votes against 5,716,026 votes that was garnered by then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Dwindling fortunes of NDC

Torgbui Howusu VII commenting further said it pains him to see the fortunes of the NDC dwindling, stressing that if care is not taken, the Volta Region which used to be the world bank of the umbrella family will become “rural bank”.

He said once the forum was not meant to discuss what led to the NDC’s defeat in the 2016 elections, he could only hold his brief at least for now, and wait for another day when Hon. Bagbin calls on him again.

“This is not a forum to discuss this issue but if you really want to know what went wrong, please contact those on the grounds and they will tell you. We like our mothers; we sit down for all our children to suck our breast. So, from the other side we know what is happening. People tell us. Maybe, they may not all be useful to you but it will help you to get some ideas from what has happened”, he posited.

He went ahead to bless Hon. Bagbin and prayed to God to continue to guide his path as he seeks to lead the NDC into elections 2020.

NPP supporters throng Starr FM over Sammi Awuku

Scores of NPP supporters thronged the premises of Starr FM in Accra as their national organiser Sammi Awuku took his turn on Bola Ray’s  popular  personality profile show Starr Chat on Wednesday.

Awuku who was surprised to see the scores of people who had gathered to exchange pleasantries with him after they had heard him on Starr FM took time to meet the members individually and took pictures with them.

Meanwhile, former President John Agyekum Kufuor has tipped the National Organiser of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Sammy Awuku for greatness in politics.

“I am sure you can do it because I have known you for quite some time. You are a virtual son of mine so I am blessing you on this occasion. I am expecting if you like something very high from you so don’t disappoint,” said Kufuor.

“I believe he’s got the potential and capabilities to realise it. We need young men like him…he’s competent and has got the makings of a successful political leader.”

“But he must work for it,” Kufuor stated Wednesday on Starr Chat when Awuku took his turn on the award-winning personality profile show.

On his part, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa described the NPP National Organiser who is also the Board Chair of National Youth Employment Agency (NYEA) as “very humble” and “charismatic.”

According to him, “The first time I saw him I knew he was going to go far if he decided to take up politics.”

“I am so proud of him. I am proud of what he has achieved. As Youth Organizer of the [New Patriotic Party], he did a phenomenal job. You have to give it to him. He knew how to mobilize the youth, how to strike a chord, blend with them.

“And, I think that it comes from the experiences we share in Commonwealth Hall, in student politics at the University of Ghana. Sometimes people underrate student politics, but I must say that it is a very good preparatory ground and I am not surprised that he is now the National Organiser of the [New Patriotic Party],” he told Starr Chat host Bola Ray.

He continued, “This is somebody who I can tell you Bola that he is going places. I would have wished he was in my party the NDC.”

I wish “humble and charismatic” Sammy Awuku is NDC – Ablakwa

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has eulogized the National Organiser of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Sammy Awuku as “very humble” and “charismatic.”

He commended Sammi Awuku for doing a phenomenal job at mobilizing the youth and striking the needed cords in the run up to the elections which ultimately contributed hugely to the NPP’s victory in the 2016 general elections.

“I must say that Sammy Awuku has always shown potential. He is very charismatic. The first time I saw him I knew he was going to go far if he decided to take up politics right from student level to the national level,” said Ablakwa, Wednesday on Starr Chat.

“I am so proud of him. I am proud of what he has achieved. As Youth Organizer of the [New Patriotic Party], he did a phenomenal job. You have to give it to him. He knew how to mobilize the youth, how to strike a chord, blend with them.

“And, I think that it comes from the experiences we share in Commonwealth Hall, in student politics at the University of Ghana. Sometimes people underrate student politics, but I must say that it is a very good preparatory ground and I am not surprised that he is now the National Organiser of the [New Patriotic Party],” he told Starr Chat host Bola Ray.

He continued, “This is somebody who I can tell you Bola that he is going places. I would have wished he was in my party the NDC.”

“What I like about Sammy Awuku is that he is a brother, he listens, and he is very humble. The first time I saw him he looks like a spoilt child, quite bigger than all of us and plumb. But when you get closer to him you notice that he has some warmth and he is always ready to listen to different views,” the North Tongu lawmaker added.

Awuku has a bright future and must work for it – Kufuor

Listeners of Starr Chat on Accra-based Starr 103.5 FM, Wednesday, August 15, 2018, had a surprise of their lives when a former President of the Republic, John Agyekum Kufuor, showered his blessings on the National Organiser of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Sammy Awuku, and tasked him to work towards realizing his vision.

Awuku, he noted, has a bright future and expects something ‘very high’ from him in his political career.

“You are a virtual son of mine so I am blessing you on this occasion and I am expecting something very high from you. Don’t disappoint. May God bless you”, he prayed for Awuku when he called on phone to share some of his thoughts about the National Organiser of the NPP having contributed to his upbringing into the political landscape of the country.

When asked by host, Bola Ray why he (Kufuor) is expecting something very high from Awuku, he retorted “I am expecting something very high because I believe he’s got the potential and capability to realize it. We need young men like him in our present life. I believe he’s competent and has got the makings of a successful political leader but he must work for it”.

Awuku had appeared on Starr Chart as a guest to be celebrated by the national radio station for his immense contributions to the development of Ghanaian youth.

Commenting further, the former Ghanaian Leader urged Awuku to be a very good public servant while climbing the political ladder, believing that will help him get the support of all to realize his future ambition.

“Let me tell you that you have a bright future and must work to realize this future. Be principled; be visionary and be a very good public servant. Whatever you are doing, never forget that you should be a servant leader for the good of not only the party but for the nation. I am sure you can do it because I’ve known you for quite some time”.

Audit Tamale Teaching Hospital, transfer heads – Eminent leaders

The eminent leaders of Tamale in the Northern Region have called on government to facilitate the transfer of all heads of department at the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH).

They are also demanding that government audit the operations of the hospital.

These demands were contained in a communiqué jointly signed by all Chiefs in Tamale, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Development Studies (UDS), the Islamic Council in Tamale, the Anglican Diocese, Opinion leaders in Tamale and the Community for Development and Public Integrity (CDIP) and presented to the Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed, on Wednesday, 15 August 2018 and copied the office of the Chief of Staff, the Minister of Health and the Metropolitan Chief Executive of Tamale.

The statement from the leaders comes in the wake of the recurring attacks on the hospital and its successive CEOs by the youth in Tamale.

The recent event happened on Monday when irate youth chased out the current CEO, Dr David Kolbilla from his office.

The eminent leaders condemned the actions of the pro-NPP youth groups and urged the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to bring the culprits to book. They also reminded the youth that every Ghanaian voted for President Nana Akufo-Addo to become president of the country, and, therefore, any attack on a state institution is an attack on the mandate of the president.

They further recommended to the Ministry of Health and the University for Development Studies (UDS) to immediately transfer every head of department in the hospital and appoint new set of staff to manage the hospital.

The leaders also called on government to set up a Board for the hospital without delay.

The leaders suggested that medical doctors should not be appointed as Chief Executive Officers of the facility but professional health service administrators must take over that responsibility.

Don’t dare come to Volta Region – Asogli Council to Freddie Blay

The Asogli Traditional Council in the Volta Region has banned has the New Patriotic Party (NPP) National Chairman Mr Freddie Blay from stepping foot in the region, especially within the jurisdiction of the Council.

The Council constituted by over 30 chiefs, has said it was led to take the decision after Mr. Blay failed to apologise to Togbe Afede XIV, President of the Asogli Traditional Council and the National House of Chiefs over alleged unsavoury comments.

Addressing a news conference on Wednesday, the chiefs said: “Since recognized bodies as indicated above have tried to influence Mr. Freddie Blay’s conscience to do the right thing, by apologizing, yet he is adamant, the ATC vehemently declares the following:

  1. a) That Mr. Freddie Blay’s cordial working relationship with the Council from now on has summarily become tainted;
  2. b) That Mr. Freddie Blay’s uncompromising attitude displayed will pave the way to mar his regional, zonal, and grassroot engagements as Chairman of the NPP in the Region.
  3. C) That Mr. Freddie Blay, should consider himself unwanted in the Region, in particular, the Asogli Traditional Council Area, which will become for him a bitter experience, hereafter.”

Togbe Koku Ayim V, Paramount Chief of Ziavi, who addressed the press said the conduct of Mr Blay was “gross misbehaviour,” and that the Council could not guarantee his safety in the region.

The Council said Mr Blay had “unfairly misjudged, unjustifiably employed misguided statements and intentionally insulted the integrity and personality of Togbe Afede,” though he married from the Traditional Council.

Togbe Ayim said the “insults are indirect attacks on chiefs of Eweland,” particularly when calls by recognised bodies for apology went unheeded.

The Council noted that it was not aware of any apology rendered by Freddie Blay to Togbe Afede and Asogli Chiefs in the media and that no such apology has been recording, adding that, his working relationship with the Council had been “tainted”.

I’ve no Presidential ambition – Sammi Awuku

The Charismatic National Organizer of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Sammi Awuku has stated emphatically that he does not habour any presidential ambition.

Several Political watchers have described Sammi Awuku who’s an orator, humble, smart and affable politician, as a presidential material and will make a fine president for Ghana.

But according to the young but astute politician, his preoccupation now is how to rally the party base again to give the NPP government the cushion for a resounding victory in the 2020 general elections which promises to be keenly contested.

“…Honestly it’s not a thought that I’ve harboured, but if you check the NPP’s structure as a party at any point in time, they don’t get it wrong in choosing leaders. After President Akufo Addo’s second terms, you’ll have another layer of party leaders that’s if they decide to contest. The likes of Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Alan Kyerematen, Boakye Agyarko, Joe Ghartey and the rest.

“From there you go to another layer, Charlie make I chop my organizer small…harbouring, no, maybe if I have a dream tonight I can share it with you. But as I sit here my biggest headache is how to rally the party base again, 2020 elections will not be easy.” He told Bola Ray on Starr Chat on Starr FM Wednesday when he was asked if he had Presidential ambition.

Under his watch as the National Youth Organizer, the youth wing of the NPP was applauded for the massive mobilization of supporters and sympathizers and building a formidable, but radical youth group which worked hard to win the students’ front and the young voters at large, securing victory for the NPP in the 2016.