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Speaker Threatens To Reject Akufo-Addo’s 2021 Budget

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The Speaker of Parliament Alban Sumana Bagbin has issued a stern warning to Committees which will consider the 2021 budget estimates against approving such estimates with the figures offered by the president.

The speaker further disclosed that he will not forward the appropriation bill to the president for his assent when passed if negotiations are not done to find a common ground over the decision by the Presidency to reduce the budget by Parliament and the Judiciary.

“The budget is not for the executive, we have the final power to approve or disapprove and so what the constitution has done is for them to make recommendations and negotiate during the deliberations of the budget before the House.

“It is not for the executive to impose a ceiling on the judiciary or parliament, they have to do the proper thing. And so during the considerations of the [budget] estimate, particularly the committees concerned, take that on board and at the end of the day come and explain to us the negotiated figure and not the ceiling that has been given by the president, that is not the internment of the 1992 constitution.”

The Speaker of Parliament added, “If you do otherwise, I as your Speaker will not affirm any letter for submission to the President for his assent, I mean what I am saying.”

The Speaker’s threat comes after President Akufo-Addo decided to slash budget estimates for the Judiciary and the Legislature. The speaker during the presentation of the 2021 budget last Friday directed the caretaker Finance Minister Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and the Vice President to convey to the President that any slash in the budget estimates for the two institutions will not be entertained.

In response, President Akufo-Addo through his executive secretary Nana Asante Bediatuo announced to the speaker a 77 million cedis slash in the estimate presented by the Judiciary and Judicial Service and over 119 million from the estimate of the Legislature.

The presidency cites current economic challenges for the decision.

In a sharp rebuttal, the speaker in a letter dispatched to the Jubilee House indicated that the constitution bars the executive from revising estimates presented by the judiciary and the Legislature since they are equal arms of government.

The Speaker cited Articles 179 (3) and (5) and Article 127 of the 1992 constitution.

When the matter returned to the floor, minority leader Haruna Iddrisu hailed the speaker for the move while arguing the law is on the side of the Speaker.

Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, however, cautioned against any antagonistic posture from parliament. According to him, the mid-year budget review could cater for the demand by the speaker.

But Hon. Bagbin returned to reiterate that the constitution must be respected and will ensure that happens.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM

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The 5 Major Events That Have Made Akufo-Addo’s Gov’t Unpopular In Its Second Term

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The second term of President Akufo-Addo has witnessed several protests from citizens who are not satisfied with how the affairs of the state are being handled.

Candidate Akufo-Addo had promised to among other things fight corruption, galamsey when given the nod but some say he is doing otherwise

The latest protest against the government that has gained momentum is the #FixTheCountry campaign, a move to get the government to deliver on its promise

After months of campaigning amid COVID-19, Ghanaian voters gave President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo a second term in office in December 2020 but nearly 130 days into the four-year tenure, the government has been plagued with what has been described as ‘abject hardships.’

Like the Israelites who cried to Moses that it would have been better to perish in Pharaoh’s Egypt than to die in the wilderness, it has gotten to a point where ‘the high cost of living’ has driven large sections of Ghanaians to regret their decision of maintaining the government in office.

It has been said by critical citizens that the New Patriotic Party, NPP government has been characterized by broken promises, gross conflicts of interest, economic hardships, non-accountability, among other un-democratic norms.

These events have somewhat triggered the measure and comparison of progress between the then John Dramani Mahama-led administration and the current Akufo-Addo government.

With that being said, GhanaWeb has compiled a list of the top incidents that have made Akufo-Addo government unpopular in its second term.

Dumsor

It seems consumers of electricity across the country who have been grappling with prolonged and intensified power outages over the past few months have become fed up.

Although the incessant ‘dumsor’ challenges have been attributed to transmission and distribution challenges, the government has been accused of deliberately destroying the legacy of former President John Dramani Mahama whom according to some Ghanaians left behind a stable energy sector.

It has gotten to a point where the Electricity Company of Ghana has published a load management timetable to manage what has been termed a ‘temporary load shedding’, an explanation many find unconvincing.

Culture of silence

After Sam Jonah’s speech which triggered a national debate on the culture of silence in the coutry, a wide section of Ghanaians including the opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC and others have decried what they term as the return of a ‘culture of silence’ under President Nana Akufo-Addo.

They have described as astonishing how a large number of individuals and civil society organizations that used to speak up against social ills have all gone mute under President Nana Akufo-Addo despite the rising cases of corruption, killing and torturing of journalists, and worsening economic downturn in the Ghanaian society.

According to them, the attacks directed at people who share views that do not favour the sitting government have necessitated ‘the silence’ in recent times.

Auditor General’s retirement

President Akufo-Addo have been accused of forcibly retiring former Auditor-General, Daniel Domelovo, to cover up certain corrupt deals.

Domelovo was retired by President Akufo-Addo almost two years after an Auditor General’s findings in 2019 accused the government of paying a private firm, Kroll and Associates US$1 million for no work done.

Domelevo during his tenure indicted the Ministry of Finance and the Senior Minister, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo accusing them of contracting Kroll Associates in 2017 to recover assets from identified wrongdoers; investigate allegations of wrongdoing among others. They are said to have paid the company an amount of US$1 million (equivalent of GH¢4,890,000), yet there was no evidence of work done.

Following what has been termed by many as a ‘premature retirement’, some section of Ghanaians believe that government deliberately pursued Domelovo and ousted him from office after he exposed corrupt deeds in government.

FixtTheCountry protest

The #FixTheCountry campaign which started on social media commenced abruptly against economic hardships in Ghana.

With the main aim of holding politicians to account, angry young citizens who are of the view that the change they voted for has not materialized, took to social media to vent their spleen on the Akufo-Addo led government.

Protesters nationwide cited inconsistent power supply, lack of water in some parts of Ghana and the damage to our water bodies because of galamsey activities, economic hardship and other good governance and accountability demands as the drive of their campaign.

Galamsey

The small-scale illegal mining practice that has left the country’s land and water resources destroyed, has been of great concern to Ghanaians in recent times.

With many accusing government of doing little to resolve the situation, others believe that the future of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government will heavily depend on their success with the current fight against galamsey.

It can be recalled that some ‘big men’ from the ruling New Patriotic were indicted in the ‘galamsey’ business which is allegedly destroying the natural environment all in the name of finding gold.

This was displayed in a viral video days after some 500 excavators seized by the Operation Vanguard team were reported missing.

It is in this light that Ghanaians have mounted pressure on government to find all means possible to combat ‘galamsey’ which has intensified in recent times.

Source: GhanaWeb

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We Will Not Allow Any Religious Group To Plunge Ghana Into Chaos – Muntaka Slams Christian Council

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The Minority Chief Whip and Leader of the Muslim Caucus in Parliament has cautioned that they will not watch on for any religious group to plunge the country into chaos.

Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak on JoyNews’ PM Express on Monday expressed his frustration that the Christian Council and the Catholic Bishops Conference had thrown their support behind the Methodist Church and Wesley Girls’ SHS decision not to allow Muslim students in the school to observe the Islamic ritual of fasting.

The Asawase MP said, the act has exacerbated the situation.

“We won’t allow any Imam or any pastor to lead this country into chaos. This is a country for you and me. We must speak out. We won’t allow any disintegration, whether coming from the Christian, Muslim or Buddhist communities.

“We are one unit within a unitary state. We all subscribe to live by the Constitution of Ghana so we must respect it. Let us try to dialogue and cool the temperature in our country,” he stated.

The Muslim Caucus in Parliament has been engaging in a series of dialogue with the Methodist Church and the Ministry of Education to resolve the matter.

Meanwhile, a Ghanaian US-based Attorney and an Old Student of Wesley Girls’ SHS, Samira Sulemana has revealed that not only is her former school barring Muslim students from fasting, she alleges that the school does not allow them to observe their five daily prayers-Fajr (sunrise prayer), Dhuhr (noon prayer), Asr (afternoon prayer), Maghrib (sunset prayer), and Isha (night prayer).

“The issue these girls are facing goes beyond just the fasting. I am surprised that all that is being talked about is the fasting. They [Muslims] are not allowed to pray, they are not being allowed to even talk to each other as Muslims.

“And so the concentration on only fasting kind of baffles me. Wesley Girls’ has never given due recognition to Muslim students,” she stated.

But in a spirited defense, immediate past National Vice President of the Old Girls Association of the School, Harriet Wereko-Brobby says her Association is troubled that the School’s name is being dirtied over its decision.

She maintained that the decision of the School not to allow fasting is not a religious decision but one borne out of previous experiences regarding students suffering health conditions after doing so.

Source: MyJoyOnline

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Put Aside Partisan Politics And Demolish All Illegal Structures Along Railway Projects – Otumfuor Charges KMA

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The Asantehene, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II has charged the mayor of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly to move ahead with the assembly’s planned demolition of all unauthorized structures along railway projects.

The Asantehene added that no compensation will be paid to any individual whose unauthorized structure will be demolished.

Otumfuor Osei Tutu II, though giving his full support for the construction of the standard gauge railway line, also chastized the railway workers for failing to protect the project from squatters and unauthorized traders.

The Asantehene warned the KMA against partisan political considerations and called on the sector minister, Mr. John Peter Amewu to partner the Assembly and ensure the successful implementation of the demolition exercise.

Source: GhanaFeed.Com

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