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Director of Communications at the Presidency, Koku Anyidoho, has slammed the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for playing on the emotions of Ghanaians by using infants in their campaign commercials and painting a false picture to the whole world that parents are suffering and finding it difficult to foot the education bills of their wards.


Mr Anyidoho said, prior to the 2000 General Elections, the NPP aired adverts that inaccurately portrayed to the electorate that the country was under “oppression and depression”.

After the successful orchestration of this campaign, he said, Mr John Agyekum Kufuor won the elections but failed to alleviate the suffering of Ghanaians.

“At the end of the day, he left Ghana a home of cocaine, a home of “sakawa” (internet fraud), a home of 419. He started with zero tolerance, in the middle of the journey, he turned round and tells us that corruption started from Adam…he sets up an Office of Accountability in the Castle, and he has the audacity to tell you and I that the office was set up to call people who are found to be culpable and tell them that “hey! Do this and that…because they won’t come out to embarrass the party and the government. So did Kufuor make Ghana a happy home when Ghanaians were crying that they didn’t have money in their pockets?…what did he tell them...that it is only lazy people who don’t have money in their pockets...Tell me, did Kufour save Ghana from oppression and suppression?,” Mr. Anyidoho quizzed.

Speaking in an interview on Larterbiokorshie-based Radio Gold, he accused the NPP and its flabearer of deploying campaign methods similar to the one used by then Candidate Kufuor just to “hoodwink” Ghanaians.

Whiles scoffing at the campaign strategy as a “moribund” and “outdated” one which “has outlived its usefulness”, the Communications Director at the Presidency described Nana Addo’s campaign team as lacking creativity, and a bunch of people who have “run out of ideas” and “hit a dead end”.

“So suddenly Nana Akufo Addo, his team have into the studios, gone and packed this same children again and the children are singing and saying “oh Nana…free education…oh Nana, free education…Nana Akufo Addo", please put your house in order and come again. Your attempt to hoodwink and bamboozle Ghanaians with these infants and trying to get to the Castle through the back door will not work. Jake, Oboshie Sai and co should find another strategy. This moribund, outdated…strategy of yours has outlived its usefulness”, Koku Anyidoho posited.

Ghanaweb

One of the most populous countries of African continent, Nigeria is the fastest growing economies of the world. Like other countries, the independence day of Nigeria is celebrated with great zeal and festive fervor.

It falls on 1st October every year and is also observed with unmatched nationalistic ardor throughout the country. The significance of Independence Day in Nigeria lies in the fact that it binds all the Nigerians into one chord not only within the country but also in the far off lands of America and Europe.

A brief history of Nigeria's struggle for independence---

Historical evidences indicate that the earlier inhabitants of Nigeria were thought to have the Nok tribe followed by Kanuri, Hausa and Fulani who migrated to the country in the subsequent years. In the 13th century Islam was introduced in Nigeria, and the Kanem Empire continued to rule the country till the 14th century. With the annexation of British in 1886, it became a British colony in the later years. After years of hard struggle and political turmoil Nigeria achieved independence on 1st October 1960. The vast landscapes of the country, stretching from the Obudu Hills of the southeast through the beaches in to the rainforest regions of the Lagos estuary the country has worth while natural splendors to explore.

Culturally one of the diverse countries of Africa, Nigeria is home to more than 250 linguistic ethnic groups as Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani and Igbo. The folk music of Nigeria has gained tremendous boost with indigenous fusion giving it a new dimension in the past few years. The economy of Nigeria has come of age with the exploration of oil and petroleum deposits which accounts for nearly 50% of its income. Also the vast mineral resources extensively contribute to the economic upsurge of the country.

The Nigerian Independence day remains incomplete without paying marked homage to its famous freedom fighters and leaders who have inspired the country independence struggle.  

Source: 123independenceday.com

 

Kenya has confirmed that a switch-off of counterfeit mobile phones will take place at the end of the month.

In addition, networks will be forbidden from activating new "fake" devices bought after 1 October.

Government officials said the move was designed to protect consumers from hazardous materials and to safeguard mobile payment systems.

They added it should also help them track users and limit violence ahead of March's general election.

The action had originally been scheduled to take place at the end of 2011, but was twice delayed to give subscribers a chance to replace their devices. However, the Ministry of Information and Communications has said this would not happen again.

The government said three million users were using counterfeit handsets as of June.

Official data suggests the country had 29 million mobile phone subscribers at the end of March.

Duplicated codes

The Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) defines fake handsets as "copies of popular brands and models made from sub-standard materials" that have not been licensed by the organisation.

They are sourced from China and other parts of Asia, as well as Nigeria and South Africa.

The CCK said "sub-standard components" were often used which had not been put through safety checks and might emit higher than recommended radiation levels.

They have proved popular since they are often sold at a heavy discounts to legitimate models, thanks in part to the fact that retailers avoid paying import taxes.

But the commission said they had caused an increase of dropped calls for all users because of "their inability to connect seamlessly to the mobile networks".

Law enforcement agencies had also complained that some of the devices used duplicated IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identifier) codes, making it difficult to track down users suspected of using their handsets to plan crimes.

In addition, when the government publicised the switch-off in June it also linked the move to efforts to restrict fraud.

"In this era of mobile banking, use of counterfeit devices, which are manufactured without due consideration to the recognised security standards, may expose our mobile money systems as well as the wider banking and financial system to unnecessary risks," said the communications secretary Dr Bitange Ndemo.

"The government cannot allow this to happen and thus our decision to have all unregistered SIM cards and counterfeit handset mobile phones phased out by 30 September 2012."

Election violence

The move was initially opposed by the Consumers Federation of Kenya, a campaign group which said the action would punish users who were not to blame for the fact fakes were sold.

But last month the organisation dropped a theat to go to court to block the switch-off after a study suggested most Kenyans supported the effort.

Sunday's deadline also means counterfeit models can be barred from networks ahead of the election on 4 March 2013.

About 1,300 people were killed and hundreds of thousands forced from their homes because of clashes following 2007's disputed presidential election.

There is concern the vote could spark further violence, and the CCK has suggested that ensuring all mobiles were registered could act as a deterrent.

"As the general elections draw near, we... have an obligation to ensure that the mobile telecoms industry is not used to perpetrate instability and to incite violence," said Francis Wangusi, the commission's director general.

Precious metals

Users can send a free SMS message containing their 15-number IMEI code to check that their handset is recognised as genuine.

The fact millions of devices will need to be replaced presents phone manufacturers with an opportunity to boost sales.

But there are also been worries that abandoned handsets could end up in landfill sites, damaging the environment.

To minimise the risk Nokia and Samsung have partnered with a local recycling company and mobile service providers to allow users to safely dispose of counterfeit models at collection points in major cities.

"Mobile phones contain many valuable and useful materials that can be recycled, including precious metals and plastics," said Bruce Howe, general manager for Nokia East Africa.

"For every one million phones recycled, it is possible to recover nearly 35kg of gold and 350kg of silver, which can be re-used in the production of future electronic goods."

The firm added that it believed Kenya's move was a model that could be adopted elsewhere in Africa and beyond.

Uganda has already said that it planned similar action

BBC

 

 

A man was caught with a dead baby boy stuffed in his suitcase at Tipper garage near Gwarimpa, Abuja, Nigeria.
 A source said he was arrested on a  tip-off and another said his secret became known to public when the bus conductor asked him to bring his suitcase so it can be stored properly.  The man vehemently refused.
 The suspicious conductor asked him what was inside the suitcase and he refused to say.  As the man tried to leave the bus station, the conductor and others seized the  suitcase from him and found the dead boy inside.


naijapal

Nairobi, Kenya -- One child died and several others were hurt in a grenade attack on a children's Sunday-school class in Kenya, the Kenya Red Cross said. A Kenyan hospital reported seven children wounded.

The Kenya Red Cross and local media described the incident at St. Polycarp church in Nairobi as a grenade attack. Government officials did not answer repeated telephone calls from CNN seeking comment.

Four injured children were admitted to Kenyatta National Hospital -- two for treatment of critical wounds, said Dr. Mutie Thomas, the hospital's senior assistant director.

Doctors treated and released another three people, Thomas said.

The injuries involve soft tissue damage, head wounds and broken bones, Thomas said.

The children were between the ages of 7 and 10.

The Kenya Red Cross tweeted that one child died, and that "six critical children" were taken to a hospital.

Such attacks have escalated since Kenyan forces invaded neighboring Somalia last year to battle the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, blaming it for kidnappings of foreigners in the nation.

The main force of Kenyan and Somali troops have taken control of police headquarters, a radio station and a seaport of the port city of Kismayo, Somalia, the Kenya Defence Forces announced on Twitter Sunday.

As the joint forces gain ground, "this has given an added impetus to the Somali peace process," the Kenyan military said.

An advance unit landed on the beaches north of the city on Friday and has secured northern parts of the town, the university and one important highway, according to the military's Twitter account.

A Kenyan military spokesman said Saturday that the operation was going well.

"Al-Shabaab has not been able to offer any resistance whatsoever to the ground forces since the ground forces landed there yesterday, and the whole of yesterday and the good part of today they have (suffered) heavy casualties," he said.

In a series of posts Saturday on a Twitter account often used by Al-Shabaab, the group said the Kenyan military is "waging a losing battle" in Kismayo. It said mujahedeen forces ambushed Kenyan troops 30 km (18 miles) west of Kismayo, destroying three vehicles and killing dozens of troops in a two-hour battle.

The military spokesman said those reports are "pure propaganda."

On Sunday Al-Shabaab said on the Twitter account: "The shelling of the city lays bare the intentions of KDF invaders & reveals that their war isn't just against (Al-Shabaab) but the Muslims of Somalia."

Al-Shabaab uses Kismayo to make money from the illegal charcoal trade and smuggling. Thousands of residents of the city fled before the fighting, according to the U.N.

CNN

 
 

Nigeria is protesting about the detention of about 1,000 Nigerian women at airports in Saudi Arabia.

The women, some of whom have been held since Sunday, had been planning to make the Muslim Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

Nigeria's ambassador to Saudi Arabia told the BBC the authorities were stopping women under the age of 35.

There has been an understanding in the past that Nigerian women are exempt from travelling with a male relative - a requirement for women on the Hajj.

Nigerian diplomats say the agreement between National Hajj Commission of Nigeria and the Saudi authorities allows visas to be issued for Nigerian women going to Mecca as long as they are accompanied by their local Hajj committee officials.

Correspondents say many Nigerians have entered Saudi Arabia illegally to seek work.

'Mismatched surnames'

Since Sunday, hundreds of Nigerian women have been stopped at the airports in Jeddah and Medina.

Nigeria's ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Abubakar Shehu Bunu, said he had made a formal protest to the foreign affairs office in the capital, Riyadh, on Wednesday.

"They are stopping women particularly between the ages of 25 and 35 without a male relative. Those over 45 are not a concern to the Saudi authorities," he told the BBC's Hausa Service.

One woman told the BBC her group were being held in Jeddah not because they were travelling without male relatives but because the surnames on their passports did not correspond with those of their husbands.

"Our husbands' names are different from our surnames and they won't allow that," Bilkisu Nasidi, who travelled from the northern Nigerian city of Katsina, told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

She said the hundreds of women were sleeping on the floor, did not have their belongings and were sharing four toilets at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.

It is a common practice for Muslim women in Nigeria not to take their husband's name.

More than two million Muslims are due to converge on Mecca for this year's Hajj, which is set to culminate over a four-day period somewhere between 24-29 October depending on lunar observations

 

As part of the government’s policy to improve payroll administration, the ministry of finance and Economic Planning has embarked on an exercise to register all pensioners and workers on the active payroll.

In connections with the above Ghanaians in Germany are kindly requested to facilitate communication through Embassies/Missions to all Ghanaian Pensioners and workers domiciled abroad, including ex-service men to appear in person to the nearest Consulate or Embassy to provide information and their biometric data to include:

Photographs, .Staff numbers, Pension number, Regiment number .Date of birth .ID number .Retirement date. Position held before retirement ect.

This is to enable the Controller and Accountant General renew their status and process their Pension and salaries. This exercise also includes staff of Missions abroad.

Ghana embassy Berlin is therefore requesting of all Hon. Consuls and Heads of Ghanaian Union/Associations to help facilitate the process by informing all concerned Ghanaians to visit the Mission in Berlin to have their biometric data taken for the exercise

Contact

Ghana Embassy Berlin
George De Souza
Head of Consular
http://www.ghanaemberlin.de

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