Almost half the aircraft had been pulled out of service at Air Nigeria, this West African nation's second-largest airline, and its staff hadn't received a paycheck in four months when its top executive summarily fired nearly all of its employees for "dishonesty."

"Corporations are like individuals, who naturally will get sick," Air Nigeria chairman Jimoh Ibrahim was quoted as saying. "The usual thing to do is to admit them in hospitals, either for corporate surgery or for treatment, as the case may be."

The collapse and the mass firing of about 800 workers at Air Nigeria comes as only four domestic airlines are currently flying in Nigeria, down from nine flying at the start of this year. The dramatic decrease highlights the current turmoil of the nation's troubled aviation sector.

While the federal government insists it conducts strict maintenance and financial audits of airlines, the financial mess left behind after Air Nigeria's shutdown and a June crash by another carrier that killed more than 160 people has left many Nigerians leery of flying and distrustful of official safety promises.

"I think that if in the future, if anybody's coming into this business, I think the government needs to put in a particular panel to check that person's mental state, first of all, and the financial records need to be checked so we can know if this person can even do the job," said Isaac Balami, president of Nigeria's National Association of Aircrafts Pilots and Engineers. "We've seen people that can't even manage an ordinary business. ... Aviation is not for a lazy man or somebody who doesn't know what he's doing."

Angered by their firing, more than 60 former Air Nigeria employees protested Friday outside of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and later marched past a domestic wing of Lagos' Murtala Muhammed International Airport. Former employees described a dysfunctional environment where bosses removed telephone lines and called Internet access and using an elevator to reach their high-rise office "a luxury."

Staff last received a paycheck in April and had been sitting at home for weeks for a call to return to work. At one point, employees also were forced to sign "loyalty oaths" to swear their allegiance to the company and promise not to be union members, workers said. Yet the company continued to collapse, even after it received money from a federal bailout fund, employees said.

"If they want to steal Nigerian money, don't use our hands or our heads to steal it," said an employee who asked only to be identified by her first name Barbara, out of hopes she might still receive the rest of her salary. "Just steal it and deal with your conscience."

Financial troubles have trailed Air Nigeria, a one-time darling of the country when billionaire Richard Branson helped create it as Virgin Nigeria in 2005. Branson pulled out of the airline and in 2010 Ibrahim took it over and renamed it.

Ibrahim, who also directs a major hotel chain, an insurance firm and an oil company, has strong ties to the country's political elite, as do many in business in the nation. But the engineers' strike earlier this year saw workers claim the company's finances stopped it from properly servicing its fleet. A top former company official also referred to airline's aircraft as "flying coffins" in local media reports.

The workers presented a letter outlining their complaints to officials at the civil aviation authority. Samuel Ogbogoro, a spokesman for Air Nigeria, did not respond to a request for comment Friday over the employees' allegations. The company has said, however, it hopes to reopen in 12 months, though it remains unclear how it will do that with the debts employees say it faces.

Experts believe Air Nigeria is not a unique case among airlines in Nigeria, however. Jet fuel purchases often must be made with cash in the country. Other executives with ties to government officials have floated airlines in the past.

Meanwhile, the country has suffered a series of fatal plane crashes over the last decades, with authorities never offering clear explanations for why the disasters happened.

In June, a Dana Air MD-83 crashed about five miles north of Lagos' airport, killing 153 onboard and 10 people on the ground. While an initial report suggests both engines failed on the flight, officials haven't explained why that happened, though they cleared the airline to fly again this week.

Meanwhile, other airlines appear to be grounded over financial concerns and other matters, leaving only four carriers flying and unable to meet the nation's growing demand for flights. That could put further pressure on an industry where corners have been cut in the past and pilots feel pressure to fly no matter what.

"The aviation industry is all about efficiencies, speed and accuracy," Balami said. "Can you imagine a pilot ... going through financial difficulties (and) he or she can't pay their bills and you expect them to concentrate?"


Speculations were all over by other Ghana’s political parties concerning the readiness of the former President John Jerry Rawlings to quit from the ruling NDC party have been turned to be a dream.

As the party plans its congress in Kumasi, this afternoon, rumors were that he (JJ) would not honor the invitation to partake the event but they got it wrong. “The Man was born to win and he has the charisma” Surprisingly, the whole stadium, the venue of the congress nearly somersaulted when the crowd overwhelm to welcome the former President in a fleet of convoy. 

He was however scheduled to give a speech. With usual applause from the crowd amidst, loud blowing of trumpets, dancing and jubilating, JJ was welcome to the podium to give his hidden message. He however put the opposition wrong. He showed them that, “a bird at hand worth ten times a bird in the Bush”.  

“Ladies and Gentlemen, join me now to congratulate the newly installed President of Ghana – H.E. President John Dramani Mahama” JJ exclaimed.  

He used the platform to wholeheartedly welcome the president and urged him to quickly install integrity through the presidency, as he swiftly referred the old adage that says “A bad nut spoils the whole nuts” 

The former president further cautioned that, credibility needed to be restored now before the party goes to the poll. He therefore made reference to that era (2008) when some group of few people struggled for the party’s victory while others were in their air-conditioned rooms enjoying.  

He therefore called on all supporters and sympathizers both home and abroad to come together to help in the campaign trail for the party to win power come December 7. 

God bless our Homeland, Ghana.

Report by: Mensah Dekportor (Hamburg)

A Togolese opposition leader is calling on women to go on a weeklong sex strike to demand the freedom of protesters detained ahead of elections in the West African nation.

Police arrested about 120 opposition supporters last week during clashes between protesters and security forces, according to Togolese human rights groups.
Government officials said all but eight had been released, and those still detained were in possession of knives.
"You don't go demonstrate with these," security minister Damehane Yark said of the weapons.
Demonstrators have taken to the streets in the capital of Lome for weeks to protest new electoral reforms they say favor the ruling party ahead of October's parliamentary elections. They are seeking a repeal of changes to the electoral laws.
Protests continued Saturday, with a female opposition leader calling for sex strikes starting Monday.
"I am inviting all women to observe a one-week sex strike, fasting and prayers to set our arrested brothers and husbands free," said Isabelle Ameganvi, leader of the opposition Let's Save Togo. "So all you ladies have to keep the gate of your 'motherland' locked up to all men from Monday up to Sunday."
The opposition leader said she is inspired by Liberian Nobel laureate and current President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who in 2003 called on women in her nation to observe a sex strike to press for peace amid a raging war.
Sex strikes have become a common way of civil disobedience in recent years. In 2009, Kenyan women pressed for a sex strike to end bickering among coalition government officials.
Last year, a group of women in a violence-plagued area of the Philippines slapped men with a sex ban until they promised to quit fighting. Their stand helped end clashes in July between villages in rural Mindanao Island.
"We have power to change things. We do not want to remain in the kitchen, but we can have our say in politics," Ameganvi said. "We cannot stay hand-crossed, as our children and husbands are being kept in jail."
In addition to the sex strike, she called on women to wear a special color during a demonstration Thursday.
"You all have to be dressed up in red pants to show your anger," she said, amid cheers.
The actions will be among a series of civil disobedience events planned.
"If our people are not released by Thursday, the women are going to rush to the prison naked to get them released, only in red pants and nothing else," she said.
The security minister said any attempts to enter the prison will lead to arrests.
"We await them," Yark said." In a state of rule of law like ours, we will get them arrested for offending moral values."
Togolese officials invited the opposition for talks Friday, but it turned down the government invitation.
"We will not hold any discussions with the government except those aimed at negotiating President Faure Gnassingbe's departure from power," said constitutional law professor Zeus Ajavon, an opposition supporter.
Togo has been led by the same family for more than 40 years .
Gnassingbe Eyadema ruled for 38 years until his death seven years ago. His son has led the nation since then.

About 80% of negative stories the media used to report about the late President John Evans Atta Mills were absolutely incorrect, false and fabricated. It’s because the President refused to pay them bribe in order to promote his government

“Even his (President Mills) own people, I mean party men hated him because of the truth he stood by in discharge of his official duties”

Asked to identify by their names, Bobie cowardly replied “they know by their fruits and locations they meet.

“Have you ever been tipped (favored) by the late President?” asked Okuoba. “I could remember, President Mills gave me 100 new Ghana cedis for my transport after having conducted interview with him. Even Koku Anyidoho jokingly teased me “that’s Old Man for you, he would never give bribe.”

These were revelations by Nana Kwabena Bobie Ansah, a radio journalist and a program host at Asempa FM “Ekosii sen”when he was being interviewed by Okuoba Gyasi of Hot FM last Tuesday morning program.

When asked to give a brief description of the late President Mills, Nana Bobie retorted “He was “Asomdwehene”, Father for all; Uncle Atta; Agya Atta; Father for the vulnerable, the voiceless as well as the destitute. I personally called him “Papa”- He was more than a father to me”

“Late president Mills had suffered in the hands of his traitors, those who used abusive words to him. He could have exercised his veto powers to instruct to discipline those “FONKA” boys for their misconducts but he forgave them”

“I personally believe in the principles of consciousness, Because Prof. Mills kept repeating the word conscience, Human conscience - several times to me”.

Nana Bobie continued “whenever I did a program and it went wrong, he would call to advise me on how to conduct and control myself behind the console”.

Okuoba Gyasi enquired to know, if these pieces of advice were in place, what prevented him (Prof) making them public?

The suspended radio presenter swiftly replied “Have you ever had a bad, vagabond and indiscipline child before? Do you advise your wife if she misbehaves? If so, do you ever unveil her (wife’s) attitude in public? That’s Prof. Mills for you.”

Asked to comment on institutions and individuals demanding to know the cause of the President’s death.

Nana Bobie stressed “I can say, a lot of people are sick especially, some flag bearers are having kidney problems and other diseases. Late President Mills had never denied he was sick. He came publicly to confess to the nation and added that, this (Sickness) could not prevent him from discharging of his duty to the nation”.

“I however suggest that, the dead is gone but all impending aspirants need to undergo medical check-ups before they resume offices “

According to reliable sources, seven pathologists had performed the postmortem examination in presence of Dr.Cadman Mills and other relatives and the results were delivered to the family. This is a private matter and confidential issues.” Nana Bobie lamented

“On this note, I wish to state that, opposition NPP can not use the death of President Mills on their campaign platforms and expect to win votes”

Nana Kwabena Bobie Ansah however concluded his story and added that,” President Mills never dies, Ghana will not die…I salute President Mills and wish him “damirefa due”. May his soul rest in perfect peace in the bosom of the Living God”.

Report by: Mensah Dekportor (Hamburg)

Nigeria's Power Minister Barth Nnaji has resigned amid reports that he is linked to a company bidding for a lucrative electricity contract. The government is privatising state-run companies in an attempt to end Nigeria's chronic power shortages.

A spokesman for Mr Nnaji said he had faced "totally wrongful accusations", Reuters news agency reports.Politicians in corruption-riddled Nigeria rarely resign over conflicts of interest, analysts say.President Goodluck Jonathan, who pledged to tackle the electricity crisis when he took office in 2010, said he accepted Mr Nnaji's resignation.
Neither he nor Mr Nnaji gave reasons for the decision, but it came after Nigerian newspapers reported that the ex-minister had an interest in a company involved in bidding for two state assets being sold off. A spokesman for Mr Nnaji confirmed he had a stake in the company, but denied that this amounted to a conflict of interest as the regulator had been informed, Reuters reports.
"He [Mr Nnaji] didn't like the totally wrongful accusations he had a conflict of interest in this process. These were planted by vested interests," the spokesman is quoted as saying. "He would rather go about his private business."
BBC Africa's Fidelis Mbah says since coming to office in July 2011, Mr Nnaji has ruffled feathers with the reforms he has attempted to implement.
He has been trying to tackle corruption and inefficiency in the power sector, which has angered civil servants likely to lose their jobs, he says.
Wealthy businesses which import generators have also criticised his plans to sell 11 distribution and six generation companies as part of a privatisation initiative, our correspondent says.
Nigeria is Africa's leading oil producer, with huge natural gas reserves. However, the country is often hit by fuel and electricity shortages, as the government prefers to export oil rather than using it for domestic needs, analysts say.

The yearly Ghana Tribal football match organize by SOLIDA Foundation and sponsor by Time DAOU Media UG as just started in Kumasi distric with the first match between Kusaases and Moshie.

We decided to organize this football match because we believe that sports is capable of uniting people especially those of dissenting beliefs. As was seen in this match, it was so beautiful to see the Kusaases and the Mamprusi peacefully engaging in competition not on a winner/loser endeavor but to drum the message home that though people may differ in their beliefs or may be competing for a common interest it is possible to live in peace and harmony.

The Solidarity for the Development of Africa, a not-for-profit and a non governmental organization, wishes to appeal to the good people of Bawku to consolidate the current stable and peaceful atmosphere of the area. As one people with one language and a culture you have a challenge to prove to Ghana and the world that you may have your differences like any other people but you are capable of burying them

by your own effort. We urge you to forgive each other and cultivate the forward moving spirit. The power to forgive and the desire and spirit to leave the bitter past is the only secret that can give hope to your children and prosperity.

The Germans and the Jews, and the US and Japan and many others had their bitter past but today they are making the best of global partnership which has brought mutual development to their people and the rest of the world. What would have been the fate of their current generation if they  had refused to let go their bitterness? Though difficult let us tell ourselves that it is possible and we can do it. Your children and future generations deserve a chance to enjoy the good things of life like others in other parts of the country and the world but the key to this is in your hands.

We however, wish to appeal to politicians to desist from exploiting conflict situations for political gains. It has never helped the politician or the people. Power that was gained on the basis of exploitation of the

vulnerable was likely to be taken away by the same means.

We also wish to commend the security forces for doing a professional job which has brought calm to the area. We as a civil society group shall continue to offer support within our means to ensure that lasting peace is brought to Bawku and all other parts of the country.

Message from Dawouda Oumar and Aberinga Milton ( Founders of SOLIDA Foundation)


Bamako - Jihadists occupying northern Mali on Thursday said they had cut off the hand of a thief in accordance with strict Islamic law which they have imposed on the population.

“Yes, I confirm it. We applied sharia in Ansongo yesterday (Wednesday). The hand of a thief was cut off. Sharia demands it,” a leader of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa told AFP. Witnesses in the town confirmed the incident. - Sapa-AFP

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