President Buhari To Attend ECOWAS Mid-Year Summit In Accra

 

President Muhammadu Buhari will participate in the 59th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Accra, Ghana on Saturday, June 19.

The President, who will depart Abuja on Saturday, will join other Heads of State of Government of ECOWAS for the mid-year statutory meeting of the regional bloc, with the exception of Mali, which was recently suspended from the group.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, ECOWAS Special Envoy and Mediator to Mali, is expected to present a report on his latest working visit to the West African country to the summit of the Heads of State.

The Heads of State and Government will also receive a report on ECOWAS institutional reforms, single-currency programmes and a memorandum on the proposed mechanism of rotation of ECOWAS Member States’ candidature to the Chairmanship of the African Union.

A communiqué will be issued at the end of the summit.

The 59th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government was preceded by the 46th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council (MSC) at the Ministerial Level and the 86th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, in Accra, Ghana.

The MSC, comprising of Ministers responsible for defence and foreign affairs from ECOWAS member-states, considered the security situation in the ECOWAS Region, among other topical issues on the agenda while the 86th Ordinary Session considered a memorandum on the post-COVID-19 industry recovery plan, the 2021 mid-term report of the President of the ECOWAS Commission and the ongoing institutional reforms at ECOWAS, among others.

President Buhari will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, Minister of Defence, Maj. General Bashir Magashi (Rtd), Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.

Other ministers who will be going on the trip are the National Security Adviser, Maj. General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar.

Twitter Chose Ghana Due To Unpatriotic Nigerians, Says Lai Mohammed

 

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed says Twitter chose Ghana as the headquarters for its African operations, due to the unpatriotism of Nigerians. 

Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, Mr Mohammed said the tech giants chose Accra over Nigeria because the nation’s West African neighbours are champions of democracy and abide by the rule of law.

“The reasons cited by Twitter for citing the headquarters in Accra, Ghana is that Accra is a champion of democracy and there is rule of law in the country, among other reasons. This is what you get when you de-market your country,” the minister stated.

He further blamed the media for championing the course of devaluing Nigeria by fervently putting out negative reports and painting the country as a hell on earth.


Twitter To Set Up Its African Base In Ghana

‘I Thought Nigeria Was Giant Of Africa’ – Reactions Trail Establishment Of Twitter Base In Ghana


“The media is more to blame for this which most times exaggerate the challenges in the country.

“At no time was this worse than during the #EndSARS protest when Nigerian journalists both traditional and new media were trying to outdo themselves in painting Nigeria as a hell where nobody should live.

“When they all conspired to vilify not just the government but the people of Nigeria. We are not saying that you should not criticise the country but be fair and patriotic. When you destroy your own house, where are you going to live?

“You can imagine the kind of job opportunities that citing that headquarters in Nigeria would have generated, the kind of visibility it would have given Nigeria but we destroyed it. It is what the insiders say about their country that the outsider will use to judge and condemn the country.”

The minister argued that the natural expectation is that Nigeria with a 25 million Twitter user population should have been the hub of twitter business in Africa, as against ghana with only eight million Twitter users.

He urged Nigerians to be more patriotic, stressing that the continuous push to put the nation in a bad light has now cost a great opportunity that would have benefitted the youths and the nation at large.

Campaigning Winds Up In Ghana Ahead Of Monday Election

Supporters wave party flags during the final day of campaigning at James Town in Accra, on December 5, 2020. PHOTO: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

 

Deafening vuvuzelas and party songs took over Ghana’s capital Accra on Saturday, the final day of campaigning ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections.

Twelve candidates, including three women, are vying for the West African nation’s top job, but Monday’s vote is essentially a fight between President Nana Akufo-Addo, 76, and former head of state John Mahama.

The city centre was plastered with billboards and posters and flags at every corner.

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Akufo-Addo, running for a second term, drove through the shanty town of Nima, making whistle stops to acknowledge mammoth crowds clad in T-shirts of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

“It’s a done deal. It’s clear. The crowd says it all. Four more (years) for Nana,” a party supporter, Dauda Faisal, told AFP.

Defying all COVID-19 protocols -– with just a handful wearing face masks — the ecstatic crowd waved miniature flags as the president headed towards the rally grounds where he was due to address supporters.

Opposition leader John Mahama meanwhile kicked off his final day of campaigning by meeting local chiefs and labour union leaders, assuring them of more jobs if he won the December 7 election.

Mahama, 62, who has been campaigning hard for months, was expected later in the evening at a rally organised by his party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

More than 17 million people are registered to vote in the nation’s eighth poll since it returned to democracy nearly 30 years ago.

This is the third time that Akufo-Addo and Mahama are running against each other, and the race is expected to be very close.

Results could be announced within 24 hours after the polls close.

AFP

Nigerian High Commission In Ghana Not Evicted, Says FG

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama

 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that Nigeria’s High Commission in Accra, Ghana, has not been evicted.

This is according to a communique sent out by spokesman to the ministry, Mr Ferdinand Nwoye.

In his statement dated Friday the 3rd of January, 2020, Mr Nwoye noted that the clarification is pertinent following certain reports suggesting that the Commission in Accra had been violated by the host country.

READ ALSO: Enugu Airport To Be Reopened Before Easter – FG

He stated that the property under reference was in use by the Federal Ministry of Finance since 1957, on leasehold and was later bequeathed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr Nwoye revealed that the lease is said to have expired recently, adding that the High Commission has been exploring the possibilities of renewing the lease agreement with the host authorities.

While explaining that the property is not housing either the residence of the High Commissioner or the Chancery or staff quarters, Mr Nwoye stressed that talks are ongoing the mission and appropriate authorities and assured Nigerians that the ministry is on top of the situation.

Below is the ministry’s full statement regarding the matter.

Buhari To Attend Ghana’s Independence Anniversary Celebrations

FILE PHOTO: President Muhammadu Buhari on his arrival from AU Summit in Jordan.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari will on Monday depart Abuja for Accra, Ghana to attend the country’s 61st Independence Anniversary celebrations holding at the Independence Square on Tuesday, March 6.

President Buhari is said to be the only foreign leader invited to the event as the Special Guest of Honour.

This was revealed on Sunday, in a statement, signed by the special adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

Adesina in the statement said Buhari apart from the host, President Nana Akufo-Addo is the only foreign guest scheduled to address the august gathering and he will use then occasion to reaffirm commitment to the bilateral relationship between both countries.

President Buhari will use the unique opportunity to reaffirm the long-standing warm relations between the peoples and governments of both brotherly nations.

“He will also underscore Nigeria’s commitment to strengthening the bilateral ties in furtherance of democracy, good governance and overall development not only in the West African sub-region, but also the African continent,” the statement read in part.

The President and his delegation which includes, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, will return to Abuja after the celebrations on Tuesday.

Ghana’s New President Akufo-Addo Promises To Cut Taxes

Nana Akufo-Addo, GhanaGhana’s new President, Nana Akufo-Addo, has pledged to cut taxes to boost the economy.

Mr Akufo-Addo made the promise at his swearing in ceremony on Saturday.

He also pledged to protect the public purse by getting value for money on services.

The 72-year-old, who contested under the platform of the New Patriotic Party, was elected president on his third attempt to reach the post.

He defeated incumbent John Dramani Mahama in peaceful elections a month ago, a rare peaceful transfer of power in a region plagued by political crises.

The major cocoa and gold exporter is half-way through a three-year aid programme with the International Monetary Fund to fix an economy dogged by high public debt and inflation.

It is not clear how the new president will be able to cut taxes and still stick to an IMF austerity plan that was a condition of a $918 million bailout, Reuters reports.

“We will reduce taxes to recover the momentum of our economy,” said Akufo-Addo, wrapped in a traditional kaleidoscopic “kente” robe. “Ghana is open for business again.”

At the venue for the inauguration in Black Star Square, thousands of Ghanaians also draped in traditional kente garments clapped. Outside the perimeters, revellers drummed and danced.

Akufo-Addo suggested government money would be spent wisely.

“I shall protect the public purse by insisting on value for money,” he said. “Public service is just that: service, and (is) not be seen as an opportunity for making money.”

Ghana expects growth will return to above eight per cent in 2017 as new oil and gas fields from Tullow and ENI come on tap.

Akufo-Addo served as foreign minister and attorney general in the NPP government that ruled between 2001 and 2009. He twice previously lost close battles for the presidency. He is the son of a former chief justice and non-executive president of Ghana.

During his campaign, he had accused the Mahama administration of corruption and incompetence, charges the outgoing president denied. Mahama attended the ceremony.

It was also attended by dozens of African leaders and other international dignitaries, including Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, Chadian President Idris Deby, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and former UN chief Kofi Annan.

Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party also won a majority of 169 seats in Parliament while the former ruling National Democratic Congress now has 106 seats.

The former human rights lawyer had also promised free high school education and more factories in Ghana.

 

Buhari Condoles With Ghana Over Fire, Flood Tragedies

GhanaPresident Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the government and people of Ghana over the dual tragedy of flooding and fire outbreak which claimed scores of lives in that country.

In a condolence message on Friday, June 5, 2015, signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said that Nigeria will stand by Ghana in its moment of grief and loss.

“In this moment of grief and loss, the government and people of Nigeria stand with the government and people of Ghana,” he said.

According to President Buhari, the twin tragedies of flooding and fire outbreak that led to loss of several lives are painful and regrettable.

The President, however, noted that the flooding incident undoubtedly reminds leaders and governments in the West African sub-region of their responsibilities to the problem of global warming, among others.

He prayed that the souls of the deceased rest in eternal bliss and that their families and friends find fortitude to bear the losses.

Scores of people were reported to have died in Ghana where a fire broke out at a petrol station in the capital, Accra.

Officials said that the fire started as people sought shelter in the station from the two days of torrential rainfall in the city that has left many homeless and without power.

The initial casualty figure was 90 but the death toll from the fire has since risen to 96 as the search for bodies continued.

Fire Kills More Than 90 In Accra, Ghana

fireOver 90 people have died in Ghana where a fire broke out at a petrol station in the capital, Accra.

Officials said that the fire started as people sought shelter in the station from the two days of torrential rainfall in the city that has left many homeless and without power.

There are fears that the death toll from the fire could rise as the search for bodies continues.

President John Mahama has visited the burnt-out petrol station and has appealed for calm as authorities try to cope with the aftermath of the fire and heavy rain.

Reports says there are chaotic scenes in the city with cars being carried away by the water and many roads blocked off.

A victim told a local radio station that he had put his children on top of a wardrobe to save them from the water coming into his house.

Weather forecasters in the meantime have said that more rain is on its way.

Mavin Artistes ‘WOW’ At Ghana Meets Naija Concert

Mavin Records stars staged a stellar performance at the Ghana Meets Naija Concert which held in Accra over the weekend.

Songs performed included Katapot which saw singer Reekado Banks getting married on stage and Surulere by Dr. Sid with label boss, Don Jazzy.

Check out pictures below:
MAVIN GH1 MAVIN GH2 MAVIN GH3 MAVIN GH4 MAVIN GH5 MAVIN GH6 MAVIN GH7

ECOWAS Summit Bids President Jonathan Farewell

jonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan as he hands over in a couple of days has gotten commendation from his peers in West Africa

Speakers at the opening of the 47th Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Accra Ghana, particularly commended President Jonathan for conceding victory to president-elect Muhammadu Buhari.

West African leaders also praised the president for the way he handled the country’s affairs during the 2015 general elections

The one-day summit was Jonathan’s valedictory appearance at the regional summit, as president of Nigeria, before the May 29 inauguration of Buhari.

 

NIMR Recognises Channels Television On Ebola Awareness

channels tvChannels Television has bagged another award for its coverage of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Nigeria.

The recognition is coming from the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, for Channels Television’s awareness creation during this period.

within the week, Channels Television won the station of the year award for the 9th time at this year’s Nigeria Media Merit Award, held in Owerri, Imo State.

Channels Television in February this year was also named the best television in Africa, at an award ceremony in Accra, Ghana.

Ghana Selected As UN Base For Supplies Bound For Ebola Countries

EbolaThe United Nations will use Ghana as a base for supplies bound for countries stricken by an Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 1,550 people in West Africa, the Ghanaian presidency said in a statement on Friday.

More than 3,000 people have been infected since the virus was detected in the remote jungles of southeastern Guinea early this year. It quickly spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, and Senegal reported its first case on Friday.

UN Chief, Ban Ki-moon, had a telephone conversation on Friday evening with Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama, who agreed to let international agencies use Ghana’s capital, Accra, as a base for airlifting supplies and personnel to affected countries, the statement said.

Mahama chairs the West African regional grouping, ECOWAS, which has set up a solidarity fund to fight the deadly disease.

“Using Accra as the logistics and coordination center would therefore open a vital corridor to get urgently needed supplies and health personnel into the affected countries and areas,” the statement said.

Regular international commercial flights to the affected countries have been suspended, making it difficult for supplies to reach them.

The statement said that the UN and local authorities would work closely to put in place appropriate screening and prevention measures to avoid any adverse effects on Ghana as a result of the international operations.

The UN will also help review and strengthen Ghana’s Ebola preparedness as steps are taken to prevent the virus from spreading to that country, according to the statement.