South Sudan woos investors as peace deal revives oil production
November 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan government on Tuesday launched the nation’s second international oil and power conference, a gathering aims at attracting prospective investors from global oil and energy firms.
The first oil conference was held in October 2017. South Sudan has the third largest oil reserves in sub-Saharan Africa, but most of its oil facilities have been destroyed in the civil war that started in 2013 – two years after it seceded from Sudan.
More than 400 international and local companies are attending this week’s Africa Oil & Power Conference in the capital, Juba, up from the 300 that attended the initial conference last year.
Some of its oilfields have recently restarted oil production, but returning to full production capacity will take time. In August, South Sudan resumed pumping of crude oil from Toma South oilfied, where production had been stopped since the civil war erupted five years ago.
South Sudan depends on 98% oil revenues for its services, but a country still lag behind in term of physical infrastructure development. South Sudan oil is transported through Sudan due to lack of pipeline and refinery facilities in the country.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, South Sudan First Vice President Taban Deng Gai expressed his government’s interest and commitment to develop the country’s oil industry.
Deng further told the oil companies and investors to be mindful of the environmental pollution while investing in the oil sector in the country.
“The government will continue to work tirelessly to create an enabling environment for business to thrive in the republic of South Sudan including a fair and balance local content regulation. the development of oil and gas sector will encourage economic diversification. let us be reminded of our responsibilities in the areas of social contract. the majority of South Sudan oil is based in the wetlands where we have faced alot of issue of pollution. I hope, in such kinds of forums when we discuss how to enhance productivity, issues of environment should not be left behind,” Deng said on Tuesday in Juba.
However, South Sudan is making its first big foreign investment pitch since asserting an end to civil war, but the oil-rich nation faces disinclination from some companies that want to make sure the brittle new revitalized peace deal holds.
The East Africa youngest nation is eager to make up for $4 billion in lost revenue caused by the five-year conflict after the government and armed opposition signed a power-sharing agreement two months ago.
Tapping 3.5 billion barrels of oil reserves, the third largest in Africa, is the fastest route for South Sudan, whose economy is almost entirely dependent on oil exports.
Meanwhile, South Sudan Oil minister Ezekiel Lul said the mobilized the oil investors to come and operating in the country in order to lifted up oil production in the country.
“This year is better than last year. we have mobilized a lot of companies in investing in the Republic of South Sudan, not only in the oil industry but in different areas,” Lul said.
On the same event, Sudan Petroleum Minister Azhari Abdallah said the two countries plan to sign a cooperation deal that would allow experts in the oil sectors to exchange visits.
He said the resumption of oil production will strength the economics of the two countries, including the foreign relations of the two sisterly countries.
“I am pleased to announce that South Sudan’s first crude oil is now ready for shipment in the port Sudan,” Abdallah said.
Also, APPO SG Mahaman Gaya, said they are working to stabilize and strength the oil and energy in the Africa continent.
AOP CEO Gullaune Doane urged South Sudan government to put much focus on the trade, which he says it is easy to improve a country’s socio – economic development.
The government is offering prospective investors incentives such as a tax-free grace period of up to 10 years. It hopes to build on the momentum created in August when drilling resumed in key oil fields for the first time since 2013. The aim is to return to the pre-conflict production of 350,000 barrels per day. But some at the investment conference expressed vigilant buoyancy after preliminary signs of growth.
The companies, already licensed to operate in the newly reopened oil fields in Unity State are China National Petroleum Corporation, India-based Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Malaysia-based Petronas.
On the hand, early next year local oil marketing company Trinity Energy will begin building East Africa’s only oil refinery, a $350 million project that will take about 18 months to complete. It will be able to produce 25,000 barrels per day. But at now, South Sudan exports its crude oil, only to buy it back.
More so, South Sudan is currently produces about 150,000 barrels per day, 40 percent of which goes to cover operating costs. The government is left with 90,000 barrels, but partners such as China’s CNPC and Malaysia’s Petronas take 20 percent of it.
While, the remaining profit has to be shared with Sudan’s government in Khartoum as South Sudan has to use its infrastructure to process and transport its oil. Every barrel produced is vital to Africa’s youngest nation, as oil provides nearly all of its gross domestic product.
With the revitalized peace deal at the hand, South Sudan hopes to return to full oil production capacity in an attempt to strengthen and recover its fraught economy.
Open Letter To AU On The Way Forward For Monetary Policies in Africa
November 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
To: African Union and African Leaders.
We have launched an important, but crucial call to African Union and African Leaders for the creation of African currency base vis-à-vis the Central Bank of Africa as a gigantic transformation of our global economy that guarantees elevated level of competitive free market enterprising economy.
An African currency base, well mapped out, will compete with British pounds, US dollars, French francs, Chinese yen, all of which are top rated the most powerful international currencies of today. Any realization of the Central bank of Africa could mean the highest and intensely valuable financial institution to oversee all existing monetary institutions in Africa, and will be charged with responsibilities ranging from currency design, and currency mint for all nations within the continent of Africa, intra-continental (country to country)financial activities, inter-continental International financial transactions, as well as, function as a network hub for monitor, regulations and foreign exchange and policy recommendations.
More importantly, the central bank of Africa is envisaged to function from generation to generations, and oversee data and assets planning management and infrastructural support recommendations to African Union. When, and if debated and approved, will be created to remain passive in functional operational responsibilities discovery phase period of 2-4 years, after which, it moves into active implementation status.
We call on an open dialogue, consultation with more developed nations for proper Institutional structural design, especially, friendly nations in the West, Europe, far East, as well as Asia for broad base contributory ideas. A critical step in rendering African economy stronger, more manageable and competitive in emerging global economic transformational order.
Washington DC 20013
*Martin Atayo is an Executive in Chief of Multipurpose Global Application Technologies Corporation with headquarters based in Washington DC. He is a research scholar of Leadership, and inventor of applied science new study field, consciousness universality, or universities consciousness. He is the first to have advised African nations to adopt, encourage, support and promote private sector small business enterprising through government guaranteed low interest loans to small business enterprises. He is an adviser to governments.He can be reached via email MartinAtayo@mpgatechnology.com.
Ghana on the rise again ,VP Bawumia tells Ghanaians in Lebanon
November 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Papisdaff Abdullah
Vice President of the Republic of Ghana Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has told his nationals living in Lebanon that Ghana is on the rise again under president Akufo-Addo with prospects for growth and development bright.
According him, ongoing structural and policy initiatives, including a commitment to transforming the Ghanaian economy through the use of technology while paying greater attention to human resource development, will set the stage for a brighter future for Ghana.
“By any stretch of the argument, if one looks at the progress made in the last 22 months there is no doubt that Ghana is on the rise again. The Nana Akufo-Addo government has implemented policies and programmes that have had a direct benefit on the life of the ordinary Ghanaian, while dealing with the challenges that we inherited as a Government,” he told the Ghanaian community.
Dr Bawumia added: “For instance, through the implementation of the Free Senior High School (FSHS) programme, thousands of Ghanaian teenagers who otherwise would have stayed home had access to secondary education. In 2017, FSHS provided over 90,000 additional teenagers an opportunity to get senior high school education and improve their opportunities for work in the future. In 2018, we have been able to accommodate 181,000 more students who otherwise could not have access to secondary education.
“We are more than convinced that the future can only be bright and we keep higher hopes. We can only thank God Almighty for how far he has brought us as a nation.”
He said the administration would continue to think outside the box to make Ghana an example to the rest of the continent.
The Vice President travelled to Lebanon to witness the award of United Nations Medals to Ghana’s contingent attached to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the first time the President or Vice President of Ghana has visited Ghanaian troops in Lebanon, although Ghana has supported UNIFIL with troops since the inception of the mission 40 years ago.
Dr Bawumia cited the gains made in the macro economy, including an increase in the size of the Ghanaian economy from 3.7% in 2016 to 8.5% in 2017; a decline in inflation from 15.4% in 2016 to 11.8% in 2017 and now standing in single digits at 9.5%; as well as a decline in the debt to GDP ratio from 73.1% in 2016 to about 55% following the rebasing of the economy, as evidence of government’s firm grip on the economic management wheel.
He stated, among others, that such macroeconomic improvements led to the upgrading of Ghana’s credit rating for the first time in ten years from B minus to B with positive outlook by Standard and Poors, a global ratings agency.
“My assurances to you all and all Ghanaians are that your economy is in competent hands and there is more to come under the visionary leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo.”
He continued, “today, Dumsor(power outages) is not killing people’s businesses. Unemployed graduates are being employed under a special vehicle called NABCO. Nursing and Teacher trainee allowances have been restored. Government is paying the registration fees for BECE candidates. Parents are not paying for senior high school fees. Electricity tariffs have been reduced for both business and individual use.
“These are things that did not exist before we came into Government and, if we had not addressed them they were going to compound the hardships on Ghanaians.”
Ghana, Vice President Bawumia indicated, is on the rise again, and urged Ghanaians domiciled abroad to contribute their quota to the success story.
Walk your talk on corruption – Catholic Bishops to Akufo-Addo
November 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
According to the catholic bishops, corruption is still problem militating against the development of the nation despite the efforts at fighting it.
“We recognize Government’s efforts in the political realm to address the sin of bribery and corruption in Ghana. The general situation, however, still remains undesirable and needs a more pragmatic approach to address this menace. Corruption continues to permeate all sectors of society and the attitudes and actions that breed corruption seem to be consciously endorsed or unconsciously accepted as the norm. The immorality of bribery and corruption which ignore the ethical code of religion is on the rise in our country.
“We call on the citizens at all levels of society, particularly people of faith, to eschew attitudes, behaviors and actions that support, encourage and condone bribery and corruption. We also call on Government, especially the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to demonstrate in practical terms, his open statement of commitment to fighting corruption. We urge the Government to be committed to the provision made in the 2019 budget to fully resource the office of the Special Prosecutor to carry out its mandated responsibilities,” the bishops said in a statement at their annual conference held in Techiman in the Brong Ahafo region.
They also commended government on the Free SHS program and backed the doable track approach in dealing with the numbers under the program by government.
Below are details of the statement
We, the members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, have held our Annual Plenary Assembly at Our Lady of Calvary Pastoral and Social Center, Asueyi, Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. It was under the theme: “Our call to holiness in the light of Gaudete et Exsultate”, motivated by the recent Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis on the Call to Holiness in Today’s World. In Gaudete et Exsultate (which literally means Rejoice and be Glad), our Holy Father expresses his modest goal to re-propose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities. (cf. Gaudete et Exsultate #2).
Congratulations to the Catholic Diocese of Techiman
We congratulate our brother Most Rev. Dominic Yeboah Nyarko, the Priests, Consecrated Men and Women and the entire Faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Techiman on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the creation of the diocese. We pray for the growth of the faith and for the Bishop and his collaborators as they exercise their shepherding roles over the people entrusted to their care. We also encourage the faithful to continue their invaluable support to ensure the building of the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom of holiness.
We had the opportunity to visit and interact with the Omanhene of the Techiman Traditional Area, Oseadeayo Nana Akumfi Ameyaw IV, his sub-Chiefs and Queenmothers, the Deputy Minister for Regional Reorganisation and Development, Hon. Martin Agyei-Mensah Korsah, the Municipal Chief Executive of Techiman South, Hon. John Donyina, the District Chief Executive of Techiman North, Hon. Peter Mensah, the MCE for Kintampo North, Hon. Michael Sarkodie Baffoe, and some members of their Coordinating Councils.
We visited and interacted with the people of God in many parishes of the Diocese. Our Plenary was also graced by the Secretary to the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, Very Rev. Msgr. Pavol Talapka. We also met with a team from the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), led by its Executive Director, Dr Emmanuel O. Akwetey as well as the Technical Advisor for the implementation of the One District One Factory (1D1F) Programme, Mr Kwame Antwi-Agyei.
In the light of our theme and in consideration of the socio-political situation of our country Ghana, we wish to share with you the following reflections.
Theme for Our Plenary
Holiness is our call and is fundamentally a divine quality. From her earliest days, the Catholic Church through her teachings has consistently held the truth that only God is holy. When God created the human person in his image and likeness, he meant to share this intrinsic divine attribute of holiness with him.
As we are aware, we could not fulfil this purpose of our existence, as we wandered away from God. But God in His love and mercy for our salvation never gave up on us. He kept inviting us, through His prophets, and finally through His Son, to be who we were created to be. Holiness is, therefore, the chief purpose for which we were created. It is the original vocation and assignment of the human race to radiate the holiness of God to the world. Thus, in our holiness, we truly rejoice and are glad.
Holiness of the Individual
We are all called individually and collectively to holiness. In our context as Ghanaians, the Holy Father’s Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, #9 requires of all Catholics, and people of good will, a deeper reflection on God’s call to holiness. Indeed, to be called holy people, it is not enough just to know and speak about God. Holiness compels all, especially Christians, to follow the example of Christ, organizing their lives as a participation in the mystery of Christ. Pope Francis directs our attention to the most ordinary ways in which the call to holiness finds expression and compels us to discover the meaning of this call in all spheres of life: social, religious, economic and political concerns among others, that constitute our reality as Ghanaians. We are entreated to focus our attention on the most ordinary experiences of daily life, which we most often overlook.
We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever and in whatever vocation we have found ourselves. We are being called upon to work with integrity and for the common good of the people, we serve and not for our personal gain. Signs of Holiness Today The Holy Father directs our attention to some important signs that must accompany holiness in our world today. Among the signs are perseverance in good deeds, patience and meekness. Others are joy, a sense of humour, boldness and passion, feeling connected to a community of believers and remaining in constant prayer. Through these values, we find the strength to endure daily humiliations and persecutions, respecting the dignity of others, and rejecting all forms of selfishness.
We also learn to make a distinction between true joy and worldly consumerism, which never brings full satisfaction. Our faith emboldens us to courageously reach out to the world in Christian witness and love. Christianity, and holiness for that matter is a way of life and not a happening or an event. Christians should not be afraid of holiness. We become holy by doing the ordinary things of daily life with the mind and attitude of Christ. In the words of Pope Francis, “Sometimes we are granted, amid these little details of life, consoling experiences of God” (Gaudete et Exsultate, #4). As Ghanaians, some of the areas in which we can concretely respond to the call to holiness may include more action and less political rhetoric and critique, more civil courage and Christian moral citizenship, resolving ethnic divisions in parishes and work places, facing up to the truth, rebuilding the value of trust through honest relationships and dealings in politics, family life, school, and the workplace by doing ordinary things in extraordinary ways. Above all, Pope Francis proposes constant prayer as a vital sign of holiness. Leading a saintly life is experienced through keeping closeness of the relationship with the Lord, and prayer is the way to this relationship.
Holiness in the Light of the Teaching of the Divine Master: Living the Beatitudes We respond to the call to holiness by living the Beatitudes (cf. Matthew 5:1-12): poverty of heart, meekness and humility, righteousness, sorrowing with the sorrowful, being merciful, peaceful, and “accepting daily the path of the Gospel” with all its inconveniences.
For us, the Beatitudes emphasize the inalienable value that God attaches to every individual human life. Human life is holy; humans deserve the utmost dignity and must be treated with care and respect. The standard for measuring our fidelity to the Beatitudes is how we treat the vulnerable in our midst. (cf. Matthew 25:31-46). We are encouraged in our search for holiness to appreciate the value of human life. In consequence, we urge the Government to expunge the death penalty from the law books as Pope Francis exhorts all Governments to do. Politicians, Religious leaders, Traditional leaders and all in leadership positions have a grave responsibility to lead the way in making Ghana a society that always places high premium on the dignity of human life.
Indeed, we have the onerous duty to eliminate from our society practices and social vices that devalue human dignity.
Bribery and Corruption
We recognize Government’s efforts in the political realm to address the sin of bribery and corruption in Ghana. The general situation, however, still remains undesirable and needs a more pragmatic approach to address this menace. Corruption continues to permeate all sectors of society and the attitudes and actions that breed corruption seem to be consciously endorsed or unconsciously accepted as the norm. The immorality of bribery and corruption which ignore the ethical code of religion is on the rise in our country. We call on the citizens at all levels of society, particularly people of faith, to eschew attitudes, behaviours and actions that support, encourage and condone bribery and corruption. We also call on Government, especially the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to demonstrate in practical terms, his open statement of commitment to fighting corruption. We urge the Government to be committed to the provision made in the 2019 budget to fully resource the office of the Special Prosecutor to carry out its mandated responsibilities. Irregular Migration Our meeting in Techiman offered us the opportunity to hear the lamentations of traditional and political authorities, the host Bishop and other stakeholders about the spate of irregular migration in Techiman, Nkoranza and the Brong Ahafo Region as a whole. Their observations are confirmed by statistics from Government Agencies such as the Ghana Immigration Service’s Report which indicate that 4,092 Ghanaians have been repatriated from Libya in 2017. Out of this number, 1,562 were from the Brong Ahafo Region.
We are saddened by the unfortunate loss of lives in the desert and the Mediterranean Sea of young men and women embarking on these perilous journeys. We share the anxieties of families who have lost contact with their relatives, who left for these journeys, and pray for their safe return.
As part of our commitment to minimize the high level of migration in this part of our country, we have instructed Caritas Ghana, our Development and Relief Organization, to prioritize actions to address this menace in the Brong Ahafo Region and the entire country. Caritas Ghana is to provide relief and other essential services to those who have been caught up in this regrettable situation. This is also a practical response to the call to holiness. We also encourage our Government to endeavour to implement the National Migration Policy and to support the Regional and International efforts towards addressing the issue of migration with a comprehensive Global Compact which is yet to be adopted.
Care for Our Environment
We recall the old adage that “cleanliness is next to godliness”. Our holiness is belied by the increasing filth and obscene piles of discarded plastics, electronic waste materials and other objects that choke our gutters, streets, and other public places. We also note the southwards expansion of desert-conditions which has been heightened by indiscriminate bush burning, wanton destruction of our forests, water-bodies, sale of large tracts of our prime lands to commercial entities for unchecked exploitation for profits (i.e. Land Grabbing). This situation aggravates the poverty of the local people and even deprives them of their agricultural livelihoods. We have observed that our country, and for that matter Techiman diocese, where we have held our Plenary, has huge potentials for agriculture and tourism but are only marginally utilized. The One District One Factory (1D1F) Programme can therefore facilitate the full actualization of these potentials.
The Church remains an active voice calling for moderation and regulation in the exploitation of our natural resources. We are taking concrete actions to address the problem of poor sanitation with our new Electronic Waste Management Project and urge Government to be firm in its plans to address the sanitation and environmental problems. We are very much aware of the Government’s ban on illegal mining also known as “Galamsey”. We commend the Government on this decision as the practice destroys our water bodies and the ecology. However, in negotiating with the small-scale miners for their return to mine, care must be taken not to revert to the “Galamsey” practice.
Holiness inspires action that responds to the cries of the poor and the vulnerable. There is no doubt that the situation of youth unemployment in the country has become a grave concern that requires urgent intervention.
We commend the Government’s innovative flagship projects such as Planting for Food and Jobs and the Nation Builders Corps which seek to address the situation. It is however sad to note that many of the newly trained professionals such as teachers and nurses have also joined the long queue of unemployed youth waiting to be absorbed into the public sector.
We are worried because we see the state of affairs as a potential for national insecurity and social instability. As a Church, we are committed to making a contribution to finding solutions through our new Social Impact Investment and Social Enterprises Initiatives. These initiatives aim to alleviate poverty through sustainable income generating projects. Local Government Reforms Decentralization or effective Local Government System is the way to bring governance and its benefits to the people and enhance the participation of citizens in the governance process. We note with some satisfaction the efforts of the President and his government to create new regions and reform the local governance system to enhance the devolution of power and resources to the regions, the districts and the communities.
We believe that these reforms, if well implemented, will enhance inclusiveness, accountability, democracy and human dignity. We, therefore, urge all Ghanaians to continue to be law abiding, tolerant and committed to enable us build a free and more just society. It is our prayer and hope that peace, tranquillity, stability and love, some of the signs of holiness, would prevail in the forthcoming regional and national referenda (December 2018 and September 2019 respectively). We also pray that these attributes would characterise our decentralized local governance and the transformational development of the country.
Delivery of Social Services
We once again wish to commend the Government for its pro-poor social interventions.
The Free Senior High School Policy and the attendant introduction of the Double-track system are creative solutions to serious problems of exclusion and inequality in access to education. We, however, call on Government to address the challenges associated with these social interventions.
We also note that there has been some improvement in reimbursement of claims for health services provided under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). This notwithstanding, there are still huge sums of unpaid arrears and we urge Government to work hard at further mitigating the situation to enhance the services provided at all health facilities.
The Financial Sector
We are concerned about the recent turbulence and uncertainties in the Financial Sector in our country especially with respect to the Banking Sector. Most of these uncertainties are functions of a profit-only driven market economy, greed, cronyism, conflict of interest, unchecked corruption, impunity, etc. We commend the initiatives so far undertaken by Government to strengthen regulation with the view to sanitizing the sector and safeguarding the interest of clients. It is our hope that Government will follow up this initiative through monitoring to ensure that the desired effects are achieved. We also urge the regulators to consider all the safety-valves that will insulate persons and allied institutions that may be unnecessarily affected by this general policy direction. We cannot but call on Government to fulfil its obligation.
The Cry of the Poor
We are encouraged to know that ours is one of the fastest growing economies in the world as indicated by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Other studies and our own observations, however, show that there is still a widening gap between the rich and the poor. In our experience, many in the urban and rural areas do not experience this economic growth in their everyday living experience. This is an unhealthy growth. We entreat Government as a matter of urgency to roll out the necessary programmes that will alleviate this growing trend of unequal wealth distribution in our country. Education Delivery Education is the bedrock of development. It contributes to the holistic development of the person, spiritual and physical. We therefore continually partner Government in education delivery. It is in this light that we call on Government urgently not to only praise the Church in public places for her contributions in education, health, agricultural and social services. In addition to the deserved praises, we urge the Government to act concretely by signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding our educational partnership and other promises the party made in its own manifesto in 2016. This will be a sign of trust and honesty.
We also want to state clearly that Religious and Moral Education is a means that the Church has used over the years for character formation and transformation in our schools. We, therefore, urge Government not to marginalize the teaching of Religious and Moral Education (RME) in the syllabuses of our Junior and Senior High Schools.
We have observed with great disappointment the marginalization of RME and in some instances its total removal from the proposed curriculum of education and formation of students in our basic and senior high schools. We call on curricula reviewers not to sideline RME in the name of modernization. We ask for a genuine stakeholders’ engagement in the development of a new educational curriculum for our schools.
We are very much concerned about the existence and emergence of many political vigilante groups in our country. These groups act with impunity and in disregard of the rule of law. They destroy property, terrorize and harm people perceived to be in the opposing camp. Over the years, it is becoming clear that Government and the Security Agencies seem helpless when it comes to addressing the issue of political vigilantism. We condemn in no uncertain terms all forms of vigilantism and appeal to Government to take the necessary steps to immediately outlaw all these groups.
Conclusion “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things’. (Philippians 4:8). May Mary Our Lady of Calvary intercede for us. Amen.
CAF approved MRI test – Chris Kamara
November 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Bodies supervising the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) were okay with what the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) termed misappropriation of public funds, Chris Kamara has said.
Chris, the SLFA Secretary General is on trial with the SLFA President, Isha Johansson for allegedly squandering $50,000 subvention and Le24.7m sponsorship they received from CAF (Confederation of African Football) and LEOCEM.
ACC alleged the money from CAF was meant for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test, but SLFA never conducted the test and could not account for the money.
Chris, on the third day of his defence to the ACC claims, said the MRI test results for 32 Under-17 players were sent to CAF and they never raised any objections.
He said at the time, President Isha was not around and if it were not for his timely intervention – on the plea of other SLFA members including John Keista – the SLFA then had no funds to carry out the test in due time.
He added that the other SLFA members asked him to intervene after failed attempts to acquire loan from Ecobank.
Chris stated that Ecomed and Choitrams Hospital had asked for 12.8 million Leone and 44.2 million Leones respectively to carry out the test, but he could only loan the SLFA 19.7 million Leones from his terminal benefits and per diem from gold tree Sierra Leone limited.
“At the time, the was ninety two dollar three cent ($92.3) United States Dollars in the foreign account and there was seventy one thousand Leones six hundred and ninety four cents (Le71, 000) in the local account,” he said
Also, he said there were no cars to transport the 32 players to and from the hospitals and he had to use his car, that of Mohamed Kallon and a rented vehicle for that purpose.
Questioned whether he could authenticate the test, Chris said he does not have knowledge about the tests – save for the explanation the doctors had given him.
He said he only followed through on arrangements the President Isha had made, and delegated the responsibility to other members including the then Under-17 Coach Mohamed Kallon.
Meanwhile, Chris had wanted to tender the CAF 2012 and FIFA 2018 Constitutions, but the prosecutor, Calvin Mantsebo, objected stating that the FIFA document is not relevant to the case.
Defence lawyer Africanus Sesay withdrew the document and applied for an adjournment to tender the appropriate document, adding the document is relevant to the defence case.
The matter continues on the 23rd November 2018.
What does it take to be a great entrepreneur? Here’s how to get there!
November 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Anthea Taylor*
Africa needs entrepreneurs and people who are going to be innovators and job creators!
In Africa’s economic environment there are risks and uncertainties, but quick decisions and gut feelings are what get entrepreneurs to turn those risks into rewards and the uncertainties into opportunities.
So, what does it take to be an entrepreneur? We will never be able to know exactly what the secret to success is, however, here are a few things that any potential business owner should have or work towards having.
Focus on more than an idea
Although a business has to be based on an innovative idea, the execution is what counts for a successful entrepreneur.
Having a great idea that solves a problem and has a market is an ideal position to be in. You will be poised for success. In order to actually become successful, however, you will need to be able to execute the idea and stick with it for the long term.
Entrepreneurs are not only thinkers, they are doers. And getting things done is more difficult than people think. How an idea looks in practice is usually a lot different to how it looks in your head.
Businesses are marathons not sprints. You will need to be able to fulfil your ideas as well as you come up with them. And, if anything goes wrong, you need to be able to get past your failures and carry on.
Have the courage to leap
While a love of learning and the desire to work will be an important part of propelling you to success, having the courage to leave what you know and leap into the unknown is vital if you are going to be a successful entrepreneur.
You need to be able to leave the security of your current job or the prospect of a stable income. This is something that you can only do if you are passionate about what it is that you’re doing and that you are confident in your abilities.
Hand in hand with this is having boundless energy because starting and running a business is going to take long hours and a lot of effort.
Look for meaning and purpose in what you do
For entrepreneurs this meaning is found in being your own boss, running a business and driving it forward. You will need to have a strong inner drive to get out and make things happen. Be persistent and make your own luck.
While you will need to be prepared to work hard, you will also need to find a way of striking a work/life balance. Running your own business can become all-consuming. You will need to keep a check on yourself and the amount of time you are putting into your business.
Having good daily processes and focusing on your time management will be the way that you learn to keep a healthy work / life balance.
Find good employees
Starting or running a business is about more than just you. If you are passionate about creating jobs or helping people grow in your business, you will have a greater drive to succeed.
Being a boss is not an easy role. You’ll need to be able to deal with people as well as being able to drive a business. Finding the right team will make both of these tasks easier.
Creating the best environment for your employees will also be the most efficient way to build a stable business. A low employee turnover keeps the skills and experience within your business and only adding to your success.
Staff that want to stay and develop as your company grows is an invaluable asset.
Choose the best route to business ownership
Africa can be a risky place to start a business because of the lack of infrastructure and the fact that a lot of these markets are very new.
There is a different path for an entrepreneur to take though, and that is to buy a business that already has a proven track record.
Although this will take the same kind of focus, effort and energy as starting a business, it does allow you to invest this energy into a tried and tested idea.
You will still need to be passionate about what you do and have the courage to make the leap and head out on your own. What you will also have, though, is the chance to learn the lessons from someone else rather than making the mistakes yourself.
*By Anthea Taylor, Assistant Editor at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com as well as other industry publications.
Minister orders termination of all contracts with US based Oil Service Company Subsea 7 for refusal to comply with Local Content laws and regulations
November 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
|Encourage by proactive steps taken by Schlumbeger and Technip FMC to comply with local content regulations|
JUBA, South Sudan, November 21, 2018/ — At the South Sudan Oil and Power Conference in Juba, the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons announced the decision to mandate all petroleum operators including but not limited to Noble Energy, Exxon Mobil, Kosmos Energy, Trident, Marathon Oil Corporation and other operators to cancel all contracts with US based oil service company Subsea 7, due to noncompliance of Equatorial Guinea’s local content regulations.
“As Minister, I have an obligation to ensure the laws of the country governing the hydrocarbon sector are complied with.” said H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons. “Companies operating in the oil sector have an obligation to work within the confines of our very flexible and pragmatic local content regulations that are market driven and ensure that both investors and our citizen benefit. I commend the leadership of Schlumberger and Technip FMC in taking proactive steps to engage with the oil companies and government to ensure local content concerns are resolved.”
The Ministry will continue to work with Oil companies operating in Equatorial Guinea to unwind contracts and find new suppliers for companies that have refused to comply with local content regulations.
A compliance review of the entire sector is ongoing led by the Director of National Content and outside legal advisors of the Ministry. The notice will be expanded to all service companies who are non-compliant as the review continues. Similar measures will be taken.
Under the National Content Regulation of 2014, all agreements must have local content clauses and provisions for capacity building, with preference given to local or regional companies in the award of service contracts. Local shareholders must be part of every contract as prescribed by law. The operators have an obligation to ensure compliance of their subcontractors.
Upsurge in attacks on journalists in Africa: A call for concerted action
November 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
The African Media Initiative (AMI) says that the media fraternity across the continent has learned with great concern the growing curtailment of media freedom in many African countries, including Cameroon, Sudan, Egypt and Tanzania.
In the last four weeks, eight journalists – Joseph Olinga, Michel BiemTong, Gustave Flaubert Kengne, Michel Kalabassou, Mimi Mefo, Josiane Kouagheu, Akumbom McCarthy, and Mathias Mouende have been intimidated, arrested, or tried before military courts across the country over allegations of ‘propagating false information’ or ‘undermining the safety of the State’ under the antiterror law.
Cameroon has seen, over the years, an accelerated shrinking of the democratic space where both journalists and citizens are having to compose with a difficult environment.
In Egypt, a law enacted last month has been widely criticised as tantamount to extortion of media houses as it requires hefty registration amounts for licenses with websites being forced to pay more than $30,000 to register and up to five times that amount for non-compliance. The law is viewed as an attempt by the government to silence the remaining independent media.
On 29 October, the Press Court in Khartoum sentenced Zine El Abeen Al-A’jab, a former editor of Al Mustagila newspaper to one and a half months in prison, or a fine of 5,000 pounds ($104) over “dissemination of false information” among other charges.
Overall, according to Amnesty International, at least 15 journalists have been arrested and detained between January and October 2018 by the government’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISS). In addition, the entire print run of 10 newspapers was confiscated on at least 27 occasions. Al Jareeda, one of the last independent newspapers, has been confiscated at least 13 times this year.
On 7 November, South African journalist Angela Quintal, Africa programme coordinator for press freedom group the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and her Kenyan colleague Muthoki Mumo were arrested from their hotel in Dar-es-Salaam and detained by authorities for 24 hours.
Rights groups and media advocates have recently expressed concerns about the freedom of expression in the country since election three years ago of Tanzania’s President, John Magufuli, whose regime has cracked down on independent media and close down critical newspapers.
Earlier in 2018, the government approved a new law regulating online content that gives them the right to revoke the permit if a website publishes content “that leads to public disorder” and “threatens national security”, according to media report.
It should be recalled that freedom of the press and right of people to information are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa.
Governments in Africa have a duty to refrain from undue interference with the right to media freedom and must promote and protect citizens’ rights of access to information.
In view of the above, African Media Initiative (AMI)
- Reiterates that intimidation of journalists, harassment, arbitrary detentions, closures, internet cuts, media closure, censorship, and trials of journalists before military courts over crimes allegedly committed while discharging their duties contravene international treaties and covenants protecting the freedom of the press and the public’s right of access to information
● Calls on African governments to create a conducive environment for a free exercise of the media profession
● Demands the immediate release of journalists arrested
The African Media Initiative (AMI) is a pan-African organization that seeks to strengthen the continent’s private and independent media sector from an owner and operator perspective to promote democratic governance, social development and economic growth. It does so through a set of strategic activities aimed at transforming the media and communications landscape on the continent. AMI’s overall goal is to promote the development of pluralistic media as a necessary and critical ingredient of democratic governance, as well as economic and human development in Africa.
Nigeria:Former Malawi President Endorses Ezekwesili For 2019
November 22, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Teslim Olawore
Former Malawi President, Joyce Banda, has endorsed the presidential ambition of Dr. Oby Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN). Banda testified that Ezekwesili possesses the ability to fight corruption in Nigeria.
Banda, who ruled Malawi from April 2012 to May 2014, said Ezekwesili’s advice saved her from corruption allegations during her tenure. She said Ezekwesili’s international exposure, transparent and accountable skills would help the growth of the country.
Endorsing the ACPN candidate on Wednesday, Banda said: “While fighting corruption during my presidency in 2013, Oby Ezekwesili advised me to protect myself with a forensic audit, which United Kingdom government supported. I am forever grateful for this transparent, accountable daughter of Africa.”
On her part, Ezekwesili gave her words to Nigerians that she would put effective structures in place to fight corruption.
She said that defeating corruption in Nigeria would ease job creation and boost the country’s economy.
The presidential candidate also assured the citizens that her tenure as President would end the attitude of using political positions for personal gains. She said: “Needless to say, every other area in our comprehensive manifesto, including our anti-corruption, sports, foreign policy, security agenda, and every other programme of our platform, will be evaluated on three questions: How much wealth is it going to generate? How many jobs is it going to create? And how many people it will get out of poverty?
“We will measure our economic success as a government, not by the number of private jets parked at our airports, but by the number of Nigerians we lift out of poverty who go on to live richer lives. We mean business.
“We will put in place a massive programme of deregulation of the Nigerian economy to unleash the depth of competition and efficiencies necessary for higher and deeper economic growth and expansion of the economy. The division and rebalancing of roles between business and government will reduce opportunities of corruption and bottlenecks that limit the competitiveness of the Nigerian economy.”
While accusing previous governments of paying lip service to the fight against corruption and accountability, she stated that her promises would be fulfilled.
“When I make these promises, I do them with the realisation that you are tired of broken promises. The broken promises of previous administrations are still fresh in your memories and it has tainted the way you look at politics. That is why as a principle, our campaign will only promise what we can deliver, and will deliver what we promise,” she said.
“Our politics is the promise of a new, honest start to rebuild and renew our country. Our direction is clear; and our destination is also clear. When we deliver, we would rebuild the crucial bonds of trust between the people and their government without which a democracy cannot flourish.
“This election is the most important of our lifetime. I believe that the next four years could determine the next 40. If we fail to get it right, what would we tell our children? What manner of consequences would befall us? What would another four years of wrong leadership mean for you and I? More poverty. More divisions. More corruption. More debt. More insecurity. More disregard for human rights. More and more of the same.”
“Transition Hours”: President Jonathan writes back
November 21, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Reuben Abati*
“There was no bitterness in him after he left power. He did not look back. He did not look down. Instead he looked up and after looking up, he looked forward and went on pressing ahead. That forward movement has resulted in this work of statecraft and statesmanship of which I am privileged to write the foreword. Though there are many themes in this book, My Transition Hours, the theme that most excites me is the one on youth and the next generation” – John Dramani Mahama, President, Republic of Ghana, 2012 -2017.
Those are some of the words with which former Ghanaian President John Mahama introduces the long-awaited and much-anticipated book by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. President Mahama is President Jonathan’s close friend. In a way they both share a similar destiny. Their bosses died and they both went on to become President. They also both won election as President and later lost their re-election bids. But they are perhaps more united by the shared affinities between Nigeria and Ghana. President Mahama is eminently well-qualified to write the even-handed, thoughtful foreword to President Jonathan’s first book, out of office.
Jonathan is Nigeria’s first President from the South South, first Ph.D holder in Nigeria to become President, first Nigerian President to rise through the ranks from the position of Deputy Governor to Acting Governor, Governor, first Gubernatorial candidate nominee to become Vice President, Acting President and eventually President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. No other Nigerian, dead or alive, has gone through such trajectory, or rite of passage. President Jonathan was Acting President 2010-2011, following the death of his principal, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, in circumstances that threw the country into a quandary and raised issues about Nigeria’s geo-politics and the matters of ethnicity and geography, indeed more importantly the right of minorities to also “rule” Nigeria, and if and when they are allowed to do so, whether or not they will be treated fairly.
I have enjoyed the privilege of reading President Jonathan’s first memoir out of office, which will be publicly presented today in the nation’s capital, Abuja, and I can report that it is a book about how Nigeria and vested interests treated him badly. He is the villain in the book: badly treated by entrenched interest groups, treacherous party members, a propaganda and hate-driven opposition and a badly constructed political ecosystem. The book is titled “My Transition Hours.”
In 2011, after much ethnic uproar and conscientious objection by progressive forces, Jonathan won Nigeria’s Presidential elections and remained Nigeria’s President till 2015. He lost the 2015 Presidential election, according to the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) but despite his prompt concession to General Muhammadu Buhari, the candidate of the opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, Jonathan has suffered badly under his successor’s watch. He has been maligned, persecuted, harassed, intimidated, humiliated and insulted. His wife has been abused, maligned, criminally tagged and many of his associates have been labelled crooks and thieves. In 2015, in the lead up to the general elections. Jonathan announced that his “ambition was not worth the blood of any Nigerian.” He signed a document to respect the outcome of the process. He kept his word. His successors have rewarded him with odium and abuse. They have done their best to discredit and destroy him.
In this book, “My Transition Hours”, President Jonathan fights back. His public persona is that he is a meek, gentle personality who lacks the guts to fight. Indeed, after the 2015 elections, everyone deserted him. The Aso Rock Villa became ghost town. Nobody picked our calls again. Giants in the corporate sector who used to beg for access to President Jonathan were reportedly now on the Buhari side. Only the Attorney General of the Federation, the security chiefs and a few others came around. The President was left with just his main body, that is – his innermost circle of aides.
We felt hurt by the fact that many of the persons who benefitted from President Jonathan had jumped ship and were now sucking up to the other side. We saw some of the people who called President Jonathan their brother and friend, on the Buhari side less than 24 hours after the election was decided. They were laughing and grinning! It was a painful moment for us. That was the real “Transition Hours” and that was when President Jonathan started threatening that he will write a book on his “Transition Hours”. He chose the title of the book at that very point. He wanted to tell his own story. I am intrigued that he has refused to change the title, but I recall how tough those transition moments were for us. On our return trip to Otuoke, we were treated shabbily by the newcomers. We had to struggle to be recognized. We were treated like regular passengers! The people who took over from President Jonathan were determined to humiliate him. It got much worse later.
In this book, President Jonathan tries to fight back and set the records straight. I am glad he is doing this. I once went to him and asked that we should put a team together to protect his legacy. His response was that “God will fight for us, after God it is government, these people will crush us because they don’t know God, but let us rely on God.” Some people, who thought we should help our boss, ignored this advice tried to put a team together. They ended up in underground cells, and got labelled as thieves! Others fled into exile. It is good to see President Jonathan himself, more than three years later, speaking up. The man that comes through in these pages is the real Jonathan. and that is perhaps the big point: a Jonathan that is confident, strong, clear-headed and assertive, who does not take nonsense and who is very clear in his mind about leadership options. If he had won a second term, Nigerians would have seen a different Jonathan. He worked hard to hold the country together and to prevent mischief from over-running the country. He makes his case in this book as he addresses some of the strong issues that came up during his tenure.
It is not standard practice for a President to justify himself and his tenure. It is also not standard practice for a President to be discredited by his successor. President Jonathan has every reason to write this book. He has chosen the right moment to go public: his successor’s most vulnerable moment. What he does majorly is to tell Nigerians that most of the things said about him were fake news. He insists that he did not abuse power as Nigeria’s President. He argues that every negative thing that has been said about him is an attempt to give him a bad name in order to hang him. He argues that “real strength is power under control”. He adds: “This book is not my biography, as that will come later. This book reveals how I used power as shield in the service to our nation and God.” Jonathan’s argument is that power should never be abused.
The book is defensive and reactive on the vexed issues of fuel subsidy, Boko Haram, “stealing is not corruption,” governance and so on. President Jonathan takes on the major criticisms of his administration. He doesn’t quite provide hard facts but he talks back. The key issues that the book addresses are noteworthy. This is a book that every Nigerian should pay attention to. In this book, a former President of Nigeria is saying that he was badly treated and he became a villain, because he came from a minority part of the country. He states that “people (are) working against our interest”. In this book, a former President of the country tells us that the idea of “one Nigeria” does not exist because we are a divided country. My boss insists: that “there is no patriotism in Nigerian politics”.
He refuses to pull punches. Nobody is spared. In Chapter 3 titled “Politics and Patriotism: The Fuel Subsidy Dilemma”, he argues that “politics in Nigeria and some other African nations is conducted like primitive war”. His major reference is the battle over fuel subsidy in 2012. He argues that the protests over the fuel subsidy proposals were “politically motivated.” Donald Duke should read this chapter. There are some references to him here. Chapter Four is titled “The Chibok School Girls Affair.” The Governor of Borno state needs to read this chapter. He is accused of seizing an “opportunity to politicize an unfortunate incident”. The APC also allegedly indulged in “psychological programming”, making President Jonathan look like a “villain”. President Jonathan rejects the labels. He pointedly accuses the Barack Obama administration in the United States of working against his administration and he provides evidence to back his claims. He accuses President Obama thus: “For some strange reason, the Obama administration had tactically penciled Nigeria and my administration down for failure”.
Hadiza Bala Usman, now in charge of Nigerian Ports Authority, should also read Chapter Four of this book. President Jonathan is convinced that the Chibok girls matter is an act of grand conspiracy, because whereas he took every necessary step, the Governor of Borno State had a different agenda. In Chapter Five, he deals with the question of stealing and corruption. He provides an explanation on that particular matter. The irony is that many of the initiatives now being adopted by the Buhari administration– Treasury Single Account, IPPIS and the BVN were all Jonathan’s initiatives. Jonathan discloses that his government did better on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. Chapter Six is focused on “Power Struggle in Nigeria”. Here, President Jonathan talks about he “strayed into power” and the attack of he majorities on the minorities. In Chapter 7, he offers an account of his “Presidential election campaign”.
He goes further to describe what happened during the 2015 presidential election and how he personally took the decision to save Nigeria from a descent into imminent chaos. Too many persons have tried to write the story of that significant moment in Nigerian history. I am glad that President Jonathan has now given his own account to correct the many lies that may have been told. He records the responses from the international community. It is a rich and detailed account. In this book, ,President Jonathan puts on the table his credentials as an internationals statesman and the goodwill he enjoyed among his peers before and after the election of 2015.
To be fair to him, making Nigeria look good in the international community was one of his major achievements. But President Barack Obama of the United States did not help him, and he refers to this more than once in this book. In Chapter Ten, President Jonathan talks about what he and his team did with the 2014 National Political Conference and his personal commitment to the peace and stability of Nigeria. Needless to remind us that the Buhari administration upon assuming office threw away the report of that conference. In Chapters 11 to 13, President Jonathan takes on other interesting subjects including the youth bulge, private sector reform and the African Renaissance.
This must be a book close to his heart. He uses it to settle scores and to explain the main issues of his era as President. I consider this a must read for all Nigerians and students of the Nigerian process. President Jonathan offers a personal portrait of his own politics, career and achievements. I may have read the book through the prism of a man who was his staff and who was involved, but I can tell that this is a honest and forthright reportage of what transpired. President Jonathan gave to Nigeria his very best. He was conscious of his humble beginnings and he wanted to make a statement. He was a poor man’s son who made it to the highest level in Nigeria. He was an embodiment of the Nigerian dream.
But Nigerian politics is vicious and dirty. You will find a sense of that in this book. He projects himself as a “victim”, but he probably does not tell the full story, which is okay. It means he can tell more stories. There are persons who will read this book and throw tantrums, but may such persons, like Nasir el-Rufai and the Governor of Borno state and all the deceitful associates who fooled the President during the 2015 elections, for reasons of religion and ethnicity, be reminded that this is all told a very kind book. President Jonathan playing the statesman has refused to tell it all. He has held back much more than he has given away. Some of us who were part of his “Main Body” may have now been unwittingly empowered to tell more stories.
I know that my boss is excited by this book. He wants to be remembered for the right reasons and not for the fake news that his opponents reported about his Presidency. President Goodluck Jonathan was President at a unique moment in Nigerian history. His emergence and experience both mark a special moment in Nigerian history. I urge you to read this book, his first one, on what he encountered as Nigeria’s President, before, during and after. Despite the travails of his post-office experience, Goodluck Jonathan, his legacy and value, will survive beyond his “transition hours”. He will, beyond everything else, find a good place in Nigerian history.
*Culled from reubenabati.com
2018 AWCON: Indomitable Lionesses Qualify for semifinals
November 21, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono (Buea-Cameroon)
The encounter which is the second for the lionesses who are in pool A took place at the Accra Sports Stadium with Cameroon beating Algeria 3 goals to zero. Cameroon’s goals were scored by Aboudi Onguene, Gael Enganamout and Nchout Ajara.
During a press conference ahead of that encounter, the Head Coach of the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon Joseph Brian Ndoko said his team were eager to play beautiful football when they clash with Algeria. He said his team wants to put up a performance worthy of their status as continental giants- something they managed to do emphatically.
In the other group game, host Ghana who saw off Algeria in the first leg were held to a one all draw by Mali.
The win for the lionesses gives them a total of six points and assured of a place in this year’s semifinals while Algeria’s lost has seen them eliminated from the competition. Cameroon will play its last group stage game on November 23 against Ghana while Algeria faces Mali.
Holders Nigeria who lost their opening encounter needs a win tomorrow to keep their hopes of qualifying from the group and keep their dreams alive of retaining their trophy which they won in Cameroon in 2016.
Nigeria lost to South Africa 1-0 while Zambia emphatically beat Equatorial Guinea 5-0. Nigeria will face Zambia tomorrow will Equatorial Guinea do battle with South Africa in group B.
Cameroon will be hoping that 2018 is their year to finally get their hands on that coveted trophy which they have never won-coming close in 2016.
During the 2016 edition of the AWCON, Cameroon finished as vice champions losing to Nigeria in the female. Cameroon has never won the competition since it was instituted back in 1991. Cameroon has been runners up 4 times, that is in 1991, 2004, 2014 and in 2016 when they hosted.
Resume work on Mondays then I’ll uplift the ban-Buea Mayor tells Bike Riders
November 21, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono (Buea-Cameroon)
The Mayor of Buea, Patrick Ekema Esunge, has told bike riders in his municipality that for him to effectively lift the ban on their activities; they must promise to resume work on Mondays, a day which is regarded as “ghost town” in the South West Region.
Speaking at the Buea Council Chambers, Mayor Ekema Patrick said resuming work on Monday is the only precondition for the lifting of the municipal embargo on bikers and their activities which has been on for more than a month now.
However, the Municipal authority’s precondition has been termed “a suicide mission” by bikers, considering the significance of ghost towns in the two Anglophone Regions.
Since the Anglophone Crisis took an ugly twist, all Mondays were decreed as ghost town days. On such days, everybody is expected to be indoors with all activities in the two Regions grounded.
The bikers said they cannot hid the Mayor’s pre-condition because most of them will either be killed, their bikes burnt or they may even be kidnapped by gunmen who have been enforcing the ghost towns.
“I can never respect the decision of the Mayor to work on Monday. The Mayor cannot protect me from the rage of the Ambazonia Fighters, who kill without mercy. They will not only burn my bike, but they will kill my entire family. So I think it’s a polite way the Mayor is using to refuse to grant our request. We have been dying of hunger and starvation for months now,” one of the bike riders, told The National Times News.
Another rider said: “If the Mayor is looking for a sacrificial lamb to end ghost town in Buea, it will definitely not be the bike riders. We are minority compared to taxi drivers. The Mayor cannot guarantee our safety because he will not be with us on the field. So I cannot attempt to defy the orders of the Ambas, who are more or less like spirits.
”It should be stressed here that the Mayor of Buea has adopted different strategies to eradicate the ghost town phenomenon, which he said, is killing the economy of his municipality and retarding its development.
The Mayor started by shutting down over 800 shops in his municipality to force business persons not to respect the ghost town phenomenon. He also bought 20 taxis to ply the streets on ghost town days. Despite his determination to end the ghost town plague, the phenomenon is still surging on.