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Wasteful trips! Ghana’s president bans appointees from foreign travels

Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo has banned all ministers, deputy ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and heads of government agencies from foreign travels

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Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo has banned all ministers, deputy ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and heads of government agencies from foreign travels.

It is unclear what may have prompted the new directive but a memo from the presidency said the ban was temporary.

The memo, which was signed by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Opare said the minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor-Botchwey is exempted from the directive.

“The President of the Republic has directed that, all foreign travels by Hon. Ministers, Deputy Ministers, MMDCEs and Heads of Government Agencies be temporarily suspended with immediate effect. Guidelines in respect of future foreign travels aimed at minimizing disruption to Government’s domestic work will be communicated to you shortly.

The memo however exempted the minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration from the temporary foreign travels ban.

The last time a similar travel restriction fro government officials was imposed was in December 2015 under the John Mahama government where he banned public officials from first-class air travel as part of efforts to cut wasteful spending.

Some officials in government have had the cause to complain about incessant travels of some appointees who in most cases are unable to justify why they travelled outside the country.

A former Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourist Development Company, Akua Djanie recently resigned from her position alleging among other things that her boss, was fond of travelling outside the country, neglecting the core duties at the company.

“I wanted to work, not travel and chop per diem…I don’t see what GTDC is doing. The CEO travels every month for two weeks straight. In April, he was gone for three weeks,” she stated in an interview with a local radio station Citi FM.

Most of such travels are on the account of the Ghanaian taxpayer and the presidency believes, they also lead to a serious disruption in local government business.

Politics

Kenyan opposition leader, Raila Odinga plans protest rallies, questions recruiting at IEBC

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As part of the fallout from the 2022 presidential elections in Kenya, the opposition under Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition has called for a public rally this Sunday in Nairobi.

At the rally, former prime minister and veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga is expected to amplify his recent calls for an independent audit of the 2022 elections and their involvement in reconstituting the electoral commission.

The former Prime Minister has written a petition seeking to nullify Ruto’s victory, citing fraud and tampering with the Commission’s central server by the chairman, Wafula Chebukati, and other staff.

General elections were held in Kenya on 9 August 2022. Voters elected William Ruto as the East African country’s fifth president after a close contest with a veteran contender, Raila Odinga.

Kenya’s opposition has renewed its quest for what it calls electoral justice, vowing it has not recognised President William Ruto’s regime.

The seven wrangling officials of the electoral body, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) have since left — through retirement, resignation, or suspension amidst allegations that the body was compromised to grant President Ruto the victory.

Following the development, the President on Monday signed an amendment Bill on the composition of an IEBC selection panel, setting the stage for the recruitment of new electoral commissioners.

The recruitment is already being questioned by the opposition suspicious that Mr. Ruto may populate the selection panel with his cronies and influence the appointment of friendly commissioners to smooth his re-election path in 2027.

“We demand that any attempts to reconstitute the IEBC single-handedly by Mr. Ruto cease forthwith so that Kenyans themselves can reconstitute the body after the firm and fair deliberations,” Odinga said Monday.

The is fear in some quarters that the planned protest by the opposition of Saturday will be countered by ruling authorities.

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Politics

Nigeria: Tribunal sacks Osun state governor, Ademola Adeleke, declares ruling party’s candidate winner

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In Nigeria, an election tribunal has declared Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the validly elected governor of the state.

The tribunal held that the governorship election was characterized by over-voting, adding that after deducting the excessive votes, Oyetola’s figures rose to 314, 921, while Adeleke’s came down to 290, 266.

The tribunal instructed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Adeleke and his deputy, Kola Adewusi. It directed that the certificate of return be issued to Oyetola instead.

Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defeated Oyetola in the July 16, 2023 poll in the state.

INEC declared Adeleke the winner after polling 403,371 against Oyetola’s 375,027 votes.

Though there were 13 other candidates in the Osun governorship election, it was dominated by Adeleke and Oyetola.

The PDP candidate was victorious in 17 of the 30 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state governorship poll. The remaining 13 LGAs were, however, taken by Oyetola of the APC.

Meanwhile, the sacked Governor, Ademola Adeleke has faulted the judgement, describing it as “a miscarriage of justice”. He also vowed to appeal the ruling which he says is “an unfair interpretation against the will of the majority of voters”.

“I call on our people to remain calm. We will appeal the judgement and we are sure justice will be done,” Governor Adeleke was quoted as saying in a statement by his spokesperson Olawale Rasheed. “Let our people be reassured that we will do everything possible to retain this widely acclaimed mandate.”

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