Ghana: Press highlights Council of State’s statement on preparations for December 7 polls, others

The commendation of the Council of State on the Electoral Commission's preparations and processes leading to the general election in…

The commendation of the Council of State on the Electoral Commission’s preparations and processes leading to the general election in December and the promise by the NDC to prosecute anyone involved in perpetuating fraud in the Agyapa Deal are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Monday.The Graphic reports that the Council of State has scored the Electoral Commission (EC) full marks in the commission’s preparations and processes leading to the general election.

It has, therefore, urged the EC to remain focused on the ultimate goal of delivering peaceful, free, fair and transparent elections whose results will be acceptable by all parties.

Speaking at a meeting organised in Accra last Friday for the EC to give updates on its preparedness for the elections, the Chairman of the council, Nana Otuo Siriboe, commended the EC Chairperson, Mrs. Jean Mensa, and her deputies for “doing an excellent job so far” since their appointment to those positions.

“If we are to assess your performance so far on a scale of one to 10, I will give you 10,” he told the commission.

On the work done so far, he particularly commended the electoral body for compiling a credible voters register in record time, in spite of the resistance by some groups and the threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The newspaper says that the next National Democratic Congress (NDC) Government will prosecute anyone who sought to perpetuate fraud in the Agyapa Deal, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, presidential candidate of the NDC, has said.

Speaking at a mini rally at Bosomkyekye in the Asante Mampong Municipality in the Ashanti Region, Mr. Mahama said all those who had been paid some money in the Agyapa Deal would be made to refund it; otherwise, they would apply the Special Prosecutor’s recommendations.

The Presidential Candidate said his next government would deal ruthless with any act of corruption.

He explained that the Ghana Gold Company that his previous administration wanted to use to monetize the country’s gold royalties was 100 percent owned by Ghanaians.

He further argued that the Agyapa deal was shrouded in secrecy to short-change Ghanaians.

The Graphic also reports that the Chief of Ada, Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III, has lauded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for ensuring the ratification of the mining leases to the Ada Songhor Salt Project.

The Mankralo of Ada, Nene Agudey Obichere, who addressed a press conference on behalf of the chief, noted that his people had been deprived of access to the river for both fishing and salt mining.

According to him, in 1985, the government cancelled the lease agreement and set up the Songhor Salt Project to continue with the salt mining but the project was deprived of resources.

Nene Akuaku explained that having made several attempts to speak to the relevant authorities over the lease agreement in the past, President Akufo-Addo worked on the processes and sent three mining lease agreements on the Ada Songhor Salt Project, through the Minerals Commission and the Ministry for Lands and Natural Resources, to Parliament for ratification.

“I am further delighted to say that Parliament, after going through its due process, has ratified these agreements in favour of Electrochen Ghana Limited (EGL) associated with our preferred investor,” he said.

The Times says that the two main political parties in the country, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), have confirmed receipt of the new voters register from the Electoral Commission (EC) for the forthcoming polls.

They have affirmed receiving the register, which the EC released about two weeks ago.

Speaking with the Ghanaian Times in a telephone interview, yesterday, the Greater Accra Regional Chairpersons of both parties said they had been analysing the register.

According to the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the NPP, Divine Otoo Agorhom, the party had done the verification of the register and that, he and his colleague executives were participating in the distribution of the electoral materials.

Mr. Agorhom said he was confident that with the message being delivered to the electorate and the developmental projects executed by the NPP, it would secure victory come December 7.

“Considering what government has done so far and the reception our campaign message has received gives us confidence that we’re faring well on the grounds.”