Ghanaians evacuated from Côte d’Ivoire lament alleged extortion while in mandatory quarantine

13 Ghanaians who were evacuated by government from Côte d’Ivoire and are currently under mandatory quarantine at a Hotel in Takoradi are complaining of deceit and extortions by their handlers.

The evacuees who returned on June 25, 2020, say results of their test samples have not been released after more than six days now.

Some of them have told Citi News on condition of anonymity that they have been deceived by their handlers who have taken them to a dilapidated facility other than what was promised them.

On top of this, they claimed their handlers demanded US$150 per a day stay – far more than what they were told; a situation which has led to protests.

They are therefore calling on government to investigate the matter.

“We are 13 Ghanaians evacuated from Côte d’Ivoire, as part of government-led arrangement to stranded citizens. Before departing Côte d’Ivoire those who showed interest to return to Ghana were told of a possible payment (of about $100) to a hotel in Accra for quarantine. Majority of the Ghanaians who showed interest rejected this offer because it was expensive and most people didn’t have money and were also stranded. So, continuous deliberation kept going on regarding the evacuation arrangements until eventually, the Embassy of Ghana in Côte d’Ivoire secured an STC bus to bring us to Ghana to a correspondent here in Ghana whom we are to report to. Now the Embassy made us aware that a payment plan of Gh300 (per day) has been made for us to be quarantined at Boyiosson Hotel or African Beach Hotel in Takoradi.”

“With this payment arrangement, however, most Ghanaians expressed concerns of the inability to pay because most have lost jobs, others are also returning due to emergencies. Nevertheless, we were still encouraged to return to Ghana because the government is making the necessary arrangements and, when we get to Ghana we can negotiate with the correspondent in Ghana and the Hotel about our financial difficulties. By this understanding, most people agreed to return to Ghana believing that a gesture of humanitarian empathy will be shown to us. Even with this, a lot of people didn’t come because they were sceptical. Strangely, we arrive in Takoradi without being taken to either of these Embassy arranged hotels, but instead, we were led by a military vehicle to an isolation centre (Takoradi Beach Hotel). Majority of us were quite surprised because we were never told we will be in an isolation centre with other infectious persons. Although we understood that we will be quarantined”, one of them said.

The evacuees who are sure they do not have the disease told Citi News they do not understand why they have even been made to pay for their stay when government has received so much donations

“ Now what is strangely happening here at the isolation centre by certain people managing the place is that; they are demanding that we pay between $100 – $150 per day for our stay at the isolation centre. They initially requested for $150 and we protested. So indirectly what we see is if we will not pay over 100 USD per day for 7 day they will keep us here for two weeks even if our results are ready.. so we would pay 4200 ghc each. We have been here eight days without any update from any Doctor. Meanwhile while among us are students who need to prepare for exams but staying in this abandoned hotel which has been turned into an isolation centre. How much does the average Ghanaian earn in the first place before such demands?“

They also raised suspicion with the whole arrangement as government has a fund to such isolation.

“Our concern is that, if this is an isolation centre and we know that government has been given COVID-19 relief funds and, with other donor agencies providing some of relief to government and centres;

1. Why are certain scrupulous managers of these isolation centres trying to take money from people who have been evacuated?

2. These same management people called us individually for a meeting now demanding that we should pay Gh450 per day instead of the $150. We have told them that we cannot afford such an amount. Moreover, the Embassy of Ghana did not inform us about this Gh450 per day so where is it coming from?

3. Now we asked these isolation centre managers that in case anyone tests positive to covid, who will pay the rest of the isolation bill? Then they tell us government will do that. So if government will pay the bill for tested positive persons, then why is government not equally taking care of our bill at the isolation centre? No response to this.

4. Our samples have been taken for more than six days now without anyone bringing us results nor updating us on our results.

5. We seem to be suspicious that these isolation centre managers are syndicate working together – be it the police here at post, the security coordinator, the correspondent and some health persons. This is our believe and suspicion.”

 

The founder and chief executive officer of De-Wayo Collections Mr. Haruna A.Nanga

YOUTH ENTREPRENEUR DEVELOPS COMMUNITY The founder and chief executive officer of De-Wayo Collections Mr. Haruna A.Nanga has mobilized the youth of Mamobi ,a suburb in the greater Accrra region of Ghana, to develop the road linking the community market to various areas within the constituency for business to flourish .

Speaking at the ceremony to commission the road for commuters, Mr. Haruna called on the government to embark on developmental projects within the Nima- Mamobi. And entire Zongo communities in Ghana by saying‘’ the strategic locations of Mamobi and Nima would be beneficial for any government or investor who develops or invests in these areas ,considering that, it’s located at the heart of Accra and has one of the most vibrant and growing market in Ghana ‘’

Mr. Haruna A. Nanga, who was the leading financier for the development project, urged the youth to create their own business ventures than relying heavily on the government to provide jobs, adding that’’ there is nothing better than being your own boss’’ On his part, Alhaj Ibrahim Musah, the community leader, advised individuals and organizations within Zongos to adopt sanitation measures for a clean Zongo.

He revealed that ‘’ cleanliness, is next to Godliness’’ De-Wayo Collections is a leading Supply and Distribution company in Ghana, including supplies of Household appliances, and other business ventures .

National Chief Imam welcomes Saudi’s restrictions on Hajj 2020

The National Chief Imam, Sheikh (Dr) Osman Nuhu Sharubutu has welcomed the decision by Saudi Arabia to bar international Hajj pilgrims this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saudi Arabia on Monday declared that this year’s pilgrimage had been restricted to very limited number of people, specifically those already residing within the Kingdom as part of measures to contain the pandemic

“The Office of the National Chief Imam supports the decision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and commends the Guardian of the No Holy Mosques, King Salman for the wise decision and appropriate action taken.

“It is the understanding and believes of the National Chief Imam that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia took this decision to protect Muslims around the world from contracting the deadly and contiguous COVlD-l9 disease”, the National Chief Imam ONCI said.

A statement issued by the Alhaji Khuzaima Mohammed Osman, the Personal Assistant to the National Chief Imam in Accra yesterday, said despite the importance of the Hajj, safety should be considered first.

“In as much as Hajj is obligatory on physically strong and financially sound Muslims at least once in their life time, this year’s Hajj with COVlD-l9 poses a threat to human health as pilgrims are crowded at religious sites”, it said.

As a result of the proliferating COVlD-l9 cases across the globe and the lack of vaccines, it said, there was the need to keep social distancing protocols among millions of pilgrims to preserve lives in accordance with Islamic principles.

“We pray to Allah to continue to protect the two Holy Mosques, protect and bless the Guardian and Muslims around the World. We pray to Allah to prolong our lives with great health to witness yet many more Hajjs”, the statement said.

Hajj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam which requires Muslims in good health and who could afford to visit Mecca to stand before the structure known as the Kaaba, and praise Allah at least once in a lifetime.

But for the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated two million people would have visited Mecca and Medina. As of Monday, Saudi Arabia had recorded 161,005 cases of infection and 1,307 deaths.

The country lifted a nationwide lockdown at the weekend. The restriction on Hajj is said to be the only way to observe social distance.

Threat of terrorism is real; let’s collaborate to avert it – Rawlings

Former President Jerry Rawlings has called for more vigilance from civilians and security forces in a bid to avert terrorist attacks.

“Inhabitants of especially the border communities need to remain extra vigilant and observant if we are to avoid any such terrorist attacks on our territory,” Rawlings wrote in a statement.

He said attacks in neighbouring countries should put Ghana on its toes.

“Travel advice and credible intelligence reports from several sources warn of potential terrorist attacks in countries like Ghana and Togo.

“Our country faces a real threat of terrorism with the heightened attacks in neighbouring countries.

“As Ghanaians, we can no longer procrastinate on the matter of terrorism and assume we are insulated from reality.

“The time has come for heightened vigilance by every Ghanaian as we enter a vulnerable period leading up to the December Presidential and Parliamentary elections,” the statement read.

Speaking on the concern of military men being deployed to border communities and the fear of political intimidation, Rawlings said more cooperation is needed between locals and the security services.

“Any unease and mistrust between the military and communities along the border areas will only create an opening for those engaging in terrorist activity to slip through, increasing the threats to our country.

“The military’s role is to defend the territorial integrity of the country and protect the people of Ghana,” he said.

393 new cases bring Ghana’s Covid-19 tally to 18,134 with 5 more deaths, 13,550 recoveries

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has confirmed 393 new Covid-19 cases in the country, taking the national total to 18,134.

According to its website, the Service put the number of recoveries/discharges at 13,550 as the initial 13,268.

Five new deaths were also confirmed bringing the number 117 as of July 1, 2020.

Regional Breakdown

Greater Accra – 10,087; Ashanti Region – 3,676; Western Region – 1,556; Central Region – 973; Eastern Region – 668; Volta Region – 346; Upper East Region – 274; Northern Region – 137; Oti Region – 112; Western North Region – 102; Bono East Region – 89; Savannah Region – 42; Upper West Region – 40; Bono Region – 18; Ahafo Region – 8; North East Region – 6.

I can’t sanction deportation of Ghanaians from US – Ghana Ambassador

Ghana’s Ambassador to the U.S. has been caught in a cat and mouse game with the American authorities piling pressure on him to sanction the deportation of thousands of Ghanaians.

Dr Barfuor Adjei-Bawuah has described as unfair pressure on him to give his approval for hundreds of Ghanaians to be sent home for violating U.S. immigration laws.

“It leaves me with difficulty to sanction the deportation of my citizen and I have been trying hard to explain this to the authorities,” he told Joy News’ Elton John Brobbey.

According to the frustrated Ambassador, he does not understand why he has to sanction the deportation when there was a contract between the Visa applicants and American authorities in granting entry into the U.S.

“If that is what is to be done, I don’t have to give the U.S. permission to deport the very person they themselves accepted,” he explained.

His comment follows reports that close to a thousand Ghanaians held in detention centres across the U.S. are awaiting their deportation to Ghana if only Dr Adjei-Bawuah signs for that to happen.

Dr Adjei-Bawuah and the U.S. President Donald Trump

Last year in a meeting with a parliament select committee, the US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P Jackson confirmed that “7,000 Ghanaians who have overstayed their visas or are staying in the US illegally are in various stages of the deportation processes.”

Related: Deported Ghanaians were not maltreated – US Ambassador

“There will be additional deportations because the 7,000 people who are under deportation orders have either committed crimes in the United States or long overstayed the visas on which they entered,” Mr Jackson said.

The deportees are being sent home for various offences, ranging from drug possession, larceny, assault, theft, sexual assault, identity theft, illegal entry, forgery/fraud, resisting arrest and other non-criminal offences.

US Ambassador, Robert P Jackson 

But Ghana’s Ambassador to the U.S. said he cannot independently confirm that the persons to be deported were taken through legitimate and fair trial and cannot, therefore, be the one to sanction their deportation.

“You can only take it on the strength of the fact that the Americans say the trial was fair because you were not in the courtroom. You don’t know whether the person’s defense lawyer did seriously and adequately question the prosecution,” he said.

“Our argument is that we don’t have to be the final arbiter in the execution of a deportation order because we don’t have the information,” he said.

Clement Apaak, Builsa South MP

Joy News has learnt talks to resolve this standoff has yet to yield the desired results as the Dr Adjei-Barwuah has asked his host country to review their process.

Encouraging the Ambassador to stay strong and act in the best interest of Ghanaians, a member of Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, Dr Clement Apaak said international protocols demand that Ghanaian citizens are treated with respect and human dignity in their host countries.

“We urge our Ambassador to stand firm and not feel intimidated or be pushed to rush and allow for the affected Ghanaians to be deported without the proper and due process being followed,” he said.

The Builsa South legislator said he expects the Foreign Affairs Minister to brief parliament on the latest on the deportation from the U.S.

He said the Minister needs to provide information on who the deportees are, why they are being deported as well as whether they hail from Ghana.

Dr Apaak also called for logistics to be put in place for the Ghanaians so that in the event they are deported they won’t be as traumatic as their exit from the U.S.

 

Africa needs a slice of the European pre-season pie

Staggering is about the only way to describe the numbers coming out of the International Champions Cup played across the United States last month.

Spanish giants Barcelona won the mini-tournament, but it is fair to say that all of the participating teams went home winners on different levels.

It may be only a relatively inconsequential pre-season tournament serving as tune-up games for European giants to find their sea legs, but the benefits showed why the USA and Asia remain preferred destinations for these events rather than Africa.

Launched in 2013 by former NY/NJ MetroStars GM Charlie Stilitiano, who has been involved in previous iterations of these pre-season scrimmages, the ICC appears to have now settled into a money-spinning rhythm.

And it is churning out some heady numbers…

LA Memorial Coliseum, where Real Madrid played City, tweeted that the crowd attendance of 93 098 was the largest to witness a football game at the venue in their 94-year history.

Barcelona vs. Juventus drew 82 104 at MetLife Stadium; Real Madrid vs. Barcelona was witnessed by a sell-out crowd of 66 014 at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium; 67 401 turned up in Florida for the first Manchester Derby outside of England; and 65 109 watched Manchester United edge Real Madrid on penalties at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

Ticket prices for these games ranged from $85 to an eye-popping $3 500. This is outside the fans who paid an average of $25 to watch training sessions or the parking fees on both match-days and training sessions. At the FedEx Field in Maryland, those parking charges were $15-a-head.

And then there were the hotels which ring-fenced the grounds. As of three days before a game, hotels closer than a 15-minute drive from FedEx Field were all fully booked, mostly by fans coming in for the game.

One couple, proudly showing off their Manchester United kit, told KweséESPN that they came all the way from Canada to see the Red Devils play Barcelona. So chalk up air fares too.

Post game, ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft raised surge pricing to nearly 75% as traffic backed up all the way into the stadium.

There was joy for kit sponsors too. Online sales aside, long lines of eager fans lined up all game long purchasing replica shirts, scarves and other merchandise on sale at the grounds.

All of these translated to good news for the clubs’ revenue base. Each of the clubs reportedly earned between $11.7million and $25million for their troubles, with a guarantee for star players to play certain minimum minutes.

It is a win-win for all. All except Africa …

The continent boats an undeniable passion for European football and its stratospheric star power, and while there aren’t very many places on the continent where a tournament like this can mint this level of revenue for the clubs, there are still a fair few which can be developed and grown.

Not long after the ICC, the French Super Cup was played in Morocco to a sold out crowd. Top European clubs have also played pre-season games in South Africa. Everton, complete with Wayne Rooney, were involved in a game in Tanzania.

Although the joint visit of Manchester United and Portsmouth to Nigeria a few years ago was not quite a raging success, the Red Devils still made around £2million for flying in on the morning of the game, playing in the evening, and flying out again on a private jet which organizers say cost about $1milion at the time.

All these prove that there is a market on the African continent to explore – not only for the European clubs, but to give African club sides a chance to test their mettle against some of the world’s best players.

Not to mention the commercial and marketing opportunities available for exploitation. Africa needs a slice of this pie.

Top African done deals of the last seven days

Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu of Ghana Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Across Europe, the new season is already underway, but the beginning of the on-field action hasn’t seen any slowing down of the business off it.

As ever, African players have been the subjects of some of the more eye-catching moves of the window.

Here are five that have got us particularly excited this week.

Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu [Udinese – Bursaspor] loan: Badu had appeared set for a move to England, as while the Ghana international denied there was ever any chance of a move to Huddersfield Town, Birmingham City definitely wanted him in the Midlands.

Harry Redknapp even went so far as to accuse Badu of breaking his promise to play for the Blues after completing a loan move away from the Super Lig to Turkey.

While we’ll now not get the chance to see a fascinating all-African midfield duo of Cheikh Ndoye and Badu in the Championship, Birmingham’s loss should be Bursaspor’s gain…although the Black Star needs to prove that his career hasn’t stalled after a few average seasons.

Kelechi Iheanacho [Manchester City – Leicester City] £25m: One of the biggest moves in world football this weekend saw Iheanacho leave Manchester City for 2016 Premier League champions Leicester.

The Nigeria international had appeared destined for a move away from the Etihad Stadium this summer after being deemed surplus to requirements by Pep Guardiola, although a £50 million buy-back clause inserted by the Sky Blues suggests that someone at the club still believes in the wonderkid.

Despite picking up an injury on his debut, Iheanacho has all the tools to be a big hit at the King Power Stadium – his goals-to-minutes ratio in the Prem demonstrates this – and a partnership with Jamie Vardy should bear fruit.

Mexican Ambassador Calls For Technical Cooperation With Ghana

The Mexican Ambassador to[1] Ghana, Her Excellency, Maria De Los Angeles Arriola Aguirre, has called for a better technical cooperation between Ghana and Mexico to promote investment between the two countries.
Ambassador Arriola Aguirre described Ghana as a safe investment destination, but to fully achieve its potential, there is the need to develop the human resource base of the country through education to build a prosperous economy.
“Education is a better means towards having a stronger economy” she said.

The envoy said this during interactions with the Chief Executive Officer of Start in Ghana Investment Ltd (SiGI), Mr. Yahaya Alhassan, in Accra. SiGI promotes investment between African countries particularly Ghana and Nigeria.

To realise a better technical cooperation, Ambassador Arriola Aguirre revealed that her embassy is currently working with universities in Mexico to sign bilateral agreements with their Ghanaian counterparts for exchange programs involving professors, researchers and students to help Ghana to have better skilled professionals especially in science, where her country has made significant progress.

In the agricultural sector, she pointed that Ghana can take full advantage of her arable land potentials just as Mexico, which represent the 8th largest agricultural economy in the world, did. The Mexican embassy is also encouraging Mexican agro-industries to invest in Ghana due to the good climate and free trade agreement existing here.

On the empowerment of women, she called for more participation of women in policy and decision making in government.

She said over the past ten years, the campaign for the advancement of women has gained greater international attention for gender equality and there has been progress though there is still much to be done.

According to Ambassador Arriola Aguirre her expectation is to see Ghana adopt a political equality system saying, “during Mexico’s 2016 election, the president, Mr. Enrique Pena Nieto, in consultation with Congress and all the political parties agreed to present 50% of Parliamentary Candidates as women. In the end, 40% of females were elected as Parliamentarians”.

She reiterated the need for educating children about the equality of both men and women including making laws for women’s rights to be respected. “Although we cannot change the law, we can change the culture and attitudes.

“On the World Women’s Day, it was established in Mexico that companies having women as Chief Executive Officers have 30% higher productivity level than their male counterparts, which contributed to the living standard of the people” she added.

Source;Ghana Eye