The University of Ghana Community is preparing to petition President John Mahama to remove Colonel Larry Gbevlo Lartey as National Security Coordinator. Members of the University community, parents, friends and alumni of the
University of Ghana as well as some Ghanaians, both home and abroad, are signing a petition online and on hard copy, to make the demand.
They are unhappy about the destruction of a toll booth under construction at the Okponglo section of the road leading to the University of Ghana campus by the National Security Coordinator.
Gbevlo Lartey claimed the toll booth was a “nuisance” because it was causing lots of traffic and so decided to demolish it.
The administrator of the ‘sack Gbevlo Lartey campaign’, Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo told Joy News that for a National Security Coordinator to come to the campus of the university to breakdown a property without a court order and without notice to the university management, is worrying and surprising.
Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo does not know what next would be destroyed by Gbevlo Lartey if he considers those other properties a nuisance.She said they will present the petition to the president once they get a 1,000 signatories.She was quick to add though that the campaign is not an initiative of the University of Ghana management but that of a concerned people living within the university community.
Describing the president as an “alumnus” and a “listening president,” Professor Adomako Ampofo hoped their petition will receive the kind attention of the president and will duly act on it.She said the university community now feels insecure and the least the president could do is to appoint somebody, who can handle issues more “sensitively.”
According to her, the national security advisor may have other competencies in other areas, which might be useful to the state.
Asked what the campaigners would do if the president refuses to sack Gbevlo Lartey, Prof Adomako Ampofo said they are law abiding citizens and would not take the law into their hands.
“We can’t compel the president to sack him,” she noted.
Col. Gbevlo Lartey has told Joy News he has seen the petition online but said it is the right of citizens in a democracy to make that demand.
Meanwhile, the University of Ghana has said the campaign to get Gbevlo Lartey sacked is independent of the university.
Public Relations officer of the University, Stella Amoah said some of the members of the university board and management may be sympathetic to the cause and may be signatories as and when they wish.
For those of you who might think that petitioning and activism is strange in this country, think again. In 1993, there was a petition by citizens led to the removal of Warrant Officer Salifu Amankwah. At the time he was a state operative at the Holy Gardens, Accra, responsible for maintaining order and discipline. In carrying out his duties he murdered an innocent man and was sentenced to death, but later received a presidential pardon from then President Rawlings, who also reinstated him to his position at the Holy Gardens. A citizen petition was initiated that eventually led to the removal of Salifu Amnakwah.
The point is, if people were able to be successful in a para-military era, certainly activism can make a change.
Martin Luther King reminds us that “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people”. May we not be silent.
If you feel like adding your signature to the petition see the link below.
Feel free to leave any comments and questions.
This week, Tunisia passed a truly historic constitution widely heralded as a progressive and monumental document.
Here’s just some of what these brave elected representatives agreed upon in the face of strong pressure from the more extreme factions of their parties:
- Guaranteed equality between men and women
- A constitutional mandate for environmental protection, only the third country in the world to do so
- A declaration that health care is a human right, with preventative care and treatment for every citizen
- A democracy with civil laws that respects freedom of religion
- An established right to due process and protection from tortureIn one stroke,Tunisia’s become more democratic than many Western countries have been for years.
This is a revolution of democracy and a great victory for human rights — and the more we recognize that, the more Tunisia can shine as an example for the Western and the Arab world!
Congratulate the Legislators!
MESSAGE FOR TUNISIAN LEGISLATORS: We , the citizens of the world, applaud your bravery in making a strong commitment to universal human values in your constitution. People deprived of democracy around the world look to you to set the example of human rights and democratic principle — hold true to the promises made in this revolutionary document!
Of the 54 African Government websites, 38 rank very poor, 3 are poor, 4 are average, 2 are ‘Timed Out’ , 1 is under maintenance, 1 does not exist, 4 are good and only 1 of 54 is ranked excellent. In this age of technological advancement, it is becoming increasingly easy to educate and inform through the internet. It is important that the state of governmental websites and pages all around the continent improve to let the world know more about the various governmental policies of African countries, and the history of our rich Continent. This should not be a problem as Africa is home to many tech hubs, IT Entrepreneurs & Social Entrepreneurs.
For me, it happened whilst in secondary school. I’m not sure what exactly triggered it. It could’ve been the people, or the clubs and society. Or perhaps, the board that hung up at the top of our assembly hall that spelt our motto “Knowledge in the Service of Africa”. I’m still not sure what it was but I know I haven’t looked back since.
From all the TV and movies we’ve watched, all the magazines we’ve glanced through, it’s not uncommon to realize that at some point we wanted be some mix of races to dilute our Africanness. It was cool to shorten and Anglicize our traditional African names, especially common with our Nigerian friends; ‘Abasiodiong’ would become ‘Abby’, pronounced with a distinctively foreign accent. But then, at some points in our lives we woke up to wholly accept our Africanness.
We’ve started trends in African fashion and pop culture; we now pick our spicy jollof rice over that Chinese or continental dish. We have begun to write more and more about our stories, tales and identities. Most importantly, we engage with our Africanness to become integral parts of the solutions to the challenges we face. This newfound love has gone ahead to create a demand for everything African, and now, even the large global media giants cannot help but have African twists, features and broadcasts to capture our interests.
When did you start saying, “Yes, I’m from Africa” instead of “I’m not, but my parents are”? When did Afrobeats begin to fill your playlists? Just about every African, especially those in the diaspora can relate to the struggle of having been intimidated for being African. And those who have gone past intimidation to pride would agree with me, it’s an awesome feeling.
We doff our hats off to the Achebes and Soyinkas who made African literature cool, the Dbanjs and Sarkodies who put African music on the map, or the Kofi Annans who continue to make sure we’re represented at the helm of affairs. To keep this cool for the continent we love so much, we’ll have to work hard to maintain our African excellence.
So, this month of love, as Rise Africa, we’ll talk about that moment when you fell in love with your Africanness. We’ll go beyond that to talk of how we can sustain this cool. We will see what roles the diaspora and the continent have to foster that love for our continent, and for the generations after us.
Our goal is to build a community of Africans who have the confidence to speak their voice and the awareness to engage in productive conversation with one another about the shared and unique lives we live as Africans and members of the African diaspora. We imagine an Africa, where we’re all involved. As always, we value your participation.
By Michael Kobby Annor
February 1, 1871: Georgia’s 1st African American congressman, Jefferson Franklin Long (1836-1901) became the 1st African American to speak on the floor of the US House of Representatives.
Read more on Jefferson Franklin Long by CLICKING HERE.
Today marks the beginning of Black History Month, an entire month dedicated to remembering important individuals and events that took place in the African Diaspora to change the course of history.
Over the course of the month, we’ll look at the contributions these men and women made specifically to Mother Africa.
Enjoy the month!
For those who have been following tech events in Ghana over the past week, you are aware of the MEST UNICEF Hackathon, which happened at MEST from the 15th – 17th January. It was the largest gathering of techies I had seen since the DevCongress conference. You couldn’t tell whether it was for social good, since it was a UNICEF collaboration, or for the GHC 5000 cash prize.
Over the next 3 days, it was all about forming teams, coming up with ideas, hacking and finally pitching the solutions.
The first day passed as teams formed related to the problem sets presented. In total, there we about 26 teams on the first day, tackling the following problem sets:
For each of the problem sets, UNICEF gave current solutions they had come up with. The real task was coming up with more technology-related ideas they could implement to solve these teething social issues. On the second and third days, teams continued with building the products as the ideas become more clearer, and the Friday afternoon deadline kept approaching.
On Friday afternoon, the pitches began at 2.30 pm on the dot! You would expect that because there were 26 teams pitching and demoing! Most of the solutions centered on USSD, SMS, IVR & J2ME applications considering the fact that most rural dwellers in Ghana are still on feature phones, and some don’t even speak English. Generally, most solutions were practical.
At 5.45pm, after 23 teams pitched (yep, some of the teams didn’t pitch their solutions), and with constructive feedback from the judges, the time had come! It took about 45 mins for the judges to deliberate who the winner was.
- Claude Ayitey