Sampa Chieftaincy Dispute: Police/Military move in to forestall reprisals

The Bono Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has moved a contingent of police and military personnel to forestall sporadic shootings and further reprisals at Sampa, a Ghana-Cote D’Ivoire border town in the Jaman North District of the Bono Region.

A clash erupted between supporters of the two feuding factions of a protracted chieftaincy dispute and left three people dead in the cashew growing town on Good Friday.

The incident occurred in the evening, but the Ghana News Agency (GNA) learnt that relative peace had since returned to the town.

Police had since deposited the bodies of the three young men, yet to be identified, at the Sampa Government Hospital for preservation.

Preliminary investigations conducted by the Jaman District Security Committee (DISEC) revealed that the violent clash erupted between the supporters of Nana Yaw Sammor-Duah, the Omanhene (paramount chief) of Sampa and Nana Samgba Gyafla II, the Sampahene (Sampa chief) over the payment of cashew revenue to the traditional council.

Mr Solom
on Owusu, the Jaman North District Chief Executive, and the Chairman of DISEC, said the payment of cashew royalties earmarked for the Traditional Council for development purposes had been a problem in the area for some time.

‘The two chieftaincy factions and the cashew association even brought the issue to the DISEC, but it has been difficult to resolve for some time now,’ he told the GNA in a telephone interview on Saturday.

Mr Owusu explained that the incident started when supporters of one of the feuding factions, who were on a motorbike, allegedly went to the cashew association office in the town to present a letter to the association to recognise and pay the cashew revenue to their chief.

In the process, supporters of the other faction also arrived there, and a misunderstanding ensued between them, which resulted in sporadic shootings.

Mr Owusu said the REGSEC and the DISEC ‘are fully on the ground’ to avert any further reprisal and called on the residents to remain calm, assuring that ‘we are in abs
olute control of the situation’.

Source: Ghana News Agency

‘Be wary of wealthy people who might lure you into gayism’

_: Pastor Robert Lugushie, the Bono Regional Youth Coordinator, Deeper Life Bible Church, has advised the youth to be cautions of being lured into lesbianism/gayism by wealthy people for riches and power.

He said the lesbian and gay community was an occultic society, and anybody who joined such society had damaged the soul forever.

He described those sexual perversions as devilish with demonic influences and advised the Christian youth to build their trust and confidence in God.

Pastor Lugushie emphasised that with God, the future of the youth was well secured amid the global economic challenges, rising youth unemployment and moral decadence.

‘There is blessings in Jesus Christ. When you serve the Lord faithfully, you are securely protected and preserved from evil,’ he said.

Pastor Lugushie stated this when he delivered a sermon on the topic: ‘Christ still sufficient Today’ during an Easter Retreat of the Church on Good Friday.

Hundreds of young men and women drawn from the various districts are attendi
ng the four-day retreat of the church at Ayakomaso in the Sunyani West Municipality, on the theme: ‘The all-sufficient Jesus’.

The Easter Retreat created the opportunity for the young people to listen to sermons via satellite from Dr William Kumuyi, the General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry.

‘The devil is there to destroy you. So don’t allow those cohorts of the devil to influence you and join them. They don’t have peace and they would never have until they repent from such practices,’ he advised.

‘Sin will just destroy you so please don’t postpon your salvation now. Just make yourself available and Christ will use you’.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Easter: Christians must make Christ’s death worthwhile, meaningful – Rev Wengam

Accra: The Reverend Stephen Wengam, the General Superintendent of Assemblies of God, Ghana, has challenged Christians to make the death of Christ worthwhile and meaningful by prioritising the Great Commission.

He said: ‘The purpose of the death of Christ is to save humanity from sin and usher them into a holy relationship with God.

‘Christ’s death would, therefore, be meaningless if Christians disobey the sending mission of God by failing to disciple their nations and immediate environment.’

Rev Wengam, who doubles as the Vice President of Africa Assemblies of God Alliance, was preaching at the National Easter Convention of Botswana Assemblies of God in Gaborone.

About 12 people gave their lives to Christ during the Good Friday morning service.

Rev Wengam will be speaking at a special seminar for pastors and their spouses alongside the convention.

Bishop John Tsukudu, the General Superintendent of Botswana Assemblies of God, in his welcome remarks, said the Church was poised to achieve the MM33 Agenda o
f the World Assemblies of God Fellowship by trippling the number of churches in Botswana.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill: Majority of Ghanaians have spoken clearly – Bishop Agyenta

Bolgatanga: Most Reverend Alfred Agyenta, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga, has urged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to accept and assent to the Promotion of Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, to make it a law.

He said the Bill, popularly known as Anti Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and more (Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill) has been overwhelmingly endorsed by majority of Ghanaians and there was no need for further delay.

‘The whole Parliament of Ghana has unanimously passed this Bill, so more than 95 per cent of Ghanaians are saying that we don’t want to promote this kind of life (LGBTQ+), what more clarity do we need?’ he questioned.

Speaking on the passion of Jesus Christ as part of the celebration of Easter at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish, Bolgatanga, Most Rev. Agyenta said Pontius Pilate handed Jesus Christ over to be crucified even though he knew he was innocent.

He said it was fear that compelled Pilate to succumb to the demands of the
high priests and those who wanted Jesus Christ to be crucified and urged the President not to succumb to ‘those voices probably convincing him against assenting to the Bill’.

‘I have been wondering whether our President is not in the shoes of Pilate because he knows that the decision of Parliament is the mind of all Ghanaians and yet some people are telling him not to sign this bill because there will be consequences.’

He urged the President to assent to the Bill because the whole of Ghana was behind him.

On spirituality, the bishop explained that although the pursuit for money was good as it would help to undertake certain projects necessary for development, one should not prioritise material needs over spiritual growth.

He, therefore, warned Christians, particularly Catholics, to desist from placing monetary values on sacred items such as holy water and anointing oil.

‘We all need money but you cannot put value on sacred things because the rule of the church is that the salvation of all is more importa
nt than anything we are able to do with money…’

He explained that the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was a reminder for Christians to reflect and accept that they were sinners and ask for strength to desist from evil acts.

Source: Ghana News Agency

CREDA sensitises stakeholders on gender-based violence

Tamale: The Centre for Research and Development Alternatives (CREDA), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has engaged with parents, guardians and adolescents living with disabilities in the Sagnarigu Municipality of the Northern Region on gender-based violence to prevent its occurrence.

The Centre, at a sensitisation workshop in partnership with Norsaac, an NGO, touched on the fundamental human rights of persons living with disability, social misconceptions about gender and disability, and improving parents’ knowledge on nurturing children with special needs.

Mr Abukari Iddrisu, the Programme Manager, CREDA, said the project sought to prevent gender-based violence among people living with disability (PWDs).

‘You know that violence and discrimination emanate from homes to the public and in trying to curb this menace, you need to involve parents, who are the primary protectors and caregivers for young people with disability,’ he said.

He expressed confidence of the workshop empowering participants to bec
ome more aware of gender-based violence and related issues in their immediate environment, and effectively manage disability issues when the need arose.

Madam Bushira Alhassan, the Acting Northern Regional Director, Department of Gender, urged parents to report cases of violence and abuse against PWDs to the appropriate authorities for support.

She appealed to the public to desist from calling PWDs by their conditions, saying that was not right.

Madam Sahada Abukari, the Northern Regional President, Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations, commended the workshop organisers for recognising parents and guardians of children with disability.

She urged participants to speak against violence, discrimination and human rights abuse on PWDs by ensuring attitudinal change among members of the public.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Hypertension snatching Ghana’s vibrant economy to an early grave

Accra: Nii Martey (Not his real name), 27-year-old, is the second of four siblings of the Martey Kenkey family of Labadi in Accra.

Although his parents were not too rich, they managed to see him through the University of Ghana where he bagged a degree in Business Administration.

Completing his tertiary education brought his family so much joy, as the first graduate of the family, his parents, and siblings looked up to him to acquire a well-paid job to turn the fortunes of the family around.

One year after his national service, the reality of unemployment took a toll on Nii Martey, he had no option than to serve as a conductor, ‘mate’ in a commercial vehicle- ‘trotro’ to support his siblings and sick father.

Soon, he became a ‘trotro’ driver, acquired a sprinter bus on credit and became a master of his own. Nii Martey became the bread winner of this family when his father died of hypertension.

In efforts to meet the demands of his family and offset his car loan, the young man worked tirelessly from dawn t
o dust without rest and any proper diet.

Adopting to the lifestyle of a typical trotro driver on the streets of Accra, Nii Martey started his day at 2:00am, spends about 90 per cent of his time behind the steering wheel, with no break to stretch his muscles, rest, and eat properly.

The young man was now addicted to energy drinks, meat pies, buff loafs, and foods sold on the streets and in traffic. He had one heavy meal after 10 pm in the night and retired to bed after 10:30 pm every day.

One rainy morning, Nii Martey started his day at 4 am instead of the usual 2 am, at about 7 am, while at work, he experienced a severe headache and chest pain, he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital.

His blood pressure had shot up to 200/120mmHg upon arrival at the hospital, after a first examination the doctors confirmed he had a stroke, he died after two years of this condition.

Just like Nii Martey, the work demands, harsh economic conditions and poor lifestyles contribute to the high numbers of hypertension, a N
on-Communicable Diseases (NCDs); leading to the numerous ‘Gone too soon,’ ‘What a Shock’ and ‘Painful Exit’ posters of persons 40 years and below seen on the streets of Accra.

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) is when the pressure in your blood vessels is too high (140/90 mmHg or higher). It is common but can be serious if not diagnosed and treated on time.

In Ghana, the Non-Communicable Disease Programme recorded 622,849 cases of hypertension in 2022.

The World Health Organization estimates that hypertension affects 33 per cent of adults (1.3 billion) aged 30-79 worldwide with one in every three adults living with the condition.

Data from the WHO shows that 46 per cent of people with hypertension are undiagnosed, 58 per cent of people with hypertension are untreated and only 21 per cent of people with the condition under control.

People with very high blood pressure (usually 180/120 or higher) can experience symptoms including severe headaches, chest pain dizziness, difficulty breathing, nausea, and vo

Medical experts say blurred vision or other vision changes, anxiety, confusion, buzzing in the ears, nosebleeds and abnormal heart rhythm are all symptoms of hypertension.

Like Martey, most Ghanaians usually do not check the status of their blood pressure, until they are ill.

Dr Abena Asamoabea Okoh, the Metropolitan Director of Health Services, Accra Metropolis, expressed concern with the rate at which a lot of the youth are entering their early grave due to sedentary lifestyles.

She said Ghanaians, especially the youth have moved away from the tradition of preparing healthy meals at home to fast foods, which are high in salt and fats.

‘People do not cook at home due to the influx of fast-food joints. Fast foods have become a reward and gift for children doing well in their academics and on their birthdays which are unhealthy and unfortunately, these children grow up and think these foods are good,’ she added.

She said the increasing rate of smoking among the youth, and indiscriminate intake of
alcohol push them towards NCDs like hypertension.

Dr Okoh urged the public to make conscious efforts to exercise regularly after the day’s work adding that, exercising around the house at one’s convenience for at least 15 minutes or walking from time to time, especially for those who own cars would help to maintain a healthy body.

She said hypertension had become a danger because most people are not aware of taking the necessary steps to manage it, causing most strokes, and heart attacks.

‘In ensuring the implementation of the 2022 National Non-Communicable Disease Policy, educational campaigns especially on prevention are being done in Hospitals, communities, and schools and through their wellness clinics, which offers screenings for hypertension,’ the medical doctor said.

She stressed the need for the public to make conscious efforts to adopt healthy lifestyles saying, there should be constant reminders of the need to exercise, and the provision of a conducive environment that promotes exercising, and m
ore sidewalks free of motorcycles to encourage people to exercise.

Dr Kenneth Connell, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of West Indies, in a public lecture on hypertension, urged Ghanaians to have a blood pressure monitor at home for regular checks.

He said making blood pressure monitors available in every home was crucial because the fact that about 50 per cent of patients living with hypertension or high blood pressure are not aware of their status was a failure of public health.

He said to explore indigenous measures to address the problem, there was a need for innovations to improve access to care, such as telehealth and remote blood pressure monitoring.

London is now consciously making it difficult for people to park their cars in town, which has led to more people cycling to improve their health, in a bid to keep people physically active.

Similarly in Cape Town, South Africa, continuous efforts are being made to reduce the number of cases, hence, gyms or places of exercise
have been made available at vantage points where people can walk in at any time to exercise as much as they want free of charge.

On March 26, 2024, the Ugandan government in its quest to ‘tame the rising burden of lifestyle disease’ in the country instructed all civil servants to spend two hours a week doing physical exercise to keep them fit and healthy.

These are good policy initiatives that Ghana can adopt to help address the rising cases of lifestyle diseases in the country.

The country’s future lies in the hands of the teeming youth, and they must be healthy to take up the mantle from the ageing leaders.

Source: Ghana News Agency