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A phone call away from death – the story of two fire disaster victims — June 11, 2015

A phone call away from death – the story of two fire disaster victims

1.4401341As families and friends struggle to come to terms with the loss of their loved ones in the twin disaster of flood and fire, the harrowing stories of how hundreds of people tragically perished are emerging.

The late Vida Sackie had closed her provision shop located at the epicenter of the fire disaster; the GOIL filling station on that fateful day. She was heading home when a call came through; little did the mother of three know answering that phone call will eventually lead to her demise. That call was to inform her about her shop that had been flooded as a result of the torrential rains.

Sackie decided to go back to check on her investment and protect it, according to her sister Maame Ama, but got trapped and died in the process and ended up at the 37 Military Hospital morgue.

“We went to the Police Hospital on Thursday to look for her. I went into the mortuary, I searched everywhere, all the people there she wasn’t part. So they asked us to go to the 37 Military Hospital. So when we went there, she was the third person lying inside the mortuary.

A daughter of the late Sackie is writing the Basic Education Certificate Examination on Monday.

Alex Odoi, a police officer also lost a daughter to the disaster. Odoi’s 17-year-old daughter had joined her friends at the Accra Mall for a party on that fateful day. As fate would have it, the taxi she and her friends took on their way home decided to seek for refuge at the Circle GOIL filling station which subsequently exploded in fire.

The grieving police officer shared how he eventually found the body of his daughter.

“At that night I didn’t know my daughter was part of those who died because I waited till 10pm to 12am and said maybe she had slept over at a friend’s place. The next morning I just went to the friend’s place at Mataheko and her friend’s mother also said they didn’t return from the party.

“I sensed danger so we started to look for them from Korle Bu to Ridge Hospital through the Police Hospital and finally I found her dead at the 37 Military Hospital mortuary,” Odoi stated.

The government has put the official death toll at 152 although media reports quote over 200.

source ; DON BILLY

Adam Mahama’s death: Afoko reappears in court today — June 9, 2015

Adam Mahama’s death: Afoko reappears in court today

Younger brother of New Patriotic Party (NPP) National Chairman, Paul Afoko is set to make a re-appearance before an Accra Magistrate court today.

Gregory Afoko is the prime suspect in the murder of the NPP’s Upper East regional chairman, Adams Mahama.

Gregory and his accomplice, Musa Essa are suspected to have carried out the acid attack which resulted in the death of Mr. Mahama.
At the last court sitting, the Presiding judge remanded both accused persons into Police custody after rejecting bail applications by their lawyers.
Afoko’s lawyers expressed concerns over the charge sheet which associates their client with the national chairman of the opposition party.

The court is today expected to give direction on the matter.

During the last appearance, the Rasta haired man who appeared in long sleeves matching his brown trousers looked on helplessly as Judge Worlanyo Kotoku adjourned the case.

story by DON BILLY

Ghana petrol station inferno kills about 150 in Accra —

Ghana petrol station inferno kills about 150 in Accra

Some 150 people have died in a fire at a petrol station in Ghana’s capital, Accra, officials say.

The fire on Wednesday night started as people in the city were trying to cope with two days of heavy rain, which has left many homeless and without power.

The flooding hampered rescue efforts and may have led to the fire, the BBC’s Sammy Darko reports from Accra.

President John Dramani Mahama has announced three days of national mourning to begin on Monday.

It is thought that people were in the petrol station sheltering from the downpours when the fire broke out, our correspondent says.

A further 25 people have died in the floods, officials say.

President Mahama visited the burnt-out petrol station and described the deaths as “catastrophic” and “almost unprecedented”.

He vowed to take tough measures to stop people building on waterways, which appeared to have been a factor in the disaster.

“I think that the time has come for us to remove houses out of water and the public should understand that it is necessary to save everybody else,” he said.

Following an emergency meeting of cabinet and security chiefs on how to tackle flooding, the government says it will release £9m ($14m) to help flood victims.

Schools were closed across the capital and children asked to stay at home.

Two days of heavy rain has brought much of the city to its knees.

There are chaotic scenes with cars being carried away by the water and many roads blocked off.

Hundreds have been trapped in their offices and some have been forced to spend the night in their cars as traffic came to a standstill.


Parts of Accra have been left without power as electricity sub-stations have been damaged in the flooding, which is making the ongoing energy shortages even worse.

Many homes have been flooded and people have been wandering around in their nightclothes after being forced to leave their beds.

One man told a local radio station that he had put his children on top of a wardrobe to save them from the water coming into his house.

Weather forecasters are saying that more rain is on its way.

Correction 5 June: This story was amended to make it clear that 150 people are believed to have died in the petrol station blaze and 25 from the flooding._83411309_840a6b03-00ed-48f5-97b0-ba1c75519023 _83414190_apznqopw3rpw2juaf0rsa5ylnuvsjtp3-mu7ulbmklo3 _83414782_a6325c72-c692-4ef9-baf3-68354550c160 _83414784_f2b86ddd-e2c3-43e9-8d0a-86012bff8835

DON BILLY`S Library: Letter from 37 Morgue to Ghana’s vultures —

DON BILLY`S Library: Letter from 37 Morgue to Ghana’s vultures

It is with deep sorrow I write from the mortuary freezer where I am currently struggling for space with more than 200 persons just to get our useless bodies preserved for the personal interest of your ilk in Ghana. Currently, we await your final sympathy for us to be discharged from this stinking cold room and forever planted in the belly of the planet earth. Unfortunately, we cannot germinate like seeds put under the ground do because after we get corrupted, it is only our scars and bones which would remain and since we currently lack Prophet Ezekiel of old in current Ghana, we can only wait for our creator to come in to judge us some day according to our deeds during our short stay in the West African country.

I can’t hide my pain as I admit that I looked forward to completing a great task when I first arrived from my mother’s womb. Indeed, the joy and smiles that I saw in the faces of persons who stood by my mother’s hospital bed encouraged me further that I had come to meet my kind that would help me accomplish all the dreams I had since the day of my conception. What about the warm gratuities that persons who came to my father’s home to congratulate my mother brought? I must admit they further added to my hopes and I was encouraged to dream further.

Gradually, this compassion and sympathy for me vanished as I crawled and finally started walking through the different stages of life put in place by colleague specimens of the human species. By the time I finished Junior High School, I fully understood that ‘life is indeed the survival of the fittest’ since no one and I repeat no one came on board to help my mother raise us up when my father passed on at age ten. I can vividly remember how I had to help other people in their farms just to raise money for my school fees. The wickedness of man was practically displayed when in one of my rounds; I weeded the farm of my classmate’s mother while my classmates were studying in class. Like you are thinking, I asked if I would be subjected to same treatment if I was his child.

Finally, upon completing JHS and the abysmal report released, I was compelled to migrate to Kumasi to find a non-existing job to help me meet the needs of my mum and the other younger siblings. But as fate would have it, I ended up in prison after I was arrested as part of some ‘kubolors’ in a suspected robbery. After my release, a friend introduced me to carpet business and I was promised heaven if I could make it to Accra to engage in it. And today, as I lie in this stinking cold room staring at mutilated bodies of like species, I curse the day I decided to migrate to Accra to earn a living. Of course, I have to because I never made the millions despite walking several miles to market carpets to persons who only trooped to Kwame Nkrumah Circle to watch my drowned and persons charred bodies being loaded onto a KIA truck by colleague hustlers.

At least, as a guy from Ohia ma Adwene, I know little or nothing at all about happenings in other countries because I never knew where the Airport even was. However, I watched on TV how dead bodies were picked and carried in bags after tragedies, so how come we were dishonuorably packed into KIA trucks intended for goods? The first sign of disrespect for the dead was by doing that. What a shame. Ghanaian vultures must bow their heads in shames for loading us like sand and stones instead of putting us in body bags and then into ambulances.   

What on earth did I bother to go and do at that filling station on the night of the rains at all? The telephone call that alerted me that my carpets are getting drowned did me in. But be it as it may, fate is fate and no man has escaped it – whether good or bad.

However, I believe I wouldn’t have attempted to travel to Kumasi or end up in Accra at all if as a teen, I had gained employment in my hometown. The District Assembly at my end is occupied by persons who though are nearing retirement, but have either back-dated their dates of birth or all working to get their family members to take over from them. ‘Aban Adwuma’ but yet people think it should be family business so what would I do? I blame the government for not inching further to provide more work at the local level, if it has, we wouldn’t have been choked in the cities. Though am gone, and everything I have to offer on earth has ended, I still see more sufferings especially as many more of my likes are waiting to complete JHS and join their brothers to sleep in the open in capital cities.

Life in Accra was not easy at all, for the five years that I started life in the busy for nothing city, we awaited for the annual ritual of flooding. And like the Canadian who placed a bet of $10,000 on the re-occurrence of Accra disaster said, we always received uncountable promises of fixing the problem. Though my eyes are forever shut, and my brain would very soon decompose under the heated earth, I can still remember the day uncle ‘Abodwese’ came to promise to deal with the floods. Who was I then to disbelieve him, as a neophyte I jumped and clapped for joy because we lost some carpets that year, but for five years running, he did what every one of you on earth can see – billboards celebrating a vague achievement. And today, I lie here awaiting a judgment from a maker who has given us the will to reason but we have thrown it to the dogs.

I know you are waiting to know how I ended up here, but before then let me categorically condemn the vultures in Ghana. Our leaders are vultures and I repeat they are vultures. My reason is that like the scavenger, we always say within our hearts that we would build a nest anytime the rain beats us. However, when the rain stops, we hop straight to eat carcasses forgetting about our vowed promises. For how long have Ghanaians not complained and yet nothing has been done about our problems, my living friend, we are all vultures and we must admit.

So as I stood chatting with my brother, Oluman, about the floods and how we will vacate for a different location after that, a friend informed us that there was ravaging fire approaching us. Before we could say jack, the fire was already burning on the surface of the flooding waters. After engulfing the environment, it finally made its way to the filling station, causing the fuel to explode. According to a mortuary mate who was in a sprinter vehicle, their driver decided to pass by the filling station for a top up and also park for some time and wait for the floods to subside before moving. He said their vehicle was the second to be consumed after the petrol tanker and he and the several persons had no time to say their last prayers. ‘Over twenty people in the bus all perished…,” he said as he wept in this freezing weather. Well, I was drowned but I am no way better because we are all dead.

Once again, I blame the vultures in Ghana for this. And in a weeping mood, I, Joe together with all the dead mates in 37 and other mortuaries, say the vultures in Ghana must be up and doing before we get more mates in the coming years. I promise to write back to you when we finally get to Asamando and tell you about Ghosts reception.

Before I say Adieu, let me repeat the calls Anyansafour eeeiii, mowo hen? Where are the sensible persons to help us kill the VULTURE attitude in us? Are they waiting for you to die and once more, jump unto your carcasses like they are doing with ours for sympathy? Enough is enough. Ghana VULTURES. Adieu.

story by; DON BILLY

Stonebwoy drops Sheekenah Ft. R2bees — May 5, 2015

Stonebwoy drops Sheekenah Ft. R2bees

47006259.295VGMA’s 2015 Artiste of the Year winner, Stonebwoy, has delivered another single ‘Sheekenah’ featuring Tema hitmakers, R2bees.

R2bees made up of Mugeez and Paedae added a different spice to the single other than what listeners are used to.

Stonebwoy’s delivery showcases his maturity in dancehall and Paedae would not settle for less with his rap technic and ability to blend genres.

Mugeez, known for his soft voice and soothing singing style possessed the song with his rich and powerful ragga style ‘Shekenah’ is a dancehall song produced by Beatz Dakay

Story by billy alfred k. boateng

EC boss race: Emmanuel Akwetey flaunts credentials — April 23, 2015

EC boss race: Emmanuel Akwetey flaunts credentials

The Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance has defended his public service credentials as media reports tip him to become the next chairman of the Electoral Commission.

Dr. Afari Gyan retires in June this year and a search for his replacement is currently ongoing.

Media reports suggest Dr. Akwetey is among some five individuals shortlisted for the post.

But in a statement, Dr. Akwetey said although he has contributed immensely towards the country’s electoral process, he has never served as a senior aide to any president or vice president.

Below is the full statement by Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey

My attention has been drawn to a story captioned ‘Race for the EC Job – 5 Shortlisted’ on the front page of the Daily Guide of Wednesday, April 22, 2015. I write to correct the factual errors relating to my record of public service to God and country in the said story. When rumours and speculation started last year that I might be selected to fill a vacant post of Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), I refrained from commenting on my interest in the matter. I have consistently stuck to that line of action believing that it is the proper thing to do.

Unfortunately, I am compelled to comment now because of the inaccurate record of my public service published in the media. I wish to state categorically that I have never worked as a senior aide to any President or Vice President of Ghana. This fact is verifiable in all public records in the country including the media.

On the contrary, I have been deeply involved in public service, demonstrating commitment to advancing the national interest at all times in a non-partisan, impartial, honest and consistent manner. I have worked primarily in civil society and from that location, actively and effectively engaged political leaders, public servants, business leaders, eminent chiefs, diplomats, heads of multilateral and bilateral development organizations at national, regional and global levels on issues of electoral reforms, democracy and good governance and inclusive development and nation-building. The details are public knowledge and well publicized.

However, in the context of the current discussion, I wish to stress that my roles in IDEG and the CFI in the 2008 and 2012 elections have been widely acclaimed, including, but not limited to providing technical advice and public outreach support to the Electoral Commission, the Judiciary, the National Peace Council, the National House of Chiefs, Manhyia Palace, the security agencies, political parties and bilateral and multilateral partners, all of which are actively supporting the electoral and democratic development processes in Ghana.

Our work in Ghana has been innovative and has successfully inspired civic and state actors interventions in difficult elections in several African countries including Nigeria, Liberia, Senegal, and Kenya.

Presently, Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) and the Civic Forum Initiative (CFI) continue to be involved in multi-actor dialogue about constitutional and electoral reform in furtherance of peace, stability, national cohesion and inclusive development not only in Ghana but also in Africa.

Boy,17, stabs playmate at Osino —

Boy,17, stabs playmate at Osino

Police at Osinor in the Eastern region have launched a manhunt for a 17-year-old JHS student who is accused of stabbing his colleague.

Kwasi Reindorf allegedly stabbed Godfred Apraku for instigating a tackle on him during a football match.

The victim is under critical condition at the Koforidua Central Hospital.

Narrating the incident to Starr News, a Police officer with the Osina Police command Sergeant Joseph Butts said the police, as part of its investigations, will speak to the victim to give them a firsthand account of what exactly happened.

“The victim was wounded but we will try and speak to him if he can tell us what exactly took place.

“His mother was the one who came to report the case, but she wasn’t there when the incident occurred but we need to know exactly what happened,” he said

  • story ; billy alfred k boateng
South Africans have betrayed Africa – Mahama —

South Africans have betrayed Africa – Mahama

1.3112392       President Mahama has described as unfortunate xenophobic attacks on black migrants in South Africa.

“It’s most regrettable and most unfortunate. I think that the young people of South Africa do not know what happened before they gained their freedom,” President Mahama said in an interaction with the media in Nigeria.

Over 10 people have been confirmed dead in xenophobic attacks in the rainbow nation. The locals accuse the black foreigners of taking over their jobs rendering them jobless.

Several African leaders including President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe have condemned the attacks describing them as disgraceful.

President Mahama added that the behaviour of South Africa betrays the other African countries who led the fight against apartheid.

“The whole of this continent stood behind South Africa, the whole of Africa stood behind South Africa to fight apartheid. Indeed for several of the countries where their citizens were brutalized in South Africa, these are countries that were called front line space that haboured the freedom fighters of South Africa that gave them safe haven, gave them passports to be able to avoid the clutches of the apartheid regime.

“So it is regrettable that the same people who fought against apartheid are being attacked in this way,” Mahama said.

Zuma must sit up

President Mahama also called on President Zuma to sit up and ensure that attacks on black foreigners is brought to an end.

“I think that the government must sit up and take strong action, those who have been involved in this atrocity must be brought to book and must be punished so that it serves as a deterrent so it doesn’t happen in future.”

“The unfortunate thing is that this is not the first time, it keeps flaring up, and so while we are condemning this incident we must work with the South African government to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

“We are trying to create an integrated continent where our people can move freely amongst our countries. This does not set a good example for integration especially South Africa that have investment all over our countries.”


story by; billy Alfred K. Boateng




Hilife veterany  Daddy Lumba (DL) visited the flagbearer of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo at his office in Accra on Monday.

“Daddy Lumba and his son, Charles Kojo Fosu jnr, paid me a visit in my office a few minutes ago,” Mr Akufo-Addo said in a post on his Facebook page.

Mr Akufo-Addo recently told Bola Ray on Starr Chat on Starr 103.5fm that Daddy Lumba (DL) is “high” on his list of “favourite” musicians.
The three-time flagbearer said in that interview that DL’s recent hit song ‘Ye Nea Woho Beto Wo’, also called ‪#‎YentieObiaa‬ is one of his favourite songs composed by the celebrated entertainer.

‘Ye Nea Woho Beto Wo’ was adjudged Highlife Song of the Year at the recently held Vodafone Ghana Music Awards ceremony. It also won Lumba Highlife Artiste of the Year given the attention it has received, becoming a street anthem within a short period of its release.

The president, John Dramani Mahama, was seen dancing to the song with Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II at the Manhyia Palace a couple of months ago.

He is also on record to have requested for the copyright to the track, hinting it might be used in 2016 as one of the NDC’s campaign songs.

story by; Billy Alfred K. Boateng

Pregnant Muslim widow to be flogged in public for having sex — April 20, 2015

Pregnant Muslim widow to be flogged in public for having sex

1.2991247A 23-year-old widow in Akyem Tafo in the Eastern region is to be given 100 lashes in public for defying a major Islamic principle regarding widowhood.

Ramatu Alhassah is facing the wrath of Muslim clerics in her community for getting pregnant while observing Iddah–a widowhood rite that requires that she abstains from sex.

However, she was found to have been pregnant just two months into the widowhood rites.

Clerics in the community have been angered by the development and intend subjecting Ramatu and her boyfriend to public flogging as punishment.

Deputy Chief Imam at Akyem Tafo Mallam Madhi Ahmed told  BTA News the punishment must be applied to the couple in line with Islamic principles and teachings.

“The law says that if something of such nature happens and they are not married, they should be given 100 lashes.

“If they are married, then they have to be executed. In this case, the boy is not married but the girl is still in the room of her husband so the law has to take effect on her.

“If it were to be other countries like Saudi Arabia, she would be executed because the act happened in the same room and on the same bed she used to sleep with her late husband,” Mallam Ahmed said.

story by; Billy Alfred k Boateng