Ghana: Ghana media report ruling party's campaign launch, commissioning of new oil field

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – The campaign launch of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) last Sunday, and the commissioning of a new oilfield offshore the Western Region were some of the stories reported by the media in Ghana this week.

The media also highlighted the dismissal by the human rights court in Accra of a case filed by Mr Paul Afoko, the chairman of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), against his suspension by the party.

With the 7 December presidential and parliamentary elections approaching, President John Dramani Mahama and his centre-left NDC have plunged into full action with the launch at their campaign at the Cape Coast sports stadium in the Central Region, a swing region in Ghana.

The state-owned Graphic in story under the headline, “I’m confident of NDC victory - President Mahama” reported that the NDC launched its 2016 election campaign in style with President Mahama predicting that although the elections would be tough, he was confident that his party would triumph.

He, therefore, urged members to remain focused by working hard to clinch the much desired victory. He said the NDC had a track record which it must work on to achieve victory. The party has won 4 of 6 elections held since 1992, the beginning of the Fourth Republic. The NPP has won 2.

The Graphic said thousands attended the event to listen to their flag bearer give his message of hope.

The newspaper said President Mahama took a swipe at the opposition NPP, labelling it as an intolerant party. In a sarcastic punch, he said the NPP “has won an Olympic gold medal in insults”.

President Mahama also questioned the leadership qualities of the NPP flag bearer, Nana Akufo-Addo. "The mark of a leader is one who is able to unite his supporters behind him. They are now quick to commend people who hurl insults at me and my government. Even former President J. A. Kufuor (of the NPP) has not been spared the brunt of their attacks," he said.

President Mahama also said it was unjustified the way the NPP had attacked the Electoral Commission (EC).

The headline of the state-owned Ghanaian Times read, “Our record will give us victory - President Mahama assures NDC supporters.”

The story said President Mahama last Sunday launched the ruling NDC’s campaign with optimism that the performance record of his administration would secure the party another term.

The campaign, which has the theme, “Changing lives; Transforming Ghana,” comes ahead of the launch of the party’s 2016 manifesto in about three weeks.

President Mahama, then Vice President, took office in July 2012 after President John Evans Atta Mills passed on six months to the elections. He went on to win the 2012 elections, and hopes to win a second term after what the party describes as a successful first term.

The story said the Cape Coast Sports Stadium was filled beyond its 16,000 seating capacity with rank and file of the party.

The Graphic in another story under the headline, “J.J. calls on NDC to dictate terms of elections,” reported that the founder of the NDC, former President Jerry John Rawlings, urged the party to dictate the terms for this year’s elections.

“We cannot afford to fight them on their terms. Let us not mimic their behaviour, otherwise we will run into serious problems,” he said.

Rawlings said the NDC could win the December polls only if it properly dealt with its internal weaknesses and called for a return to the values that underpinned the formation of the party.

“If we can hold on to those principles and values, we can move into the future and no one can defeat us. We will ride and override every obstacle that confronts us,” said Rawlings, who is a vocal critic of his own party. His wife, Nana Konadu, broke away from the NDC in 2012 in a bitter row with the party to form the National Democratic Party (NDP), after she failed in the bid to be the party's presidential candidate in 2012. Their eldest daughter, Dr Zanetor Rawlings, is a parliamentary candidate of the NDC.

“Oil flows from TEN as Prez turns on valve,” was the headline of the Graphic on the commissioning of the new oilfield.

The story said the first oil from the Tweneboa Enyera Ntomme (TEN) project began flowing on Thursday morning when President Mahama ceremonially turned on the production valve to mark the commencement of first oil production.

With that, it said, crude oil was flowing from the TEN fields to the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, FPSO Professor John Evans Atta Mills.

He toured the FSPO and commended the partners of the oilfield for the execution of the project on time and on budget over a period of three years after the government had approved the Plan of Development in May 2013.

The President was delighted by the deliberate effort on the part of the partners to ensure local content in the TEN Project, compared to the first major oilfield project, the Jubilee project, which was fast-tracked.

“Even though the world market is going through some drop in oil prices, there will be a recovery sooner or later in the price of crude,” he said.

The story said the partners expected oil production to ramp-up gradually towards the FPSO's capacity of 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) through the remainder of 2016.

The lead operator, Tullow Oil Plc, projects that TEN’s average annualised production in 2016 will be approximately 23,000 bpd gross.

TEN is expected to produce about 300 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) over its lifetime (approximately 20 years), 80 per cent of which is oil and 20 per cent gas.

The Ghanaian Times also reported that President Mahama performed the ceremonial turning-on of the production valve of the FPSO to signify the pouring of first oil from the TEN Fields and declared that “the future is bright”.

The TEN field's partners are Tullow Oil (47.175 percent), Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (15 per cent), KOSMOS Energy,( 17 per cent), Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (17 per cent) and Petro SA (3.825 per cent).

“Court throws out Paul Afoko’s suit,” was the headline of the Ghanaian Times on the verdict after Mr Afoko went to court following his suspension in a bruising power struggle within the opposition NPP.

The Times reported that an Accra Human Rights Court on Monday dismissed the case in which the suspended National Chairman of the NPP, Mr Afoko, challenged his suspension.

It said the court described as lawful, just and fair, the procedure through which he was suspended, adding that he failed in adducing the necessary evidence to support the grounds of his five reliefs. As a result, the court entered judgement in favour of the party.

Nana Yaw Osei, spokesperson for Mr Afoko, said they disagreed with some aspects of the judgement but would wait to peruse it and later file an appeal.

Mr Afoko was suspended indefinitely by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party on 23 October, 2015 after the party’s Disciplinary Committee had recommended his suspension.

The Committee’s recommendation followed a petition by two members of the party who claimed that Mr Afoko had conducted himself in ways that had brought his position and the administration of the party into disrepute.
-0- PANA MA 20Aug2016

20 august 2016 07:54:20

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