Category Archives: Ghana

Press Release: King of the Ashanti To Visit “Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur” (Hey… What’s That White Powder On Your Upper Lip, Your Kingliness?)

Asantehene to receive Honorary LLD in Barbados

Kumasi, Oct. 16, 2008

GNA – Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene will visit Barbados from October 22 to 25, this year, to receive an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.

A statement signed by Mr. G. B. Osei-Antwi, Media Relations Manager at the Manhyia Palace, said the Asantehene would unveil a cornerstone plaque at the site of the University’s new administration building and also plant a tree there.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene

It said the Asantehene would also pay a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mr Owen Seymour Arthur. Otumfuo Osei Tutu will be accompanied on the visit by Chiefs, the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the Acting Chief of Staff at Manhyia Palace, Mr. Kofi Owusu Boateng and other Officials.

(The above – including the incorrect information about the current Barbados PM – is a press release put out by a representative of the Asantehene)

Barbados Free Press Welcomes the Asantehene!

Our welcome to the Asantehene. BFP readers can easily obtain more background by visiting Wikipedia (link here) and also by looking over the considerable number of comments at Ghana Web.com (link here).

For your convenience, BFP will now reproduce a few of the comments about the visit from the Ghana Web story…

Author: KWAKU ASRIFI
Date: 2008-10-17 02:25:49

This is a cheap prestige. Can he ever learn to achieve this degree?
Look at where they have diverted the course to. Shame asantehene!!

HE IS A BIG DISGRACE. Let him come out to answer the questions on that missing cocaine.
The public will never stop ridicule him till we hear his confession on that case where that alhaji and kofi boakye are involved. That man who looks like a beaten up thief. I am glad he is not my king.

Author: Kingsley
Date: 2008-10-17 03:36:07

Is good that no more of tax payers’ money given to the Asantehene to waste. No more public funds for the criminal to waste to fool us that he used the money ‘wisely’ while he cannot account for it. We need the audited account of the 35 million dollars the World Bank gave him for improvement of education in Ashanti while classes are still being held under trees and also the 5 million Cedis the Ghana Supply Company gave him. NO MORE JUNGLE RULE BY THE KING OF THE JUNGLE

Author: Agbeli Kumodzi
Date: 2008-10-16 23:58:25

The (AHAABAA)LEAVES use for wraping Yorkor gari worth much more than Barbados University Degree.

Author: TERRIBLY SPECIFIC
Date: 2008-10-16 17:10:49

YAKA GBEMEI. BEGGING FOR AWARDS BEFORE THEY RUN LIKE HARES WHEN THEY LOSE DEC. 7. WHAT HAVE THESE THIEVES ACHIEVED THAN TO STEAL AND GET ‘HIGH’ ON COKE? CAN THIS MAN TELL US WHERE THE 77BAGS OF COKE ARE AND WHY ASP BOAKYE WAS FREED? YAKA GBEMEI.

Author: Guy Mmoasem
Date: 2008-10-17 20:53:45

What prompted UWI Board of Directors to invite a cocaine king for doctoral honor? With all the African scholars and personalities, Kwaku Duah ,the crook , is being honored? How many gold nuggets is he smuggling out of Ghana? How much is donating to university?
I am really ashamed of Cave Hill
and Mona board of governors!!

Author: PASTOR BEND OVER
Date: 2008-10-16 17:22:28

DR. PROF. SIR. COCAINE ASHANTIHENE.
ANIMAL TREE GOAT, woni twe se Kwaku Dua twe.
AMEN

Author: Vedua
Date: 2008-10-17 01:12:25

Another COCAINE entourage. God bless Barbados. Please bring the sniffer dogs to the airport to check all their luggages.

Author: 10%
Date: 2008-10-17 12:15:31

Don’t be fooled. This is just a disguise to bring home the “goods”. The leopard cannot shed its spots, be he a king or and IPS dropout. Kufour and Georgina Woode refused to question this man because of whom he is and in return, she had a sister-thank-you job as the Chief Justice.

1st it was Kufour travelling to Trinidad (ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=147502)

Then there was a Georgina Woode travelling to Brazil (ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=143579)

Now it is the turn of the chief Narcotic Peddler, whose palling with drug dealers was exposed in the infamous Kofi Boakye meeting with drug dealer (atokd.com/blogContent.aspx?blogID=21)

23 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Ghana

Ikael Tafari Passes On – Will The Barbados Africa Connection Thrive Without Him?

Ikael Tafari Was Much More Than The Public Face Of The Regional Pan African Movement

Doctor Ikael Tafari passed on in Trinidad while attending a conference. The Nation News article (link here) provides some family and personal background but cannot even begin to cover his life’s work as the driving Caribbean force for Pan Africanism and closer ties with Africa.

We at Barbados Free Press had often disagreed with Doctor Tafari but respected his energy and devotion to his cause. Most of us live and die without impacting the larger world, but that cannot be said about Ikael Tafari. It would be foolish to say that the “Pan African” movement in the Caribbean depends upon any one person, but movements often wax and wane over the years on the basis of a single leader.

None of us at BFP can guess at how the loss of Ikael Tafari will impact the Caribbean Pan African Movement. We are not only thinking of his management and support of the Commission for Pan African Affairs, we are also considering Ikael Tafari’s role as the ideological crusader for the movement.

Dr. Tafari Had Been Removed As CPAA Director Within The Past Few Days

As recently as May 27, 2008, the Nation News reported that Doctor Tafari spoke as the Director of the Commission for Pan African Affairs (CPAA) at the May 25th African Liberation Day Rally in Jubilee Gardens. Today’s article in the Nation News says that Tafari had been recently fired from his position as Director, so it seems that he died within a day or so of being fired.

Perhaps the sudden change in his life weighed heavily upon his heart, or maybe it had nothing to do with his death – details of which are unknown at the time of this writing.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to his family.

Some of our readers left their respects, which we reprint here…

Rumplestilskin
May 31, 2008 at 9:39 am
His soul has moved on to further existence.

May his journey be good.

Justice
May 31, 2008 at 2:07 pm
May he rest in peace. He was faithful to his beliefs.

Margaret Knight
May 31, 2008 at 3:34 pm
Sincere condolences to the Hutchinson and Hynam families.

92 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Ghana, History, Immigration, Jamaica, Nigeria, Race, Religion, Slavery

Ghana International Airlines Contacts Barbados Free Press

Ghana International Airlines Disputes Comments By BFP Reader

We received the following email today from Ghana International Airlines about reader comments left on one of our articles.

That is the great thing about blogs – people who are impacted by the information on the blog can immediately have their point of view published in the same venue and read by the same audience. That is impossible with a dead-tree newspaper or television.

Now that the senior management of Ghana International Airlines is communicating with Barbados Free Press and Bajans here in public, perhaps our readers will have a few questions for them about what happened… 😉

Let’s carefully read what GIA has to say, and then ask some polite questions in our comments sections.

Take it away, Ghana International Airlines…

Dear Sirs,

I write in rebuttal to the allegations raised by “Concerned Citizen” at…

https://barbadosfreepress.wordpress.com/2008/05/21/stranded-africans-were-promised-caribbean-jobs-at-us-ten-dollars-an-hour/#comment-245289

As the only “senior manager” from Ghana International Airlines who accompanied the charter flight to Barbados on 31 January 2008, it unfortunately appears that these allegations are directed at myself. While I can only speculate as to the sources and motives behind them, I can however correct and clarify factual discrepancies raised.

a) Neither myself nor, to my knowledge, any other employee of Ghana International Airlines was part of any alleged conspiracy to “funnel Africans” to the USA or Canada.

b) I have never been arrested in nor deported from the USA on the grounds of “involvement in people smuggling scams”.

c) I have never been investigated by police in the United Kingdom due to any association with “convicted pedophiles and fraudsters”.

d) The only cash payment made to a “local airport employee” while on the ground in Barbados was US$3429 paid to an employee of Seawell Air Services for landing and ground handling fees. Additional disbursement of US$1336.02 was made via credit card to Remac Tours Ltd. to account for hotel accommodation and ground transportation provided for the pilots. These are all documented disbursements for which receipts were issued and can be verified by contacting Messrs. Philip Corbin or Reynold MacLean at Seawell / Remac respectively.

e) No illicit arrangements were made to “secure the escape” of the aircraft. All paperwork was appropriately filed and clearances granted by the relevant authorities.

f) Ghana Police has been conducting a detailed investigation into the events surrounding the charter flight. Myself and other officials of the airline have been questioned, and have provided statements to assist in the police investigation. It is my understanding that multiple arrests have been made and charges filed against alleged offenders. It is not accurate to imply that the matter is not being treated seriously by the authorities in Ghana.

Kindly clarify or remove the above referenced comments at your earliest convenience. If you have further questions regarding the incident, please feel free to contact me at the details below.

Yours sincerely,
Sean Mendis

SEAN C. MENDIS
Special Asst. to the C.E.O.
Ghana International Airlines Limited
Accra Office : +233-21-213555
Accra Fax : +233-21-767744
Accra Mobile : (removed by BFP)
Europe Mobile : (removed by BFP)
Email : (removed by BFP)

16 Comments

Filed under Africa, Aviation, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ghana, Immigration, Nigeria, Traveling and Tourism

Stranded Africans Were Promised Caribbean Jobs At US$ Ten Dollars An Hour

Fraud Charges Launched In Ghana

Victims of the fraud that saw Ghana International Airways dump a plane load of Africans in Barbados will testify against one of the African-based organisers. From news accounts, it appears that Frank Emmanuel Duncan was not one of the organisers of the charter flight, but sub-contracted for some 43 seats which he sold to victims by promising them 20 days hotel accommodations in Trinidad and jobs at US$10 per hour.

In our opinion, the Barbados politicians and civil servants who allowed this to happen should be held to account as much as the crooks who organised the flight.

Any person with even a modicum of intelligence knew or should have known what that flight was all about.

But remember… there is no accountability for anything in Barbados. It starts with the Ministers of Government and works its way down from the top.

Don’t expect any real investigation or charges for the Barbados end of the fraud.

From Modern Ghana.com…

Frank Emmanuel Duncan, a social worker who is accused of organizing a trip for some Ghanaians to Barbados but got them stranded during the journey on Tuesday appeared before an Accra Circuit Court.
Duncan, whose plea was not taken is being held for defrauding by false pretences and issuing false cheque with face value of GH¢ 3,000.

Duncan is said to have collected from Mr Gideon Ansah Boateng, the complainant, 2,000 dollars and his VW saloon car with the promise he would take him to Trinidad and Tobago, secure a 20-day hotel accommodation, a job which would earn him 10 dollars per hour…

… continue reading this article at Modern Ghana.com here

Our thanks to one of our regulars for bringing this article to our attention!

14 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Crime & Law, Ghana, Immigration, Nigeria

Stranded Africans Head Home From Barbados – Will There Be Any Accountability?

Details are scarce, but most of the Africans remaining on Barbados since their Ghana International Airways charter failed to return in February are on their way back home.

So far the government has not revealed exactly how many were on the return flight, how many remain hiding on Barbados or how much the whole debacle will cost Barbados taxpayers.

Still silent are Ikael Tafari and the Pan African Commission whose agenda was probably set back twenty years when Bajans came face to face with the reality of closer and direct ties with Africa.

CBC have a little article up in anticipation but we didn’t catch anything yet on the tely or radio. We’ll update the news when we can.

As we’ve said time and time again, Barbados seems to lack whatever it takes to hold people accountable for wrongdoing. We see lots of shouting and fingerpointing by government and opposition for all kinds of misbehaviour, but seldom do we see charges and accountability before the courts.

Our prediction: this will be no different.

Further Reading

CBC: Stranded Africans Return Home

BFP: The Great African Tourist Scam Of 2008 – Ghana International Airlines Knew They Weren’t Returning To Barbados!

26 Comments

Filed under Africa, Aviation, Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ghana, Immigration, Nigeria

Stranded Ghana Detainees: BBC Reports Barbados Military Rooms Have Insects On Beds

UPDATE: Barbados Underground Blog reports that an aircraft is on its way and at least one person is in custody in Ghana over the original charter.

The Pan African Commission is apparently involved in enmeshing the government in an operation that they knew was suspicious.

For details check out Barbados Underground link here

Government’s Continuing Inability To Resolve This Situation Is Giving Barbados A Black Eye

BBC is now reporting that the stranded Africans being detained at a Barbados Military facility are complaining that the rooms have “insects” and they have had to remove the bedsheets. The article is unclear as to the nature of the “insects” but the reference to removing sheets gives the impression that bedbugs are involved.

This is the latest installment in the seemingly never-ending story of the plight of a planeload of Africans who arrived on Barbados on February 1, 2008 and were stranded when their Ghana International Airways charter failed to show up for the return flight on February 15th.

Interestingly enough, when the passengers were first stranded, the Barbados newspapers FAILED TO REPORT THE NEWS until Barbados Free Press and other blogs did so first. One has to wonder when the Barbados media and politicians are going to wake up and realise that this censoring of the news is no longer a viable strategy.

The one thing I guarantee that you will not see printed in the Barbados oldstream news media are any stories questioning the role that Ikael Tafari and the Pan African Commission played in creating this disaster for Barbados. Tafari was happy enough to float his way to a press conference when the flight first arrived and he and his cohorts were happy to take much credit at the time, but since then Doctor Tafari has been strangely silent on the issue.

Last week the African online press first reported that one of the Ghanaian female detainees was sexually assaulted while in custody of the Barbados military. Barbados Free Press linked to that story and received criticism from some readers for doing so. Instead of demanding an explanation from the military or government about how a woman who is in custody could have been sexually assaulted, the readers chided BFP for not covering-up the story.

To those readers we say: sorry… you must have confused us with the Nation News, Barbados Advocate or the CBC.

The international media is beginning to follow the tale of stranded Africans as it drags on and folks around the world are no doubt wondering about the competency of the Barbados government officials who set up this disaster in the first place, as well as the current government’s inability to deal with what should have been a minor incident.

No doubt there will be new human interest stories about this situation appearing in the international media, and no doubt we will have additional guests arriving as it becomes clear to the world that if you can make it to Barbados the government hasn’t got what it takes to send you back.

Further Reading

BBC News: Africans Stranded In Caribbean

36 Comments

Filed under Africa, Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Ghana, Human Rights, Immigration, Military, News Media, Nigeria, Traveling and Tourism

Ghanaian Woman Detainee Sexually Assaulted While In Custody At Barbados Army Base

We Cannot Find Any Record Of This Story In The Oldstream Barbados Media

One of the Ghanaian women stranded in Barbados when the Ghana International Airways charter failed to return to the island was sexually assaulted while in the custody of the Barbados Defense Forces – according to a letter purportedly released by Barbados politician David Comissiong.

The April 15, 2008 letter which is reprinted in its entirety at the end of this article, states that the Royal Barbados Police Force is investigating.

Comissiong States Detainees Were Told They Would Be Shot If They Attempted To Leave The Base

The letter also states that the African detainees were told they would be subject to sniper gun fire if they tried to leave the Barbados Defense Force base where they are being held.

Our Take: Government Is Entirely Responsible For The Well Being Of Persons In Custody

When our police, immigration officers or military personnel take persons into custody, they and their organisation become entirely responsible for their care and well being. This is a duty that has long be recognised in courts in the UK, USA, Canada and around the world.

What if the woman was your sister, your wife, your mother who was locked in a barracks with dozens of unknown men whose only connection was they happened to be on the same flight?

If we missed the coverage of this story in the Barbados news media, please let us know – but for now it looks like no one else has reported that one of the female detainees was sexually assaulted while in government custody.

As to the allegation that detainees were told that they would be shot if they attempted to leave the military base, again we can find no record of this being reported in the Barbados media.

These two issues would seem to be an important part of the Ghana International Airways charter flight disaster. Barbadians should be asking themselves “What else hasn’t the Barbados media been reporting?”

Full text of the April 15, 2008 David Comissiong letter as published on BN Village (link here)…

GLOBAL AFRIKAN CONGRESS
BARBADOS CHAPTER

Israel Lovell Foundation
Tel. (246) 437-3113
My Lord’s Hill Fax: (246) 437-8216ST MICHAEL
E-Mail:cpmbarbados2@yahoo.com

15 April 2008
URGENT REPORT ON AFRICANS INCARCERATED IN BARBADOS

It is my duty to report that on Tuesday 8th April 2008, the Government of Barbados commenced a “crackdown” on 96 citizens of Ghana and Nigeria who have been stranded in Barbados since their charter flight failed to return for them on the 15th of February 2008. Continue reading

44 Comments

Filed under Africa, Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Ghana, Human Rights, Immigration, Military, Nigeria, Police, Traveling and Tourism

Stranded Ghana International Airlines Passengers Avoid Penis Theft Panic Back Home – Army Called Out In Congo To Stop Lynchings Of Penis Thieves

Oops… Our Bad…

The Ghana Penis Riots were 11 years ago, although according to reports (PDF here) smaller incidents of penis theft and associated violence continue in Ghana to this day. The new Penis Riots are in Congo. We misread the date on the CNN Ghana article so we re-wrote the article to correct this.

Our apologies if our original information caused any inconvenience to our stranded travelers from Ghana who, we presume, are anxious to go home and as tired as we are of the idiocy that continues to strand them here.

You Can’t Make Up Stuff Like This, Folks!

Now we know another reason that our predominantly-male guests from Ghana were happy to arrive in Barbados and are so reluctant to go back home. It seems that another wave of penis thefts started in January – this time in the Congo – and continues throughout the surrounding area.

Riots have broken out in the Congo and police have had to rescue dozens of suspected JuJu (magic) penis shrinkers from mobs.

This isn’t the first time. A decade ago twelve people were lynched and beaten to death by mobs in Ghana’s capitol city over penis snatching. Other incidents go back into the 1980’s. Despite a decade of African governments’ health authorities explaining why men’s penises change in size, and why the plumbing might not work as well as it should as men get older, an epidemic of penis thefts is once again happening. Hundreds of men have reported to the police that their penises have been snatched and replaced by a non-functioning fake.

Really.

In other news, Barbadian men don’t seem to have the same trouble with having their penises stolen… or maybe our women are simply more attractive? (And I hear a laugh from the kitchen as she says, “Or we are just more tolerant of bad plumbing!)

Yes dear. 😉

CNN: 7 Killed In Ghana Over “Penis-Snatching” Episodes

Reuters: Penis Theft Panic Hits City

Kuro5hin: Koro: A Natural History Of Penis Panics

13 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Ghana, Health, Religion

Government Of Ghana Says Cost Of Charter Flight Is $250,000

We Say Barbados Minister Of Foreign Affairs Should Replace His Top Civil Servants

The Government of Ghana has just announced that the cost of a charter flight to rescue the Africans stranded in Barbados is, in fact, US$250,000 and not the US$12 million reported by accident in an earlier Ghana newspaper article.

A few days ago, Barbados Free Press took Barbados Minister of Foreign Affairs Chris Sinckler to task for his statement that the cost of the charter would be US$1 million dollars, when our research yielded bids from US$400k to US$500k with first line carriers such as Virgin Airways. (Original BFP story link here)

With this latest confirmation by the Government of Ghana, we wonder if Minister Sinckler is getting bad advice from his government civil service staff. We are of the opinion that most of the civil service wouldn’t last five minutes in the real world where the ability to put food on the table is dependent upon achieving actual results for your employer or customer.

From Modern Ghana.com…

RETRACTION OF STORY: “12 MILLION DOLLARS TO BE SPENT ON STRANDED GHANAIANS IN BARBADOS’

The Ministry of Information and National Orientation wishes to retract a Ghana News Agency (GNA) news item headlined: “12 Million Dollars to Be Spent on Stranded Ghanaians in Barbados” posted on April 1, 2008 on the Ghana Government Website http://www.ghana.gov.gh in Accra.

The Ministry’s attention has been drawn to the fact that the amount quoted by the GNA reporter in the story was wrong. The correct amount should have read $250.000 instead.

The Ministry therefore retracts the said story immediately and wishes to render an unqualified apology for any inconvenience caused by the error.

… online story link here

Original Story Now Retracted…

12 Million Dollars To Be Spent On Stranded Ghanaians In Barbados

Government has committed over 12 million dollars to charter a plane to fly home about 50 stranded Ghanaians who travelled to Barbados last month in search of greener pastures.

Dr Charles Brempong-Yeboah, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional
Co-operation and NEPAD, who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency in Accra yesterday, said ironically the Ghanaians had paid between 4,000 Ghana cedis and 10,000 Ghana cedis each to travelling agents to get to Barbados for a two-week stay.

‘The Ghanaians who got to that country with the hope of crossing over to the US, Canada and other developed countries for greener pastures have been captured on Barbados Television networks begging for alms.’

Originally 146 people, including 46 Nigerians were stranded in Barbados but some managed to cross over to Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr Brempong-Yeboah described the situation as very embarrassing to Ghana, explaining that, those Ghanaians could have stayed at home with the huge amounts of money they paid to the agents to do profitable business at home. (This retracted story is still online at Modern Ghana.com link here)

24 Comments

Filed under Africa, Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Ghana, Immigration, Traveling and Tourism