13 Dec 2016

Network Marketing: An Alternative Income Stream

"Unless you are networking, you soon may be “not working.” Network marketing is not just becoming mainstream, it’s emerging today as the dominant market trend. It’s a trend that can’t be, won’t be stopped. We are entering an era of giant killers! Individuals today have as much power and knowledge accessibility as corporations! Instead of being a victim of change, you are now in a position to be a change." --- Denis Waitley.


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Network marketing is a type of business opportunity that is very popular with people looking for part-time, flexible businesses. Some of the most successful business people all around the world are either involved and recommend network marketing, including Donald Trump, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, T Harv Eker and many others.
Image - Robert Kiyosaki Quote
Image courtesy of LinkedIn Pulse
Network marketing offers an opportunity for literally millions of people to achieve economic independence.

Why You Should Join Network Marketing


  • An opportunity for a regular income: When you join network marketing, you are assured of a regular income if you take the time to start out well. Sometimes, the amount you make may even be three to five times of your regular monthly salary and more.
  • Less risk factor: There are virtually no risks in network marketing unless it is one of the pyramid schemes being paraded about. You get the value of whatever you invested and more.
  • Low operating costs: It also doesn't take huge sums of money to join a network marketing business.
  • High earning potential: As mentioned earlier, you can make more than five times of your monthly salary from network marketing alone. However, as with all businesses, you need passion to start out well. Afterward, you only need to recruit more people and you're on your way to riches.
  • Flexible work schedule: The most interesting thing about network marketing is that it doesn't interfere with your daily schedule. You can do it at your own convenience and still make it big. And, anyone who desires to make more money can do it. You don't need a professional qualification to be a network marketer. You only need a passion.


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Many people are already making it big and contributing to society as a result of network marketing. You can do same if you want. The choice is yours to make.
    Leave your comments below.

    10 Nov 2016

    Trump's Advice To Politicians

    Donald Trump has won the American election despite all the odds that were stuck against him. The media did not favor him, the pollsters ruled him out, and even bigwigs in the Republican party of which he is a flagbearer denied him. He was literally a man on his own. Some labeled him as a racist, divisive, unfit for president and a very dangerous figure in the American polity.

    Donald Trump was a man of principles. He never wanted to find himself in a situation which could conflict his personal convictions with that of his Republican party and the rest of the American people. However, he seemed to have had a message that resonated with the American people, both black and white, men and women, and the ordinary American in general. His message was simply to "Make America Great Again!". He never hid his true nature from the people he sought to lead.
    Donald J. Trump
    Donald Trump's message to "Make America Great Again!" resonated with the
    American masses and resulted in his election victory.

    I personally admired Trump's take on how to end migration and the deportation of illegal migrants, especially those from Africa. This was a call to African leaders to sit up and address the problems in their countries that are making those countries unattractive to the youth. It was a call for African leaders to creatively think and solve their own problems than encouraging youth to stowaway.

    Although he became unpopular with his utterances, he never gave up his principles. He knew that to win the trust of the people, he has to stand on his principles no matter whose ox is gored. He was not a favorite of the bookmakers. He was seen as an unfortunate figure among his party.


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    Internationally, Donald Trump was seen as a divisive figure and a racist. But it did not stop him from soldiering on to victory. Trump had it at the back of his mind that it is only the American people who can make him president and no one else. His task was, therefore, to get a message that speaks to the hopes and aspirations of the American people first. The international community comes second.

    As a businessman, Trump had a strategy that worked; give the people more of what they like and they will always be loyal to you. He knows how to win the trust and confidence of a customer. And the evidence is clear in his victory in the 2016 American election.

    What do you also make of Donald Trump's win? Share your comments below.

    9 Nov 2016

    Television Commercials: How They Impact Children

    Television and radio used to be mediums of learning in the past. It was once said that any student who wants to learn how to speak good English must be an avid listener of radio and television news. And it was not an exaggeration at all.

    From the news items to the commercials, everything was good for education. Even the movies. Certain movies were planned to be shown at certain times of the day depending on whether they were suitable for children or not. Adverts were very exciting to watch or listen to. They were easy to memorize and some even became singsongs among school pupils.
    As seen on tv
    Children learn more from visuals than from verbal instructions.
    The television should be able to help them learn better.


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    Movies rated LNV and PG were shown at times children were assumed to be away from the television. Adult content was reserved for night showing when children had no chance of viewing them. And it worked to control the desires of energetic children who were willing to try what they see adults do, especially on the television.

    Vulgar language was difficult to detect in a movie. Children were better educated because of the educative programs that were shown at the time.

    Even alcoholic beverages were not advertised at times that children were believed to be hooked to television, especially at prime time.

    Today, creativity among children who watch television has gone down. It is also not easy to find children who can do interesting stuff or write comprehensive sentences because we have flooded our television screens with so-called modern practices. Aphrodisiacs now assume a huge percentage of advert time than books.

    Imagine future leaders who are introduced to pornographic content at a tender age. They are tempted to practice when nobody's watching. They can't write legibly. They can't speak English fluently. And the best grades are from rich homes because of leaked exam papers they bought and not from geniuses.

    31 Oct 2016

    Desperate Politicians!

    Elections constitute a very integral aspect of democracy and are organized periodically to enable citizens of a country or organization to choose a leader who they think resonates with their aspirations as a people. The citizens are allowed to exercise their franchise freely without intimidation from any quarters. The question is, do some countries actually understand democracy at all?

    Ghana is a democratic country with almost two decades of experience. Ghana's democracy is currently being touted internationally as one of the best in Africa. The country has successfully organized peaceful presidential and parliamentary elections on a four-year term basis since 1992.
    Having been a keen observer of the electoral process since adolescence, so many things have changed over the years in Ghana's political space. Many people now moot the messages put across by political parties, unlike in the past where they would have towed the line of family members without regards to the message. Party manifestoes and messages members put across, both in discussions in the media and on campaign platforms are now properly scrutinized.

    It is, however, not surprising to see politicians delivering vague promises just to win votes. This has become a trend in Ghana's politics. To get the required percentage of votes, all sorts of tactics are employed, including telling plain lies.

    Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia pounding fufu
    NPP Running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, pounding fufu
    during a campaign tour.
    As Ghana prepares to go to the polls in 2016, it is not surprising to see political parties engage in campaign brawls just to score political points against each other. Juicy promises are being made from all angles. The question one needs to ask is, do these numerous promises get to see the light of day when they win the election? Just imagine what Ghana would become if a political party in power is able to implement just half of its manifesto promises. However, the campaign messages seem very different from what actually gets implemented after they are voted into power. Otherwise, I cannot fathom why a presidential candidate who promised to employ more graduates and also create more employment opportunities for the youth will turn around to put an embargo on employment. As a Ghanaian comedian once said, "I can't think far. I don't think madness!"
    Alfred Oko Vanderpuije stirring banku
    Accra Mayor, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, stirring banku during
    a campaign tour.

    It is no wonder our president thinks Ghanaians have short memories because we are able to tolerate any confused leader for four years and more. I totally agree with his assertion, not that it is true but because we don't hold them accountable for their stewardship. They, therefore, assume we have forgotten their lies so soon and will entertain them for a second time.

    On a daily basis, our radio and TV stations are flooded with communication teams of political parties trying to sell their campaign messages to the populace to get votes. It’s interesting to listen to how they sometimes display sheer ignorance on certain issues and end up misleading the masses.
    I was thrilled by a statement made by Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa on a radio station in an attempt to respond to his opponent's claim that the government of which he is a deputy minister, has not introduced any pro-poor social policy. His answer was, “We have supplied laptops to teachers across the country”. It baffles my mind how a learned politician can describe such an act as a pro-poor policy. How is that benefiting the peasant farmer when those laptops were given to only a selected few?

    Ursula Owusu, on the other hand, said her presidential candidate has promised to relieve tertiary students from paying utility bills. Her opponent insisted that no tertiary student was paying utility bills at the time, except those in private hostels. On whether her government will pay bills for students in private hostels, she said: “the students are not in the capacity to pay bills, so they are not supposed to pay”. This implies that any student who decides to seek comfort anywhere apart from the official school accommodation will have their utility bills catered for by the government. Are we serious about politics at all?

    With a few days left to this year's major elections, many politicians have become extraordinarily friendly with the electorate. It is not surprising to see men of substance pounding fufu, stirring banku, plaiting hair, sweeping floors of the electorate during campaign tours. They are ever ready to do anything to get the votes.

    Elsewhere, presidential candidates are subject to debates with the active participation of the masses. Opportunities are then given the electorate to ask questions about their policies and programs. This enables the constituents to decide better on who is likely to do a good job when given the nod. The case is very different in Ghana. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has taken up the responsibility of organizing debates for presidential candidates. However, political parties are not bound by any law to participate in those debates. A political party, therefore, decides either to participate or not. Where the debates are successfully organized, people often are not given a chance to ask questions.

    Politicians often resort to lies, insults, malignment and deception of the electorate in order to score political points. And the most unfortunate thing is, some jobless youth are willing to sacrifice to see their favorite politician in power, even if they remained jobless. They are unaware that they have a duty first to the nation before any political party. They don't know that a brighter future lies in their hands, based on the kind of leader they choose.

    Many more Ghanaians need to get discerning. Any Ghanaian seeking to annex the highest office of the land should be properly and thoroughly scrutinized before given the nod. Politicians should be made to know that more Ghanaians are now able to read between the lines of political gimmickry and genuine deliverable promises.

    Let's follow them on their campaign tours and digest their messages. Reasonable and implementable programs and policies should inform your choice of vote. Vote based on the issues. Vote for a brighter future. Come 7th December, make your vote count in the 2016 elections. Let your voice be heard through your thumbprint. May God lead us into a peaceful election.

    God bless our homeland Ghana.

    Written by: Francis Appiah
    The Writer is a Senior Staff Nurse (SSN) with the Ghana Health Service who also has a passion for socio-political issues.
    Email: afranzoa87@gmail.com

    15 Oct 2016

    Nurses Attitudes; The Broader View

    Nurses are the fulcrum around which the health care delivery system of any nation rotates. They are trained to be independent of other members of the health team where necessary. Nurses are still able to work if all other health workers lay down tools. Despite doing so much for so less, nurses are still by far the least respected of health care professionals.

    Nurses are found everywhere championing the health affairs of families and communities, even in places no other professional wants to go. They go out of their job description every time into other related fields to help save lives. Some act as consultants in clinics, health centers, and community-based health planning services(CHPS) compounds. In these places, nurses act as prescribers, midwives, laboratory personnel, and dispensers. They even act as laborers too. They do all these without complaining because of empathy for the sick. These things are not part of the nurse's job description. Nurses are not paid for doing all that.


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    Nurses in Ghana
    Nurses have pledged to save lives, alleviate pain and promote
    health.
    Nurses have often been in the line of fire for one thing or the other that did not go right. Many people complain about the poor attitudes of nurses towards clients and their relatives. They describe nurses as being rude and even use unprintable terms on nurses. But is this claim true?

    It has often been said, patients are supposed to be patient for nurses to nurse them. But can this be said of the nurse-patient relationship in Ghana?

    Nurses are professionals who have pledged to help save lives, reduce pain, and prevent injury. They are not people who delight in seeing anyone go through pain, not even their enemies.


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    While it may be true that some nurses lack good communication skills, it is also possible that some underlying factors could be accounting for any negative behavior emanating from nurses. Some people get to the hospital and expect the nurse available to do everything for them. They see the nurse as being the 'jack of all trade". Some people think the nurse can give orders any prescriber to come to work. They, therefore, expect the nurse available to call the prescriber on duty to come attend to them. If this is not done, they get angry and begin to verbally (and sometimes physically) abuse the nurse. And they expect the nurse to keep quiet amidst a flurry of insults. No amount of explanation can calm them down.

    Nurses are not superhumans. They also have feelings. To paraphrase Isaac Newton's third law of motion, action and reaction are equal and opposite. Some nurses are bound to exchange words if you attack their personality and professional competence.

    Ignorance is to blame for attacks on nurses. Most of these people don't know how nurse work. They are not privy to the limitations on the nursing profession. They also don't know that calling the doctor, and any other health professional for that matter to come do the work they are being paid to do, is not the duty of a nurse. If a nurse decides to call a doctor, it is a form of personal assistance. This is because all health workers, just like the nurses, are supposed to be at post every time.


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    Unfortunately, everybody seems to harbor some fear for doctors and other medical personnel. They find it easy attacking and maligning nurses than doctors or prescribers. These same people often feel frustrated if they report to the health facility and do not meet a nurse at post.

    Praising nurses for good work is like drinking poison, to some people. Instead of commending nurses for going the extra mile to help save lives, people always focus on the little mistakes to make nurses look bad in the sight of the public. These people are ignorant that without nurses, doctors and other prescribers cannot work effectively.

    The truth is, some people detest the truth even if they know it's the truth. They don't feel comfortable when they are asked to do one thing or the other due to hospital protocols. Some see it as a waste of time being taken through laid down protocols. They are impatient patients. No explanation will ever satisfy them. And they often leave the hospital blaming nurses for having wasted their time, even if it was not the nurse's fault. Some people also associate nurses with every health worker in the hospital. They believe every health worker is a nurse. No wonder they expect a nurse to retrieve their folders from the Records department and to dispense drugs to them even in established hospitals. Some even expect nurses to conduct laboratory tests for them even if the laboratory technicians are available.

    The main factor contributing to the perception of nurses being rude or careless is mainly due to ignorance. It will take some time for the public to get to grips with the actual duties of a nurse, but with patience and more education, we will get there one day.

    15 Sep 2016

    Party Manifestos In Ghanaian Politics

    The two major political parties in Ghana (NPP and NDC) are currently moving through every nook and cranny of this country, campaigning without manifestos. Each one thinks the other will plagiarize their ideas. Because of this perception, they're all holding their ideas to themselves while they go about begging and buying votes. Some civil society organizations have criticized political parties for deciding to play a hide and seek game with each other.
    Image Nana Addo and John Mahama 2016
    Nana Akuffo Addo and John Dramani Mahama
    But do people make their choices based on manifestos? In Ghana, the illiteracy rate is high, and most politicians know this. They know most people who vote can't read. They don't know anything about a budget and inflation. They are not interested in the nitty gritty. So, it will take these voters some time to get educated on some of the political jargon. Even most of the educated ones don't use manifestoes to make their choice.


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    When it comes to politics in Ghana, you don't need a Ph.D. in political science to be a "hot cake". In fact, you don't need any qualification. All you need is to master the trivialities and use them to your advantage. The better you are able to pitch your opponent's tribe against other tribes, the more successful you would be in Ghanaian politics. Who is the most handsome or the ugliest? Judging the physical appearance of your opponent and using it against them is another great weapon. Some 'educated' politicians still think short people and people with disabilities in politics are like oil and water in Ghana; they can't mix! Some 'educated' and abled people think disabled people need to be "elevated" before they qualify to run for president.

    Most uneducated and other averagely educated people are also dependent and selfish. They vote based on what they can get from a candidate for themselves rather than seeking the interest of their community. Their choices are, therefore, based on the trivial issues. People who attend social gatherings the most are more like to get the votes than people who are always busy planning how to make things better for everybody. Funerals and other social gatherings have political benefits in Ghana. Politicians, especially parliamentary candidates, have now made it a part of their business to attend certain funerals they know have huge crowds. With the crowd on looking, they showcase sumptuousness so as to court selfish and lazy voters to their side.


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    Ghanaian politicians, once in power, don't rely on manifestos to govern. They are like firefighters, tackling issues as they arise, without plans to curtail the occurrence of same. Only a few leaders have tried to live by their manifestos and were successful. Party manifestos are now irrelevant to elections because politicians say things which are often difficult to implement when they succeed in deceiving their way to power.

    17 Aug 2016

    How to Make Your Vote Count In 2016

    Ghana goes to the polls this year. Many voters out there still don't know how to cast valid ballots. It is a fact that the number of rejected ballots in all elections [since 1992] often outweigh the combined votes of the smaller political parties. It is, therefore, up to the authorities and all concerned to give more and better education to voters and potential voters so as to enable them to choose better.
    Image How to vote
    How to vote


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    The fundamental problems accounting for this huge number ranges from multiple thumb printing to poor folding of papers after thumbprinting. Some votes are not visible enough and disputes often arise at the polling stations because ballot paper appears virtually blank. These are all counted as wasted ballots and defeat the purpose of which such people even visited the polling station in the first place.

    Having been a party polling station agent before, and having seen all these problems, I think more people still need to be educated on the voting process and how to cast a valid ballot, especially the first timers.

    To avoid wasting your precious votes because they do not qualify to be counted valid, it will be good to observe the following:


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    • Vote Clearly: Make sure your thumb has enough ink on it to make your thumbprint visible on the ballot paper. Votes that are not clearly visible will be rejected because of disputes from party agents at the polling station. So make sure your vote is clearly visible on the paper.
    • Choose One Candidate Only: Thumbprint for only one candidate or party symbol on either ballot papers, parliamentary and presidential. Very often, most rejected ballots are because of some people putting their thumbprints on more than one candidate. Such votes will not be counted for your preferred candidate. To make your vote count, make sure your thumbprint goes on only one candidate or their party symbol.  Also, make sure the ink on your thumb does not mistakenly touch any other part of the paper after choosing your preferred candidate. It can make your ballot invalid.
    • Fold Papers Carefully: Fold the ballot papers well and carefully, making sure the ink doesn't go onto either of the other candidates you did not choose. After thumbprinting, it is advisable to clean your hand well before you fold the ballot paper. Then, fold the ballot paper vertically so each candidate’s head lays on his or her party symbol. This way, even if the ink mistakenly touches the other side of the paper, it will remain valid. Do not fold it horizontally. If you do this, you will be voting for more than one candidate and your vote will be an invalid one. If the paper is too long, you can fold it horizontally afterward but fold it vertically first.
    • Cast Your Ballot: Put your vote in the ballot box. Some people forget and leave their ballot papers in the voting booth. Others even send their ballot papers home. If you forget your ballot paper at the voting booth, the next person who does not agree with your choice may send it home or tear it. So make sure you place your vote in the ballot box through its vent.

    Note:

    1. Inspect your ballot paper and make sure it is stamped with only the official EC stamp. An unstamped or improperly stamped ballot paper will be rejected. Also, make sure there are no other ink marks on any part of the paper apart from the stamp of the EC.



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    2. Make sure your little finger, which has been dipped in indelible ink, does not come into contact with the ballot paper. Also, make sure your thumb which was used to thumbprint on the ballot paper does not mistakenly touch any part of the paper again after making your choice.

    3. Make sure you report any malfeasance observed either at the polling station during the voting process or afterward to the police and the returning officer if he or she is not the subject of suspicion.

    What do you also make of the issue of rejected ballots in our electoral system?

      13 Aug 2016

      NHIS; A Challenge To Quality Healthcare Delivery

      The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is a form of National health insurance established by the Government of Ghana, with a goal to provide equitable access and financial coverage for basic health care services to Ghanaian citizens.[1]

      Foreigners were supposed to pay cash whenever they access healthcare services in Ghana because it was assumed such people could afford it. Besides, most of them never pay tax to the government.
      It was not until 2009 when the scheme was changed from its district-based mutual status to a nationwide status that foreigners began infiltrating its system. And it was also the time the problems of health insurance began to surface.


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      Some of the NHIS offices are packed with unqualified staff. Clients names are often wrongly spelt. Some clients names and pictures are even interchanged.
      National health insurance scheme

      Most of the workers are just criminals who employ any means they can to cheat the system. People's ages are either reduced or increased to qualify them to be registered as either being among the core poor clients or underage. This is mostly done on the blind side of registrants some of whom are mostly illiterate and can't give accurate ages or dates of birth. Although these members pay for registration and renewal, the monies enter into private pockets. Some district managers of the scheme even connive with workers under them to engage in these activities.


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      Foreigners are sometimes charged exorbitant fees before being allowed to register as Ghanaians. The money charged finds its way into the pockets of greedy NHIS staff, most of whom don't have any requisite qualification to occupy such offices.

      Imagine a Fulani family which goes to register and is charged an exorbitant amount of GHC 250 per head. The staff tells this family that it is a form of help they are being given because they are not Ghanaian citizens. This family, which may comprise of five members or more agree to pay the charged amount and are registered as Ghanaians. This staff has succeeded in making more than GHC 1000 instantly in connivance with other staff!

      The NHIS now dictates what medicines a client gets in a healthcare facility. There is a restricted list of medicines to prescribe for the various ailments, going out of which makes your claims of services rendered invalid for reimbursement. There is even a limited list of diagnoses to follow. Any prescriber who prescribes out of that list is doing a fruitless job for the health facility because such claims forms will not qualify for reimbursement. Some prescribers sometimes overestimate the diagnosis of some conditions to make the claims form valid.


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      Reimbursement is no longer done on a quarterly basis. It is now done at the whims and caprices of a certain manager who sits in the capital city of Ghana without any knowledge of what pertains in remote villages such as can be found in northern Ghana. There are times when certain hospitals and clinics run out of baseline drugs and have to partially halt operations until reimbursement is done.

      The district hospitals, which act as primary referral facilities, bear the brunt of the CHPS compounds and health centers. Some district hospitals have to always resort to loans from banks to buy basic consumables and baseline drugs just to keep afloat, awaiting reimbursement from Accra. There are currently some hospitals with more than a year's outstanding arrears to collect from the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), the responsible for running the NHIS.

      The national NHIA boss was heard on air saying they have enough money for reimbursement to all health facilities. He, however, said they had a technical problem which is making it difficult to reimburse claims. But, how technical could this problem be that it can't be resolved in a year?


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      And worse of it all, the targeted beneficiaries of health insurance are not deriving any benefits from it. They don't even know when their cards would expire. They only get to realize it when they are sick and come to the hospital. Others still believe so much in traditional medicine and superstition that they often delay at home and get to the hospital in a critical state. Most of these people often can't renew their cards instantly and use them. Even if they renew, it has to take a whole month for such cards to be active. They, therefore, have to always fork money out instantly to pay for all services rendered them.

      People who can afford to pay their bills in cash are those rather benefitting from the health insurance. They even renew it a month before it expires so they can be covered throughout the year. And they are those who patronize health facilities almost on a weekly basis. An abuse of the system you may say.

      How long is this going to continue? How long will the NHIS continue to cripple health facilities with debt? How long should healthcare facilities suffer in an effort to deliver appropriate care to clients because of NHIS?

      Benefits Of Online Shopping

      Most people don't want to shop online due to one or two reasons. Some people fear they will lose their money to scammers while others are confused as to how they can get the product they've bought online. If you're among any of these groups, then this article is for you.

      While it is true that some people have lost money to scammers online, it is also true that most of the local stores are now stocked with items bought online.

      Some people believe most of the online shops are populated with scammers who are doing all they can to swindle customers of their hard-earned cash. They will, therefore, prefer to buy from the local shop at an exorbitant price. They will rather allow their personal information to be stolen than their money.


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      Online shopping
      Many people don't have debit cards in Africa to engage in online shopping.
      Shops such as Amazon, Alibaba, AliExpress (an affiliate of Alibaba responsible for lightweight shopping) will never allow scammers on their sites. And the most interesting thing about these shops is that they will deliver at your specified address. There is a mode of tracking goods you have ordered. They will protect you from any vendor on their site who tries to cheat you. If you pay for the product and later change your mind, you can cancel the purchase and the money will be refunded back to your account.

      Other people also don't shop online because even if their goods arrive at the port or harbor, they will find it difficult to get them. Either they wouldn't be able to prove their identity for such items or they will not have money to pay for clearance. Some also say the cost of shipping such items, when added to the cost of the item, will make it more expensive than the one at the local store.

      On the contrary, most items bought online have a shipping cost far less than what you may be thinking. Some items even go with free shipping. This means you can buy an item and ask them to deliver it to your nearest postal address without you going out to do anything. The postmaster will call you when your items arrive on his desk. No fees are paid, depending on the kind of item. If the item you bought is a heavy one, you may be asked to pay something very small.

      Most of the items at the local store such as bracelets, earrings, clothing, footwear, mobile phones, computers, and so on are often shipped for free. No shipping charge is made on your account. Yet, the local store will add a shipping cost to it.

      From the time I mustered the courage to shop my first free item, I have always been an avid online shopper. I am aware of scammers and try as much as possible to stay off them by carefully analyzing and using the most popular online shopping portals such as Amazon and AliExpress. Ebay and Alibaba are also great shops with elaborate customer protection plans to prevent you from losing money to scammers.

      There are many advantages of shopping online. Apart from the convenience it gives, you have the freedom to compare prices from different online shops and get a better deal. You also have the freedom to buy items you otherwise wouldn't want people to see you buy in a traditional brick and mortar store, such as adult toys and weird ornaments. You also get to save time. The cheaper deals online also mean you will get to save money for other things. And the most interesting thing about it all is, you can start a small business through online shopping.

      To eliminate your fear of shopping online, just visit any of the popular sites and buy some of the free electronic software products available and see how it is to shop online. You can buy a free book or download free software, or even watch movie trailers all for free. All you need is a debit card (either Visa or MasterCard) and you are good to go.

      Would you try shopping online today? Link up and let's discuss.

      9 Aug 2016

      Who Will Fix The Accra Floods?

      The issue of floods in cities and towns is becoming an annual ritual whenever there is rain, no matter the intensity. The memories of last year's June 3 flood and fire disaster are still very fresh in our minds. But it seems the only lesson our leaders have learned from this gory incident is how to blame the populace and make them feel guilty while exonerating themselves.

      The authorities responsible for making sure this problem gets solved are always quick to push blame on citizens for being 'irresponsible' with the way they handle waste. They say we throw waste in drains and litter the streets. They say we are not patriotic. They say we will be those to suffer and die from the effects of floods and unsanitary environments. The care less if have a means of disposing of our waste responsibly.


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      Truth is, leaders who are supposed to fix this problem keep shifting the goalpost and the problem never gets fixed as a result. Citizens actually show bear responsibility by cleaning their homes and surroundings but have no proper waste disposal system. The waste so collected is then left to scatter back into clean spaces. De-silted drains are choked again because the silt is left at the edge of the drain. The drains are not even large to handle a large amount of water.

      Leaders are interested in taking tours around the city after a rainstorm and making wild promises about fixing the situation. Nothing concrete actually gets done about it, and the next time it happens they are quick to embark on another tour of the city without any shred of shame.

      Initially, waste bins were provided by a waste collection company (Zoomlion) to households to prevent people from dumping refuse in drains. This noble idea, however, became ineffective as the company placed profits over responsibility.  People paid for their waste to be collected on a monthly basis but over time, the lackadaisical attitude of the waste collection company created disinterest among patrons. Sometimes the waste overflows the bins and is left there for weeks. When they are called, all manner of excuses is given with a promise to come for it before dusk. They never show up. When the month is about ending, they begin to come around for it and remind you to pay your fees as soon as possible. After getting you to pay for a month's service, the situation replays itself.

      Hence, people are forced to dump waste in any available space they can find outside their homes, including waterways. The end result is the annual flooding that has plagued the capital city and other cities and towns for some years now.


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      The Way Forward

      It has been reported several times how our landfill sites are filling up every day with waste. I see this to be one of the reasons why people's garbage doesn't get collected. But is that the best way to treat waste in the 21st century? Examples abound of how people are making it big with waste in areas of energy. Yet, Ghana is seeing it as a curse! Yet, we are polluting the air and depleting the ozone layer further with our continuous incineration.

      We have leaders who only think about their generation and not the one after them. Recycling of waste is not in our national development plans. If we have forward-thinking leaders who have a will, Ghana could have augmented her current power shortages with power from waste. But no, they want to win elections at all cost and govern people through either fair or foul means. They care less what the needs of the people who voted for them are.

      We will, therefore, have to wallow in our waste until a leader one day decides to think straight and takes a bold decision to end flooding in our cities and towns. Yes, we have to fast and pray that God gives us such a leader one day by helping us to change our attitudes towards politicians and politics. Until we are able to vote using our heads and not our hearts, we will have to continue to die from diarrhea, cholera, typhoid and bilharzia due to our waste.

      Leave comments below.

      10 Jul 2016

      Was President Mahama Stoned?

      The season of blasphemy and rumor mongering is here. So many allegations and fake statements will be made against opposing parties to tag them as either being violent, corrupt, criminal, or unfit to govern this country. And the alleged pelting of stones at president Mahama and his convoy was just one of those plays.

      Apparently, someone had a dream that the president was pelted with stones because he was at the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) stronghold. And some media stations, without doing any checks to confirm the truth or otherwise of this fake story, picked it up and started spinning it.

      NDC-NPP
      Is the obsession with NPP and NDC becoming a problem to the nation? Is the obsession making the electorate vote-casting machinery?
      It was later revealed that the people were arrested only for the regional minister of the Ashanti region, an appointee of the president, upon hearing the story, dismissed it outright. He even said nothing of the sort happened.


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      Where was the reporter of the story when the alleged pelting of stones was done on the president's convoy? So what were the media stations which reported this story trying to achieve? Was it to stir up anger in the NDC stronghold so they can do same to the NPP candidate whenever he comes there to campaign? Perhaps, somebody wished something of the sort happened so they can find a straw to hang on to remain relevant in political discussions. And the politics of tribalism and ethnicity would have been heavily boosted.

      Henchmen, in this case, the NDC henchmen, don't know of anything like 'reading between the lines.' They will quickly tag NPP as being those behind. They will say they are violent and dangerous. In fact, they will use all the harsh words they can find to malign them.

      I am wondering why the president of the nation can be stoned. I am also wondering how stones can be pelted at a presidential convoy, without anybody stopping to analyze the situation and act on it. Does it go to mean that if the president was attacked by armed robbers and guns were fired at them, they would complain bitterly without doing something about it? If yes, then we are not secure as a nation. Besides, who would be so bold to engage in such an act considering the level of security the president moves around with?


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      I think it is about time some people begin to think with their heads and stop thinking with their hearts. Ghana is for all of us. If violence breaks out, the ordinary Ghanaian is the one who will suffer. It will not be Nana Addo or John Mahama. For your information, they have their passports ready and can easily obtain visas to leave the country in case of violence. So don't fool yourself. Let the politicians who are trying all they can to corrupt your thoughts know that "they can fool some people only for some time, not all the time."

      21 Jun 2016

      Nude Content In The Media

      It is worrying that some individuals find it normal posting nude pictures and videos of themselves and other people on social media with impunity. It is even more disturbing to know that some of those who post these items do it on the blind side of the people involved. It is believed this is done to bring shame on those involved. What I don't understand is how that has become the best form of bringing shame on someone.
      Image Courtesy Wikimedia

      There is even a new hacking software on social media (especially Facebook) where some rogues post videos to certain groups and those who watch such videos get their social accounts hacked. The only means of knowing that your account has been hacked is when a close friend draws your attention to one or you happen to come across one yourself.


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      These hackers not only post on your personal timeline but also in all the groups you've joined. And the most worrying thing is that such videos get posted at a time you won't get to see them.

      Until recently, when the new hacking system was employed, I didn't know many Christians and Muslims actually fancy pornography. Yes, they like the sexually explicit content! Many of them got their accounts hacked and used to post some of these links.

      Pornography sells these days, unlike in the past when it was frowned upon by society. There is a race among media houses these days to make enough cash. No questions are asked relating to morality.

      Some few years back, this was not the case. Content believed to be pornographic in nature was shown only after 11 pm, when children were believed to be asleep. Children thought less about sex at the time and had no urge to try anything like it.


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      Children who are avid watchers of television, get their minds polluted at an early stage in their lives as they are fed automatically with what they see. Profits have occupied the minds of people who manage these channels, without a single thought about morality. Anything gets advertised because of the money attached to it.

      I see this upsurge in nudity in the media as an evidence of a breakdown in the moral fiber of our society. Even traditional media adverts are mixed with some of these nude pictures and videos. Ladies are seen in adverts half-naked. Their reason is that such adverts easily get noticed. Some of the movies shown even depict plain pornography.

      Despite some people's claims of piety, they still want to see other people naked and engaging in immoral acts. No religion endorses this behavior but people who belong to one religion or the other are those who practice these acts.

      I think the media these days are mostly for "politico-tainment" than education and information. No educative material gets broadcasted. It is either movies, music or politics.


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      Educative programs seem to have jumped out through the window the moment thoughts about profits entered the media. No educative programs such as the President's Special Initiative on Distance Learning (PSI-DL) which used to show on GTV and Metro TV's live science education program are shown these days.

      The people in charge of these channels have to wake up and salvage the situation. They must think about the future leaders of this nation and formulate good programs and policies to help them learn than just being obsessed with the 'cash'! It can be done if there is a will.

      What do you think about this current trend of events in the media? Leave a comment below.

      13 Jun 2016

      Plight Of Female Nursing Students: Who Is To Blame?

      Nursing as a noble profession is guided by a code of ethics and code of conduct. In fact, it takes someone with a kind heart and empathy to be able to care for the sick and the dying. No wonder it is often said, “Nursing is a calling.”

      There are numerous government and private nursing institutions in Ghana that train people with the interest to become nurses. As such, nursing students are seen in almost every corner of Ghana these days. It is easy to distinguish between female staff nurses and student nurses from their uniform. Whilst female staff have a full white armband on their uniforms, students have strips of white bands on their uniforms. The level or stage in which you are in school determines the number of white stripes on your uniform. However, a male staff is not so distinguished from male students as they all dress in the same manner.
      Ghana student nurses
      Image Courtesy GhanaWeb


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      When I was a student nurse in one of the nursing training colleges in Ghana, I observed a very interesting trend. As part of the training, all students are supposed to go to hospitals and practically observe and perform most of the things that have been taught in school. This is done very frequently, at least not less than eight times during the training period.

      Interestingly, whenever we go on clinical, I observed that the male staff nurses had a very “cordial” relationship with our female young student nurses as compared to us the male students. Sometimes you can be playing with your colleague female student nurse and a male staff nurse will jokingly tell you, “young man, be careful with the way you are playing with my wife.” We will all laugh about it and end it there. Whether that statement was true or not, I couldn’t tell because I was very naive at the time.

      Sometimes, our colleague females were given food, money, drinks and gifts. These ladies sometimes had pity on us and invite us to partake in their food. This trend continued even after I completed school. So, I then developed the interest to know what actually happens.

      When I was posted as a staff nurse in 2012, I started my investigations. I have worked in some government hospitals and through my investigations, I realized the story is not different from when I was in school as a student. Some male staff always give preferential treatment to female student nurses. The reason accounting for this is just a vague one.


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      During a personal encounter with some students and then colleague staff, it was revealed that female student nurses sometimes become victims to their senior colleagues due to one or two reasons.

      According to some staff I encountered, students serve as a form of motivation for them at work whenever they come on attachment. Others say some of the students attach themselves to them very closely. Others say they are just entertaining them to make their stay ‘comfortable’ during the clinical period.

      From the students’ perspective, “sometimes the seniors take advantage of our being in want,” says one female student. Another also said some of them have the mindset of meeting their life partners in the hospitals.

      Hmm. Is this actually happening? Yes, some staff, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and laboratory technicians got their wives when they were students. This is however not the case with student nurses. Sometimes students are being deceived and slept with in the name of a relationship. Afterward, they dump these unfortunate ones to continue their search for life partners. Right from the medical doctor, matron, administrator, accountant, nurses, laboratory technicians, and records staff, there is no exception.

      Once students arrive for clinical practice, it becomes a competition among some staff of the hospital. They are seen desperately moving from ward to ward trying to get female students to court to their hungry beds. It is there that you will see a nurse giving a “friendly” but strong warning to a doctor to back off a particular student since he had already “picked the move”, as they fondly say.

      The interesting thing is that most of the students also count themselves 'lucky' if they're being sought after by workers. So, it is not surprising to see students tightly hooked onto those who have expressed an interest in them to avoid other students from “interfering in their relationship.”

      The big question is, what happens to their clinical practice as their minds are now divided? Can they learn with a divided mind? What happens to the competencies they are supposed to master before the clinical period is over?


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      Besides, are these staff single? No, some are even married. Are the students also single? Some have left their boyfriends and yet-to-be husbands at home. Yet, they agree to go into wacky relationships with staff as long as they are on clinical attachment.

      A student once told her colleague that for her, she doesn’t go into relationships with her colleague students since they can’t cater for her needs. She rather deals with staff that is already working and are on salary. Can you believe this? With this mindset, it is not surprising to see them always hanging around their admirers to prevent their colleagues from getting close. Sometimes, staff even pick quarrels with one another because of female students.

      When “boys boys” meet, discussions on these students arise. It is there that you will know who was successful in sleeping with which student and who was not, the number of students they slept with, the number of students who are “cheap” and those who are not, and so on and so forth.

      The question also is, is this love real? When students leave, what happens afterward? “Oh Charlie, they were just treated and discharged,” says some colleagues. This means the staff often don’t think about marriage. It is just for the fun of it. The students also have a mind of their own, and that is to get a life partner out of the relationship, although others also want to just have fun.

      The code of conduct for health staff describes most of these instances as forms of harassment, which are punishable. Most workers seem not to be aware of this, even though the code of conduct is in every unit. Some are aware but think it can’t be applied to them. Others are simply ignoramuses who think they are doing nothing wrong. Even those to apply the code are morally bankrupt themselves. So, with nothing in place to check the effectiveness of this code of conduct, all will have to get on their knees in prayer to help halt the escalation of this situation.

      Written By: Francis Appiah
      The writer is a Senior Staff Nurse (SSN) with the Ghana Health Service.
      Email: afranzoa87@gmail.com

      9 Jun 2016

      Electricity Situation In Savelugu Getting Worse

      The erratic power supply that has plagued this nation for more than four years, popularly known as “dumsor” among Ghanaians, is stabilizing gradually and the general economic situation is improving too.  Businesses are beginning to increase production and work output is increasing. However, the situation in the Savelugu Municipality of the northern region of Ghana, which is about thirty minutes drive from Tamale, has assumed a downward trend.
      Image - ECG
      The erratic power supply in Ghana is called "Dumsor." This is a worrying phenomenon for most Ghanaians.

      Savelugu Municipality is mostly a farming community with a few small-scale enterprises dotted across the town. Businesses in Savelugu include grocery stores, barbering and hairdressing saloons, sachet water production, grinding mills, and a few others. All these businesses depend on electricity to operate. So, in the absence of electricity, all businesses tend to suffer in one way or the other.
      Savelugu is being supplied with two power lines; the first and more powerful four-phase line and a newer two-phase line.


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      The part being supplied with the two-phase line never experience any frequent interruptions in power supply as compared to those on the four-phase line. One thing accounting for this is because this line supplies power to just a few households and business ventures. All the major businesses are connected to the four-phase line. Most households in Savelugu and nearby villages depend on the four-phase line. Government facilities such as the district health directorate, the district assembly, district hospital, and the district police station are all connected to the four-phase line.

      It is as if the lights have been programmed to work in a certain way. When clouds begin to gather, the lights are sure to go off; when there is a little wind, the lights automatically go off. When these lights go off, it can take about two or three whole days for them to return. Sometimes, nothing is needed for the lights to go off. They just decide to go off.

      Ideally, there shouldn’t be a problem if every facility wants to depend on the more powerful line, the four-phase one. It, however, becomes a worry if there is much load on the transformer that regulates this supply. It has been alleged that the electricity has been extended to another village using the same transformer that supplies the Savelugu municipality and its surrounding communities, putting more pressure on the transformer. This has led to intermittent power outages on a daily basis. The power is not stable for work to go on smoothly.

      The district hospital suffers the most in this situation. The money needed to buy consumable material is channeled towards fueling the generator to enable routine work to go on. This has left the hospital in a fix. The hospital, which needs renovation and expansion, is not able to do so because of this persistent problem.

      When management of the hospital contacted the Savelugu municipal manager of the electricity company, he boldly told them that he doesn't know what the cause of the problem might be. Shocking, you may say, that the manager of electricity in the district doesn't know what the cause of this problem that has lasted over three years is.


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      Households are not left out of this predicament. Some families are beginning to relocate to the northern regional capital of Tamale because the situation has assumed an alarming proportion. Food in the fridge goes bad; gadgets get destroyed by the continuous fluctuation in electricity; rooms heat up at night and people can’t relax comfortably after a hard day’s work. Even ironing of clothes is a nightmare. There is frustration written on the faces of most of the workers of Savelugu because they have to move up and down every day from Tamale to work and back. This puts a drain on their meager resources.

      All the business ventures that depend on electricity come to a standstill because machines such as sachet water producing machines and grinding mills cannot work with the less powerful two-phase power line. Even government workers stop work and perambulate in the absence of light because meetings and important activities cannot go on.

      This problem has persisted for more than four years now. Hence, it is not a new problem to managers of electricity in the district. Nevertheless, nothing concrete seems to have been put in place to solve it permanently, apart from the usual firefighting that we see every day.

      Instead of working to fix these power challenges, managers are rather interested in attending meetings and conferences where they can get per diem than doing the work they are being paid to do.

      19 May 2016

      Living The Lie: Justice For Sale

      There was a time in the history of this nation of ours that judges and lawyers were the most revered in society. When politics was risky because of dictatorship, the only noble arm of government was the judiciary. Fasttrack to the twenty-first century and the tables have turned upside down.
      Justice delivery
      The judges who are supposed to be fair are not.
      The lawyers who are supposed to do a good job are compromised.

      The lie we continue to tell ourselves is that justice is done when an individual goes to court. This lie has been told over and again even by prominent members of society. You can hear messages like "Go to court if you're not satisfied" and "We will settle it in court!"


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      But, do cases get settled in court? Is justice always done in the courtroom? Even before Anas Aremeyaw Anas' Ghana In The Eyes Of God, the perception has always been that there is corruption in our judicial system.
      Evidence was always a problem because people wouldn't be able to substantiate anything should they come forward as witnesses of a judicial bribery scandal. They even they may be victimized for offering a bribe in the first place to someone who must be seen to be impartial. The investigative piece by Anas only sang the last line of the chorus most people were singing, 'And here the evidence lies'.

      How many times haven't we seen petty thieves being given severe punishments and sentences while notorious thieves are made to walk free based on technical gymnastics with the law?

      So many people have used state resources for private gain. Some of these people have been taken to court and set free with technical interpretations of the law. It was later revealed that they benefitted from the loot.

      And how can such a judge sitting on a case which, if allowed to continue, will end up implicating him? How can such a judge be impartial or fair? It is not possible.

      Lawyers who have found themselves working for this nation are not properly incentivized to do a clean job. They can easily be influenced by the people they want to prosecute if such people have 'big pockets'. Some of these lawyers will connive with the law breakers behind closed doors and they will get away with their crimes.


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      Then, how do we place confidence in the law courts when these dastardly acts are common knowledge in our society?

      The unending cases of mob action, whereby people will beat up criminal suspects to the point of death, is as a result of a lost of confidence in the judicial system. Such people believe passing hardcore criminals through the legal system will only earn them their freedom to now target the people who sent them there well, in case they want to embark on another operation in that vicinity. Sometimes, with clear evidence that a layman can use to find them guilty of the crime, the courts still declare them as suspects until they are freed. At other times, even video evidence is discounted.

      What do you make of this issue? Share your thoughts here.

      16 May 2016

      Corruption: The Other Force Pulling Ghana Backwards

      Everybody talks about corruption these days but none actually has the willpower to fight it. We lay the blame at the doorsteps of our so-called leaders who lack the conviction to fight this canker. Unfortunately, we are the cause of the problem! We treat this huge menace as a child's play and even stampede those who genuinely want to help fight it.
      Corruption can end if competence takes the place of nepotism, tribalism, and despotism.
      What at all is wrong with us? We continue to cry for jobs and better conditions of service and yet forget that corruption has locked up the jobs we seek as our country's resources are constantly being diverted into wrong pockets and hands. Wake up, Ghana, wake up from your deep sleep!



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      My observation has been that, anytime this issue is discussed, we focus mainly on political leaders and forget about the rest of the population who actually constitute a majority of corrupt citizens.

      Many of you will agree with me that when you graduate from tertiary school it is another hell of a task to get a job. It is becoming a norm that when you graduate, you have to bribe someone in a higher place just to lobby for you to get a job. Ladies are mostly those who bear the brunt of these selfish, greedy, and myopic minded bosses. Married men request for sex from ladies who apply for job opportunities before their application can be considered. The desperate ones often give in to their requests without any hope of getting the job. The wise ones go home frustrated.

      How many times haven't men bought animals for people they want to help them get jobs. Even with all the necessary qualifications to get the job, they believe offering these items will increase their chances of being considered for the particular job they applied for.

      All these and more contribute to the high rate of corruption in our nation.

      What do you think about corruption in Ghana?

      15 May 2016

      Ghana's Third Political Force

      Many Ghanaians are beginning to get fed up with what is currently turning into a two-party state. Some are calling for a third political force which will help restore confidence, hope, patriotism, and sacrifice in the nation.
      Political parties in Ghana
      The Progressive People's Party overtook the other political parties to
      come third after NDC and NPP in the 2012 general elections.

      Current Practice

      The two major political parties in Ghana, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have all tasted power in the fourth republic, the latter more than the former. Hence, this nation has already tasted what each one can offer.


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      The current practice whereby a party in opposition documents the failures of the current regime and then present same to the electorate as reasons why the current regime has to be changed is worrying. Both parties actually engage in this practice whenever they find themselves out of power. Some are just allegations and outright lies!

      The current regime also goes back into history and talks about the failures of the past regime and tries to assign reasons why they were voted out of power. They magnify the little successes they chalked and even advertise same.

      There is always a banter in the media, both print and electronic. And the media has also become fixated on those two to the detriment of the smaller parties which sometimes have great ideas.

      It is on the back of all these and more that many concerned Ghanaians are calling for a change to the status quo. A third political force is what many are calling for. They believe a third force will bring sanity to the political discourse and spark creative thinking around the problems we face as a nation. A third political force will stop the "merry-go-round" blame game.


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      Most Ghanaians consider voting for a smaller party they think might not win the ultimate as a throwing away of one's vote. I disagree with that way of thinking. Can you imagine what will happen if all those who think that way actually decide to vote for this party? The result will be a shocker! Small drops of rain can cause huge floods.

      The Third Force

      In the year 2012, the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) was formed after its leader, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, fell out with the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) which he was a member of and even became the candidate of the party in the 2008 general elections. In the 2012 elections, the PPP lived up to its billing of becoming the third political force in Ghanaian politics when it came third after the final results were announced.

      So far, I think the PPP has lived up to its billing of becoming the third force in Ghanaian politics. The party always makes its stand known in big matters of national concern, either through its leader, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, or its executives. They actually carry themselves about as a party interested in winning elections, unlike the other smaller parties which appear to have lost their cause. Some of these smaller parties have no intentions of annexing power in the foreseeable future. They will, therefore, defend either the NDC or NPP, albeit in opposition. I sometimes refer to them as hypocrites.

      The PPP has leaders of integrity who are incorruptible. They are therefore not afraid to make their stance known on any issue, no matter whose ox is gored.

      What do you think? Should the PPP be given the nod to lead this nation in 2017?