Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Ghana Should Consider Legalising Marijuana – NACOB Boss Executive Secretary of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) can see some wisdom in the legalisation of cannabis sativa because increasingly, ordinary people do not think that possessing the mentally-disturbing substance is a crime.

Take or leave it, there is “a virtual llegalization of marijuana because already “mothers, sisters, girlfriends and wives are using stuff made of Indian hemp” for their hair”, the tough-talking Yaw Akrasi Sarpong said on Power FM Monday.

Marijuana also called Indian hemp but locally referred to as ‘wee’ is said to be prevalent in the whole country. It is easy to grow as it takes between 12 to 16 weeks to cultivate.

A website dedicated to marijuana news in Ghana says a piece of it, enough for a ‘joint’, goes for 10 pesewas and an ounce for $100 dollars.

The Executive Secretary explained, dealers in the drug are domiciled in villages where their lavish cash, supports a subtle community welfare system.

This makes people in these villages shield dealers of the product from arrest.

Marijuana is a problem in every African country, Akrasi Sarpong pointed out – a fact corroborated by the United Nations. He says local consumption is so high, people are not as interested in exporting it.

He revealed, he has confidential sources who buy seeds to extract the oil which is used to make hair cream, meaning there is a market for its production.

Asked about concerns from international community, Akrasi Sarpong noted despite international concerns, the U.S has legalised the substance in certain states because the Western nation does not consider marijuana a threat.

To the U.S, cocaine and heroine are a menace to its security – but not marijuana.

He is certain legalising marijuana, like some states in the U.S have done will help to regulate its use and reap huge profits.

According to him, regulation of marijuana use is a headache which we must tackle as a country.

He described the fear of international condemnation as akin to “the ostrich hiding his head in the sand” because marijuana is everywhere you go.

Tie-wearing graduates and professionals are not strangers to the substance usage, he explained.

He rationalised that “the social reality[is that] ordinary people think that what [we] are fighting is not a crime”.

“People must not shy away from discussing the matter”, he advised, although he personally is against legalising it.

He believes the banned substance, if regulated can benefit the country and is therefore calling for a national debate on the matter.

Bracing himself for a national debate on the matter, Akrasi Sarpong recommends it is time for the nation to confront one of its worst fears.

“Let’s face it”, he rallied.

Credit: inewsghana

World Cup 2014: Disgraceful ticket sales typical of deluded Nigeria fans

Super Eagles supporters claim to be among the most loyal yet they will be thin on the ground in Brazil.

Nigerian fans like to apply to themselves every known cliche describing loyal support. From "we are a football nation", through "nothing unites us like football" to the one that plays on the public's beliefs, "football is our religion".

As the Super Eagles head to the World Cup this summer, many a Nigerian will be quick to point out how far the national team's pedigree outstrips group rivals Iran and Bosnia.

In fact, Nigerians will take umbrage at any suggestion that certain countries (looking at you, USA) are more of a footballing nation.

This is irrespective of the fact that USA have been to the World Cup nine times compared to Nigeria's four, and been eliminated in a semi-final, quarter-final and one round of 16, the last of which equates to Nigeria's best performance, achieved twice.

Domestically, USA's Major League Soccer averages more than 18,000 fans per game, far more than the four-figure crowds at Nigerian league games.

This may sound merely like a comparison of Nigeria and USA, but it is not only that.

It is meant to be a damning verdict on Nigerian fans. And it arises from two recent issues: disgraceful World Cup ticket sales, and to a lesser extent, laboriously slow sales of the new national team kit.

Adama Idris, marketing director of the Nigeria Football Federation, has been left embittered by the lack of movement on the ticket front. Of 11,200 tickets allocated to Nigerian fans, a grand total of 300 were purchased by fans by the deadline that Fifa set before reallocating them.

"People claim to be supporters of football, but they can't even buy tickets to support their team," Idris said. "Now those tickets have been allocated to other countries. How will they travel to Brazil to support their team without tickets?"

It will not be the first time that has happened. Nigerians make up a sizeable percentage of the population in South Africa. Flights between the countries are daily, frequent and cheaper than traveling to Europe or the Americas.

Four years ago, Nigerian games at the World Cup were expected to be crowded out by Super Eagles fans trooping out in support of their team.

For their opening game against Argentina, there were more fans in the blue and white strip than there were Nigerians. The trend continued for the other two games.

Even at the last African Nations in South Africa, Nigeria fans were outnumbered by Zambia and Ethiopia fans. Most of the Ethiopians travelled all the way from east Africa, some reportedly spending upwards of three weeks on the road.

Yet, Nigerians will tell you they are more passionate than any other fans.

In 2006, Amos Adamu, the Nigerian former member of the Fifa executive committee, was accused of ticket racketeering. Of not making tickets available for fans through the official channels and instead selling them on himself.

Adamu strongly denied the allegations and none of them were substantiated. Closer inspection would have shown them to be untrue.

But even if he did try to profit thus, who would have bought his tickets? Last year, the Super Eagles won the African Nations Cup and qualified for the World Cup, yet less than 5 per cent of their 11,200 tickets were sold in a country with a population of more than 150,000,000.

In 2006, a year when Nigerians were nursing the gut-punch of being pipped to World Cup qualification by Angola. Adamu would have been lucky to shift 10 tickets.

These are the same fans who have rapped adidas over and over again for the quality, design and cost of the country's World Cup kit.

There will be plenty of talk. But when the time comes for fans to pipe up with ticket requests, the silence will be cloying.

As the European leagues that Nigerians are so hooked upon have shown time and again, football is about fans, the paying fans. The customers.

Nigerian fans' claims that they are passionate about their football is betrayed by their historical reluctance to shell out in support of their team.

Shirts do not sell in Nigeria. Tickets do not sell in Nigeria. That is the brutal truth. And until the fans change their attitude, the team will never be taken seriously by sponsors.

Brazil 2014 is as good a time as any to start.


Super Eagles coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi has been named the 24th best national team coach in the world

Super Eagles coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi has been named the 24th best national team coach in the world by The Institute of Football Coaching and Statistics.

The listing, which is the latest by the body, also named the Head coach of Ghana Black Stars James Kwesi Appiah in the 42nd position.

Top of the list

The coach of the Spanish national team, Vincente Del Bosque tops the list with 25188 points followed by Germany Joachim Low with 21422 points.

Oscar Tabarez of Uruguay placed 3rd, Italy Ceasre Prandelli came fourth, Netherlands Van Marwijk 5th, Jurgen Klinsmann 6th , Poalo Jorge Gomes of Portugal 7th.


Guinea coach Michel Dussuyer is in the 29th position, while Algeria coach Vahid Halihodzic fell from previous 34th position to 41st.

Seasoned coaches like Laurent Blanc was named in 43rd place, Lars Lagerback, 47th, with Croatia Slaven Billic placing 50th.

The listings can be found at

Bugaje Says Nigeria’s Crude Oil Belongs To The North

One of the lead speakers at the Northern Leaders’ Conference, Usman Bugaje, has raised a controversial issue on the ownership of Nigeria’s crude oil domiciled majorly in the Niger Delta region.

According to him, it is wrong for any state to claim that it is oil producing because 72% of the total land mass in the country belonged to the North and that by the United Nation’s law; it is only the North that actually has the right to claim ownership.

Dr. Bugaje, in his presentation, insisted that “there are no oil producing states.” He argued that “the only oil producing state is the Nigerian state itself.”

He explained, “Whatever mileage you get in the sea, according to the United Nations Law of the sea, is a measure of the land mass that you have; that is what gives you the mileage into the sea…and the land mass of this country, that gives that long 200 nautical miles or more into the ocean, is because of that 72% of the land mass of this country, which is the North.”

To buttress his argument, Dr. Bugaje also said, “The investment came from the Nigerian state and the territory belongs to the Nigerian state.”

He further maintained, “What they claim is the off shore oil is actually the oil of the North” contending that “we should stop using these terms that have no sense at all. There are no oil producing states.”

Credit: ChannelsTV

Don’t make the mistake of migrating to Canada, it’s a fool’s paradise

Flight to Canada

By Usha Das

TORONTO: As I read the news this week about 257,515 people migrating to Canada in 2012, I had a chill running down my spine as I considered the fate of these immigrants who would have to start their job hunt the very next day of their arrival. Their imported money would soon run out and if they have to survive in this country, they will have to get a job quickly.

Personally speaking, my family had a great life in Dubai. We managed to get a good education for our kids. My husband and I had satisfying jobs and a good bank balance thanks to our tax-free salaries.

Then suddenly, this Canada bug bit us as we did not want to return to India after working for about two decades in Dubai.

So we decided to apply for immigration to Canada. After a few years of waiting, we got our PR Cards. When we told our friends that we are going to settle in Canada, many of them warned us. They narrated  horrific tales of new immigrants in Canada.

They warned us that highly skilled and experienced people, who have worked in managerial positions in Dubai or India, are working as cab drivers or factory workers in Canada. We were also told that even if you did get a job, you will have to work much below your professional rank, which will deeply hurt your ego and self esteem.
In fact, some friends suggested that we would be better off going back to India to the warmth of our family. But we suspected that they are fooling us and we paid no heed to their advice.

So in April 2009, we left Dubai and landed in Toronto to start a new life, against the wishes of these family friends. We were in a hurry to get back into our former profession. But it took me more than a couple of years to get a teaching license. Then I spent more money on upgrading my qualifications and membership fees. Then I had to do a lot of volunteer work as I waited and waited for a school job. But nothing happened.

So here is my story: even after spending four years in Canada and upgrading my skills and using up all our savings, I am still without a job. Actually, this IS the story of thousands of fellow immigrants.

School boards are on perpetual strike. Teachers are being laid off. It is a very frightening situation for teachers. But the school boards keep training more and more teachers and making money!

Most of these teachers are jobless or they are doing jobs that pay them peanuts and kill their self-esteem.

My husband, who had three decades of work experience in construction in Dubai, was reduced to doing odd jobs which are not even worth mentioning.

Chasing this so-called Canadian dream, we have ended up using all our savings. We have already spent a couple of hundred thousand dollars to live a descent life, so that we will not lose the will to survive in this struggling country with no job prospects.

Having spent almost all our life savings, we don’t know what to do next – whether to stay here or go back. Our life is in limbo

My advice to people who are itching to migrate to Canada to give a better future to their children is this: Think hard before you take any decision and don’t fool yourself by painting a rosy picture in your head. You may end up working in factories, call centers, security agencies, Tim Horton’s or packing factories. You will lose your savings. Your will lose your morale and self-esteem. Tensions will destroy your marital and family life. Finally, if you are lucky enough, you may get an entry-level job and then pay someone else’s mortgage while living in their basement as you dream of buying your own little nest.

And buying your little nest in a hurry (with your saved money) could be your worst mistake, for God forbid if you are laid off, as it happened to my dear friend, who will pay the mortgage? Your house dream will collapse and you will be buried under it.

And if you do get a job – which most probably you won’t enjoy doing, but you will do it anyways to survive and pay the mortgage – you will end up wasting the prime of your life paying back the mortgage. It is not worth it, believe me.

Our struggle for survival continues to this day. We don’t know when we will wind up this fruitless venture and head back to India. This is the story of many immigrants to Canada.

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