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African press review 3 June 2011

Godfathers try to claw their way into Nigeria's cabinet. Will Goodluck Jonathan wipe away the tears of a long-suffering people? Cocoa rots on the quays in Ghana, where a moneymen's spat is holding up home-building. Also in Ghana - paedophile pastors and an unconventional way to hold a theft inqui



We begin in Nigeria where the papers are following lobby groups which have “flooded” the capital Abuja, as President Goodluck Jonathan prepares to announce his new government.

The Vanguard reports about the interesting times in the federal capital where leading politicians and their “godfathers” entered “a rat race to get one appointment or the other” from Jonathan. The paper says they are exploiting all avenues to claw their way into the president’s cabinet.

The transition sparked dramatic and emotional scenes in parliament as the lawmakers held their last session.

The Punch reports an outpouring of emotions in the Senate and the House of Representatives Thursday, as the curtain fell on the sixth National Assembly. The Lagos-based newspaper puts the number of lawmakers who lost their constituencies at 260. The Punch claims that two of them wept during the five-hour session, including former speaker Patricia Etteh who was “absolved of blame” in the controversial 268-million-naira renovation scam that led to her ouster.    

This Day takes up the raging battle within the ruling party for the speakership of the National Assembly.

The paper reveals that Mulikat Akande-Adeola, from Ogbomoso in Oyo state, has emerged as the frontrunner in the race, under the party’s zoning policy. This Day found out that Muraina Ajibola, who had been set to land the powerful post; was losing ground because of her links with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The newspaper also gathered that the ruling PDP has decided to enlist the assistance of the state governors to ensure Mulikat’s election, as her opponents vowed to take their fight for the post right to the Senate flood on 6 June, when the National Assembly is inaugurated.

As Nigeria awaits the new government, Newswatch wonders whether President Jonathan will wipe away the tears of the “longsuffering people” ?

The respected journal pops three nagging questions to the man of good luck:

Will he give jobs to millions of unemployed youths currently pounding the streets helplessly in search of work?

Will the electricity situation in the country change dramatically?

And to what extent should the electorate trust the politician to keep promises made during campaigns for election?

In Ghana, the papers are raising eyebrows about huge stocks of cocoa rotting at the country’s main port. The Business and Financial Times carried out an investigation and reports that over 400 vehicles transporting many tonnes of cocoa beans are at a standstill at Takoradi and Tema take-over points. It attributes the problem to inefficient warehouse management by the Ghana Cocoa Board.

The Chronicle headlines on a giant housing project that is mired in controversy. Some 30,000 housing units for the security services, are to be constructed by a Korean Engineering and Construction firm under the contract signed by the government.

Ghana’s Works and Housing minister told The Chronicle that funding had been secured from Great Britain for the project, expected to be launched next month. However the newspaper found out that the businessman, who brought the Korean firm to Ghana, has filed a court injunction, seeking to block any work in Ghana by that company after he was excluded from the deal.

Accra Mail headlines on a government crackdown on rogue pastors after a preacher defiled his daughter. The bogus man of God worships with the “Jesus Onetouch” church. Accra Mail reports that the government has charged the police to go arrest and prosecute pastors who sexually molest and defraud unsuspecting members of their churches.

Another story that made headlines in the papers was the use of scandalous methods to resolve recurrent thefts at a luxury hotel. The interactive newspaper, MyJoyOnline says the management of Capital View Hotel in the Eastern regional capital, Koforidua, stripped naked the suspects who included one woman having her period.

Ghana Mail comments that the naked search, carried out last month yielded no results because the "missing money" could not be found on any of the "suspects".



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