Accra, Ghana - Jolts in Ghana’s football following the “temporary” resignation of the Ayew brothers from the national football team, the Black Stars, the hospitalisation of the team’s defender John Paintsil after his arrest for assaulting his wife were some of the stories highlighted in the Ghanaian media this week.
The newspapers also covered the death of three-month-old Siamese twins after they were separated in an operation at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city, and the opposition New Patriotic Party’s ‘state of the nation’ after the party’s MPs boycotted President John Dramani Mahama’s State of the Nation address to parliament.
“Ayew brothers quit Black Stars”, was the headline of the Graphic, which reported that Dede Ayew and Jordan Ayew have quit the Black Stars.
The Marseille of France players wrote to the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to notify them of their decision to quit the Black Stars.
But the duo was dropped under controversial circumstances in the build up to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in South Africa.
The Graphic said the news may come as a shock to the GFA which was seeking to build a formidable squad ahead of the World Cup qualifiers.
The state-owned Ghanaian Times also had the headline, “Ayew brothers quit Black Stars” with the story saying that the French-based duo, Andre Ayew and Jordan Ayew, have announced their retirement from the Black Stars, at least for now.
The duo Tuesday formally communicated their intentions to the Ghana Football Association (GFA) in separate letters, citing issues such as their recent relationship with the management team of the Black Stars.
The Ayews said their decisions were “temporary”, insisting it was aimed at rejuvenating themselves for future roles with the team.
“Cops chase Paintsil”, was the headline of the pro-opposition Daily Guide on the troubles of Paintsil, who was arrested on 22 February for allegedly assaulting his wife. He was bailed and asked to report at the Legon Police Station on 25 February to sign a bond of good behaviour.
The newspaper said Paintsil, the Deputy Skipper of the Black Stars, was “still on the radar of the police after securing bail”, in spite of attempts by his wife, Richlove, to get the charges against him dropped.
It said the footballer and his wife had made up after his alleged brutal assault on her last Friday, as the couple was spotted heading to the Volta Region together for a funeral.
Initial reports claimed Paintsil had stabbed his wife and threatened to shoot her, but the couple had since denied that he ever assaulted her as claimed in the police report last Friday.
“The Accra Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police Freeman Tettey, said that the woman’s attempt would not save Mr. Painstil because it was not the wife who lodged the complaint at the Legon Police Station on Friday.”
It was a neighbour who lodged the complaint. Apparently, he had tried to shield Richlove.
“Paintsil faints as he prepares to report to report to police”, was the headline of the state-owned Graphic.
The newspaper said Paintsil collapsed on Monday just before he was expected to report himself to the Legon police to sign a bond of good behaviour.
It said a senior medial officer of the hospital which treated the footballer said his condition was caused by exhaustion and anxiety.
Paintsil, a defender of Ghana's Black Stars and Hopel Tel Aviv of Israel, was rushed to the Ghana-Canada Medical centre where he was treated and discharged.
The Graphic’s headline on the Siamese twins read, “Doctors separate Siamese twins.”
The story said a team of 17 medical officers and nurses at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) on Tuesday successfully carried out a delicate surgical operation to separate female Siamese twins who were joined at the abdomen.
The twins were also joined at the pelvis and intestines, a development which made their separation very delicate.
The medical team, led by Professor Francis Abantanga, began the operation around 10 a.m. and continued to work on the twins until 6:15 p.m. when they successfully separated them.
Moments after the twins had been separated, the members of the medical team were excited, clapping and beaming with smiles.
The feat was the second to be chalked up by the hospital in 12 years. In 2001, a medical team, led by the late Professor Amon Niquaye and Professor Abantanga, carried out the first successful separation of Siamese twins.
However, the joy turned into sorrow as the twins passed away on Wednesday and Thursday.
The website of an Accra-based radio station, Joy FM, said the second of the conjoined twins separated in a marathon surgery Tuesday died on Thursday, one day after her twin sister died from complications of a hole-in-the-heart that doctors intended to operate on after the separation.
The second twin had been in critical condition after her sister passed Wednesday.
The headline of the Daily Guide on the opposition NPP’s “State of the Nation” was “NPP punches Mahama”.
It said the minority NPP in Parliament has painted a gloomy picture of the nation, stating that Ghana’s indebtedness is choking the economy.
The current state of Ghana’s public debt, according to the NPP, means that every Ghanaian, including new born babies, automatically owe a whopping GH¢1,340 (US$1.00=Ghana cedis 1.9).
It said the true state of the nation was the ills that were plaguing the country including shambolic utility supplies.
The newspaper said the minority caucus in Parliament, led by Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, said the economy was “in trouble with creeping despondency, and mistrust accentuated by unbridled corruption, making multimillionaires of people who have not sown anything in their lives”.
The Ghanaian Times’s headline was “NPP presents ‘State of the Nation Address’,” saying the minority caucus in Parliament has described the state-of-the-nation address delivered by President John Dramani Mahama in Parliament last week as “a rehash of the NDC 2012 manifesto document with no new initiatives”.
The minority, in its version of the state of the nation, said the country’s economy is in severe crises with high cost of living, high unemployment in both the formal and informal sectors, and reckless unbudgeted expenditure by the government.
“Evidence of the true state of the economy can be found in our everyday lives; in the industries, in the markets, and in the streets. The cost of doing business has shot up, and so unemployment in both the formal and informal sectors is widespread”, Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said.