The Ghana Education Service (GES), in consultation with the Ministry of Education, has decided to award only one recipient of the 2018 President’s Independence Day awards in the Northern Region.

They have decided only one person instead of two which is the norm.

The decision comes after the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the Yendi Municipal Assembly in the Northern Region, Alhaji Abubakari H. Yussif, petitioned President Akufo-Addo after a more deserving student was swapped with another.

In the view of the MCE, one of the students pencilled in for the award did not deserve the award as he secured relatively weaker scores in the exams than other candidates.

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The MCE insisted that the award should be given to a girl from his municipality, whom, he said, had obtained seven ones in the BECE.

The first year student of the Tamale Senior High School, Miss Yakubu Hasanatu completed Abartey Junior High School and scored seven ones.

She was nominated with 20 others in the region for the 2018 annual president’s award. They all went through a thorough interview session by the GES.

After the interview, Miss Yakubu Hasanatu was declared the overall winner by the panel. This was communicated to her parents as well.

However, a few days to the date of the award, authorities of the regional education service surprisingly replaced her with a different candidate, Abubakari H. Yussif, who had five ones.

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Alhaji Ahmed Abubakari insisted that Miss Hasanatu should be given the award and not Abubakari Yussif.

“It is against this backdrop that, I have tendered in this petition on her behalf for your Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana to intervene for the right thing to be done, for justice and fairness to prevail in this matter, please,” the MCE requested in the petition.

The GES, therefore, decided to withhold the award pending investigations into the petition. The rightful winner at the end of the investigation would be presented with the award later.

Every year, the best two BECE candidates from each region are honoured with the President’s Award. Last year, in accordance with the 60th anniversary of Ghana’s independence, the award ceremony was expanded to cover 60 candidates.

This year, 30 candidates will be honoured today. The number is made up of two from each region and 10 best students in the subject areas.