Tuesday, September 30, 2008


THE Seikwa Tertiary Students Association (SETSA), an umbrella organisation in tertiary students from Seikwa Traditional Area in the Tain District of the Brong Ahafo Region, has appealed to the Bui Power Authority to employ the youth from the district in the on-going construction of the Bui Hydro-electric Dam.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic at Seikwa, the president of the association said most of the association’s members are still jobless after the commencement of the project ,contrary to assurances given by officials to employ them .
He called on the government and the authorities concerned to reserve an appreciable percentage of job vacancies for the sons and daughters of Tain, where the dam is being constructed, and added that the workforce needed for the project should include the youth of the area.
Mr Adade, further stated that a positive response from the authorities concerned would help to fight poverty and illiteracy, which constitute a major source of worry to the people in the area.
“While commending the government for taking the bold step to initiate the Bui power project, we are calling on her to let us the inhabitants of Tain to benefit fully from the project since our land bears both the good or bad result of the project,” he stressed.
Mr Adade further appealed to the government and other private developers to turn their attention to the Tain District, as it was an economically viable area for the establishment of factories and other lucrative business ventures.
On agriculture, he noted that the Degedege Irrigation Dam, which was currently under-utilised, could be put to good use to boost agricultural activities in the area, to further create jobs for the youth and enhance food security, as well as the local economy.
Mr Adade also entreated the local financial institutions in the area to assist the youth in the district by granting them soft loans for them to venture into economic activities.


THE Tamale metropolis will once again be filled to capacity today with the celebration of this year’s Eid-Ul-Fitr.
Residents of the metropolis have been preparing feverishly to celebrate the occasion in a grand style.
During such occasions, the metropolis glitters with Muslims exquisitely dressed, mostly in their boubou or “Agbada” attire as they celebrate the season after the month-long Ramadan.
It is worthy to note that both Muslims and non-Muslims share in the joy of the season.
Currently, the metropolis, which is predominantly a Muslim community, is witnessing the influx of a significant number of visitors, including holidaymakers.
Eid-Ul-Fitr is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. ‘Eid’ is an Arabic word, meaning festivity, while ‘Fitr’ means breaking a fast. It is a three-day celebration where Muslims are encouraged to dress in their best clothing to attend a special prayer that is performed in Mosques or at open spaces like parks and fields.
All the mosques in the metropolis and the Jubilee Park in Tamale will be filled by Muslims as they pray on September 30 and October 1, 2008.
Apart from the prayers to mark the day, it is always a time for residents to socialise and to meet friends, family members and visitors.
It is also a time revellers are treated to a variety of music from both visiting and local artistes at various social gatherings. Undoubtedly, visitors have a lot to experience and enjoy in the metropolis as nightlife is also expected to be boosted during the period.
According to an event organiser, Mr Adam Abdul-Basit, hip-life artistes like K.K. Fosu, Kofi Nti and some local musicians have been billed to perform in the metropolis to mark the day.


VACATION jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in the Tamale metropolis have peaked in recent times.
A significant number of youth who are predominantly school leavers have been engaged either as mobile-to-mobile phone service providers or hawkers of cosmetic products and toiletries, particularly from office to office in the metropolis.
Indeed, the youth get paid for whatever they do although some of them complain that the wages they receive are meagre, compared to the workload.
Most of them are found roaming the streets in the scorching sun doing brisk business to earn a living.
Those who hawk the cosmetic products get paid depending on how much sales they make in a day.
A significant number of these hawkers are females who are either on vacation or are school leavers.
The females do brisk business compared to their male counterparts, as the former are more persuasive than the latter in getting customers to patronise their goods.
The females have awesome marketing strategies that earn them admiration from their buyers who are enticed to buy their products.
They serve as agents of companies, most of which are located in Accra.
One of the ladies in that business, who gave her name only as Hawa, could best be described as an intelligent and smart hawker.
Before she leaves an office she makes sure she persuades you to buy some of her wares.
She claimed she had been in that business for sometime but would continue her education up to the university level if she obtains good results.
Most of the lady hawkers, however, admitted that although some men made advances at them they were careful to avoid immoral acts that would ruin their future.
Rufai Abdulai is a mobile-to-mobile phone operator who usually sits adjacent to the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) Tamale main branch building.
He has completed senior secondary school but needs to rewrite a few of the papers to enable him achieve his dreams of gaining admission into the university.
Abdulai told this reporter that he earned less than GH¢50 and that he made a lot of money during “pay-days” or when workers were paid at the end of the month.
According to him, one needed about GH¢300 to start business but added that one needed to re-invest in the business in order to keep it going.
Abdulai said that sometimes he encountered problems when transferring units from his mobile phone to a customer’s mobile phone.
“You can transfer the units and your customer can tell you he or she did not receive it; you can also transfer the units and it could be more than what the customer paid for in which case it becomes a debt because some of the customers would not tell you that you transferred more units to them than what they required,” he pointed out.
Abdulai said he paid GH10p daily to the assembly task force for occupying the space where he had erected a small canopy to transact the business.
“All of us you see lined up here are not going to retire on this job because we have bigger dreams ahead of us. One of my colleagues recently sold all the items he was using for the business and went back to school and to be specific, the University for Development Studies,” he stressed.
It is heart-warming to note that the youth, at least, are trying to earn some income before moving on in life, for “a thousand miles’ journey begins with a first step”.

Monday, September 29, 2008


A 10-member Northern Regional Electoral Security Task Force has been inaugurated in Tamale.
The task force, chaired by the Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP), Mr Ofosu-Mensah Gyeabour, is tasked with the responsibility of maintaining law and order in the region as well as providing a conducive security environment to ensure smooth elections.
It is also expected to help identify all flash points in the region and to create a congenial atmosphere for smooth political campaigns in the area.
The Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, in his inaugural address stated that the task force was expected to be neutral, firm, fair and resolute in the performance of its duties.
They are also supposed to monitor pre- and post-election activities and help provide security to the Electoral Commission (EC) to distribute election materials and personnel to all polling stations.
“It is regrettable that current developments in the electoral process in some African countries for the past decade are not the best”, he stated.
Alhaji Idris therefore urged stakeholders to work closely to ensure that what had been achieved was further consolidated for incident-free and credible elections, acceptable not only to the political parties but also to the international community.
Mr Ofosu-Mensah, for his part, expressed gratitude for the confidence reposed in him, and gave the assurance that members of the task force would help maintain law and order.
“We would ensure proper investigations, objective policing, and provide security to the Electoral Commission to transport electoral materials”, he further assured.
According to the chairman of the task force they would put in place a rapid deployment force in all constituencies to ensure an incident-free election in the region.
“There will be maximum security at all polling stations and we will also ensure protection of vital installations in the region”, Mr Ofosu-Mensah stressed.
The Regional Director of the EC, Mr Sylvester Kanyi, announced that there would be an exhibition of the voters register from October 5-11 2008, adding that nomination forms for parliamentary aspirants had arrived in the region.
According to him, filing of nominations would take place on October 16 and 17, 2008.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Following an alleged assault on a medical officer of the Tamale Teaching Hospital (TTH), Dr Prosper Akanbon, the management of the hospital and the Northern Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) have formulated strategies to provide 24-hour security for all categories of health staff at the hospital.
Dr Akanbon was said to have been physically assaulted by a group of young men last Saturday for allegedly delaying in attending to the ailing father of one of the young men that resulted in the patient’s death.
The names of the men have been withheld for security reasons but they are currently assisting the police in their investigations.
Dr Akanbon, a physician specialist in charge of the three northern regions, was attending to a patient who was bleeding profusely when the incident occurred.
The Director of Administration of the TTH, Mr Kusi K. Boachie, told the Daily Graphic that the young man’s father died before he was sent to the hospital.
He further said that workers of the hospital rescinded their decision to embark on a strike in solidarity with their colleague when they were assured of their safety by the Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris; the Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Mohammed Amin Adam; the Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, and the Regent of Tamale, Alhaji Ziblim Abdulai.
He said when the minister’s attention was drawn to the matter, he quickly mobilised security personnel to bring the situation under control.
According to the director, the management of the TTH reported the matter to the Regent of Tamale, who advised the management to report the incident to the police for the law to take its course.
Mr Boachie entreated health personnel not to refuse posting to the area, since the management was working, with support from the political heads of the Northern Region, to ensure maximum security for them.
A member of the Health Services Workers Union who pleaded anonymity said his colleagues were not happy with recent developments at the hospital.
According to him, cases of assault on staff of the hospital were becoming rampant and stated that there was the need for such negative acts to be nipped in the bud to ensure smooth healthcare delivery at the TTH.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Four suspected armed robbers were on Sunday night arrested by a military highway patrol team for attacking and robbing traders who were on board a 38-seater Benz bus at Yemo-Karaga in the Karaga District of the Northern Region.
The victims were robbed of their money, mobile phones and other valuable items running into several thousands of Ghana cedis.
The robbers allegedly manhandled a baby whose mother refused to obey their orders and inflicted wounds on some of the traders and the driver of the vehicle.
The Tamale Metropolitan Police Commander, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Caesar Abanga, confirmed the incident to the Daily Graphic but he did not disclose the names of the suspects.
Narrating the incident, the driver of the vehicle, Alhaji Abdul Wahab Abdulai, said about 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, as he approached Yemo-Karaga, he saw the suspects flashing their searchlights and firing at the vehicle at the same time, which compelled him to stop.
He said as soon as he stopped, he was asked to switch on the lights inside his vehicle but he refused, which angered the robbers, for which they dragged him out of the vehicle.
According to Abdulai, one of the robbers slapped him and used the butt of a gun to hit him on the head and on his left hand and also took GH¢20 from him.
The robbers, he further said, then moved into the passengers and robbed them of their money and mobile phones.
One of the victims, Hardi Zakaria, a mobile phone dealer in Tamale, said he was robbed of 10 mobile phones and an unspecified amount of money.
According to the traders, the robbery lasted for an hour before a team of military personnel arrived on the scene and managed to arrest one of the suspects, who later led the police to the robbers’ hideout in the vicinity where the incident occurred.
The Regent of Yemo-Karaga, Mahama Abukari Andani, said he had been informed about the incident, noting that such incidents had become rampant in the town for some time now.
Information reaching the Daily Graphic indicated that this was the second time in six months that a similar incident had occurred on that same stretch of road.


THE rampant stealing of overhead copper wires and illegal power connections in the Tamale metropolis are major sources of worry to the management of the Volta River Authority/Northern Electrification Department (VRA-NED).
Figures at the VRA-NED indicate that 7,150 metres of copper wire, valued at GH¢15,000, was stolen in August 2008 alone. Additionally, between 100 and 250 cases of suspected illegal connections which occur every month in the VRA-NED operational areas has been identified by the company as a critical issue that needs urgent attention.
While the VRA blames some residents for those unfortunate developments, residents have also put the blame at the doorstep of the VRA.
Some residents, including the owner of a barbering shop in the central business district, for instance, told the Daily Graphic that they had been victims of such negative practices which had affected their businesses and damaged their home appliances.
They claimed that they had no power supply for almost two weeks due to the stealing of the wires that connected them to the mains.
According to them, they suspected that those acts were carried out with the collaboration of some VRA staff and, therefore, entreated the company to conduct proper investigations into the negative practices and prosecute the perpetrators.
The Northern Area Manager of the VRA-NED, Mr Bukari Danladi, narrated a litany of challenges facing his outfit when a delegation from the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), led by its Chairman, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, recently paid a working visit to Tamale.
He expressed regret at the alleged assault on a member of staff of the VRA by some residents during power outages and meter-reading exercises in the metropolis.
He further explained that three cases of assault against VRA-NED members of staff were currently before court.
“Service transfer between phases are very rampant in suburbs, while the non-payment of bills by customers for the past one year is also affecting our operations,” the manager pointed out.
Mr Danladi said some recalcitrant customers used a system known as “U-Touch”, whereby they used U-shaped wires to illegally connect power on prepaid meters as a way of enjoying power directly without paying for it.
“We also have the problem of illegal extensions and movement of prepaid meters, as well as overwhelming requests for separate meters, which are normally illegally transferred after acquisition,” he stated with regret.
He intimated that ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) owed 42 per cent of the total outstanding bills of about GH¢14,614,375.
The manager said monthly billed revenue stood at GH¢1,515,214, with a customer population of 73,000.
It is heart-warming to note that the management of the VRA has made some recommendations to the PURC, which include the intensification of public education on power theft, payment of bills and assault of the staff of utility companies.
Another suggestion made was a review of the legislation on providing power supply to new customers in compound houses when there were existing arrears from the parent meters.
Mr Danladi urged the PURC to collaborate with the various utility providers to intensify education on the need for attitudinal change among residents.


FOR the past one week the Tamale metropolis has been inundated with activities aimed at promoting peace in the sprawling city.
Religious leaders, political parties, chiefs, civil society groups and residents have joined in a number of peace campaigns which were held in the metropolis aimed at making the area a safe haven for development.
Activities such as forums, street carnivals to promote peace, radio discussions and the circulation of peace messages were among the campaigns held by peace-loving residents and organisations.
The Northern Regional House of Chiefs, the Northern Ecumenical Forum (NEF), comprising religious leaders, political parties, the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) and the Foundation for Security Development in Africa (FOSDA), a non-governmental organisation, were among the bodies which initiated peace campaigns in the metropolis.
While the Northern Regional House of Chiefs held a forum for political parties, chiefs and civil society groups to deliberate on peace issues, the NEF also held a meeting with religious leaders to come up with what it described as a “Road Map to Peace” initiative to ensure violence-free elections in the metropolis.
FOSDA, for its part, organised a well-attended peace march dubbed, “Ballots, not bullets”.
Indeed, recent developments in the metropolis, particularly the political violence between supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) which resulted in acts of arson, had been a major source of worry to public-spirited individuals and organisations.
The President of the NEF, the Most Reverend Gregory Kpiebaya, entreated religious leaders to use the pulpit to condemn the stockpiling of weapons and the use of illegal firearms to foment trouble in the metropolis.
The Vice-President of the NEF, Rev Kwasi Addae-Naami, also urged Christians and Muslims to come up with peace messages to condemn violence in the area.
The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, also urged residents to “use modern tools of engagement like dialogue to iron out their differences”.
Undoubtedly, these peace initiatives have, over the years, been held but it seems a lot more needs to be done to avert the occasional disturbances in the metropolis.
One pertinent question worthy of consideration, therefore, is whether there is the need for all stakeholders to find out the remote and immediate causes of these intermittent disturbances in the metropolis.
There is more to those disturbances than meets the eye. There must be a problem somewhere, for which stakeholders, including the government, must find solutions before things get out of hand.


THE smock weaving industry in the Tamale metropolis is one viable venture that needs greater attention and massive capital infusion.
For one thing, the industry has the potential to reduce the unemployment situation facing the youth in the metropolis.
Unfortunately, however, most smock weavers are operating below capacity as a result of the lack of the needed credit to help boost the industry.
Members of the Aboabu Branch of the Nawuni Songmeti Smock Weavers Association (NASSWA) in Tamale, for instance, told the Daily Graphic that a smock weaver needed not less than GH¢1,000 to start a small business.
Smocks promote dignity among the people of the north and they symbolise the rich cultural heritage of the area.
They come in different forms and sizes and are displayed along the streets of the metropolis.
Their prices range between GH¢10 and GH¢400 each, depending on the size and form. They are either hand sewn or sewn with machines, with the former being more expensive than the latter.
There is a type meant for chiefs. It is called “Yeble” and comes in different forms and sizes with a hat to match. Its price ranges between GH¢250 and GH¢400. There are others that are used to perform traditional dances, while some are meant for only women, called “Togas”.
The Chairman of NASSWA, Alhaji Mallam Yahaya Seidu, made a passionate appeal to the government and the private sector to, as a matter of urgency, help provide the needed credit facilities to boost the smock weaving industry in the metropolis.
He expressed regret that although NASSWA had been licensed to enter the export market with its products, members lacked capital and the needed capacity to produce on a large scale.
According to the chairman, the industry had the potential to grow but stakeholders, including the private sector, were not fulfilling their part of the bargain to help market the traditional wear.
Alhaji Seidu also entreated other smock weavers in the metropolis to join NASSWA, which currently had about 32 members, and support efforts at making the industry viable to help reduce unemployment problems facing the youth in the area.
A smock seller at the Agriculture area on the Tamale-Bolgatanga road, for his part, said some tourists to the area purchased the traditional wear in large quantities from him.
“We are very proud of our smocks because one can use them for not less than 10 years. You can also wash them when they are dirty,” the seller further stated.

Friday, September 19, 2008


THE government is to extend the sea defence wall along all the disaster-prone coastal towns in the Volta Region and Ada in the Greater-Accra Region.
Consequently, the 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces has been tasked to construct culverts in all those identified towns along the coastal areas.
The Minister of the Interior, Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, announced this when he paid a working visit to various coastal towns including Dzita, Keta, Akplowotorkor and Atokor, all in the Volta Region, to assess the impact of the damage caused by the tidal waves that occurred recently in those areas.
According to Dr Addo-Kufuor, the recent tidal waves experienced around the coastal parts of the country were due to global warming resulting from the activities of industrialised countries, saying it was unfortunate that Ghana had to bear the brunt of the action by others.
As part of efforts to alleviate the plight of those affected and to also find lasting solutions to the problem, he announced a three-pronged approach that was aimed at providing those affected with relief items in the short term, tasking the 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces to construct culverts in the towns and the long-term plan of extending sea defence walls to the affected areas.
Dr Addo-Kufuor, however, cautioned against the removal of rocks that served as barriers at the sea defence sites, saying such a practice would not augur well for the protection of lives and property of people in the area in the likely event of flooding.
The Volta Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Dzamesi, said he had earlier visited the area and provided the victims with relief items and promised that he would return with the Minister of the Interior for him to have a first-hand assessment of the situation.
The Keta Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Edward Kofi Ahiabor, assured the people of the government's readiness to ensure that their houses that were destroyed were re-built, adding that the Minister of the Interior had instructed the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to supply them with roofing sheets for that purpose.
It will be recalled that on Wednesday, September 2, 2008, hundreds of homes were flooded and thousands of people were displaced in the Keta Municipality and other parts of the country due to high tidal waves that swept over the coastal belt.
The most affected towns were Dzita, Akplowotorkor and Dakordzi, mostly farming communities, where farms were overrun by sea water.
The President, Mr John Agyekum Kufuor, then directed the release of GH¢7 million to be used in providing relief and assistance to those who were affected by the floods.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


THE Tamale Air Force Station is currently undergoing a facelift to enable it to meet its security challenges this year and in the future.
A number of facilities are being provided to enhance the output of the officers and men at the station.
They include a four-storey building comprising 16 apartments, offices and residential accommodation for the staff of the station.
A sports complex to ensure the physical fitness of the airmen and women is also being provided. The projects are expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The station’s operational areas cover the three northern regions and hence it is strategically located along the Tamale-Bolgatanga road.
Over the years, staff of the station had been called to assist in the maintenance of security particularly in the Yendi and Bawku conflict-prone areas, and which the station handled professionally.
It was, therefore, heart-warming that during the recent visit of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Julius Otchere Boateng, he indicated that there had been a marked improvement in the operational readiness of the station over the years.
Indeed, when this reporter visited the station during its 2008 Administrative Inspection Parade, the smart turnout of the airmen and women held at its Hangar in spite of a downpour was enough to tell anybody that the staff were ever ready to perform their professional duties.
The Chief of Air Staff commended the officers and men of the station for their self-help spirit, which, he noted, was rare among all the stations in the country.
Significantly, the Air Force Station has a strategic importance in the national security framework, hence the need to re-equip it to enhance its performance particularly during the December polls.
The Tamale Air Force Station was initially known as the African High Command Air Force Base. Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, established it. The project, however, came to a halt after Dr Nkrumah was overthrown in 1966 until the Air Force took control of the station in 1974 to protect its facilities.


REFURBISHMENT of a single government housing unit in the Tamale metropolis is estimated at GH¢20,000 owing to the state of deterioration of the buildings.
Most of the housing units were built about 50 years ago and have since then not seen any renovation.
There are currently about 607 government housing units located in suburbs such as Sakasaka, Choggu, Bagabaga, Kalpohini, Vitting, Attaasibi, Nyohini and airport areas.
About 300 of such houses have been earmarked for sale following the government’s decision to sell such buildings nationwide.
It is worthy to note that the level of deterioration of the housing units is so massive that most occupants cannot afford to renovate the structures by themselves.
Some of them have argued that even if they take loans to renovate them, their monies might not be refunded to them.
The situation, therefore, raises pertinent questions as to who should take charge and renovate the buildings particularly at a time when the metropolis is growing with demands for more workers to be posted to the area.
Times without number workers have trooped to the offices of the Northern Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) to request for accommodation, which they never had.
Some workers have, therefore, entreated the government to expedite action on the provision of more housing units to cater for the increasing demands.
Others have alleged that although they have applied for the government bungalows for years now they have “deliberately” been denied the facility.
The Chief Personnel Officer of the EC, Mr Alhassan Suraj-Deen, who is also a member of the allocation committee of the government houses to workers, however, admitted that the number of workers in the metropolis had outgrown the number of accommodation facilities available in the area.
He further explained that “we have on several occasions served notices to squatters and illegal occupants to quit but they have failed to comply with the quit order”.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

MINISTER RAISES VOICE...Against multiple lands sales (BACK PAGE)

A Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, Mr Andrew Adjei-Yeboah, has expressed concern about the multiple sale of lands resulting in protracted land litigation and armed conflicts, some of which have claimed many lives in the country.
“Our land administration system has been fraught with several problems which have diverted enormous resources away from development projects and consequently slowed down national progress,” Mr Adjei-Yeboah noted in a speech read on his behalf at the inauguration of six pilot Customary Land Secretariats (CLSs) for the three northern regions in Tamale.
The six CLSs are located in Damongo and Bamboi in the Northern Region, Bolgatanga, Bongo and Paga in the Upper East Region and Sagmaalu in the Upper West Region. The new CLSs have been provided with computers, office furniture, cabinets, printers, photocopiers and motorbikes, among other facilities.
That brings the total number of CLS pilot programmes in the country to 38.
According to Mr Adjei-Yeboah, the government would continue to build the capacity of the pilot secretariats that had been established through training programmes. Other interventions from the government, he said, included capacity building for alternative dispute resolution and regularisation of title to lands.
“In spite of the abundance of land and natural resources the nation could not be counted among the developed and affluent countries in the world,” he expressed regret.
That, he said, was because “we have failed to harness the potentials of land, due to poor management, record keeping, indeterminate boundaries and generally poor land administration systems”.
“The successes of these secretariats substantially depends on the customary landowners; it is, therefore, expected that all beneficiaries, be they stools, skins, traditional councils, tindambas, clans and families, would ensure that the offices receive the necessary attention and financial support for sustainability,” Mr Adjei-Yeboah stated.
The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, observed that land issues in the region had for a long time been taken for granted.
“The time has now come for us to re-consider the issue more critically and as custodians of the land you must acquaint yourself with new land policy, tenure security and transparency,” he pointed out.
The Regional Land Administration Project (LAP) Co-ordinator, Mr Felix Odum-Boadu, noted that the establishment of the CLS was a way of formalising traditional land administration.
He urged traditional areas to come on board and in the near future lobby for the establishment of their own CLS.


A Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, Mr Andrew Adjei-Yeboah, has expressed concern about the multiple sale of lands resulting in protracted land litigation and armed conflicts, some of which have claimed many lives in the country.
“Our land administration system has been fraught with several problems which have diverted enormous resources away from development projects and consequently slowed down national progress,” Mr Adjei-Yeboah noted in a speech read on his behalf at the inauguration of six pilot Customary Land Secretariats (CLSs) for the three northern regions in Tamale.
The six CLSs are located in Damongo and Bamboi in the Northern Region, Bolgatanga, Bongo and Paga in the Upper East Region and Sagmaalu in the Upper West Region. The new CLSs have been provided with computers, office furniture, cabinets, printers, photocopiers and motorbikes, among other facilities.
That brings the total number of CLS pilot programmes in the country to 38.
According to Mr Adjei-Yeboah, the government would continue to build the capacity of the pilot secretariats that had been established through training programmes. Other interventions from the government, he said, included capacity building for alternative dispute resolution and regularisation of title to lands.
“In spite of the abundance of land and natural resources the nation could not be counted among the developed and affluent countries in the world,” he expressed regret.
That, he said, was because “we have failed to harness the potentials of land, due to poor management, record keeping, indeterminate boundaries and generally poor land administration systems”.
“The successes of these secretariats substantially depends on the customary landowners; it is, therefore, expected that all beneficiaries, be they stools, skins, traditional councils, tindambas, clans and families, would ensure that the offices receive the necessary attention and financial support for sustainability,” Mr Adjei-Yeboah stated.
The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, observed that land issues in the region had for a long time been taken for granted.
“The time has now come for us to re-consider the issue more critically and as custodians of the land you must acquaint yourself with new land policy, tenure security and transparency,” he pointed out.
The Regional Land Administration Project (LAP) Co-ordinator, Mr Felix Odum-Boadu, noted that the establishment of the CLS was a way of formalising traditional land administration.
He urged traditional areas to come on board and in the near future lobby for the establishment of their own CLS.

Friday, September 12, 2008


THE Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Mr Samuel Bannerman-Mensah, has bemoaned the regular engagement of public school teachers by governmental and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to the detriment of effective teaching and learning in schools.
He observed the regular practice of engaging public school teachers for national and district assignments, as well as activities of NGOs and said the situation had adverse effects on classroom work.
“We have embarked on education reforms and our teachers must not abandon classroom work for other pursuits as the government is paying for their services. I, therefore, charge directors of education to monitor teachers and ensure effective supervision in schools to reverse that trend,” he stressed.
Mr Bannerman-Mensah said this during the opening of the 15th Annual National Conference of Directors of Education (CODE) in Tamale in the Northern Region.
It was on the theme, “The new Education Reform: The Way Forward”. The over 200 participants discussed education reform, promotion of quality education and ensuring effective supervision in schools, among other issues.
“One teacher should not be encouraged to involve himself or herself in too many NGO activities as they are having a negative impact on teaching and learning in schools,” Mr Bannerman-Mensah pointed out.
The Director-General noted that misuse of class contact hours should be discouraged, while new vehicles provided to ensure effective supervision in schools by directors must be put to good use for the results to be seen.
“As we learn from other nations, the development of our children should be well monitored and supervised to ensure that they get the full benefits of all the structures put in place for their well-being and academic development,” he pointed out.
He, however, cautioned that “our supervision must not be the porous one that lends itself to all kinds of temptations from officers; instead, we must, by our effective supervision, cause our officers to love to always do the right thing”.
Mr Bannerman-Mensah stressed that effective supervision must be the concern of directors of education, adding that the work of the District Inspectorate Division of the GES was also being transformed into a vibrant and reliable quality control entity.
“School Management Committees (SMCs) and Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) should become organs of school supervision systems to complement the efforts of the service to promote quality at all levels of education,” the director-general intimated.
He challenged directors of education to pay particular attention to supervision in schools, since effective supervision was lacking in most of our schools.
Mr Bannerman-Mensah announced the government’s plans to rehabilitate science resource centres at the basic level.
The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, in a speech read on his behalf, stated that the government was committed to the realisation of the cherished dream of adequately resourcing the education sector.
Touching on the recent disturbances in the Tamale metropolis, the minister observed that conflicts had over the years undermined the gains made so far.
The Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Mohammed Amin Adam, stated that the assembly had been liaising with NGOs and the GES to help arrest the falling standards of education in the metropolis.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


AN international non-governmental organisation, the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), and the Ghana Education Service (GES) have jointly organised an exposure camp in Tamale for 150 girls.
The camp was aimed, among other things, at exposing the girls to opportunities available to them through education when they stay in school.
The girls are to enjoy bursaries including the provision of school fees, uniforms, sandals, exercise and textbooks and other educational materials.
In a speech read on her behalf, the Head of CAMFED Ghana Programme, Mrs Dolores Dickson, in a speech read on her behalf, said her outfit “seeks to create opportunities for children, particularly girls to be well-educated and protected so that they grow to tend the tide of poverty”.
Presently, she said, there were 2000 girls benefiting from CAMFED’s bursary support across 15 districts in the Northern Region.
“CAMFED provides bursary support to needy girls in upper primary, junior high schools and senior high schools to be able to pay their school fees where applicable, sew school uniforms and acquire relevant stationery to enable them to stay in school,” Mrs Dickson added.
According to her, 60 schools were currently benefiting from a termly grant of GH¢110, saying they supported children who were at risk of dropping out of school due to lack of some basic needs.
Mrs Dickson noted that “we thought it would be appropriate to bring some of these girls together to interact with their peers, role models and experienced people so as to learn what it takes to live a meaningful and responsible life in adulthood”.
The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, entreated all stakeholders to take a critical look at the education of the girl child.

Monday, September 8, 2008


A high-powered delegation of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has toured areas affected by the recent political violence in Tamale and Gushiegu, with a call on the security services to expedite action on investigations to prosecute the perpetrators.
The leader of the delegation, Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, who made the call, equally noted that any further delay in delivering justice could make the government “weak and unpopular”.
He expressed regret at the unfortunate incidents, stressing that, “from the look of things it is now clear to us that NDC sympathisers were the target of the arson in this area”.
According to Alhaji Iddrisu, who is also a former Defence Minister, politics should be a means to help develop the poor in the society and not to kill people, and therefore urged residents of the affected areas to avoid reprisals as that could worsen their plight.
“I urge you not to take up arms because we are also going to do our best to help expose the perpetrators,” he appealed to the supported of the party.
He emphasised that the security services must work expeditiously and inpartially in order to build confidence in the citizenry and safeguard their own credibility.
“In that case I wish to advise them that last minute arrests are not the best; we are making a mockery of ourselves if we continue to pay lip service to security issues’ Alhaji Iddrisu observed.
The General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Asiedu Nketia, noted that the leadership of the party decided to send a fact-finding delegation to assess the situation since “this is our stronghold and we must work harder to bring relief to the people”.
At Gushiegu, a number of residents, including victims recounted their experiences to the delegation. They included the constituency secretary of the NDC, Mr Puumaya Alhassan, Madam Saikulu Jamoni, a health extension worker and daughter of the NDC Constituency Chairman, whose vehicles and three houses were burnt down in the disturbances as well as Mr Issahaku Mashoud, the Constituency Organiser of the NDC.
The Yendi Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Patrick Adusei Sarpong, in an interview with newsmen during the tour, stated that there was calm and that the security were firmly in control of the situation.
According to him, the police were still compiling the list of suspects in the political violence, and entreated witnesses in the incident to assist the police in their investigations.
“I have talked to all the political leaders of the NPP and NDC to cooperate with us in our investigations and I am sure we would make a headway” the commander intimated.
He further indicated that the safety of residents’ was guaranteed, adding that we have been here since last week Monday and nothing has happened.
On whether any arrests had been made, apart from the six persons who are currently in police custody for further investigations, the commander responded in the negative.
Earlier on, the delegation called on the Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, who entreated the rank and file of the NDC to assist the government to find lasting solutions to the “sporadic acts of violence in the region”.
“I feel sad about this unfortunate situation and it is about time we set the tone for good conduct and I can assure you that those found guilty would not be spared”Alhaji Idris pointed out.
Other members of the delegation included the former vice presidential hopeful, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, Alhaji Ibrahim Adam, Alhaji Seidu Iddi, the former Northern Regional Minister, the National Vice Chairman of the NDC, Alhaji Huudu Yahaya, the Deputy National Propaganda Secretary, Hajia Laadi Ayi, and the MP for Tamale South, Mr Haruna Iddrisu.


THE United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is to provide $3.4 million (US) under a special package to address malnutrition among the rural poor in the three northern regions.
A total of 215,000 people in Northern Ghana north have been targeted to benefit from the package, which would become operational in October this year.
Additionally, 20,000 schoolchildren out of the total number of the beneficiaries would be identified and selected to benefit from extra food rations.
The Executive Director of the WFP, Miss Josette Sheeran, made this known during an interaction with newsmen in Tamale as part of her tour of duty of the northern regions. The visit afforded her the opportunity to inspect some development projects undertaken by the WFP in the region.
She visited Gbumgbum in the Savelugu-Nanton District, where she interacted with women’s groups and beneficiaries of the school feeding, health and nutrition programmes.
Miss Sheeran equally inspected a supplementary feeding centre in the area. She was accompanied on the tour by the WFP Ghana Representative, Mr Ismail Omer, the Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, Hajia Alima Mahama and the Regional Director of Education, Mr John Hobenu, among other dignitaries.
The director observed that Ghana was a pace-setter when it came to fighting malnutrition, lack of education and poverty, stressing that “Ghana is very special and important to me and I know the country would benefit from more interventions in the years ahead”.
She noted that the country was doing “pretty well in these days of high food and fuel prices”.
Miss Sheeran observed that although the northern regions were facing some challenges, a lot of gains had been made and commended the various development partners and the government for formulating effective strategies to increase school enrolment and improving the health status of children.
“Over the past 15 years, poverty in the northern regions has reduced marginally from six to five out of 10 people compared with the national average, which has dropped to three out of 10 people,” she pointed out.
She announced that the WFP had spent a total of $5.4 million on food commodities, equipment and training in the Northern Region from the year 2006-2008.
The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, who met the director on arrival at the Tamale Airport, acknowledged the tremendous support the WFP had given to Northern Ghana, which had impacted positively on the nutrition and health status of schoolchildren.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


THE anxiety and frustrations that some residents in the Tamale metropolis go through in order to receive monies sent to them through the instant money transfer system at the Tamale main branch of the Ghana Post (GP) is of major concern to them.
A significant number of them have complained of queuing for long hours and sometimes spending several days going home and coming back in order to collect their monies.
Some of the customers who are mostly made up of traders, students and public servants told the Daily Graphic that the frustrations they went through was “unbearable” as it caused them a lot of inconvenience.
They also blamed the management of Ghana Post for allegedly exhibiting laxity in its operations.
During one of the numerous visits to the GP offices, this reporter spotted a middle-aged medium-sized miserable-looking woman sitting helplessly on one of the plastic chairs provided for the customers.
She said she needed the money so badly that it was difficult for her to go back home without it, and claimed she did not know how to survive till the next day without the money.
Some of the customers, in their frustrations, did not weep but rather heavily criticised the management for allegedly causing them a lot of pain and inconvenience. No amount of persuasion from the cashiers at the counter could stop them from venting their anger on the management.
Undoubtedly, in spite of the challenges the customers go through, anytime this reporter visited the GP offices the place was always busy with customers transacting business.
When contacted, the Northern Regional Director of the GP, Hajia Miriam Koyiri, acknowledged the challenges the GP faced, but said it was not a deliberate attempt by the company to frustrate the customers.
She said they sometimes faced network problems such as the use of the MTN and One-touch mobile phone services to cross-check from various GP offices in the country about monies that had been sent to individuals in Tamale.
She further said reported link failures in some banks in the metropolis where a big chunk of the monies were kept was another contributory factor.
“Sometimes we could have network problems with a particular transaction for hours; today for example we have gone to the banks on three occasions,” Hajia Koyiri said.
The regional boss said the money transfer unit served averagely 200 customers in a day and daily payments to customers amounted to GH¢20,000.
“My brother we are doing our best because I know some of the customers, who tell me we are doing quite better than our banks here,” Hajia Koyiri said.
She alleged that some of the customers were rude towards the officials of the GP and that “they insult us as if we are children but since we were engaged to provide service to the public we have decided to absorb the insults”.
“I have personally intervened in most cases where I discover that a customer has a genuine case; as I speak now could you believe that I have made available 500 Ghana cedis to a customer which the company would refund to me later?” she asked.
Hajia Koyiri said by the end of the month, the management would complete its computerisation system.
That, according to her, would facilitate their operation because with the computerised system, all they need to do, is to feed the information of a customer including his or her telephone numbers into the system and the computer would send a text message to the recipient thereby avoiding the use of mobile phones to cross-check from other GP offices as to whether money had been sent or not.

Friday, September 5, 2008


THE Tamale Metropolitan Director of Food and Agriculture, Mr Kwamina Arkorful, has suggested the creation of a Shea-nut Marketing Board (SMB) to accelerate the harnessing of the economic potentials of the industry.
“The creation of such a board should be made up of knowledgeable people to control and manage effectively the sector to enable farmers and the country to derive maximum benefits from the plant,” he stated.
Mr Arkorful made the suggestion at a day’s sensitisation seminar in Tamale on invoking anti-bushfire bye-laws to protect cereal farming in the Northern Region.
The seminar was aimed among other objectives, at engaging appropriate public sector institutions in dialogue as part of an advocacy programme to find solutions to challenges facing cereal farmers in northern Ghana.
It was organised by the Northern Cereal Growers, Processing and Marketers Association and sponsored by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund.
The director noted that it was imperative for experts in shea-nut production to help sensitise people to the economic benefits of the shea tree.
He entreated chiefs to be vigilant to help curb the annual ritual of bush burning.
Mr Arkorful urged the participants to find ways of engaging chiefs in their respective communities in dialogue in adopting alternative livelihood programmes as a strategy to check bush burning.
The Chairman of Cereal Growers Association (CGA), Mr Abdul Rahman Alhassan, observed that the non-enforcement of the anti-bushfire bye-laws of district assemblies had given “a field day to militant and armed hunter syndicates to set bushfires for game and hunting”.
The Regional Secretary of the Shea-nut Growers Association, Mr Addle Kabarah, noted that the non-implementation of research works by the Crop Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) sub-station at Bole was a major concern to shea-nut farmers.
“These research works were shelved while the survival of our industry is under serious threat as our tradition parkland is getting depopulated at an alarming rate,” he stated.
Mr Kabarah noted that the steady decline over the years in the shea-nut industry would eventually cause a loss of livelihood for the farmers resulting in increased poverty, waste of natural resources and loss of national revenue.


CHILDREN at Kutung, a farming community in the Gushiegu District in the Northern Region would no longer study under trees and sheds.
This follows the inauguration of an early childhood development centre valued at GH¢36,477 for the community.
The Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC), a non-governmental organisation, funded it while its local partner, Markaz Al Bishara, executed the project.
The facility is equipped with two rainwater harvesting tanks with a capacity of 30,000 litres, a feeding centre, furniture and play equipment.
It is envisaged that the facility would help address the situation where children travel to other communities like Kpatinga and Gushegu to attend school.
Inaugurating the centre, the Country Director of the CCFC, Mrs Sanatu Nantogma, stated that the facility was to complement the government’s efforts at “meeting the needs of all children of school age in Kutung”.
According to her, a late philanthropist in Canada funded the project, adding that the facility was named after the deceased son, Bill Proctor.
The director expressed optimism that her outfit would “continue to partner other organisations to bring similar facilities to children in deprived communities so that no child would be left out of the loop of free and compulsory education for all”.
“It is our hope that when this is done, there would be a 50 per cent increase in enrolment and retention of children in schools and equal percentage of girls will be in school,” Mrs Nangtoma added.
She said it was the vision of her outfit to ensure that 1,350 schoolchildren had enough furniture and play equipment for effective teaching and learning while making sure that the children were served hot lunch every school day.
Mrs Nangtoma further observed that the Kutung community was “plagued with a myriad of development problems such as very low literacy rate due to lack of proper educational facilities, lack of safe drinking water, food security and lack of skills and credit for income generating activities”.
The Gushegu District Director of Education, Mr Edward Asakya, noted that the government alone could not provide all the necessary educational facilities to all communities and, therefore, urged NGOs to support efforts to ensure quality education in the country.
He, therefore, commended the CCFC and its partners for complementing government’s efforts to provide a school block for the beneficiary community.
The District Chief Executive, Mr Abukari Mahama, in a speech read on his behalf, entreated parents in the area to send their children to school, stressing that “educating your children is the wisest decision any parent can take”.


PRODUCERS of sachet water, popularly called “pure water”, in the Tamale metropolis are likely to fold up in the near future if they continue to operate without permits or certification from the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) and the Food and Drugs Board (FDB).
The Northern Regional Officer of the GSB, Mr Francis Luguwuu, told the Daily Graphic in Tamale that on paper, the board was aware of only “Voltic and Aquaba” water sachet brands as the only products in the metropolis that had been certified by the board.
According to him, most of the producers were allegedly “cutting corners” in order to avoid going through the laid down procedures that would ensure that they produced wholesome sachet water for sale.
“Although the business is flourishing in the Tamale metropolis, producers of such items are expected to contact the GSB first and after the acquisition of their certificates register with the FDB,” Mr Luguwuu said.
According to him, the GSB had not been given the mandate to prosecute those producers found violating the rules and regulations.
“The fact is that we cannot guarantee the safety of the water without any certification; we want them to improve upon their products to enable them to have leverage on the market,” he pointed out.
The officer further said testing of the water sachet products lasted between five and seven weeks, stressing that “if you intend to sell water, you have to come to us so that we inspect your premises, environment and medical certificate”.
He said such measures were important to help ensure that the sachet water produced was wholesome.
The officer also expressed regret that some producers of sachet water in the metropolis were found to be storing water in underground cement reservoirs, which was not the best.
Mr Luguwuu further explained that “producers must give us samples of their first products for testing in Accra”.
He stressed the need for the FDB and GSB to collaborate more effectively to help address the production and sale of unwholesome sachet water in the metropolis.
Touching on the production of gas cylinders and the siting of gas filling stations in the metropolis, Mr Luguwuu said consumers of gas could also send their cylinders to the GSB for testing to ascertain whether they met the approved standards.
“Motorists who buy fuel can also demand the visu gauge, which is a measuring can, to ascertain whether they are being cheated or not; it is the responsibility of fuel filling stations to consider the request of the motorists,” he stressed.
Some residents in the metropolis have, however, called on the authorities to intensify education on the need for water sachet producers to acquire the required certification before going into production.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


THE Gushiegu District Chief Executive, Mr Abukari Mahama, has denied complicity in the political violence that rocked his district over the weekend, as alleged by some residents.
As a result, the Northern Regional Security Committee (NREGSEC) has invited two persons who made the allegation against the DCE to Tamale to assist in investigations.
Those invited are Aminu Kwabena and Mohammed Shamum, who accused Mr Mahama of contributing to the mayhem in the area.
Reacting to the allegations, the DCE said that he had gone to the Yendi Divisional Police Command to request security to be beefed up in the area when the incident occurred.
“I wish that those who are accusing me would come out with the evidence so that the law takes its course. As a leader I have always condemned such acts which are unacceptable in any reasonable society,” Mr Mahama further stated.
This was during a visit to the area by members of the REGSEC led by the Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, to assess the extent of damage caused as a result of two days of disturbances in the area last Sunday and Monday.
Daily Graphic investigations revealed that some of the victims had given out names of 16 persons to the Yendi Divisional Police Command for interrogation over their alleged involvement in the disturbances.
Madam Saikulu Jamoni, the daughter of the NDC constituency Chairman, whose properties were also said to have been burnt down, told the Daily Graphic that her father and four of her brothers who were shot at and wounded were currently receiving treatment at the Nalerigu Hospital.
“My father’s three houses burnt, down while seven of his vehicles including three cargo trucks, three Benz buses and a fairly new Nissan Patrol vehicle, were burnt; we are currently putting up with our relatives in town,” she lamented.
Residents are fleeing the town for fear of their lives, while others are said to be hiding in nearby bushes. The Gushiegu area, which is noted as a commercial town, has now been turned into a ghost town.


THE Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, made an emotional appeal for peace yesterday when he came face to face with the grim realities of the conflict at Gushiegu and then burst into tears.
Touched by the plight of wailing women and grief-stricken children in the conflict area the minister, while wiping tears from his eyes with a white handkerchief, said “we should all resolve and say never again”.
The aftermath of the weekend violence presented a sorrowful spectacle as the women and children recounted their experiences to the minister when he led members of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to assess the extent of damage.
Most of them had nowhere to sleep and nothing to eat because, according to them, all their food stocks had been burnt during the weekend carnage.
“My brothers and sisters are currently hiding in the bush out of fear for their lives, while others are fleeing the town; look, I have only GH¢34 to feed a family of seven and my shop has been burnt down,” one of them told the Daily Graphic.
The violence left in its trail deaths, loss of property, fear, agony and uncertainties of the future.
It claimed three lives, one of whom was an 80-year-old sub-chief, Nangol Lana Abukari Ziblim. The other deceased are Ayuba Abdulai, 28, and a 24-year-old man whose body is yet to be identified.
As the women wailed and shed tears, they also prayed to God “Nawuni” to expose the perpetrators of the murders and arson that had caused them so much pain.
The victims were standing helplessly looking at what was left in their smoky houses and compounds that had been targets of arson in the mayhem.
Lack of foodstuff and money likely to result in hunger, loss of lives of beloved ones, fear of the unknown, and grief, stared the women and children in the face.
A good number of the victims were spotted by the Daily Graphic on the link road between Yendi and Gushegu in a dilemma as to where to go.
Hundreds of people in the area have been displaced as 23 houses were burnt down but there are indications that the number of houses destroyed could be more.
The incident occurred between Sunday and Monday.
It was a spillover from an earlier clash between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Kpatinga near Gushegu last Sunday.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


A number of organisations in the Tamale metropolis have initiated moves to improve greenery in the area.
The initiative also forms part of strategies to protect the area from the devastating effects of floods.
The measures include tree-planting and educational campaigns on the need for residents to protect the environment.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with Odeneho Consult, an advertising and events management company, as well as Dolan Ayana Mango Organic firm are the institutions that initiated the programme.
As a first step, the organisations have planted trees around three man-made dams located at Nyohini, Lamashegu and Builpela.
It is envisaged that the measure would protect the water sources.
Indeed, some parts of the metropolis including Vitting, Zogbeli, Lama Kara Ward E, Gumbihini were affected by the floods last year.
Any intervention must therefore be directed at those areas to prevent the occurrence of any disasters.
Residents in the beneficiary communities showed their appreciation by joining in the tree-planting exercise.
Some of them entreated other public-spirited organisations to initiate similar programmes to beautify the metropolis and protect the environment against degradation.
The city has on three consecutive occasions been adjudged the cleanest city in Ghana.
In July, this year, the Ghana Tourist Board conferred the title “cleanest city” on Tamale.
In 2005 and in May 2008, the metropolis was adjudged the neatest and the cleanest in the Savannah Zone category respectively.
It is therefore heart-warming that some institutions have complemented the efforts of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly to help beautify the sprawling metropolis.
The Events Manager of Odeneho Consult, Mr Adam Abdul Basit, called on the beneficiary communities to support the project in order that it does not become “a nine-day wonder”.
He also expressed the need to conserve the environment and called on residents to engage in voluntary tree-planting to protect the area from floods and drought.


THE Tamale Metropolitan Town and Country Planning Department faces the challenge of how to ensure the orderly growth and development of Tamale.
Tamale is a fast-growing metropolis, which places much responsibility on the department and the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) to provide adequate services for the accelerated growth of the area.
The department is, however, handicapped in fulfilling its obligations and responsibilities because of the financial constraints confronting it due mainly to the fact that it receives virtually no budgetary allocation to run the office let alone help develop the metropolis.
The objectives of setting up the department are in line with the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS).
The department is primarily responsible for the proper planning of the metropolis to ensure the orderly development to attract investment and improve the local economy.
It is also to promote participatory urban planning as a strategy to address issues of good governance and civic responsibility, as communities will be involved in the formulation and implementation of development plans.
The Metropolitan Director of the department, Mr Sylvester Gyogluu, told the Daily Graphic in Tamale that “the department is a service department that does not charge fees. Therefore, it is difficult to raise revenue to run the department”.
He, therefore, called on the TAMA to help resource the department so that it could operate effectively.
“The assembly should, as a matter of urgency, step up support to improve development management as well as public planning education in the metropolis,” Mr Gyogluu stated.
He expressed regret that the department had no mandate to generate financial resources to support its own operations and therefore has to rely on the support of the assembly and the head office of the department in Accra.
The director mentioned inadequate staffing, lack of implementation of the decisions of the Statutory Planning Committee, generally weak development control resulting in unauthorised infrastructure developments, land sub-division and demarcations as some of the major challenges facing the department.
“The building inspectorate unit of the assembly needs to be urgently and adequately staffed to monitor developments and to start prosecuting developers, who wilfully encroach on public user areas at the law courts to serve as a deterrent to future culprits,” Mr Gyogluu stressed.
He urged chiefs to also help to reduce unauthorised development by co-operating with the land sector agencies in land delivery.


THE National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Northern Region has given the security agencies a 24-hour ultimatum to fish out and bring to book activists of the NPP it alleges had perpetrated acts of violence against its members.
This the party noted was essential to avoid the further breach of the peace and security of the area.
Addressing a press conference in Tamale, the Regional Chairman of the NDC, Alhaji Sumani Zakari, indicated that “if the situation continues we cannot guarantee what might happen as the youth are poised to protect lives and properties by themselves; it will be difficult for us to control them”.
The conference followed hostilities between supporters of the two parties after the NPP Vice-Presidential condidate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, had addressed a rally at the Tamale Jubilee Park on Sunday evening.
Followers of both parties were spotted earlier in the day wearing their respective party paraphernalia in jubilant moods. While the NPP supporters were welcoming their Vice-Presidential nominee, Dr Bawumia, into the metropolis from Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, their NDC counterparts were also inaugurating an Atta Mills and John Mahama Fan Club outside the Kaladan Park.
In the ensuing misunderstanding both supporters destroyed each other’s sheds while a number of motorbikes were burnt in the process. There were also sporadic shootings in the central business district leading to a number of persons sustaining various degrees of injury.
There was, however, no reported incidents of casualties neither have there been any arrest in connection with the incident.
According to Alhaji Zakari, the security agencies should take responsibility for the situation and bring the disturbances under control before the situation escalates.
He condemned reports by a section of the media that suggested that supporters of the NDC caused the disturbances, and described such media reportage as a misrepresentation of facts and a departure from what actually happened on the ground.
The chairman further denied reports in a section of the media to the effect that NDC supporters were the first to attack the NPP supporters.
According to the chairman, there was a “calculated attempt right from the time of the registration exercise to demonise the NDC in the region”.
Alhaji Zakari, therefore, stressed the need for the security agencies to investigate the incident in order to bring those causing the disturbances to book.
Touching on the earlier reports of a clash between the NDC and NPP at Kpatinga in the Gushegu District, Alhaji Zakari equally urged the security agencies to apprehend the perpetrators and bring the situation under control.
He further expressed regret that as a result of the clash two houses were burnt down in the area, one of which belonged to the NDC constituency chairman.


Delegates to the Tamale North Constituency Conference of the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) have endorsed Mr Mahamud Mumuni Sigli as the parliamentary aspirant for the 2008 general elections.
The 34-year-old electrical engineer is the ninth to be confirmed so far in the Northern Region by the over 200 delegates.
The DFP is fielding parliamentary aspirants in 18 out of the 26 constituencies of the region.
The Regional Chairman of the DFP, Alhaji Ishaw Yakubu, observed that it was now time for serious campaign to enable the party to form the next government.
“The New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress have all had their turn; I must say that the signs are boldly written on the wall that the NPP is already out of power as the same signs heralded the exit of the NDC in the year 2000”, he pointed out.
He urged delegates to avoid “sitting on the fence” and rather support the DFP to take over from the NPP government after the December polls.
Alhaji Yakubu urged supporters to avoid carelessness on the roads, particularly during political campaigns because “Ghana needs you”.
He advised the aspirant to be mindful of “psychophants” and have a “listening ear” in order to foster unity among the rank and file of the party at the constituency level.
“We must try to avoid engaging in all forms of violence to settle personal scores; you must also remember that people have the right to express their political views even if you do not share the same views with them”, Alhaji Yakubu further reminded delegates.
The Regional Organiser of the DFP, Mr Mohammed Iddrisu, noted that the DFP offered the best alternative government to the NPP, stressing that “people are now tired of the NPP and the NDC”.
The Tamale North Constituency Chairman, Alhassan Naporo, said the party stood for peace, and called on the electorate to avoid casting insinuations and using abusive language to ensure peaceful elections.
“I urge you all to be tolerant and conduct your campaigns devoid of insults as your contribution to consolidating the country’s democratic principles”, he pointed out.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Sigli pledged to bridge the gap between the rich and poor in his constituency by fighting corruption at the local level.
He expressed his determination to promote girl-child education and to prepare the youth adequately to face the challenges in the future.
He promised to establish Information Communication Technology (ICT) centres in the communities under his jurisdiction through his MP’s Common Fund.
“Politicians must teach people how to fish and not fish for them; that is the only way to reduce poverty among the people”, the aspirant stressed.