Friday, October 30, 2009


A Deputy Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr Richard Quayson, has called on police personnel to discharge their duties within the ambit of the Constitution to avoid violating the rights of the citizenry.
Addressing police officers in Tamale during a five-day seminar on human rights, Mr Quayson noted that since the police were the foremost entity tasked to protect the rights of Ghanaians they were enjoined to work within the confines of the law.
He said the police should live above reproach and safeguard the rights of all Ghanaians irrespective of their political or religious affiliation.
"You must also protect the less privileged and the vulnerable in the society," he said.
The Northern Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr Angwubutoge Awuni, urged the police officers to practise whatever they were taught at the seminar.
He commended the CHRAJ and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for organising the course, which, he said, would ultimately sharpen the skills of participants on human rights issues.
The Programme Officer in charge of Access of the UNDP, Ms Hilda Mensah, said the police administration needed to adapt to changing trends in policing and protect the fundamental human rights of the people.
She observed that arbitrary actions by some police officers in respect of arrests and detention for minor offences should be critically looked at.
Ms Mensah further hinted that the government intended to correct the sentence regime in order to prevent congestion in the prisons.
"Some of these penal code reforms include community service and parole," she added.
Police inspectors from the Northern, Upper East and West regions attended the seminar, which was aimed at sharpening the skills of the participants on human rights issues to enable them to discharge their duties effectively.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


More than 125,000 people in 30 small towns in the Northern Region are to benefit from a project aimed at improving sanitation and the provision of potable water for 13 districts along the eastern corridor of the region.
Dubbed the Northern Region Small Towns Water and Sanitation (NORST) project, the scheme is being financed by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) at a cost of $30 million.
The beneficiary districts include East and West Mamprusi, Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo, Karaga, Gushiegu, Nanumba North and South, Saboba, Chereponi, Kpandai, Yendi and East Gonja.
Inaugurating the project, the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr Albert Abongo, explained that it was expected to improve sanitation and potable water supply in the region by the end of 2015.
"Today, our percentage coverage of rural water in Ghana stands at 57 per cent and it is our expectation to move this to 60 per cent by the end of this year and reach 75 per cent by 2013," he said.
According to him, an estimated 70 per cent of the deficiency in potable water supply was found in the three northern regions.
"This project which we inaugurate today will not only contribute significantly towards the attainment of my ministry’s targets but also assist in improving living standards," Mr Abongo further stated.
He lauded efforts by the development partners, particularly CIDA, that had invested nearly $200 million to provide water and sanitation facilities in northern Ghana over the last 30 years.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Nayina, noted that the "net effect of all interventions by CIDA and other development partners such as the World Bank, the European Union and other non-governmental organisations is the attainment of 58 per cent safe water coverage”.
He indicated that the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) was expected to provide technical support for the Water and Sanitation Development Boards (WSDBs) that would be established in each project community.
The Counsellor, Director of Development Co-operation of CIDA, Mr Michael Gort, said the Canadian Advisory Agency (CAA) would work closely with the CWSA in the region to execute the project.
He announced that about $15 million would be managed directly by the beneficiary districts, adding that the funds would flow to them through Ghana’s treasury system.
The Chief Executive Officer of the CWSA, Dr Philip Gyau-Boakye, said his outfit had played a significant role in the community water sub-sector and pledged its commitment to complement the government’s efforts at increasing potable water and sanitation coverage in the country, particularly in the three northern regions.CID


SOYA bean production in the Northern Region has been boosted following the provision of three combine harvesters to 5,000 organised farmers in selected communities in the region.
The equipment, valued at $70,000, was provided by the Ghana Nuts Limited (GNL), an agro-processing firm based at Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region. Additionally, the company provided 10 shellers to the beneficiaries.
The equipment would facilitate the harvesting of soya bean cultivated on a total of 7,000 acres located at Nasia in the West Mamprusi District, Tampion, Savelugu, Nanton, Daboya, Bunkpurugu, Yunyoo, Yendi, Wapuli, Chereponi, Wenchiki and Walewale, among other beneficiary communities.
At the ceremony to present the equipment to the beneficiaries at Nasia, the Deputy Managing Director of the GNL, Mr Prince Obeng Asante, said the ultimate vision of the company was to ensure that it complemented the government’s efforts to limit the importation of soya beans.
According to him, the country would spend $30 million on the average to import the produce.
“We, therefore, have to do everything possible to reduce the importation of soya bean and put more money into the pockets of our hard-working farmers by providing them with the requisite equipment to produce in commercial quantities,” Mr Asante observed.
He announced that his outfit would provide farmers with weedicides and planters to boost production of soya beans in the beneficiary communities.
Mr Asante disclosed that the GNL produced 80,000 tonnes of soya beans or 800,000 maxi bags of the produce every year with support from out-growers, adding that the company exported 20,000 maxi bags of the produce every month to Cote d'Ivoire and Togo.
“The company has a vision to be the centre of excellence in agro-processing within the West Africa sub-region; we also produce one of the finest high quality cooking oil known as 'Akuma',“ he further stated.
Mr Asante thanked the farmers for their support, saying the equipment was to acknowledge the hard work in the beneficiary communities.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Nayina, entreated the youth in the region to take advantage of the interventions being provided by the GNL by taking up farming activities to earn decent incomes.
He also appealed to residents of the region to co-exist peacefully and resolve to fight hunger, poverty and illiteracy in their respective communities.
A nurse, who is also into farming, Madam Esther Jantong, appealed to chiefs and opinion leaders to release more land to women interested in farming to increase the cultivation of soya beans and other crops in the area.
The Deputy Regional Director of Food and Agriculture, Mr Michael Addah, called on investors to support farmers to boost the production of crops to enhance food security in the region.
The West Mamprusi District Chief Executive, Mr Sule Abudu, observed that the equipment would ultimately enhance the income levels of beneficiary farmers.


THE Chereponi District Assembly is collaborating with the Community-Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP) in sourcing funding to re-roof buildings, including 40 classrooms, that were destroyed by rainstorms in the district this year.
An estimated GH¢130,000 is needed to rehabilitate the buildings.
Addressing the second ordinary meeting of the assembly at Chereponi, the District Chief Executive (DCE), Alhaji Issah Seidu Abah, said that the educational sector in the district was facing many challenges such as the poor classroom blocks.
He said the assembly was in touch with the CBRDP to re-roof the buildings as soon as practicable.
Alhaji Abah said teachers’ quarters would be provided under the Northern Regional Poverty Reduction Programme (NORPREP).
He said the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) was collaborating with the assembly to employ pupil teachers to augment the number of teachers in the district.
Alhaji Abah further stated that the assembly spent Gh¢33,000 to sponsor about 144 students in various training colleges nation-wide.
Those students, he said, were under bond to serve the district after completion of their course.
The DCE said to avoid impersonation, the executive committee of the assembly had agreed that from the next year, students seeking sponsorship would have to show proof of the payment of their parents’ basic rate for two years.
"Additionally, students should be willing to assist the assembly to mobilise revenue during vacation," he said.
Alhaji Abah expressed concern about the poor performance of the students of junior high schools in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
He said, for instance, that out of the 400 students who took part in this year’s BECE, only 33 of them representing 8.25 per centgot placement in senior high schools.
The DCE, therefore, stressed the need for the Social Services Subcommittee of the assembly to liaise with other relevant stakeholders to come up with concrete suggestions on how to improve the situation.
“This downward trend of education must be arrested and I urge the house to come out with concrete suggestions on this matter,” he further stated.
The Presiding Member of the assembly, Mr Emmanuel Kandoh, entreated chiefs and opinion leaders in the area to embark on vigorous education campaigns against bush fires in their respective communities.
He urged the assembly members to “to exert more energy in the areas of local revenue mobilisation, participation in decision making and feedback to our communities”.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


RESIDENTS of Victory Cinema area, a suburb of Tamale, have made an urgent appeal to the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) to renovate the Aboabo Market and provide the necessary basic facilities, including public toilets, for the area.
They said anytime it rained, traders at the market found it inconvenient to trade as a result of the muddy nature of the area.
The residents made the call during an interaction with the Daily Graphic.
According to them, the market needed to be provided with security lights and relocated, if need be, to ease the congestion there.
Residents of the area, who are predominantly traders, blacksmiths, key cutters, carpenters and steel benders, stressed the need for the TAMA to help provide street lights for the area.
When contacted, the Assembly Member for the area, Alhaji Haruna Yasaba, acknowledged the challenges faced by traders at the Aboabo Market and stated that its renovation was very critical to enhancing the revenue mobilisation efforts of the assembly.
He expressed regret that though there were about 1,700 stores at the market, because of its deteriorating nature traders were reluctant to pay their taxes to revenue officers.
Alhaji Yasaba intimated that there was the need to provide proper drains for the market.
He noted that the youth in the area lacked jobs, while others had no money to continue with their education.
Officials at the Revenue Office of the Aboabo Market admitted that revenue generation in the area was poor, particularly during the rainy season, as most traders and commercial drivers refused to pay their taxes.
“We need to put tiles on the ground to prevent the place from becoming muddy whenever it rains. Some truck drivers come from nearby villages and dump foodstuffs at the market without paying anything to the revenue officers,” they lamented.
The Metropolitan Chief Executive, Alhaji Abdulai Haruna Friday, however, indicated that the TAMA was making strenuous efforts to complete the Aboabo Supermarket project started many years ago.
He said discussions were underway with a Chinese company, which had agreed to redesign the entire structure for work to start.


WOMEN in the shea-nut industry in the Tamale metropolis are making significant strides in the processing and packaging of the produce for export.
Undoubtedly, the shea-nut industry in the metropolis and for that matter northern Ghana, continues to face numerous challenges, including the lack of capacity to engage in exports.
However, the success story of the Tiehisuma Shea-butter Processing Centre located at Gurugu, a suburb of Tamale, cannot be wished away by residents.
The centre, which started as the Tiehisuma Women’s Group in 2002, and founded by Mrs Joana Akonsi Teviu, the President of the women’s group and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the centre, has over the years, expanded to the level where it now exports processed shea-nut to Europe.
One hundred and twenty-two women are engaged in the processing of the produce, with about 15 management staff members, including a manager, a quality supervisor, a logistics, packaging and purchasing officer.
In 2005 and 2006, it got assistance from the United States Ambassadors’ Self Help Project and the African Women Development Fund (AWDF) to set up a grinding mill.
The centre has a mill that includes a miller and a crasher and a shed where the women sit to knead their butter.
There is also a kitchen for boiling the butter and pipe-borne water and four round local rooms with a capacity to store 50 metric tonnes of shea-butter at a time.
Another processing centre located at Kumbuyili has a mill and three round rooms with a capacity to store 35 metric tonnes of shea-butter at a time.
The centre purchases its raw materials from organised shea-nut picking groups located in the Tolon-Kumbungu and Savelugu-Nanton districts.
According to the Production Manager at the centre, Mr Daniel Teviu, the centre had a total production capacity of 45 metric tonnes a week or 1,800 cartons of shea-butter, with each carton weighing 25 kilogrammes.
“We have markets in Europe, in Tamale and Ghana as a whole. We also engage in retailing of our products in the metropolis,” he said.
According to the manager, the centre would, by June next year, pay 50 per cent of the National Health Insurance premiums to be paid by each woman.
Currently, it has assets valued at GH¢15,000.
As the business expanded over the years, its management decided to set up nine women’s groups in nine suburbs of the metropolis.
They are Jisonayili, Kumbuyili, Katariga, Gumo, Napaakyili, Mwodua, Cheshegu, Kalariga and Malshegu. Each of the nine suburbs has a women’s group with membership of 40.
They hold meetings twice in a month to deliberate on issues concerning how to procure raw materials, sales and how best to make contributions into their individual welfare accounts to meet some social needs such as outdoorings, funerals and supporting themselves to further their education.
Mr Teviu, however, stated that in spite of the successes chalked up by the centre, there were some challenges.
These included lack of direct market for the products, inadequate capital to store the nuts during bumper harvests, lack of transport and the need to expand the facilities to cover other suburbs in the metropolis.
According to him, there was the need for government intervention in the area of capacity building programmes for the women to improve on their business and managerial skills.


THE acting Head of the Local Government Service (LGS), Mr Akwasi Opong-Ofosu, has called for a review of the local government system.
He said the review was necessary to ensure that metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) functioned as self-governing entities to reflect a more devolved local government system.
Mr Opong-Ofosu made the call during a public lecture in Tamale to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS).
It was aimed at sensitising civil society organistations to their social responsibilities to participate in and support development programmes at the local level.
It was on the theme: “Capacity building of local authorities for effective development planning, implementation and management”.
The LGS Head observed that the Local Government Act “was relatively silent on the specific functions assigned to districts, which has created confusion regarding responsibilities between different levels of government, particularly the central and local government”.
He pointed out that while in some jurisdictions, the districts were given functions, the same functions were also assigned to central government institutions, such as the Ghana Education Service (GES) or the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
Mr Opong-Ofosu noted that transfers to the districts were very fragmented.
“Ghana is, however, introducing a Performance-Based Grant System (PBGS) to merge some of the transfers over time and that several development partners have indicated their commitments to it,” he further explained.
He stressed the need for training institutes like the ILGS to be supported to undertake capacity development programmes for MMDAs.
According to Mr Opong-Ofosu, local governments the world over had now emerged as significant and worthy partners in the development process.
“Being the level of government closest to the people, local government is considered better placed to respond to the political and economic imperatives of the 21st century,” he intimated.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Nayina, in a speech read on his behalf, expressed the hope that the public lecture would contribute meaningfully to the general objectives of influencing policy for the speedy development of Northern Ghana.
According to him, the Regional Co-ordinating Council had supported the ILGS to undertake a number of training programmes that included gender mainstreaming and district planning processes, policy forum on the operationalisation of sub-district structures etc.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


PERSONS Living With HIV/AIDS(PLWHAs) in the Tamale Metropolis have entreated the government and other stakeholders in the health sector to ensure that the anti-retroviral drugs (ARD) were made more accessible and affordable to their counterparts in the rural communities as a matter of urgency.
They equally noted that the anti -retroviral therapy (ART) should be decentralised as a way of reducing the prevalence rate of the disease at the local level.
The PLWHAs made the appeal during a campaign walk on the ART in Tamale. The walk was aimed at increasing the awareness of PLWHAs regarding where and how to access the ART as well as sensitising stakeholders to the need to intensify their campaigns against the disease.
It was organised by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), a non-governmental organisation.
One of the PLWHAs, a woman who claimed she had been living with the disease for the past five years, said that although the government had significantly subsidised the ARD, most of her colleagues in the remote parts of the Northern Region could not afford them.
She revealed that she had a child who, after delivery, tested HIV-negative, saying the problem with us was stigmatisation which always killed people in similar conditions like hers before their time was due.
Another victim of the disease told the youth to take their time in life because the disease was not far from them. According to him, people should learn to tolerate and live with HIV/AIDS patients.
The Regional Focal Person on HIV/AIDS, Mr Emmanuel Kungi, stated that the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate was 1.7 per cent last year but on the avergae, it was currently 1.1 per cent.
He attributed the reduction in the prevalence rate to the intensive educational campaigns by civil society groups and NGOs.
Mr Kungi, therefore, thanked the ISODEC for joining in the crusade against the disease.
According to him, emotional support for victims of the disease was more effective in healing the PLWHAs than the use of drugs.
The Focal Person observed that the manner in which the PLWHAs were handled was very critical to reducing the prevalence of the disease.
He announced that the ART was now available in 14 out of the 20 districts in the region.
He expressed regret that most PLWHAs could not even afford GH¢5 to purchase the ARD due to poverty, and stressed the need for policy makers to ensure that the right policies were put in place to improve on the living conditions of the rural poor.
The Northern Ghana Programmes Coordinator of ISODEC, Madam Grace Bowu, emphasised the need for the ART to be made more accessible to PLWHAs to save them the trouble of travelling long distances just to access the facility.
The Director of Programmes of ISODEC, Dr Yakubu Zakaria, said a study carried out in 2008 showed that the ART was only accessible to the PLWHAs in the regional capitals, particularly Accra and Kumasi.
The Senior Programmes Officer of SIMAVI, an NGO, Mr Erik Van de Giessen, urged the youth to behave responsibly and to avoid immoral acts.


THE Tamale-Louisville Sister-City relationship has been further strengthened with the visit to Tamale by a three-member delegation from Louisville, Kentucky, in the United States of America.
The visit was aimed at realising the objectives of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Jefferson County Public Schools and the Tamale Metropolitan Directorate of Education that was signed in June 2008 as part of the Sister-City relationship. The visit will also deepen areas of cooperation regarding socio-economic and cultural issues between the two cities.
Each member of the delegation had a specific goal to achieve to ensure that the overall objectives of the Sister-City relationship were realised.
The members were Mr Aukram Burton, the Diversity and Multicultural Education Specialist of the Jefferson County Public Schools, the Associate Director of the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice, Madam Stacy Bailey-Ndiaye and the Associate Professor of Theatre of the University of Louisville, Madam Nefertiti Burton.
Mr Burton told the Daily Graphic that his visit would also focus on how best to assess the needs of educational institutions in the metropolis, saying his specific mandate was to enhance international education through online and face-to-face communication.
He said that for now it was feasible to focus on online communication for both primary and junior high schools (JHSs).
He observed that most schools in the metropolis did not have the necessary infrastructure in place to facilitate exchange of programmes.
Mr Burton, however, noted that two schools in the metropolis, namely Tamale International School (TIS) and Dan Shelli Primary had been selected by the team for exchange programmes.
According to the specialist, the TIS was linked to the Brown School in Louisville while Dan Shelli was linked to the Foster Academy in the same city.
The benefits of such initiative were not far-fetched as the pupils would be allowed to develop a list of pen pals, share information and pictures with their colleagues in Louisville, while teachers in Tamale could also have the opportunity to link up with their colleagues in Louisville, Mr Burton stated.
Madam Bailey-Ndiaye said she was in Tamale to explore the possibility of implementing an exchange programme between the University for Development Studies (UDS) and the Muhammad Ali Institute of Peace and Justice.
She said the programme would hopefully start in May next year.
Madam Bailey-Ndiaye indicated that peace building was not about conflict alone but also social development.
She stated that the team was so far impressed with the warm reception accorded them by residents, including the Mayor of Tamale, Alhaji Abdulai Haruna Friday, and the Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Nayina.
Madam Nefertiti said since 1995 the University of Louisville had had cordial relations with the UDS but stated that it was on a low key.
“I am here to revive that relationship, and there is a memorandum of understanding between my outfit and the UDS to make things work for the two institutions” she said.
According to her, publishing of joint research papers and co-authoring of research articles were some of the programmes that would be initiated.
Madam Nefertiti equally announced plans by her outfit to establish an exchange programme with the UDS, where performing artistes from the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Louisville would visit the UDS and share knowledge with its students and lecturers.
The delegation also commended the Daily Graphic for its fair and balanced reportage, although they agreed that the company equally had its own challenges and lapses.
The Tamale-Louisville Sister-City relationship and linkage agreement was initiated and signed in 1979 through the efforts of Alhaji Rahim Gbadamosi and a group of interested African-Americans that he met on a visit to Louisville in 1978.

Monday, October 19, 2009


MEMBERS of the Savelugu-Nanton District Assembly last Thursday finally approved Mr Prince Askia Mohammed as the new District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, after the assembly failed for the fifth consecutive time to confirm the nomination of a candidate for the post.
The ceremony was held amidst tight security. Mr Mohammed polled 35 votes out of the 52 members who were present, representing 67 per cent.
The new DCE who hails from Savelugu but traces his lineage to other parts of the district, was the third person to be nominated for the post of DCE for Savelugu after the first two nominees failed to be confirmed by the assembly.
In his acceptance speech, Mr Mohammed entreated the assembly members to bury the hatchet and work “as a coherent team” to accelerate the development of the area.
“I accept the challenge and the confidence reposed in me, and pledge to team up with all members of the assembly to continue the development process” he intimated.
The DCE also pledged to harness the available human and material resources for development and “to make every one to feel part of the decision making process”.
According to him, his major task would be to fight poverty, ignorance and disease that had over the years affected residents of the district and called for the needed support to help turn things around.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Sumani Nayina, urged the new DCE to operate an open door administration, saying the assembly members must cooperate with him to help achieve the development targets of the district.
During the counting of votes, the police moved in swiftly to whisk away two men who nearly marred the process.
Earlier, the police intervened when some youth attempted to prevent some assembly members from entering the district assembly hall to vote. The police, subsequently screened those entering the hall and allowed only eligible voters access to the room to vote.
Last week, chaos erupted at the assembly when it failed to confirm the new DCE.
Some youth who were apparently enraged by that development, attempted venting their anger on some of the assembly members but were prevented by the police.
In the process, two policemen sustained injuries as the angry youth allegedly pelted them with stones to make up for the lashings they received from them. The police also reacted by firing warning shots and tear gas to disperse the irate youth.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


THE huge indebtedness of the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District Assembly has made it difficult for the assembly to initiate or execute new projects and programmes to improve on the lives of its people.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Hajia Mavis Meliga Bawa made this known at the assembly’s ordinary meeting at Bunkpurugu in the Northern Region.
She noted with regret that almost all the projects that were started in 2005 under the District Assemblies’ CommoFund (DACF), had not been completed.
“We are still compiling the debts for recurrent expenditure; I wish to inform you that I inherited huge debts from the previous administration”, she stated.
According to Hajia Bawa, many of the donor funded projects had also not been completed.
She attributed the situation to the lack of proper planning, execution of projects not budgeted for, delay in the execution of projects by contractors, conflicts and lack of proper monitoring and supervision of projects.
The DCE further lamented over the poor revenue base of the assembly, saying “finance has always been a problem for us as our local tax collection machinery has never been able to work effectively to bring in the targeted revenue”.
She explained that the situation was growing from bad to worse, stressing “Our accounting records as of August, 2009 vividly illustrated the unsatisfactory position of our finances”.
According to Hajia Bawa, out of the targeted revenue of GH¢58,239 for 2009, only GH¢14,157 was mobilised as of August 31, 2009, representing 24.3 per cent of revenue mobilised for the year.
She, therefore, proposed a number of measures to be put in place to help increase the assembly’s revenue generation in the subsequent years.
They included the strengthening of the internal financial control systems to check embezzlement of funds and leakages, setting of realistic targets for all revenue collectors and area councils and rewarding hardworking revenue collectors.
Hajia Bawa further stated that trade associations and identifiable groups would be encouraged to assist the assembly in its revenue generation.
The DCE warned that the assembly would not hesitate to take legal action against all tax and rate defaulters.
“I can effectively implement these measures only with the assistance and co-operation of assembly members, opinion leaders, Area Council members and chiefs”, Hajia Bawa stressed.


PARTICIPANTS at a workshop on promoting peace during electioneering, have called on the youth in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District in the Northern region to use dialogue to resolve their differences, instead of resorting to violence.
They stated that conflicts in the district were responsible for the slow pace of development in the area, as resources meant for development were used to resolve conflict related issues.
The participants comprised security personnel, assembly members, donor agencies, and staff of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).
The workshop was aimed at preventing violence in the district, especially during elections.
The NCCE organised the workshop in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Hajia Mavis Meliga Bawa advised the youth in the area to give peace a chance by avoiding acts of lawlessness.
She expressed concern about the huge sums of money being spent by the assembly on peace building programmes and prevention of conflicts.
The District Director of the NCCE, Mr Thomas Agorgo also entreated the youth to live in peace and harmony with their colleagues, irrespective of their political affiliation and tribe, to accelerate development in the district.
The Regional Director of the NCCE, Mr Sulemana Haruna called on the UNDP to support his outfit in its bid to embark on an intensive education campaign in the communities to reduce to the barest minimum, violent conflicts and communal violence.
The District Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Oduro Amaning called on residents of the area to co-operate with the security personnel to maintain peace.
According to him, the maintenance of peace was a collective responsibility and not the preserve of the security agencies.


THE National Youth Organiser of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has indicated that he will step down and allow other young people to take up the position.
He explained that having served in that capacity for two terms, he would not seek re-election, because there were other young people in the party who could equally contribute meaningfully to its growth.
Mr Iddrisu, who is also the Minister of Communications and Member of Parliament for Tamale South, disclosed this at the inauguration of the University for Development Studies (UDS) branch of the Tertiary Education Institutions Network (TEIN) of the NDC in Tamale.
He lauded the efforts of President Mills in appointing young people to take up some sensitive positions in the Government.
Mr Iddrisu entreated the youth to keep the party’s structures alive and always defend the party with the necessary facts.
He called on the youth to avoid all forms of violence and acts of lawlessness in order to promote peace in the country.
According to him, the future of the country was in their hands, hence there was a need for the youth to avoid creating unnecessary tension in the country.
He equally entreated the youth to exercise restraint while the Government rolled out its programmes.
The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Mr Moses Mabengba, charged members of TEIN to engage in intellectual debate with their opponents.
He observed that the Government had so far chalked up some successes, but expressed concern about the propaganda executed by the NDC’s political opponents, especially the New Patriotic Party.


THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has made available US$90,000 through the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to support farmers in northern Ghana.
The facility is to help rehabilitate the beneficiary farmers whose farming activities have been affected by floods. The farmers will, among other things, be supported to acquire farm inputs like water pumping machines as well as to cultivate crops with low gestation period to enable them to recover quickly from their financial problems.
The National Co-ordinator of the NADMO, Mr Kofi Portuphy made this known in Tamale during the inauguration of a 50-member Northern Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
According to Mr Portuphy, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) was expected to release $300,000 to support farmers in the country whose farming activities had been affected by floods.
The co-ordinator further disclosed that the World Bank had released $5.3 million to implement the Climate Change Risk Reduction activities in the country for the next three years.
He explained that the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) was assisting stakeholders to draw up a contingency plan for flood disaster issues in the country.
The co-ordinator intimated that the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) had provided several kits for reproductive health issues in the 10 regions of the country.
Mr Portuphy called on engineers and hydrologists in the north to critically assess the possibility of creating dams to channel the excess water resulting from floods into productive purposes like generating hydro electric power to help address the energy needs of the rural communities.
“We have done very little in this area and this must pre-occupy our minds now; we need a concerted effort to address the problem of floods in the north now” the co-ordinator further stressed.
He stated that the formation of the DRR was imperative because member states of the United Nations Economic and Social Council passed a resolution in 2005 that enjoined them to form regional, district and community platforms in their respective countries to reduce the risk of disasters.
He, therefore, entreated members of the DRR to formulate effective strategies that would take into consideration disaster prone areas in the north, including areas prone to earth quakes and tremors as a result of mining activities, disease outbreaks, and occurrences of wild fire.
The Northern Regional Co-ordinator of NADMO, Alhaji Abdulai Mahama Silimboma, observed that flood disasters had serious consequences on the development of the region.
He, therefore, stressed on the need for a multisectoral approach of reducing the risk of disasters in the north.
The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Mr Moses Mabengba, who inaugurated the DRR, urged the members to be committed to the project to ensure the realisation of its objectives.
The DRR is chaired by the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Nayina, and made up of members from the Ghana Police Service, Information Services Department, Ghana Education Service and the Environmental Protection Agency. The rest include the NADMO, Community Water and Sanitation Agency, Ghana Health Service, Northern Regional House of Chiefs and the Red Cross Society.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


VODAFONE GHANA has embarked on a number of activities in the Tamale metropolis aimed at increasing employment opportunities for the youth in the area.
One of such activities is the “Stock and Win” promotional draw which the company inaugurated in the metropolis at the weekend to encourage the youth to venture into retailing of its products, among other things.
Briefing the media on the draw in Tamale, the Trade Marketing Manager of Vodafone, Mr Ekow Blankson, indicated that the draw started three months ago and was targeted at recruiting about 150,000 retailers by the close of this year.
He said the company had decided to inaugurate the draw in the metropolis because it observed that a significant number of the youth in the area were into menial jobs such as the ‘kayayei’ business.
Mr Blankson said the initiative was to “increase employment among the youth, as well as train them in business management practices in order to grow their respective businesses”.
He announced that retailers of Vodafone products would now ride bicycles and take part in a draw which would enable them to win grand prizes such as motorbikes and a Mitsubishi L200 pickup in each region.
As part of the draw, Vodafone distributed bicycles, bag packs,T-shirts, base ball caps and other souvenirs of Vodafone to its retailers in the metropolis.
The draw was interlaced with dance performances by an ace dancer, Slim Busterr and his group. There were cultural performances as well by some cultural troupes in the metropolis.


RESIDENTS of the Tamale metropolis, particularly the youth, have been given the opportunity to be trained as volunteer ministers to empower them to improve on the conditions of their peers, families, groups and communities.
The training programme is known as Scientology Volunteer Ministers (SVM) programme and it has as its slogan, “No matter the problem, something can be done about it”.
The volunteer ministers share knowledge of what has to be done in addressing problems of broken homes, marriages, youth engagement in alcoholism and drug abuse, the failing businessman, as well as real disasters such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanes.
They are also there to provide the spiritual counselling and services which do not exist and which can bring change to those who want to change conditions for the better.
It is a crusade to build a better world by restoring purpose, values and hope to people regarding issues such as conflicts, drug addiction, illiteracy, crime, illnesses, among other things, as occurences which nothing could be done about.
The programme was organised by Goodwill Tour, under which a total of 106 residents of the metropolis have completed a number of courses and attended seminars on such topics as family, children, marriage, communication skills, relationships, personal values, worries and upsets, attaining your goals in life, overcoming suppression, drug abuse and getting along with others. The course, which is intensive, has its periods ranging from seven to 15 hours.
The beneficiaries of the training programme were given certificates after their graduation ceremony in Tamale at the weekend.
The Tour Director, Mr Bright Freeman, said for a society to survive well, there was the need for many volunteer ministers just as there were police personnel.
He explained that the volunteer minister accomplished his or her mission by “not shutting his or her eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well”.
Mr Freeman noted that the Goodwill Tour opened the door for the youth in the metropolis to be trained as volunteer minister groups, world illiteracy campaigners, applied scholastics, facilitators of effective drug rehabilitation programme known as narconon and criminon, and an effective criminal-reform programme.
The other programmes include the way to happiness foundation, which is a non-religious social reform programme, the youth for human rights programme, the Hubbard College of Administration for administrative training and Scientology Missions International for setting up local missions.
Giving a background to the Goodwill Tour, Mr Freeman said it started at Adenta in Accra in December 2007 where 250 students graduated after completing various courses in six weeks.
Tents were set up at the Ridge Hospital in Accra during the Africa Cup of Nations, where 53 seminars were held for schools and professional organisations.
In April 2008, the Tour moved to Ashaiman and Tema, where 986 students completed various courses and 1,266 completed seminars for a period of 10 weeks.
In Kumasi, where the Goodwill Tour operated for three months, 5,806 persons benefitted from seminars, while 1,056 persons completed various courses.
The Tour programmes were also successful in Lome and Sokode, all in Togo as well as in Cotonou and Djougou in Benin.
In all these areas, groups were formed to continue with the volunteer ministers activities towards improving the lives of people in communities.
With about seven countries more to tour in Africa, the Tour team berths in Tamale for the next two months, during which Mr Freeman and the Public Relations Officer of the SVM, Madam Patience Freeman, hope to train a significant number of the youth in Tamale to carry out the mission of bringing real hope to the crest-fallen residents of the metropolis.
The programme, which was founded by an American philosopher, L. Ron Hubbard, has about 100,000 volunteers working in communities throughout the world. As part of the initiative, the Ghana Office of the SVM would be established in Tamale in the near future.

Monday, October 12, 2009


THE Students Representative Council (SRC) of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) of the University for Development Studies (UDS) has embarked on fundraising activities to facilitate the construction of a hostel complex in Tamale.
The fundraising activities are targeted at mobilising GH¢10,000 as seed money to start the construction of the project estimated at GH¢4.4 million.
When it is completed, the facility will comprise a barbers shop, laundry, and other facilities for entertainment.
The President of the SRC-SMHS, Mr Joshua Tia, indicated that the project when completed would solve the accommodation problems facing students, and also enhance their academic work.
He however expressed regret about the partial accreditation of the SMHS, and the inability to absorb community nutrition students into the health sector after the completion of their courses.
According to Mr Tia, the little or no recognition for the nurse practitioners by the Ghana Health Service and the lack of hostel facilities were other challenges facing students that should be tackled urgently.
“We are pleading with stakeholders to stop playing politics with our lives; There is so much pressure on students leading to the payment of high school fees especially with the introduction of the problem-based learning,” the SRC President further entreated.
He appealed to the government to help equip the Tamale Teaching Hospital to provide a conducive environment for the training of students.
Mr Tia stressed the need for better conditions of service to motivate professionals to stay in the Northern Region to help students realise their educational ambitions
The president commended the management of the school for their efforts at providing a 1000-bed capacity hostel facility through the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND) to ease accommodation problems facing the students.
The Pro-vice Chancellor of the UDS, Professor David Millar, commended the SRC-SMHS for their vision to mobilise funds for the construction of a hostel facility.
The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Mr Moses Magbengba, announced that the Regional Coordinating Council was discussing with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief executives in the region on the possibility of supporting the UDS to provide at least four hostel facilities to solve the accommodation problems facing students.
“This university is very dear to the heart of the government hence we would do everything possible to provide the needed facilities to enhance academic work,” he further explained.
The Chief of Tamale, Dakpema Naa Mohammed Alhassan Dawuni, in a speech read on his behalf, stressed the need for the university authorities to assist students of the UDS by exploring all avenues including the GETFUND to ease accommodation problems facing students.
“Apart from accommodation, the SMHS is confronted with many challenges which need to be addressed if it is to be autonomous from other medical schools,” the Dakpema observed.
A nine-member executive made up of the SRC and the National Union of Ghana Students was inaugurated at the function.


YOUTH unemployment in the Tamale metropolis is to be reduced to the barest minimum in the years ahead.
This is because the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) has tasked itself to create hundreds of jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in the sprawling metropolis. It hopes to achieve that through such units as the Urban Roads within the assembly, expansion of the National Youth Employment Programme, award of assembly contracts and Zoomlion-Assembly collaboration among other strategies.
According to the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Alhaji Abdulai Haruna Friday, the assembly deemed it one of its top priorities to address the unemployment issue because of its ripple effects on the peace and stability of the metropolis.
“I also believe strongly that the time has come for the upgrading of a number of facilities such as the Tamale Airport to international standards to further enhance our city’s success in investment, tourism and job creation,” he stated.
He observed that when that was done, it would accelerate growth and development as well as direct exports of non-traditional goods and crops such as cashew, shea-nuts, shea-butter, mangoes, cotton and many others to the international markets.
Alhaji Haruna noted that Tamale had a lot to offer as large tracts of arable land abounded for agricultural purposes, which in itself, could help address the unemployment situation, if effectively managed.
He observed that such potentials were areas for possible investment, adding that the arts and culture, animal leather processing products and other artefacts all abounded in the metropolis that constituted a major area of investment, tourist attraction and job creation.
“Another area of prime importance to me as we strive to market Tamale is the development of a fully fledged website where the world can access and appreciate Tamale better through the Internet,” the MCE indicated.
Touching on revenue mobilisation, Alhaji Haruna intimated that the assembly was now focused on how best to minimise the overdependence on the “good old District Assembly Common Fund”.
He expressed regret that the measure had become necessary because the release of the fund had become erratic, sometimes, leading to the adandonment of or delay in the implementation of much of the assembly’s development programmes.
As a result of the measures put in place, the MCE said the assembly had collected GH¢586,944 as against GH¢864,772, which was the revenue target for this year.
In 2006 and 2007, for instance, he said, the assembly mobilised a paltry GH¢364,054 and GH¢249,394 respectively as revenue.
“I, therefore, have confidence that I would turn things around in our revenue mobilisation drive,” he assured.


THE Chief of Tamale, Dakpema Mohammed Alhassan Dawuni, has entreated residents particularly the youth to channel their energies into more productive ventures like farming instead of engaging in acts of lawlessness in the metropolis.
He also urged the youth to cultivate the habit of forgiveness and eschew lies to help maintain the prevailing peace in the area.
The Dakpema said this when Ms Marian Abdul Rauf (Nasara), Ghana’s Most Beautiful, paid a courtesy call on him at his palace at the weekend.
The visit was to seek the advice, prayers and protection of the Dakpema, as well as ask permission from him to embark on a tour of the area.
It was part of her project work aimed at fostering peace and unity in communities in Ghana. It was organised by Tarch House, a show business company.
The chief observed that peace in Dagbon was paramount and should be put above all parochial considerations.
“We need to examine ourselves particularly the conflicts and leaders must endeavour to guide their followers in order not to bring chaos into the society,” he further pointed out.
He stressed the need for the aged, women and children, who constituted the most vulnerable groups in the region, to be taken care of properly.
Ms Rauf pledged her commitment towards the achievement of peace in Dagbon.
She noted that the people of the Northern Region and for that matter Dagbon were one people hence the need for unity to prevail for accelerated development of the area.
The beauty queen assured the chief and residents of Tamale and Dagbon that she was willing to work with them to achieve peace because without it they could not achieve development, adding that they were one people and she did not see the reason why they should continue fighting amongst ourselves
Ms Rauf made references to a popular saying to back her statement, stressing, “He who does not know where he is going does not also know where he is coming from.”
She said the Dagbon chieftaincy problem should not divide the people of the region such that its people would lose focus of its development agenda.
Ms Rauf urged the youth to join in the crusade to preach peace and support her peace-building efforts and emphasised that Dagbon had a lot to offer to the world and said the earlier residents buried their differences the better they cold contribute meaningfully to the development of their respective communities.
The Chief Executive Officer of Tarch House, Deema Naa, Mohammed Hafiz Abdallah, said the project would ultimately help promote peace in Dagbon and other communities in northern Ghana.


THE Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) has drawn up an ambitious plan to rehabilitate infrastructural facilities in the metropolis.
When completed, the plan would help improve on the socio-economic lives of residents, as well as uplift the status of the area to befit it as a metropolis.
The plan will also improve sectors such as tourism and investment drive, electrification, water and sanitation, education, road, trade and commerce.
The development of a fully fledged website, where the world can access and appreciate Tamale better through the Internet, is a top priority for the assembly. The website would be constantly updated in order to meet the expectations of prospective investors and tourists.
Nine peri-urban communities in the metropolis, namely Wamale, Gbashe, Zuo, Parshe, Kanville, Lahagu, Taha, Dungu and Zujung are to be provided with pipe-borne water.
Additionally, 40 other communities in the sprawling city are also to be provided with rain water harvesting tanks and toilet facilities. New Energy, a non-governmental organisation, and other organisations are supporting the TAMA in that direction.
Although a number of communities are connected to the grid, a good number of suburbs in the metropolis are still without electricity.
As part of the Rural Development initiative of TAMA, budgetary allocation would be made every year for the next four years.
This year, about 1,000 wooden poles would be procured to support the rural electrification programme in the area.
In the area of education, planners in the assembly had observed that there was the need to give that sector a major boost.
In that regard, 12 peri-urban communities would benefit from two unit-classroom blocks with sick bay, furniture, toilet/urinal and learning materials for each community.
The beneficiary communities are Choggu, Dohini, Dungu, Dunying, Kunyevilla, Zugung and Wamale East. The rest are Guunayili/Kanbonayili, Nyohini Tuu-tingly, Dakpema and Kateriga.
As the city expands and the number of vehicles increases, the current road network becomes inadequate to carry the volume of traffic. To that effect, the assembly in collaboration with the Department of Urban Roads would embark on major road construction and rehabilitation. The roads to be repaired include the Old Karaga Road and Gumani-Kanvilli Road, just to mention a few.
Indeed, trade and commerce play vital roles towards enhancing the socio-economic lives of residents.
One area that has not seen major renovation for years is the Aboabu Market Area, where there is a large concentration of residents who buy and sell foodstuffs and other commodities.
The assembly is making strenuous efforts to complete the Aboabu Supermarket Project, which was started several years ago. Discussions are underway with a Chinese company which has agreed to redesign the entire structure for work to start.
According to the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Alhaji Abdulai Haruna Friday, an Advisory Council has been formed and given the task to understudy, deliberate and offer wise counsel on a wide range of issues bordering on moral decadence, juvenile delinquency and indiscipline, among others.
He intimated that the assembly’s “Bilchinsi” initiative was one of the processes by which it hoped to ensure peace in the metropolis.
Touching on issues of governance, the MCE expressed the assembly’s determination to ensure that all its three sub-metropolitan assemblies which were currently dysfunctional were properly resourced and made functional.
“I will, therefore, ensure that all the three sub-metros have at least 90 per cent of their staff in place and functioning by March 2010,” he stressed.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


THE newly-elected Member of Parliament for Chereponi constituency, Mr Samuel Abdulai Jabanyite, has stated that his victory is a manifestation of the confidence the electorate have in him to enhance their living conditions.
He, therefore, indicated his intention to meet the aspirations of the people in the areas of education, improvement in their respective farming activities, which constitute the main economic activity of residents.
Speaking on an Accra-based FM station, yesterday, Mr Jabanyite linked his victory to the kind of social work he engaged in over the years and his interaction with the people at the grass roots.
“I have been a teacher for several years, an assembly member for eight years , as well as a development worker who served within the ActionAid,and the Danish International Development Agency, both non-governmental organizations,” he observed.
According to him, many residents of the area were of the conviction that he(Jabanyite) had the capability to facilitate and if possible fast-track the development agenda of the area.
He said being a commercial farmer himself, he had pre-financed 3,500 hectares of farmlands for some residents of Chereponi, adding that he would encourage the youth to take advantage of various interventions to go into farming.
In a related development, the National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress(NDC), Dr Kwabena Adjei, has explained on Radio Justice, a Tamale-based FM station, that the NDC government would fast-track development in the Chereponi area not because the people voted for its candidate but because the area was deprived.
He expressed concern about the unfortunate incidents that occurred in the area last Sunday that resulted in the destruction of properties and injuries to some persons.
According to him, he had his own reservations about the holding of by-elections to replace deceased MPs.
NDC’s Jabanyite polled 8,239 votes, while his closest challenger from the New Patriotic Party(NPP), Abukari Aminu Gariba, had 7,416 votes. Jabali Namana of the People’s National Convention polled 176 votes, while Issah Yaw of the New Vision Party(NVP) had 139 votes. Eliasu Fati of the Democratic People’s Party(DPP) polled 106 votes.


THE Regent of Dagbon, Kampakuya-Na Yakubu Abdulai Andani, has called on the Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to be vigilant and firm to ensure that those harbouring the intention of going to Chereponi to cause confusion during the by-election today are arrested.
He suggested that vigorous checks be made to stop non-residents and non-indegenes of Chereponi, particularly those from Tamale, Gushiegu and Yendi who were not eligible to vote, from fomenting trouble during the by-election.
The Kampakuya-Na made the call when the Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama and his entourage paid a courtesy call on him at his palace in Yendi at the weekend.
Mr Mahama’s visit was to thank the chiefs and people of the area for their prayers and support during the 2008 general election.
According to the regent, information reaching him indicated that some people were allegedly harbouring the intention of transporting people to the area to breach the peace.
The Kampakuya-Na stressed that the prevailing peace in the area should be protected and entreated supporters of both the contesting candidates and the political parties to co-operate with the Electoral Commission to ensure a peaceful by-election.
He commended the government for the prevailing peace in the area and the Northern Region as a whole.
The Vice-President, for his part, said the government believed in effective justice delivery and stated that perpetrators of all forms of human rights abuses, including the murder of the late Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, would be made to face the full rigours of the law.
He further explained that an investigation report had been submitted to the National Security Council for study and that investigations into all alleged human rights violations would be opened.
“We have to resolve the Dagbon crisis for the accelerated development of the area,” Mr Mahama observed.
Touching on the by-election, he assured the regent that the government had put in place the necessary security arrangements for a peaceful by-election.
He assured Ghanaians that the government would fulfil its promises, saying, “We have already started putting in place the necessary interventions such as the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) that will help to bridge the development gap between the north and the south.”
The Vice-President was accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Dr Hanna Bisiw; the Minister of Communications, Mr Haruna Iddrisu; the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo; the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Sumani Nayina, among other government functionaries.
Meanwhile, to ensure fool-proof security during today’s by-election in the Chereponi Constituency, 10 policemen, six of them armed, have been stationed at each of the 55 polling stations.
Additionally, three checkpoints have been mounted at each point of entry to the constituency.
The Northern Regional Police Commander, ACP Angwubutoge Awuni, who disclosed this said people going to and from the town were also being searched thoroughly.
He reiterated the determination of the security agencies to ensure a violence-free poll today and assured that they had made adequate preparations to nip in the bud, any attempt to breach the peace.
He therefore cautioned those who might be habouring any intention of causing trouble to reconsider it or face the full force of the law.
He advised all those who had nothing to do at Chereponi to stay away and allow the people of Chereponi to decide who represents them in Parliament.
The police commander called on the contesting political parties to conduct their activities within the confines of the law, saying it was not the intention of the security to abuse anyone's right but "if you misbehave, we will be compelled to use any reasonable force to maintain law and order."
The Chereponi by-election was necessitated by the death of the New Patriotic Party MP, Doris Asibi Seidu, last July.

Friday, October 9, 2009


The Vice-President, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, has called on supporters of the various candidates and political parties contesting the Chereponi by-election to co-operate with the security agencies and the Electoral Commission (EC) for a peaceful conduct of the election tomorrow.
He cautioned against the use of firearms to foment trouble during the polls and entreated residents of the area to volunteer information to the security agencies to avert any political violence in the area.
Mr Mahama was addressing the chiefs and people of Chereponi as part of his visit to the area to among other things ascertain the preparedness of the area so far towards the polls.
He used the occasion to introduce the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, Mr. Samuel Jabanyite to the people.
He urged the people to allow all the candidates and parties involved in the election to campaign in an atmosphere of peace devoid of any intimidation.
“We do not want a situation whereby aggrieved parties or candidates who lose the election will contest the results apparently because they were prevented from campaigning or voting in a peaceful atmosphere,” the Vice President stated.
He announced plans by the government to rehabilitate the Accra-Hohoe-Nkwanta-Damonko-Bimbilla-Bawku road which formed the Eastern corridor road.
According to him, the government would by the end of this year, start a rural electrification project that would connect communities in the district that do not have electricity.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, urged the electorate to vote for the NDC candidate in order for the party to get a stronger representation in Parliament to bring development to the doorstep of the people.
He noted that the government had started rolling out programmes that would make Ghana a better place to live in.
“Professor Mills has given the opportunity to the youth to contribute to nation building and that is why the youth must rally behind the NDC candidate who is youthful,” he pointed out.
The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Mr. Moses Magbengba urged supporters of the NDC not to make a mistake of voting for any other candidate from another party because the government had a lot of good programmes to implement for them.
Present at the function was the Chairman of the NDC, Dr. Kwabena Adjei and other top members of the NDC.
The Vice President and his entourage also visited Wenchiki and other surrounding communities of Chereponi.
Some members of the Anufor Progressive Union (APU) made up mainly of Chekosis in Chereponi intimated that there was peace in the area.
According to them, since the campaigns begun, in the area there had not been any intimidation or violent incidents as it was being speculated by a section of the media.
They indicated that the youth in the area wanted “recognition, rehabilitation of the road network in the area, unity and peace”.
They cautioned the winner of the by-election against “turning his or her back on the youth”.


A sports academy is to be established in Northern Ghana to help identify and unearth sports talents among the youth in the area.
When completed, the facility would constitute the third to be provided in the country.
To that effect, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has been tasked to assess the possibility of putting up such a facility.
The Vice-President, John Dramani Mahama, announced this in Tamale when he presented a 60-seater Yutong luxury bus valued at GH¢75,000 to Real Tamale United (RTU).
The vehicle was the Vice-President’s personal donation to the club in response to an appeal made by the club three months ago.
According to the Vice-President, the north abounds in sports talents, saying “we must explore all avenues to ensure that the youth get jobs through the development of their talents thereby reducing poverty among them.”
He noted that sports was lucrative and many families had been able to break their vicious cycle of poverty through that.
Mr Mahama intimated that all colts clubs must be supported as a strategy to strengthen RTU.
“Let us concentrate on other sports disciplines and encourage our women to go into soccer, “he advised.
The Vice-President equally observed that RTU was the eye of the north and one club that had shown resilience in the Premier League since its formation in 1976.
“My burning desire is that in the next few years RTU should be able to bring the league trophy to Tamale,” he stated.
He paid glowing tribute to all those who had brought the club this far, and made particular mention of the contribution of the former Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama.
He entreated supporters of RTU to exercise restraint while the agreement, signed between the management of the club and its technical team was implemented.
Mr Mahama, however, explained that the agreement among other things, demanded of the technical team to maintain RTU between the first and eighth position on the league table during the first half of the next league season.
The agreement, he stated ,equally stipulated the need for the technical bench to put in place effective strategies to ensure that RTU is among the top four by the close of the next season.
He warned that failure of the technical team to achieve those targets would attract sanctions ,including termination of appointment.
The Northern Regional Minister, Stephen Nayina, pledged on behalf of the club to put the bus to judicious use, adding that it would be parked at the regional administration and used when the need arose.


Story: Vincent Amenuvene & Salifu M. Nurudeen, Tamale

ALL is set for the Chereponi by-election tomorrow and the five political parties contesting have all stepped up efforts to win the vacant seat. Two female candidates are in the race for the seat.
The parties are the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC), The Democratic People’s Party and the New Vision Party (NVP).
The by-election became necessary following the death of the NPP Member of Parliament for the area, Ms Doris Seidu, last month.
Mr Samuel Abdulai Jabanyite, 36, a teacher by profession, is contesting on the ticket of the NDC, Abukari Aminu Gariba, 36, also a teacher, is for the NPP, while Mr Issah Yaw, a farmer, is the candidate of the NVP. The two female candidates are Rebecca Namana Jabali, 47, who is contesting for the PNC and Eliasu Fati for the DPP.
Figures show that during the 2004 general election, the late Ms Seidu polled 5,873 votes to unseat her closest rival of the NDC, Mr Seidu Isah Abah, who had 5,561 votes.
In 2008, the late Ms Seidu polled 9,188 votes, representing 52.3 per cent, as against Mr Abah’s 7,648, representing 43.6 per cent. Mrs Jabali Namana of the PNC had 286 votes while her counterpart from the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Mr Michael Kwabena, polled 51 votes.
NPP sources told the Daily Graphic that the party was doing everything possible to retain the seat. So far it is being said that the NDC was using the election to test the ground to see how popular the party is. Indeed, the retention of the seat by the NPP will not be a big deal, but if the NDC wins the seat, it will be a big plus for the
Already tension has been mounting, especially as the two dominant political parties have stepped up efforts to win the seat.
The Vice President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, had to reschedule a visit to the constituency last week, all in the name of peace before, during and after the election.
Latest reports indicate that though security is tight, a number of persons sustained various degrees of cudgel and stone wounds yesterday when supporters of the NDC and the NPP had a confrontation at Chereponi over the holding of rallies by both parties.
The police consequently fired warning shots to disperse the irate youth in the area. The injured persons were said to be receiving treatment at the Chereponi Health Centre. It was, however, not clear how many people sustained the injuries.
According to security operatives in Chereponi, the NDC supporters went to erect canopies to hold a rally, while the NPP supporters were also preparing to hold a rally and the final funeral rights of the late MP for the area, Doris Seidu, at the same venue, thereby resulting in the confrontation.
Meanwhile, the Northern Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr Sylvester Kanyi, has told the Daily Graphic that the EC is prepared for the exercise, adding, “materials have arrived in the region for the by-election”.
He said there were 55 polling stations in the constituency but observed with regret that inaccessibility of some polling stations due to floods would be a major challenge facing the EC.
He, therefore, appealed to the Ministry of Defence to support the EC by providing helicopters to airlift election materials, officials and security men to and from the area.
He explained that due to flooding of some parts in the district and the poor nature of roads, some areas where polling stations were located had been cut off.
He said in spite of the challenges, turnout was likely to be high due to the intensive public education embarked upon by the EC, the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) and the various political parties that had fielded candidates for the by-election.
There were 23,270 eligible voters during the 2008 general election with an 80-per cent voter turnout.
The Northern Regional Police Command has also met all stakeholders, including the various political parties, with the view to ensuring a peaceful by-election.
According to the Northern Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Angwubutoge Awuni, 1,050 police personnel had been deployed in Chereponi for a peaceful conduct of the polls and to deal decisively with any security challenge that might come up during and after the polls.
He said each of the 55 polling stations would be manned by not less than 10 police personnel.
He explained that the police would erect three checkpoints on the Yendi-Chereponi road.
He said the regional command wanted to avoid a repeat of the turmoil that characterised the parliamentary re-run in the Akwatia Constituency in the Eastern Region.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Major-General Peter Augustine Blay, has implored military personnel who have been dispatched to support the enforcement of law and order in Chereponi during the by-election to exhibit the utmost professionalism.
He said already all logistics for the smooth operation of the troops in Chereponi, such as finance, transport and shelter, had been provided and thus, “there is no need why we should fail in Chereponi”.
The CDS gave the advice in Tamale after he led a 15km route march, code-named ‘Exercise Morale’ through the streets of Tamale to boost the morale of the forces.
A platoon each from the Tamale Air Force Station, Airborne Force and 6th Infantry Battalion took part in the route march, led by their commanding officers, Regimental Sergeant Majors (RSMs) and other officers.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Sampson-Oje, the Forces Sergeant Major, Chief Warrant Officer Adu Yaw and some directors from the headquarters also joined the exercise.
The march brought to an end the four-day visit of the CDS to the Northern sector, which took him to Tamale, Bawku and Yendi.
Major-General Blay noted that the Chereponi by-election was another challenging exercise that needed to be tackled with all seriousness.
He assured the troops of the government’s continued support to ensure their welfare and the smooth operation of the Ghana Armed Forces.
The Commanding Officer of the 6th Garrison, Group Captain Ayisa, pledged the commitment of the forces under his command and assured the CDS of the readiness of the forces to ensure a successful election in Chereponi.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


THE Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has bemoaned the lack of institutional framework which enjoins successive governments to build on the foundations of previous administrations.
He expressed regret that some local industries in northern Ghana, including the Tamale industrial area created by Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, had deteriorated.
Addressing a national forum on the Northern Development Agenda (NDA) in Tamale on Thursday, Mr Mahama, therefore, entreated residents of northern Ghana to avoid all forms of political divisiveness and rather unite to address the common development challenges facing the area.
He equally stressed the need for them to use politics as a platform to promote the development agenda of northern Ghana, saying “we must try to build on what others have done, although we might not have the same political ideologies”.
He observed that Dr Nkrumah lived up to expectation in launching the northern scholarship fund, as well as other interventions that enabled farmers to increase their wealth.
“There was prosperity and farmers were capable of purchasing their own tractors to the extent that many public servants who hitherto had refused postings to the north came and created wealth for themselves through farming,” he noted.
The Vice-President said several years after Dr Nkrumah’s vision, subsidies on agricultural inputs were cut, while the issue of divestiture, which allowed the private sector to manage some industries, impacted negatively on the growth of such industries as the managers lacked the needed capacity to transform the industries into viable ones.
According to him, there was the need to make northern Ghana an industrial hub for the savannah and Sahelian regions.
Mr Mahama observed that as part of the government’s commitment to the NDA, it had formed the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) as a strategy to ensure long-term expedited development for the northern part of the country.
He announced that the government had pledged to commit GH¢200 million over the next four years to give SADA the needed impetus for its smooth take-off.
The Vice-President explained that the high poverty levels in the Brong Ahafo Region, the northern parts of the Volta Region and the three northern regions remained the greatest challenge to the SADA.
He further said SADA would be integrated into the National Development Plan, saying, “by the close of this year, we hope to pass the SADA into an Act of Parliament for its speedy implementation”.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Nayina, noted that peace was a prerequisite to the realisation of the objectives of the NDA and urged residents of the area to avoid conflicts.
The Country Director of SEND Ghana, Mr Samuel Akologo, called for political commitment that was “visible and demonstrable” to ensure the success of the NDA.
The Chairman of the Northern Development Forum, Dr Hakeem Wemah, stressed the need for a new model of politics that would enhance accelerated development of the northern Ghana.
The forum, on the theme, “Northern Development Agenda: Citizens’ call for action now”, was attended by politicians, representatives from non-governmental organisations, civil society groups and traditional authorities.
It was aimed, among other objectives, at seeking feedback from public office holders regarding the implementation of the NDA.
The forum was organised by SEND Ghana in partnership with the NDF.


THE Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District Director of Education, Mr Frank Aflakpui, has warned that his outfit would not hesitate to sanction headmasters who refuse to report to school during the first day of re-opening.
Mr Aflakpui gave the warning at Sawla when he led some officers from the Ghana Education Service (GES) in the district to tour a number of schools during “My First Day at School” programme.
The director and his entourage defied a heavy downpour to visit 25 schools.
Mr Aflakpui cautioned heads of institutions against misapplying the Capitation Grant, stressing that any headmaster who did that would be dealt with in line with the GES regulations.
The director lauded the efforts of hard-working teachers in the district and encouraged them to work harder to improve the academic performance of pupils in the district.
He stressed the need for parents, teachers and education authorities to collaborate to reduce, among other challenges, the high school dropout rate in the district.
Mr Aflakpui further entreated teachers to contribute meaningfully to the implementation of the District Teachers’ Welfare Fund, which would take off early next year.
The director, on behalf of the GES, later distributed a number of bottles of soft drinks and biscuits to class one pupils to welcome them to their respective schools.


THE tragic events that followed the inundation of nine districts of the Northern Region by floods this month as a result of torrential rains and the spillage of the Bagre and Kompienga dams in Burkina Faso, are a major source of worry to residents of the region.
Stakeholders, particularly district assemblies are also concerned about the situation and as a result, are evolving strategies to bring quick relief to the affected people.
This year’s floods brought in its wake the death of four persons in the Zabzugu-Tatale, West Gonja and West Mamprusi districts. The destruction of farmlands, food stocks, houses and the isolation of many communities from the rest of the region was also recorded.
Figures indicate that more than 63,000 people, including pregnant women and children were rendered homeless while more than 991 houses collapsed in the floods. Domestic animals and birds were also washed away.
Water sources have seriously been affected due to the contamination of more than 500 hand-dug wells and boreholes. Undoubtedly, the contamination of water sources can trigger diarrhoea and other health related diseases in the affected communities.
The flooding of the affected communities also had adverse affects on physical infrastructure, including roads and bridges as they have been damaged. As a result, most of the affected communities can only be reached by boat or canoe.
A total of 214 communities were affected and in the Central Gonja district alone, 21 communities have been cut off from the rest of the district.
The Central Gonja District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Issifu Salisu has toured some of the affected communities like Kokope, Debre Port, Kponglesu, Kafuwurapei, Yapei, Sikaape and Kpetsileve to assess the extent of damage and to educate the residents on the need to move upland.
A number of rivers like the Oti and the White Volta have broken their banks thereby affecting a number of communities. Persons living in low lying parts of the flood plains of such rivers were the hard hit.
That was because the buildings in most rural areas are built of mud with shallow foundations that are non-resistant to the force of flood water. The houses therefore collapsed under such conditions thereby killing innocent people.
Spillage of both the Bagre and Kompienga dams started on September 4, 2009. Although the spillage is controlled, the volume of water spilled from September 7, 2009 to date is said to be increasing daily.
According to a report by the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the worst affected districts were West Mamprusi, Tolon-Kumbungu and West Gonja where the White Volta passes. The rest were Central Gonja, Saboba, Zabzugu-Tatale, Nanumba South, Yendi and Kpandai along the Oti River.
For now most communities within the West Mamprusi and West Gonja districts, popularly known as “the overseas”, have been completely inundated and cut off from the rest of the region.
One pertinent question worthy of consideration is why do the frequent disasters occur in the region without a permanent solution to them.
It is worthy to mention that the region went through similar experiences in 2007.
The destructive effects of floods on human settlements and economic activities in the region between August and September, 2007 is still fresh on the minds of many residents of the region.
Figures recorded by the NADMO in the region showed that 20 people died in the floods that hit the region in 2007. Additionally, 22 health facilities, 18 school structures and 1,499.7 kilometres of roads were destroyed in the same year.
Two hundred and twenty-four thousand, two hundred and twenty-six (224,226) people were displaced while 9,707 houses were destroyed by the floods in the region.
Eighty-two thousand, seven hundred and thirty (82,730) acres of farmlands were washed away by the floods, including food crops as well as livestock that resulted in approximately 243,378 metric tonnes of projected shortfall in food and meat production. These happenings would certainly never be forgotten considering the level of destruction that occurred that year.
Nineteen deaths reportedly occurred during a cholera outbreak in August 2007, as a result of the floods in the region and a total of 157 cases of the disease were recorded during the same period this year.
As a result of the sad incident, a 13-member Cholera Epidemic Committee was set up to help monitor the situation and by the close of August, 2007, only two persons were said to be on admission at the Tamale West Hospital as the incidence reduced from 12 to 10 per cent.
An assessment of the impact of the floods on various sectors in the three northern regions by NADMO and other stakeholders indicated that an estimated GH¢98.25 million was needed urgently to help reconstruct facilities in the three regions. Out of that amount, Northern Region alone required about GH¢51.27 million to put the necessary infrastructure in place. Reconstruction efforts were needed in such sectors as education, roads, water, sanitation and hygiene, provision of shelters, and sustainable livelihood programmes.
A critical look at the effects of the floods in 2007 shows that there was inadequate preparation and intensive public educational campaigns hence the devastating effects of the floods on victims. It must be noted that the major cause of the floods was the torrential rains. However some analysts of the 2007 floods, including meteorologists acknowledged that adequate preparation and increased public awareness could have possibly averted such occurrence.
Unfortunately, however, two years after the region recorded that incident, the area is still experiencing the same devastating effects of the floods this year.
Judging from the happenings, one is tempted to ask what went wrong or does the recurrence of the disaster indicate that stakeholders did not draw lessons from the previous disasters in order to effectively strategise to mitigate its effects this year?
It is gratifying to note that a number of activities, including education campaigns on the need for farmers to cultivate their crops early and harvest them before July, this year, was carried out by stakeholders.
Additionally, a series of stakeholders meeting were held to brainstorm on how best to manage floods to avert its recurrence this year. So the question on the tongues of the people is why did it occur again?
Indeed, in 2008, the NADMO and other stakeholders set up committees whose members went round the various disaster prone areas in the region to educate people that eventually led to minimal destruction of property during the rainy season in that year.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the region intensified its educational campaigns in the communities, particularly flood prone areas with the formation of District Environmental Management Committees (DEMCs).
Suggestions put forward by some stakeholders include the need for people to consider the option of moving upland instead of living along river banks. Indeed, this suggestion seemed to hold the key to solving the situation as well as preventing the occurrence of deaths whenever floods occur.
Owing to the level of destruction this year’s floods have caused, the Northern Regional Minister Mr Stephen Nayina, has advocated the release of a helicopter to conduct an aerial assessment of the affected communities.
According to him, such assessment must be followed by declaring the region a disaster zone, a strategy to deal with the situation effectively.
The former Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris suggested on an Accra-based FM station, the need to carry out periodic dredging of rivers and clearing of choked drains. He also stressed the importance of intensifying public education in communities that lie along river banks on the need for residents of those areas to move upland.
He stated that this year’s public education campaigns should have started a bit earlier to avert deaths and damage to property.
Sadly, this year’s floods have occurred at a time when the region is still grappling with rebuilding those physical structures that were damaged during the 2007 floods.
Lessons learnt from many countries across the world show that rivers prone to floods are often carefully managed. Defences such as levees, bunds, reservoirs and weirs are used to prevent rivers from bursting their banks. When these defences fail, emergency measures such as sandbags or portable inflatable tubes are used.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


THE first Town Hall Meeting opened in Tamale yesterday with a call on Ghanaians to consider the concept as an opportunity to demand accountability from public office holders.
The Presidential Spokesman, Mr Mahama Ayariga, who made the call on behalf of the President, stated that the presidency wanted every Ghanaian, irrespective of their political and ideological inclinations, to engage their leaders in constant interaction and not to allow that opportunity to be taken away from them.
“The introduction of this concept is to restore power to the people, which is legitimate; the direction for the development of your respective towns is now yours,” he further explained.
According to Mr Ayariga, it was the Government’s determination to ensure that governance was on the doorstep of the people.
He commended the organisers of the event for the prompt and efficient manner in which they organised it and expressed the hope that the urgency with which it was arranged in Tamale would be replicated in other areas.
Mr Ayariga observed that the Government decided to hold the first meeting in Tamale because of the confidence reposed in the people of the area.
The Presidential Advisor on Policy, Madam Christine Amoako-Nuamah, announced that an oversight committee for monitoring and evaluation had been established by the Presidency to promote interaction between the people and public office holders to help identify their needs.
According to her, the Government was critically looking at programmes that needed to be modified to ensure a “better Ghana”.
A governance expert and lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Mr Kwamena Ahwoi, stated that the Public Procurement Act, the Unit Committee concept and issues such as deductions from the District Assembly Common


THE Northern Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Angwubutoge Awuni, has said that adequate security measures have been put in place to ensure a successful hosting of the first Town Hall Meeting in Tamale today.
“There is no cause for alarm as appropriate security measures have been put in place,” he assured the Daily Graphic in an interview.
He, however, said that the police administration would not provide “special police protection” for any group of persons, but rather provide “blanket security and protection” for all participants to the meeting.
ACP Awuni said this in reaction to suggestions by a group of persons claiming to be members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to be provided special security to avert possible attacks from any group of persons.
According to the commander, anybody who had been threatened or felt being threatened and likely to be attacked should report immediately to the police to pre-empt any incident.
He explained that participants to the meeting should feel free as the police would not tolerate intimidation of any sort on individuals.
A member of the Town Hall Meeting Co-ordinating Group, Alhaji Abdul-Razak Sauna, for his part, indicated that invitation letters had been sent to all traditional authorities, religious leaders, heads of departments, women and youth groups to participate in the event.
He stated that a Deputy Registrar of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Dr A. B. Tanko Zakaria, was billed to be the moderator of the programme.
According to Mr Saani, a number of government officials were expected to arrive in Tamale for the event.
He noted that a number of radio discussions to sensitise residents to the need to participate in the event had been carried out, adding that “it is our responsibility to ensure that participants express their views freely”.
In a related development, the Metropolitan Security Committee met on Monday to discuss security issues regarding the event.


THE Department of Urban Roads (DUR) in Tamale has earmarked selected roads in the metropolis to be repaired this year.
The repairs will involve the regravelling, reshaping, weeding the grass along the roads to enhance visibility and repairing drains in suburbs such as Shishegu, Lamashegu, and Choggu-Yalpasi.
The Metropolitan Roads Engineer, Mr John Ofori Ankomah, told the Daily Graphic that “two contractors are being processed” for the job.
According to him, a comprehensive drainage system needed to be developed to avert the destruction of access roads in some suburbs.
He observed that when the rains subsided work on the selected roads would be completed in good time.
Residents in such suburbs as Gurugu, Vitting, Koblimahagu, Kukuo, Gbewaa Bilpeila and parts of Gumani have expressed concern about the bad nature of access roads in their respective areas.
They noted that the annual ritual of flooding in their areas which resulted in the destruction of access roads needed to be checked urgently.
Some of them mentioned in particular the inconvenience they encountered anytime they drove their vehicles or rode their motorbikes on the bad roads.
“Sometimes our vehicles get stuck on the roads and need to be towed away. In fact the situation is not the best”, Mr Ismaila Ibrahim, a public servant complained.


THE Police in Yendi yesterday fired a couple of warning shots to disperse a group of irate youth of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who took to the street to protest against the current Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Walvis Hudu, for "his inability to move the development agenda of the area forward".
According to the police, the aggrieved youth defied an earlier police directive advising them not to go on demonstration for security reasons.
The aggrieved youth, in a 4-page petition signed jointly by its Youth Secretary, Mr Mohammed Shani Sayibu; the Youth Chairman, Mr Mohammed Abdul-Somed and two other members of the youth executive, entreated the President to consider their plea for the removal of the MCE.
They claimed that the leadership style of the MCE had created disharmony between him and the party executive and had also "created cracks within the rank and file of the party".
Briefing the Daily Graphic on the situation in Tamale, the Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Angwubutoge Awuni, indicated that three days ago, a group of NDC youth wrote a letter to the police to embark on a demonstration on September 15, 2009.
He intimated that the police had also received another message from another group of youth stating that they also wanted to embark on a similar demonstration to counter the proposed protest of the former group.
The commander further explained that on Monday morning, September 12, the police received a report that a group of red-band wearing youth had converged on the premises of the NDC office at Yendi, ostensibly to go on demonstration.
According to ACP Awuni, the youth were earlier told that the police could not provide security for the two groups at the same time, and that their demeanour was a threat to the prevailing peace in the area, hence the police had to fire blank ammunition to disperse them.
The commander, however, stressed that calm had now returned to the town and the situation was under control.


AS the Northern Region prepares for its first Town Hall Meeting in Tamale tomorrow, two prominent personalities in the region have said there is the need for the Government to consider addressing issues of unemployment, effective disaster management in case of floods and education challenges.
They noted that the intermittent conflicts in the region could be resolved effectively if the youth were gainfully employed and engaged in more productive ventures.
The Executive Secretary of the Northern Ghana Network for Development (NGND), Mr Ismail Lansah, and the Regional Co-ordinator of the National Youth Council (NYC), Mr Shaibu Ziblim, stated these in separate interviews with the Daily Graphic on their views on the Town Hall Meeting.
The meeting is to promote interaction between office holders and residents as a way of promoting good governance under the current Government.
Mr Lansah, for his part, predicted that although the Dagbon chieftaincy problem and the Issah Mobila case might have engaged the attention of most residents, it should not be allowed to cloud the critical issues such as unemployment and the development of the agricultural sector in the north.
He said that such interactions between office holders and residents were important but stressed that it must not be “cosmetic”.
“We should identify the pressing issues in Tamale and the region as a whole, and ask critical questions such as how best to ensure that residents improve on their living conditions?” Mr Lansah observed.
According to him, idleness results in the youth engaging in conflicts, and that it must be critically looked at.
“Accessibility to market by our farmers is critical as well as what must be done to ensure that the vast stretch of land in the region is put to efficient use” he further stated.
He indicated that the outcome of such a meeting should be structured in a way to address the development concerns of the area.
“The meeting should have an objective such that the various issues would be analysed with solutions provided and concretised” the secretary emphasised.
He stressed the need for the youth to be adequately supported to enable them to educate themselves and contribute meaningfully to the development of their respective communities, thereby, reducing poverty.
Some residents however raised concerns about what they described as human rights violations, selective justice among other issues, that must be addressed to promote peace in the north.