PRESIDENT WORRIED ABOUT NORTHERN CONFLICTS
From: Joseph Ziem, Tamale
The President of the Republic of Ghana says he is worried about violent conflicts emerging in various parts of the three Northern Regions.
H.E Professor John Evans Atta Mills noted with deep concern that the level of insecurity especially in some parts of the Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions needed remedial solutions to enhance national security.
The President made these comments when he addressed Regional Ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives as well as Security Commanders from the Northern Regions during a two day orientation workshop held in Tamale over the weekend.
President Mills implored all government functionaries and the security agencies to find lasting solutions to the numerous conflicts that had affected the socio-economic well being of most people in the three regions.
He said his government was focused on delivering its Better Ghana Agenda and stressed the need for peace and stability to prevail for accelerated development of the economy and the populace.
The two days workshop focused on topics including the Role and focus of DISEC, MUSEC and METSEC in the Better Ghana Agenda, Leadership at the District Assembly level, the Roles of the DCE/MCE and the District Assembly in the Youth in Agriculture as well as the Effective use of bye-laws for the Better Ghana Agenda at the District Level.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Northern Regional Minister, Moses Bukari Mabengba, said the organization of the workshop was very crucial considering the increasing number of flashpoints and the commonality of challenges to the three regions. Adding, “the workshop is held at a time there are land disputes and chieftaincy upheavals in the regions especially Northern Region”.
Mr. Mabengba cited Yendi, Gushiegu, Kusawgu and Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo as the current flashpoints in the region with conflicts which his administration is grappling and managing.
Northern Ghana, which hitherto was revered as the land of peaceful, hard working and honest people has in recent times acquired the unenviable reputation for ethnic strife, extreme intolerance and violence. As a result, the image of the area on the national and international scenes has been one of prejudices and stereotypes. An analysis of this ill-gotten image will reveal that high unemployment rates in the three regions underlie the problem. The teeming youth in these areas, owing to lack of sources of livelihood, have given themselves out as instruments of violence and will always use the least provocation to vent their frustration on others.
The Northern Regional Minister told the MMDCEs the situation was not one of despondency and desperation, but a pointer to the inadequacy of their efforts and need for them to adopt holistic and more pragmatic strategies to dealing with the twin evils of poverty and conflicts.
Mr. Mabengba who currently acts as Upper West Regional Minister appealed to the National Security Council to continue to support the Regional Security Councils (REGSECs) with more resources and vehicles to enable them respond rapidly to end conflicts in the regions.
He also made a passionate appeal to the media to exercise maximum circumspection and restraint in their reportage especially on conflict situations which are at the very core of people’s emotions.