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01.04.2006 Regional News

Northerners urged to pool resources for development


Accra, April 1, GNA- People from the three Northern Regions have been urged to put aside their ethnic and political interests and work together for peace and development of the area.

Mr. Mark Woyongo, a member of the Nortre Dame Old Students Association (NDOBA), who made the call at the Association's Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Accra said these regions continue to experience marginalisation, because "no investor would want to invest in an areas where there is insecurity".

"Until we put our parochial tribal and political interests aside and work together for peace and development in the North, our part of the country will continue to be marginalized," he said. The AGM under the theme; " NDOBA, one brotherhood for development" was for old students of the Accra-Tema branch of NDOBA of Navorongo. Mr Woyongo said it saddens the heart of most of the citizens of the area that the area has become associated with violence and the escalation of ethnic conflicts.

This situation, he noted "has rendered an already bad situation worse and has portrayed a negative image of the people". He called on the people who have had formal education to make it an obligation to help the less fortunate ones to get out of the quagmire of poverty that faces majority of the people.

"The Northern Regions have a rich cultural heritage and natural attraction which provide a rich cultural heritage and natural attractions which provide vast tourist potential which can be exploited to raise revenue for development purposes," he said.

Mr. Woyongo therefore, suggested that members of NDOBA linked up with other old school associations of the three Northern Regions to explore how the more fortunate citizens among them could pool financial and material resources for investment in the North.

"There should be an intensive mobilization programme to develop the north," he said adding, "All these should be done without any political colouration"

Mr Woyongo said, " our people should begin to discard the notion that the development of an area or a region is the sole responsibility of Government.

"This negative concept rather retards progress," he said. more

The Reverend Father Augustine Ayaga of the Navorongo/Bolgatanga Province who delivered a paper on the topic, " Influencing the Development Agenda in the North", said if northerners residing in the south refuse to show concern for the problems back home, the problems would eventually come to them even in the south.

"If you do not show concern for the problems there, they will eventually come to you even if you are in Tema and Accra," he said. He praised members of NDOBA for putting aside the focus of the alma mater to show interest in the development of the wider community. "Better development conditions within the wider society will impact positively upon those within the alma mater," he said. Rev. Fr. Ayaga made reference to the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy paper, which noted that the loss of dignity and respect in a number of northern communities was a result of poverty and urged the old student to strive to help their communities come out of poverty through investments.

Rev. Fr. Francis Kodelogo, Rector/ headmaster of Notre Dame Seminary and Secondary School said the school would turn 50 in the year 2010, hence the need for all students both old and new together with friends and well wishers to start making preparations towards the celebration of the event. He said funds had been secured from Rome for the renovation of the school's chapel building. Mr. Alex Abugri, President of NDOBA thanked the headmaster and his staff for their hard work leading to the good performance at the Senior Secondary School examinations resulting in the nomination of the school for the millennium Excellence Awards. "Even though the school did not win the ultimate prize, the mere fact of having been included in the reckoning per se is an achievement by itself," he said. 01 April 06