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31.03.2007 General News

Districts are not created on ethnic lines – Veep


Vice President Aliu Mahama has said that the government does not create districts along ethnic lines and no group of people should capitalize on ethnicity to decide where their allegiance or loyalty should be.

“People should use laid down procedures in addressing their concerns or seeking redress instead of resorting to violence. We must learn to cohabit in peace,” he said.

Vice President Mahama made the observation when he joined the chiefs and people of Nalerigu in the East Mamprusi District of the Northern region to mark the Damba festival. It derives its roots from the birth of Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam.

He said government was concerned about the ethnic discontent in the Konkomba enclave of the Gbintiri in the district, who were agitating to join their kith and kin in the Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo District.

“This unrest has adversely affected market revenue in the form of levies and tolls to the East Mamprusi District, where Gbintiri is its main market,” he noted.

He added: “I therefore charge the District and Regional Security Committees and the Nayiri, Overlord of the Mamprugu Traditional Area to maintain peace by ensuring peaceful co-existence of all the different ethnic groups in the traditional area through dialogue and consultation.”

Vice President Mahama said there could not be any meaningful development in any place where there was chaos and turmoil.

“Our enemy is poverty, which we should collectively fight. As predominantly farmers I urge you to focus on your pre-occupation and be wary of trouble makers,” he said.

Vice President Mahama said people from the region should know the cost of insecurity to the orderly development of the area.

“I say this because the Northern region is plagued with pockets of conflicts, which does not augur well for the overall development of the country,” he stated.

Vice President Mahama called for the review of the negative and harmful cultural practices that impede development and dehumanize people.

He urged the traditional authorities to play vanguard roles in the elimination of female genital mutilation, early marriages, betrothals and dehumanizing widowhood rites among others.

He asked the people to justify the huge expenditure government is making on education by sending all their children to school without discrimination against the girl-child.

“Let me re-emphasise here, the need and importance of educating girls. We do not need to go far. A daughter of this traditional area in the person of Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs is well-known to all of you,” he pointed out.

He added: “I am however, to note that the Nayiri has already taken giant steps in establishing an education foundation for which I urge all sons and daughters from the traditional area to support by contributing their widows mite.”

The Nayiri, Naa Bohagu Mahama Sheriga II, the Paramount Chief of the Mamprugu Traditional Area, appealed to the government to provide Yunyoo, the District capital of Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo with electricity.

The national electricity grid should also be extended to other communities such as Nagbo, Wungu, Janga and Gbintiri.

Vice President Mahama, who is on a five-day official visit to the Northern, Upper East and Brong Ahafo regions, commissioned a ¢360 million bungalow for the East Mamprusi District Chief Executive at Gambaga.

Source: GNA