THE MINISTER for National Security, Francis Poku has appealed to Ghanaians to consolidate efforts of the nation's security agencies to ensure peace and tranquility in the coming year.
He indicated that apart from next year being an election year, the country would witness the influx of foreigners in view of the numerous programmes the nation was expected to host.
Addressing this year's West African Soldiers' Social Activity (WASSA) of the 66 Artillery Regiment in Ho last Friday, Mr. Poku noted that the enormous security challenges that would be posed by the impending events such as the Ghana 2008 football tournament could not be effectively contained without the collaboration of Ghanaians.
He hinted that in April next year the country would host the UN Trade Conference, which is expected to be attended by 40 heads of state and 500 delegates from various parts of the world, and gave the assurance that security agencies would not relent in their efforts to create a congenial atmosphere for the success of the programme.
Another issue of concern to the Security Minister was how some alien residents of local communities influenced chieftaincy and tribal disputes.
What was more intriguing, he noted, was the way such persons employed dubious means to re-invent the history of their localities in a bid to become chiefs and ended up disturbing the peace in such communities.
He urged such people to refrain from those divisive tendencies and rather invest their energies in initiatives that would bring peace to their communities, adding that the law would not spare anyone who disturbed the nation's peace.
The Security Minister as well expressed concern over the recent development in the Dagbon traditional area, saying the issue remained a major concern of the nation's security service and called for cooperation from citizens of the area and all Ghanaians to help resolve the issue and restore peace to the area.
He commended the men and officers of the 66 Artillery Regiment for their contribution to the promotion of peace and stability in the Volta Region and the nation as a whole.
Lt. Col. Emmanuel Kotia, the Commanding Officer in-charge of the Regiment, said the regiment continues to provide troops for international peacekeeping duties with the UN in war-torn nations as part of its contributions to external operations.
“In recognition of civil-military relations as vital to good governance, the regiment has also provided schools blocks and libraries in some communities in the Volta Region in addition to organizing blood donation exercises.”
Men and officers who distinguished themselves over the past year were presented with various prizes.
The Ghana Telecom (GT) used the occasion to donate a number of cellular phones to the regiment to be used for its operations.
From Edem Adesi, Ho