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04.01.2008 General News

Use ethnicity to foster unity, development – Traditional ruler


A traditional ruler in the Sissala West District of the Upper West Region, has urged executives of youth and development associations to see the minority ethnic groups as partners in development and avoid segregating them in their activities.

Naa Francis Danikuu Naamwin-Ireme, chief of Fielmua made the call at the annual Kukur Bagr festival of the chiefs and people in the Sissala West District.

He advised the executives to rather learn to use the services and expertise of minority ethnic groups to foster unity and development by involving them in all activities of the associations irrespective of where they belong.

The forum offered them the opportunity to take stock of the past and chart the development agenda of the area among others. Residents of Fielmua are mainly Sissala, Dagaaba, Dagomba and Moshi.

Naa Naamwin-Ireme said for the past two years, the Sissala Union had ignored involving other minority ethnic groups in the area in its activities and expressed regret that such practice was not good enough to foster unity.

He pointing out that there could be no discrimination in sharing in development benefits and that divergent views were crucial for ensuring total peace and development.

Naa Naamwin-Ireme thanked the government for providing electricity for the people of Fielmua and appealed for its extension to the local Health Centre and the Police Station to enhance quality healthcare delivery and efficient policing.

He appealed to the Police Administration to post more personnel to the town to stem the increasing crime wave in the area.

Naa Naamwin-Ireme said because Fielmua was a border town crime had become high, as criminals had found the town very convenient to hide and engage in their nefarious activities.

Mr George Hikah Benson, Upper West Regional Minister, urged the people to remain united and pool resources to develop the area.

He advised them to work hard to overcome poverty and malnutrition, which had become endemic, through education.

The Minister assured the people that government would build more schools and roads this year and also provide electricity to some rural communities to improve their living conditions.

Mr Joseph Siilo, Chairman of the Fielmua Area Development Association (FADA), appealed to government to subsidise agricultural inputs, especially fertilizers to help increase food production.

He also urged the government to provide the town with potable water and toilet facilities to improve their health status.

The Member of Parliament for Lambussie, Madam Alice Boon appealed to the people to stop elopement of schoolgirls, as the practice was undermining girls' education and their contribution to national development.

She called on the traditional rulers and other opinion leaders to enact laws to stop the practice, saying: "We are destroying our girls by betrothing them to men instead of investing in their education".

Mr Bayirga Haruna, Member of Parliament for Sissala West advised the people not allow party politics to divide them but to remain united and pool resources to develop the area.