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17.10.2008 Politics

Minister urges government workers to ensure peaceful elections

By gna

Mr George Hikah Benson, Upper West Regional Minister, has warned that the Regional Security Council (RESC) would “go all-out and let the law to take its course” if anybody or a group of people try to destabilize the peace in the region during the December polls.

He therefore appealed to government workers in the region to work harder than before to ensure that this year's elections were conducted in a peaceful manner.

He told heads of government departments and agencies not to relax but continue to put in their best to help the government to implement its development policies and programmes to benefit the people.

Mr Benson gave the warning when he interacted with departmental heads in Jirapa as part of his two-day inspection tour of government development projects in the district.

He reminded the heads that President John Agyekum's term of office would end next January and that was why he came round to find out the development level of the district.

He said he was satisfied with the developments going on in the district, especially the road network, education, infrastructure and the provision of water systems, but admitted that since the district was a young one, more development projects were expected.

Mr Justin Dakurah, Jirapa District Chief Executive, who gave an overview of events in the district, said the area had benefited immensely from government's development projects, especially in the area of health, education and roads infrastructure.

He commended heads of departments for working hard “to push the development in the district forward”, but expressed his disappointment on the poor staffing of most offices, which he said was a challenge to many heads in the district.

He said enrolment of children in schools had improved tremendously due to government's interventions such as the capitation grant and the school feeding programmes.

On food crop performance this year, Mr Dakurah said floods had destroyed farms, buildings and washed away some portions of the roads and bridges, preventing school children in some communities from going to school.

Mr Dakurah said however that, these notwithstanding, the district expects a bumper harvest of food crops, especially millet, ground nuts and cowpea this year, noting: “Our challenge is where to keep or store these crops”.

Mr Benson inaugurated a GH¢600,000 Science, Computer and Visual Arts Laboratory blocks and water closet facility for the Jirapa Senior High School.

The African Development Bank (ADB) funded the projects.

Mr Benson assured authorities of the school that a girls' hostel, a borehole and electricity would be made available to the school to facilitate teaching and learning.

Mr Benson advised the students “to stand firm and say no to politicians who would want to misuse them to cause confusion for their selfish interest”.

Mr Boniface Tigesore, Assistant Headmaster of the school, said the Jirapa Community was grateful to the government for providing the school with infrastructure.

He however appealed to the government to provide the school with classroom accommodation, saying: “the school would need 20 classrooms to take off on a sound note”.

Mr Benson later inaugurated a six unit classroom block at Konzokala, built with funds from Schools under Trees Projects and a three unit classroom block at Ul-Tampoe, also built with the District Assembly Common Fund.

In all the communities Mr Benson visited, the chiefs and people appealed for electricity, potable water and good roads.