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26.02.2009 General News

Avoka Warns Warlords

By Daily Guide
Avoka Warns Warlords

Cletus Avoka (R) listening to a victim's naration The Minister of the Interior, Cletus Avoka, has warned that it is the policy of the government to deal ruthlessly with any individual or group of persons who fall foul of the law, regardless of one's political, religious and chieftaincy inclination.

Noting that government was therefore not in the position to protect or save anyone culpable as in time past to serve as a deterrent to other societal deviants.

According to him the northern region had gained notoriety in violent conflicts in the wake of poverty, illiteracy, diseases and under development which should have rather being the target of the people, and all energies must be directed towards eliminating them.

The minister, who led a government delegation to Tamale to assess the situation following the recent clashes, bemoaned the continuous flout of security laws by residents with impunity, resulting in these needless reprisals.

Speaking to the feuding factions, Mr. Avoka noted that though the remote causes of conflicts in the region had some chieftaincy undertones, there was the need for the security agencies to eschew favouritism, tribalism and political patronage in the discharge of their duties to ensure that justice prevailed.

Perpetrators of recurrent violence, he added, must be dealt with as criminals, rather than party faithfuls as the parties were never noted for violence.

He was worried that despite the political positions allotted to northerners by the current government, they were always arms up against each other, indicating that it cast a slur on the image of those in such portfolios.  

He said “To whom much is given much is expected,” expressing worry at the rate at which most of them appealed for support in building what was human orchestrated.

The minister praised the security for its ability in taming the situation but pointed out a few lapses and called for correction.

He hinted that plans were underway for the various service commanders to sign performance contracts to enable government assess their performance, underscoring the need for them to be proactive.

The Northern Regional Minister Mr. Stephen Sumani Nayina said the populace had lost confidence in the police and it was for that reason they could flout laws with impunity and go unpunished.

He appealed to the police to redeem their image by ensuring that the right things were done to perpetrators of various crimes and warned in particular NDC members who were under the guise of political colours defying security directives.

The government delegation which included the Acting IGP, Mrs. Elizabeth Mills Robertson, the Defence Minister, Lt. Gen Joseph Henry Smith and the Tamale Central MP, Hon Innusah Fuseini earlier visited the victims of the arsons and the bereaved family assuring them of government's intervention.   

 At the house of the late Rashid Abdul Nasir, tension started enveloping the area  with a charged atmosphere as most of people were seen openly accusing some persons believed to belong to the other faction for  masterminding the shootings.

The presence of the dignitaries and the security calmed tempers but it was gathered from the scenes that much work needed to be done by security agencies in curbing another clash.

The parents of the deceased called on the security to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book.

A recent clash in the region claimed a life and destroyed properties running into several thousands of Ghana cedis while about 30 houses were also torched.

22 persons have so far been arrested in connection with the recurrence. Out of this number, 18 have been remanded in prison custody by a Tamale circuit court while the rest are in police custody assisting in investigations.

From Stephen Zoure, Tamale