Veep John Mahama VICE PRESIDENT John Mahama has cautioned the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Tamale Metropolis to restrain their supporters from fomenting trouble or risk being arrested.
The Vice President, who did not mince words told leadership of the two main political parties in the Northern region, the “culture of impunity is over” and that security agencies would arrest any offenders and give them an expeditious trial.
Mr. Mahama was addressing the leadership of the two parties in Tamale on his way back from his recent tour of Bawku in the Upper East Region to foster peace there.
The encounter with the political parties was to find lasting solutions to the frequent clashes between them that often resulted in the burning of houses, vehicles, killings and injuring of innocent people.
Mr. Mahama asked if Northerners were naturally predisposed to violence and for that the matter use violence to settle scores. He described their attitude as unacceptable in the new dispensation of things.
He reminded them that in the civilized world, people, especially those in the south, resort to civil court to address their concerns as the only acceptable way to resolve problems.
Those responsible for such mayhem he said were in the minority and therefore he would not allow such people to make life for the majority unbearable.
Mr. Mahama reiterated his government's quest to stamp out any form of impunity where criminals were allowed to walk free from legal processes because of their links to politicians saying, “anyone arrested for disturbing the peace would be dealt with expeditiously to serve as deterrent to others'.
According to the Vice President, plans have been made to inform the Chief Justice, Mrs. Georgina Wood, to make the justice system swift, particularly for trouble makers in the north.
The Regional Minister, S.S Nayina said about a fortnight ago, a simple radio discussion and a phone-in to one of the local radio station degenerated into clashes resulting leaving one dead, eight people injured while 18 houses, motorbikes and other valuable properties were set ablaze.
He said government quickly dispatched security agents to restore calm and security in the area. Mr. Nayina complained that he had barely settled in his chair as regional minister when he was called to duty.
The Interior Minister, Cletus Avoka, recalled that once upon a time, Northerners were regarded as hardworking and trustworthy but in recent times; the only recognition for Northerners had been negative.
He passionately appealed to them to do away with violence, eschew negative ways of life and love one another.
Mr. Avoka informed them that their own Members of Parliament (MPs) do have a long history of cooperation and good working relations on the floor of parliament and behind the scene and therefore it would be wrong for them to fight because of perceived information about the MPs.
The Interior Minister reminded them of the potential of the region and the need to pool all resources to bring it up to a better standard.
He said government had the mandate to protect the lives and property of the people; that it is not influenced by any chieftaincy, religious, political or ethnic consideration.
The leadership of the two parties promised to talk to their members to desist from any violent acts that would further hurt the reputation of the region.
Present at the function were Mahama Ayariga, Spokesperson for the government, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Patrick Timbillah, the Director of Operations at the Police Headquarters in Accra and Mr. Baffoe-Bonney.
From Wisdom Peter Awuku & Stephen Zoure, Tamale