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17.03.2009 Politics

Interior minister hits back at minority

By myjoyonline

Interior Minister Cletus Avoka has described as unacceptable comments by the minority in parliament that there is general insecurity in the country.

He says the violent clashes in parts of the country cannot be blamed on the ruling government.

The minority accused the government of doing little or nothing in curbing the state of violence in the country, and warned the opposition will advise itself if political attacks and persecutions of persons perceived to be sympathizers of NPP were not stopped.

The minority also charged the government to unravel the mystery behind the multiple deaths of children in parts of the country.

But Mr. Avoka maintains the minority demands are “unfortunate and misplaced.”

“The Bawku violence started on 31st December 2007 and continued in 2008,”…which government was in power,” he quizzed.

He told Joy News the recent clashes some three weeks ago in Bawku and Tamale are the rippling effects of the “culture of impunity” which pervaded the rule by the NPP.

“The NPP allowed criminals to go scot-free,” he said, adding we are doing everything possible to bring all the perpetrators to book.

According to him, recent visit to the area by the government delegation led by vice president John Mahama has reduced the tension in the area.

He said the NDC government will not hesitate to punish wrong-doing to act as deterrent to others.

On the current spate of armed robbery and unexplained deaths, the interior minister said there are "petty crimes committed in isolated parts of the country" and expressed governments commitment to solving the problem.

Minority Chief Whip Frederick Opare Ansah conceded that the minority must take a share of responsibility for the violent clashes in the north but insisted it is government's responsibility now to solve the problem

Listen to excerpts of the interview with Cletus Avoka in the attached audio.

Story by Nathan Gadugah