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24.03.2009 General News

REGSEC extends deadline for surrender of arms

The Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has extended the period given to residents of the metropolis to surrender illegal arms in their possession to the security agencies by one more month.

The council has also made an incentive offer of GH¢300 to any resident who will surrenders his weapon to the security agencies.

These new decisions were taken by the REGSEC at its emergency meeting held in Tamale on Monday.

As of last Friday when the deadline ended, the police said Tamale residents had refused to surrender arms in their possession, as had been directed by the Northern Regional Minister, and they had not received even a single weapon.

The Northern Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner Mr Ofosu Mensah Gyeabour, who said this, noted that the REGSEC would meet to deliberate on the extent to which the people complied with the minister's order.

"We are currently compiling our reports, after which we will submit them to the minister for subsequent discussion by the REGSEC on the next line of action," he said.

On the general security situation in the region, Mr Gyeabour said there was no cause for alarm, adding, "We are firmly on the ground for any eventuality."

He gave the assurance that his outfit had taken adequate measures to clamp down on criminal activities in the area, adding, "We have also stepped up our road safety campaigns, in collaboration with other stakeholders, to help reduce the spate of accidents in the region."

The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Stephen Sumani Nayina, gave the order for the surrender of arms following a clash between some supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Tamale metropolis last month.

One person died in the ensuing disturbances, while a number of properties were burnt down in the process.

Eighteen people who were arrested in connection with the violence are still in prison custody. They are to reappear before the Tamale Circuit Court later this month.

Meanwhile the Regional Police Commander has said that the police had not received any notification from any group which suggested that some sympathisers of the Andani Royal Gate in the Dagbon chieftaincy divide were preparing to publicly mark the seventh anniversary of the death of the Dagbon King, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II in Tamale and elsewhere on Friday, March 27, 2009.

"In any case, if such a notification is sent to us, the REGSEC will convene a meeting to deliberate on the issue," he indicated.

The commander gave the assurance that the police were neutral in matters of chieftaincy, saying, "We will always be impartial in such matters."