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09.02.2010 General News

GH¢200,000 a month for Northern conflict

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The Ghanaian Times reported yesterday that the government of Ghana spends a whopping GH¢200,000 a month for the upkeep of security personnel who are on peace-keeping duties in the Northern Region.

The paper quoted the Northern Regional Commander of the Ghana Police Service, ACP Angwunbutoge Awuni, as the source of the story.

This disclosure has, once again, brought to the fore, the issue of whether the people in the Northern Region are their own enemies or not.

GH¢200,000 being spent on personnel on peace-keeping duties in the north, not to mention other logistics, could have been used to provide boreholes for guinea worm-infested communities, or better still, use it to provide educational infrastructure to promote teaching and learning in the area.

But, all these resources seem to have gone down the drain, as a result of conflicts that could have been prevented.

The Chronicle is not tagging the people in the northern regions as violent people, because violence has been recorded in other parts of the country. Our concern is the frequency in which this violence occurs in the northern regions, and the amount of the tax payer's money spent to ensure law and order, at the expense of development projects.

Already, the three northern regions have been described as the most deprived ones in the country, and government after government has been making efforts to bridge the development gap between them and the southern regions, yet, the people who are supposed to enjoy this economic freedom, are themselves not prepared to maintain the peace.

The Chronicle wishes to caution that if this attitude among our brothers and sisters does not change, several Savana Accelerate Development Funds will be set up, but the desired results would not be met.

The Chronicle is, therefore, making a second appeal to the elites in the three northern regions to do away with their political affiliations, and come together to jaw-jaw on how best they can find a lasting solution to the numerous conflicts that have engulfed the area, which is stifling development.

Most of the citizens in the aforementioned areas are moving in droves down south in search of non-existent jobs, and it is incumbent upon these elites, who have themselves been accused of fueling the conflict, to stop this internal migration, by mobilising the people to create the environment that would be conducive for all to flourish.

This is the fourth time we are expressing concern about the northern conflicts, and we hope that this time around, those who have the clout to take the first step in uniting the people, should do so to bring lasting peace to the area, and pave the way for genuine development to take place.

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