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17.05.2003 General News

"We shall smoke out evil-minded people" - Minister

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The Minster for Interior, Mr Hackman Owusu Agyeman on Friday said the government was determined to smoke out " evil-minded people" whose activities could affect the peace and progress of the country.

He said: "This government is determined to smoke out "evil-minded persons," because their activities do not augur well for the development of this country. We would use our security agencies at all cost and at all times to keep the peace of this country so long as we want development."

Mr Agyemang was speaking at Bawku when he paid a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of the Bawku Traditional Area, Naba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II.

This formed part of the minister's two-day working visit to the Upper East Region to enable him to acquaint himself with the security situation there, especially Bawku and its environs.

Mr Agyemang noted that Bawku was the nerve centre of commerce in the region and called on the people to unite for development.

Mr Agyemang condemned all forms of conflicts in the area saying, "When people are going to Mars and the Moon, we spend our time fighting and destroying the properties of our own brothers and sisters. Love for one another should be key in bringing peace to the area."

He urged Naba Azoka to ensure order, peace and tranquillity in the area.

The minister later visited Bugri, where, recently, clashes between two local groups of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union over loading rights resulted in the burning of houses and the death of one person.

Mr Agyemang urged the people to allow the law take its own cause in times of misunderstandings, and advised them against revenge, adding that efforts would be made to help the victims rebuild their houses.

The Minister earlier met with the Regional Security Committee (REGSEC) in Bolgatanga, where the Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Mahami Salifu, briefed him on the security situation in the region.

Naba Azoka said though his position was now legally unchallengeable and one would have expected that hostilities would have ceased to pave way for peace and unity that was not the case.

He, therefore, appealed to the government to reinforce the security in the area, adding that drastic and strict measures were needed to contain the situation.

Mr. Salifu said the region had been generally peaceful until the Bugri clashes.

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