Minister bemoans elopement of teenagers
By: Musah Umar Farouq, Bawiesibelle
The Upper West Regional Minister, Alhaji Amin Amidu Sulemani, has expressed worry over the continuous elopement of teenagers in parts of the region.
He has, therefore, called on all stakeholders in the region to formulate plans that would ensure that the practice is totally eliminated.
'The habit of continuous elopement of teenagers in the area has negative consequences, and everything must be done to eradicate it totally,' he said, while addressing the 9th General Meeting of the Bawiesibelle Development Association (BDA) in the Sissala East District of the Upper West Region last Saturday.
Alhaji Sulemani noted that the practice, apart from its other social consequences, also contributes to low levels of education, and fuels poverty and delinquency.
He said it was important for parents to be encouraged to pursue the education of their wards, especially the girl child, and desist from the practice, as its implications were always negative.
The Regional Minister also bemoaned the continuous migration of the youth to the south in search of non-existent jobs, and tasked members of the association to work towards finding a lasting solution to the problem.
He said the government would continue to do all it could to provide the necessary facilities, including education, to enable the youth acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to improve upon their lives.
He said even though the Sissala East District, like all others in the region, had received a fair share development, the government would continue to work towards improving the lives of the people in the area.
Alhaji Sulemani noted that apart from the provision of educational infrastructure for the community, the people would also benefit from the special rural electrification project currently underway in the area, adding that the project would go a long way to improve the living conditions of the people, through the establishment of small scale businesses for wealth creation.
He said the situation where every national issue of importance was politicised was the main reason for the country's under-development, and the endemic poverty that confronts the people on a regular basis.
'In all our pursuits, it is important that we do not politicise issues of development. Indeed, we should do away with the unnecessary politicisation of issues, and disregard those who peddle lies to cause disaffection amongst the people,' he reiterated.
He said it was important for all, especially the politician, to realise that the basis of any political contest was the desire to better the lives of the majority, and therefore, people must be encouraged to take advantage of their potentials.
'We need to take advantage of our potentials and ensure that we derive maximum benefits from them,' he stressed.
The President of the BDA, Ahmed Bala Abdulai, said one major challenge confronting the community was the presence of Fulani herdsmen, who graze their cattle on people's farms, and called for a clearer boundary demarcation to be drawn up for the herdsmen, in order to avoid friction between members of the community and the Fulanis.
Mr. Abdulai also called for steps to be taken to improve the road networks in the district, because the poor nature of the road was impeding business transactions.
He expressed his gratitude to the government for the numerous developmental projects undertaken in the district, and hoped that more projects would be tackled with the needed urgency to develop the area.