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24.10.2003 Regional News

District level elections to be held in four districts of Northern

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Accra, Oct. 23, GNA - The Ministry of Interior in consultation with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has authorized the Electoral Commission to, within one month, conduct district level elections in the four districts of the Northern Region that the state of emergency has been lifted.

The Districts are Zabzugu -Tatale, Gushiegu - Karaga, Savelugu - Nanton and Tolon -Kumbungu.

The Minister of Interior, Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman said this on Thursday when he moved for the approval of the motion and Resolution for the declaration of a state of emergency in the Tamale Municipality and Yendi District.

Parliament by a resolution of 121 members with none against and no abstention approved the declaration of a state of emergency in the Tamale Municipality and Yendi District of the Northern Region. The said declaration is in pursuance of Article 31 (5) of the constitution that would ensure that the state of emergency continue in force until the expiration of a period of three months, beginning with the date of its approval or until the House sooner decides by resolution to revoke the said declaration.

Mr Owusu-Agyeman, said government was monitoring the security situation in the area and that the area would be kept under constant review and at the appropriate time changes would be announced as the situation improves.

Mr. Owusu-Agyeman said all efforts would be done to ensure the early completion of the temporary palace in Yendi as well as meet other recommendations made by the Kuga-Na, the Mion -Lana and the other imminent traditional rulers.

Mr Joseph Darko-Mensah, NPP- Okaikwei North appealed to the people of the Dagbon area to co-operate with Ministry of Interior and the security agencies to ensure that lasting peace was achieved for the area.

He appealed to the Minister of Interior to ensure that a peaceful atmosphere is created, especially at this period of the month of Ramadan when the people would be engaged with their fasting so that they have conducive atmosphere without any hindrance to celebrate the month. More

Mr Cletus Avoka, NDC- Bawku West said the minority has made some observations and concerns that would help to achieve the search for lasting peace in the Dagbon Traditional area.

He mentioned the public's perceived government interest in the Dagbon crisis and that the government was not taking far reaching measures to ensure lasting peace.

Mr Avoka said there is mutual suspicion and mistrust by the warring factions, and that the government was not keeping faith to the recommendations of the Wuako Commission's report.

He said it was time for the government to erase the allegations in the people's minds and to ensure that they build the confidence that it was capable of unearthing the circumstances that led to the killing of the Ya-Na.

Mr Avoka said there are concerns by the people that the Government was still unable to bring the perpetrators of the carnage to book, even though it has the ability, capability and authority in arresting the culprits.

He said the inability of government to take decisions and to act swiftly was likely to inflame passions, while since the outbreak of the conflict, government has not made any efforts of undertaking routine measures to retrieve the arms in the area even after the rumours of stockpiling of arms in the area.

Mr Avoka said even though the announcement that district level elections are to be carried out in four of the districts, none of the members of Parliament from the area has so far been involved in the arrangements.

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