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29.01.2004 General News

NDC MP praises government for improved security

By GNA
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Accra, Jan. 29, GNA- Alhaji Mumuni Abudu Seidu, NDC-Wa Central, Thursday said "there is no doubt that since the NPP government came into power, security has improved appreciably and armed robbery activity has reduced significantly."

He said "we can now sleep in peace and have no fears about armed robbery attacks as used to be the case in the past", adding that there was however more room for improvement.

Alhaji Seidu made the remark during the debate on the President's State of the Nation Address in parliament, following a motion by Alhaji Malik Al-Hassan Yakubu, Deputy Majority Chief Whip on January 27, 2003 for the house to thank the president for the address and to debate it.

He said "but for the seldom instance of government interference in the activities of the security agencies in the country, there would have been better improvement in facilities available to them."

Alhaji Seidu urged the NPP government to desist from interfering with the activities of the security agencies and continue to provide them with the needed facilities and allow them to work.

He alleged that there had been several chieftaincy disputes, which sometimes degenerated in violent clashes, but due to government interference, the security agencies were not allowed to deal with culprits.

Earlier in his contribution to the debate, Alhaji Seidu said he praised the President for coming to the house in just two days after the opening of the fourth session to present his address, as against the normal two weeks after the opening of parliament.

He however stated, that "judging the President's address as a campaign speech, the President scored 95 per cent, but on the score of inspiration and direction for the nation he had only five per cent."

Alhaji Seidu said the President's speech contained loads of party flavour and absolute zero national flavour, explaining that the President praised his government for the little achievements they have chalked and conveniently blamed the NDC government for any problem over the past three years.

"The President succeeded in further polarizing the nation with his address," he said. "I thought he would use his experience as chairman of ECOWAS to unite the nation and ensure peace but he rather triggered sentiment of disunity."

Mr. Kwabena Tahiru Hammond, NPP -Adanse Asokwa, said the President had no obligation to be sensitive to anybody but to tell the truth, adding that the truth may sound insensitive to some but it cannot be sacrificed for falsehood.

He quoted biblical scriptures to support his assertion, saying that "though I am a Moslem, I know the President is a Christian and according the faith he, the President, professes, there were grave consequences for falsehood, no matter whose interest one is trying to protect." Mr. Hammond's submission generated about 20 minutes heated argument between the majority and minority sides of the house, on the political history and tradition of the NDC and NPP.

The majority in parliament sought to create the impression that the NDC cannot separate itself from the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), in that "at several portions of the NDC manifesto, the party has claimed the credit for the achievements of the PNDC so it must also associate itself with the failures of that regime."

The Minority on the other hand claimed that the NPP is a continuation of the United Party (UP) tradition and so it must also own up to the faults of that party.

At the forefront of the political history argument was Mr. Joseph Henry Mensah, Senior Minister, who was described as the "Lieutenant General of political history" and Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Education Youth and Sports, on the majority side, and Minority Leader Alban Bagbin, Mr. James Victor Gbeho, NDC-Keta, on the minority side.

Soldiers' harassment forced woman to flee with baby for safety Ho, Jan. 29, GNA- Madam Mary Dakomesi Gota, a salt merchant told the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) on Thursday that she was forced by harassment from soldiers to flee to an island on the Volta Lake with her seven months old baby in 1982.

Madam Gota told the NRC that soldiers had on three different occasions that year, stormed her salt depots at Kasseh and Tamatoku near Ada and carted away salt she had stored there.

She said but for her seven-month old daughter she would have committed suicide because she lost all her capital.

Madam Gota said on the first occasion, soldiers swooped on the Kasseh market and she and others fled but she was pursued and held from behind by the soldiers thereby tearing her dress.

They also slapped her and later paraded her through the streets of Kasseh and was rescued by one Afetorgbor, the Assemblyman of the area. Madam Gota said on her return to the market she met the soldiers loading her salt onto an articulated truck.

She said the soldiers came again at another time to cart away the rest of the salt at the market at Kasseh.

Madam Gota who sobbed intermittently while testifying said she went to live at Tefle, near Sogakope for sometime and on her return was told that soldiers had come to ransack her house at Tamatoku and carted salt she had heaped there also.

She said gripped by fear she fled to the island with the help of her father.

Madam Gota said she had lost all her capital and had to brace odds to educate her children.

Mr Justice Etrew Amua-Sekyi, Chairman of the Commission said the NRC would look at similar complaints and treat them together. Nana Obrimpong Kanya II, Bejamsehene petitioned the NRC over the inability of the authorities to grant paramount status to the Nchumuru Traditional Area.

He said the Krachi and Nchumuru traditional areas had been administered jointly under one Traditional Council with a rotating presidency when the Nchumuru Traditional Area was given the status of a paramountcy in 1961.

Nana Kanya said the Nchunurus however boycotted the Traditional Council meetings after the Krachis refused to accept the Bejamsehene as Chairman of a Traditional Committee, which was to go into a chieftaincy dispute within the Krachi Traditional area.

He said after the 1966 coup, a decree cancelling all paramountcies elevated immediately after independence turned the Nchumuru Paramountcy into a Divisional Area.

Nana Kanya said a report of the Nana Agyeman Badu Committee of 1973 to rectify some chieftaincy issues in the Volta Region was not published before the Acheampong regime, which set it up was overthrown. He said the Togbe Anipati Committee, which also heard the issue did resolve the matter.

Nana Kanya said the status of a division is frustrating the administration of Nchumuru area, saying that though the Nchumurus and Krachis are Guans their dialects and cultures differ.

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