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29.03.2004 Regional News

V/R chiefs urged to find common ground to promote unity, development

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Ho, March 29, GNA - Political Leaders in the Volta Region have urged chiefs in the region to find a common ground for unity to promote the region's development. The appeal was made during a political leadership dialogue at Ho on Friday under the theme: "Implementing the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) - Strengthening the links of Accountability," convened by Mr Kwasi Owusu-Yeboa the Volta regional Minister.

The dialogue brought together eight out of the 12 Members of Parliament (MPs) from the region, District Chief Executives (DCEs), Presiding Members of district assemblies, representatives of some non-governmental organisations and some donors. Issues discussed included political cohesion, deepening the involvement of the people in policy implementation, implementing and monitoring the GPRS at the local level, efficient utilisation of funds available to the district assemblies and co-ordination of donor assistance for effective and efficient resource mobilisation and management of programmes.

Togbe Gbogbi V, Paramount Chief of the Adaklu Traditional Area who sat through the meeting conceded that there was the need for chiefs in the region to adopt a common leadership, which could articulate their position on issues in addition to the Regional House of Chiefs. He said the reality of chieftaincy in the region, which emphasised individual sovereignty had resulted in the region not being able to command the attention, which more homogeneous traditional arrangements elsewhere had been able to command.

Mr Kofi Attor, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ho-Central observed that though the tyranny of King Agorkorli the 16th century King of the Ewes had taught them not to entrust themselves under one traditional authority, the times called for the adoption of a common "personality" approach to issues.

Mr Owusu-Yeboa said the level and pace of development in the region depended greatly on the influence, which chiefs could wield both within the region and outside. That, he said depended on unity of purpose on the part of the chiefs and the level of cohesion among them in the collective pursuit of issues on the promotion of the region's interest.

Mr Owusu-Yeboa entreated chiefs in the region to first of all strengthen unity in the Regional House of Chiefs and give it the respect and recognition required.