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14.04.2004 General News

Hackman Weeps Over Dagbon

By Chronicle
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Interior Minister, Hackman Owusu Agyemang has expressed disappointment at the state of Affairs in the Dagbon traditional area, adding that, it was unbelievable that people were bent on derailing efforts being made to bring peace. Minister said this when he moved a motion for the extension of the State of emergency in the Yendi and Tamale municipalities for a further one month. He stated that, these people did not seem to realise that peace in the area would lead to the current huge resources being spent in the area on the maintenance of peace, being diverted to support development, not only in the Dagbon traditional area but also in other parts of the country. "Is there a hidden agenda built on a premise of disorder" he asked? He assured Ghanaians that government would not shirk its responsibility of ensuring that lasting peace returned to the area and the people just had to be cooperative since it could not be imposed on them.

He therefore appealed to the people of the Dagbon traditional area to remember that, peace was fundamental to both the Christian and Muslim faiths. They should therefore let its attainment be a guiding principle and all should endeavour to work towards it. " If this is at the back of our minds, the crisis will be resolved to the satisfaction of all," he stressed.

He mentioned that government was at a very tricky stage in its efforts towards resolving the crisis in the area. Any act or statement, misinterpreted could therefore have a serious negative impact on various actions that were being taken.

The Interior Minister again appealed to all Ghanaians, especially members of the House to use whatever influence they had to help ease tensions in the Dagbon traditional area to make it possible for the Committee of Eminent Chiefs continue with their assignment.

Mr. Owusu Agyemang explained that, the Northern Regional Security Council had recommended that the State Of Emergency should be maintained in the two areas in view of the outstanding traditional issues, which were currently being addressed.

The council however recommended that the curfew hours be changed to 10:00pm to 4:00 am instead of 8:00pm to 5:00am.

He however welcomed new suggestions and ideas from members.

Contributing to the motion on the floor, the M.P. for Nadowli and Minority leader, Alban Bagbin said it was important for government to be at the background and allow society to lead if they really wanted lasting peace.

He said it was right for the house to approve the motion since what had happened was sad but a reflection of the real issue on the ground.

He proposed that the house, with the great respect it had, organised a forum and talked to the people. By so doing, he said, they would be assisting the executive arm of government.

The majority leader, Felix Owusu Agyapong said a lot had been achieved in the process in that, out of the 13 constituencies, only 3 had the SOE.

The house unanimously by a 141 vote, extended the state of emergency by a month, starting from 22nd April.