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09.06.2004 General News

Aliu ends successful tour of North

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Accra, June 9, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama returned to Accra on Tuesday after a seven-day working visit to more than 35 towns and villages in the Upper East Region and parts of the Northern Region. The visit, described by the Vice President as an outreach programme, aimed at bringing the Government to the doorstep of every community. The Vice President stayed in Bolgatanga from where he visited Mamprusi East and Mamprusi West Districts of the Northern Region. He did not visit Tamale.

Wherever he went his message was: "We have come here to ask for friendship and partnership to collectively improve the standard of living in your communities. We want to know what your problems and your concerns are at first hand so that we can work together to resolve them. We cannot always sit in Accra and believe that we know."

Alhaji Bukari Ben Salifu, a Minister of State; Mr Andrew Awuni, Deputy Minister of Information; Dr Geyshika A. Agambilla, Deputy Minister of Ports, Harbours and Railways; Hajia Alima Mahama, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives; Mr Joe Akudibillah, Deputy Minister of Defence; Mr Boniface Abukari Saddique, Deputy Minister of Tourism and the Modernisation of the Capital City and Madam Hawa Yakubu, Member of Parliament for Bawku Central and the ECOWAS Parliament.

Mr Mahami Salifu, Upper East Regional Minister with other dignitaries accompanied him during the tour of the Upper East, while Mr Ernest A. Debrah, Northern Region Minister, joined him in the Mamprusi Districts.

In the Upper East, the Vice President visited more than 20 towns and villages in all the six districts: Bolgatanga, Bawku East, Bawku West, Bongo, Builsa and Kassena-Nankana.

Enthusiastic crowds of citizens and supporters of the New Patriotic Party gave him rousing welcome in all the areas he visited and paid courtesy calls on chiefs and addressed the durbars they organized in his honour.

His message focused on the need to maintain the peace in their areas at all times, particularly during political campaigns and elections to attract investments and development projects; to make land readily available for development; give their children quality education and to actively participate in the strengthening of democracy in Ghana. "Statistics have shown that the three Northern Regions are the poorest and there is no need to complicate our plight with conflicts," he explained. "Conflicts and development can never complement each other, what we need is peace."

The Vice President also inspected many development projects including educational, health, water and sanitation and agricultural infrastructure.

He inaugurated dams for irrigation, wards for hospitals, a rural bank, nurses' quarters, streetlights and a market.

He announced many packages in the form of credit schemes for farmers; allocation of new tractors to farmers; upgrading of secondary schools and health facilities; construction of dams for irrigation; rehabilitation of dams and roads and extension of electricity. The chiefs and regents in all the areas visited, including the Nayiri of Mamprugu; Sandem-Nab of Builsa; Acting Navro-Pio of Navrongo; Paga-Pio of Paga;

Chiana-Pio of Chiana; Bolga-Naba of Bolgatanga; Bawku-Naba of Bawku and Tongo-Rana of Tongo commended the Government for the development projects the New Patriotic Party Government had so far provided for their people and pledged their support to it. Some of them declared that the Government had demonstrated that it was a friend of the rural poor. They, however, asked for more to further projects to improve their living standards.

Many people the GNA interviewed during the trip said the popularity of the Government had significantly improved in the North because of the numerous development projects undertaken there.

Others were of the view that the position of the Vice President as one of their own and the appointments of many Ministers from the North had won the confidence of the people, who had now welcomed the Government.

But in some communities, people were excited because it was the first time they had been visited by a sitting Vice President or a Government Official of that high standing, they explained. 09 June 04