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22.06.2004 General News

State of Emergency extended in Tamale and Yendi

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Accra, June 22, GNA - Parliament on Tuesday by a resolution backed by 122 votes extended the State of Emergency in the Yendi District and Tamale Municipality for a period of one month commencing from June 23, 2004.

The Minister of the Interior, Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang moved the motion. Mr Joseph Darko-Mensah, NPP Okaikoi-North, seconded it. The Interior Minister told the House that all signs on the ground had given him hope that "this month, the month of June would see the burial of the Ya-Na (Yakubu Andani II, Paramount Chief of Dagbon Traditional, who was assassinated in March 2001) but alas this was not to be. A little issue like the siting of the Pavilion has been used by man to derail the process painstakingly put together.

"All the buildings are completed except the Pavilion whose siting raised a storm," he said.

Appealing to the people in the area, the Minister asked: "How long would the chiefs and the people of Dagbon hold themselves to ransom by a lack of genuine goodwill and desire to face the sun and not see the shadow behind them?"

Explaining some of the events going on in the area, Mr Owusu-Agyemang said the Kuga-Na has been requested to install regents for Molle, Kpaligu and Gulana to make it possible to perform their specific functions during the burial of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani.

"It has been agreed that an Mba Dugu will not be enskinned since this is the prerogative of the existing Ya-Na. But agreement after agreement has been thrown to the wind."

He said the hearts of the Dagbon people must open up, adding:

"Government is more than anxious to put the crisis behind it - but are the people of Dagbon anxious to do the same?"

The Minister said the Government would do whatever it took to ensure that the Ya-Na Yakubu Andani was buried in dignity and the other processes followed.

"But we cannot force the pace. On our part we can confirm that the security agencies will continue to maintain peace."

"The full rigours of the law will be applied. The rest of the nation cannot and will not be held to ransom."

The Minister who appeared to be weighed down by the events in Dagbon area, said: "I do not in the least envy myself in appearing before this august House to chaperone what seems to be slowly becoming a rather unexciting regular ritual of requesting my distinguished colleagues to do what is necessary to enforce peace in Dagbon by way of an extension of the State of Emergency in the Tamale Municipality and Yendi District."

Mr Darko-Mensah, urged the Members of Parliament from the area to put their energies together to support the government to achieve peace in the area.

Mr Mohammad Mumuni. NDC-Kumbungu, urged the Minister not to throw his hands in despair and blame others. He said Government should rather facilitate the criminal aspects of the case and bring about justice.

Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, NDC-Avenor, said the extension was "unexciting and becoming too much."

Alhaji Malik Al-Hassan Yakubu, NPP-Yendi, said MPs from both sides of the House should come together to push the agenda of peace forward. The Minority Leader, Alban Bagbin, said a Parliamentary Committee should be set up to assist in the peace process.

Additionally, he said members from the house should visit the area and interact with the people to encourage them.

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