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17.08.2004 General News

Residents of Tamale hail Government for lifting Emergency

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Tamale, Aug 17, GNA - Some residents of the Tamale Metropolitan Area on Tuesday commended the Government for lifting the State of the Emergency in Tamale and Yendi.

They, however, called on the Government not to relax security in both places to ensure that people did not take the law into their own hands. Others also appealed for the empowering of the Police and the Judiciary to deal with people, who would take advantage of the situation to cause trouble, which would defeat the Government's efforts in seeking peace.

Speaking to the GNA in separate interviews in Tamale, Mr Francis Asuimah, Emergency and Peace-Building Coordinator of the Action Aid Ghana, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO), said the lifting of the state of the emergency had been timely since the situation was having a negative impact on the socio-economic lives of the people.

He said NGOs engaged in peace building in the Tamale Metropolis and other areas of Dagbon could now enhance their work and called on the District Assemblies to collaborate with them to remain "peace agents" for the good of Dagbon.

Mr Asuimah cautioned politicians to still regard Dagbon as a volatile area and to be careful with their language to ensure lasting peace. Mr Albert Atutiga, a Leading Member of the Convention People's Party (CPP) in Tamale, said: "The government needs to be commended for the bold step it took to lift the state of emergency."

Mr Atutiga said the people of Dagbon would now enjoy their fundamental human rights as enshrined in the Constitution and cautioned politicians not to tire politics with chieftaincy since they did not move together.

Mr Alhassan Imoro, Northern Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association, expressed concern about the District Level Elections to be held in Tamale and Yendi saying: "Article 473 of 1992 and the Local Government Act 462 of 1993, talks about holding District Assembly elections every four years and six months before Parliamentary Elections".

He called on the Electoral Commission to come out as to whether the District Level Elections could take place before Election 2004. Mr Dassah Joseph, a Civil Servant, expressed a different view. He said the lifting of the State of the Emergency was not necessary now since some people, who thought they were hurt "are armed to the teeth waiting for vengeance".

He explained that the emergency should have been maintained and lifted a week or two after Election 2004.

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