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24.09.2004 Regional News

Police urged to retrieve weapons in trouble spots

By GNA

Tamale, Sept. 24, GNA - Participants at a day's forum in Tamale have called on the security agencies to work tirelessly to retrieve all weapons in the trouble spots in the Northern Region to ensure violent free elections in December.

They said, there were still a number of people keeping guns and other sophisticated weapons that had the potential of being used to cause mayhem during the general elections.

The participants mainly of political parties representatives in a GJA roundtable discussions with other civil society groups, religious bodies, heads of institutions, as well as some traditional leaders and the media said there had been indiscriminate gun firing in the Tamale Metropolis in recent times without arrests.

Mr. M.A Neshiru, Northern Regional Secretary of the People's National Convention (PNC) said somebody came round where he is staying and starting shooting indiscriminately for more than 30 minutes and this created fears among the people in the area.

He said extra care must be taken to ensure that the elections in the Metropolis were not disrupted because the recent clashes between butchers indicated that they were using some sophisticated weapons and the police had to stay away for sometime before they intervened.

Mr.S.M. Adam, a representative of the Ahmadiya Mission reminded religious organizations and the media about their responsibility to the nation. He said the ways and manner religious organizations and chiefs were lured into politics was a dangerous signal to the development of democracy in the country and called for a stop to it.

He called on the media to give equal coverage to all political parties to deliver their messages to enable the electorate to elect the candidates to lead them. Mr. Francis Azuimah, Peace Coordinator of the ActionAid Ghana, a British NGO, reminded the media of what had happened in Rwanda and cautioned them to live up to expectation to ensure violent free elections.

He said the media wielded a lot of power and this should be used wisely to unite the people for development and social change.

Mr. Ampah Bennin, Deputy Northern Regional Police Commander called on people in the Metropolis to volunteer information about weapons to enable the police to retrieve them.

He said the problem with people in the Metropolis was that they rely on rumour and were not able to substantiate when they were called upon to assist the police in their operations.

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