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04.10.2004 Regional News

Akuapem chiefs urged to use festivals to promote peace and unity

By GNA

Mampong-Akuapem (E/R), Oct. 4, GNA- Minister of the Interior, Mr Hackman Owusu Agyeman, has urged the chiefs and people of the Akuapem Traditional Area to use their annual festivals to promote unity and peace. He said that while the government would not discriminate against any area in the distribution of the national cake, the prevalence of peace and unity among the people would facilitate the implementation of development projects.

Mr Owusu Agyeman was addressing a durbar of the chiefs and people of Mampong-Akuapem to mark their annual "Ohum" festival on Saturday. The Minister who deputized for President J.A. Kufuor, referred to the reconstruction of the Mamfe-Tettey-Quarshie Roundabout road as one of the major projects the government was undertaking in the area. He assured people in the area that water problem on the Akuapem Ridge would be solved on completion of the on-going water rehabilitation project.

In response to appeal by the chiefs and people in the area, Mr Owusu Agyeman assured them that the police station and the Magistrate's court would be rehabilitated as soon as possible. On the forthcoming elections, the Minister reiterated the government's commitment to ensure that they were conducted in peace to enable the people to exercise their franchise.

The Deputy Chairman of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in-charge of Operations, Mrs Augustina Akumanyi, called on the people to contribute to the growth of democracy in the country. She recalled the negative effects of coups on the country's development and asked them to tolerate opposing views and use the ballot box as the medium of changing governments. Mrs Akumanyi urged them to inspect their names when the draft voters register was exhibited and asked political party activists to study and abide by the provisions of the code of conduct signed by leaders of their parties to ensure peaceful elections.

The Akuapem North District Chief Executive, Dr. (Mrs) Eugenia Danquah-Quist enumerated a number of development projects undertaken in the town since the government took office and asked the people to rally behind it to provide them their needs. She appealed to families in towns along the ridge whose departed relations were buried in tombs close to the road to relocate them to make way for the ongoing roads works to proceed smoothly. Dr Danquah-Quist announced that the District's Mutual Health Insurance which was inaugurated recently was now in operation with over 2,000 registered policy holders and urged those still unregistered to do so. She cautioned the people, especially the youth, against engaging in sexual habits that could expose them to HIV/AIDS.

The Mamponghene, Osabarima Otu Pabi the IV, in a welcoming address, enumerated the deterioration of some social amenities in the town including poor water supply and appealed for their rehabilitation. He called for a citizen of the town to be on the board of the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), and institute annual scholarship for the youth of the town. This, he explained, would enable the government to appreciate the role Tete Quarshie, who hailed from the town played in the introduction and cultivation of cocoa in the country.

Osabarima Otu Pabi urged the government to help facilitate the efforts at reconciling the chiefs in the Akuapem area to ensure speedy development of the area. About 30 million cedis, was realized in response to an appeal for funds for development projects in the area. President Kufuor donated 10 million cedis as his support.

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