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01.12.2004 Politics

Tamale gives Aliu a gallant welcome

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Tamale Dec. 1, GNA - A massive ecstatic-crowd turned out from all corners of Tamale, on Tuesday, to give Vice President Aliu Mahama a stunning welcome to the Northern Regional capital.

Members of the crowd, most of whom wore T-shirts and other paraphernalia of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), joined the Vice President's convoy from the Yapei Barrier to the residency of the Regional Minister.

Aboard vehicles of all sorts, including large buses, salon cars, taxi cabs, motorcycles and bicycles, they escorted the convoy amidst loud cheers of "Daddy You are Welcome" in both English and Dagbani. Some of them, including women perched precariously on their vehicles, while others larked about to demonstrate their excitement. As the convoy advanced towards its destination, the crowd thickened and became over-enthusiastic thus giving the security personnel a tougher time in controlling them and keeping them off the path of the official fleet.

Their action drastically slowed down the convoy and sometimes halted it as it was forced to share the road simultaneously with their vehicles to avoid running into them.

It therefore, took the convoy about 80 minutes to do the journey, which could have been done in 15 minutes.

When the convoy eventually reached the residency, some of the people manoeuvred their way through tight security and demanded that the Vice President addressed them before he left.

He acceded to their request and thanked them for their support, urging them to be peaceful and law-abiding citizens.

Some locals, including radio station presenters, who ran a live commentary on the event, described the crowd, which brought activities in the metropolis virtually to a halt as unprecedented. Others called the event the 'triumphant entry.'

The Vice President's visit to the town, where he lived before 2001, formed part of his weeklong campaign tour of the region, which started on Monday.

He addressed durbars in some communities in the Gonja West District before arriving in Tamale.

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