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05.12.2004 Regional News

Aliu tells Northern students to be advocates of unity and peace

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Tamale, Dec. 5, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama has tasked students of the Northern Region to become peace activists in their communities and unite the people of Dagbon to pave the way for socio-economic advancement of the entire region.

He told the students that they had received training to make them discerning and forward thinking, therefore, they were better positioned to influence their kin and friends to reconcile and embrace the peace process to restore lasting peace to Dagbon.

The Vice President was addressing students of the Tamale Secondary School (Tamasco), his alma mater, on Friday, as part of his one-week tour of the Northern Region.

"As students you are the light of society and its future successors, therefore, you have a responsibility to play a crucial role to hold the system together and the time to act is now," he added. He asked them to reject teachers who incite hatred and division among them and report them to the authorities.

"There are reports that some teachers have mounted hate campaigns, that students don't greet their teachers or don't talk to their colleagues because they are from opposing sides," he remarked. "Indeed, the situation is so disparaging these days that when you tell somebody you come from the North they ask whether you are an Andani or Abudu, are we so sick a people?" he asked and added, "I believe we need the intervention of God."

Vice President Mahama urged the students them to rise above the chieftaincy divide of Dagbon, stressing, "we are one people and nothing or no one should tear us apart beyond reconciliation."

The poverty levels in the Northern Region was so acute, he pointed out, saying the people rather should refocus their energies and resources to fight it and not themselves.

He said there was too much idleness in the area as some people spent their entire day seated under sheds and plotting to undermine their foes, instead of engaging in productive activities. The Vice President advised the students to maximise their time in school and at home and aspire to reach the top in whatever careers they would pursue.

"If you are disciplined and take your books very seriously you can make it in life because many of us have come from humble beginnings like you and worked hard to become what we are today," he said, and mentioned the names of a number of old students who had become achievers.

Mr Bolina Saaka, headmaster of Tamasco, commended the Vice President for his immense contribution to the school for many years and took him round to inspect some of the projects being undertaken by the Government.

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