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06.12.2004 General News

Veep returns from electioneering campaign tour

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Accra, Dec. 6, GNA - Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama on Monday returned to Accra after a month's electioneering campaign tour of the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and the Northern Part of the Volta Region.

A large crowd of supporters made up of mostly people from the Muslim Community was at the Kotoka International Airport to welcome him. During the tour, the Vice President Mahama called on the electorate to vote for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to enable it to continue with its good works.

He cited the numerous development projects the Government had undertaken during its tenure and the unfettered freedom that Ghanaians had been enjoying in an atmosphere of peace.

When Vice President Mahama visited the Mole National Park on November 30 the friendliest elephant at the Park and nicknamed 'Onipa Nua' paid what was described as a courtesy call on him.

The Elephant, the symbol of the ruling New Patriotic Party of which the Vice President Mahama is the running mate for Election 2004, emerged at the lodge, where he spent the night and sat closely nearby as members of the Vice President's entourage were preparing to take off for the day's assignment.

The entourage, which included Journalists, security personnel, drivers and businessmen, initially welcomed the elephant cautiously from a distance, but they soon overcame their fright and uncertainty and moved closer to observe it.

When they became satisfied that the Elephant, who stood and stretched its limbs meant no harm, they moved even closer to it and took turns to have photographs taken with it.

One Senior Officer observed that the Elephant could actually be looking for the Vice President to pay a courtesy call on him so he went inside to inform him.

Vice President Mahama obliged and came out to have photographs taken with the Elephant, and as if to confirm his suspicion, it slowly moved away shortly after the encounter with the Vice President.

A senior guide of the Park told the GNA that Onipa Nua was only sighted on Tuesday morning after a two-week disappearance. When the Vice President visited the Park about two weeks earlier, he was driven by guides to the thickest portion to observe an elephant.

The Park, the largest eco-tourism site in the country, is located 170 kilometres west of Tamale in the West Gonja District. It is home to 93 mammalian species, 33 reptiles, nine amphibians and an estimated 300 birds species.

The mammals include some 600 elephants, 2,000 roam antelopes, 3,000 hartebeests, 4,000 waterbucks, 5,000 buffalo and some 6,000 warthogs. Uncounted lions, leopards, hyenas and various primates can also be seen in Mole.

A total of 600km of game protection and viewing roads have been developed within the Park.

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