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24.01.2005 General News

Govt not responsible for burial of Dagbon king - Hackman

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Accra, Jan. 24, GNA - Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, nominee for the Ministry of Works and Housing, on Monday said it was the responsibility of the people of Dagbon to bury the Overlord of the Dagbon Traditional Area.

He said it was not the responsibility of the government, however, the government could assist in the burial of the late king, if the people of Dagbon put in a request for any such assistance.

Mr Owusu-Agyemang said these when he took his turn before the Appointments Committee of Parliament.

Answering questions on his stewardship during his term as Interior Minister, he said it was sad that some leaders of Dagbon had failed the nation.

According to him, it was time for compromises on the part of the leaders in the area in order to resolve the crisis.

On the recent death of Alhaji Issah Mobila, the CPP Northern Regional Chairman, who died in military custody, he said the process of transferring the man from police to military custody was itself being investigated.

He said the IGP had been contacted to speed up the process of investigations and report to the authorities to lay the matter to rest. On some successes chalked as Interior Minister, Mr Owusu-Agyemang mentioned the modernisation of the Police Service and other agencies under the ministry and the provision of equipment, vehicles and helicopters for crime management and surveillance as some progress made during his term.

He said a modern prison was currently being constructed at Doryumu in the Eastern Region.

In answer to a question from Mr John Mahama, a member of the Committee, as to whether it was necessary at this stage to provide the Police Service with helicopters, Mr Owusu-Agyemang said the helicopters were very important in quick deployment and mobility of police officers, since the helicopters could stay in the air for up to seven hours.

On programmes for his new office as Minister of Works and Housing, he said there were serious plans to improve water delivery and accommodation in the country.

On water delivery, Mr Owusu-Agyemang said the World Bank had made available 103 million dollars for the urban water sector. On housing, he was of the view that innovative programmes were needed to tackle the issue of accommodation to make it more affordable to the ordinary Ghanaian.

On ways of tackling the neglected hydro division of the Ministry, he said there was the need to take a total look at the ministry, adding that, the hydro division deserves better and it would not be placed on the "back-burner".

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