Bawku (U/E), Jan. 31, GNA - The out-going Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Mahami Salifu, has asked traditional authorities to re-dedicate themselves to the cause of the people by ensuring a peaceful and united atmosphere for speedy development.
He stated that the development of the area could rescue the people from poverty, ignorance and diseases that have plagued them as a result of conflicts and mistrust between leaders and their subjects. Mr. Salifu who was speaking at the annual 'Samanpiid' festival of the chiefs and people of the Kusasi Traditional Area at Bawku on Thursday, appealed to the chiefs not to be drawn back in their efforts to maintain peace by conflicts.
The Saamanpiid festival which is celebrated annually, is a traditional post-harvest thanksgiving event meant to thank God and the ancestral spirits for a successful farming season. It is also an occasion to discuss other social and developmental issues affecting the people.
He said the celebration of the festival was a testimony of the prevailing unity and peace in a hitherto conflict-prone area, which should be maintained for wealth creation for the welfare of the people.
Touching on the theme "Cultural Modernization for Sound Environmental Management," the Regional Minister called for concerted efforts to confront the reckless degradation of the environment through bush burning and tree felling which impede crop production resulting in high prices for foodstuffs
Mr. Salifu recalled various construction works and renovation of educational facilities by the government, saying, parents and teachers should ensure that they were used to adequately improve their children's education.
The Paramount Chief of the Bawku Traditional Area, Naba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II, expressed concern over the lukewarm attitude of the people towards keeping the environment clean, saying this had led to filth engulfing the communities.
Naba Azoka urged the Municipal Assembly to enforce its bye-laws regulating the proper lay-out of the Bawku town and other outlying areas befitting its Municipality status.
He appealed to his people to stop indiscriminate defecation at undesignated places and called on the Municipal Assembly to provide decent toilet facilities to tackle the problem.
The Municipal Chief Executive, Mr. Abdul-Rahman Gumah, called on traditional rulers in the area to help maintain peace and stability by handling land disputes with care as they sometimes led to disastrous consequences.
Mr. Gumah stated that the peaceful atmosphere that prevailed, before, during and after the 2004 General Elections demonstrated the preparedness of the people to co-exist peacefully for development.