15.04.2005 Regional News

More than 200 armed robbers await trial - Effah-Dartey

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Jasikan, April 15, GNA - More than 200 alleged armed robbers are currently awaiting trial, with some on remand for over seven years, Captain Nkrabea Effah-Dartey (Rtd.), Deputy Minister of the Interior, said on Wednesday.

Responding to a question at the Jasikan District People's Assembly at Jasikan, Captain Effah-Dartey reassured the people that government was fast- tracking the trial of armed robbery cases. He said government was re-sourcing and strengthening the Police Service and its collaborating agencies at the country's frontiers to stem the proliferation of small arms, a major source of the high incidence of armed robbery in the country.

Captain Effah-Dartey said efforts were underway to register all manufacturers of small arms in the country.

On the malfunctioning of the sub-district local government structures, Captain Effah-Dartey noted that if members of the urban, town and area councils could position themselves for hard work and innovation the sky would be their limit.

He queried why the sub-district structures could be impoverished or fail to perform when they were wallowing in abundant wealth. The Minister said the law allowed them to retain 50 per cent of proceeds they generated to fund their activities and urged the councils to explore avenues to collect market tolls, property rates and other levies.

On non-performing road contractors, Captain Effah-Dartey said government would not compromise its position on shoddy work and promised the people that such lazy contractors would be withdrawn. Mr Emmanuel Ababio, Local Chairman of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), who posed a question on the roads issue said the bad nature of the road network in the northern half of the Region was having a negative effect on their vehicles and must be addressed immediately.

He appealed to government to extend the mass transportation scheme and telecommunication facilities to the rural areas.

Miss Victoria Asamoah, a teacher, suggested that government directed its resources to the amicable settlement of the Nkonya/Alavanyo dispute, instead of sinking large amounts of money into peace keeping. She recommended that the Ghana Navy should constantly patrol the Volta Lake, while efforts were made to remove tree stumps in the lake to avoid the rampant lake disasters.

Mr Joseph Nayan, Deputy Volta Regional Minster urged the people to initiate self-help development projects as the quickest way to attract support from government.

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