Kofi-Badukrom/Asuotiano (B/A), April 26, GNA - Senior Minister J. H. Mensah has stated that the government would not relent in strengthening security structures necessary for the protection of peace as a major pre-requisite for accelerated development.
He warned that the government would treat as serious acts by any group or individual that could threaten national security. The Senior Minister was explaining government policies at people's assemblies in the Dormaa District of Brong Ahafo.
At Kofi Badukrom on the Ghana-Cote d'Ivoire border, Mr Mensah stressed that the inclusion of the People's Assembly concept in Ghana's democratic calendar was a clear manifestation of the NPP government's commitment to bring the process of governance to the doorsteps of all Ghanaians, thereby bridging the hitherto yawning communication gap in decision-making between rulers and the ruled.
"The concept recognizes that power remains in the hands of the masses and corrects the erroneous impression that wisdom for nation-building is the preserve of urban dwellers", he said. The Senior Minister explained that the government's decision to prioritise human resource development, private sector enhancement and good governance in its second phase of "Positive Change" was aimed at paving the way for a multi-sectoral role-play, where all the necessary human and material resources could be harnessed for speedy socio-economic advancement.
He stressed: "Emphasis will be placed on total restructuring of the country's educational system in order to turn out intellectuals needed for the achievement of an improvement in national life.
Mr Mensah explained that the recent fuel price increases were not meant to further impoverish Ghanaians as being alleged by some groups.
"The harsh decision has come as a result of the rising cost of crude oil world wide and since Ghana will continue to import the product, she has no other option than to kowtow to the instructions of the producers," he said.
The Senior Minister gave the assurance that measures would be put in place to mitigate the harsh effects of the fuel situation and asked Ghanaians to exercise maturity in their approach to the harsh but inevitable decision.
He called on Ghanaians not to engage in acts that had the potential to derail the nation's hard-earned peace, "since Ghanaians, unlike our feuding neighbours, will have no place of refuge in the event of any chaos and anarchy".
At Asuotiano in Dormaa East Constituency, Professor Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi, Minister of Harbours, Ports and Railways urged Ghanaians to assist and cooperate with the security agencies in the discharge of their duties.
He said the country's Judiciary was being streamlined to enhance the speedy dispensation of justice to minimize the number of cases pending before the courts.
The Minister appealed to feuding parties to agree to withdraw their cases from the courts for amicable settlement to help advance the judicial process in response to the demands of the country's young democracy.
Participants at the durbars asked questions some of which bordered on state security, payment of bonus to cocoa farmers, the National Health Insurance Scheme and the creation of a new district out of Dormaa District.
Other questions hinged on rampant power fluctuations, the functions of town and area councils, supervision of teachers in public schools and the recent fuel price increases and their effects on the worker's salary.
The participants also recommended that government should take immediate measures to help reduce land and chieftaincy disputes. At Kofi-Badukrom, a couple, Madam Genevieve Appiah-Kubi, 34 and James Broni, a 49-year old driver announced their intention to name their six-month old son after President J. A. Kufuor for what they described as his extra-ordinary performance as the President of the Republic.
Receiving the child, Senior Minister Mr Mensah expressed the hope that John Agyekum Kufuor Junior would grow to emulate the President.