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11.05.2005 Regional News

Upper East Minister Urges peaceful Co-existence

By GNA

Bolgatanga, May 11, GNA - Mr. Boniface Gambila, Upper East Regional Minister, has urged ethnic communities in the area to embrace unity and peaceful co-existence for their own welfare and for the development of the region.

He said the futility of conflicts based on religion, ethnicity, or chieftaincy should be clear to all by now, as they only exacerbated poverty and brought about retrogression. "Our main concern now should be food, shelter and education," he added.

Mr. Gambila said this when a seven-member delegation from the Gonja community in Bolgatanga paid a courtesy call on him on Wednesday to congratulate him on his appointment as Regional Minister, and to thank him for sympathizing with them during the funeral celebration of the late Chief Abdul Mumuni Sofo, head of the community who died on March 10 this year.

The Regional Minister urged members of the Gonja and other communities resident in the Upper East to participate actively in the development of the area, which had become their second home, and to respect traditional authority.

He further called on the elders of the Gonja community to follow laid down procedure in the instalment of a successor to their late leader so that the peace and unity that hold them together as one people would not be endangered.

He explained the principle behind the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to the delegation, urging them to pass the message on to members of the community and to ensure that they register massively to ensure the success of the Scheme.

A spokesman for the delegation, Mr. Philip Sulemana, told the Regional Minister that a good percentage of the population in the Bolgatanga Municipality is made up of Gonjas who engage in various areas of endeavour including petty trading, craftsmanship as well as in the civil service. "Our kinsmen are peace-loving and law-abiding," he said. Mr. Sulemana expressed appreciation to the Regional Minister and the chiefs and people of the Upper East for the hospitality and brotherly treatment accorded members of the Gonja community in the region.

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