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26.09.2005 Regional News

Do not collect high tariffs from settler farmers - Bishop Naameh

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Tuna (N/R) Sept. 26, GNA - Most Reverend Philip Naameh, Catholic Bishop of Damango, at the weekend appealed to chiefs within the Diocese to refrain from collecting high tariffs from settler farmers in the area.

He said the imposition of high tariffs forced most of the farmers to abandon the area or invest in other areas resulting in the under development of the area.

Bishop Naameh made the appeal when ordaining three Catholic Priests at the Good Shepherd Parish at Tuna in the Northern Region. They were, Murices Poreku, Paul Kasu and Aurelio Angbing. He regretted that the chiefs collected such tariffs for their personal use at the expense of development in the area. Bishop Naameh said the Diocese was still underdeveloped despite its numerous resources due to high illiteracy and traditional practices that discriminated against settler farmers and women. He said the area had also been neglected by politicians and pointed out that the Northern Region could only develop if the people embraced politics of integration.

"We are all Ghanaians therefore, we should work in unity, cooperate and be each others keeper" he added. To the ordained Priests, Bishop Naameh reminded them that their vocation was sacrificial but endeavour to win more souls to Jesus Christ, continued to be obedient and supportive of each other, create mutual love, cordial relationship and collaborate with other Priests in the Diocese.

Bishop Naameh commended parents of the ordained Priests for allowing their children to work for the salvation of souls and asked for support and prayers for them to become centre of unity, harmony and peace in the Diocese.

Bishop Naameh also delivered the sermon at a pontifical high mass at the Martyrs of Uganda Church at Bole to commemorate the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Bole Parish.

He commended the early missionaries in their role towards the development of the three northern regions and urged Christians particularly Catholics to emulate them.

Bishop Naameh called on members of the Catholic Church to use the celebrations to intensify evangelization in the Diocese while they focused on peace, unity, building of faith and not indulge in conflicts among themselves.

He said education was the only tool that could save the Diocese and the three Northern Regions from further under development. Bishop Naameh said statistics available indicated that the Northern Region had the highest illiteracy rate in the country. He said 96 per cent of the women and 74 per cent of the men were illiterate and appealed to parents to enrol their children especially girls in schools.

Bishop Naameh attributed poverty, conflicts, hunger and diseases in the area to the high illiteracy among the people and asked all Parishes within the Diocese to establish Education Endowment Fund for better education of the children.