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10.11.2005 General News

VR Minister orders nomadic herdsmen out

By GNA
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Ho, Nov. 10, GNA - Mr Kofi Dzamesi, Volta Regional Minister, on Thursday said he had ordered the security agencies to flush out all marauding Fulani herdsmen in the region.

He described the herdsmen as "thankless people" who behave as landlords and not visitors.

Mr Dzamesi was addressing the Volta Regional House of Chiefs at a meeting also attended by heads of department, district and municipal chief executives.

He asked Municipal and District Chief Executives to cooperate with the security agencies to "effectively kick out the Fulani Herdsmen," warning that people who collaborated with any herdsman did so at a "huge risk".

The Minister explained that the order was not against resident herdsmen who were law abiding but the nomadic herdsmen who "have been wrecking havoc on us through their nefarious activities," which include destruction and stealing of crops, rape and defilement of women. The meeting was at the instance of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) to deliberate on issues holding back the development of the region.

Mr Dzamesi bemoaned the increasing conflicts over land and chieftaincy issues saying no day passed without his office receiving a complaint from a faction.

He said he was in consultations with the Regional Office of the Legal Aid Board to secure the services of a Counsel to enable the Judicial Committee of the Regional House of Chiefs handle the cases. The Minister said other regions were striding away in development as united people, while the Volta Region was groping under influences of "individuals, who for their selfish material gains, have been indulging and fanning both land and chieftaincy disputes".

He said government would play its part to bring development to the region, but stressed that private input in all spheres of life was the needed tonic for increasing the pace of development in the region.

Mr Dzamesi said the establishment of an Educational Endowment Fund by the VRCC should not be seen as a threat to similar funds initiated by traditional, district or areas.

He said as a result of his business meeting with people from the Volta Region in Atlanta, Georgia in the US, a homecoming summit to promote investment was being planned for 2007 to be attended by citizens.

Mr Dzamesi said he had asked the Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI) to present feasibility reports on the establishment of an industry in each district in the region. The Minister underscored the importance of land in development and charged all district assemblies to establish land banks, free from litigation, for use by investors.

"Any Municipal or District Chief Executive who does not get a land bank sooner than later will be deemed as having failed to function effectively."

Mr Dzamesi charged districts, which were yet to inaugurate their Mutual Health Insurance Schemes to have it done without any further delay, explaining that there was nothing political about the scheme, which only sought to make health care affordable to all. Mr Dzamesi also called on chiefs to educate their subjects on the dangers of bushfires.

Togbega Gabusu IV, President of the House, expressed regret that despite investment forums organized by the Volta Regional House of Chiefs and the VRCC, investment in the region was still sluggish. As part of the programme, a team from the national Identification Authority, briefed the House on its operations and the importance of building a database of all individuals in the country and Ghanaians living abroad.

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