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13.11.2005 Regional News

Interest groups urged to tackle root causes of conflicts

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Accra, Nov. 13, GNA - Hassan Abubakar Musah, National President of the Northern Students Union, has attributed the conflicts and the general poor security situation in the north to the lack of courage on the part of interested parties to tackle the issues generating the conflicts.

He described as unfortunate the situation in which many people engaged in talking about peace and security in the North, especially Dagbon, seemed to be getting tired of the process, arguing that the trend was not healthy for the continuous peace in the area. Speaking at the annual day celebration of the Northern Students Union (NSU) in Accra on Saturday, Mr Musah appealed to political leaders, religious groups and the intelligentsia to exhibit the courage and the requisite leadership to resolve the current crises in the north. The celebration is to foster unity and peaceful co-existence among all tertiary students from the North and to map out strategies to enhance education in the area.

Mr Musah said apart from inheriting some negative legacies as poverty, ignorance, illiteracy and violence, the three northern regions were also crises ridden, especially in the areas of chieftaincy and politics.

He said political and chieftaincy disputes had destroyed the past vibrant cultures and were poised to wreak havoc on the present and future generations unless the youth, who would become losers in conflict situations, were educated to withstand manipulations of self-seeking individuals.

"We can all bear testimony to the fact that nothing progressive happens in any society that is confronted with chaos, insecurity, acrimony and rancour."

He urged the students to make the fight to restore peace and social order in the North their ultimate objective.

On farming, Mr Musah appealed to the government, NGOs, bilateral and multilateral partners to come to the aid of the region by reviving the many irrigation sites, which had been lying fallow to promote an all year-round farming and to break the reliance of farmers on rain-fed agriculture.

He mentioned the Bontanga Irrigation Project in the Tolon/Kumbungu District, Libga Irrigation Project in the Savelgu/Nanton District, Fumbisi Valley and Wiaga Irrigation Projects in the Kasena/Nankana District of the Upper East Region as some of the dams that required urgent attention.

Mr Yonny Kulendi, a legal practitioner urged the students to avoid stereotypes and cultivate positive attitude towards their continuous development and progress.

He said it was important that students self-examined themselves from time to time to rectify their shortfalls and give up habits that could endanger their future.

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