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25.12.2005 Regional News

Chiefs must unite for the development of region-Aidoo

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Sekondi, Dec. 25, GNA - Mr Joseph B. Aidoo, Western Regional Minister said chiefs must unite to foster development in their respective communities. He said divisions; boundary disputes, litigations and the disrespect for each other must be buried in the interest of regional integration and development.

Mr Aidoo said these at the end of year meeting of the Western Regional House of Chiefs at Sekondi on Friday. He said the Western Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) would liase with the chiefs and settle all differences that exits among them. The Regional Minister informed the chiefs that the World Bank had pledged to grant the region two million dollars for an alternative livelihood project for galamsey operators.

Mr Aidoo said children, aged between eight and 15 years, who were presently engaged in the galamsey operations must be encouraged to go back to school, to prepare themselves for the future.

He said without education, such children could become matured criminals and social misfits, when the mineral resources were exhausted. Mr Aidoo reminded the chiefs that registration for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was too low in the region and charged them to encourage their subjects to register and join the scheme. Nana Nkuah Okumdom II, Vice President of the chiefs said the confusion; mistrust and litigations going on in the house must cease. He said without it the house could not play an effective role in the development of the nation and the people under them.

Nana Kobina Nketsiah, Omanhene of Essikadu said the house of chiefs was the only meeting point of traditional leaders in the region and all efforts must be made to protect the dignity of the house. He expressed his appreciation to the RCC for its initiative to mediate and find a lasting solution to the impasse between the chiefs. "If we fail to unite, we will fail our people, retard the development of our respective areas and we cannot perform the duties expected of us as chiefs".

He said traditional authorities must agitate for the provision of more development projects and the conversion of the Takoradi Port into a free port to allow the movement of goods and services. Dec. 25, 05