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04.01.2006 Politics

Avoid political tensions in 2006

By GNA
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Tamale, Jan 4, GNA - Nayiri Na Bohagu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga, President of the Northern Regional House of Chiefs has appealed to political party leaders and the media to strive to maintain the unity and peace the country is enjoying and avoid acts that could jeopardize it.

He noted with concern that, last year the political landscape of the country was charged with indecent language and "wild" allegations levelled against one another by the various political parties and regretted that this was inflamed by the media.

Na Sheriga was addressing the first Ordinary Meeting of the Northern Regional House of Chiefs in Tamale on Wednesday. He said notwithstanding the fact that there could be no democracy without political parties, it was also necessary for consensus building to strengthen the democratic system and therefore advised all the political parties to "narrow their differences internally and across the political spectrum to bring dignity to our democracy and its institutions".

"I am looking forward to a political leadership that distinguishes itself with such outstanding qualities, as hard work, honesty and decency so as to gain the respect and confidence of the masses", the Nayiri said.

On the media, the Nayiri urged them to carry out their duties professionally, be objective in their reportage with more focus on what would unite Ghanaians as a people to help build their motherland.

Na Sheriga expressed concern over the pending issue of the elevation of some chiefs in the region to the status of paramountcy and regretted that, notwithstanding the entry of the names of the affected chiefs in the National Register of Chiefs and gazetted by the National House of Chiefs, the final decision to regularize a financial package to reflect their new positions was long over due.

He pointed out that the contentious chieftaincy problems were at the centre of the ethnic conflict in 1994 that culminated in the arrangement (the elevation) to bring lasting peace to Northern Region. The President of the House appealed to the District Assemblies to use part of their Common Fund to renovate the traditional councils, which were now in dilapidated structures and also at least, provide them with typewriters, if not computers.

The Nayiri assured the government and investors that chiefs in the region were prepared to release large tracts of land for agricultural purposes and appealed to government to focus part of its attention on the Presidential Initiatives to the region. The President of the House made a passionate appeal to elders of the Abudu and Adani gates to narrow their differences for the necessary practical steps to be taken for the burial of the late King. He also appealed to the two factions in the Bimbilla Chieftaincy dispute, to exercise restraint, while a solution was been found to the problem.

The Nayiri said the House on its part, would continue to adjudicate the cases before it, as long as funds were made available but noted with regret that lawyers of the parties in cases before the House were some times not supportive of the judicial committee's efforts to have the cases disposed off.

"Even when cases are adjourned at their own instance, they fail to appear for their clients. It is frustrating and takes a toll on the meagre resources of the House", he added.

Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, Northern Regional Minister expressed concern about the destruction of the environment by alien Fulani herdsmen and said that there was a general perception that some chiefs were condoning and conniving with them to devastate the environment.

He reminded the chiefs that they were the custodians of the land and the environment and as such, if they connived with strangers to destroy it, it would be their people and the future generations, who would suffer.

Alhaji Boniface called on the chiefs to continue to cooperate with the security agencies and the Regional Coordinating Council (RRC) to bring peace to the region to open up the place for investment and development to create jobs for the youth.

He said if there were peace in the region, the billions of cedis the government spends in maintaining peace would be channelled into the development of the region.

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