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05.03.2006 Business & Finance

"I have being sick ever since rebels captured me" - Chief


Saru (N/R), March 5, GNA - The Chief of Saru in a remote community, sharing border with the Ivory Coast in Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District of the Northern Region, who was captured and molested by Ivorian rebels said he had been sick ever since the rebel's abuse.

Saruwura Seidu Seidu, who was recounting his ordeal to the Northern Regional Minister at Saru, when the minister visited the community said, "I have never recovered from the trauma and ordeal I passed through in the hands of the rebels. I am old. I cannot walk properly, so the rebels dragged me on the ground until we got to their camp".

The minister was on a 7-day tour of the western corridor districts of the Northern Region, comprising Bole-Bamboi, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, West Gonja and Central Gonja districts.

The purpose of the visits was to enable the minister to know the situation on the ground at the rural areas, see how best he could help solve them and to explain government development policies to the people. Key among the minister's message to the people in all the communities is peace, the need for the Representation of the People's Amendment Law (ROPAL), and the importance of the NHIS.

The chief said "I have always been praying to God to forgive them because my children are older than them. The only thing I need is a clinic in the community and tarring of the road from Kalba to Saru to enable security men to come and guard us".

Saruwura Seidu Seidu said what had happened to him could generate cross-border conflict in future, if the problem was not solved amicably and called on government to intensify security on the country's borders. "The rebels have not regretted from their act, since they still cross to the community to trade with the people without coming to apologize to me" he said.

He said ever since Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor, Defence Minister visited the community with some soldiers after his capture and release, fear had gripped the rebels and that they were no more crossing to Saru with weapons.

"They fear our soldiers. Any time Ghanaian soldiers come to the community none of the rebels would enter Saru market even though that was where they depend so much for their needs. He commended the minister for visiting the community and appealed to him to use his position to help the community with a clinic and to construct their road to link them with the rest of the country, since they had been cut-off from Ghana.

Alhaji Boniface consoled the chief, saying, "I am touched by your pathetic story and I will do my best to see how fast government can award contract on your road since there is abundance of food in your community". Saru is a small community about 10 miles away from Kalba and the people are engaged in yam, groundnuts, cassava and maize production but cannot transport them to market centres in Ghana for sale due to unmotorable roads. 5 March 06