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05.03.2006 Regional News

Northern scholars told to help solve poverty in the north

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Bamboi (NR), March 5, GNA - A paramount chief of the Mo Traditional Area has appealed to northern scholars to put politics aside and marshal meaningful plans to develop the north to solve the acute poverty there. He said there was a lot of income-generating activities that if properly tapped could bring the people of the north out of their economic misery and would also reduce the conflicts there.

Nana Kwaku Dapaah II, gave these suggestions when the Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface paid a courtesy call on him at his palace at Bamboi in the Bole-Bamboi District. 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 agenda to the people. Nana Dapaah II said there were vast virgin land in parts of the north that was being wasted, which could have been used for cashew cultivation, cassava and plantain plantations, which could sell in the world market just as cocoa and gold.

He said there was the need for northern scholars to collaborate with traditional councils and regional houses of chiefs in the three northern regions to have a sustained economic activity that would help remove the perpetual hunger from the north. Some of the northern scholars and politicians, Nana Dapaah said were part of some of the problems in the north, since some of them were seeking their own interest "instead of helping their fellow northerners to establish".

"Normally, it is the educated ones, who fan the flames of war more but they fail to use their education to help their people", Nana Dapaah said, adding that, when problems escalate it was children and women who suffers and called for attitudinal change.

He said poverty and tribal land demarcation were sources of some of the conflicts in the country and called on the government to collaborate with chiefs and opinion leaders to solve disputes amicably. "We are tired of war, we need peace in the country and no one would give us that peace unless we accept that we are all one with a common destiny", he emphasised.

Nana Dapaah expressed concern about the influx of Fulani herdsmen into the country and appealed to the various district assemblies to enact by-laws to get them out of the country to preserve the environment and economic trees.

Alhaji Saddique, who later addressed the durbar of chiefs and people of the Mo Traditional Area at Bamboi, stressed the need for peace in the region to save the billions of cedis the government was using to keep peace in the region.