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10.04.2006 General News

Minister cautions communities to abide by state laws

By GNA

Nalerigu (NR), April 10, GNA - Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, Northern Regional Minister, has advised community members to abide by all state laws to foster unity, peace and understating in the country. This, he said would also prevent tribal and territorial conflicts and petty squabbles among tribes, particularly those in the Northern Region and some parts of the country, so that Ghana would become a one big "Tribe" with a common understanding for eternal unity.

Alhaji Boniface gave the advice when he addressed the chiefs and people of the Mamprugu Kingdom, during the celebration of their annual Damba festival at Nalerigu in the East Mamprusi District at the weekend. The annual Damba festival is a unique occasion, which brings together all the chiefs and people of the Mamprungu Kingdom for a common purpose, for the development of the area.

During the occasion, the history of the Kingdom was retold by way of oral tradition by a praise singer, who mentioned all the names of Mamprugu Kings (Nayiris) and their children, since generation to date and the roles the Kings played during their reigns and urge the current King to perform above his predecessors.

It took the praise singer two and half hours to end his task of singing appellation of the past Nayiris, which moved many of the people to tears, particularly those whose grand parents were killed in war.

Alhaji Boniface said, information he gathered indicated that Gbintiri, a farming community in the East Mamprusi District posed a great threat to peace, law and order in the Mamprugu area, which he said would further spell the region's doom, if they do not stop.

He said the community, which was largely Konkomba based, have petitioned to the Northern Regional Coordinating Council and the government that, they intended breaking away from the East Mamprusi District to join some of their brothers in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District, by way of paying tax and voting in elections.

The Minister said, "As much as we can not deny people the right to free association, we must emphasize that there are laid down legal procedures to follow", explaining that constituencies and district assemblies were created by law and their boundaries could only be reviewed by law.

Alhaji Boniface appealed to the Gbintiri community to accept the fact that, irrespective of where they were coming from, "We are all Ghanaians with one common destiny" and advised the chief and people of the community to refrain from taking the law into their hands. He appealed to the gathering to support the Nayiri, Na Bohagu Mahami Abdulai Sheriga, King of the Mamprugu Kingdom to succeed and should also stand solidly behind the NPP government for development. The Nayiri used the occasion to establish an education fund known as "Na Bohagu Education Fund," aimed at soliciting monetary support to raise the standard of education in the area.

An appeal for funds to start the Fund yielded more than 60 million cedis with the Nayiri contributing five million cedis as a start-up capital.

In a speech read on his behalf, Dr Richard Anane, Minister for Roads and Transport pledged to release funds to complete the tarrying of Walewale-Nalerigu road to make it accessible to motorists.

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