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12.04.2006 Regional News

People's Assembly loses bite in Bawku

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Bawku (U/E), April 12, GNA - The enthusiasm with which people attended previous people's assemblies in the Bawku Municipality was absent at Tuesday's event as the meeting hall was almost empty. At previous meetings the venue was filled to capacity before the start of proceedings but yesterday, departmental heads and assembly members occupied almost all the seats with the ordinary people ignorant of the event.

The programme, which was billed to start at 0900 hours, began at almost noon with less than half of the 35 assembly members present. The event was nearly marred due to one Ibrahim Yussif's accusation of the MP for Bawku Central, Mr Mahama Ayariga, that he (the MP) was not helping the image of Bawku with his leading role in ROPA demonstrations. "We are surprised that instead of our MP trying to erase the bad image of Bawku, he has rather gone to confirm the perception that Bawku is a violent area," he alleged.

"We did not send the MP to parliament to fight the government but to fight for our share of the national development cake to help reduce poverty in the area" he said.

The Regional Minister, Mr Boniface Gambilla, cut Mr Yussif short and did not allow Mr Ayariga to respond with the explanation that the People's Assembly was not meant for MPs to address issues raised but added that it could be done at another forum.

Mr Ayariga left the hall in anger.

The Bawku Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Abdul-Rahman Gumah, said since the reconstitution of the assembly in 2005, there had been three uninterrupted and incident-free ordinary meetings.

He said there was understanding between assembly members and the leadership of the house, making the hitherto tension-packed meetings a thing of the past.

Mr Gambilla enumerated some of the development projects implemented by the NPP government, adding that it had honoured its promises to the electorates.

He appealed to the electorates not to approach MPs for favours but to seek the development of communities.

Most of the people said the low attendance could be traced to the fact that concerns raised at previous meetings have not been addressed. They claimed government officials were only paying lip service to their plight and that the event was a waste of time. 12 April 06