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30.05.2006 General News

I would not sacrifice Dagbon peace efforts - Idris


Accra, May 30, GNA - Alhaji Mustapha Idris, on Tuesday said he would strengthen foundations of peace and reconciliation laid by various groups and individuals for Dagbon, when he assumed duty as Northern Regional Minister.

"I would seek to strengthen the steps and foundations laid out by the eminent chiefs, government and other peace loving individuals for Dagbon. I would be ruthless, if need be to make peace reign in Dagbon." Alhaji Idris, Northern Regional Minister designate, who appeared before the Parliamentary Appointment Committee said: "I have a task but I think half of the job have been done in Dagbon".

He called for a more resourced and permanent rapid response unit in Yendi to take care of that corridor, which was gaining notoriety for chieftaincy and ethnic conflicts.

On his development agenda for the region, the minister designate said he would seek to strengthen the Regional Co-ordinating Council to have an effective supervisory hand over the district assemblies. He said the region was very vast with scattered settlements, but "I would not advocate for the division of the region as this would come with its own problems."

Alhaji Idris said the poor state of the roads in the region was another handicap to development.

"I know the state of the roads in the region and I think that those, who do not know it too well as I do would not appreciate the concerns of those, who live there. I think the Minister for Roads Transport should visit the place very often."

On Guinea-worm, which is one of the biggest health problems in the region, he said resources that were channelled to that area should be well monitored by a central body so that interventions would be effective.

The Minister-designate said education would be the key factor in the elimination of the guinea-worm, because the provision of clean water would not by itself stop the worm.

On the Kayayee phenomenon, Alhaji Idris said, "I feel sad when I see them around, we must create the right conditions for them to stay at home."

Miss Gloria Afua Akuffo, Minister-designate for Aviation justified the creation of the Ministry saying: "Its creation is long over due." She said aviation involves a lot of responsibilities as the industry has become dynamic, technical and intense.

She said she would seek to create the enabling environment for the industry to grow in Ghana.