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25.02.2009 Regional News

Minister Spits Fire Over Bloody Clash

By Daily Guide
Minister Spits Fire Over Bloody Clash

A burnt house following the Tamale conflict THE NEW Northern Regional Minister, Stephen S. Nayina has taken a swipe at the leadership of the two main political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), for trading blames in the face of raging violence in the region. 

The Minister, who spoke tough on violence in the region, stated categorically that he would not condone it, irrespective of who caused it.

“I can't condone any nonsense or allow some few people to draw back the development of the North. We need total peace to enhance our development fortunes. Therefore, since you the political party leaders have admitted before all of us that you have guns, you must cooperate with the security agencies and hand them over to them, otherwise you will not be spared if you are gripped.”

To this end, he asked the leadership of the two political parties to tell their supporters to surrender all dangerous weapons in their possession to the security agencies for their own safety.

He further warned that the REGSEC and the security agencies would hunt and arrest persons possessing weapons and culprits, irrespective of their political inclination, would not be spared.  

Mr. Nayina gave the warning during his maiden  emergency meeting with members of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC).

It was based on the admission by leadership of both the NDC and NPP that their supporters were in recent times hoarding several dangerous weapons including AK47 assault riffle, G3s and SMGs.

These life-threatening sophisticated weapons, the leadership admitted, were reasons for the constant arsons and reprisals in the city at the least provocation, causing destructions to several lives and properties.   

The Minister, whose welcome to the region was greeted with fierce fighting resulting in the loss of a life and the destruction of several properties running into several thousands of Ghana cedis, proved to be one of the toughest Ministers ever appointed to the region; he also proved his neutrality.

Mr. Nayina noted that the days when some individuals and groups of persons made the region ungovernable were over.  

This, according to him, could not be allowed to continue, taking into consideration its potential of repelling investors.

Mr. Nayina was optimistic that the leadership of the political parties would play significant roles in reducing or eliminating the frequent destructive violence being recorded in Tamale, and bemoaned the extent to which the region had gained notoriety in arsons.   

The security agencies were advised to be neutral in the discharge of their duties in order to win the confidence of the people. 

Present at the meeting were Alhaji Sumani Zakari and Alhaji Yakubu Alhassan Adoo, Regional Chairmen of NDC and NPP respectively, as well as other executives of their parties.    Mr. Adbul Sallam, Tamale North Constituency Secretary of the NDC accused the police of their lackadaisical attitude in acting on vital security information given to them that could serve as early warning signs and the involvement of some political leaders in the release of arrested suspects.  

From Stephen Zoure, Tamale