Yendi, (N/R), May 22, GNA - Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Minister of the Interior has directed the security Agencies in Dagbon and Yendi in particular, to arrest and put before the courts any group of people or individuals who would disturb the relative peace prevailing in the area.
He said: "This should be done to allow the due process of the law to take its course and anyone found guilty must be punished to deter others from taking the law into their own hands."
Papa Owusu-Ankomah gave the directive when he addressed members of the Yendi District Security Council (DISEC) at Yendi on Saturday, as part of his two-day familiarisation tour of the Northern Region to interact with personnel of organizations under his Ministry and to learn at first hand problems facing them.
He said it was about time the people stopped polarising any petty quarrel among individuals along chieftaincy or political lines. In the Minister's entourage were: Mr Edwin Barnes, Chief Director of the Ministry, Mrs. Elizabeth Adjei, Director-General of the Ghana Immigration Service and Brigadier-General Joseph Odei, National Co-coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO).
The rest were: Mr William Asiedu, Director-General of the Ghana Prisons, Mr Emmanuel Atenga, Director-General of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Mr Bernard Dery, Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of Operations and Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, Northern Regional Minister.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah also paid separate courtesy calls on the Kuga-Na, the Acting Ya-Na, Ibrahim Abdulai and the Bolin-Lana (Regent) Abdulai Mohammed and impressed upon them on the need to advise the youth to let peace prevail.
He told them that without peace there could not be any development, adding that, the government had already spent a lot of money in the maintenance of peace in Dagbon.
He said the government would not interfere in chieftaincy matters but it would continue to facilitate the peaceful resolution of conflicts but noted that the solution to the Dagbon crisis would largely depend on the people.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah appealed to journalists, particularly operators of FM stations to be more circumspect in their reportage on the Dagbon situation to avoid inflaming passions, which he said could create more problems for the security agencies.
Alhaji Boniface on his part, called on journalists to write more on conflict resolution and try to cross-check their facts before going on air or coming out with their reports in the papers. The Kuga-Na in his response pledged the preparedness of his people to work towards ensuring a lasting peace in Dagbon but said the main problem now facing them was how to bury the late Ya-Na Yakubu Andani.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah later commissioned an office block for the Yendi Prisons; inspected the prisons and police offices and the newly completed palace for the Ya-na.
Earlier in the day in Tamale, Papa Owusu-Ankomah had paid a similar courtesy call on the Gulkpegu-Na (Chief of Tamale), Alhaji Ziblim Abdulai.
He had also inspected the construction of unit quarters for police officers and the site for the building of the Tamale Police Training School.
Briefing the Interior Minister on the security situation in the Yendi District, Alhaji Mohammad Habibu Tijani, the Acting District Chief Executive said the security personnel were working under very difficult circumstances.
He said they faced transportation problems, which had made it difficult for them to carry out patrols and operations efficiently adding: "It is pathetic to note that the Yendi Police Station with oversight responsibilities for Zabzugu/Tatale, Saboba/Chereponi and Gushegu/Karaga Districts, has no vehicle to cover these areas".
In addition, he said the Divisional Police Commander, who is also in-charge of Bimbilla and Salaga had no means of transport to cover these areas.
Mr Tijani said the issue of the military was even more pathetic because the only vehicle at their disposal could not go beyond the tarred roads in Yendi even though the Detachment Commander had oversight responsibilities in Bimbilla and Zabzugu/Tatale He said the District Assembly had provided two of its project vehicles to the security agencies to assist them in the performance of their duty of enforcing and maintaining peace in the area. The Assembly, he said, had also provided a two-bedroom accommodation for an Immigration Officer, which also served as an office. The DCE said the Assembly had built a 188.4 million-cedi office block for the Ghana National Fire Service at Yendi and had in collaboration with NADMO, donated 80 foam mattresses valued at eight million cedis and a quantity of assorted wood for the construction of beds for the prison inmates.