Government would not create districts based on ethnicity - Veep

Fri, 30 Mar 2007 Source: GNA

Nalerigu(NR), March 30, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama on Thursday said Government would not create a Metropolitan, Municipal or District based on ethnicity.

He said no ethnic group should therefore, decide on their allegiance or loyalty to the Government on the creation of a district. "People should use laid down procedures in addressing their concerns or seeking redress instead of resorting to violence. We must learn to live in unity and peace," he added.

Vice President Mahama made the observation when addressing a durbar of the chiefs and people of Nalerigu in East Mamprusi District of the Northern Region to mark the Damba festival.

The festival derives its roots from the birth of Prophet Mohammed, Founder of Islam.

He said Government was concerned about the ethnic discontent in the Konkomba enclave of Gbintiri in the district agitating to join their kith and kin in the Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo District.

"This unrest has adversely affected market revenue in levies and tolls to the assembly, where Gbintiri is its main market."

"I therefore charge the District and Regional Security Committees and the Nayiri, Overlord of Mamprugu Traditional Area to maintain peace by ensuring peaceful co-existence of all the different ethnic groups in the traditional area through dialogue and consultation."

Vice President Mahama noted that there could not be any meaningful development in any place where chaos and turmoil existed. "Our enemy is poverty, which we should collectively fight. As predominantly farmers I urge you to focus on your pre-occupation and be wary of troublemakers ".

Vice President Mahama said people from the region should know the cost of insecurity to the orderly development of the area.

"I say this because the Northern Region is plagued with pockets of conflicts, which does not augur well for the overall development of the country."

Vice President Mahama called for a review of the negative and harmful cultural practices that impeded development and dehumanized people.

He urged the traditional authorities to play vanguard roles in the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), early marriages, betrothals and dehumanizing widowhood rites.

Vice President Mahama asked the people to justify the huge expenditure Government had made on education by sending their children to school without discrimination against the girl-child.

"Let me re-emphasise here, the need and importance of educating girls. We do not need to go far. A daughter of this traditional area in the person of Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Women and Children's Affairs is well known to all of you."

"I am however, to note that the Nayiri has already taken giant steps in establishing an education foundation for which I urge all sons and daughters from the traditional area to support by contributing their widow's mite."

The Nayiri, Naa Bohagu Mahama Sheriga II, Paramount Chief of Mamprugu Traditional Area, appealed to Government to provide Yunyoo, the district capital of Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo with electricity.

He said electricity should also be extended to other communities such as Nagbo, Wungu, Janga and Gbintiri.

Naa Sheriga asked contractors working on the tarring of major town roads in and around Nalerigu to speed up the work before the rain season.

Vice President Mahama who is on a five-day official visit to the Northern, Upper East and Brong Ahafo Regions, inaugurated a 360 million-cedis bungalow for the East Mamprusi District Chief Executive at Gambaga.

He also interacted with two prominent chiefs in Tamale, Gukpe Na Abdulai Ziblim and Dakpema Roland Alhassan.

Vice President Mahama, stressed the need for peace, stability and unity in the Dagbon Traditional Area to facilitate development. He noted that the high illiteracy rate among people in the northern part of the country, was the cause of the high rate of poverty among the people.

Vice President Mahama, asked the people to embrace micro-financing and other poverty alleviation interventions instituted by the Government to improve on their living standards.

Gukpe Na Ziblim asked the Bank of Ghana (BOG) to translate their public education on the re-denomination of the cedi into Dagbani to enable most of the people to understand the campaign.

Dakpema Alhassan called on journalists to publish and broadcast the truth and not peddle lies.

Source: GNA