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Regional News Thu, 11 Mar 2004

Lift state of emergency on Tamale- MP

Accra, March 11, GNA- Alhaji Abubakari Sumani, NDC-Choggu-Tishigu, Thursday called on the government to restrict the state of emergency in the Dagbon area to Yendi District to enable normal life to resume in the Tamale Municipality.

He said Yendi was the centre of the entire emergency issue in Dagbon, adding that the town was very far from Tamale and there was no reason why a state of emergency should continue to be imposed on the town.

Alhaji Sumani was contributing to a debate on the motion by Mr Thomas Broni, Deputy Minister of The Interior, for the extension of the state of emergency in Yendi and Tamale municipality for a period of one month, beginning from March 23, 2004.

Prior to the motion, a letter from President John Agyekum Kufuor to the Speaker had requested for an extension of the state of emergency in the two areas.

Mr Broni told the House there had been signs of progress since the last extension, which is due to elapse on March 22, 2004, adding that government needed a little more time to complete arrangements towards a lasting peace.

He said since the last extension, materials had been delivered for the re-roofing of the Ya-Na's palace to enable his widows to move into it ahead of the burial of the chief.

Alhaji Sumani was of the view that everything the government had proposed to do in the area was centred in Yendi, adding that it was only prudent to restrict the state of emergency to that place.

"If there are concerns about people moving from outside Yendi to cause problems in Yendi, what we can do is to increase the number of security checkpoints on roads that lead to Yendi and allow the people of Tamale some freedom to freely undertake their economic and social activities without restrictions," he said.

Parliament unanimously resolved to extend the state of emergency in Yendi and Tamale for one month, commencing March 23, 2004. In a related development, the House unanimously approved a loan agreement between Ghana and AB Svensk Exportkredit of Sweden, for 5.8 million Swedish Kroner to finance the Systems Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Project.

The loan was to assist the Electricity Corporation of Ghana (ECG) to acquire the SCADA equipment to be able to detect and manage electrical faults without necessarily resorting to blackouts.

Source: GNA