Regional News of Friday, 13 September 2013
Source: Graphic Online
The Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) is to withdraw troops stationed in the Agogo area of the Ashanti Region to check the illegal activities of Fulani herdsmen after more than three years of security operations.
This followed the review of the security situation in the area by REGSEC and National Security, which welcomed the relative peace in the area.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Eric Opoku, who disclosed this at this year's general meeting of the Ashanti Co-ordinating Council in Kumasi last Wednesday, said notwithstanding the eventual withdrawal of the troops, REGSEC would continue to monitor the situation and respond swiftly to any incidents that could bring disturbances to the area.
On the general security situation in the region, the regional minister said the region was now peaceful and calm.
He commended the police and other security agencies for their hard work that had brought the disturbing security situation under control.
Mr Opoku stated that to sustain the present level of security, the security agencies had intensified their monitoring operations and placed their officers and men at vantage points.
He was, however, quick to state that in spite of the hard work of the security agencies, the input of all stakeholders was necessary in achieving lasting peace.
For instance, the minister said, the fight against armed robbery was ongoing, since the robbers continued to adopt strategies to elude the security men on the ground.
"We, therefore, need the co-operation of the general public to confront this menace," he said.
The regional minister charged metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives to ensure that their officers in charge of the various agencies played their supervisory roles efficiently. That would prevent absenteeism and other activities that retard national development.
The minister also commended the Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly for introducing a biometric device that controlled the reporting and closing times of workers, and urged other assemblies to emulate his example.
Mr Opoku disclosed that following the successes the region had chalked up in the management of the District Development Fund (DDF), the fund was now the single most important source of funding for the MMDAs.
Through the fund, many development projects had been initiated in communities across the region.
He stated that the government had provided large tools through the RCC that had been distributed to youths trained in various employable skills to help to reduce the employment rate in the region.
While charging the MMDAs to undertake more development projects in the communities, the regional minister also asked them to ensure that they monitor the projects in their jurisdiction to prevent shoddy work.
He revealed that some assemblies owed the Community Water and Sanitation Agency about GH¢700,000; representing the counterpart funding of the projects. He charged the assemblies concerned to pay the debts immediately.
The minister also asked the assemblies to ensure that the disability fund was disbursed appropriately.
In 2013, the Ashanti Region recorded a number of fire outbreaks, which the minister said brought untold hardship to many people. To alleviate the pain of the victims, the government initiated financial support, the disbursement of which had already started.
The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Augustine Gyening, said within the last 18 months, 20 armed robbers had been killed in the region after they engaged the police in shootouts, while 37 others had been jailed by the courts.