Regional News of Friday, 25 April 2014
Source: Mahama Haruna
The 38th Annual Easter Congress of the of the Gonjaland Youth Association took place at Daboya in the North Gonja District from Thursday 17th April to Sunday 20th April, 2014 under the theme “Quality Education in Gonjaland, Prospects and Challenges.
In an address the Minister of Lands and Forestry, Hon Alhaji Inusah Fusheini who represented the President John Dramani Mahama said calls on the people of Gonjaland to continue to maintain the peace and to be united than before. According to him the President said the people of Gonjaland must strive for peace because peace is a pre-requisite for development and that the congresses of the Gonja Youth would not have been possible without peace.
He said the President confirms and affirms his commitment to deliver the better Ghana for the people of Ghana for the people of Gonjaland and that presently there are challenges but he is not daunted and is working to overcome those challenges.
The Lands and Forestry Minister said indiscriminate chain saw logging is a worry in Gonjaland and people are concerned because the Gonjaland area is part of the fragile ecological zone.
He said the Gonjaland Youth Association has written petition upon petition to his Ministry to address the problem and assured the issue is on the heart of the President because he once raised the it at cabinet and that is why in October his Ministry banned the cutting down of rosewood to take effect from January, 2014.
According to him nobody has the right to cut down rosewood in any part of Gonjaland. He urged the Youth, the Chiefs, opinion leaders, Civil society organizations the non governmental organizations friends of the environment as partners in development to rise up so that we can confront this menace headlong because we cannot allow the Sahara to continuously drift towards Ghana. He said the practice must be stopped if we continue to depend on our water bodies and land for sustenance and that climate change is staring at us in the face.
He said gold has been discovered in certain parts of Gonjaland and the galamsey people have found their way to these areas and are not only degrading the environment but polluting our water bodies.
The Northern Regional Minister Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna said Gonjaland is peaceful but there are pockets of issues on Chieftaincy that need to be resolved. He pleaded with the Chiefs and people of Gonjaland to work towards absolute peace and commended the people of Buipe for living in peace. He thanked the Youth of Gonjaland for their Annual congresses which does not only promote peace but gives the people an opportunity to socialize.
He said all Gonjas should be proud of His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama because he is their son and that it is the wish of every Gonjalnder to give birth to a son that will be greater than him.
He assured the people he will do his best as the new Regional Minister with their support though administering the Region is daunting.
The Yagbonwura’s address read for him said he was confident to state that Gonjaland is noted for peace building machinery and therefore urged all Gonjalanders to hold in high esteem the good signs of peace in the Kingdom and the entire nation.
According to him when we have absolute peace in our domain, traditional and cultural values, social matters, political indicators, economic growth and sustainable development will naturally find their course in the growth poles. “As a patron of this August association, it is a responsibility and a challenge on me to make sure that there is peace for the grow that of the association. It is clear to remind all of us le that sustainable peace is always a collective responsibility” he added.
He called on the youth of Gonjaland to always have a cordial relationship with the traditional authority for the progress and development of Gonjaland.
The District Chief Executive for North Gonja Sorku Yahza in an address said despite the rich history and potential natural resources, North Gonja remains one of the poorest and most neglected and deprived districts in Ghana because of the capital town and its surrounding communities are in accessible by road due to the white Volta River and that Daboya and its surrounding has been nick named “overseas”.
According to the DCE one major problem confronting North Gonja is the issue of illegal chain saw operations.. He said he was aware that the National executives of the Gonjaland Youth have taken a serious view of this problem in Gonjaland and are doing everything possible to stop this degradation of their land. “Let us remember that when the last tree dies the last man equally dies” he said.
According to him people who seem to be in authority grant conveyance permits to others to convey illegally cut wood. He appealed to the Forestry commission through the Minster of Lands and Natural Resources to stop issuing conveyance permits meant for Gonjaland because if permits are not granted, the illegal cutting will stop.
The President of the Gonjaland Youth Association Mr Alhassan Dramani appealed to Government to see to the establishment of the proposed campus of UDS in Damongo. He commended the chiefs and people of the Bole traditional area for taking the initiative for the construction of a Teacher Training College and promised that the Gonjaland Youth Association will offer them the needed support.
According Mr Dramani, the construction of a Secretariat is on-going and progressing steadily but the association still needs more funds and hopes every single Gonjalander would contribute generously towards the realisation of this dream.
He stated that the Association designed its first ever Website as a critical component of its communication mix to share ideas with members across the globe. This he said will go a long way in strengthening partnership, encouraging a sustained collaboration among members, as well as assisting us to communicate better and serve Gonjaland more effectively and in addition to the Website.
He said the Gonjaland Youth Association has also come up with a Magazine called the “Jakpa Magazine” and it aims at disseminating information on the History, Tourism potentials, Agriculture, Chieftaincy issues and the activities of the Association to its members and the general public as a whole.
Mr Alhassan said education is the bed-rock of every society, however, the recent performance of Basic and Secondary schools in Gonjaland are appalling. Available statistics he said, paints a very worrying and a gloomy picture of standards of Education in Gonjaland and in in a bid to reversing this worrying trend, the Executives of the Gonjaland Youth Association with a desire to promoting education, took it as a responsibility to assist to improve the quality of education in Gonjaland.
The Association convened a meeting of renowned Educationists from Gonjaland chaired by Chief Issah Yahaya, a retired educationist to assist in tackling the appalling standards of Education and the recommendations of the Committee was deliberated and adopted at the General Assembly meeting here in Daboya. A communiqué would be issued and forwarded to the District Assemblies, Members of Parliament and other stakeholders in the Educational sector in Gonjaland for implementation.
The Gonjaland President explained that the Association is strongly against all environmental menace in Gonjaland especially the illegal felling of Lumber by Timber Merchants. The investigations of the Association have revealed that these merchants come with forged Salvage and Conveyance permits to deceive our chiefs and youth. “We are therefore serving them notice, here and now, that anyone caught in this act will be dealt with accordingly” he said.
As usual, the Congress afforded members of the Associations a unique opportunity to socialise, discuss and share experiences and challenges in the course of the previous year and as well served as a platform for unifying the youth of Gonjaland as one family and gave members an opportunity to share their plans and experiences towards the development of Gonjaland.
Activities that took place on the second day of congress included Gala Football matches between all Districts in Gonjaland, a team from the Tamale Teaching Hospital made of 6 Nurses and led by Doctor Akis Afoko the Acting Medical Director at the Tamale Teaching Hospital performing a Breast Cancer Screening Exercise with hundreds of women resident in Daboya and those attending the Congress taking part in the screening.
All activities were climaxed by a durbar of the Chiefs and people of Gonjaland . There was a launch of Jakpa Magazine, Launch of an “Aguro” album and an inauguration of Gonja Orthography Committee.
The National Association of Gonjaland Students (NAGS) gave citations to a number of personalities including, Professor Ahmed Nuhu Zakaria, Dr Afisah Zakaria, All Executives of the Gonjaland Youth Association, Madam Habiba Abudulai Abosore and Nana Kobena Neenye Ghartey VII-Omanhene of Effutu Traditional Area.Also the Best BECE Female Students in 2013 for the various Districts in Gonjaland were given Certificates and copies of NAGS branded exercise books with the Best Teacher in the Central Gonja District also given a certificate.
At an Open Forum before the close of Congress the issue of logging in Gonjaland took centre stage. It was resolved that final letters be written to the various stakeholders to stop the practice and any failure will be met with a massive demonstration.
Buipe capital of the Central Gonja District was unanimously selected as the town to host the 39th (2014) Congress of the Gonjaland Youth Association.