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General News of Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Source: GNA

Minister warns troublemakers in Dagbon

Tamale, Feb. 13, GNA- Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, Northern Regional Minister, has given a strong warning to "troublemakers" in Dagbon to put an end to their activities, aimed at disturbing the peace and tranquillity of the area. He warned that, this time round the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) and all the security agencies were on the alert and would "fish" out all the troublemakers The Regional Minister gave the warning in Tamale on Tuesday in the wake of an anonymous mobile text message been circulated in Tamale asking non-natives of Dagbon to vacate the Metropolis within 72 hours to avoid been caught in an eminent bloodbath between the Andani and Abudu Royal gates of Dagbon.

The text message, which had been sent to the Regional Minister, the Police Commander, the BNI and some journalist reads as follows: "We have received credible information that the government of Ghana through the Regional Minister and Asantehene has deplored troops from the Sunyani barracks

"To besiege the Gbewa Palace to forcibly evict the regent from the palace in order to make way for the Abudu's to perform the funeral of the late Mahamadu Abdulai. However we the Andanis are foreseeing a blood bath and thus asking all non native residence in Dagbon to immediately leave within 72 hours for their safety". Alhaji Idris said he was at a loss to explain the reason for such a message, which could create panic among the people, but added that he suspected that "Chieftaincy contractors" were behind it.

He said these Chieftaincy contractors and rumour mongers could only survive in situations of conflict, which they use to exploit the people and so when the see that progress is been made to resolve the Dagbon problem, they begin to fan the flames of conflict again. The Regional Minister also entreated the Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Northern Region to build bridges of peace among the people instead of beating the war drums.

He also appealed to the elders of both the Andani and Abudu gates to always tell their followers the truth of what transpires during the meetings of the Otumfuo Committee to enable them to appreciate the hard work of the committee instead of peddling rumours. Alhaji Idris said the text message was a wake up call for all the security agencies to try to track down perpetrators of such messages, who were bent on reversing the clock of progress and sending Dagbon back to the period of conflicts.

The Regional Minister also entreated the radio stations to be circumspect in the way they gave air time to some people to incite passions by insulting others, who were not given the opportunity to say their side of the story.

He asked all non-natives of Dagbon to remain calm, saying that the region appreciated their contribution to its development and it was only misguided people, who could issue such messages to them adding "We must put the development of the region above all else". 13 Feb. 08

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