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General News of Sunday, 11 September 2016


Pray for flagbearers against divisive speech - Veep

Vice president Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has wrapped up his campaign tour of the Upper East region with a passionate call on chiefs to pray for all presidential candidates against utterances that can throw the country into turmoil as the 2016 polls near.

Mr. Amissah-Arthur, whose two-day tour saw the inauguration of the Upper East regional election campaign taskforce of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and an evening encounter with trainee nurses in Bolgatanga, the regional capital, also entreated traditional authorities to pray for the "safety and security" of all political leaders all through their campaign trips.

“We have come to ask for your prayers for us and all the other political leaders who are travelling around this country for their safety and their security as they travel around this country. Also to ask of your prayers so that whatever we say will bring our people together and not separate them.

“We don’t want the things that we say to bring differences to our people. We ask for your prayers that nothing they say creates tensions and differences in the country,” the Vice President pleaded when he toured seven communities in the region, accompanied by government officials and executives of his party.

The areas toured include: Tindomolgo, Atulbabisi and Zuarungu in the Bolgatanga Municipality; Tongo in the Talensi District; Sakote and Nangodi in the Nabdam District and Bongo-Nayiri in the Bongo District.

Veep jumps dangerous pit

Bolgatanga has remained locked in a chieftaincy feud since the demise of the immediate-past paramount chief of the area, Naba Martin Abilba Adongo III, in September, 2013.

Two gentlemen- Raymond Alafia Abilba, a lawyer, and Joseph Nyaaba Apakre, a sales executive and media practitioner- are strongly laying claim to the regalia as successor to the departed chief. Each of the men willingly has submitted himself at separate venues to the traditional installation rituals he deems right and has settled down in office fully dressed as the ‘new paramount chief’ inside one town.

The case, in what has so far generated some episodes of bloody disturbances and has brought military peacekeeping tents to the usually quiet town to avert further loss of life and property, is currently before the Judicial Committee of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs to sort out.

For now, the palaces of the two ‘chiefs’ are strictly a no-go area for courtesy calls for famous figures seeking to do any legitimate business in Bolgatanga to avoid the charges that come with chaos and contempt. It is a pitfall politicians traveling through Bolgatanga for votes in 2016 must avoid.

The Vice President, like those who had toured the region before he took his turn did, went the right path. He only met with the Bolgatanga Traditional Council (a body of sub-chiefs in the area) and the traditional landowner of Tindomolgo, Tindana Ayeta Ayinbire.

“I’m also here to commend the security agencies and the traditional council for the peace that prevails in this town. The reason I say this is that we all know, we read in the newspaper, that there is a major difference in the selection of the next Bolga Naba. This process is going through judicial system. But despite that, people are peaceful and are going about their normal activities. We are also praying that this will continue even as the process takes place so that we will all come and help [install] the next Bolga Naba who will take our people along the path of progress and development,” the Vice President told the Bolgatanga Traditional Council.

The traditional landowner of Tindomolgo, Tindana Ayeta Ayinbire, concerned about some election-related disputes that had torn some African countries apart in recent years, underscored the need for all politicians to help protect the peace in the country when Mr. Amissah-Arthur called on him on the last day of his tour.

Mahama to visit Upper East after manifesto launch

Interacting with Starr News as the Vice President brought his tour to a close, the NDC Upper East Regional Secretary, Donatus Akamugre, disclosed that President John Dramani Mahama would hit the Upper East region with his campaign tour immediately after the launch of the NDC’s manifesto in the Brong Ahafo region.

“He is going to launch the manifesto on the 17th of September in Sunyani. On Tuesday, 13th of September, the President will hold a function to give the highlights of the manifesto at the State House in Accra. Then, on Friday he will report to Sunyani and launch the manifesto on Saturday the 17th. Immediately after that, he will proceed to Upper East,” Mr. Akamugre disclosed.

The Vice President’s 2-day tour was only within the central zone of the region. The exclusion of the eastern part and the western neighbourhood prompted questions from a curious public.

Reacting to those questions, Mr. Akamugre explained that: “When the President came earlier on, we took him to the western side as far Fumbisi. The second time the President visited the region, he went to the eastern side- Bawku, Garu and all that. The central bloc was totally ignored. So, when the Vice President was coming, we agreed at the expanded executive level that the next personality of the highest status should be felt in the central zone.”

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