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General News of Saturday, 28 June 2003


President Visits Dagbon At Last

President John Agyekum Kufuor has reaffirmed the government’s responsibility to ensure that peace and order return to Dagbon. He has accordingly appealed to the two gates as traditional authorities to help achieve the lasting peace Ghanaians are clamouring for in the Dagbon crisis.

The Press Secretary to the President, Kwabena Agyapong, briefing the Presidential Press Corps after separate closed-door meetings with the two gates in Tamale on Friday said the President expressed the hope that peace will be reached sooner than later.

The President stressed that if the security situation in the area returns to normalcy, the state of emergency will not be necessary.

He, therefore, asked the two gates to co-operate with the relevant government agencies to find a lasting solution to the unfortunate incident.

The two gates reaffirmed their commitment towards the peaceful resolution of the conflict.

They also gave assurance to the President that they will co-operate with the security agencies to avoid any breaches of the peace in the Dagbon State.

The Andani Gate was led by the Kumbun-Naa, Kambung Yiri II, while the Abudu Gate was led by the Nanton Naa, Alhaji Alhassan Sule. There had been criticisms from sections of the public over the President’s failure to visit Dagon since the assassination of the late Ya Na Yakubu Andani and this visit is seen as a major step to finding lasting peace in the area.

The President had earlier attended the funeral of the late King of Mamprugu, Naa Gamni Mahama Abdulai at Nalerigu. The late Mamprugu-Naa was one of the three eminent chiefs appointed by the President to help mediate in the Yendi Crisis. He died at the age of 88.

At the same ceremony, a regent for the traditional area, Nantogmah Mahamadu was outdoored. The Regent, Nantogmah Mahamadu is to act for a period of six months after which the final funeral rites of the late Nayiri will be performed for a substantive one to be enskinned.

The President called on the various kingmakers to guarantee that, only persons who are duly qualified to be chiefs are enthroned in such a manner that would not disturb the peace and unity at their respective areas.

He said the prevailing peace in the country should not be sacrificed on the altar of chieftaincy disputes.

The President announced that as a matter of necessity, the government would soon tar all the roads in Nalerigu township in honour of the late King. The road between Gambaga and Nalerigu, a distance of about eight kilometres has already been tarred.

In a speech read on his behalf, Nantogmah Mahamadu, said even though the death of the King is a painful one, they take consolation in the fact that he has left a lot of positive legacies behind him.

“His reign was characterised with peace and development and given our love for peace, unity and development, we will continue to follow his footpath,” he stated.

The regent expressed the appreciation of his people to the President for the on-going projects in the area. He, however, appealed for the creation of separate districts for the Yunyoo and Bunkpurugu areas.

The government donated a quantity of rice, maize, millet, crates of beer and soft drinks and an amount of ?5 million.

Among the President’s entourage were the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Adjei Darko, deputy ministers of state, regional ministers, Members of Parliament and district chief executives. Also present was the leader of the PNC, Dr Edward Mahama.