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Demo to Protest Marginalisation of Northern Ghana

2007-07-06 22:58:33
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A demonstration will be held in Wa the Upper West regional capital organised by the Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPA) , a Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) to protest against discrimination and marginalisation of northern Ghana next Wednesday.

In a statement issued in Accra and signed by Mr Adongo Ayorogo Bismark, President and Joseph Konnuba, Secretary, the organisation said the protest is also to draw the attention of the President and the government to the plight of the three regions in the northern part of the country to start implementing policies and programmes that would cement rather than divide it into "a privileged south and a marginalized north".

It pointed out that there had been greater intensity of marginalisation of the three regions and described the number of northerners in the government as "only token" and with "minimal influence in the distribution of national resources as advocated under the constitution".

NORPA stated that the marginalisation of the three northern regions had become well known that the office of the British Prime Minister in a statement confirmed its awareness of discrimination against the area. The organisation expressed concern that the government had not taken appropriate measures to address the issues it raised in a petition it presented to it on 14 December 2006.

It noted that the three regions had been excluded from the President's special initiatives and the Millennium Challenge Account MCA fund while the government had not shown its preparedness to allocate resources in accordance with the formula of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy.

The statement said that the intensification of the marginalisation of the three northern regions included the failure of the government to implement the requirement in the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy to provide free school clothing and meals for all basic school children in the three northern regions. The organisation also criticised the government for not disbursing the District Assemblies Common Fund in accordance with the constitution from 2001 to 2003.

NOPRA said that as long as the problems persisted it would not hesitate to urge patriots, civil society organisations and advocates of transparency and accountability in democratic governance to advise the government to pay the arrears accrued to all assemblies in the country within the stated period.

It reminded Ghanaians that the quest to attain the Millennium Development Goals and become a middle-income country by 2015 would be a mirage if regional inequalities and imbalances in the country's socio-economic development were not addressed. 06 Jul 07

Source: GNA

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