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Bawku Needs Peace More Than Ever Before

2008-01-29 22:21:06
This article has been read 603 times.

THE COMPOSED but sorrowful mood with which the members of Bawku Municipal Assembly (BMA), as well as the few people, who witnessed the confirmation of Mr. Abdulai Abanga as the new Bawku Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), listened to the "lamentations" of the Presiding Member (PM) of the BMA, Mr. John Agobre tells nothing more than Bawku's cry for lasting peace.

Like Prophet Jeremiah in the Bible, the PM bemoaned his desolate municipality. "It is with deep sense of sorrow, pain and regret that our beloved municipality has experienced yet another unfortunate conflict.

"This senseless and barbaric conflict has claimed many lives and properties in the municipality.

"Bawku, the land of opportunity, has witnessed yet another bloodbath. Bawku needs peace more than ever before, let us not apportion blame. There has never been any victor or vanquished in all ethnic conflicts we have experienced here in Bawku," Hon. Agobre lamented.

With disenchantment, the PM said, "What is more pathetic, is that at the time when communities are busy bracing themselves up, and engaging in investment projects, we the people of Bawku, are busy destroying lives and properties, contrary to our mission statement which states, "Bawku will be the most peaceful and prosperous municipality in the Upper East Region, and in Ghana as a whole."

He was very worried that the municipality, which had not recovered from the severe drought and recent unprecedented floods, was bedeviled with communal conflict.

He reminded the people that a chunk of the municipality's share of the Common Fund, among other funds meant for development of the area, would be channeled towards provision of security, as long as they engaged in conflict, and therefore pleaded with all and sundry, to let peace reign in the municipality, so that the assembly could continue its development agenda with the limited resources at hand.

Hon. Abogre told his colleague assembly members that indeed, they might not be part of the conflict, "nonetheless we can be part of the solution", pleading, "if there were perceived differences and misunderstandings in 2007, let them go with the wind; let us forge ahead as one strong united family, for in unity lies our collective strength."

He said ignorance and poverty were the common enemies of the people of Bawku, and not one against the other because, there is so much that must unite us than divide.

The endorsement of the President's nominee went on smoothly. Out of the 47 members of the assembly present, 44 voted in favor of the nominee representing 94% with only three votes against.

Addressing the Assembly, the Upper East Regional Minister, Hon. Alhassan Samari noted that the floods and communal violence, that had recently bedeviled the municipality, called for strong leadership to facilitate the medium to long term planning, and reconstruction process in the municipality.

He believed the fortunes of a municipality, to a large extent, depended on the initiative and personal drive of the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), adding that communities and individuals could benefit from the assembly, only when it functioned effectively.

The Minister said there were positive indications that the people of Bawku were listening to the several exhortations for peaceful co-existence.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Abanga, 37, promised to implement an open-door policy, indicating that as an assembly member of the municipality, he would not hesitate to consult members of the house, and anybody who mattered, in taking critical decisions that would affect the municipality.

The 37-year-old chartered accountant, who until his nomination served as a Management Accountant with the Millennium Challenge Authority (MCA), said he would put his expertise to bear, to improve on the assembly's internal revenue generation, while ensuring that the revenue did not land in individual pockets.

He called on relief agencies to come to the aid of the innocent people, in the municipality, who were victims of the circumstance, indicating that most of them had lost everything and were living without hope.

Among the personalities present were, the Upper East Deputy Regional, Hon. Agnes Chigabatia, former Deputy Defence Minister, Hon. Joseph Akudibila and the

Garu-Tempane District Chief Executive, Hon. Emmanuel Sin-Nyet Asigri.

The rest were the Members of Parliament for Bawku Central, Binduri and Pusiga constituencies, Hon. Mahama Ayariga, Hon. Mark Anthony Awuni and Hon. Simon Akunye respectively.

At an earlier meeting, on Tuesday, the assembly members resolved to demonstrate through the principal streets of the municipality, to call for peace in the area.

At that meeting, the Presiding Member entreated all members to commit themselves to the peace initiatives, which were being embarked upon, to ensure lasting peace in the area.

All members of the assembly, both elected and appointed, endorsed the proposal to demonstrate.

The demonstration, which was slated for last Thursday, was however postponed till a later date, to give the newly-elected MCE, the opportunity to acquaint himself with the security situation in the town.


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