Mr Mark Owen Woyongo, Minister for Defense on Saturday called on the leadership of the Mamprusi ethnic group in Bawku to return to the Bawku Inter-Ethnic Peace Committee to help achieve permanent peace in the area.
He said the absence of the group in the committee has created a vacuum that has slowed down the committee’s efforts at achieving peace for the area.
Mr Woyongo made the called when he paid a day’s working visit to the area and presented two assault Military patrol vans to the detachment for the maintenance of peace and order.
He noted that the Mamprusis contribution to achieving and maintaining peace in the area was paramount and reiterated the need for them to return to the committee and join their other brothers to forge peace as part of efforts to break the cycle of poverty which was the main enemy in the area.
Mr Woyongo hinted that government had put in place various development initiatives that would better the socio-economic lives of the people, but was quick to add that these initiatives could only be fruitful if there was peace in Bawku.
He said Chieftaincy related conflicts were the main cause of instability in parts of the country, especially northern Ghana and acknowledged that the phenomenon was affecting development in that part of the country.
Mr Woyogo who comes from the North himself called on the people of northern descent to see one another as one people and focus in fostering peace for the development of their communities.
The Defense Minister who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Navrongo paid courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of the Bawku Traditional Area, Naba Asigri Abugragoe Azoka ll and told him that his visit was to enable him have first hand information on the security situation in the area and factor in measures to strengthen and sustain the peace.
He added that the visit was also to enable him assess the Military detachment in the area to know how its members were faring in the discharge of their duty as peace keepers and expressed optimism about the sustenance of peace and improvement in the lives of the people in the area .
For his part Naba Azoka called on the Minister to facilitate the lifting of the ban on motor riding for men because it was long overdue and said motorbike was the main means of transportation for the people to run their businesses and undertake other activities.
The Minister later visited Alhaji Akalifa Bugri, leader of the Mamprusi group in Bawku and appealed to him to help bring back the group to the Bawku Inter-Ethnic Peace Committee because Mamprusis had stake in forging peace in the area.