General News of Sunday, 4 January 2015
Mr James Tiigah, Upper East Regional Minister, has said conflicts are the major obstacles to development in the country, particularly, in the three Regions of the North.
The Regional Minister, who was addressing the Second Annual FAO Festival celebrated by the chiefs and people of the Chiana Traditional Area of the Upper East Region, stated that the three northern regions would have experienced more development without conflicts.
He advised that instead of fighting among themselves, the people should rather team up and fight against poverty, illiteracy and diseases, which he noted, were their common enemies.
“The three Regions in the North are the most deprived areas, and our plight will continue to worsen if we continue to engage in unnecessary violent conflicts which do not bring any positive development,” he said.
“No development partner will like to invest in conflict zones. We must desist from such negative engagement,” the Regional Minister emphasized.
The Paramount Chief of the Chiana Traditional Area, Pe Ditundini Adiali Ayagitam III, said he decided to maintain the previous year’s theme, “Peace and Reconciliation for Development,” because the Traditional Council’s efforts to effectively unite all feuding factions after his enskinment had not been wholly successful.
He, however, assured the Regional Minister that the Council was working feverishly to resolve all petty conflicts in the area to pave the way for development; stressing, “Without peace, I, (myself) cannot rule successfully to bring development to my people”.
He lauded the efforts of the Government for providing an eye clinic, a boarding school, ambulance service, a police vehicle and the Rural Electrification Project among others, to them.
He, however, appealed for a new District to be created in the area as Paga, the District Capital of Kassena Nankana West, was too far.
He also appealed for boreholes, the construction of more dams, and the rehabilitation of old dams, to help the people have potable water and to go into dry season irrigation farming.
He appealed to the people in the area to invest in the education of their children because it was the best investment.
He advised teachers to offer their best to the children to help enhance the human resource development of the area and the country as a whole.
On the environment, he warned that henceforth anybody found cutting down trees for charcoal burning would not be spared.
He warned the youth against drug and substance abuse.
The FAO Festival is celebrated by the Chiefs and people of the area to express their thanks to God for a good harvest. It is also used as a platform for the re-unification of the people.