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We need to achieve peace in Bawku ahead of 2024 elections – Minister

Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, has called on stakeholders to work together to promote peace and stability in the region, particularly in Bawku ahead of 2024 general elections.

He said the region was bedeviled with pockets of land and chieftaincy conflicts and the upcoming elections tended to increase tensions, particularly in the Bawku enclave.

He called for all and sundry to avoid hate speeches to prevent such conflicts from degenerating into genocide.

The Regional Minister gave the admonishment at the Upper East Regional commemoration of Ghana’s 67th Independence Day Anniversary, held in Bolgatanga on the theme: ‘Our democracy, our pride.’

He said the protracted Bawku chieftaincy since its reemergence in November 2021 had claimed at least 200 lives, maimed many and destroyed properties.

Mr Yakubu said it was regrettable that despite the stable democracy being enjoyed in Ghana, there were still incidents of conflicts leading to loss of lives and destruction of properties in some pa
rts of the region, particularly Bawku.

He identified the media as one of the major contributors to the country’s democracy and called for positive commentary and constructive criticisms to promote and maintain peace as the country was moving towards the electioneering period.

‘The role of the media can be likened to that of a town crier; hence, you do not have to shout fire when there is none. I therefore want to use this opportunity to call for peace in Bawku and all other areas that have not known peace.

‘Also crucial is the role of Civil Society Organisations and Development Partners which should not be compromised under any circumstance. Their critique must be constructive, insightful and non-partisan,’ he said.

The Regional Minister explained that the peace and security of the region was also threatened by activities of terrorists in the Sahelian countries and as a result government had beefed up protection at the border communities, as part of measures to protect the country’s sovereignty against ex
ternal attacks.

‘Our security agencies have since showed determination to adhere to their constitutional mandate of protecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country against any form of aggression. What they require from the public is our unsolicited support with native intelligence,’ he added.

Mr Rex Asanga, the Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive, said it was significant for the citizenry to reflect on the meaning of the celebration of Independence Day, which encompassed the toils and sacrifices of the country’s founding fathers.

He called for retrospection and self-discipline that would instill the values and tenets of patriotism to contribute to the socio-economic growth and development of the country.

Mr Bright Lawoe, the Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Education Service, said although there had been an improvement in the performances of students at both the Basic Education Certificate Examination and West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination levels,

especially among those in second cycle schools in the region continued to be on the rise.

He said the Ghana Education Service had revised its code of conduct as part of measures to curb the menace, but there was an urgent need for all stakeholders, particularly parents to help train the children to be positive influencers of society.

The Day’s celebration was characterised by a march parade of students from public and private institutions, cadet corps, organised labour, civil society organisations and the various security services.

Source: Ghana News Agency