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Otumfuo Optimistic About Dagbon   
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Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, on Friday said that efforts to find lasting peace to the Dagbon area had reached an advanced stage. The Asantehene, however, cautioned against political interference in the Dagbon crisis, which according to him could stall the successful peace process.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu, who is chairman of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs mediating in the Dagbon crisis, gave the assurance in Kumasi when Mr. John Dramani Mahama, the Vice President called on him at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.

The Vice President was there to find out challenges and progress of the committee and to strategize for the way forward on the road map for achieving lasting peace in Dagbon. Otumfuo Osei Tutu said though security and criminality fell under the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, partisan politics should not be part of such matters. He said the committee should be allowed to use time-tested traditions to resolve the crisis. The Asantehene commended the Vice President for the visit and said that the committee set up by the previous government could not meet last year due to the 2008 Election.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu said now that the election was over and a new government had been formed, he was waiting for a signal to enable the committee to resume its work. The Vice President who was accompanied by Mr. Cletus Avoka, Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Joseph Harry Smith, Minister for Defence and Professor Kofi Ohene Agyekum, Member of the National Peace Council (NPC), expressed satisfaction about the steady progress so far made by the committee. He said the government was interested in the committee and had given it the go ahead to continue its work and in consultation with the Asantehene, the next meeting of the committee has been slated for August this year.

On what the government was doing about the Bawku crisis, the Vice President said he visited the place last March and government was sparing no effort to avoid a recurrence of the situation. Mr. Avoka expressed enthusiasm about the progress of the work of the committee and said that before the committee was set up "the belligerent factions were so bitter that they could not meet under one roof but now they can sit together to smoke peace pipe".

Lieutenant General Smith asked Ghanaians to support the committee to enable it to ensure peace in Dagbon. Professor Kofi Ohene Agyekum called on the m edia to be circumspect in reporting on crisis situations to avoid inflaming passions to fuel already volatile situations. The Committee has the paramount chief of the Mamprusi Traditional Area and the paramount chief of the Gonja Traditional Area as members.
Source: GNA

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