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Aliu Mahama on Peace In Dagbon   
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The former Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, has underscored the urgent need for the people of Dagbon to smoke the peace pipe and chart a new course of forgiveness and unity for the accelerated development of the area.

He said the current situation where some protagonists were holding entrenched positions in the protracted Dagbon chieftaincy dispute was tearing the youth apart and also destroying the moral fibre of the people.

Sharing his thoughts on the current situation in the Dagbon Traditional Area in Tamale Thursday, the former Vice President wondered why “we keep on hammering on the Abudu and Andani divide while our people continue to suffer from deprivation and marginalisation even in their own backyard.”

Alhaji Aliu observed that posterity would not forgive the “hate teachers” who constantly stoke the fire for their selfish interests while deeply dividing the people along chieftaincy and political lines.

“Yes we can have conflicts, but the kind of hatred existing in our area now is unimaginable as it is permeating our marriages, employment opportunities and social systems,” he indicated.

The former Vice President, therefore, advised the people to rather join hands in fighting the high prevalence of poverty, ignorance and disease in the area and cautioned that “if we do not control the growing division among us, then let us, as a people, forget it”.

On the voter registration exercise scheduled for next year, Alhaji Mahama asked all eligible voters to seize the opportunity to register since that was the only way they would have the mandate to choose an alternative to the ruling party.

He entreated the Electoral Commission to ensure that a verification system was put in place during the 2012 general election to forestall any discrepancies in the voting exercise.

Meanwhile The Andani Youth in Tamale have appealed to the government to intensify efforts at apprehending perpetrators behind the killing of the Ya-Na in March 2002.

They contended that the long delay in arresting the perpetrators was eroding the confidence the people had in the government, which before winning power, promised during the 2008 electioneering to apprehend the alleged killers of the late overlord.

The group cautioned that as a result of their discontentment they would not vote for the NDC in the 2012 general election if the government did not expedite action in arresting and prosecuting the supposed killers.

They made the appeal at a press conference in Tamale, where the spokesperson, Chief Salman Sigri, also indicated that the Andanis would resist any attempt by the Abudus to perform the final funeral rites of the late Ya-Na Mahamadu Abdulai at the Gbewaa Palace in Yendi.

Chief Sigri claimed that “the NDC won the elections largely on the promise of finding the murderers of the Ya-Na but had since abandoned the course of finding the perpetrators in government.”

He reported a Deputy Minister of Information Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa to have said on an Accra FM station that nobody could use votes to threaten anybody or perpetrate injustice in the country and that “there are laws and those laws must be followed."

He said no one could be forced to vote for the government or any other party since that voting was an individual decision and right.
Chief Sigri said Mr Ablakwa had given the assurance that the Mills-led government would continue to ensure the safety of all Ghanaians, adding that there was nothing wrong with the government's promise to find the killers of the Ya-Na during the 2008 election campaign.

However, the Andani Youth, at a press conference in Tamale on Thursday, described the comments by the deputy minister as unfortunate and called on him to apologise to the Andani Royal family.

Mr Issahaku Arafat, who addressed the press, explained that their position did not amount to blackmail or intimidation of the government but only sought to remind the government to act expediently in finding the killers of the Ya-Na.

Mr Arafat noted that the NDC made the killing of the Ya-Na a campaign issue for which reason all Andanis in Dagbon and beyond were rallied to vote for the party in the hope that justice would be served if the party came into power.

“Ablakwa should know that he is a beneficiary of the Ya-Na murder because tens of thousands of Andanis across the country voted for the NDC because of the Ya-Na issue. With less than 50,000 votes that the NDC used to win the 2008 election it is clear that the party would have lost without the support of the Andanis,” he claimed.
Source: Daily Graphic

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