Eschew partisan politics, tribal conflicts – UER Minister

Social Minister Gja
Social Minister Gja

Deep partisan politics and tribal conflicts including chieftaincy and land disputes are the bane to the sustainable development of the Upper East Region, Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Regional Minister has said.

He said the region is endowed with lots of resources required for accelerated socioeconomic development; however, deep partisan politics, land and chieftaincy instability did not allow the people to work collectively to develop the region.

Describing the problems of the region as self-induced, he said, the phenomenon had retrogressed the region in terms of development, thereby deepening the unemployment and poverty menace among vulnerable people in the region.
The Minister made the observation when the newly elected executives of the Ghana Journalists Association GJA), Upper East Regional branch, paid a courtesy call on him in Bolgatanga.

Mr Yakubu noted that most of the time, especially the two main political parties, the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party found it difficult to agree and support certain policy directions for the development of the region and the country as a whole and that had been the challenge.

“If you look at the politics arena, we all always think that politics is the game that drives the country and therefore if you are A and I am B, just the mere fact that we are not in the same party, we cannot do things together which is wrong and we need to change that,” he lamented.

The Regional Minister noted that it was time key stakeholders in the region especially those in partisan politics pulled their resources, expertise and ideas together to help develop the region and reduce poverty.

Mr Yakubu noted that chieftaincy disputes in Bawku and Bolgatanga and land disputes in Doba and Kandiga remained a major hindrance, preventing people from forgiving each other and working together for development.

He said: “Sometimes we cannot just forgive each other as a people and we cannot sit down and talk and agree on something, instead it is fighting using guns like AK47 and explosives killing people and destroying properties and it is worrying.”

He said although the numerous tribal mixes in the region were a contributory factor to the many conflicts being recorded, it was imperative for people to tap into the diversity to develop the region instead of engaging in conflicts.
He urged the journalists to use their wide platforms to educate the general public on the need to work together to put the rich resources of the region into productive use for accelerated sustainable development and poverty reduction.

Mr William Jalulah, the Upper East Regional Chairman of the GJA noted that over the years journalists in the region had been very critical in the development of the area and reiterated the commitment of the media to continue to play significant roles in holding duty bearers accountable with a sense of objectivity and professionalism.

He noted that the road network in many communities and road connectivity in the regional capital, Bolgatanga, was bad and needed urgent attention to boost economic activities in the region.

He also drew the attention of the Regional Minister to the malfunctioning street and traffic lights in the region and added that the situation was causing accidents leading to loss of lives and properties.

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