Government to use diplomacy to resolve Dagbon dispute – President Mahama

President John Mahama
President John Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama on Monday said the government was making diplomatic moves to perpetually resolve the Dagbon dispute that had retarded development in the area.

He said resolving the Dagbon problem during his administration would be one of his greatest achievements as the President of Ghana and he would therefore take up workable measures to achieve it.

President Mahama said this when a 20-member delegation of chiefs and elders from Dagbon called on him at the Flagstaff House.

The delegation was at the presidency to congratulate him on victory in the 2012 Presidential elections and the subsequent election petition victory at the Supreme Court.

President Mahama said although such problems took time, his administration would continue to engage all relevant authorities through consultations towards the resolution of their differences.

He appealed to all the stakeholders of the Dagbon dispute to provide the necessary information and support that could help the negotiation team and other relevant adjudicators to perform their roles efficiently.

On appointment of legal counsels for the various Houses of Chiefs, President Mahama said in the interim the government would engage the services of retired magistrates until substantive counsels were appointed to take up such positions.

He attributed the lack of interests in such positions to poor salaries and remunerations and gave the assurance that with improvements in public sector salaries through the implementation of single spine salary structure, many more lawyers would take up those positions.

On agriculture, President Mahama said plans were afoot to encourage sugar-cane farming in the Northern Region, particularly in places around Savelugu to process sugar for both domestic consumption and export.

He said government had procured a $100 million World Bank loan for commercial agriculture out of which $60 million would be used on projects in the northern sector of the country.

President Mahama said the loan would help to move farmers from peasant to medium and large scale farming who would be provided with improved seeds and other inputs.

He said the upgrading of the Tamale Airport would open up economic opportunities and facilitate trade as people would be able to import and export without necessarily moving to Accra.

Kampakuya-Na Andani Yakubu Abudulai, Regent of Dagbon,  in a speech read on his behalf appealed to the government to harness the potentials in agriculture in the Northern Region particularly in the areas of shea plantations, poultry production, moringa plantations and the industrial production of dawadawa to create jobs for the youth in the region.

The Regent pledged to ensure unity between the Andani and Abudu families in Dagbon.

He thanked President Mahama for initiating numerous development projects especially the upgrading of the Tamale Airport and further appealed for the upgrading of the Yendi/Bimbilla road.

Source: GNA

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