BAWKU CONFLICT AT ITS PEAK- MINISTER

The conflict in Bawku and its environs has reached its peak with incidents of attacks and counter-attacks perpetrated on the daily basis, Chairman of the Upper East Regional Security Council (REGSEC), Hon. Stephen Yakubu has said.

The disturbances, he noted, posed threat to the future of children in the area, stressing that “Posterity will not forgive all those who contributed in one way or the other to this catastrophe. I am sad to admit is getting out of  control.”

Addressing this year’s maiden staff meeting of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), the REGSEC Chair, who is the Regional Minister, reiterated his  appeal to sons and daughters of the area to lay down their arms and chart the path of dialogue to resolve the conflict.

Apart from the RCC staff, the meeting attracted members of REGSEC and other Heads of Departments and Agencies in the Region, and afforded them the opportunity to deliberate on issues of development.

Hon. Yakubu, however, commended the factions in the Doba-Kandiga conflict for their show of maturity in managing the conflict, and gave the assurance that REGSEC  would continue to partner with all stakeholders in the area to find a lasting solution to the impasse.

He assure residents in and around the Regional capital, Bolgatanga,  that REGSEC would work to stem the growing insecurity over the past weeks for residents to go about their daily activities without fear.

Touching on other sectors of the economy, the soft-spoken Minister and former Ambassador, said the agricultural sector employed about 80 percent of residents with a comparative advantage in the production of rice, maize, sorghum and groundnuts.

Under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, he said a total  of 693,799 bags of NPK fertilizers were received and distributed in 2021, while a total of 280,000 bags had so far been distributed this year.

Hon Yakubu attributed the reduction in the quantity of the fertilizers between 2021 and 2022 to the Russian-Ukraine war.

On education, he said it was the pivot around which every facet of development evolved, and indicated that for the region to catch up with her peers, the issue of education should be taken seriously.

He said the Akufo-Addo-led-government regarded education as a major priority, and therefore introduced  the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy which had over the years increased enrollment in public SHSs.

He added that the region chalked some marginal improvement in maternal deaths, saying maternal mortality reduced from 24 deaths in  2021 to 15 deaths in 2022 half-year.

He said functional CHPS had increased from 87.6 percent in 2021 to 92.7 percent in 2022 half-year, and described the increase as good news to the people of the region.

Hon. Yakubu said as part of strategies to increase the number of Medical Doctors in the Region, he charged the Municipal and District Chief Executives to identify and sponsor  Medical students within their jurisdictions and bond them to return and serve upon completion of their course.