Concentrate efforts at promoting peace, Woyongo tells successor

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The former Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Mark Woyongo has admonished his successor to concentrate on promoting peace in the region and government policies in order to ensure the achievement of the objectives set by the president.

Mr Woyongo who is the current MP for Navrongo Central and the new Minister for Defense made the call during an official ceremony in Bolgatanga to formally handover to the new Regional Minister, Dr Ephraim Avea Nsoh who just before the ceremony was reassigned to the Upper West Region to see to the political administration of that region.

"You must be lucky to be taking over the region which is enjoying great stability. "Mr Woyongo said. "I inherited a very turbulent region but by dint of hard work, we were able to stabilise the region in terms of peace," he added.

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Mr Woyongo said Bawku which was in flames when he took over was now calm .

He however urged his successor to work extra hard to ensure that permanent peace was restored in Bawku.

"You have a duty to ensure total peace returns to Bawku and all other flash points in the region. A duty to ensure our brothers and sisters on the Bawku Inter Ethnic Peace Committee returns to the negotiation table.

Mr Woyongo who said he felt honoured to have served the Upper East Region for four years  entreated his successor to  work with the various stakeholders, the Paramount Chief for Bawku, Naba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II, the leadership of the Mamprusis Ethnic Group, the security agencies, leaders of the other minority ethnic group and possibly the Nayire and Paramount Chief of Mamprugu to consolidate the peace efforts put in place.

 Mr Woyongo said the region during his tenure of office saw significant development within the last four years but the people were still crying for more development and therefore the need for his successor to work extra hard to bring development  to the region.

He said efforts were underway to construct a multi purpose hydro electric and irrigation dam at Pwalugu in the Talensi District and a similar one earmarked for the Sisili River, he therefore called on his successor to show interest and keep track of the projects  which would bring relief to the people in particular and the country as a whole.

He also encouraged his successor to pursue the possibility of building a similar dam on the Tamne Dam in the Garu-Tempane district which wielded a huge potential for agricultural activities.

Mr Woyongo said the regions also boasted of a number of investment opportunities and urged his successor to put in extra efforts to attract investors. "We have large tract of land, clay and rock deposits, minerals among others. it will be very useful if my successors can market them and attract the needed investors to create jobs for the youth" he said.

On agriculture, he said during his tenure SADA supported farmers with tractors and other farm inputs and urged his successor to laise with the SADA Secretariat to seek further assistance.

While wishing his successor well, Mr Woyongo called on him to be mindful of the harassment of foot soldiers. " It will be unavoidable but you have to learn to accommodate them. They say they have put us in office so they must be obeyed. While not giving your whole time to them, it will be useful to devout some time to the foot soldiers"

He gave the assurance that he would be available to offer whatever form of assistance. "I hail from this region and I need nothing but the best for this region. I am condemned to assisting you to succeed. If  you  succeed, it is the region, Ghana and the NDC that have succeeded and I am prepared to help in whatever form" Mr Woyongo said.

Mr Avea Nsoh in a response commended the former regional minister for laying a solid foundation and pledged to build on the successes chalked up by Mr Woyongo in moving the development of the region to a higher pedestal albeit within the short tenure before proceeding to the Upper West Region to assume the political leadership of that region following the latest reshuffle by the president.

Story by Benjamin Xornam Glover