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General News
Ibn Chambas Growls 7/31/2007
Monday, 30 July 2007
The non-selection of a single female from the three northern regions of the country as an award winner happened to be the dark spot of a rather colourful ceremony held over the weekend in the Upper East Regional capital, Bolgatanga, by Eminent Paramount Chiefs of the three Northern regions, to honour distinguished personalities from the area who had contributed to raise high, the flag of the north.

The selection committee and organizers of the event painted a gloomy and heartrending picture that indicated that there had never been successful heroines from the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Region who had contributed to the development of the north and the nation at large as they conspicuously forgot to honour at least one of their illustrious daughters.

Stricken by the flaw of the event organizers, Dr. Ibn Chambas, President of the ECOWAS Commission, indicated that the north also had women who had indeed, distinguished themselves in this country and deserved to be honoured and prayed that at another time, some successful women from the north would be honoured. He mentioned the late Susana Alhassan, an educationist and a politician who worked tirelessly to advance the course of children in the north, Sister Katumi, an educationist, who was recently recognized by President Kufuor and was awarded at the presidential awards ceremony as well as the late Madam Hawa Yakubu, who was not only a politician but also philanthropist who touched the lives of many of the youth in the country and the north in particular.

Dr. Chambers made the remarks in an agreement with a protest by the Upper East Regional Director of Women’s Department, Paulina Abayege who happened to the mistress of ceremony, against the total neglect of illustrious daughters of the north. Madam Abayege, in an interview with The Chronicle immediately the list of the award winners was released without a single heroine from the north, expressed disappointment at the organizers of the event, in spite of being appreciative of the whole initiative. Dr. Chambas said the recognition received was also an indication that the chiefs were watching and observing the progress of their people in their various endeavors. Paying a glowing tribute to some pioneer heroes and heroines of the north whose contributions had transformed most northerners.

Dr. Ibn Chambers noted that the challenge now was how to build upon the foundations laid down by some of those great men and women of the north, who in spite of great disadvantages and obstacles were able to rise up and shone. The ECOWAS Commission President noted there was still a yawning gap between the north and the south of the country, a situation he said ought to be of concern, “to all of us, because a house that is divided cannot stand.” In a speech read on his behalf, Mr. Sampson Kweku Boafo, Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture, said it was important for people to pause and take stock of their achievements and to appropriately reward those who sacrificed their lives and comfort to bring about those achievements, noting that such befitting ceremonies would certainly encourage the youth to strive harder to improve and maintain the high standards chalked by their forerunners.

He entreated the youth to emulate the shinning examples of award winners and utilize their God-given talents, selflessly to hasten the development pace of their communities and regions. “We cannot develop our areas in a chaotic atmosphere; we need peace and stability to do so,” he said, and urged all traditional office-holders in Northern, Upper West and Upper East Regions to make it a point to champion the cause of peace in their areas.

Mr. Boafo encouraged the chiefs to advise the youth to patronize the facilities placed before them through National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) to enable them gain the requisite skills and experience. He urged the staff of Regional/ National House of Chiefs, as well as those under National Commission for Culture to work diligently to assist the ministry to realize its mission and objectives under the GPRS II thematic areas.

The Paramount Chiefs honoured the President of Ghana’s third Republic late Dr. Hilla Liman, Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, the President of ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas as well as five other illustrious sons of the north for lifting high the flag of the area. The other five award winners were His Excellency, Clement K. Tedem, an elected Member of Council of State, Col (rtd) George Minyilla, a former Ambassador of Ghana to Burkina Faso, Cardinal Peter Porkuu Dery, Mr. Robert Ajene, a retired educationist and soccer maestro, Abedi Ayew Pele. The overall award winner, Alhaji Aliu Mahama was honoured with the “Sword and Horse of Yennega,” a symbol that signifies victory, named after an ancient warrior princess of the north.

The President of Upper East House of Chiefs, Naba Simon Ayidana Asobayire IV, gave the welcome address and the overview of the joint durbar of chiefs of northern Ghana as the chairman of the central planning committee. The King of Mamprugu, Nayire Naa Boligu Mahami Sheriga, who doubles as the President of the Northern Regional House of Chiefs conferred the honoraries on the Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama and the President of ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas. The Chronicle

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