THE Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has urged regional ministers to put in place early warning systems to help avert conflicts and other disturbances in their respective regions.
Making reference to last Friday’s communal violence at Tuobodom in the Techiman municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region which claimed the lives of three persons and displaced many others, the Vice-President condemned the incident and said it was unnecessary.
He empathised with those who lost their relations during the disturbances in the area.
Performing the opening ceremony of the second review meeting of regional ministers in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region yesterday, Mr Mahama said the disturbances in Tuobodom could have been averted if there had been an early warning system in place.
The three-day meeting is on the theme, “Consolidating the Better Ghana Agenda: The Role of Regional Ministers”.
The Vice-President said the final report to review the 20 years of the assembly experience, learn lessons and chart the way forward was being completed for further action.
He said plans were also far advanced to review relevant legislation, including the acts relating to local government, the Local Government Service, the District Assemblies Common Fund and others.
Mr Mahama said in order to deepen local level democracy, the government was committed to ensuring that it was truly at the doorstep of the people and it would ensure, among others, that the representatives of the people were visible, as well as audible.
The Vice-President said investigations had revealed that some metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) were doing very well, while others were not performing as expected.
He, therefore, urged the various regional co-ordinating councils (RCCs) to strengthen their co-ordinating and monitoring mechanisms to ensure that MMDAs were able to deliver in line with the government’s policy and priority areas.
Welcoming his colleagues to the meeting, the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, said the theme for the conference was chosen to re-energise and motivate them as the pillars and mobilisers to engage all social and development partners in productive and constructive activities that would address the needs of the people.
In that regard, he said, the ministers would serve as an important link between the central government, as policy formulators, and the decentralised system, as implementers.
Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, for his part, said the ministry had pursued and co-ordinated all the decisions that were taken at the last meeting and expressed the hope that the current meeting would be fruitful and successful.
Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the Eastern Regional Minister and outgoing Chairman of the conference, for his part, commended President Mills for devoting the 53rd Independence anniversary to schoolchildren and the youth of the country.
Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi, the President of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs and Omanhene of the Kukuom Traditional Area, who chaired the opening ceremony, pledged the support of chiefs to regional ministers to enable them to deliver to the expectation of the people.