Accra Mail (Accra)

16 September 2003

Ghana: Building of Gbewa Palace: a Right Step Forward in Solving Yendi Cirsis, Says Ibrahim Mahama

Alhaji Ibrahim Mahama, a presidential aspirant for the Convention People's Party (CPP), says the government's move to build another Gbewa Palace "is a step forward in the solution of some problems" in Dagbon.

He however said the building of the palace near the old site, is just a precondition for the burial of the Ya Na, because without the palace the Ya Na could not have been buried anywhere .

He urged the government to do more to bring peace to the people of Dagbon. Speaking in an interview with ADM at the Greater Accra Regional congress of CPP in Accra, Alhaji Mahama described as "miserable" the performance of the government in the identification of the killers of Ya Na.

"The people wanted the government to identify the killers of Ya Na and so far the government has not done what the people wanted them to do."

Ya Na Yakubu Andani II was assassinated last year together with 40 people at the Gbewa Palace in Yendi when fighting ensued between to factions, the Abudu and the Andani.

When ADM asked him whether there would be peace in Dagbon, he said the people would continue to see each other as Abudus and Andanis and that they could only reconcile when the killers have been identified and brought to book. "We are all looking for justice, without it the people would not know peace".

He said if the killers owned up and admitted that they killed the Ya Na and wanted both the Andanis and Abudus to sit down and talk there would be peace in Yendi.

Alhaji Mahama said when he is elected as the presidential candidate for the CPP, he would use all his resources as an "untainted politician" since 1969 to win power for his party and build the nation.

The Convention People's Party would go to congress this coming Saturday to elect its national executives, in which Alhaji Ibrahim Alhassan is competing with Mr. George Agudey for the presidential position.

He said "I have been in politics for long and have traveled all over the country to know the assets and liabilities of Ghana particularly in economics and politics. I know what Ghanaians needs and not".

Alhaji Mahama who started schooling at the age of 15 when he developed the desire to get educated is now a lawyer by profession.

When asked for his immediate plans for the nation if elected as president of Ghana, he said "I will ensure that there is food for everybody and for that matter people would be encouraged to go into farming and also other areas that can be tackled to make the people feel comfortable would be considered".

He asked the government to empower women by giving them adequate micro-credit to develop themselves. He said the current micro-credit that the government gives to women is "peanuts" which the women could not use to make living.

He said if his party comes into power, it would make sure that all Ghanaians at school going age especially the youth are given adequate education, "provided one is prepared to go to school."

Assessing the possibility of CPP coming back into power, he said, it would sweep throughout the country and capture power come the 2004 elections.

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