The title, known in the native language (Gurune) as Tindana, was conferred on the president at a durbar of paramount traditional rulers held Wednesday as part of his two-day working tour of the region.
The Traditional Landowner of Tindomolgo, Tindana Ayeta Ayimbire, who presented the ceremonial dress (a sheepskin, sandals made with a cowhide and a triangular pair of woven pants) to the President as his symbol of authority at the durbar grounds on behalf of the Tindama (traditional landowners) in the Upper East region, was full of praise for the President for “having the deprived region at heart”.
The honour done the President, according to the Secretary to the Tindana, Dominic Agongo, is in recognition of his “profound feelings for the poor” and “commitment to conflict resolution and management”, particularly in the areas of land disputes.
“Thank you for remembering us, Tindama, by providing office equipment to help us in land management at the Customary Land Secretariat to avoid land disputes. May God and our ancestors bless you, Your Excellency, for the free SHS policy which has saved us, parents, from so much trouble.
“We pray to our ancestors to keep you reminded of our desire for a factory to help in promoting our famous craft industry—which includes baskets, leatherworks and smocks. We will also not forget of our efficient quarry in Bolgatanga which has rocks in abundance. God bless the President. God bless Ghana,” said Tindana Ayeta Ayimbire.
The Tindama also commended the Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Ayine Bukari, for his “dedication to the development of the region” and pledged their support towards the success of his “good plans” for the region.
“We call on God and all our ancestors and shrines of the region to stand behind and support our Regional Minister, Hon. Rockson Bukari, who is doing a lot as an indigene to revive farming and to promote development in the region,” craved the Tindana.
23,000 farmers on Planting for Food and Jobs programme— Regional Minister
Welcoming the audience, the Upper East Regional Minister announced that the Planting for Food and Jobs policy had brought an attention-grabbing change everywhere, with more than 23, 000 farmers, according to him, having been enrolled onto the programme.
“In the last few months, more than 23,000 farmers in this region were enrolled on the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme where fertiliser was sold to them at 50% reduction of the market cost and other implements made available in time. All indications point to the fact that in less than 2 months to come, when the farming season in this part of the country will have ended, the impact of the campaign would have been clearer to all,” the minister said.
He also observed that patronage for the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme had been encouraging in the region and assured the President of the region’s readiness to support his vision to transform Ghana into the country fit for its good citizens.
“Ghanaians are witnesses to the confrontation to the nation’s challenges with unprecedented urgency and diligence. The present generation owes it a duty be disciplined. We in this part of the country are experiencing the impact of the climatic change caused by improper management of the environment. We can only support the ban on illegal mining,” Mr. Bukari stated.
Revamp our collapsed factories, fix our roads- Chiefs
An address delivered by the Paramount Chiefs of Bongo, who is also the Vice President of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs, Naba Baba Salifu Atamale Lemyaruum, on behalf of the traditional rulers in the region dwelt extensively on the region’s infrastructural ruins and the spate of land-related litigations.
“On the one-district-one-factory project, we believe that when this programme takes off, it will reduce rural-urban drift and its associated fallouts. The people of this region would like government to consider revamping the defunct Bolgatanga Meat Factory and the Pwalugu Tomato Factory under this laudable initiative as a matter of priority,” he said.
Naba Lemyaruum added: “This region has had many projects forestalled due to litigation from one quarters or another. We are not saying compensation should not be paid to landowners. But we are saying that where a particular project is supposed to be sited in a particular area on a particular land, there shouldn’t be litigation. We the chiefs and the tindanas should cooperate with our people to release land for projects. Unfortunately, the road from Bolga through Naga to Navrongo, very bad. Binduri to Garu, bad. Tongo through Pelungu to Nangodi, bad. And that of Bongo through Balungu to Namoo, worst! Our humble request to the His Excellency the President is to help us fix these roads.”
In response, President Akufo-Addo assured the chiefs that the Minister for Trade and Industry, Allan Kyeremanteng, would see to the revamping of the collapsed factories.