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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ghana: 'I am no magician Interior Minister' - Avoka hits back at critics

Interior Minister, Cletus Avoka
Interior Minister, Cletus Avoka

Interior Minister, Cletus Avoka has reacted angrily to calls for his resignation, following violent clashes that led to the death of six people in Bawku.

MP for the area Adamu Daramani accused the interior Minister for sleeping on the job, and demanded his resignation.

In an in interview with Joy News the MP said Avoka's relationship with one of the factions compromises his position and could not be trusted to be fair.

But in a swift, blunt, rebuttal, Mr. Avoka says if there has to be any resignation; it has to be the Hon MP whom he said has done little or nothing at all to coil the violent clashes in his own constituency.

“He is the MP for Bawku Central. Since this conflict started what has he done. How many times has he been to Bawku himself to talk to the factions that voted for him to win to appeal to them to lay down their arms and give peace a chance.

“He has the mandate of the people, why does he not go back and talk to them? Why is he at large and think that somebody should resign? Has he resigned as a member of Parliament of the area which is causing the trouble,” he bellowed.

Mr Avoka had difficulty in understanding why conflict in one constituency, out of the 230 under his supervision should be enough reason why anybody will call for his resignation.

He said having maintained the peace in 229 constituencies there was no justification for calling for his resignation.

The Minister did not also take kindly to attempts by Joy News’ Stephen Anti to link his Kusasi background to his failure to visit Bawku since the upsurge in violence on Sunday.

He explained he had been to Bawku on previous occasions during similar violence and had held talks with representatives from both factions, adding “Do you think I am a magician?” Do you think that is the only place I do in Ghana? that is my only work in Ghana,” he charged.

The Interior Minister advocated for more “civil methods” including public education aimed at preventing aggrieved parties from taking the law into their own hands.

He gave the assurance that government will pursue and bring to justice all who foment trouble in the Municipality to serve as a deterrent for others.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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