President John Dramani Mahama has stated that the government will build on its partnership with chiefs to enhance national development.
The President said he placed value on the chieftaincy institution as a pillar of development and that was why the government continued to co-operate with chiefs in matters relating to the development of their communities and the country.
President Mahama said this when a delegation from the Builsa Traditional Council in the Upper East Region led by the outgoing Deputy Regional Minister, Mr Daniel A. Syme, called on him at the Flagstaff House yesterday to introduce the new Paramount Chief of the Area, Nab Azagsug Azantilow II, to him.
Congratulating the paramount chief on his enskinment, the President expressed the hope that his reign would enhance the development of the traditional area.
“Your predecessor (Nab Azantilow I) was a respected chief who reigned for many years.
“The government also highly regards you and we shall work with you to bring development to Builsa,” he said.
President Mahama spoke about efforts the government was making to work with the National House of Chiefs to elevate some divisional chiefs to paramount status.
“I have asked the Chieftaincy Minister to work on that and it will cover the Builsa Traditional Area,” he added.
Turning to development projects in the Builsa area, President Mahama said the area would get its fair share to uplift the living standards of the people.
On roads, education, agriculture and health, among other sectors, he mentioned some of the projects that had been undertaken to better the lives of the people.
The President stated that the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) was working with other partners to create an irrigation project in the Fumbisi Valley that would cover 10,000 hectares of agricultural land.
A 1,000-hectare pilot irrigation project is currently operational in the area.
President Mahama said with Builsa now free from onchocerciasis, a lot of opportunities existed for growth.
“It is therefore, necessary to continue to improve the road network to open up the area for agriculture development,” he added.
He promised to join the chiefs and people of the Builsa Traditional Area to mark this year’s Feok Festival slated for December.
“I will be there as the President and the yet-to-be inaugurated President,” he said to applause from the visiting delegation which included chiefs, Members of Parliament, government appointees and some high-ranking public officials and private personalities from the area.
Nab Azantilow commended the President for the numerous development projects the traditional area had enjoyed under his government.
He, however, drew the President’s attention to some roads that needed attention to bring relief to the people.
He pledged the continued support of the traditional council to the President to enable him to fulfil his promises to the people.