Mr James Zuugah Tiigah, the Upper East Regional Minister has enjoined the Paramount Chief of Sandema Traditional Area and his sub-chiefs to support government in the fight against social deviations among the youth of the area.
Mr Tiigah said alcoholism and drug abuse, child betrothal and early marriages were affecting the social fabric of society and urged all to help deal with the social canker.
He said those deviations were potential threats that could derail culture and its positive influence on national integration and development.
The Regional Minister made the call when he addressed chiefs and people of the Bulug Traditional Area in Sandema during the celebration of the Feok Festival, on the theme; “To enhance our cultural heritage for wealth creation and community development”.
It was also an occasion to give thanks to the ancestors and to commemorate the defeat of slave trade during the invasion of Babatu and Samori.
Mr Tiigah, who was full of praise of the exhibition of the rich culture of the people, said culture was dynamic and required that people continued to stick to only the positive aspects and protect the rich ideals, values and traditions against negative foreign influence.
To this effect, he noted that the government had put in place programmes to harness the rich culture of the people to propel national growth and attract tourism and revenue.
He stated that “culture has become a rich business because of its inextricable link to tourism and creative arts”.
Mr Tiigah said Government would continue to roll out programmes and policies that would put people first and said in 2016 a total of 100,000 youth will be recruited under the Youth Employment Agency to help in community development aside other programmes meant for youth development such as the Youth Enterprise Support (YES) and Skills Development Fund among others.
Nab Azagzuk Azantillow II, Paramount Chief of Sandema Traditional Area, reiterated the call on the youth to refrain from alcoholism and negative tendencies that impacted on their lives.
He appealed to district and municipal assemblies to cease issuing licenses for sale of Akpeteshi as its consumption did more harm than good to the people, saying “there are better ways of increasing internally generated funds of assemblies than imposition of Akpeteshi fees”. GNA