The Northern Regional Minister, Hon. Shani Alhassan Shaibu, delivered a compelling message during the Eid ul adha celebration on Wednesday, 28 June, 2023 highlighting the importance of education for the youth and addressing pressing social issues. In his speech, he emphasized that knowledge and the ability to effect positive change are vital for the youth to become responsible members of society.
Hon. Shaibu expressed concern about the prevalence of young children—as young as eight years old, roaming the streets of Tamale instead of being engaged in their studies or resting. He questioned the role parents play in the upbringing and grooming of these children, emphasizing the need for parents to prioritize their children’s growth and development.
The Minister also drew attention to the alarming trend of drug and substance abuse among the youth, which poses a significant hindrance to their development. He warned that the influence of these substances leads to reckless behaviour on the roads, endangering not only the youth but also other road users.
Citing statistics from the National Road Safety Authority, Hon. Shaibu revealed that the region had experienced thirty-four road traffic crashes involving sixty-one vehicles in the first quarter of 2023. These accidents resulted in various degrees of injuries, with fourteen individuals tragically losing their lives. He commended the efforts of the National Road Safety Authority and the Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, urging them to continue their work to improve road safety.
The Minister appealed to all road users to exercise caution, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding their lives and the lives of others on the roads.
He also encouraged the community to contribute to the maintenance of peace and tranquillity that has been enjoyed over the years, expressing his appreciation to the Ulamas, Chiefs, Security Agencies, and the citizens for their cooperation and restraint in achieving the current state of peace.
Additionally, he lauded the Northern Regional Operations Hajj Committee and stakeholders for successfully airlifting Two Thousand and Forty-Two (2,042) Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage, in accordance with Islamic teachings. He extended his wishes for their safe return and hoped that their prayers would bring blessings and development to the region and the country.
Furthermore, the Minister reassured the public that the government would continue to prioritize the Hajj pilgrimage, seeking ways to ensure a stress-free experience for participants.
Hon. Shaibu shared exciting news about ongoing projects, including infrastructure development in roads, education, health, electricity, and agriculture. He revealed that work on the Tamale Central Hospital, expected to commence within the next two months, would transform it into a fully-fledged Regional Hospital.
The Minister called for support and cooperation from the community to ensure the timely completion of these projects.
As the Northern Regional Minister, Hon. Shani Alhassan Shaibu’s commitment to education, road safety, social issues, and regional development was evident during his address. His words resonated with the audience, encouraging them to prioritize education, combat social challenges, and work together for a brighter future.