By Godfred A. Polkuu, GNA
Bolgatanga, Feb. 19, GNA – The Upper East Regional Minister, Madam Paulina Patience Abayage, has expressed concern about rising intake of alcohol among the youth in the region.
She said alcoholism was increasingly destroying the youth as most of them have made it habitual practice, in spite of its dangers.
She therefore appealed to the Clergy who paid a courtesy call on her at the weekend at the invitation of the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council (UERCC) to mark her 100 days in Office to remember the youth and make intercessory prayers for them.
Madam Abayege, who is the first female Minister for the Region, expressed worry over the negative effects of alcohol among the youth in the Region, and appealed to the clergy to use their pulpits to preach and educate the youth on alcoholism.
She said drinking spots were competing with churches in the Region in terms of numbers, “look at the number of churches we have in this Region, yet we are competing with drinking bars. We have a lot of work to do,” she insisted.
The Regional Minister said “we should be able to get our youth to get out of alcoholism and drug abuse. It is destroying the very fabric of this Region.”
The clergy prayed for God's guidance and direction to the Minister and officials of the Coordinating Council.
Reverend James Awuni, District Minister of the Bolgatanga Presbyterian Church of Ghana who led the Clergy, drawn from the Charismatic, Pentecostal and Orthodox churches, prayed for peace in the Region and the entire country.
The Minister said the Region and its leaders needed intercessory prayers, and appealed to the men of God to pray for leadership in the Region and the entire country, “so that we will be able to do what God wants us to do for this Region.”
She observed that the Region was blessed with talented young people who were unfortunately “killing themselves with alcohol,” and entreated the clergy to “take the Region out of that bondage and pray that God will have mercy on our youth and take them out of this, it is my urgent plea,” she added.
Madam Abayege, who is a former Ambassador to Italy, observed that filth had engulfed the Region, especially the Bolgatanga township, and charged the Ministers of the gospel to teach their various congregations about the need to keep their environments clean as “cleanliness is next to Godliness”.
The Very Reverend Gabriel Atidoo, Vicar General of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese of the Catholic Church, commented on the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence, and said it was “an eye opener to us that a lot is going on underground that is not helpful to us, and we need to be careful because Liberia and Sierra Leone came out of situations like these.”
He appealed to President Akufo-Addo and the security agencies to handle the situation with care devoid of politics, and called on them to stamp out hooligans who disturb the peace of the country.
Reverend Awuni appealed to the Regional Minister to help address the shortage of Doctors at the Regional Hospital and said their shortage invariably affected health service delivery in the Region
The Reverend Ministers prayed for the soul of Right Reverend Dr Jacob Kofi Ayeebo, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Tamale who passed on February 12, 2019 at the Regional Hospital in Bolgatanga.