Former Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna on Tuesday, March 1, handed over the office of regional minister to Mr. Abdallah Abubakari as the Northern Regional Minister. The handing over ceremony that took place at the residence of the Northern Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) saw the presence of sympathizers of the NDC including the regional executives, District Chief Executives in the region, the Security, religious leaders, and heads of department at RCC among others.
Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna was elevated to the Ministry for Food and Agriculture (MOFA) by President John Mahama in his second cabinet reshuffle after the Minister almost exhausted his two years stay in office as Northern regional Minister.
In his handing over speech, Alhaji Limuna thanked all and sundry in the northern region for showing love in gracing the handing over ceremony. He said he was pushing the people of north to deliver because he knew this day will come, when he will make way for someone to take over. The Agric Minister noted it is only the people who can judge his performance in office as the regional minister. He however appealed for forgiveness from individuals he would have offended in his course to influence a change in the region.
Mr. Limuna said Northern region is difficult and described the region as a hot seat, adding “anyone who is able to occupy the seat for a year can become a president”. He observed that, in his early days of assuming office, he nearly approached the president to have his appointment revoked as regional minister. But was also quick to describe the people of the north as very lovely people who he enjoyed working with despite the challenges. He added “I will miss the people of Tamale because it is only in Tamale they can tell you as a minister your wrongs in your face without fear or favour”.
Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna said the security situation although has seen some improvement, there is still more room to do better. He lauded the Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) and urged Mr. Abdallah Abubakari to work closely with them and should not listen to what people will say about them.
But Mr. Abdallah was quick to assure to the people of the region that he will bring to bear his experience from Non-Governmental Organization management. He said everything of his administration will be in process and he will seek to understand the context of northern region that makes it a hot seat.
The Northern Regional Minister however bemoaned the situation where the northern region is gradually attaining the unenviable record of being a violent region. Mr. Abdallah queried why the people of the north are proud to be called the violent region? Saying it is a bad name. He called on the youth of northern region to join him in deciding the way forward as to how to change the image of northern region from the violent to the most peaceful region. He mentioned the security situation and Kayayo as some of the challenges facing the region despite the region being the hub of NGO’s.
Meanwhile, the ceremony was however thrown into laughter when the Northern Regional Chairman of the NDC, Chief Sofo Azorka took his turn to welcome the new minister and farewell the out-gone Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna. He appreciated the contribution of the out-gone Minister towards maintaining peace in the region and being fair to all. Mr.Azorka also appealed to the new Minister to follow the footsteps of his successor, Alhaji Muniru Limuna. He cautioned Mr. Abdallah to wake up to his job because the northern region is not a easy region to rule.
Story by Abubakari Sadiq