Ahafo People maintain the need for a separate Region

Accra, – The chiefs and people of Ahafo Area of the Brong Ahafo Region have asked the Commission of Inquiry into the Creation of New Regions to consider the serious marginalisation of the area and recommend it for a separate region.

They said the area had been marginalised in terms of political appointments, infrastructural and general development ever since the Brong Ahafo Region was created in the 1959.

The people, led by the chiefs and queenmothers of the area, appeared before the Commission of Enquiry on Friday to make their final contributions to support their petition for the creation of the Ahafo Region.

They contended that the creation of the Ahafo Region would inevitably lead to improved efficiency in both the Brong and Ahafo areas.

Mr Yaw Owusu Brempong, President of the Ahafo Development Association, who represented the people as the Spokesperson at the Commission at its day-two sitting in Accra, said the Ahafo people who had always been in the minority, started agitating to break away from the Brongs to get their own region since they could not contain the level of marginalisation.

He narrated that the Brong Ahafo region was geographically, the second largest region in Ghana covering approximately 39,557 km square.

It has therefore been administratively difficult to manage such a vast geographical area from a single regional administration, with numerous administrative inefficiencies, poor monitoring of government programmes and projects, wastage of limited economic resources being the order of the day.

The appointment of ministers and other public officials both at the regional and central government levels have been unfavourable to the Ahafo part of the region, Mr Brempong noted.

We therefore believe that getting the Ahafo region will ensure that we get fair representation at the central government level in the form of ministerial appointments, the imbalance at the regional administration level will also be addressed since we will have our own regional administration.

It is our conviction that the creation of the Ahafo region will accelerate the development of the area and fill the developmental gaps that existed for far too long. Ahafo is lagging behind in the areas of social and economic infrastructural development such as educational facilities, good roads networks, good health facilities and many others.

The people believed the distribution of resources that were allocated to the Brong Ahafo region were skewed towards the Brong part of the region and that was mainly because the distribution agents such as the Regional ministers and other regional administrative officials were mainly from the Brong area.

We believe this is not fair to the people of Ahafo looking at our contribution to the GDP of Ghana in the following areas:

The Ahafo area is noted for its contribution to the food basket of Ghana especially in the area of plantain production; it is on record that Ahafo area has four of the top 10 districts that produce plantain in Ghana.

Regrettably we do not have good road networks to support the transportation of our food stuff to the markets leading to a lot of post-harvest loses.

Mr Brempong expressed regret that inflows from the Ahafo area had not reflected in the socio- economic infrastructural development of the area.

He indicated that the Ahafo people were aware that Ghana was a unitary state and so our argument is not that we should be the sole beneficiary of resources from the area rather, our argument is that we have not been treated fairly in the distribution of the national cake, although we contribute significantly to it.

We believe that our problems would be minimised if we get a fair representation at both the central government and regional administration levels through the creation of the Ahafo region, they said.

These had negatively affected total output of productivity and consequently impeded the economic livelihoods of the citizens of Ahafo, especially, the farmers.

They said the issue being raised by some people concerning the geographical land size of Ahafo and the population as too small to warrant a separate region, was not a major issue at all, stating that with a land size of approximately 8,009 km2, we would be bigger than three states in the United States of America.

Other people took turns to make their submissions in support for the creation of the new Ahafo region to ensure proper and fair share of the national cake for the people.

Some current and former Members of Parliament (MPs) of the Ahafo area were at the venue to declare their support for the proposed region.

The Commission was inaugurated in October, last year, by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, upon his assumption of office and receiving six petitions from four regions; Western, Volta, Brong Ahafo, and Northern, calling for separation of the regions.

The Commission, therefore, toured the four regions to enquire further on the petitions.

The Accra sitting would be the final stage of the inquiry after which the Commission would submit its report to the President.

Source: Ghana News Agency