Commission of Inquiry for new regions holds final sitting

Accra- The chiefs and people of the northern part of the Western Region on Thursday appeared before the Commission of Inquiry into the Creation of New Regions in Accra, to submit their final petition.

Many of the people from the 12 districts of the northern part of the Region filled to capacity the Committee Hall 1 of the Accra International Conference Centre, with many, who could not find seats, standing to cheer their representatives who presented the issues on their behalf.

As they took turns to make their final cases to convince the Commission on the need for the new region, both the elders and the youth, majority of who are students, said they needed the region to aid their socio-economic development.

Their various Members of Parliament (MPs), including Mr Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu, MP for Bibiani Anhwiaso Bekwai, and Mr Kwaku Afriyie, MP for Sefwi Wiaso, were present to support their call for separate regions.

Lieutenant Colonel Rtd Anthony Aduhene, the Coordinator of the Western North Secretariat, said that area lagged behind in infrastructural development even though it had the largest chunk of Ghana’s forest belt, producing the bulk of the country’s resources including bauxite, gold, and cocoa.

He said the communities calling for the new region included Enchi, Sefwi, Wassa, Asankragwa, Sefwi Wiaso, Akropong, Bodi, Adabokrom, Juaboso, Akontombra, and Essam.

However, a representative of Wassa Amanfi told the Commission that that District did not want to be part of the proposed Western North Region because of its location and closeness to the southern part of Western Region.

There was also a near mayhem when a contributor expressed his disagreement on the creation of the new region, saying it would be costly to the nation.

The people started clapping him off, prompting the Secretary of the Commission, Mr Jacob Sai, to intervene and call for order, after which he allowed the contributor more time to speak.

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, organised a tour of the four regions to enquire further on the petitions.

The Accra meeting is, however, the final stage of the inquiry after which the Commissioners would make a report and send to the President for further action.

At the first Accra sitting of the Commission, Mr Dan Kwaku Botwe, Minister of Regional Reorganisation and Development, said since the 1960s successive governments had divided some regions for better administration.

He said the Government would ensure that the current revision of the four regions fell in line with the tenets of Chapter Two, Article 4 and 5 of the 1992 Constitution that endorsed the review of the regions when needed.

Mr Botwe said the Ministry was only facilitating the process that might lead to a referendum after the gathering of petition from the affected regions.

He said the argument about cost was a fallacy that should not be entertained rather it was important to get the new region to better the conditions of the people and make them more productive in the Western North.

Mr Justice Stephen Brobbey, the Chairman of the Commission, said people from the other regions would be allowed within the three-day period to make their final contributions.

He said the last stage would allow anyone who had a case for or against the creation of the new regions to make it known to the Commission before the inquiry would finally close.

Source: Ghana News Agency