Dan Botwe (middle) addressing the participants
The Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development, Dan Botwe, has explained that the creation of new regions is not an arbitrary imposition on the people by the government.
Processes are currently ongoing to create new regions out of some existing ones to help enhance economic opportunities as well as promote effective governance.
Meanwhile, some Ghanaians have claimed that the creation of the new regions is something the government was imposing on the people as part of efforts to fulfill a campaign promise by the ruling party.
However, explaining the issues at Sekondi yesterday, Mr Botwe stated that the initiative by the current government is a constitutional requirement.
He added that some of the agitations for the creation of new regions date back 30 years ago.
“When the then candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was campaigning in 2008 and 2012, he received lots of verbal petitions from the chiefs who wanted new regions in their areas, but unfortunately, he could not win to initiate the processes,” he asserted.
He maintained that the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) then decided to include the creation of the new regions in its manifesto in the 2016 electioneering campaign.
“So when the NPP won the 2016 elections, the president took steps to fulfill the demand for the creation of four new regions and therefore created the new ministry to oversee and implement the demands of the affected people,” he explained.
Mr Botwe was speaking at a day’s sensitization programme on the creation of the regions organized by his ministry for staff of the Information Services Department, National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) and the media at Sekondi in the Western Region.
“There is a petition from Western Region; there is one petition to create another region in the Volta Region, then there are two petitions from Brong-Ahafo Region and there are two from Northern Region,” he revealed.
He noted that after reference to the Council of State and advice thereof, a nine-member commission of inquiry was formed to undertake consultations with chiefs and other stakeholders.
He pointed out that the consultations were to determine matters relating to naming and creation of boundaries in line with provisions in the Constitution.
He added that the Commission is headed by a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, S.A. Brobbey.
He pointed out that a referendum to create more regions in the country would take place by the middle of 2018.
He indicated that in the consultative process, about 50 per cent of the people who are affected by the decision would have to come out to vote. “When the 50 per cent come out to vote, 80 per cent of them must approve the demand of the creation of the region,” he underscored.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Sekondi