New Regions Commission Begins Sitting

The Omanhene of Sefwi Anhwiaso (3rd left) flanked by some other petitioners and traditional rulers at the meeting

The Commission of Enquiry established by President Akufo-Addo to look into the petitions calling for the creation of new regions out of some of the existing ones began its first formal meeting yesterday with seven petitioners from the Western Region who are pressing for the creation of the Western North Region.

The closed door meeting between the petitioners and the Commission was held at the Osu Castle in Accra.

The leader of the petitioners, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II, Omanhene of Sefwi Anhwiaso Traditional Area and President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, addressing the media shortly after the introductory session of the meeting – before going into camera – said that the formation of the Western North Region was strategic for good governance and economic development.

Suaman, Sefwi Anhwiaso, Sefwi Wiawso, Aaowin, Wassa Akronpong, Sefwi Bekwai and Sefwi Cherano traditional areas are the seven petitioners represented by their respective rulers.

They are all unanimously pushing for the new region to be created to allow for the promotion of economic development and good governance.

Asked how they felt about the progress that was being made by the Akufo-Addo government to finalize work on the creation of the proposed Western North Region, the Omanhene told the media that “to this stage we are really excited.”

He underscored, “We are very, very happy and we know we are going to convince the commissioners that there is a need for the state to create a Western North out of the present Western Region for development and to bring governance to the doorsteps of the people.”

According to him, “It’s about governance, it’s about participation. So when we have the region, we have regional minister who can be reached within one hour, two hours, then it means you can ask many people to see him, he can see us any time and secondly development.”

The traditional ruler wasn’t happy that it was taking residents of Sefwi Wiaso, Wassa Akropong and others close to eight hours to reach the current regional capital, Takoradi, due to the vastness of the region – a development he claimed was not conducive for promoting development across the region.

The current situation, he said, was denying thousands of residents in the seven traditional areas the opportunity to participate in the governance of the state in line with their constitutional rights.

The move to create new regions is in fulfillment of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) campaign promise to carve new regions out of the Brong-Ahafo, Western, Northern and Volta Regions.

Five more petitions are awaiting the attention of the Justice Alan Brobbey Commission on the carving out of possibly six new regions.

Petitioners from the Volta Region are billed to appear before the commission today, November 22, to also make their case; and they will be followed by petitioners from the Brong-Ahafo Region on November 23, after which the commission would have a break and return on November 28 to meet other petitioners from the Brong-Ahafo Region.

The petitioners are expected to justify to the commission behind closed door why they think new regions should be carved out of the existing 10 regions of Ghana.

Chairman of the commission, Justice Alan Brobbey, in a brief remark at the opening session, said the purpose of the meetings was to afford the commission the opportunity to hear at first-hand from persons who have submitted petitions for the creation of regions.

“After the conclusion of the hearings in Accra, the commission will move to the regions for further consultations with petitioners and members of the public who may wish to make presentations on the creation of regions on dates to be announced later to the public,” he said.

By Melvin Tarlue