B/A House Of Chiefs Welcome Commission Of Enquiry On Creation Of New Regions
The Commission of Enquiry for the Creation of New Regions, on Monday, met with petitioners from Brong Ahafo region.
The nine-member Commission of Enquiry, led by retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Stephen Allan Brobbey, is to seek the views of opinion leaders and other stakeholders in the Bron Ahafo region on the proposed split.
Mr. Justice Stephen Allan Brobbey, Chairman of the Commission, said in his remarks that as had been the case in previous hearings, the Commission would hear first-hand from the petitioners and seek to understand the background to their petition.
He said the exercise of creating a region, under Article 5 of the 1992 constitution, was demand-driven; “and so we have a duty to listen to you(petitioners), the people who have made the demand”.
There is, therefore, a duty on all of us to ensure that we chart a course, which is ultimately in the best interest of our people,” said Mr. Justice Brobbey.
The commission late had an in-camera session with the paramount chiefs and their queen mothers in the region.
They were briefed on the constitutional provisions surrounding the proposed split, and the role traditional leaders must play in the process.
Mr. Justice Brobbey said the present hearings were being done in camera, “to create a congenial atmosphere for our chiefs and elders, who form the bulk of the petitioners, to feel free to give information”.
According to Sunyani based radio Ahomka 90.5FM source, the region presented two petitions to the commission for the creation of the Bono East Region and Ahafo Region, out of the current Brong Ahafo Region.
The Ahafo Council of Chiefs is championing the creation of the Ahafo Region, whilst their counterparts, the Coalition of Bono East Chiefs, are rooting for the Bono East Region.
President of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs and Paramount Chief of Yeji, Nana Pemapem Yaw Kabrese V, in his address said "We the chiefs and people of Brong Ahafo region were much delighted when we heard that president of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo was going to create additional regions in the country in fulfillment of NPP manifesto of 2016 general elections".
He said the creation of the two regions out of the existing one will bring numerous benefits to the citizenry in the regions.
"These new regions apart from employment opportunities and its associated developments could be easily administered as well" he added.
"The people in the region are actually yearning for the creation of two new regions carved out of the existing Brong Ahafo region".
The Minister for Regional Re-organization and Development, Daniel Kweku Botwe, the Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development, Dan Botwe, who only explains constitutional provisions surrounding the proposed creations, but leaves the process to the Commission, said “the proposed creation of regions, even though was highlighted by the then-candidate Akufo Addo ahead of the 2016 general elections, is an action triggered by petitioners from the regions involved, who are acting on Article 5 clause 2 of the 1992 constitution.”
They applied for it, and they have to spend their own money to educate their people and galvanize support for the referendum. All they need is 50% turnout to vote, and 80% YES from the voters. Government is not going to spend one pesewa in printing a poster or anything”, he emphasized.
He, however, explained that government was fully prepared to provide the necessary logistics and assistance to the Electoral Commission to advertise the issues and voter education purposes, and warned government officials to desist from actively participating and campaigning to community members.
Meanwhile, the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh in his welcome address said there has been, since the 1980s, several proposals from chiefs and people in the regions who have since been petitioning the government to create the new regions.
He urged people in the region especially petitioners of the proposed two regions to demonstrate their commitment and willingness to have their regions by turning out massively to vote in favour when the date of the referendum is set.