I agree with Mr. Paul Collins (PC) Appiah-Ofori, the retired New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament for Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, in the Central Region, that too many regions have been created in the country (See “PC Appiah-Ofori Slams Akufo-Addo Over Brong-Ahafo Split” Modernghana.com 5/9/19). However, I beg to vehemently disagree with the noted anti-corruption campaigner, in view of the fact that contrary to what Mr. Appiah-Ofori would have his audiences believe, the decision to create an additional six regions, on top of the hitherto ten administrative regions in the country, was done well after much expert deliberation on the matter. In other words, it was not arbitrarily done in the infamously political – or divide-and-conquer – manner that was done by then-President Kwame Nkrumah, when the then Western-Asante Region, latter renamed the Brong-Ahafo Region, was cynically and strategically carved out of the Asante Federation with the sole purpose of significantly weakening the power and political influence and reach of the Asantehene, or the Supreme Overlord of the Asante Federation.
Indeed, if he genuinely had any axe to grind, as it were, once the deliberate and systematic process of creating more regions had been set in motion, especially vis-à-vis the splitting of the former Brong-Ahafo Region into three much smaller components, Mr. Appiah-Ofori could have democratically voiced his quite respectable and influential opinion like every other Ghanaian citizen. Waiting for the complete stoppage or cessation of the torrential downpour before rather regressively presuming to collect a barrel-full of rainfall, without having installed a scupper at the edge or on the eaves of one’s corrugated roofing sheets, does great disservice to the otherwise salutary discourse on our national development efforts. You see, the issue at stake here is not merely the splitting of the erstwhile Brong-Ahafo Region into three administrative regions; it is about the equal access of these regions to the available resources of the country, of whose access the rather relatively too far-flung Brong-Ahafo Region had not been able to effectively access.
Having three regions in place of the former single and awkwardly large or barely governable Brong-Ahafo Region means that instead of being unfairly allocated one budgetary resource, now the same land space has three budgetary resources. Now, if by the lights of the practical logic of the democratic redistribution of our national resources, being ceded three budgetary resources instead of one, the erstwhile Brong-Ahafo is not potentially better off today than it was before, then it seismically beats my imagination precisely what Mr. Appiah-Ofori is looking at. The same case can be made for the former Northern Region, whose residents had been bitterly complaining about having been too far removed from any viable nodal centers of the equitable distribution of our national resources ever since anybody can remember. Today, the residents of the former Northern Region have had their wishes fulfilled in the practically savvy splitting of the hitherto geographically largest region in the country into the Savannah, Northern and North-East regions.
As for the question of whether or not, the splitting of the Brong-Ahafo Region into Ahafo, Brong (Bono) and Brong-East regions will necessarily bring development to these three new regions is decidedly well beside the point. You see, development is far more about governance strategy, and progressively so, than the mere demarcation or re-demarcation of new boundaries. Indeed, pretty much the same argument could be made of the fact that the 20 years of Provisional/National Democratic Congress’ rule over ten regions did not bring any significant material development to Ghana. I must, however, note that hearing the politically and ideologically passionate voice of Mr. Appiah-Ofori within the critical context of our national development discourse and agenda was quite refreshing, to speak much less about the decidedly fantastic.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
May 24, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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