There is seeming tension among some chiefs of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe, also known as SALL, over the inclusion of the said areas in the newly created Oti Region.
Some chiefs from the enclave say they have never been part of efforts to petition the Presidency for the creation of the Oti Region, and thus they will adopt every legal means possible to resist their forceful inclusion in the new region.
The enclave which was originally under the Hohoe Municipality of the Volta Region has been left without an administrative district after they became part of the Oti region.
Nana Kekrebesi Obue Kumah II, Senior Divisional Chief, Lolobi-Kumasi, at a press conference disclosed that they in July 2019 held discussions with representation from all the four SALL traditional areas in the office of the Minister of Regional Reorganisation where they were tasked to decide on where the new district capital should be cited.
He said some of the chiefs currently kicking against their involvement in the Oti Region were present at the said meeting.
Nana Kekrebesi Obue Kumah II, therefore, called on his counterparts in the traditional areas to celebrate the creation of the Oti Region and make room for the proposed SALL district instead of fighting against it.
“We believe that due constitutional requirement has been met by the government in the creation of this new region. We should be celebrating our forebearers who initiated this region. We are pleading with the government to focus on its developmental agenda in bringing rapid development to her people. We urge that the laws of the country that preach peace to its citizens and advancement for all must be seen to be working. We also urge our brothers and sisters in the proposed SALL district to unite and embrace the opportunity offered to develop us rather than the confusion here and there.”
The Chiefs and people of the towns have protested their inclusion into the Oti Region arguing that they had not signed any of the petitions presented to the government for the creation of the region and therefore see no reason for their forceful inclusion.
While some areas within the Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi area are pleading with the government to create a new district for the area, a Chief of Lolobi, Nana Akoto Masakye III who spoke on behalf of the paramount chief of Lolobi, Nana Frititi said they want the government to allow them to be part of the Hohoe Municipality of the Volta Region.
Last September, the two traditional areas sued the Electoral Commission (EC) over what they termed as “unlawful deletion” of their areas from the Hohoe Municipality.
They argued that the EC had no power to create districts.
The chiefs also wanted the tribunal to restrain the EC from forcibly removing Lolobi and Akpafu traditional areas from the Hohoe Municipality.
They were, therefore, seeking a declaration that “the [Electoral Commission] has no power to create a district in Ghana.”
The chief's recent comments follow petitions he received from the chiefs of Lolobi and Akpafu in the Volta Region who have sworn never to join the new Oti Region.
We'll engage aggrieved Lolobi, Akpafu residents over Oti Region inclusion – Deputy Minister
The Deputy Oti Regional Minister, Maxwell Blagogee, had promised to engage residents of Lolobi and some parts of Akpafu who are fighting their inclusion in his region.
He was hopeful that the meeting will identify areas of remedy and find the way forward to the concerns raised by the indigenes.
He indicated although he believes the inclusion of the communities into the Oti region followed the due process through the referendum, it will only be fair to engage the aggrieved community.
“We have gone through the process by a referendum, the results came out, the law that established the region is in place and the Oti Region is in place. So, it is not as if somebody is taking them from Hohoe because there was a petition.”
“It is possible for individuals who will not be happy but I can say that the majority of them voted and the process went through. But we have met with them on the process leading to the creation of the Region and a new district for them. We have spoken to them and if they are still not happy we will still engage them.”