Creation of new regions not from government — Dan Botwe
The Minister of Regional Reorganisation and Development, Mr Dan Kwaku Botwe, has explained that the demand for the creation of six additional regions is coming from the chiefs and people of the said proposed areas and not the government. The government is therefore not interested in leading the campaign for the creation of those proposed regions from where petitions were received by the President and have been submitted for consideration by the commission.
He further explained that it was a constitutional process that had been triggered by the chiefs and people and the President was strictly following the constitutional provisions to meet their demand.
“Therefore, the demand for the creation of new regions is not a political project as it is being perceived; moreover the government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) did not say it would create six regions. It is the request of the chiefs and people, and the President is following the due process. We must not let it end in confusion and conflict,” he stated.
Mr Botwe, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Okere Constituency in the Eastern Region, was speaking at a sensitisation workshop organised by the Ministry of Regional Reorganisation and Development to the media, personnel of the Information Service Department (ISD) and staff of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in the Northern Region in Tamale last Wednesday.
The Commission of Enquiry on the creation of the new regions will be in the Northern Region from Monday, March 12, to Tuesday, March 20, 2018, and will meet with the Regional House of Chiefs and conduct public hearing in the Gonja and the Mamprugu traditional areas where petitions have been received for the creation of new regions.
The sensitisation workshop is to enable the participants to educate the public on the constitutional processes for the creation of the new regions and the role of the Commission of Enquiry.
Creation of regions not based on ethnicity
Mr Botwe, who took the participants through the various constitutional provisions and other relevant issues on the creation of the new regions, stated further that the project was not about creating ethnic regions as it was being perceived or speculated in certain quarters but rather for administrative purposes to help speed up the development of the entire country.
“This exercise is not about the creation of ethnic regions and it is not to reduce or enhance one’s traditional heads,” he stated.
He also debunked the assertion that the siting and naming of the regional capitals of the proposed regions would be from the President but rather it would be based on the recommendation of the Commission of Enquiry on the creation of the new regions.
Mr Botwe, in his presentation, traced the creation of new regions to historical antecedents dating as far back as 1898 from the Gold Coast to date, saying the demand for the creation of the new regions was not new and it was also in consonance with the relevant provisions in the 1992 Constitution.
He stated that painstaking consultations had taken place and called on all and sundry to support the work of the Commission of Enquiry
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Saeed, said the creation of the two new regions out of the existing region would among other things facilitate development.