Information Minister-designate Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has reiterated that the NPP government will still go ahead and create the six regions promised Ghanaians during the 2016 elections to bring the total of regions in Ghana to sixteen (16).
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah made the statement during a press briefing on Sunday, September 30 in response to speculations that the move was politically motivated. He said the creation of the new regions was motivated by petition and not tribalism and ethnocentricity as has been speculated.
‘’ The process of creating new regions continues unabated and we expect a referendum to that effect to take place within the affected districts and that referendum we expect to take place in the last quarter of this year as part of the activates towards the creating of the new regions’’ he said.
The Electoral Commission is expected to hold a referendum in the regions where 50 per cent of the people in the affected areas have to vote in the referendum.
At least 80 per cent of the votes cast should be in favour of the decision before the said region can be created.
The creation of six new regions is a campaign promise by the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government. In accordance with Article 5(2) of the Constitution, the President appointed a commission of enquiry to enquire into the demand and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation and alteration of the new regions.
The Commission of Enquiry tasked to analyze petitions for the creation of additional regions submitted its report to the President in June 2018. The committee proposed the creation of six new regions. Some critics have however argued that the new regions are merely to score political points.
But President Akufo-Addo rejected such assertions.
“I don’t know how the people in this region are going to vote. That because they have their region it means automatically they are going to vote for Akufo-Addo? Why is that the case? There are plenty of reasons why they don’t vote for me, why would there be a vote difference if this region is created? There is no political agenda in this matter, and there is no attempt to create ethnic antagonisms or passions in this exercise. It is meant to try to improve the governance of our people,” he added.
Whilst on a trip in the US, the President was confronted by a Ghanaian resident accusing him of using the creation of new regions as an opportunity for land grabbing.