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Opinions Sun, 23 Apr 2017

President Akufu-Addo and the creation of Ahafo Region

By Nana Yaw Osei (Padigo), Minnesota, USA

The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufu-Addo has disclosed that plans are underway to split Brong Ahafo Region.

“The President Nana Akufo-Addo says the processes leading up to the creation of the Ahafo region would be completed within 18 months” (Source: myjoyonline.com, April 20, 2017).

The source went further to quote the President as saying: “The time for the creation of the Ahafo region is due. I promise you that within the next 18 months, the opportunity is going to be given for you to have the Ahafo region.”

First, let me congratulate you Mr. President on your vision and wisdom to divide Brong Ahafo Region. This will definitely speed up development in the area. However, my problem is the name “Ahafo” Region.

Brong Ahafo with its regional administrative capital of impressive architecture, Sunyani was born in 1959. It is made up of 27 administrative districts. Out of the 27 districts, eight (8) are municipal assemblies.

The total number of districts and municipalities in the region are as follows: Asunafo North Municipal, Asunafo South District, Asutifi north District, Asutifi South District, Atebubu-Amantin District, Banda District, Berekum Municipal, Dormaa East District, Dormaa Municipal, Dormaa West District, Jaman North District, Jaman South District, Kintampo North Municipal, Kintampo South District, Nkoranza North District, Nkoranza South Municipal, Pru District, Sene District, Sene West District, Sunyani Municipal, Sunyani West District, Tain District, Tano North District, Tano South District, Techiman Municipal, Techiman North District and Wenchi Municipal Assembly.

The Brongs (Bono) and Ahafos are the predominant inhabitants of Brong Ahafo region. People of northern descent are also part of the region. Apart from Asunafo North Municipal, Asunafo South District, Asutifi North District, Asutifi South District, Tano North District and Tono South District which are mostly dominated by the Ahafo people and Pru and Banda districts mostly northerners, the remaining 19 district and municipal assemblies are mostly dominated by the Brongs.

Thus, the creation of Ahafo region is not practical. The geography of the area does not support the creation of Ahafo Region. Inasmuch as I support the division of the aforementioned region, the name Ahafo region is an affront to national integration. I think Brong Ahafo West Region (BAW) with its Capital at Sunyani and Brong Ahafo East Region (BAE) with its capital at Techiman will be very appropriate.

Looking at the geography of the foregoing region, it will be impossible to separate Brong Cities of Sunyani, Berekum, Dormaa Ahenkro and their surrounding towns from the proposed Ahafo Region. Adding Sunyani, Berekum and Dormaa Ahenkro to Ahafo towns like Bechem, Goaso, Mim, Kukuom, Hwediem, and the rest and call it Ahafo Region will be very offensive. The imperative need to re-examine the wisdom behind the passage of the avoidance of discrimination act (ADA) by President Nkrumah must be prioritized when considering important issues like the creation of the new administrative regions to ease bureaucratic bottleneck. The ADA must not be limited to formation of political parties, but also creation of new provinces.

Eastern Region for example is a melting pot of diverse cultures and tribes. The Krobos, Asantes, Akyims, Akuapims, Kwahus and the Akwamus forming one region is very impressive for diversity and national integration. Another good example is western region comprising, the Sefwi, Ahanta, Wassa, Nzima and Aowin.

Ashanti Region is very unique in terms of its traditional centralized monarchical administration and its geography.

Apart from Ashanti region, the remaining provinces with acephalous traditional political systems like Brong Ahafo Region where Dormaa King is not above Nkoranza King or Northern Region where Yagbonwura (king of Gonjaland) is not above Yana (King Of the Mole-Dagbani: Dagomba, Nanumba and Mamprusi) must be merged to foster cultural diversity and national cohesion. Mr. President, Ahafo Region is not appropriate for the proposed new province to be carved out of Brong Ahafo Region. God Bless Our Homeland Ghana.

N_yawosei@hotmail.com

Columnist: Nana Yaw Osei (Padigo), Minnesota, USA