The Akpafu and Lolobi Traditional Areas, have petitioned the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Mensa, distancing themselves from a petition purported to have endorsedthe creation of new region out of the Volta Region.
The new petition is to correct an erroneous impression being created in the media that the two Areas, support an earlier petition by the Paramount Chief of Krachi Traditional Area, Nana Mprah Benemuna, together with other chiefs from eight districts in the northern part of the Volta Region, for the creation of the Oti Region.
The petitioners say since the proposal to create the new region last year, no formal invitation has come to them to take part in the deliberations, adding Akpafu and Lolobi have not, be it present or past, petitioned to be part of the said region.
“The Akpafu and Lolobi Traditional Areas want to put on record that, they have never petitioned to be part of the new Oti Region neither in 1992 to the PNDC government nor in 2017 to the Justice Brobbey Commission”.
Since they played no role or did not endorse the said petition asking for a new region, the two Traditional Areas say, deciding to have the said region, should be left at the doorsteps of those communities and indigenes that petitioned the government for it creation,while those who stayed out are left alone.
…..That voting to decide whether or not Oti Region will be created should be limited to the traditional areas who petitioned for a separate region and to areas which have shown interest in joining the proposed region. Akpafu and Lolobi should be left alone to remain within the Hohoe Municipal Assembly where they feel very comfortable with tribal relations.
They further argued that, the 1992 Constitution does not allow political parties, regions, districts and other groupings to be created based on tribal and ethnicity; “Conspicuously, these four Traditional Areas (the only GUANS in Hohoe Municipality) were isolated and subsequently forced into the proposed SALL electoral area created by the Electoral Commission and placed under Oti Region.
According to the two Traditional Areas, they are concerned about news reports that they have been included in an electoral area created by the EC without priorconsultation. The Petitioners said they have noticed their electoral areas are also already being prepared for limited registration in the forthcoming referendum on the creation of the proposed region.
The Paramount Chiefs of Akpafu and Lolobi Traditional Areas, and their respective Divisional Chiefs argued they have neither participated in any meeting nor sanctioned or signed any petition for or against the creation of any new region.
“We the Mawus or Siwu speaking people (The Akpafu and Lolobi Traditional Areas) after a lot of consultations with the ordinary citizenry home and abroad, Town Hall meetings, technical reports, have arrived at the decision to reject any association with the petitioners to join any new region to be called Oti.
The decision by the Akufo-Addo government to create six (6) new regions out of the current ten (10), has been met with fiercest resistance from some groups and individuals who say it is a misplaced priority. The new regions are to be known as Oti, Ahafo, Brong, East, Western, North East and Savanna.
Already, a pressure group,Strategic Thinkers Network Africa (STRANET) and one individualhave headed to the Supreme Court, challenging government’s plans to go ahead with this campaign promise.
STRANETdragged the Electoral Commission and the Attorney General to the Supreme Court over the yet-to-be-created six additional regions in Ghana.
The group is seeking an injunction on the referendum process to be held in beneficiary communities.
But the STRANET wants the Supreme Court to declare as null and void the EC’s plan to limit the referendum to only registered voters in the yet to be created regions.
The group, also wants a declaration that the impending limited voter registration exercise in the beneficiary areas “is arbitrary, whimsical and capricious, and violates Articles 45(a) and 296 of the 1992 Constitution and therefore unconstitutional.”
They also want an order directing the Electoral Commission “not to conduct the referendum limited to only the places so recommended.”
“An interlocutory injunction order directed at the 2nd Defendant from going ahead with the limited registration exercise in only the proposed new regions until the determination of this matter,” the group added in its writ.
EC, has set December 27, 2018, for the referendum on the creation of the new regions.
The Commission is expected to embark on a series of activities including the registration of new and continuous voters, the exhibition of the voters’ register, as well as processes for the transfer of votes and or the grant of proxy votes.
But some critics say the creation of the new regions makes no economic sense.
US based lawyer, Stephen Kwaku Asare, has kicked against the new regions, insisting that there was no economic justification for the plan.
Explaining his stance on the matter that has generated huge public interest, Professor KwakuAsare said the process is strenuous and expensive.
“I am clearly against creating new regions because I don’t see the economic justification for that. Creating regions is very expensive.”
Below is the full petition from the Akpafu and Lolobi Traditional Areas……