…Reveals Reasons For Additional Regions
President Nana Akufo-Addo, has exposed his own charade in the creation of new regions from the exiting ten regions by revealing, his mind is already made up on the outcome of the Justice S.A. Brobbey’s 9-member consultative processes going on across the country.
According to the President, the creation of additional regions, is not politically motivated, but rather it is to ensure the effective administration of the country, implying that the work by the Justice S.A. Brobbey Commission in terms of human and financial resources are in reality, a waste of scarce national resources.
Interestingly, many development experts continue to question the President’s wisdom, that division brings development.
But addressing a group of Kokomba chiefs at the Flagstaff House on Monday, Akufo-Addo, said at independence, Ghana had just about five regions, however, the number was increased to 10 in the wisdom of the then government to enhance the effective management and distribution of the resources of the country, adding that it is for the same reason that his administration has decided to add up to the existing number.
Already, the Minister for Regional Reorganisation and Development, Dan Kwaku Botwe, last week Thursday, told Parliament that an amount of GH¢3,888,970, had been budgeted for the ministry toward the creation of at least four new regions out of the Western, Volta, Brong-Ahafo and Northern Regions in 2018.
He said, in 2017, GH¢1 million was given to his ministry for its sensitization workshops, as well as goods and services, out of which GH¢773,250 had been dispensed, further confirming that the government’s mind is made up, despite protests from certain quarters.
The Kokomba chiefs were at the Flagstaff House, to appeal to the president to create a new region out of the current Northern region to be known as the Northeast region.
Their request they said was purely based on the large land space of the region which poses administrative challenges, hence their demand for a region called ‘North-Eastern region’.
They were of the opinion that, the creation of the Northeast Region, will go a long way to improve the lot of the people of the region.
They were led by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Saboba, Charles Bintim, who said the creation of this particular region, would inure to the benefit of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
In his response, President Akufo-Addo, promised to forward their request to the Council of State, since the process has already begun for the creation of four regions.
He claimed “the process is not a political one” and that “I am not seeking advantage for the NPP in the process of creating regions; that’s not what I’m doing.”
Instead, he said “I’m doing it because I think it will improve the governance of our country; it will bring greater coherence to the various areas that are subject to the regions, make governance easier, more direct and therefore enhancing the quality of governance across the country.”
The President explained, “But that is not the motivation; the motivation is to improve the governance of our country”
He, however, had course to express reservation about the lateness in the submission of the petition.
“I’m somehow surprised that you’ve heard about these events; almost from the first time that I came to this house, I indicated that this is something I wanted to do and also indicated that there are procedures involved”, was how he put it.
He pointed out, “it doesn’t involve just me; there are others who the Constitution of Ghana, has fixed responsibility for in the process of creating regions.”
Nana emphasized, “I’m surprised that having sat down and watched all that is going, important political figures like Charles Bintim, Lipkalimor and the others who are here, that you had to wait till this day when everything is starting for you to jump on the ship.”
The 9-Member Commission, which is chaired by Justice S.A. Brobbey, a retired Supreme Court Judge, includes; Dr. Grace Bediako, former Government Statistician; Maulvi Mohammed Bin-Salih, Ameer of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana, Prof. Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa, former Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Technology (KNUST) and Ms. Gladys Tetteh, a local governance expert.
The rest are Mr. Robert Ajene, a retired Director of Education; Dr David Wellington Essaw, a senior research fellow of the University of Cape Coast; Prof. George Owusu, Director for the Centre for Urban Management Studies of the University of Ghana and Ms. Josephine Hughes, a legal practitioner.
At the inaugural ceremony at the Flagstaff House in Accra, President Akufo-Addo, tasked the Commission to execute their constitutional duty, without fear or favour.
Ahead of the inauguration, a bosom from of President Akufo-Addo, businessman and tradition ruler, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, Omanhene of Juaben, who chairs the Council of State said, members of his outfit had unanimously agreed on the establishment of the new regions, after studying the petitions which were forwarded to the Council.
The Council has, therefore, advised President Akufo-Addo, to appoint a Commission of Enquiry “to inquire.