‘Creation of new regions not political’ - Dan Kwaku Botwe
The Minister of Regional Reorganization and Development, Dan Kwaku Botwe, has reiterated that the creation of new regions is a constitutional requirement and not political.
He has, therefore, appealed to those criticizing the process with political lenses to desist from that and make a fair and objective analysis of the process.
According to Article 5 (2) of the 1992 Constitution, “If the President, upon a petition being presented to him and, on the advice of the Council of State, is satisfied that there is substantial demand for –
(a) the creation of new region;
(b) the alteration of the boundaries of a region, whether or not the alteration involves the creation of a new region; or
(c) the merger of any two or more regions.
“He shall, acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State, appoint a commission of inquiry into the demand and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation, alteration or merger.
“It is true that the two major political parties (NPP and NDC) had the creation of the new regions in their manifestos; but that was based on the incessant request of the people themselves,” Mr Dan Botwe noted.
That however, does not preclude the need to follow constitutional processes. Hence, although it is in the manifesto, it behoves on the chiefs, opinion leaders and the people to make a demand for the president to form a commission of enquiry to commence work on the processes.
He said even though the president has the prerogative powers to effect the creation of a new region, he deemed it appropriate to follow the laid down procedures as stipulated in the 1992 Constitution of the republic.
Mr. Botwe was addressing a cross-section of district directors, members from the Information Service Department, the media, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and other stakeholders during a sensitization meeting in Ho in the Volta Region.
He disclosed that the meeting was to prepare the ground for the commission of enquiry, which would start its work in the region from 16th to 20th January, 2018.
The minister therefore, urged the participants, especially the media, to educate the public on the need to de-politicize the issues and rather freely present their views before the commission for redress.
The Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, called on all key stakeholders to intensify community education on the various processes involved in the creation of the new regions for the public to appreciate it.