Focus must be on regions, not capitals

BY: Daily Graphic
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Add
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Add

By Friday six new regions — Oti, Bono East, Western North, Ahafo, Savannah and North East — will be added to the existing regions of the country, bringing the new total to 16.

That means the country’s geographers will have to revise their notes to include the six new regions carved out from existing regions through the Ministry of Regional Reorganisation and Development, as well as their capitals.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, yesterday, Tuesday, February 12, 2019, did not only begin a rewrite of Ghana’s geography but also made history by publicly presenting Constitutional Instruments (CIs) to give effect to the creation of two of the six new regions.

The first two regions to receive their CIs were the North East (CI 116) and the Savannah (CI 115), which also had their capitals announced by the President at the Jubilee House, amidst some excitement among chiefs and leaders from the new regions who were present to witness the historic event.

Incidentally, it is the selection of the new capitals that has brought about some worries, petitions and even demonstrations in certain quarters, as some people had their preferred choices for the capitals.

The Daily Graphic, however, believes that while it may be exciting to have one’s preferred town chosen as the capital of a new region, the purpose for which the new regions were created will be defeated if the focus of the bold step taken by the Akufo-Addo government is placed on the towns that become the capitals.

We believe that the emphasis should rather be placed on the best ways the newly created regions will receive the needed resources to fast-track development to be at par with the other 10 regions.

We, therefore, urge all sections mooting for particular towns to stay united and resolve to contribute their quota to the development of the new regions.

The government, which, in its wisdom, decided to facilitate the creation of the new regions, in the face of numerous obstacles, should be trusted with the selection of the towns best suited to be the capitals.

The President has already announced the allocation of GH¢20 million for each of the newly created regions towards their development and has also pledged his commitment to ensure that the development of the new regions is met.

He should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Presenting CI 116 to representatives of the North East Region, President Akufo-Addo called for a unified front to ensure that the region became one of the best in the country, saying “that government projects and structures will be equitably shared across the region”.

"The government will make sure the desire for growth and progress, which is the underlining reason for the voting for the creation of the North East Region, is met,” he added.

The Daily Graphic reiterates the fact that as the Bono East and the Ahafo regions receive their CIs today and the Western North and the Oti regions take their turn on Friday, the focus must be on the growth and progress of the regions, instead of which towns are chosen as their capitals.

Meanwhile, we urge the people of Nalerigu, the capital of the 11th region, North East, and Damongo, the capital of the 12th region, Savannah, to work hard to make the towns befitting capitals and do well not to betray the confidence reposed in them by the President.

They should also ensure that all districts in those regions benefit equally from development projects.