Volta youth protest against creation of new region

BY: Tim Dzamboe
Mr Simon Kofi Ohene (left) presenting the petition to Mr Felix Chaaha
Mr Simon Kofi Ohene (left) presenting the petition to Mr Felix Chaaha

A group of people calling themselves the Coalition of Volta Youths yesterday staged a protest through the principal streets of Ho against the intended creation of a new region out of the Volta Region.

Carrying placards with inscriptions such as: “Divide and rule tactics”, “We can build Volta Region together”, “Volta is not for sale”, “Give back our lands and river”, “Division is no guarantee for development”, “This is pure ethnic division” and “Be bold, Volta chiefs”, the protesters marched through some streets in Ho amid drumming, singing and dancing.

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At the end of the march, the leader of the group, Mr Simon Kofi Ohene, presented a petition to the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC).

It was received by the Chief Director of the council, Mr Felix Chaaha, on behalf of the Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa.

The petition was signed by 140 members of the group.


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Petition

Reading out the contents of the petition before presenting it, Mr Ohene said the creation of new regions and districts continuously fragmented the country along ethnic and tribal lines which did not promote harmony.

He explained that creating regions and districts along tribal and ethnic lines was contrary to the letter and spirit of articles 35 (2) and 35 (5) of the 1992 Constitution.

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“We the Coalition of Volta Youths demand a concrete and unequivocal action from our Volta chiefs within 14 days of receipt of this petition. For this will restore harmony, peace and tranquillity and cohesion that existed since time immemorial,” the petition said.

Decentralisation

It said if the central government truly pursued and implemented decentralisation as envisaged, the economic and social benefits would be better felt by the people, instead of creating more regions and districts.

It also called on the Commission of Enquiry to review carefully and dispassionately the pros and cons of creating new regions so as not to go down the slippery road as a country.

The petition suggested that the public hearing and referendum on the creation of the Oti Region by redefining the boundaries of the Volta Region must be extended to cover other parts of the Volta Region.

Any attempt to impose the alterations based on the current petition being considered by the commission, on the people, it said, would be resisted through legitimate means.