The Minister for Regional Reorganisation and Development, Mr Dan Botwe, has asked Ghanaians to disabuse their minds of rumours making the rounds that the government was sponsoring people to demand for the separation of some regions in the country.
He said ‘’the government has not spent any money on any campaign” and further added that it was not government’s business to ask people to vote yes for the split of any region during the referendum.
He indicated that the work of the Commission of Enquiry on the regional reorganisation was not a done deal as it would have to go through a referendum and would need the approval of the majority of the people before it could be carried through.
As such, he said, it would be erroneous on the part of any political party or ethnic group to assume that the government had already demarcated the regions and already chosen their capitals.
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Mr Botwe made these remarks at a meeting with the press in Kumasi after leading the Commission of Enquiry to brief the National House of Chiefs on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. He was accompanied by his deputy, Mr Martin Adjei Mensah Korsah.
Explaining the rationale for the setting up of the commission, he said even though the creation of the new regions was contained in the manifesto of the New Patriotic Party, the constitution also gave the President the right to do so if he deemed it fit.
That notwithstanding, he said, there were some constitutional requirements that must be met before such new regions could be created.
According to him, this was not the first time new regions were being created in the country and traced the country’s history to pre-independence era when there were just three administrative regions in the country and in 1957 when the country had five administrative regions and were later reorganised into 10 in 1983 with the Upper West Region being the last to be created.
According to the minister, the government had held consultative meetings with all the petitioners whose demands for new regions formed the basis for the setting up of the commission and also engaged the regional Houses of Chiefs in all the affected regions.
He said the commission’s works were coming to an end and based on its recommendations, there would be a referendum in the affected regions to adopt the proposals.
According to him, if the demands of the petitioners were carried through at the referendum, the country might have six new regions.
However, he pointed out that for any proposal to be adopted, there must be at least 50 per cent voter turnout in the affected regions and 80 per cent of the votes cast must be in favour of the proposal.