Politics of Wednesday, 25 February 2015
The chiefs and people of Manya Krobo in the Eastern Region say they will take to the street on Tuesday March 3, 2015 to defend the sanctity of the 1992 Constitution if the Electoral Commission (EC) goes ahead to hold the upcoming assembly elections at Akuse-Natriku under the Shai Osudoku District in the Greater Accra Region instead of Lower Manya Krobo in the Eastern region.
The aggrieved traditional leaders and their people say the protest is also to draw public and national attention to the EC’s “blatant disregard” for the authority and rulings of the Supreme Court regarding a border dispute between Shai Osudoku and Lower Manya.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Spokesperson for Kloma Gbi, Hilary Saki Kodji said: “We won’t watch the EC perpetrate this illegality, not when it is against the Constitution of the land and runs contrary to the judgments obtained from the Supreme Court with respect to the location of the Natriku electoral area”.
“If our numerous petitions to the President and the relevant institutions on this issue won’t work, our planned peaceful but aggressive protest march should tell the authorities and the whole nation that the Krobos are fed up with the emerging state of lawlessness”.
According to the group, prior to the nationwide assembly elections in 2010, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development initiated an electoral area re-demarcation exercise that ended up changing the boundaries of the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality.
In the said exercise, seven electoral areas, it noted, which were originally part of the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality of the Eastern Region namely Zongo New Town, Akutue, Osorkutu, Bungalow, Natriku, Amedeka and Salon – were illegally aligned to the Shai Osudoku District in the Greater Accra Region, creating a constitutional issue which went to the Supreme Court.
According to Kloma Gbi, the Legislative Instrument (LI 1983) initiated by the Ministry and passed by Parliament to give legal backing to the re-demarcation exercise was declared null and void by a unanimous decision of a nine-member panel of the Supreme Court on June 13, 2012.
It added that in a letter from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development dated March 14, 2013 and signed by the then Minister, Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, clearance was sought for the EC to hold the assembly election which was suspended in 2010. The letter specifically mentioned the 7 electoral areas that form the Akuse Township including Natriku.
The EC, however, held the elections, but excluded Natriku. Presently the EC is preparing to conduct the upcoming assembly elections at Natriku but under the Shai Osudoku District instead of Lower Manya, an act which the group says runs contrary to the provisions in Article 5 of the Constitution and the 2012 judgment of the Supreme Court.
Kloma Gbi said the chiefs and people have, therefore, resolved to protest the breach of the constitution as well as what they describe as the disregard for the authority and rulings of the Supreme Court, since appeals and petitions to the authorities are yielding no result.