General News of Saturday, 7 October 2017
The proposed creation of new regions in the country rests largely on the inhabitants of the areas who have submitted petitions and made demands for their creation, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said.
He said he had done his part as per the dictates of the Constitution, and forwarded every petition received to the Council of State for advice, and that the people in the stated areas would have to justify their demand for the new regions.
President Akufo-Addo said this when he paid a courtesy call on the overlord of Mamprugu, the Nayiri, Naa Bohogu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga, at the commencement of his 3-day tour of the Northern Region.
He told the Nayiri and his subjects that the Council of State has received his request for their advice, adding that their response wer positive.
“They agreed that there was a demand for the creation of new regions from the Western Region, Northern Region, Brong Ahafo Region and Volta Region.
“The Constitution states that once the Council of State has given a positive response to the President, the President would have to establish a Commission of Enquiry to go into the areas which have requested the creation to see whether, indeed, there is a substantial demand,” he said.
To this end, the President said he would establish a Commission of Enquiry next week, to examine the petitions for the creation of the regions.
“When the Commission of Enquiry comes into your areas, it is up to you to make it clear to the Commissioners that all of you want a new region,” the President told the Nayiri.
President Akufo-Addo said if the Commission of Enquiry, after examining the areas, decides that there is, indeed, a substantial demand, they will make recommendations to the President.
“If the President receives the recommendations and they are positive, he will send the matter to the Electoral Commission to organise a referendum in the areas of the demand. It will require that 50 percent of all those registered in the area of the demand come out to vote, and, after that, 80 percent of those who come out to vote must vote ‘Yes’ for the new region,” he said.
“If you are determined to have the new region, it is in your hands. The way you respond to the Commission of Enquiry and the way you vote, that is what will decide if you will have a new region,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He assured the Nayiri and the people of Mamprugu that “I am in full support of your demands. I believe that the demand you are making for a new region is a good demand and should be supported. But they say ‘God helps those who help themselves’, so it is in your hands. If you want it you can have it.”