Commission can’t exclude regions to be altered from voting – Afede

By A.B. Kafui Kanyi, GNA    

Ho, Oct. 21, GNA – Togbe Afede XIV,
Agbogbomefia of Asogli and President of the National House of Chiefs has said
the Commission of inquiry into the creation of new regions had no power to
exclude natives of regions which would be altered from voting in the
referendum.

He said though the Commission was mandated to
advise the President on what to be done, its recommendation ought to be in tune
with guidelines in the 1992 Constitution.

Togbe Afede who was addressing a delegation of
the Association of Ewe Chiefs said the Constitution specified clearly decisions
that required referendum such as the creation of regions, alteration of
boundaries of regions and merger of regions and that once the boundaries of
Volta Region and other regions earmarked for the creation of new regions would
be affected, all natives of those regions were to partake in the referendum.

He said it was not only disingenuous, but
dangerous to cite “wrong examples” of Scotland, Eritrea, South Sudan, Trans
Volta Togoland, and other distinct territories or countries in disregard to the
1992 Constitution.

Togbe Afede said “the use of these examples is
creating a dangerous precedent, with implications for the survival of our
country. Will Ghana allow any part of the country to vote alone to decide their
independence, as was done for Scotland, Eritrea, South Sudan, Trans Volta
Togoland, etc”

He said people had deferent desires and
opinions hence the need to use the Constitution “to weed the path through our
diverse and conflicting desires and opinions.”

Togbe Afede said framers of the Constitution
were conscious of the fact that certain situations may arose not clearly
covered under the law, like the carving out of land for the creation of a new
capital city, which would be of interest to all citizens and not only regions
whose boundaries would be altered.

He chastised the Commission for not doing a
good job and that it disregarded calls to extend hearing to other parts of
affected regions, failed to specify issues to be determined by the referendum
and the places, creating controversies.

“…the Commission was in haste to create new
regions, but failed to do a thorough job, that would include specifying the
issues to be determined. The concentration of its public hearings on the areas
from which petitions were received, against all logic, betrayed an obsession to
help fulfil a campaign promise,” Togbe Afede stated.

He therefore reiterated the call on government
to ensure that due process was followed in the creation of new regions for
peace, unity and development.

Togbe Dzogbede V, President of the Association
of Ewe Chiefs said they were not happy about issues relating to the creation of
new regions and appealed to government to listen to all sides of the debate and
follow due process.

GNA

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