General News of Tuesday, 23 October 2018
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on factions opposing the creation of the proposed Oti Region from the Volta Region, particularly chiefs, to do so with prudence, and not accuse government of seeking political or tribal divide.
The President noted that the process, in other parts of the country had been met with little or no foul cries, and expressed “dismay at the deliberate peddling of falsehood that has characterised the concerted campaign against the possible creation of Oti out of the Volta Region.”
The President said this in a speech read on his behalf by Mr John Peter Amewu, Minister for Energy at the grand durbar of the 2018 Agotime Kente Festival of the chiefs and people of Agotime Kpetoe at Kpetoe in the Agotime Ziofe District of the Volta Region.
He referenced the 1956 Plebiscite, and the recent Scottish referendum to back the poll limits of the upcoming referendum on the new regions, and assured of his government’s “strict” adherence to the Constitution throughout the whole process.
“I wish to plead with our esteemed chiefs, in particular, to be circumspect in the choice of language as they pursue their arguments. These are new territories for all of us, and the Constitutional requirement to create a new region is as high as has ever been demanded.
“For the avoidance of doubt let me state clearly that this exercise is not an NPP NDC exercise, indeed both NPP and NDC agreed on it. It is not an Akan versus Ewe exercise. We are sticking scrupulously to the dictates of the Constitution,” he said.
He asked the people to consider the economic transformation the split would bring to the new regions, and also to always keep in mind the bond of common destiny.
“Whatever the outcome, we shall remain one nation, Ghana, with an intrinsically bound destiny, and we should never forget that,” he said.
Meanwhile, Togbe Afede XIV, Agbogbomefia of Asogli and President of the National House of Chiefs addressing the Association of Ewe Chiefs in Ho, 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 for participation in the referendum in the creation of new regions.
He 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”
Togbe Afede chastised the Commission of Inquiry into the creation of new regions for not doing a good job, saying, 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,” he 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.
The festival was on the theme: “Attitudinal Change, the Panacea for our Future Development,” and attracted tourists from across the globe.
President Akufo-Addo underscored the need to explore the dynamics of the kente weaving art and advised the weavers not to take the profession for granted.