General News of Monday, 29 October 2018
Former Attorney-General, Dr Obed Asamoah, has taken his support for the creation of the proposed Oti Region to another level by educating all those opposing the move, particularly Togbe Afede, the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State.
According to Dr Asamoah, calls by Togbe Afede and others to include all the people in the region in the referendum for the creation of the proposed Oti Region from the Volta Region were unconstitutional.
He said agitation by persons outside the proposed Oti Region to be included in the referendum to determine the fate of the people in the affected area was grossly misconceived because the 1992 Constitution does not support their calls.
The astute politician said the arguments against the Oti Region were unfortunate, adding that “he is forced under the circumstances to rescue the debate against Oti Region from ignorance, pettiness, selfishness and vilification.”
To begin with, he said the requests by those in the southern part of the Volta Region to be included in the referendum were against the appropriate clauses of the 1992 Constitution.
Referring to Articles 4 and 5, Dr Asamoah explained that it was only the Commission of Inquiry that could determine the issues regarding the referendum such as who to vote, basis for the creation, among others.
The former minister therefore advised Togbe Afede, whom he described as an eminent chief, not to give room for people to associate him with “such fallacies because he should know better.
Togbe Afede is reported to have described the work of the Commission of Enquiry on the new regions as shoddy and biased against the views of the south.
Togbe Afede said the creation of Oti Region and other new regions involve the alteration of existing boundaries and therefore asked stakeholders to ensure the referendum covers other parts of the affected regions.
He went to the extent of describing as “disingenuous and dangerous” examples cited by President Akufo-Addo of Scotland, Eritrea, South Sudan and Trans-Volta Togoland to support the referendum to be held only in areas calling for the new regions.
“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 in Scotland, Eritrea, South Sudan, Trans-Volta Togoland, etc?”Togbe Afede queried.
Speaking to DAILY GUIDE at his residence at Likpe, Dr. Asamoah reiterated that “the claims were legal nonsense because except where specifically required by national or international law, the people’s consent is not a prerequisite.”
He said not all citizens of Gold Coast voted in the plebiscite to include British Togoland in the independent Gold Coast in 1956, adding that “similarly, the creation of Volta Region was not done with the consent of even the people in the region and so argument for inclusion in the referendum to decide the demarcation of Oti has no basis.”
Leave Nana Addo Out
Dr. Asamoah revealed that the call for the creation of Oti Region predates the NPP and the NDC since it started from 1954.
Similar petitions were forwarded to the appropriate quarters in 1970, 1996, 2003, and in 2017 after both NDC and NPP promised to look into the request based on merit.
To this end, he cautioned all and sundry to leave President Akufo-Addo out of the matter and allow the law to take its course.
“The NPP government is only a post master in the matter and has to relay the Commission of Inquiry’s recommendations to the Electoral Commission (EC) for implementation.”
He said that “there is a silent majority in the area who have united under the Concerned Citizens of Santrofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe (SALL) and would vote massively in favour of the Oti Region to shame detractors.”