General News of Wednesday, 7 November 2018
The Minority in Parliament has accused government of shrouding in secrecy the report of the Justice Brobbey Commission on Inquiry on the creation of new regions.
They have tasked government to make public content of the report to enable Parliament work on the conduct of the proposed referendum for the creation of the proposed new regions.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo received a petition for the creation of new regions from some chiefs in the Volta Region upon assumption of office as president in 2017.
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Following the petition, the President in consultation with the Council of Elders constituted the Justice Brobbey Commission to look into the matter and advise on the way forward.
After the Commission’s inquiry into the creation of the new regions, the Electoral Commission Ghana has been tasked to hold a referendum for people in the concerned areas to vote.
It is on the back of this that the Minority is making the call for the report of the Justice Brobbey Commission to be made available to all.
Addressing the media in Accra on Wednesday November 7, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said it has been five months since the Commission presented its report to government but it has still not been made public, neither has a copy been brought to Parliament.
“The Constitutional Instrument for the conduct of the referendum leading to the creation of the proposed new regions has been laid before Parliament to mature in 21 sitting days in accordance with Article 11 of the Constitution.
“In short, Parliament is being asked to conduct a surgical operation in the dark, because to understand and appreciate the constitutional instrument the basis will be the report, the findings and its content,” he said.
The Minority stated that it is inappropriate on the part of government to deny Parliament and the general public access to the Commission’s report.
“Its content, however, has been shrouded in so much secrecy that even Parliament as a coequal branch of government has been officially denied access to the report. So, we demand that government publishes the full report of the Justice Brobbery Commission of Inquiry and the copy made available to the Parliament of Ghana.”
The Minority also charged President Akufo-Addo to keep faith with his promise for transparent and accountable governance, and make the report public.
According to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs, making the Justice Brobbey Commission report public will serve as a benchmark on which similar matter will be modeled in future for the constitutional development of the country.
“We demand transparency; we demand that the report be published. It is in the interest of good governance, openness, truthfulness and that the report of the Commission of Inquiry be made public to enable the nation verify that the constitutional instrument before Parliament is truly reflective of the content of the Commission’s report and its recommendation.
“Again, making the Justice Brobbey Commission report public will help shed light on the scope of the referendum. What is the scope…as to who is entitled to vote, we need to know. What name we need to give a region, we need to know. There should be nothing secret about a report of this nature and we demand full disclosure in the public interest.”
The Minority, however, stated that members are in no way against the creation of new regions, as evident in the NDC’s 2016 manifesto.
“Many of you know what our pledge to the people of Ghana was with [former] President [John] Mahama on the matter of the creation of new regions to the people of Ghana,” Haruna Iddrisu stated.