Mr Dan Botwe, Minister for Regional Re-organisation and Development has hinted that the proposed creation of new regions out of the existing ones is not a government project but demand-driven.
‘Yes it was a manifesto promise during the campaign period but government on its own did not start the process although it has the powers to do so, so this exercise of creating new regions is purely based on request by petitioners from those regions’, he added.
Mr Botwe was speaking during a sensitisation workshop on the creation of Region out of the Western Region for the Media, NCCE staff as well as officers of the Information services Department to equip them with relevant information on the subject matter for better education of the public.
The 1992 constitution in chapter two, article 5(2) and 5 (3) respectively enjoins the president to either alter, merge or create an entirely new regions on demand by the citizenry or through his prerogative upon advice by the council of State and a commission of inquiry.
Therefore, the promulgation of the Constitutional Instrument (C.I 105), enabled the president to set up a nine member commission of inquiry to look into petitions received from the various traditional authorities and concerned citizens from four regions; Western, Brong Ahafo, Volta and Northern Regions and ascertain its merit subject to a referendum to authenticate the process.
The Minister for Regional Reorganisation and Development said the terms of reference for the Commission would be to inquire, pursuant to the petition, into the need and substantial demand for the creation of new regions and thereby the alteration of Western, Brong Ahafo, Northern and Volta Regions and make recommendations to the president based on its findings and specify issues to be determined by referendum and where referendum should be held.
The commission chaired by Justice S. A. Brobbey, a retired Supreme Court Judge would solely operate in accordance with article five of the constitution and the CI 105.
Already, according to the Minister, some petitioners have appeared before the commission to dilate on the subject adding, ‘We as a government are only helping to achieve the aspirations of the people, no mischief, and no political agenda and at the end of the day, the people will decide’.
The proposals from the petitioners, hearing by the Commission across the four regions in which petitions have been received is not an end in itself, but one key determinant that the people would decide in a referendum supervised by the Electoral Commission.