The creation of the proposed new regions in the country largely rest on the affected communities who submitted petitions and made demands to the Presidency for it, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
The Constitution stipulates that, once the President receives a petition for the creation of a region, he must forward it to the Council of State for advice.
According to the President, “the Council of State received my request and their advice was positive. They agreed that there was a demand for the creation of new regions from the Western Region, Northern Region, Brong Ahafo Region and Volta Region,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “The Constitution states that once the Council of State has given a positive response to the President, the President would have to establish a Commission of Enquiry to go into the areas which have requested the creation to see whether, indeed, there is a substantial demand.
“Next week I am going to establish a Commission of Enquiry to examine the petitions for the creation of the regions,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said this when he paid a courtesy call on the overlord of Mamprugu, the Nayiri, Naa Bohogu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga, at the commencement of his 3-day tour of the Northern Region.
The President told the Nayiri that “when the Commission of Enquiry comes into your areas, it is up to you to make it clear to the Commissioners that all of you want a new region.”
President Akufo-Addo explained further that if the Commission of Enquiry, after examining the areas, decides that there is, indeed, a substantial demand; they will make recommendations to the President.
“If the President receives the recommendations and they are positive, he will send the matter to the Electoral Commission to organise a referendum in the areas of the demand. It will require that 50% of all those registered in the area of the demand come out to vote, and, after that, 80% of those who come out to vote must vote ‘Yes’ for the new region,” he said.
This is the first time in the life of the 4th Republic that the procedure has been initiated.
“If you are determined to have the new region, it is in your hands. The way you respond to the Commission of Enquiry, and the way you vote, that is what will decide if you will have a new region,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He assured the Nayiri and the people of Mamprugu that “I am in full support of your demands. I believe that the demand you are making for a new region is a good demand and should be supported. But they say ‘God helps those who help themselves’, so it is in your hands. If you want it you can have it.”
Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)