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Gov’t must ensure ‘agitation free’ siting of new District capitals – Amon Kotei

A local government expert Nii Amon Kotei has urged government to initiate proactive steps to ensure there are no agitations when its time for the selection of district capitals for the newly created regions.

According to him, it should be expected that people will kick against the siting of capitals in specific towns which will create a lot of problems but government must be able to effectively deal with the situation when it arises.

“I know people will kick against why they did not place the capital in their area so that they can have a regional hospital etc, people always will want development around their area and this will create some sort of problems but the technical guys will have to go round and massage areas where people will agitate. Because come what may people will reject siting of capitals, people will right letters, others will demonstrate and do all sorts of things. If the technical team sites an area for a capital so be it, we are not going to vote on point c or point d, we just have to accept it and move on.”

He added; “Government should form a technical team who which will have to go down there to test the waters and see whether people will appreciate it or be against it, they’ll know how best to manage the situation. If we are not careful in fact  we are going to have people who will even go to court for not siting the capital in point A or point B but they’ll have to massage the grounds by talking to people and letting them appreciate why it must be here and not there so we move on as a people.”

All six of the proposed regions have provisionally met the constitutional threshold to become fully fledged legally recognized regions.

Ghana will now have sixteen regions instead of the ten regions before the referendum.

The new regions are Bone East, Savannah, Western North, North East, Ahafo and Oti Regions.

About two million voters cast their vote overwhelmingly for the creation of the six new regions in Thursday’s historic referendum.

The constitution requires that at least 50% of the electorate show up for the election out of which 80% must vote YES to have the region created.

The reorganisation of the regions is a demand by members of the Volta, Oti; Brong Ahafo, Ahafo and Bono East; Northern, Savannah and North East and Western Regions, Western North, mostly aligned by article 5 of the 1992 constitution which imposed strict requirement on the creation of new regions, alteration of boundaries or the merger of two or more regions.

On August 15, 2017, the Council of State advised President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to appoint a Commission of Enquiry to look into the need to create six regions and make recommendations on all factors involved in the creation of the regions.

The commission, chaired by a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice S. A. Brobbey, was established pursuant to Article 5 of the 1992 Constitution and CI 105 and commenced work on November 21, 2017.

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