The Minister of Regional Reorganisation and Development, Mr Dan Kwaku Botwe, has asked the chiefs and people of the six new regions not to allow the selection of the regional capitals to take the shine off the core objectives that were advanced for the creation of the regions.
He stated that while it was the democratic right of chiefs of the various traditional areas to lobby for the siting of the regional capitals in their respective areas, such agitations should give way for unity of purpose, which were exhibited before the referendum, for the successful implementation of the development of the new regions.
Mr Botwe gave the advice during separate meetings with chiefs, municipal, and district chief executives (MDCEs) of the Bono East and Ahafo areas in Sunyani to brief them about the latest developments after the December 27, 2018 referendum held to create the new regions.
He stated that on Tuesday, the President would hold separate meetings with the chiefs and people of the Savanah and the North East areas being carved out of the Northern Region at the Jubilee House, during which the Constitutional Instruments (CIs) for the creation of the two regions would be issued to provide the enabling effect of the results of the December 27, 2018 referendum.
The chiefs and people of the Bono East and the Ahafo enclaves, carved out of the Brong Ahafo Region, would take their turn on Wednesday (February 13, 2019) at the Jubilee House for the same purpose.
Mr Botwe explained that the chiefs and people of the Western North and the Oti areas of the Western and Volta regions, respectively, would, also, separately meet the President at the Jubilee House on Friday, February 15, 2019 for the issuance of the CIs for the creation of the two regions.
According to him, the regional capitals of the six new regions would be part of the CIs which would be issued to conclude the processes for their creation.
“No matter what happens, we will get regional capitals for the new six regions,” he stated, and expressed concern about the unhealthy agitation and lobbying for the siting of the capitals.
Mr Botwe reminded all that efforts made by the chiefs and people for the creation of the new region were geared towards the development of the areas and bringing governance to the doorsteps of the people and not for the development of any particular town.
“Every part of the new regions will be developed,” he said, explaining that the government would focus on the development of the new regions.
“There will be an affirmative action. There will be a deliberate action by the government to make sure that they will get the accelerated development that they sought for,” he stated, and charged the chiefs and people of the new regions to let those objectives be their focus.
Mr Botwe disclosed that a high-powered ministerial committee, set up by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on January 4, 2019 for the formulation of an action plan on the short to medium-term development plan of the six new regions, had already submitted its report.
He explained that the old order where development projects were concentrated in the regional capitals would not be repeated in the new six regions.
According to Mr Botwe, there would be a deliberate action to ensure that some decentralised departments were located at the various geographical areas to send governance to the doorsteps of people.
The Omanhene of the Yeji Traditional Area, Pimampim Yaw Kagbrese, who spoke on behalf of the chiefs and people of Bono East, thanked the President for working tirelessly for the creation of the new regions.
He advised chiefs and people in the new six regions to accept the government’s decision for the selection of the regional capitals and forge ahead for the socio-economic development of the areas.
The Omanhene of the Ntotroso Traditional Area, Barima Twereko Ampem, who spoke on behalf of the chiefs and people of the Ahafo area, said the people were extremely grateful to the government for its efforts to make their dream of having an administrative region a reality.