The President of the Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has urged the Chief and people of Mamprugu Traditional Area in the East Mamprusi District to massively vote for “YES” in an impending referendum for a North-East Region to be created out of the Northern Region.
Since the assumption of office by the Nana Addo led NPP government, the people of the Mamprugu Traditional area led by the Overlord Nayiri Mahami Abdulai Shiriga petitioned the government to create a North-East Region out of the Northern Region for an equally distribution of the national cake.
President Akufo-Addo addressing hundreds of people at the Nayiri’s Palace in Nalerigu Saturday said, the constitution says that 50% of all those who are registered and entitled to vote in the area affected have to turn out to vote on the date set by the Electoral Commission.
“50% of eligible registered voters from the area will have to turn out to vote a minimum and that minimum 80% must cast their votes for “YES” before the creation of the region can be a reality. So if indeed the people of the north-East region, the people of the Mamprugu want the North-East region, “Kokromoti”, it is the thumb that will decide so, and I’m very hopeful and expecting that we will get a massive “yes” vote in the North-East region. I think it will improve the quality of governance in our country and bring government closer to the people”.
President Akufo-Addo said, when he took over the realms of the country last year, there were demands from Chiefs and opinion leaders to create more regions to accelerate equitable development to every corner of the country, these demands through a petition according to the President came from four regions in the country including, Western Region, Eastern Region, Volta Region and the Northern Region.
“My duty after serving the petition was then to send them, to transmit them to the council of state for its advice. Apparently, the Council of State that it was necessary for me to establish a commission of enquiry to go into the demand and to see whether it is real and that there was the need. The commission of Brobbey was established and they reported back to me that indeed there was a substantial demand and need for the creation of 6 regions; Western-North out of the western region, Bong-East and Ahafo out of Brong-Ahafo, North-East and Savannah Regions out of the Northern Region and Oti region out of the Volta region.
With these recommendations, my duty is to notify the Electoral Commission so that the Electoral Commission can organize referenda to determine whether the people of these supposed regions really support the idea. Well on Thursday before I left for my tour in the three Northern regions, I wrote a letter to the Electoral Commission asking them to organize a referenda according to the recommendations of the Brobbey Commission of enquiry. My hope is that the Electoral Commission will organize the referenda this year so that by Christmas the North-East region will become a reality, and I will begin the New Year which especially is going to be in place including the North-East region… But I have done my work, the rest is up to you…”.
President Akuof-Addo reiterated that, the creation of new regions is not a new phenomenon in the country, saying that, at the beginning of the last century in the colonial era Ghana had three regions, including the Northern territory, the Ashanti protectorate and the Gold Coast Crown colony.
“Just before independence, the Gold Coast crown Colony was divided into Eastern and Western region, and then in 1956 Trans-Volta Togo-land referendum was held to draw Trans-Volta Togo into the regions of Ghana, and each time these creations was in order to bring government closer to the people.
Before independence we had five regions and shortly after independence the Brong-Ahafo region was created by Kwame Nkrumah CPP government out of Ashanti, and then in 1960 the Central region was created out of the Western region and then subsequently the Greater Accra region was created out of the Eastern region, then the beginning of the government of the PNDC under his excellency Jerry John Rawlings, the Upper East and Upper West regions were created to bring the numbers to 10.
We are now 30 years later hopefully going to add 6 more so that we have 16 in the country. There is nothing unusual about this, it goes in line with development and the population growth in our country so I support the idea very strongly, but as I said, my support is not enough, I need your thumb to support the idea and if as i hope and expect, the referendum gets a massive “yes” vote, I will have the pleasure of taking out my green note and signing the paper that will bring the North-East region and the other regions into being”.
The President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo noted that, the creation of the North-East Region is taking place at a very good time when there is total peace in the Mamprugu traditional area, adding that, for the first time in many years there is complete peace in the Mamprugu area.
“The conflicts in Mamprugu have come to an end with the support of the Nayiri and his chiefs… there is now complete peace and calm in the Mamprugu area. So we want the same peace and calm all over Ghana, so that we can get on with the process of rapid social and economic development. 50 years after independence, we are not where we should be, the time has come for us to move to where we should be and under the Akufo-Addo’s government we are going to move right there but we need peace, we need calm”.
The Overlord Mamprugu Traditional Area, Nayiri Mahami Abdulai Shiriga thanked President Akufo-Addo for looking into their petition and subsequently approving it leading to the referenda.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Nayiri said, the creation of the North-East region will propel the area for a massive development, assuring that, the people of Mamprugu will vote massively in the referendum to ensure that the North-East Region is created.