US based lawyer, Stephen Kwaku Asare has kicked against the government’s decision to create more regions in the country stating that there was no economic justification for the plan.Explaining his stance on the matter that has generated huge public interest, Professor Kwaku Asare said the process is strenuous and expensive.
“I am clearly against creating new regions because I don’t see the economic justification for that. Creating regions is very expensive.”
Speaking to Bernard Avle on Citi TV’s Point of View, he said the last time a region was created in Ghana was in 1982 as a result of a Presidential decree from Mr. John Rawlings and not through democratic means.
According to Professor Asare, the constitutional process of creating regions is full of hurdles that must be adhered to.
“Moreover there are important constitutional hurdles that must be cleared before you can create regions. In fact, the last time a region was created was in 1982. And there is a reason, it was created by a decree by President Rawlings. The constitution makes it more difficult to create regions than to amend an entrenched position.”
Professor Kwaku Asare explained that to establish the need to create a region, there should be ‘substantial demand’ at the national level.
He charged the authorities involved to find innovative means of making sure that the creation of new regions represents the interests of the entire country and not just a select few or those likely to benefit from its creation.
He suggested that the committee responsible for looking into the petition seeking for the creation of new regions should hire the services of the Ghana Statistical Service in researching to validate the necessity of the plan.
“Creating a region is one of those things that those who want the region see the benefit, but the cost is imposed on everyone. That is why the first thing you must do is to show that substantial demand for the creation of new regions. Substantial demand doesn’t mean go to where people want the region to be created. Rather, talk to the ordinary man in the street.”
“If Ghana had one billion cedis and that could be spent on creating six regions, or buying ambulances, or buying hospital beds or providing water for students or building toilets in schools which do you prefer, and then we can get a proper answer to this substantial demand question.”
According to Professor Asare, the cost of creating the new regions falls on every Ghanaian hence it was prudent for the committee to find out the best ways of utilizing the taxpayers’ money.
He described as “utterly predictable but laughable” the current structures in place by the Justice Brobbey commission aimed at creating the new regions.
Brobbey Commission’s role
Last month the Justice Brobbey Commission, set up by President Akufo-Addo presented its report to the President and recommended the creation of six new administrative regions in Ghana.
The new regions are to be known as Oti, Ahafo, Brong East, Western North, North East and Savanna.
New regions not for votes – Nana Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that his government’s resolve to create additional regions in the country is not for votes as some have suggested.
“There is no underlying political agenda in this thing. I am not doing it for votes,” the President said.
President Akufo-Addo made the remark when he spoke at a durbar of Chiefs and people of Adaklu in the Volta Region as part of his three-day tour of the region.
The Electoral Commission is expected to hold a referendum in the regions where 50 percent of the people in the affected areas have to vote in the referendum.
At least 80 percent of the votes cast should be in favor of the decision before the said region can be created.
By: Jude Mensa Duncan/citinewsroom.com/Ghana