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General News of Saturday, 14 July 2018

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Oti Region: I have done my part; decision now in your hands - Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on the chiefs and people in the northern enclave of the Volta Region to work towards a successful outcome of the referendum on the creation of their much-desired Oti Region next year.

He said his constitutional role in the process of creating a new region was duly executed thus the next stage of the process solely lay within the purview of the affected people to make the Oti Region a reality by a referendum as recommended by the Justice Brobbey Commission of Enquiry into the creation of new regions.

Addressing a durbar at Dambai in the Krachi East municipality as part of his three-day tour of the Volta Region last Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo mentioned that meeting the constitutional threshold at the referendum was crucial to the creation of the proposed Oti Region and urged the people to mobilise themselves for the exercise.

He said the Constitution wanted to make sure the demand for creation of a region was backed by popular support, and so it states that 50 per cent of all registered voters in the affected areas would have come out on the day of the referendum to vote and they must produce at least 80 per cent in support of the demand for the region before it can come into effect.

The President, who declared his support for the new region because of its potential to expedite the socio-economic development of the area, noted that the decision rested on the people to tell the world whether their demand for the region was a genuine one or not.

We’re ready

The Paramount Chief of the Krachi Traditional Area, Nana Mprah Besemuna III, who spoke on behalf of the chiefs and people of all the eight municipalities and districts in the Oti enclave, praised the President for his swift reaction to their petition.

He said the singular act of the President triggering the constitutional processes to look into their demand and the subsequent positive recommendations of the commission in that regard was the greatest achievement in the history of their age-old quest for a separate region since independence.

The Krachiwura, who also chairs the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) for the proposed Oti Region, stated that the movement had hit the ground to garner the requisite support for the referendum .

“We want to assure you that our people are prepared and ready to work with the government and the Electoral Commission to ensure a successful referendum that marks the final stage of the creation of the Oti Region. Our people are ready to retain resounding 100 per cent Yes votes on the referendum day.”

He added that the coming into existence of the new region would deepen decentralisation with its related governance services, including the injection of more resources for accelerated development which the area had been deprived of for so many years even though it abounded in natural resources.

Rousing reception

The President and his entourage were given a rousing welcome in the Oti enclave, with enthusiastic residents and students lining the streets up with placards expressing appreciation for setting the process for them to realise their aspiration for a new region to be created.