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Politics of Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Source: Daniel Kaku

Western North Region: It can't weaken electoral fortunes of opposition parties - NDC

The creation of Western North Region ostensibly to spread development in Western Region, and enhance local governance cannot weaken opposition political parties.

This is according to National Democratic Congress (NDC) which has over the years enjoyed massive support in the area since 1992.

The party believes the development of the new Region would rather improve administrative governance structures and catapult the cocoa growing area to connect with the rest of the country in terms of development.

The motive for the creation of the new Region has not been made very clear to people with very little knowledge about local governance in the Region, but proponents of the idea from the political divide have maintained that development obviously informed the decision.

Daniel Kweku Botwe, Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development who facilitated the process of partitioning selected Regions in the country, and visited the Western Region on several occasions to engage stakeholders, rather attributed the decision to create the Western North Region to the appeal made by the people.

He said the people were those calling for it despite knowing very well that this was contained in the manifesto of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) before the 2016 elections that gave birth to the current government.

Responding to the implications of the new Region on chances of opposition political parties including NDC, Western Regional Communications Officer of the party, Richard Kirk Mensah said " NDC is very strong in the Western North, much more stronger than in 2016".

He said because the creation of the Region was a shared responsibility devoid of partisan inclination, the NDC was rather motivated to spread its tentacles to win more souls ahead of 2020.

"We will win all seats and reclaim the Akontombra one" he said whilst confirming dominance of the party in the area.

He described the process and outcome of the referendum that got the Western North an autonomous status as a Region as free, fair and transparent "It was fair" he said.

Richard Kirk Mensah said the party supported the campaign to get an overwhelming endorsement for the new Region "We supported it" he reiterated.

Kirk Mensah rather credited former Western Regional Minister, Paul Evans Aidoo who has passed through the various ranks in local governance as the man who started the advocacy.

The former Minister used his experience as a former Unit Committee Member, An Assembly Member, District Chief Executive, Member of Parliament for Sefwi-Wiaso, and subsequently Regional Minister to get the local people to buy into the idea.

Eventually, he said the referendum was overwhelmingly supported and the outcome showed how the people were desperately yearning for an opportunity to vote in favour of the partitioning of the Western Region.

The NDC Communications Officer said "Just creation of the Region will not bring development" unless the party in government is committed in doing that for the people.

Richard Kirk Mensah noted that the NDC as a political party has the hallmark of pushing infrastructural development to the area and so will come back to government in 2020 and bring development to the Western North.

President John Dramani Mahama who was in the new Region on 5th January 2019 to campaign as an aspiring flag bearer ahead of the party's presidential primaries had signalled that, his next government would pay attention to Western North development.

He was emphatically clear that despite creating Western North Region, the current administration being led by President Akufo-Addo was incapable of providing the area with the right development framework as the NDC did in the past for the area.