Participants at a poorly attended public forum on the creation of a new region out of the Volta Region have kicked against the move stating that it will breed ethnocentrism.
They admonished the Justice Brobbey Commission to stop holding the consultative meetings because of the diversity of the region.
“The creation of the new region is ethnic driven” they warned.
The participants dared government to come clear on its ethnic agenda, if it claims development and job creation necessitates the intentions.
They argued that the 2017 and 2018 budget statements did not make any provision (allocation) of funds to the Volta Region.
A group calling itself Concerned Citizens of Volta held the commissioners spellbound when they sang war dirges and waved placards some which read: ‘No to a new region’, ‘Volta region is unique’, ‘chiefs of Volta arise, wake up from your slumber’, ‘Chiefs don’t allow to be used as scapegoats’ among others to demonstrate their displeasure.
They appealed to the people of the region to take cue from the Upper Region, when it was split into two but remained one of the poorest in the country.
The participants argued whether development is not getting to Ashanti Region, being the largest in the country, and if so it also ought to be split into two separate regions.
Surprisingly, the Paramount Chiefs of Lolobi and Likpe have denied signing a petition to join any new region to be created.
They made their position clear by stating that they would remain in the Volta Region and stressed, “The petitioners did so for their parochial interest.”
The participants also noted that Volta Region being microcosm of the country, altering it would be illogical and absurd.
“The government would be brewing trouble and conflict if it continued with its agenda to carve a niche out of the existing Volta Region.”
The NPP stage-managed public forum saw Nkonya and Alavanyo conflict featured prominently in the presentation of various groups such as Star Volta, SALL and Concerned Youths of Volta, who warned of possible chaos in future if a faction should join another region.
Others too pointed out that the cry for a new region would not bring any development since there is no Regional Common Fund (RCF) but rather District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), which they should have been crying for to spearhead their development needs.
Some of the participants noted that if a new region was created, people from Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi will become orphaned traditional areas if they should be made to join the proposed new region.
“If claiming creating a new region will bring development, then they are day dreaming; the petitioners are doing so for their parochial interest and agitating for ethnocentric issues that will brew conflict.”
Justice Stephen Allan Brobbey, Chairman of the Commission explained that this was the first time that the provisions of Article 5 of the 1992 Constitution on the creation, alteration of a region have been invoked and implored the people of the region as a duty to ensure that they chart a course that is ultimately in their best interest.
Dr. Obed Asamoah, Dr. Kwaku Adia, Prof. Dzigbordi Komla Dzimah, Star-Volta and Concerned Citizens of Volta presented papers to the Commission.
By Vandyck Asante, Ho