The Government is not instigating the demand for the creation of new regions in the country, Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, the Chairman of the Coalition of Bono East Chiefs spearheading the carving out of the Bono East Region, has said.
He has, therefore, appealed to the chiefs and people in the 24 paramountcies who signed the petition for the proposed creation of the region, home and abroad, to support the campaign to its logical conclusion.
Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi made the appeal at a public hearing on the proposed creation of the Bono East Region on Monday at Techiman in the Brong-Ahafo Region. It was organised by the Commission and attended by more than 1,000 people drawn from Techiman, Jema, Kintampo, Bassa, Atebubu, Tuobodom and Kintampo.
The Justice Stephen Allan Brobbey Commission of Inquiry looking into the creation of the new regions is in the Brong-Ahafo Region for a public hearing on the Constitutional processes.
Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi said soon the coalition would start a vigorous campaign on the referendum process and it would require financial assistance from corporate institutions and well-to-do citizens to be able to reach out to voters at the grassroots.He said until the people understood the importance of the referendum, voter turnout would be minimal and that could consequently affect the expected outcome of the exercise.
Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, cautioned the chiefs and people in the proposed Bono East corridor to guard against voting apathy in their quest for a new region.He said from all indications it was clear that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would accept recommendations from the Justice Brobbey Commission of Inquiry.
Mr Asomah-Cheremeh said the people need to come out in their numbers to participate in the referendum so that the constitutional 50 per cent turnout and 80 per cent required voter turnout would be achieved.
He observed with concern the low participation in local level elections in the Region and told the people that until the required number of votes was attained, the proposed Bono East Region could not be created. He said the onus rested on the Coalition of the Bono East Chiefs to sensitise eligible voters on the constitutional processes to be able to achieve the stipulated percentage of voter turnout.
Justice Brobbey, a retired Supreme Court Judge, said the Commission was impressed with the participation of the people in the creation of the Region. He said though the Commission had received a petition from the Coalition of the Bono East Chiefs, there was the need for it to listen to the views of the people.
Justice Brobbey advised the people to guard against tendencies that could create division, which would negatively affect the referendum. Oseadeeyo Akumfi Ameyaw IV, the Paramount Chief of Techiman Traditional Area, said the creation of the region was necessary as it would facilitate rapid socio-economic development.
He said it had been the desire of the people for the creation of the new region and commended President Akufo-Addo for that decision.