Prof George Owusu, Professor at the Institute of Social, Statistical and Economic Research, ISSER, University of Ghana has been nominated by President Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo as a member of the Commission of Enquiry set up to begin the process of collating views for the creation of new regions from the Brong Ahafo, Western, Northern and Volta Regions.
The nine-member Commission has Justice SA Brobbey, a retired Supreme Court judge, as its Chairman.
Members of the Commission are Dr Grace Bediako, a former government statistician; Prof George Owusu, Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER); Maulvi Mohammed Bin- Sale, Ameer, Missionary in-charge of Ahmadiyya Mulsim Mission in Ghana; Prof Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa, former Vice Chancellor of the KNUST and Ms Gladys Cillian Naadu, a local governance expert.
The rest are Mr Robert Ajene, retired Director of Education; Dr David Wellington Essaw, Senior Research Fellow, University of Cape Coast; and Ms Josephine Hughes, a legal practitioner.
The attempt to create new regions is in fulfillment of the New Patriotic Party’s campaign promise to carve new regions out of the four regions.
In line with the Constitution, the Council of State had unanimously informed the President that there was a substantial demand for the creation of new regions, and therefore advised him to appoint a Commission of Enquiry “to inquire into the need, and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation of the new regions.”
President Akufo-Addo, while inaugurating the Commission on Thursday, 19th October, 2017 at the Flagstaff House said the creation of new administrative regions is purely demand-driven and an area of common cause shared by the two major political parties.
“There exists significant evidence that the demand for the creation of the new regions was not made to me alone, but also to other political leaders. It is instructive to note that in the course of the 2016 campaign of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the main opposition party, the party pledged to facilitate the creation of five new regions had the party been successful at the 2016 elections.
“In the course of the 2016 campaign, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), now ruling party also pledged the creation of four regions. This clearly demonstrates that there is a unity of minds of the two major parties on the need for the creation of new administrative regions.
“…Indeed, one of the issues that came to the fore during the discussions at the meeting I held here at the Flagstaff House with my predecessors, the three former Presidents of the Republic – Their Excellencies Jerry John Ralwings, John Agyekum Kufuor and John Dramani Mahama – was the substantial demands for the creation of new regions. The issue was discussed at length.
“Since I assumed office, many traditional authorities, civil society organisations and responsible citizens have also voiced their support for the creation of new regions.”
The commission is billed to tour the Volta, Western, Northern and the Brong Ahafo Regions, “to inquire into the need and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation of the new regions.”
The matter will then be referred to the Electoral Commission for a referendum to be held according to the recommendations of the Commission.