By Alfred Adams
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has underscored the need for traditional authorities to protect the peaceful co-existence and unity they share among themselves, emphasising that the call for the creation of new regions should not give room to jeopardise the unity already being enjoyed among ethnic groups.
Speaking at a meeting with the traditional authorities, the President further stressed: “The separation shouldn’t mean we should sever relations with others. The unity of our country is a first requirement.”
He continued: “We want to continue with the unity among all the different groups in Ghana.” Nana Akufo-Addo gave the admonition at separate meetings held with the chiefs and people of the Amenfi West, Amenfi East, Amenfi Central and Aowin districts during his three-day tour of the Western Region.
Following a petition to the Commission of Enquiry on the creation of new regions to carve a Western North out of the Western Region, a series of consultations and public hearings had been held with traditional authorities, opinion, and religious leaders to collate views that either support or object to the split.
Expressing optimism on the need to split the Western Region into two, President Akufo-Addo told the chiefs that the feedback taken from the various consultations and arguments advanced by petitioners for the creation of a new region were very convincing. But the final decision would be determined by the Justice Brobbey-led Commission of Enquiry.
“I am sure they will make their recommendations available by end of this month. By far, what I have learnt on the media is indicative that the recommendation would be that a referendum should be held.”
The President said his government had initiated the constitutional processes in realising the dreams of the people (petitioners) in pushing for the splitting of the region, adding that until all the constitutional provisions were exhausted, there was little he could do to enforce the creation of the new regions.
“I have done all that is possible within my power to initiate the process, it is left with you to affirm the action by voting during the referendum. If it is true that you want the Western North Region, you will get it. No two ways about that,” the President assured.
Meanwhile, as part of his three-day tour of the region, the President launched the 2018 Agriculture Census in Sefwi Wiawso. The census is to collect data on the agricultural sector to inform the government on the formulation of strategies and policies.
Speaking at the launch, the President said at the time when there had been dramatic changes in the structure and content of Ghana’s agriculture, policies had largely been based on guess work.
“It is no wonder that this period witnessed the systematic decline of our agriculture. We cannot afford such neglect again,” he said.
It was his fervent wish and hope that the 2018 Ghana Census of Agriculture would be the beginning of a new cycle of a 10-year census. The census would be a collaborative effort between the Ghana Statistical Service and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, with technical support from the Food and Agriculture Organisation.
It would collate, process and disseminate information on the nature and structure of availability of agricultural and social services in agricultural communities, and constraints for development in those communities, the better to guide effective policy making.
In that regard, the President appealed to the public to give the field personnel the needed support in the discharge of their work. That apart, religious leaders and traditional rulers and opinion leaders should assist in the publicity campaign.