The Commission of Enquiry set up by President Akufo-Addo to examine petitions on the possible creation of new regions has started its work in the Brong Ahafo Regional Capital, Sunyani with a media engagement.
The region presented two petitions to the commission for the creation of the Bono East Region and Ahafo Region, out of the current Brong Ahafo Region.
The Ahafo Council of Chiefs is championing the creation of the Ahafo Region, whilst their counterparts, the Coalition of Bono East Chiefs, are rooting for the Bono East Region.
The engagement, according to the Commission, is to equip media practitioners in the region with the requisite knowledge and information as educators and actors of information sharing and dissemination to the masses, to enable the Commission to successfully execute and implement their mandate.
The programme brought together media Practitioners from print and electronic, Municipal/District Directors of the Information Services Department (MDIOs), Commentators of ISD and staff of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) across the region.
Addressing the programme, Minister for Regional Re-organization and Development, Daniel Kweku Botwe, assured of government’s resolve to be guided by the provisions of the 1992 constitution, and will therefore not interfere with the process and the work of the Commission.
“They applied for it, and they have to spend their own money to educate their people and galvanize support for the referendum. All they need is 50% turnout to vote, and 80% YES from the voters. Government is not going to spend one pesewa in printing a poster or anything”, he emphasized.
He however explained that, government was fully prepared to provide the necessary logistics and assistance to the Electoral Commission to advertise the issues and voter education purposes, and warned government officials to desist from actively participating and campaigning to community members.
The Minister tasked staff of ISD and NCCE to put their vast knowledge and skills in community sensitization at the disposal of the Commission for a successful implementation of their mandate.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh in his welcome address, tasked petitioners of the proposed two regions to demonstrate their commitment and willingness to have their regions by turning out massively to vote in favour when the date of the referendum is set.
He observed that the bottom line was progress and development of the area, and therefore appealed to the media practitioners to preach the positives that the creation of additional regions will bring to the communities.
Participants at an open forum asked varied questions ranging from cost, commitment of government, legal processes governing the creation of the regions, and challenges confronting the exercise among others.
By: Mashoud Kombat/citifmonline.com