General News of Friday, 21 December 2018
Minister for Regional Reorganisation and Development, Daniel Kweku Botwe has said government was confident of peaceful referendums for the creation of the proposed six new regions in the country.
He said government had done enough sensitization for peaceful referendums, especially in the Oti enclave of the Volta region.
The Minister said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a STAR-Ghana/Ghana Journalists Association panel discussion on the creation of new regions.
The panel discussion dubbed,” We the people” was the first in series of STAR-Ghana/ Ghana Journalists Association “Enhanced Media-CSOs partnerships for Inclusive Local Governance.”
Mr Botwe said his Ministry held several engagements with stakeholders and encouraged them to respect the views and rights of others before, during and after the exercises.
He said government had ensured a fair playing ground for all parties and debunked reports of intimidation against some people.
“…a lot is happening on the ground. It is interesting to see people from different political parties working together in committees, so Ghana will be winner after everything,” the Minister said.
Dr. Kwesi Jonah, a Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), said calls for new regions arose because the country failed to pursue a “balanced development” with goods, services and infrastructure concentrated in the national and regional capitals.
He urged officials of the Electoral Commission and security services to act professionally for peaceful referendums.
Dr. Jonah also called on traditional rulers and opinion leaders in the affected areas to ensure that the polls were peaceful.
The referendum for the creation of Oti region out of the Volta region is scheduled for Thursday, December 27, 2018.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people, natives and non-natives are massing up in the Oti enclave with “yes” and “no” campaigns, a few days to vote.
Health walks, community durbars and house-to-house engagements are regular activities of the campaign.