Sefwi Excited Over New Region

The people of Sefwi Wiawso, Bibiani-Ahwiaso-Bekwai, Aowin, Suaman, Bia East and West Districts, all in the northern parts of the Western Region, have overwhelmingly backed the creation of the proposed Western North Region.

This was manifested by the impressive participation in public hearing of the Commission of Inquiry looking into the creation of the proposed Western North Region held in the northern parts of the region.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, upon the assumption of office in January, this year, received several petitions from people in the Western, Brong Ahafo, Northern and Volta Regions for the creation of additional regions.

This necessitated the activation of Article five of the 1992 constitution to begin the process.

Article 5 empowers the President to set up a Commission of Enquiry after the Council of State had established that there is a need for the creation and alterations of regions.

The nine-member commission, under the chairmanship of a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Stephen Allan Brobbey, has already started its work, beginning with meetings with the petitioners in Accra.

This was followed by in-camera meeting with the Western Regional House of Chiefs in Sekondi after which it commenced the public hearing to solicit views from the public to determine if there are enough grounds for the creation, merger or alteration of regions.

In Enchi in the Aowin District, the hearing was massively attended by people from all walks of life, majority of them wore “T” shirts with the inscription “Say Yes to Western North.”

Chiefs and the clergy took centre stage, stressing the need for the proposed region.

According to them, the area, which makes considerable contribution to the national kitty, boasts of eight forest reserves and produces a chunk of Ghana’s cocoa output, yet it is seemingly neglected when it comes to the distribution of the national cake.

Others indicated that the creation of the new region would inure to the benefit of the people, as more resources would be provided for the successful take-off of the new region to create jobs and boost the local economy.

The situation was not different at Adabokrom in the Bia District where people carried placards with inscriptions, “Western North is long overdue,” “Yes to Western North Region” and “We are ready for Western North Region.”

A former DCE for Bia, Benjamin Armah, who expressed the concerns of the petitioners, mentioned the unreasonable long distance from the area to Sekondi, the regional capital, due to poor roads.

According to him, some people in the area go through the Brong Ahafo to Ashanti to Central Regions before getting to the Western Region capital of Sekondi-Takoradi.

Other speakers also gave various compelling reasons for the creation of the Western North Region such as the lack of infrastructural facilities.

As a result, many public and civil servants refuse to accept postings to the northern districts of the Western Region.

At Sefwi Wiawso, the Omanhene, Okatakyie Kwesi Bumagama, indicated that the wish of their forefathers was now being fulfilled with the creation of the new region, which would definitely bring development to the doorsteps of the people.

He indicated that by creating the Western North Region, state agencies would be closer to the people, adding “Presently, the people in the area see Kumasi as their capital because of proximity and easy access.

At Bibiani in the Bibiani-Ahwiaso-Bekwai District, the Omanhene, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi, who led the charge, was happy that the commissioners had gone as far as to Adabokrom to get first-hand information about the challenges facing the people.

He pointed out that many people prefer to register their vehicles, lands, as well get birth certificates in the Ashanti Region.

“This may affect the provision of the needed resources for development,” he added.

At the end of the exercise, the Secretary to the Commission, Jacob Saah, described the public hearings in the Western Region as a success.

According to him, the commission would move to other regions after another public hearing in Accra before forwarding the Commission’s recommendations to the President.