Ashanti NPP Goes Wild Over New Districts

The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Fredrick Freduah Antoh, has questioned the basis for the creation of the additional districts, as well as their allocations, particularly with regards to the allocation to the Ashanti region. He finds it difficult to understand why the Ashanti Region with its large population should be given only three districts whereas other regions are getting more than they deserve, even though those regions are smaller than the Ashanti region. According to Mr Fredua Antoh, the areas earmarked for the proposed districts in the region constitute a deliberate ploy for the NDC to have automatic parliamentary representation in those areas, “considering where the EC has sent these districts to.” Ashanti Region alone, he said, has over 4,725 with about 9,417 hectors of land and it is only appropriate for the EC to be fair to them. The Electoral Commission has come under severe attacks from certain high profile political personalities across the country, especially in the Ashanti region, with regards to the creation of additional districts and constituencies. The NDC government announced last week of its intention to create 42 new districts across the country bringing the total districts in the country to 212, with only three allocations to the Ashanti region. Mr Antoh, however, wants the EC to come clear and explain to the people of Ghana the basis for the demarcation because, to him, the Ashanti Region is not being treated fairly, adding that the Region needs an explanation from the EC on the exercise for them to be clear in order to avoid future “political mishap.” He said if the EC’s intention to create new constituencies was to ensure proper representation of the people, then Ashanti alone must get about not less than seven additional constituencies. Chairman Antoh added that there should be fairness in population representation in Parliament, saying that in a situation where some Members of Parliament represent their people with over 70 thousand votes while their other colleagues only need less than 10 thousand to represent their people needs to be looked at. This is what, he said, the EC must resolve rather than kowtowing to pressures from the NDC to do things in their favour. In his view, the NDC is only trying to do everything possible to weaken the NPP in their strongholds because “… You know something, it is not bad to create additional districts or constituencies but look at this, the EC has cut off Kentenkrono which was initially part of the Oforikrom constituency to join another constituency. What this means is that the Oforikrom constituency would become anybody’s own, because if you take Kentenkorno out which alone gives the constituency sixteen thousand eight hundred and twenty nine votes, then the strength of the NPP would be weakened.” “Again look at what they want to do to the Kumawu constituency, I do not see why the Afram plains section of the Kumawu constituency should be carved as a whole new constituency because there are other bigger constituencies which have not been divided so why the Afram Plains part of Kumawu?” The regional party chairman further added that if the creation of the Drobonso constituency was part of government’s intention to ensure accelerated development then its creation was not necessary because the area is already enjoying massive development as a result of its status as a beneficiary of the Millennium Development Programme instituted by the Kufuor administration. He said if there should be constituencies which needed to be divided then they should consider the bigger constituencies in the region like the Ejisu-Juaben, Manhyia and Atwima Nwabiagya which have populations of over ninety thousand.