The Commission of Enquiry for the Creation of Regions on Tuesday held its final sitting with petitioners from Mamprugu in the Northern Region.
The session ends the first phase of sittings by the commission, which begun on November 21, 2017, with petitioners from the Western Region.
The Commission has also heard petitioners from the Volta region, the Ahafo Council of the Brong-Ahafo Region, the Bono East of the Brong Ahafo Region and Gonja Land of the Northern Region.
Justice Stephen Allan Brobbey, Chairman of the Commission, said as had been the case in previous sittings, the hearing was to afford the Commission the opportunity to hear at first hand, from the petitioners demanding the creation of a new region.
“We will seek to understand the background to your petition, the issues you raised and any additional information, which you may consider helpful to our work,” said the Commission Chairman.
He observed that the exercise of creating a region under Article 5 of the 1992 Constitution was demand driven, “and so we have a duty to listen to you the people who have made the demand”.
Justice Brobbey said the Commission was required by its terms of reference, to establish the need and substantial demand for the creation of a region.
He noted that, this was the first time that the provisions of Article 5 of the 1992 Constitution on the creation or alteration of a region had been invoked.
“There is therefore a duty on all of us to ensure that we chart a course that is ultimately in the best interest of our people,” he said.
The Chairman of the Commission said as had always been the case, the hearings with the petitioners would take place in camera, to ensure a congenial atmosphere “for our chiefs and elders who form the bulk of the petitioners, to feel free to give information on their demands.”
He said the Commission, after the final hearing, will move to the regions for further consultations with the petitioners and members of the public.
The regional hearings will commence in the Western Region from December 11 to 16, 2017, the Chairman said, adding that, the dates for the other regional hearings would be announced later.
Justice Brobbey said following the regional hearings, there would be final hearings in Accra again for presentations from those who will be unable to appear at the regional hearings, but would still want to make presentations on the creation of regions.
The regional hearings and final meetings in Accra will not be conducted in camera, the Chairman of the Commission said.
Mr. Dan Botwe, Minister for Regional Re-organization and Development, said journalists in the regions, who would be covering the regional sittings, had already been briefed about the hearings.
He said it was important for the public to note that, the exercise was being carried out solely with respect to the provisions of the country’s Constitution.
“It is being done because people have petitioned, and we are enjoined by provisions of the Constitution to respond,” he said.
The Minister said all procedures concerning the hearings, would therefore be done, absolutely in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
The nine member Commission was inaugurated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on October 19, 2017, to examine petitions for the creation of new regions, and make recommendations to the government on its findings.