The council, during its second meeting with the President after its inauguration at the Flagstaff House, indicated that there is a substantial demand for the creation of new regions after studying various petitions for the creation of the new regions.
Nana Otuo Siriboe II, chairman of the Council of State, informed the President that the council has meticulously gone through petitions, which numbered some 312 pages, with accompanying maps and statistical data, mainly from the chiefs and people of the Western, Northern, Brong Ahafo and Volta regions, from where the demand for the creation of new regions had been the most vociferous, to arrive at its advice.
“Having studied the petitions submitted and the detailed briefing by the Hon. Minister for Regional Reorganisation and Development, it is of the unanimous opinion that there is a SUBSTANTIAL DEMAND for the creation of new regions.”
The chairman disclosed that since the council’s last meeting with the President on June 20, 2017, it has met 14 times in plenary and subcommittee sessions, thus bringing the total number of meetings since their inauguration some five-and-half months ago to 36.
During the past two months, the chairman further noted, the council has approved appointments to 32 boards of state institutions and universities.
“These have been done after due considerations of the statutes that set them up to ensure compliance with the law, a critical examination of the CVs of the nominees vis-à-vis their expected roles and responsibilities, and, of course, gender balance”, he emphasised.
Describing the gesture as extremely welcome and an indication of the Council of State’s determination to work closely with the Executive to the benefit of the Ghanaian people, President Akufo-Addo also thanked the council for the expeditious manner in which it has assisted the presidency in the task of populating the executive and state institutions of the country.
“I am emboldened in taking this step (creating new regions) by the support that you have emulated in the response to my request. I think that the quality of people who are assembled in this Council of State, expressing themselves unanimously on this, is a very important development in the history of our country, and I have to express my gratitude towards you for doing that,” the President said.
Having received a favourable response from the Council of State, the President is mandated by the constitution to appoint a Commission of Enquiry to investigate the need for the creation of the new region.
Should the commission be convinced that such a need pertains, it will recommend the places and issues for a referendum. The matter will then be referred to the Electoral Commission for a referendum to be held according to the recommendations of the commission.
It was President Akufo-Addo’s hope that, when established, “the Commission of Enquiry would also work as expeditiously as you (Council of State) have done. I think that matters like this are matters that ought to be determined with dispatch, so that the body politic of Ghana can gain some stability in knowing exactly what is the next step ahead of us.”