Justice Stephen Allan Brobbey, the Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry looking into the proposed creation of the new regions, has observed that chieftaincy disputes have the potential to impede the quest for new regions.
He urged chiefs in areas where the regions are to be created to endeavour and resolve the various chieftaincy disputes and land litigations.
He also urged the public to bury their political differences and embark on vigorous campaigns to be able to meet the constitutional voting requirement for the exercise.
Mr Brobbey, who is a retired Supreme Court Judge, gave the advice during a public hearing on the creation of the Bono East Region at Nkoranza in the Brong-Ahafo Region.
He told the people that the Commission would have nothing to do if the people failed to obtain the 50 percent votes and the 80 percent voter turnouts during the referendum as required by the constitution.
Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, said the proposed splitting of the region would facilitate equitable distribution of development project particularly, in underserved communities.
He admitted that there are still deficits in educational and health facilities in the region hence the need for the people to forge ahead in unity and contribute their quota for the creation of the regions.
Mr Charles Konadu Yiadom, the Member of Parliament for Nkoranza South, said partisan politics slowed down development processes and advised the people to guard against that.
Oheneba Adjei Baffoe, the President of the Nkoranza Traditional Council, said the proposed creation of the Bono East Region will reduce illegal migration among the youth in the area.
He expressed optimism that if the Bono East is carved out, employment opportunities would be created for the youth to get jobs.
Professor Kwasi Nsiah-Gyabaah, the Vice Chancellor of the Nkoranza campus of Anglican University, lauded the proposed carving out of the Bono East region which would promote the growth of education in the area.
With the creation of the new region, the Vice Chancellor said universities and other tertiary institutions would spring up to enable students to easily access quality education.
Nana Kwadwo Adjei-Duffour, a former Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, expressed worry about bushfires which had become annual ritual in the area affecting food production.
He said there is the need to beef up security in the area to address the problem, saying that could be done if the region is created.
The Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has said government is doing all in its power to provide the necessary logistics and resources to the Ghana Police Service to enable it discharge its duties effectively, especially in the wake of reports of indiscipline and lawlessness.
According to him, practical support, such as increased recruitment, rehabilitation and equipping of police stations across the country to standardize the infrastructure, as well as provision of protective gear, guns and ammunition would soon receive prominent attention.
He made the remarks in a speech he read on behalf of the President Nana Akufo-Addo at the 47th Cadet Officers’ Graduation Parade at the National Police Training School at Tesano, Accra on Friday February 9, 2018.
“We aim to build a robust, effective, efficient and disciplined police force. The policy of my government on law and order is to focus more on proactive and preventive policing, rather than reactive. We will do so by increasing both visibility and capacity. An initial amount of GH¢800 million, in the short term, will support the important task of reducing crime and increasing public safety
“Negotiations have just been completed for the rollout of Phase II of the Alpha Project, which will involve the deployment of 8,700 CCTV cameras in all 216 districts, with three command centres in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale.”
“In line with our plans to equip the Police better, at least, 1,000 new vehicles will be procured for the service this year. Already 200 pick-up vehicles have been allocated under Operation Calm Life, with 200 saloon vehicles to be delivered in six weeks’ time, with more to come.
“We are also on course to set up Special Police Units. Resources have been allocated for police kits, including protective gear and adequate quantities of other essential equipment, including guns and ammunitions. We also expect the Police to strengthen engagement with the communities they serve. We see that as being a more sustainable way of reducing crime,” President Akufo-Addo emphasized.
“This year alone, our programme is to recruit 4,000 more police personnel. We know that what matters most is not the number of police officers we recruit, but the number of officers we deploy, and how effectively they are deployed. We are improving the data analytics of the service to make policing more efficient and alive to modern trends in crime.”
The President challenged officers and men of the Ghana Police Service to work hard at redeeming its image, with the Service consistently ranked low in the annual corruption perception rankings of the Afrobarometer Survey.
“This is not right and it can no longer be the status quo. Citizens can only have confidence in the Police Service when our men and women in uniform are seen to be honest and would enforce the law without fear or favour.
“We all sleep, feeling safe, when the men and women of the Police Service work to keep our nation and our streets safe. The issue of law and order is particularly germane at this time when indiscipline, lawlessness and outbreaks of mob justice are threatening the rule of law.”
In all, 132 Cadet Officers were commissioned to the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police.
Action Aid Ghana (AAG), a non- governmental organization (NGO) has launched a Governance youth group in the Upper East Region dubbed, Activista Ghana’- to mobilize and educate young people to engage in advocacy and campaigns to bring about a world without poverty and injustice.
Prior to the launch of the Activista, the participants were offered two weeks empowerment training in the areas of advocacy strategies and campaign networking and lobbying skills among others.
The participants, who were made up of diverse youth, were drawn from the various communities in the operation areas of the AAG.
Launching the group, the Regional Programme Manager of Action Aid Ghana, Mr. Alhassan Sulimana, stated that, although the youth and women formed majority of the country's population, they are often marginalized when it comes to opportunities.
He stressed that, any government that ignores the active involvement of the youth and women, in its developmental agenda, was bound to fail, adding it was against the background that AAG together with, its mother Union, Action Aid International, instituted the concept of the Activista as a global network to help fight against social injustice and poverty.
‘’It is part of Action Aid Ghana's objective (MO)3 in the country strategy paper V of increasing possibilities, claiming right by enhancing the capacity of young people to drive their development priorities under MO3. Action Aid Ghana will work with Activista to mobilize and support 28,000 youth to take purposeful and sustained action as leaders in their own right to shape more democratic nation that protects, respects and fulfills the right of the people living in poverty,’’ he explained
The youth-led activities of Activista Ghana includes policy and campaigns, advocacy, participation in governance, online youth mobilization through social media and feminist leadership, capacity building and enhancing international solidarity, built around a culture of volunteerism and empowerment.
The system uses the Human Right Based Approach (HRBA).
He mentioned that, Activista would be partnering with the Regional Development Programme- Action Aid Global platform, the National youth Authority and social movement.
The partnership is expected to help protect and promote the right of the youth, women and girls.
‘’With a vision to end poverty and defend the right of the people living in poverty, injustice, Activista will be mobilizing the youth from across our regional programmes to work with excluded people to claim their right and ensure a life of dignity,’’ the Regional Manager indicated.
At the local level coordinators will engage in decision-making with Activista members and the same will be done at the regional and national level.
Activista Ghana will be coordinated by teams in each of Action Aid Ghana's six regions namely, the Upper East, Northern, Upper West, Brong Ahafo, Greater Accra and Volta Region.
The Municipal Youth Director of the National Youth Authority (NYA) Ms Clare Maar, on her part, commended AAG for forming the youth group.
According to her, the failure to allow youth participation in decision making is one of the major cause of marginalization and expressed strong optimism that, the formation of Activista –Ghana, would help address the solution.
By: Justice Anthony Issah