Dividing the Volta Region: Coalition of Volta Youth Petitions Chiefs

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It has become clear to us the Volta Youth that the Government of Ghana is determined to divide the Volta Region using the deceitful interpretation of the constitution of the Republic of Ghana. We find this development diabolic, evil, dangerous and a recipe for disaster for the Volta region and Ghana as a whole.

Article five (5) of the Constitution, 1992 of the Republic of Ghana provides for the creation or alteration of regional boundaries to facilitate the creation of regions.

This constitutional provision was triggered recently when the government claimed to have received some petitions from sections of the Republic of Ghana. Based on that, a Commission of Inquiry has been set up to inquire into this demand, determine if there is a substantial need and make recommendations to the President.

We of the Coalition of Volta Youth believed that, Togbewo/Mamawo need to critically examine some peculiar happenings on the creation of new regions in general and the so called Oti Region particularly on the following grounds:

  1. Scope of Petitioners: Togbewo/Mamawo should note that the division of the Volta Region to create the so called Oti region would affect the entire Volta Region thus, the scope of petitioners should not be concentrated on only some occupants of the northern Volta but extended to the other parts of the region as well to accord the petition a substantial demand The current petition in our view fall short of this requirements and must be rejected.

The youth of the region demanded to have access to this purported petition but received no responses from the authorities. We have therefore concluded that, there have been no such petition from Voltarians but just a ploy to carry out a well calculated AGGRESSION on the Volta region.

  1. Nature of the Petition for the creation of the Oti Region: The basis of the petitioners presented during the public hearings organised by the shambolic commission of inquiry calling for the creation of the Oti Region was one that bordered largely on comparison of the Northern Volta with Southern Volta in all aspects. This connotes a divisive tendency which was visibly seen in the attacks on dissenting views from those from the Southern Volta.
  1. Dissipation of Ghana on Tribal/Ethnic grounds: The territories earmarked for the Oti region excludes Ewe speaking areas allegedly. We must desist from fragmenting the Republic of Ghana on tribal and ethnic grounds. The consequences of this act is grievous, disparaging, destructive and all over the world for your consideration.

In our humble opinion, Togbewo/Mamawo should have considered these and advised the President of the Republic and the Commission of Inquiry against the creation of the “Oti Region”.

The Shambolic Commission of Inquiry

We would also like to draw your attention to our observations on the work of the Commission of Inquiry on the creation of new regions. We have substantial evidence to suggest that the Commission had been bias in the execution of their constitutional mandate.

Grounds of bias:

  1. Concentration of the work and hearings of the Commission on the petitioners and not stakeholders: According to the President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II during the third and final hearing of the commission, “the platform was meant for petitioners to state their case for the creation of new regions and not to hear contrary views”. The Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry also stated in his opening remarks that, the first hearing was in-camera and meant only for the petitioners. This in our opinion, have yielded a one-sided and predetermined decision by the Commission of Inquiry since the work of the Commission is tilted to just the petitioners thereby creating no platform for dissenting views.
  2. The decision of the commission of Inquiry not to conduct public hearings and any of their activities in the Southern Volta indicated discrimination against some significant stakeholders. We have recalled that, out of the five (5) hearings held in the region, only one was in the mid Volta i.e. Ho, leaving out the other parts of the region.
  3. The attack on your colleague paramount chief of Gbi traditional area Togbega Gabusu VI and his elders during one of the hearings in the Northern Volta (Nsuta in the Jasikan District) occurred without any reactions from the Commission of Inquiry.
  4. The attack on the chairman of the Coalition of Volta Youth at the International Conference Centre during the final hearing of the Commission of Inquiry. This happened in the full glare of the commissioners without their intervention.
  5. The commission of inquiry into the creation of the so called Oti region recommended a referendum at the affected areas only and not all relevant stakeholders. A position we anticipated because to the Coalition, the commission is shambolic and would be bais for the outcome had been determined before they started work.

It is a bad precedent to allow the Commission to execute its mandate in this manner which violates the principle of natural justice (Audi Alteram Partem).

Looking at the violence perpetrated on dissenting views during the process of creating the Oti Region, mayhem on those from the south in the Oti enclave would be inevitable when the region is finally created. This assertion is based on the concentration of the petition for the creation on comparison of the northern and southern Volta in all aspects. Thereby suggesting that the predicaments of the petitioners are orchestrated by the South. A disturbing situation that warrants the strongest condemnation since the South is equally under-developed in all aspects. We in sincerity sympathise with the level of under-development in Volta north and would stand by them to solicit for equitable share of the national cake.

From the above outlined views, we are of the strongest believe that fairness in the process of creating the Oti Region had been compromised.

AGGRESSION ON THE VOLTA LAND

The Coalition wishes to state that the Ghanaian government appears to be furtively launching an aggression on the Volta Region using their own interpretation of the country’s constitution to disintegrate the land just like their forefathers did in the times of old to wage physical warfare on the people of the land.

Secondly, just in the recent past, genocidal calls were made by prominent people in Ghana on the people of the same land without any responses from the Ghanaian authorities. The coalition is of the view that the speaker had spoken their mind hence the deafening silence.

We also witnessed the insult on our Chiefs by persons (Mr. Freddie Blay the current chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)) close to the seat of Ghanaian government. Again the usual silence prevails.

It is a fact that the Ewe language is a nuisance to the people of Ghana and therefore cannot be spoken freely in some parts of the country. Furthermore, it is becoming extremely difficult to get employment as a Voltarian in some sectors of the Ghanaian economy. You need courage to drive a VR vehicle registration number in some parts of the country.

In addition, the Volta land had been neglected in terms of infrastructural development and the provision of industrial facilities that would facilitate freedom as well as economic independence for the people of the land.

The creation of the Oti region out of the Volta region sounds alien to many people but has been without recourse to other persons in the other side of the divide.

We wish to state further that the clandestine approach by government had pushed the people in the other half of the region up to the coast who are also not satisfy with what comes to them as their share of the national cake to seriously consider seceding from Ghana and plan their own development agenda.

For the government of Ghana had stated repeatedly during the process of justifying the creation of the Oti region that division of the region alone is the panacea to accelerate development of the Volta North. We understand it to mean that division or secession is a prerequisite for development.

We have therefore decided to embrace this principle whole heartedly to accelerate the development of the Volta land by submitting a petition to the government of Ghana, the United Nation (UN) and the Queen of England to secede from Ghana in a couple of days to come.

Our expectation is that the Ghanaian government will accord this petition the same speed and funding as in the creation of the Oti region.

We also call on all our chiefs to support our secession petition the same way the Volta North Chiefs did during this process of the creation of the so called Oti region. Anything short of that would amount to abuse of our human rights to food, shelter and clothing.

We call on Togbewo/Mamawo to understand the nature of aggression on them now and fight accordingly to avoid the destruction of their fatherland. Be assured that you would lose your heritage if you do not act now to stand your grounds to stop this aggression.

God bless the great Volta Land!!!!!!! Thank you

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