The people of Sefwi Wiawso, Bibiani-Ahwiaso-Bekwai, Aowin, Suaman, Bia East and West districts, all in the Northern parts of the Western Region have overwhelmingly thrown their support behind the creation of the proposed Western North Region out of the Western Region.
This was manifested in the huge attendance and participation in the public hearing of the Commission of Inquiry into the creation of the proposed Western North Region held in the northern parts of the region. President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo upon assumption in office in January this year, received several petitions from people in the Western, Brong Ahafo, Northern and Volta Regions for the creation of additional regions out of those mentioned.
This necessitated the activation of article five of the 1992 constitution to begin the process, which happens to be the first.
Article 5 empowers the President to set up a Commission of Enquiry after the Council of State had established that, there is a need and substantial demand for the creation and alterations of regions. The nine-member commission under the Chairmanship of a retired Justice of the Supreme Court; Justice Stephen Allan Brobbey has already started its work beginning with meetings with the petitioners in Accra. This was followed by an in-camera meeting with the Western Regional House of Chiefs in Sekondi after which it commenced the public hearing to solicit views from the public to determine if there were enough grounds for the creation, merger or alteration of the said regions. In all the 5 areas the commission visited, the hearing was massively attended by residents in the area especially; majority of them wore “T” shirts with the inscription “Say Yes to Western North”. Chiefs and the clergy took centre stage in echoing the need for the proposed new region out of the Western Region. According to them, the area made considerable contribution to the national kitty as it boast of eight forest reserves and source of a large percentage of Ghana’s cocoa output, yet, they are seemingly abandoned when it comes to the distribution of the national cake. Others also indicated that, the creation of the new region would inure to the benefits of the people as more resources would be provided for the successful take-off of the new region thereby creating jobs and boosting the local economy.
The situation was not different at Adabokrom in the Bia district where people carried placards with inscriptions, “Western North is long overdue”, “Yes to Western North Region” and “We are ready for Western North Region”.
A former DCE for Bia, Benjamin Armah who explained the concern of the petitioners, mentioned among other things the unreasonable long distance and traveling time, it takes people from the area to reach Sekondi- Takoradi, the regional capital mostly due to poor roads.
According to him, some people in the area were compelled to go through the Brong Ahafo to Ashanti to Central Regions before getting to the capital, Sekondi-Takoradi.
Other speakers also gave various compelling reasons such as the lack of infrastructural facilities. As a result, many public and civil servants refuse to accept postings to the northern districts of the Western Region.
At Sefwi Wiawso, the Omanhene, Okatakyie Kwesi Bumagama indicated that the wish of their fore fathers was now being fulfilled with the creation of the new region which would definitely bring development to the doorsteps of the people.
He indicated that, by creating the Western North Region, state agencies would be closer to the people adding “Presently, the people in the area see Kumasi as their capital because of proximity and easy access.
The Omanhene and Paramount chief of Sefwi Asawinso Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi who doubles as the President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs expressed contentment with the work of the Fact Finding Commission for going as far as to Sefwi Adabokrom and experienced at first hand the challenges facing the people up North of the Western Region.