Guan District made up of Santrofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL) in the Oti Region has been created following the maturity of a Legislative Instrument (LI) laid in Parliament by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
This was after the 21 mandatory parliamentary sitting days in the Legislature last Friday.
Six districts have also been upgraded to municipal status with Jasikan District standing as a separate district following the maturity of their respective LI including the Local Government (Jasikan District Assembly) (Establishment) Instrument, 2020.
The establishment of new Guan District will now lead to the creation of one more constituency by the Electoral Commission (EC) in the Oti Region and this will bring the total number of constituencies in the country to 276.
The Guan District was previously part of Hohoe Municipal (District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units) Instrument, 2014. C. I. 85.
However, the area was placed in the Oti Region in the Referendum (Creation of New Regions) Regulations, 2018 C. I. 109 of 30th November, 2018 as recommended by the Commission of Inquiry into the creation of the six new regions.
Consequently, Guan was made part of the Oti Region in Oti Region Instrument, 2019 C. I. 112 on 8th February, 2019.
It was also included in the Jasikan District in the Oti Region as provided in the District Electoral Areas and Designation of Unit Assemblies.
However, government has now created it as a new district with the maturity in parliament of Local Government (Guan District Assembly) (Establishment) Instrument, 2020.
Six Districts upgraded
Other LIs which upgraded the six Districts to Municipal Statuses included Local Government (Krachi West Municipal Assembly) (Establishment) Instrument, 2020; and Local Government (Kwahu South Municipal Assembly) (Establishment) Instrument, 2020.
The rest were Local Government (Akatsi South Municipal Assembly) (Establishment) Instrument, 2020; Local Government (Asante Akim North Municipal Assembly) (Establishment) Instrument, 2020; and Local Government (Builsa North Municipal Assembly) (Establishment) Instrument, 2020.
The creation of the Oti Region was in fulfilment of a request by a Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) of the chiefs and People of the ‘Oti’ enclave under the chairmanship of Nana Mprah Besemuna II, paramount chief of Krachi Traditional Area.
In June 2017, the chiefs and people of Oti petitioned President Akufo-Addo for the new region for the northern part of Volta, which was made up eight administrative districts.
The petition was for and on behalf of the chiefs and people of Biakoye, Nkwanta South, Kadjebi, Jasikan, Krachi West, Krachi Nchumuru, Krachi East and Nkwanta North, as well as Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe traditional areas under the Hohoe Municipality.
The Oti region covers about 12,000 out of the about 20,000 square kilometres total land area of Volta region.
It has an estimated total population of about 700,000, who are mostly into food and cash crops farming, as well as fishing due to the presence of River Oti and the lake Volta.
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development had been in talks with the chiefs and people of SALL on where to site their district capital following the directive by President Akufo-Addo for the creation of the Guan District for those areas.
This was contained in a letter written by the Sector Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama, to the Oti Regional Minister, Kwesi Owusu Yeboah.
President Akufo-Addo indicated that the four communities deserved their own local government status.
The District capital is now cited in Likpe Mate.
Confirming this development to Citi News some time ago, a Deputy Local Government Minister, O. B. Amoah said the Ministry was in the process of implementing the President’s directive.
“The chiefs and people of those traditional areas are in discussion to find a consensus and a common ground as to where the capital should be,” he noted.
“We think it is important to give them the opportunity to recommend where to site the capital and the Executive Instrument will be made by the President then we in the Ministry will then do the Legislative Instrument,” the Deputy Minister explained further.
A community development pressure group based in the U.S, Oti Action Group of North America (OAGNA) has commended President Akufo-Addo on his directive for the creation of a local government status for the Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe, and Lolobi (SALL) Traditional Areas in the Oti Region.
The Convener of the group, Immanuel Okrah Boateng, acknowledged the President’s swift response and urged the Ministry in charge to attach some urgency to acting on the directive to enable the area to “catch up with the rest in many areas of our socio-economic lives”.
“It is our strongest belief that the President’s directive shall be taken with the sense of urgency that it deserves, and a district will be announced without any further delays as our communities must catch up with the rest in many areas of our socio-economic lives”, he stated.