February 15, 2021

Former Minister for Regional Reorgnisation Dan Kwaku Botwe has dismissed suggestions that he is to be blamed for the discontent of residents in Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe (SALL) in the Oti Region.

Mr. Botwe, the Minister-designate for Local Government and Rural Development on Monday, February 15, 2021 during his vetting by the Appointment Committee noted that, “such allegations are coming from a deep misunderstanding or have no basis at all”.

The people of SALL were said to be unhappy with their addition to the new Oti Region in 2018, as pointed out by Member of Parliament for North Tongu.

Some chiefs were not in favor of joining the new region if it meant being separated from the Hohoe Municipality.

Some residents of Akpafu, then in the Hohoe Municipality, even boycotted the referendum that endorsed the creation of the Oti Region.

But Dan Botwe who was in-charge of the reorganization of the regions said there was no evidence of the lack of support for the new regions from the SALL area.

“It is never true that people from the Akpafu and Lolobi areas were not interested in being part of the Oti Region and were forced. It is totally untrue. Nothing supports that assertion,” he argued.

Mr. Botwe further said some of their SALL area complaints ought to be directed towards that Commission of Inquiry that oversaw the new regions’ referendum.

“As soon as a Commission of Inquiry was established, the Ministry didn’t determine those who will be part of the new regions or will not be part. The Ministry doesn’t determine where the referendum will take place. It is the Commission.”

The SALL area faced further controversy because voters in its district, Guan, were not given the opportunity to vote in Parliamentary elections.

But again, Mr. Botwe said his outfit was not to blame, “linking it to the voting; the Ministry had nothing to do with who should vote in the presidential election. That is purely the work of the Electoral Commission,” he retorted when queried.

He, however, stressed that before the creation of districts and the elections, “it was clear they, SALL were in the Oti Region.

“Nobody should entertain that the allegations SALL was 100 percent in the Oti Region,” he noted.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com