By: KALD | Voltaonlinegh.com |
With barely a week to the first ever referendum for the creation of the proposed six new regions in the country, President of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV has called on players involved in the exercise to ensure free and fair process.
According to him, people ought to freely express their views and campaign ‘for’ or ‘against’ the proposed regions devoid of any intimidation.
The EC is set to conduct referendum in the proposed Oti, Ahafo, Western North, Bono East, North East and Savannah regions on Thursday, December 27, 2018.
But ahead of the exercise, there have been reports of alleged intimidation and manhandling of some ‘No’ vote campaigners in the northern part of the Volta region, which is earmarked for the proposed Oti region.
Just this past weekend, Voltanlinegh.com has learnt of an incident, where a man was reportedly accosted on his motorbike by the youth of Katanga in the Krachi East municipality and taken to a chief’s palace for allegedly distributing ‘Vote NO Oti region’ stickers in the area.
However speaking at a meeting of the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi on Wednesday, Togbe Afede charged the security agencies not to take side in the process but rather give protection to both sides of the divide in order to ensure a congenial environment for the referendum.
The Asogli paramount chief also urged the Electoral Commission to conduct the referendum in a free, fair and transparent manner; as he entreated his fellow traditional leaders to ensure peace and tranquility prevails in the country regardless of the outcome of the exercise.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has enjoined Ghanaians not to see the creation of the proposed new regions, which is the first of its kind under a democratic constitution, as a secession attempt by the proponents.
Speaking at a media encounter at the Jubilee house on Wednesday, the president stated that, “The people who seek new regions are not seeking to secede from Ghana – they are Ghanaian citizens who are seeking new administrative structures to guide their lives by a constitutionally-sanctioned process within the Ghanaian space.”
He therefore called for a peaceful and incident-free exercise, as he expressed his trust in the new leadership of the Electoral Commission to pass their first test of organizing a free, fair, transparent poll.