The People of Akpafu and Lolobi Traditional Areas, in a statement issued by Ing. Seth K. Owusu and Dr Joe Addae, Co-Chairmen of the Joint Steering Committee of SALL have revealed how the New Patriotic Party government (NPP) led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has forcefully assigned them to Oti Region during the creation of New Regions in Ghana.
According to the people, the autocratic attempt to add them to Oti Region is violation of Article 5(2) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
This surfaced in a rejoinder asking the Ghana Broadcasting Cooperation (GBC) to take the necessary steps to retract fake publications against them and must render an apology and give same prominence in their subsequent publications within seven (7) days, otherwise we advise ourselves.
For avoidance of doubt, they have offer the following truthful facts and context on the SALL issues:
1. The non-representation of the SALL people in the 8th Parliament, in violation of the Constitution, was not accidental but a culmination of deliberate and systematic acts of official abuses, rights, violations and a host of other oppressive schemes undeserved in a democracy
2. Prior to the suppression at the poll by the Electoral Commission, the judiciary has similarly subjected the Akpafu and Lolobi people to Judicial oppression as they sought justice under the rule of law and due process. Even a petition
drawing the attention of the Chief Justice to the violation went unanswered.
3. The Guan District creation is a media and political stunt invented to create a facade of governance activity and distract from the ongoing oppression of our people. Nothing happens until questions arise and desperate attempts are made to cover up with baseless stories to deceive the public. “It is our hope that GBC, by this report is victim, not complicit, in such dishonest campaigns”
4. At the root of all these developments is an autocratic attempt to forcefully assign the people of Akpafu and Lolobi Traditional Areas to Oti Region in violation of Article 5(2) of the Constitution. Government appears determined to trample on the fact that our people did not petition to join the new region as required under the Constitution and to diligently register that position under due process.
5. Perhaps unknown to most Ghanaians, several underhand schemes have been tried to bend our people to surrender to their autocratic dictate: Among them:
a. Suspension of the judicial process to ensure an appeal filed at the Appeals and Supreme courts for redress as specified under the Constitution since September 2019 remains unheard.
b. Elected Assemblymen from the area have been neglected, effectively, suspended their participation in the District Assembly administration. No Single local development, not even procurement of a wheelbarrow or streetlight, has been extended to the area as access to District Assembly Common Fund is embargoed.
c. Access to basic services such as education, health and policing services, among others, have been made chaotic and unduly costly. “We have relentlessly called attention to these instances of undeserved neglect, striving to steer affairs towards democratic order and due process. Through petitions, calls on officials and recourse to law, we have sought to restore normalcy and presence the dignity and wellbeing of our people, who have done nothing to warrant such odd discrimination and oppression.”
According to the people, when the Minister for Local Government, Mr Dan Bowtie, was confronted in Parliament over the plight of our people, he painted a picture that all was well and assured lawmakers he was undertaking consultations with traditional leaders in the area. “We can speak with authority that there has never been any such consultations with the Akpafu and Lolobi Traditional Areas as being alleged.”
Uncovering more facts, the Akpafu and Lolobi Traditional Areas said,
1. The current travails of the Akpafu and Lolobi people result from wrongful location in oti Region in the creation of new regions when they did not petition to join. “We rather made concerted representation to the Justice Brobbey Commission and other stakeholders to be omitted from the new region.”
“3. Creation of a Guan District is no solution, but they expect the government to allow the appeal filed against the Justice Brobbey Commission’s Report in Court to determine their fate, as prescribed under the constitution. That case has been suppressed to date. A formal protest of judicial oppression has been made to the Chief Justice and a response is being awaited till date.”
3. Ghana is globally respected as a model democratic state. It is a reason we have kept up determined efforts to confront official tyranny with available options under constitutional order and the rule of law.
“4. We have petitioned the Speaker and 8th Parliament to address Our lack of representation and eagerly awaiting Parliament’s resolution of our issue. We are confident that this 8th Parliament, unlike the previous 7th Parliament, will do right and save the situation in which our people are being nudged Into (a stateless Community of the world).”