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Threat To Secede Is Treasonable - Dr Letsa
 
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16-Feb-2017  
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The activities of a group of citizens in the Volta Region agitating for the secession of the region from Ghana is treasonable and should be dealt with by the National Security apparatus, the Volta Regional Minister designate, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, has said.

He said the actions of the Homeland Study Group Foundation (HSGF), which is based in Ho, the Volta regional capital, endangered the country’s security and needed to be nipped in the bud.

The nominee told the Appointments Committee of Parliament (ACP) in response to a question from the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hohoe, Dr Bernice Heloo, concerning the activities of the group.

Other nominees who appeared before the committee were the Upper West Regional Minister designate, Mr Suleman Alhassan, and the Upper East Regional Minister designate, Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari.

Stop or get arrested

Dr Letsa said he had advised the members of the group to stop their campaign, but “if they don’t stop, I will draw the attention of National Security to their activities”.

Before he went further, the Ranking Member of the committee, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, pointed out that the case bordered on national security and completely undermined the 1992 Constitution which recognised the territories of the country, including the Volta Region.

“We have taken note accordingly, and it is a matter that we will refer to the security agencies. The public should know that the President has already hinted about creation of additional regions and whoever has a petition should send it to the Office of the President,” Mr Iddrisu, who is also the Minority Leader, said.

The group has allegedly been stirring emotions in the region for the restoration of a so-called Western Togoland as a state and has set to declare independence for Western Togoland on May 9, 2017.

According to the group, Western Togoland existed and was not part of Ghana as of the time the country attained independence, adding that Western Togoland stretched from the Bawku East District in the Upper East Region and bordered the Volta River up to the Gulf of Guinea.

Separatists regions in Africa

Although the group’s quest for so-called independence has not been bloody but peaceful, in other parts of Africa, including the Cassamance region in Senegal, Kabylia in Algeria, Oromo and Tigray states in Ethiopia, Azawad in Mali, Kivu Region in DR Congo and the Cabinda Province in Angola, that pursuit has been a long-running bloody battle with government forces fighting separatist groups.

Creation of new region

On the creation of a new region to be probably known as the Oti Region, Dr Letsa said the reason was more about development than politics.

He observed that the Volta Region’s length was such that it bordered a number of regions in the north to the south, thereby making it difficult for those in the northern part of the region to have access to the regional capital and its institutions of state.

Safety on Volta Lake

With the region recording many accidents and deaths on the Volta River as a result of canoes capsizing on the river, he said the government was committed to finding a lasting solution to the problem.

He said there was the need to find investors to remove the large tract of tree stumps, which had economic value, in the river that caused the accident, while investing in navigational maps.

Legacy

On his legacy at the end of his tenure, Dr Letsa said he was committed to ensuring that infrastructure development was improved, while supporting efforts to explore the Keta Basin for oil and gas, as well as the construction of landing sites in fishing communities in the region and a harbour in Keta.

He also pledged to create an environment to harness the region’s agricultural potential while using more than 1,600 hectares of a land bank in the Ho municipality as an agri-processing zone.

Tourism

In a region blessed with numerous tourism potentials, including West Africa’s highest waterfall, Wli, and the country’s highest mountain, Afadjato, bad roads and least developed tourism infrastructure have often affected the growth of tourism in the region.

Dr Letsa said deplorable roads leading to tourism sites and under-developed infrastructure would be worked on to position the region to reap the benefits of tourism.

Upper West

The next to appear before the committee was Mr Alhassan, who promised to use dialogue, sports and communal activities to deal with religious tensions that developed into conflicts in the region.

He also promised to use tourism which had been underdeveloped in the region to improve the living standards of the people.

On reports of increasing armed robbery in the region, he said he would collaborate with the National Security to reinforce night patrols while empowering communities to support community policing.

Upper East

When the Upper East nominee took his turn, members of the committee were overcome by laughter with his responses to questions.

A witty and humorous Mr Bukari told the committee that he would ensure members of Parliament were paid their Common Fund on time for their projects.

The animated nominee said as part of the one district, one factory campaign promise of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the abandoned Bolgatanga Meat Factory would be turned into an abattoir to create jobs for 400 people.

The former Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) said the Pwalugu Tomato Factory would also be revived.

On conflicts in the area, Mr Bukari said having been a Registrar of the Regional House of Chiefs in the 1990s, he had a rapport with most of the chiefs that could help in his efforts to deal with chieftaincy disputes.
 
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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