Creation of new districts was done arbitrarily – Prof. Mike Ocquaye
Prof. Mike Oquaye
The NPP MP for the Dome Kwabenya constituency, Prof. Mike Aaron Ocquaye is asking government to as a matter of urgency withdraw the new districts it has created because the process was fraught with constitutional breaches.
According to him, the exercise was arbitrarily done.
He expressed doubts whether the right formula and law was used in the creation of the additional 46 districts by the government.
Government has created and inaugurated 46 new districts across the country amidst protestations.
The opposition NPP has faulted President JEA Mills for creating the districts, contending that there were constitutional breaches in the process.
According to the NPP, the districts were created to further political interests of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Prof. Mike Ocquaye, who was speaking on Asempa FM’s current affairs programme, Ekosii-Sen on Thursday, said nothing stops the government from withdrawing the districts created and doing the proper thing.
He reckoned that the creation of new districts lacks scientific and legal basis. “The law was not applied fully in the creation of the new districts because of political expediency. The law talks about (9:1) that is 9 out of 10 considerations must be for population whiles 1 for land. If you go to Ningo-Prampram because the NPP support now is big they have to find ways and divide it”.
“If the districts were created using the parameters of population and landmarks then Greater Accra alone should get four or more times than the upper regions. Upper East Region has about one million population and Greater Accra more than four million. So if we are creating constituencies then Accra should get about 66 due to the landmarks and population as against the upper regions. Look, in the Volta region also there is a population of about two million with 26 constituencies so if the logic is right then Greater Accra should get two times of Volta but that is not the case. So the application of the formula is really the problem,” he argued.
He rejected the argument of the Local Government Minister, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo that sometimes the level of development going to a particular area should influence the creation of the district, saying the law was supreme. “So is the minister telling me that if people need development in a particular area, a district will be created? Who told him so? The whole process lacks scientific and legal basis I must say”.
The former minister of state under the erstwhile NPP government noted that many of the districts created do not meet the required population to be on their own. “When you go around the country, most of the districts should not have been created if the right procedure was adopted. For instance, Adaklu-Anyigbe being divided doesn’t meet the requirement, so is Tolon-Kumbungu, Krachi west Zabzugu-Tatale, Sene among others. I am telling the government it should rethink again because most of them may be cancelled”.
The local government minister, Samuel Ofosu had earlier told Asempa FM that apart from land, other factors such as geography, economic viability and rapid development are also considered in creating a district.
He said the formula used by the then NPP government in 2004 to create new districts was the same used by the current government so NPP had no case in talking about constitutional breaches.
But Professor Mike Ocquaye rejected this explanation saying it was a bad answer from a minister of state who was not working for a party but the whole country. “How can you say the NPP did something so the government can do same? In fact if the NPP at the time did what the government is doing now then it is bad but it is no panacea for the justification of new districts created. Can you go to court and claim you cannot be imprisoned because the offence committed by you has also been committed by someone too?”
The NPP bigwig accused the Mills government of mobilizing its party supporters to endorse the illegality at the various districts which were inaugurated Thursday. ”The NDC organized their supporters today, bought food, gave them money to go shout and say they endorse the creation of the districts. How can you do that as a government? When the NPP also come to power, we can as well mobilize our people and say we are reverting all the districts created and we will get support. Is it about satisfying some people or the whole nation? I say it may be chaotic one day”.
“All the NDC MPs in parliament have abandoned their parliamentary duties and gone for the inauguration of an illegality. You see what we can reduce a national issue to? he lamented.
Source: Asempa News
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