The creation of the Oti Region, among the six regions created in December 2018, was to bring governance nearer to the people, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said on Tuesday.
He said the demand by the people in that area for a new region dated more than 60 years back, with accompanying unhappiness and agitation on the subject of the geographic delineations.
“For years, there had been unhappiness and, sometimes, agitation on the subject of the geographic delineation of regions in the country,” he said, and that Oti was a particular case.
President Akufo-Addo said this in his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) for his first term in office, delivered to Parliament on Tuesday.
The Region was carved out of the northern part of the Volta Region, in fulfillment of a campaign promise made by New Patriotic Party.
Prior to the 2016 general election, the then candidate Nana Akufo-Addo declared that when elected, he would explore the possibility of creating new regions out of some of the existing regions to bring government closer to citizens.
In the SONA, the President said the constitutional process for the creation of new regions was put in place and, after the petitions and stakeholder consultations, the people in the identified areas had the opportunity to vote in historic referenda.
“There were overwhelming approvals for the “Yes” vote in the referenda held in forty-seven (47) districts, across four existing regions. This led to the creation of six (6) new regions, and we now have sixteen (16) instead of the ten (10) regions that existed at the start of my administration,” he said.
The SONA was delivered to the House, sitting in a large temporary conference tent, rather than the Parliamentary Chamber.
The 275-member Parliament, the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana, which began on January 7, 2017, would dissolve on the night of Wednesday, December 6, 2021.
This will usher in the Eighth Parliament, before which the re-elected President would be inaugurated, at the same venue rather than the Independence Square.
The SONA is a constitutional requirement that enjoins the President, at the beginning of each session of Parliament and before the dissolution of Parliament, deliver a message on the state of the nation.