The Eastern Corridor Citizens’ Coalition has appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to give a serious consideration to their petition for the creation of the Eastern Corridor Region from the current Northern Region.
The Coalition called on President Akufo-Addo to honour his campaign promises to the people of the area to justify the confidence responded in him.
“We feel the sentiments of our people and the disappointment in the President’s delay in showing commitment to fulfilling his campaign promise. Reference to the 1992 Constitution of Ghana article 5 (1) and (3), the President is vested with the power on regional creation, especially clause (1) of article 5,” he said.
They made the call on Thursday in Accra during a news conference to remind President Akufo-Addo to redeem the campaign promise of creating a new region out of the Northern Region to speed up development as well as create jobs for the youth.
The Eastern Corridor Citizens’ Coalition is made up of representatives from all the major ethnic groups in the Eastern Corridor enclave, including Dagombas, Nanumbas, Konkombas, Bassares, and Nawuris with the population of over one million out of the region’s total population of about two million.
Dr Bernard B.B. Bingab, Chairman of the Coalition, said most of the 26 districts in the region, especially those in the Eastern Corridor enclave were far from Tamale, the Regional capital, coupled with poor road network and extremely poor transportation system.
Dr Bingab said the people of the Eastern Corridor enclave go through untold hardships on a daily basis in accessing services that were located in the regional capital, adding that the chronic under development also means poor access to educational, economic and health facilities.
Dr Bingab said the majority of the people of the proposed Eastern Corridor Region were farmers mostly into crop cultivation such as yam, guinea corn, maize, millet, rice, soya beans and the rearing of farm animals including cattle, sheep, goats and poultry which formed a major source of income and revenue for the local government.
“Despite these resources, the people of the Eastern Corridor of the Northern were among the poorest in the country, the under development of the area accounts for several social problems of the youth such as mass school dropouts, rural-urban migration to southern Ghana and neighbouring countries to engage in menial economic activities such as head porters, child labour and other degrading activities,” he said.
He said the proposed region was equally endowed with tourist sites, including graveyard of fallen Germans in Yendi during the Dagbon-German wars, the Russian Camp Waterfalls, and the Ox Bow Lake at Saboba amongst others, and if the high tourism potential was fully tapped, it would create a lot of employment opportunities as well as be a major foreign exchange earner to the country.
“We wish to assure the President and his entire government of our resolve to embrace this regional creation and re-organisation policy through sensitisation and engagement of our people. As a people, we believe that, this is the single most important policy that will bridge the poverty gap between us and similar enclaves within Ghana.
‘’We assure him of the massive support of the people of the Eastern corridor enclave for the creation of this Region, and pledge to mobilise ourselves to give a massive vote in favour of the creation of the Region should a referendum be called on it,’’ Dr Bingab said.