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‘Sall citizens without district in Oti Region’


THE Member of Parliament (MP) for the Hohoe Constituency in the Volta Region, Dr Bernice Adiku Heloo, is seeking answers for the Sall people without district in the Oti Region. 

Before the creation of Oti, one of the six new regions, the largely Guan speaking people inhabiting areas like Likpe, Santrokofi, Akpafu and Lolobi administratively fell within the Hohoe Municipality in the Volta Region. 

With the demarcations, however, the people who boycotted the December 27, 2018 referendum arguing they wanted to remain part of the Volta Region have now fallen within the Oti Region but without a district nor a constituency.  

 The administrative plight of the people came to light in March when the Minister of Oti Region, Kwasi Owusu Yeboah, told the Appointments Committee of Parliament that a Technical Committee had been constituted to address the without district status of the Sall people.

In a follow-up question to the Minister of Regional Reorganisation and Development in Parliament on Friday, Dr Heloo said she was not satisfied and vowed to push until the affected people had a district of their own.

In the answer, Regional Reorganisation Minister, Dan Botwe, told the House that his outfit could not be held responsible for the districtlessness of the Sall people. 

According to him, the ministry was not mandated to allocate districts but shepherded and facilitated the creation of the region in consultations with other agencies. 

“Mr Speaker, the mandate of the Ministry of Regional Reorganisation and Development was to facilitate the creation of the new regions and their development.

“Issues relating to administrative sub-divisions are not part of the mandate of the ministry,” Mr Botwe, MP, Okere stated. 

But speaking with journalists after proceedings, Dr Heloo said “I am totally dissatisfied with the answer.” 

According to her, the Constitutional Instrument which established the Oti Region listed eight districts and constituencies which should fall under the region but the affected area was just termed as a ‘traditional area.’

“All the other [areas which fall under the Oti Region] are named either a district or municipality” a situation she said was a subtle acknowledgement by the architects of the new region that the Sall people were not within any administrative district. 

In her view, the existence of the Sall people without a region was an infringement of Article 241 (3) which provided that every area in Ghana must be within a metropolitan, municipal or district assembly. 

Wondering why the Regional Reorganisation Ministry did not collaborate with the Local Government and Rural Development Ministry to ensure that the administrative status of the Sall people was determined before the creation of the OtiR, Dr Heloo said she would next be asking the local government minister to provide answers if she has any to ensure that the fate of the people was determined. 

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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