SALL residents petition govt over failure to grant them representation in Parliament

Residents of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL) traditional areas have petitioned the government over their displeasure of the government’s failure to grant them representa­tion in Parliament.

The aggrieved residents said they were appalled by the state’s inability to address their concerns despite their numerous efforts.

According to the indigenes, the Electoral Commission (EC) was remotely responsible for their non-representation in Parliament and described the Commission’s inaction as “bizarre”.

In an open letter addressed to the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, which was signed by the Director of Research and Intelligence of the Joint Steering Committee of the Lolobi and Akpafu traditional areas, also blamed Parliament and the EC for their woes.

They noted that the Commis­sion’s role in their plight could not be overlooked and explained that, it was on record the Joint Steering Committee with the Paramount Chiefs of Akpafu and Lolobi Traditional Areas and other stake­holders, met with the Chairperson of EC , Jean Mensa, to demand answers to why the people of Akpafu and Lolobi were included in the referendum, when it was on record they never petitioned the President or the Justice Brobbey Commission to join the new region to be called Oti.

However, Mr Dame pointed out that one surest way of getting parliamentary representation for residents of SALL was to annul the 2020 parliamentary election of Buem Constituency to offer an opportunity for them to be captured under the said area.

 The petition said she had no answer to justify the inclusion and their understanding of the exclu­sion of SALL Traditional Areas was as a result of the issuance of an administrative fiat by the EC, which they found worrisome.

“Our lay understanding of exercising our voting franchise emanates from Chapter 5 of the 1992 Constitution which guar­antees rights and it is unconsti­tutional and illegal for EC to use an administrative fiat, which is not grounded in law to take away rights that are guaranteed.

“It is not only bizarre, but undermines our fundamental human rights and a threat to our democracy and we urge Mr Dame to expedite action in relation to our representation in Parliament,” the petition stated.

It will be recalled the EC through a release issued on the eve of the 2020 elections, caused the exclusion of SALL to vote and elect a Member of Parliament although, voters in the tradition­al areas were allowed to vote in the Buem Constituency for the presidential election, they were directed by the Commission not to participate in the parliamentary election which subsequently, gen­erated agitations, with some legal practitioners describing the order as unlawful.

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