The Minority caucus in Parliament has urged the government to publish the report of the Justice Brobbey Commission of Enquiry into the creation of new regions to ensure transparency.
According to the group, the publication of the report would clarify the commission’s recommendations regarding the names for the proposed regions and those entitled to vote in the referendum.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra yesterday, the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, said the report should not be the exclusive preserve of a few.
“There should be nothing secret about a report of this nature and we demand full disclosure in the public interest. It must be opened up to the entire nation to enable us to gain an insight into the thinking of the commission and the constitutionality of its recommendations and to determine whether the Constitutional Instrument laid in Parliament truly reflects the recommendations of the commission,”he said.
President must keep promise
Mr Iddrisu said it was crucial for the President to publish the report to keep faith with his promise of transparent and accountable governance.
He said making public the report would help shed light on the scope of the proposed referendum.
President Akufo-Addo appointed the Commission of Inquiry under Article 5 of the 1992 Constitution to inquire into the demand for the creation of new regions and to make recommendations on all the factors involved in the creation or alteration of a region or the merger of regions.
Article 5(4) of the Constitution provides that where the Commission of Inquiry finds that there is a need and a substantial demand for the creation, alteration or merger, it shall recommend to the President that a referendum be held, specifying the issues to be determined by the referendum and the places where the referendum shall be held.
The proposed new regions are the Western North, Bono East, Ahafo, Savannah, North East and Oti.
Minority not against creation
Mr Iddrisu said the Minority Caucus was not against the creation of new regions and indicated that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) manifesto of 2016 testified to that position.
“We, however, wish to draw the attention of the good citizens of Ghana to the failure of the government to publish the report of the Justice Brobbey Commission,” he said.
Mr Iddrisu, who is the NDC Member of Parliament for Tamale South, said it had been almost five months since the commission submitted its report to the President.
However, he said, the contents of the report had been shrouded in so much secrecy that even Parliament, as a co-equal branch of government, had been officially denied access to the report.
The Minority Leader said the Constitutional Instrument for the conduct of the referendum leading to the creation of the proposed regions had been laid in Parliament to mature within 21 days.
“Parliament is being asked to conduct a surgical operation in the dark, having no idea whatsoever whether the Constitutional Instrument conforms in material sense to the recommendations of the Justice Brobbey Commission Report,” he said.