President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given legal backing to the newly created Savannah Region, and selected Damongo as the regional capital.
Northern Regional Minister Salifu Saeed has also been asked by the President to act as a caretaker regional minister for the 12th region of Ghana until a substantive minister is appointed.
Damongo is the capital of West Gonja District host to the overlord of the Gonja Kingdom; the Yagbonwura.
Nana Akufo-Addo in line with Article 5(8) of the 1992 Constitution, issued constitutional instrument (CI 115) Tuesday to cap the processes in creating the Savannah Region that was carved out of the Northern Region through a referendum on December 27, 2018.
The Savannah Region is formed by Bole District, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District, West Gonja District, North Gonja District, Central Gonja District and East Gonja Municipality.
Savannah Region, where former President John Dramani Mahama voted in the referendum, recorded a 99.52 per cent ‘YES’. A total of 206,350 people voted ‘YES’ with a paltry of 647 voting NO against the creation of the region.The region is part of the six new regions created with the view to bringing the administrative regions in Ghana to 16.
The six new regions – Ahafo, Bono East, Savannah, North East, Western North and Oti – were carved out of Brong Ahafo, Northern Region, Western Region and Volta Region.
Earlier in the morning of February 12, the North East Region received its legal backing from President Akufo-Addo who named Nalerigu as the regional capital.
The four other regions are expected to receive their legal effect on February 13 and 15.
Justifying the selection of Damongo as the capital of the Savannah Region, Nana Akufo-Addo noted the town is the “least developed in the Northern Region” despite being “blessed with an abundance of natural resources”.
Indeed Damongo is one of the key tourism destinations in Ghana as it play host to the Mole National Park which offers a myriad of animals including elephants.
The famous Larabanga Mosque and Mystic Stone in Larabanga which have a rich ancient story surrounding them are all located in Damongo.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo said the government will now set the stage for rapid development in the region now that it has received the constitutional backing.
For a start, the region will receive 20 million cedis from government as seed capital for a smooth takeoff.