Controversial Oti Region gets 98.64% endorsement

All the resistance, criticisms and the campaign against the splitting of the Volta Region came to nought Friday, as residents across the northern part of the region voted massively to endorse the creation of the new Oti Region. As the most controversial of all the six proposed new regions, Thursday’s referendum in the Oti enclave was characterised by a number of incidence before, during and after the historic voting, including alleged electoral malpractices. Despite the ‘fights’, including boycott of the referendum in parts of the Oti area, residents went ahead to vote overwhelmingly for the creation of the new region; recording more than the 80 per cent required for the success of the Oti Region. After a marathon collation which began Thursday night to Friday morning, the Electoral Commission announced 98.64 per cent ‘Yes’ vote was recorded in the nine districts within the Oti Region. EC returning officer, Joseph Kodua announced to a jubilant crowd, including the Minister of Regional Reorganisation and Development Dan Botwe that the creation of the Oti Region was successful. How did the districts vote?  Of the total 366,545 registered voters in the area, 323,708 voted in the referendum. Hohoe District which had 21,367 registered voters had 10, 619 people voting with 9,427 electorates voting ‘Yes’ [representing 88.77 per cent] and 1,125 saying No. In the Jasikan District 39,360 of the 40,566 registered voters cast their vote in the referendum, with 38,915 voting Yes [representing 98.87 per cent] and 310 No. Of the 43,571 registered voters in the Biakoye District, 36, 883 thumb-printed Yes [representing 98.56 per cent] while 434 voted No. Kadjebi District which had 43, 586 voters, saw 40,665 of them casting their vote with 40,002 Yes votes [representing 98.37 per cent] and 553 No. A total of 42,786 voted in Krachi East out of the total 45,833 eligible voters.  42,485 of them voted Yes [representing 99.30 per cent] and 204  No. At Krachi West which had 28,157 registered voters, 27,734 cast their vote in the referendum, of which 27,577 voted Yes [representing 99.43 per cent] and 66 No. Krachi Nchumuru saw 29,112 people casting their vote. Of the figure, 29,000 voted Yes [representing 99.62] and 51 No. A total of 50,893 people cast their vote at Nkwanta Sourth with 50,096 voting Yes [representing 98.43 per cent] and 18 No. Nkwanta North had 45,656 people voting of which 45,443 thumb-printed Yes and 117 No. The Yes vote represented 99.53 per cent.

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Background The Akufo-Addo government’s decision to create six new regions which stemmed from petition from the people in those areas was met with criticisms with some critics. Some people in the last few months took legal action to thwart the processes of creating the new regions but without success. They have accused government of taking the side and campaigning for Yes vote in the referendum while some chiefs used their stools and gods to threaten people who were pushing for a No vote, particularly in the Oti enclave. A last gasp attempt by some No vote campaigners to use the courts to get the EC to postpone Thursday’s referendum was rendered moot as the application for an injunction could not be heard by the Human Rights Court in Accra before the voting day. Two registered voters in the Oti Region who alleged breaches of the 2018 regulations on the referendum and abuse of their fundamental human rights, filed the application Monday to stop the EC from proceeding with the referendum But the EC will not budge. A statement issued late Monday rejected claims of injunction on the referendum and urged the public to reject same. It further denied claims of breaches as alleged by the two applicants, and urged all to come out in their numbers to vote in the referendum. By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana]]>

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