President Nana Akufo-Addo has by a constitutional instrument named Nalerigu as the capital of the newly created North East Region.
Northern Regional Minister Salifu Saeed has been appointed the interim Regional Minister for North East which is formed by East and West Mamprusi municipalities, Bunkprugu-Nakpanduri District, Yunyoo-Nasuan District, Mamprugu-Moagduri District and Chereponi District.
Issuing the constitutional instrument (CI 116) Tuesday to give legal backing to the new region created through a December 27, 2018 referendum, the president said Mr. Saeed will “act as caretaker minister for the North East Region until a substantive minister is appointed”.
This is in line with Article 5(8) of the 1992 Constitution.
North East is to receive 20 million cedis seed to be used for the provision of critical infrastructure to enable the region to take off smoothly.
The selection of the regional capital was a part of the work of the Justice Brobbey Committee that was tasked to collate views from the public on the creation of the then proposed.
“May God bless the North East Region and us all,” president Akufo-Addo declared as the CI with gazette number 12, was handed over to the delegation of chiefs led by the overlord of Mamprugu, Naa Bohigu Abdulai Mahami Sherigaa, at the presidency.
The North East Region, which was carved out of the Northern Region, recorded the highest ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum, recording a whopping 99.8 per cent of the votes cast in the area alone.
The new region is bread basket of the mother region, the Northern Region, and one of the biggest suppliers of food in Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo’s announcement of Nalerigu as the regional capital triggered a thunderous shouts and applause from the chiefs and people from the area who gathered at the Jubilee House for the historic occasion but it is likely to trigger a disagreement over the people in the area.
Gambaga, Nalerigu, Walewale tussle over capital
For weeks, the chiefs and people of Walewale, Gambaga and Nalerigu have all been pushing for their respective towns to be made the regional capital citing various reasons.
Moments after the referendum the overlord of Mamprugu, Nayiri Mahama Bohagu Sheriga, asked the government to site the capital in Nalerigu.
But the youth of Gambaga have opposed the request by the Nayiri, and proposed Gambaga to the government as the regional capital for North East, our Upper East correspondent Tanko Mohammed Rabiu reported.
The youth, chiefs, MCE, assembly members and opinion leaders in Gambaga met on December 29, 2018 during a homecoming event, to discuss the way forward for the new region and to demand the capital to of North East to be sited in Gambaga.
They argued that Gambaga which used to be the regional capital of the northern territories during the colonial era has the necessary infrastructure to hit the ground running with the administration of North East Region, hence the need to give them the capital.
But barely 24 hours to the announcement, some 24 chiefs in the in the Mamprugu traditional area petitioned President Akufo-Addo to site the regional capital in Nalerigu.
They explained the traditional seat of the Mamprugu traditional area as well as home to all, and can easily be upgraded to a Regional House of Chiefs, hence their support.
Again, the chiefs said there is a reliable health facility, Baptist Medical Centre in Nalerigu, which they say, can also be converted into a Regional Hospital without much investment.
However, the youth of Gambaga and Walewale who were also pushing for their town to be named the regional capitals, indicated they will resist any attempt by anyone to undermine them.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana