An overwhelming ‘Yes’ vote in parts of the Brong Ahafo Region in Thursday’s referendum has successfully created the proposed Ahafo and Bono East regions.
Thousands of residents in the two enclaves, despite their political differences, rallied together to massively vote for regional independence, which they have over the years been craving for.
Certified results released by the Electoral Commission early Friday morning showed ‘Yes’ votes of over 90 per cent in each of the two new regions.
With this, President Nana Akufo-Addo per Article 5(8) of the 1992 Constitution, is enjoined to issue a constitutional instrument to give effect to the results of the referendum for the creation of new regions.
Thursday’s referendum in parts of the Brong Ahafo, Northern, Volta and Western regions, was to give the residents in those areas the opportunity to decide if the proposed Ahafo, Bono East, Oti, Western North, Savannah and North East regions should be created.
In the Bono East Region, a total of 100,543 eligible voters cast their vote of which 100,066 voted ‘Yes’ to endorse the creation of the new region with only 273 persons voting ‘No’ to reject the proposal.
There were 204 rejected ballots.
Though a 50 per cent of the registered voters was required, at the end of the poll, they had hit 92.10 per cent. Of that figure, 99.53 per cent voted ‘Yes’ which was more than the 80 per cent that was required for the creation to be successful.
Our correspondent Larry Paa Kwesi Moses reported from the collation centre in Techiman that journalists were on Thursday barred from entering the main auditorium, as they were only asked to “wait outside till they finish with the results and come and declare it outside for us”
He said although the results were ready by 11:50pm Thursday, the journalists covering the referendum were “asked to go and sleep and come tomorrow morning [Friday] for the declaration of results in the proposed Bono East Region”.
Chairman of the Elections Committee for the creation of the Bono East Region, Kwesi Adu Gyan, expressed satisfaction for the work of the committee. He said they will immediately mobilise themselves to work in unity to achieve the development objectives of the new region
Meanwhile, the situation at the new Ahafo Region was no different as 277,663 of the expected 307,180 eligible voters cast their vote in the referendum.
The vote by the residents of the six districts – Asunafo North, Asunafo South, Asutifi South, Asutifi North, Tano South and Tano North – constituting the new Ahafo Region, summed up to 99.67 per cent of the total votes cast.
Opinion leaders in the area told our correspondent Beatrice Spio-Garbrah the successful vote was due to months of underground work.
District Chief Executive for Asutifi North, Anthony Mensah explained the creation of the region will help speed up development in the area, noting with the new region, more jobs will be created to reduce the unemployment rate in the Ahafo area and the country in general.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana