The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Dan Botwe has rubbished suggestions that he is to blame for the discontent of residents in Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe (SALL) in the Oti Region.
Speaking during his vetting on Monday, he said such allegations were “coming out from a deep misunderstanding or have no basis at all.”
The people of SALL were said to be unhappy with their addition to the new Oti Region in 2018.
Some chiefs were not in favour of joining the new region if it meant being separated from the Hohoe municipality.
Some residents of Akpafu, then in the Hohoe Municipality, even boycotted the referendum that endorsed the creation of the Oti Region.
But Mr. Botwe, who was the Regional Reorganisation Minister, said there was no evidence of the lack of support for the new regions from the SALL area.
“It is never true that people from the Akpafu and Lolobi areas were not interested in being part of the Oti Region and were forced. It is totally untrue. Nothing supports that assertion,” he argued.
Mr. Botwe further said some of their SALL area complaints ought to be directed towards that Commission of Inquiry that oversaw the new regions’ referendum.
“As soon as a Commission of Inquiry was established, the ministry didn’t determine those who will be part of the new regions or will not be part. The ministry doesn’t determine where the referendum will take place. It is the Commission.”
The SALL area faced further controversy because voters in its district, Guan, were not given the opportunity to vote in Parliamentary elections.
But again, Mr. Botwe said his outfit was not to blame.
“Linking it to the voting; the ministry had nothing to do with who should vote in the presidential election. That is purely the work of the Electoral Commission,” he retorted when queried.
He, however, stressed that before the creation of districts and the elections, “it was clear they [SALL] were in the Oti Region.
“Nobody should entertain that [the allegations]. SALL was 100 percent in the Oti Region,” he stressed.