The Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development Minister-designate, Dan Botwe has mounted a strong defence regarding his role in the disenfranchisement of the people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL) in the 2020 parliamentary elections.
During his vetting on Monday, the former Regional Reorganisation and Development Minister said his outfit was not mandated by the supreme laws of the land to create constituencies or districts.
In his view, this charge lies on the shoulders of the Electoral Commission and the Local Government Ministry. As such, he and the Ministry he represented in Akufo-Addo’s first term (which has since been scrapped) cannot be held responsible for the disenfranchisement of the residents of SALL in 2020 parliamentary elections.
“Mr Chairman, let me emphasise that the Ministry for Regional Reorganisation and Development for that matter as a former minister, we had nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the creation of districts or constituency by Electoral Commission and so I have no business answering these questions unless for educational purposes.
In response to a petition sent to the Chairman of the Committee against his appointment, he stated:
“But when people have petitioned, you need to educate them on what they do not understand or deliberately don’t want to understand what the constitution says.
“People may have a problem with the Electoral Commission’s decision not to let them vote in parliamentary elections. It is a matter for the EC but not it has nothing to do with the Ministry for Regional Reorganisation,” he told Parliament’s Appointments Committee.
Although the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Muntaka agreed with the Okyere MP on his outfit’s functions, he highlighted that the splitting up of the Volta Region is what set the matter into motion.
Effectively, he believes that even though the functions of Regional Reorganisation and Development Ministry did not include the creation of constituencies or districts, the former Minister could have helped resolved the problems when they came up.
“Mr Chairman, I totally agree with the nominee, if he is talking about his function. But the thing is once you start the process, it triggers to the next. If they were not added to a constituency, then they will be left hanging.
“So yes, in principle you can say because you were Minister for Regional Reorganisation you are not the Electoral Commission to create constituencies, neither are you the Minister for Local Government so it is not your duty to create a district. But your triggered action of creating the demarcation has created a problem that needed to be solved,” Muntaka said.
Already, a joint committee from Akpafu and Lolobi Traditional Areas has petitioned the Appointments Committee of Parliament to reject Daniel Botwe’s appointment to head the Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development Ministry.
The Committee, in a statement, blamed Mr Botwe for his significant role in the removal of Lolobi and Akpafu from the Hohoe Municipality despite their objection.