16 September 2011

Ghana: Nankanis Fight for Own District

Sirigu — AFTER OVER two decades of persistent demands for their own district and constituency, the chiefs and people of the Nankana East Area in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region are now threatening to create their own district, if the Electoral Commission fails to do so.

Natives of the area gave this notice at a news conference held at Sirigu on Wednesday. They also threatened not to participate in any election or political activity if their demands are not met by the close of this year.

Addressing the conference, which was attended by both the young and old from the area, Mr. Awalna-Tulley Joe Akandi, the spokesperson for the group, indicated that the struggle for a separate constituency and a district started about two decades ago, and that the then Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) government even sent a delegation to the area to listen their request.

According to him, though their agitation started at the same time Bongo was also fighting for separation from Bawku, Bongo is now a district on its own, but Nankana is still under Kasena due to a misunderstanding that arose.

He, however, indicated that the misunderstanding has since been resolved, with the people living peacefully, hence the need for government to reconsider creating a new district for them.

Stating reasons why they deserve to be given a district, Mr. Akandi claimed Paga and Chiana both had a smaller population, compared to the population of the Eastern Zone, compromising areas such as Sirigu, Mirigu, Nabango, Yua and Mayaro.

He contended that the population of the area has exceeded the 70,000 mark that is required by the Electoral Commission before the creation of a new district or constituency.

Apart from that, he disclosed that the eight towns and villages constituting the district have naturally been divided by a river to the east of the two districts (Kasena-Nankana East and West) created in the area.

He stressed that, the government's policy of promoting balanced development will be enhanced if the Nankani east area is granted a new constituency or district.

Mr. Akandi described the situation as indirect slavery and colonialism, as the people have been divided between the two districts, therefore, scattering the people who should have been together to develop the area.

Some of the people who spoke to The Chronicle expressed readiness in ensuring that they would not allow any political activity in the area.

One of them who gave his name as Gilbert, indicated that he would mobilize the youth to prevent revenue collectors from the Kasena-Nankana West district assembly from collecting revenue from the area. He also disclosed that, the youth will incite the people to refuse to entertain any government official who will visit the chiefs' palaces in the area.

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