Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Obed Asamoah believes that either Jasikan or Nkwanta would have been a good choice as the capital of the new Oti Region and not Dambai.
Mr Asamoah, speaking in an interview with Citi FM prior to President Nana Akufo-Addo’s announcement of Dambai as the capital of the Oti region on Friday said it made sense to make either Jasikan or Nkwanta the capital given their proximity to the main international route in the area.
He said that previous petitions for the creation of the new region over the years had also requested that Jasikan should be made the capital given its existing role as the administrative capital of the area.
“Left to me alone, the capital should be on the main route, the international route; Jasikan or Nkwanta. Jasikan had been the administrative capital of that part of the region for a long time, since the fifties.
“When they created the Buem-Krachi Traditional Council, Jasikan was more or less the capital. If you look at the petitions that the chiefs were sending to the various governments over the years they wanted to make Jasikan the capital. I think geographically, it makes sense.”
Read also: Dambai named Oti Regional capital
Obed Asamoah who also served as Attorney General from 1993 to 2001, however, added that if the government wanted to focus specifically on the development of the fisheries sector in the region, Dambai, which is known to be a fishing hub, could be a critical starting point.
“If you take fisheries, Dambai, for example, is an important fishing centre because that’s really where the lake is quite big and there’s a lot of fishing. If you want to develop fisheries, you would want to use that place as a starting point, or at least a subsidiary point.
“If you have a fisheries department in Jasikan, you should have a sub-office in a place like Dambai where a lot of fishing is being done. I hope, as government has been saying, that they are going to be spreading these administrative units all over the place, it is going to be done in such a way that it will not create unnecessary difficulties.”
When quizzed about his position on the creation of regions from existing ones, Mr Asamoah expressed his view that the new regions would bring development and also lead to employment.
“When a region is created, a lot more development goes in there. Even the administrative structures giving employment to people is something to be considered. Because of the new regions, there’ll be new people needed to man them.”
He admitted that while the huge expenses might be incurred to set up the administrative structures in these new regions, the government could offset this if an area with existing infrastructure was chosen as the capital.
“That is why in taking a decision, you must look at which areas already have some infrastructure. If you look at the Oti Region, I think that the infrastructure is more in Jasikan.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo announced Dambai as the capital of the Oti Region at the Jubilee House in Accra.
President Akufo-Addo also presented the constitutional instrument for the creation of the new region to chiefs and opinion leaders of the area.
This brings to six the total number of new regions who have had their constitutional instruments presented to their chiefs by the President.
Residents of the Oti Region almost unanimously approved the creation of the region in a 99% YES vote in December’s referendum.
Some districts that participated in the referendum included; Biakoye, Jasikan, Kadjebi, Krachi East, Krachi Nehumuru, Krachi West.
The rest are; Nkwanta North, Nkwanta South, Santrofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe. Before the announcement of Dambai as the capital, residents of Nkwanta and Jasikan had campaigned for either of the two towns to be named as the capital of the Oti Region.
Capitals of other new regions named
President Akufo-Addo had since Tuesday, been presenting the constitutional instruments to chiefs in the six newly created regions. He used the events to also name capitals for the new regions.
Nalerigu in the East Mamprusi Municipal Assembly was named as the capital of the North East Region.
Sefwi Wiawso was also named as the capital of the Western North Region while Ahafo Region has Goaso as its capital.
President Nana Akufo-Addo later in the week declared Techiman as the capital of the Bono East Region. Already the government has set aside an amount of GHc20 million as seed capital for each of the new regions.