It is payback time for Dan Kwaku Botwe, who as Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development allegedly used tricks to orchestrate the exclusion of the people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe from the Volta Region.
Dan Botwe’s alleged illegal acts eventually culminated in the situation where the people of the so-called SALL did not get to vote for a Parliamentary Candidate in the 2020 elections.
Now that President Akufo-Addo has nominated him as Minister for Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development, the people of the SALL are asking Parliament not to approve his nomination.
A 24th January 2021 petition to the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin from the people of the SALL grounded their request for a Parliamentary disapproval of Dan Botwe on three thematic issues – that he is untruthful, he is incompetent, he breached the laws of Ghana and he is also disrespectful of traditional authority.
“It is a very well-known fact that the people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe were disenfranchised in the December 7, 2020, Parliamentary Elections. What is unknown however is the fact that Mr. Dan Botwe hac every opportunity as the Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development to stop this from happening but he failed and refused to do so,” they wrote.
“In fact in the opinion of the Joint Steering Committee (the official team designated by the Chiefs of Lolobi and Akpafu to represent the interest of the people of the two traditional areas on matters of Oti Region), Mr. Dan Botwe’s failings as the Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development is responsible for the situation the four communities find themselves in.”
According to the angry SALL indigenes, “as minister for Regional Reorganization and Development, he incompetently supervised the forced removal of Lolobi and Akpafu from the Hohoe Municipality, in spite of clear indications that the people were opposed to this unlawful act.
The petition is signed by Mr. Seth K.T. Owusu, Member of the JSC, for and on behalf of the Chiefs and people of Akpafu and Lolobi.
It is copied to the leadership of Parliament including the leader of the Majority group, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu and leader of the NDC Caucus, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu.
The petition reiterated that even though the people of Lolobi and Akpafu did not ask to be included in the Oti Region, did not petition President Akufo-Addo or the Brobbey Commission to be included in Oti, the Electoral Commission listed the two areas in a publication on its website announcing the designation of Electoral Areas.
When the Chiefs sent a delegation made of their Joint Steering Committee to the Electoral Commission to protest, Jean Mensah, the EC Chairperson is said to have told the delegation that her hands were tied and that she can only remove their names from the published list if Dan Botchwey, the Regional Reorganization Minister, gave the order.
The JSC, therefore, wrote to request a meeting with Dan Botwe, but he snubbed them. They wrote a follow-up letter and eventually got a reply from him. At a 19th November meeting with Mr. Botwe, the petition said, he was reminded that Lolobi and Akpafu had not asked to be included in the Oti Region.
“Subsequently, Mr. Botwe revealed he was deceived by some imposters claiming to be the Paramount Chiefs of Lolobi and Akpafu to include the two traditional areas in the proposed Oti Region. He said he had no means of verifying the claims of the imposters.
“We therefore humbly pray the august House to decline the request for his approval as the Minister for Local Government, Decentralization and Development,” the SALL group demanded.