Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin

Residents of the Santrokofi, Akpafu, Lolobi and Likpe (SALL) have decried the deliberate attempt to deny them representation in the eighth Parliament.

The residents in a new petition to the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, said in May last year, they petitioned the Parliament, however, next to nothing has been done about their plight.

Thus, in a new letter addressed to the Speaker, the Office of the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) of the Lolobi and Akpafu Traditional Areas, has asked the leader to intervene.

“Rt. Hon Speaker of Parliament, speak, “Thy Servants” heareth, SALL, Ghana and the world waits for the collective verdict and action now!”

The aggrieved residents reiterated their plea to get a representation in Parliament.

According to them, it seems some powers that be want to deny the “poor and humble” people of SALL representation.

“It has been 499 days without representation of the people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi Traditional Areas also known as SALL in the 8th Parliament of our beloved country Ghana. This situation appears to have been imposed on the poor and humble people of SALL by some state institutions and agencies.

“Otherwise, our persistent cry over the period would have invited rectification and relief from those who have been charged to ensure that fundamental human rights are not trampled upon,” they noted.

While describing the situation as frustrating and mind-boggling, the residents said they will not relent until their request is actualized.

“We have been beaten and held down for over 499 days, but our spirit will keep fishing for what is held by all as one of the foundation pillars of democracy-Representation in Parliament.

“We are hopeful that Parliament which still has a lot of life on the calendar would not become fatigued in supporting a course that will bring it honour, dignity and praise and have its name chiseled in stone,” they added.

Background

The Guan District made up of Santrofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL) in the Oti Region was created following a Legislative Instrument laid in Parliament by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in 2019.

The Guan District was previously part of Hohoe Municipal (District Electoral Areas and Designation of Units) Instrument, 2014. C. I. 85. However, the area was placed in the Oti Region in the Referendum (Creation of New Regions) Regulations, 2018 C. I. 109 of 30th November, 2018 as recommended by the Commission of Inquiry into the creation of the six new regions.

Consequently, Guan was made part of the Oti Region in Oti Region Instrument, 2019 C. I. 112 on 8th February 2019. It was also included in the Jasikan District in the Oti Region as provided in the District Electoral Areas and Designation of Unit Assemblies.

However, the people of SALL did not partake in the December 7, 2020 parliamentary election but only voted in the Presidential election.

This followed an announcement by the EC on December 6, 2020.

The disenfranchisement has so far triggered many reactions with many concerned Ghanaians calling for the issue to be addressed ahead of the 2024 general election.

In 2021, the residents themselves petitioned the Electoral Commission, the Executive and Judiciary.