The Wa Central Constituency is the most populous among the 11 political units of the Upper West Region.
While other municipalities have one or two constituencies under a Municipal and a Metropolitan Assembly, the case in the Upper West is unique. All constituencies are either a single District or a Municipality. While the debate and call may have a lot of political commentaries, the reality has been that Wa central has fit all criteria qualifying it to be split into Two. The Ghana Statistical Service reported that the population of Wa Central is 102,446 people. This exceeds the population requirement of creating a constituency. In terms of population; it is expected a constituency shall not have less than 95, 000 people a constituency is qualified to be divided.
It is in the spirit of these; well-weaning residents of the constituency are calling for the slip of Wa central into North and South. The data from the Ghana Statistical Services (GSS, 2012) coupled with clearly defined landmarks of the Wa Central is enough evidence for stakeholders not to wait for too long before considering our demand. Waiting for the 2021 population and housing census will only add to what has already been known.
The President, parliament and Electoral Commission should consider this call as a worthy proposal that curves out in the interest of Wa Central and Ghana. It will do contribute to enhancing citizen’s participation in governance; community engagement and largely development. Since budgetary allocations and quality of representation could be achieved. There Municipality will have Two Hon. MPs that would lobby more than an individual that may just be a rubber stand. It must be noted that the demand for the creation of constituency will necessarily guaranteed development, however, it has the potential to positively breed healthy competition and quality governance as various communities, residents under which constituency they belong would have more engagement with their Hon. MP. It is not just by demand for a seat that constituencies are created, the wisdom of the law is to accelerate quality participation and citizen engagement is important.
It must be noted that considering the voter population of the Wa central, the two constituencies if created could still be the most populous in terms of the voter population.
Another point worth consideration besides, the population index, is the vast nature of the constituency. There are a lot of rural and peri-urban communities that join the urban periphery to make up the constituencies. Some communities often feel neglected because the distribution of the national cake at terms could be disproportionate.
The appeal to the president, parliament, and the Electoral Commission to give this proposal a priority is because these bodies are mandated by law to create constituency where necessary. For instance;
The Constitution invests the President with the power to create districts but the procedure and criteria for their creation are spelled out in the Local Government Act of 2004 (Act 462). No time frame for the creation of districts has been specified. Again, Section 42 of the Local Government Act of 2004 stipulates that: (Ghana 2004a);
“(2) The President may by executive instrument-
(a) declare any area within Ghana to be a district.
(b) assign a name to the district.
(3) In the exercise of the powers conferred on him, the President shall: (a)
direct the Electoral Commission to make such recommendations as it
considers appropriate for the purpose.
(4) The Electoral Commission shall before making any recommendations to
the President under sub-section (3)
On the other hand, the Constitution stipulates the criteria for the creation of constituencies and mandates the Electoral Commission to (Ghana 1992a): Commission to (Ghana 1992a): “review the division of Ghana into constituencies at intervals of not less than seven years, or within twelve months after the publication of the enumeration figures after the holding of a census of the population of Ghana, whichever is earlie1; and may, as a result, alter the constituencies”.
Moreover, Article 4(2) of the 1992 Constitution merely states that: “Parliament may by law make provision for the redrawing of the boundaries of districts or for reconstituting the districts”, without specifying the legal procedures to be followed. Subsequently, Parliament enacted the Local Government Act, 2004 (Act 462) which spelled out the procedure and criteria for the creation of districts and robed in the independent Electoral Commission. The districts in existence immediately before the coming into force of the 1992 Constitution on 7 January 1993 were saved in the Local Government Act of 2004.
It will be expedient for all to join the call for this noble appeal. Undoubtedly, the administration of Wa Central is becoming too cumbersome and quality representation and citizens’ participation is a serious issue. Given the population of the constituency and the land size coupled with other criteria spell-out in the creation of parliamentary constituency, Wa central is more deserving to be divided into two constituencies.
Source: Opera News Ghana