Karni Area Youth and Development Association has lauded efforts by Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) and the Electoral Commission (EC) to realign Karni Area Council to Jirapa Municipality, their traditional town.
The Association also expressed gratitude to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for being “sensitive, responsive and sympathetic” to the plight of the people who have been protesting against the decision to divide the Karni Traditional Area for decades.
Mr Aggrey Faabar, Chairman of Karni Area Youth and Development Association, told journalists that for two decades the people have been crying over the “unconstitutional and arbitrary division” of Karni Area Council and Traditional Area between Jirapa Municipal and Lambussie District.
He said the demarcation did not find expression in section 3 (4) of the Local Government Act 1993 (Act 462) since it created “social and political disharmony” in the communities.
The situation, according to him, culminated in electorates’ refusal to take part in the 2016 general elections as a means of protest.
“Today, I am extremely happy to announce that our insistent cry and calls to successive governments and the powers that be have finally yielded positive results”.
“We are reliably informed (and a document to that effect) that the Constitutional Instrument realigning the Karni Area Council and for that matter the traditional area back to the Jirapa Municipality has been laid in parliament”.
Mr Faabar described the move by government as “needful and creative”, which would set the stage for holistic and speedy development as well as maintenance of peace and unity among the people across the seven electoral areas.
It would also alleviate the suffering of the people who, prior to the realignment, would have to travel on rough and dusty road for over 45 kilometres for a National Health Insurance Scheme card or renewal instead of making just 18 kilometres half-tarred road to Jirapa.
According to the District Electoral Areas and Designation of Unit’s Instrument 2019 document laid before parliament and awaiting 21 days maturity period, four electoral areas have also been restored to Jirapa Municipality, swelling the number to 57.
“We the youth of Karni on behalf of the chiefs and people of the area wish to express our sincerest gratitude and appreciation… for the bold move to realign the Karni area back to the Jirapa municipality, our traditional umbilical cord,” Mr Faabar said.
He expressed the hope that the initiative would accelerate development in Karni area and warned that it should not be sacrificed on the altar of personal and political interest.
The Regent of Karni, Naa Charles Samba, said the division of the traditional zone stalled development projects and created confusion as parts of the area fell under the jurisdiction of Jirapa traditional council and the other under Lambussie.
He said exercising power and control over the people became extremely difficult, adding, “But I am very glad we are now going back to our mother district and I hope things will now be better”.
Mr Ebenezer Ayema, the Assemblyman for Vingving Electoral Area, told the Ghana News Agency that the challenge of the people was the division of the traditional area, which has now been restored.
He said language also posed a grave challenge to Assembly Members from Karni area because key issues discussed at the Lambussie District Assembly were in Sissali, which close to 100 percent of them didn’t understand because they are Dagaabas.
“We had language barrier, let me say 99 percent of us don’t understand Sissali but usually when you go for assembly meetings critical issues are discussed in the local dialect which we don’t understand.”
He said the cost of transporting candidates of Basic Education Certificate Examination every year to Lambussie was often a burden on parents and guardians.
A large crowd, mostly farmers, abandoned their daily activities and surged to the Karni market square to listen to the announcement of realigning the traditional area to their mother district, Jirapa.
By: D. I Laary