The Upper West Regional Information Officer, Sinto Mustapha Nuhu has underscored the need for all Ghanaians to support the upcoming referendum for the District levels elections and propose amendment of Articl 55(3) of the constitution on partisan basis.
Mr. Nuhu said the election at the district level will help eliminate the winner takes it all syndrome by the political parties in power and bring effective citizen participation in the local governance.
He was speaking at a training program organized by the Regional Information Service Department for all Municipal and District Information Officers ahead of the referendum on the district level elections at Wa in the Upper West Region.
Chapter 6 of the 1992 constitution under Article 35 (6d) requires that steps be taken to make democracy a reality by decentralizing the administrative and financial machinery of government to the regions and districts.
This is to create opportunity for the people to participate in decision-making at all levels in the national life and in government.
Therefore the referendum is for electorate to approve or reject the proposal by government to conduct district level elections on partisan basis.
The Upper West Regional Information Officer, Sinto Mustapha Nuhu said the need for a change in the mode of appointing MMDCEs’ has been identified as a governance gap in the local governance system and urged information officers across the country to sensitize the public.
“I tasked the Information Officers in the Upper West Region to go out and educate the people to fully understand the referendum questions, the consequences of voting in favour of the referendum questions and the consequences of voting against it. And urging people to come out to vote yes so we will meet the minimum requirement of vote percent turnout and 75 percent voting in favour of the referendum” Mr. Nuhu stated.
Mr. Nuhu said district level elections will give citizens the opportunity to elect leaders of their choice at their local level adding that the citizens will get to decide whether to choose the local level leaders on party basis or not.
“As it stands now political parties cannot participate in local governance elections but the head of the local governance is headed by political appointees which are the MMDCEs so if you are banning political parties from participating and they are the heads and are accountable to the president and not the people. So the elections of the MMDCEs will make them more accountable to the people that they are governing at the local level and this will ensure local economic development because they will be involved in the medium term development plan” Mr Nuhu explained.
The training was attended by all the eleven Information Officers in all the districts and municipalities across the region. Mr Nuhu empowered the Officers to collaborate with the necessary stakeholders and civil societies organisations to ensure that the message get to every Ghanaian.
The referendum which will come off on December 17, 2019, requires 40 percent voter-turnout and 75 percent of the turnout must vote for YES to make the approval a reality.
Story filed by Dennis Bebane