The United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP’s), Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Dr. Eric Oduro Osae says any Ghanaian who will fail to vote in the Deccember 17, District Assembly and Unit committee elections looses his or her right to participate in decision making. “If you don’t go you have sold your right’’ he emphasized.
Dr. Osae was speaking on “We the People” platform, a GTV monthly television show which is a GJA initiative and sponsored by STAR-Ghana.
The program is aimed at strengthening inclusive and accountable governance in Ghana.
Dr. Osae described the assembly and unit committee members as local parliamentarians, and said the assembly and unit committee members are expected to discuss developmental needs in their areas, ”as a way of bringing governance closer to the citizens”.
Reiterating the role of Assembly Members, Dr. Osae said Assembly Members are to ensure citizens are fully aware of all bye laws.
Dr. Eric Oduro Osae says if electorates fail to elect competent assembly members, funds can be mismanaged.
He said Assembly Members are to make sure that the Common funds are used for its intended purpose.
He reminded candidates that the assembly member role is a voluntary work not a paid job, adding that, ”Assembly Members are supposed to have their permanent jobs before taking on assembly member roles.
“If you are not able to get good assembly members, they will not be able to apply the checks they need to apply on the system.’’ Dr. Osae lamented.
”It is important for all citizens to go out in their numbers and vote for strong assembly members who have the ability to provide directions for good governance.” he added.
On accountability, the UNDP Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Dr. Eric Oduro Osae dared the electorate to hold Assembly Members accountable after voting for them.
He said Ghana’s 1992 constitution allows citizens to recall assembly members for non-performance.
”You can sign a petition to the District Electoral Officer that you think the assembly member is not performing, ”Dr. Oduro Osae explained.
He said Assembly Members are required to devote their time to serve people in their area, by ”facilitating, conveying and lobbying for developmental projects for the people”.
Dr. Osae disagreed with the perception that assembly members are always involved in scandals. He described assembly members as honourable, and encouraged the electorate to have confidence and trust in their assembly members.
The Electoral Commission is organizing unit committee and district assembly elections on Tuesday, December 17, 2019, to elect new members.
EC Officials say persons with disability and special needs are not required to join long queues at the polling stations.
All citizens are expected to participate in the exercise as a way of fulfilling their civic responsibility.
Story filed by Nasira Dzigbordi Avagah