Mr Salifu Issifu Kanton, the Director of Community Development Alliance (CDA), has called on citizens to support the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to deepen Ghana’s decentralization process and guarantee social accountability.
“If the country will move forward and ensure our decentralized structures are working properly, then citizens should support the election to succeed,” he said.
Mr Kanton said by voting, the democratic space would be opened at the grassroots and ensure citizens owned the governance process.
Mr Kanton also called on Ghanaians to be active citizens that have the capacity to question leaders as well as offer alternative opinions on public policy issues.
He was speaking at the Upper West Regional civil society and citizen dialogue programme held under the theme: “The referendum we want.”
It was organized by CDA, a non-governmental organization in partnership with NORSAAC.
The forum generated a public discourse on the proposed referenda on constitutional amendments that would enable the direct election of MMDCEs as well as appraise the recent referendum on the creation of six new regions, bringing Ghana’s administrative regions to 16.
Mr Kanton said the best alternative for Ghanaians to support the amendment of the constitution that allowed the direct election of MMDCEs was that people would be reassured that the power of governance remained in the citizens.
“If we keep quiet and what we do is to take cover under political parties and covering wrongdoing of political leaders, eventually the wrongs will swallow all of us,” he said.
Mr Issah Aminu Danaa, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager of NORSAAC, urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to educate the public on the referendum and election of the MMDCEs about the rules and regulations governing it processes.
Mr Ali Osman, the Upper West Deputy Regional Director of EC, said the Commission was adequately prepared for the referendum exercise to ensure that accurate and fair election is conducted.