Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, has re-inforced his call for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to be directly elected by the people.

He has therefore urged the president to ?wash his hands off? the election of MMDCEs in the country.

Dr. Nduom made this observation when he hosted Ghana, Great and Strong, a weekend programme that critically examines issues of national interest on Internet-based wwwhedjorleonlineradio in Accra last Saturday.

According to him, he has initiated a petition drive to get signatures to support the election of MMDCEs.  The petition when completed will be presented to the President, Parliament and the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and very soon will be presenting it to them.

Ghanaians, he said, are ?ready and intelligent enough? to elect their MMDCEs and must therefore be given that chance.

He also called on Ghanaians who support his call for MMDCEs to be elected to rally behind him in signing his petition to ensure accelerated local development ?based on local priorities.?  Dr. Nduom wants this petition drive to be non-partisan in nature and is calling on all Ghanaians, business men and women, religious leaders, students and politicians of all types to support this worthy cause.Dr. Nduom said it is regrettable that ?our local areas? are poverty-stricken mainly because MMDCEs are selected by the president based on political patronage.

?As a result, they listen to Accra and NOT the people they are put there to serve. We must unleash the power of the people to ensure that when their Chief Executives do not deliver, they remove them at the next election. This way, we can experience accelerated local development based on local priorities not somebody in Accra?s politically motivated interests,? he indicated.

Against this backdrop Dr. Nduom urged Ghanaians to reject government?s White Paper on the report of the Constitution Review Commission of Inquiry which spelt out the following??that the President nominates a minimum of five persons who would be vetted by the Public Services Commission for competence after which three nominees would contest in a public election.

??I want to assert that the [Mahama] Government White Paper Report that suggested that the President nominates a minimum of 5 persons who would be vetted by the Public Services Commission for competence after which 3 nominees would contest in a public election is not a good thing. And it is not something we will work with,? the host of Ghana Great and Strong stressed.

On the programme were Nana Boadi, a businessman, and Charles Owusu, a member of the PPP Communication Team.

Nana Boadi commended Dr. Nduom for his efforts to ensure that MMDCEs are popularly elected.

He could not understand why Assembly members are elected to bring about development at the Assemblies but when it comes to the MMDCEs the president should have a hand in their selection.

?It is not right for the president to select some persons to be considered for the position of MMDCE,? he affirmed.

In his opinion, the president is just an ?administrative person? and must therefore not make laws and policies that will not benefit and bring development to the masses of this country.

?So, as many were voted by the people at the Assemblies to become Assembly members and the CRC report also indicated that MMDCEs should be elected, the president must not change this,? Nana Boadi urged.

Nana Boadi therefore appealed to President Mahama not to meddle in the election of MMDCEs.

For his part, Mr. Charles Owusu supported the view that MMDCEs should be elected by the people in their various localities.

That, he stressed, will ensure transparency, accountability and bring about development at the local level.

?When our MMDCEs are popularly elected, it will offer the people the opportunity to work closely with them [the MMDCEs] to bring about development in their localities,? Mr. Owusu submitted.

Earlier on the programme, the panelists examined ways of improving the conditions of service of Assembly members.

The Assembly member for Wa Municipality, Hon. James Sohimwinye, who spoke via phone, described as ?woeful? the social conditions of his colleagues.

According to him, while the President and MPs who are elected by the people receive fat salaries what Assembly members receive is only a pittance.

Both Nana Boadi and Charles Owusu agreed that it is high time conditions of service of Assembly members in the country are improved to enable them work hard to improve the lot of their people.

Below is the petition:

4 May 2013

Papa Kwesi Nduom

Accra, Ghana

Hello!

Petition to Free the People to Elect their Metropolitan, Municipal & District Chief Executives

I?ve started the petition ?Constitutional Review Implementation Committee, Parliament & the President of the Republic of Ghana: Let the People elect their own local Chief Executives? and need your help to get it off the ground.  We must petition against Government?s White Paper on the Report of the Constitution Review Commission of Inquiry on the mode of selecting Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executive.

It is the view of Government that in ?decentralizing in a unitary state, a delicate balance ought to be struck between central control and local autonomy?. The government has therefore decided that ?Article 243(1) of the constitution should be amended for the President to nominate a minimum of five (5) persons who would be vetted by the Public Services Commission (PSC) for competence after which three (3) nominees would contest in a public election?. This proposal will apply to all categories of assemblies ? Metropolitan, Municipal and District.  If the Constitution is amended as stated above, local development will continue to be dictated by Accra and will therefore not be based on the urgent priorities and needs of the local people. Our local areas will consequently continue to be under-developed. Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives must be elected at the local level by the people so that they, the people and not Accra, will have control on the development agenda of their local areas based on their established priorities. This is the only to ensure sustainable development at the local level.

The mode of selection which has been practiced to this day and which will only be slightly amended by the President?s proposal, has not brought any appreciable level of development, especially at the district levels. The Constitutional Review Implementation Committee, Parliament and the President should therefore as a matter of urgency, let the people elect their own local Chief Executives.  Our local areas remain underdeveloped mainly because the leaders, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives are selected by one person ? the President based on political patronage. Sometimes the people who become Chief Executives are the ones rejected by the same people when they stood election to become Members of Parliament.  As a result, they listen to Accra and NOT the people they are put there to serve. When the people freely elect their Chief Executives, they will remove them if they do not deliver at the next election.

Thank you & God Bless the Republic of Ghana

Papa Kwesi Nduom

Name                                                                          Signature

Please comment below 

STORY: KOJO YEBOAH, HEDJORLEONLINERADIO, ACCRA.

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