Mr Johnson Avuletey, Deputy Volta Regional Minister, said engagement and sensitization of the citizenry on the upcoming referendum was crucial to garner support for the success of the exercise.

“I strongly believe that the engagement of the public would, aside creating the necessary education, also seek to garner support for a good outcome of the referendum and its implementation,” he stated.

Mr Avuletey was speaking at the launch of the Ho Diocesan sensitisation programme on the upcoming referendum at Saint Cecilia Parish on the theme; “Participation of political parties and citizens in district level elections”.

He said though the referendum was taking place in December, little was heard concerning sensitisation of the citizenry and the various political parties, saying “in order to stimulate and encourage active and wider consultation on the matter, it is important that political parties, as well as the public are engaged, educated and sensitized on this very important national agenda”.

Mr Simon Adatsi, Volta Regional Head of the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice, said the call for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) was an issue that could not be pushed to the back burner, however various constitutional and legal requirements must be tackled to achieve it.

“This kind of arrangement of appointment rather than election of MMDCEs naturally and most of the times, breeds non-involvement, apathy and low development on the part of members of the communities a phenomenon which is at complete variance with the Local Governance concept,” he said.

Mr Adatsi said apart from making the MMDCEs accountable to the community, the amendment of the articles would deepen democracy and participation in decision making at the local level leading to transparency and development.

He entreated the media, traditional authorities and other stakeholders to support the process by sensitising and encouraging the public to come out to vote massively, saying, “it must be emphasized that the referendum slated for December 17, 2019 is not an election of MMDCEs, but only a “YES or NO” vote on the amendment to the Article 55(3) of the Constitution to pave way for the election of MMDCEs on a multi-partisan basis come July 2021”.

Most Reverend Emmanuel Kofi Fianu, SVD, Catholic Bishop of Ho Dioceses, said the Justice and Peace Commission of the various dioceses and arch-dioceses of Catholic churches in Ghana with the aid of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) saw the need to support the sensitization of the public on this important national agenda.

He said the sensitization and education of the public on the upcoming referendum would enable the citizenry to make informed decisions that would affect their lives.

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