‘Participate fully in local governance’

The Most Reverend Peter Angkyier, the Bishop of the Damongo Diocese, has advised the citizenry at the grassroots level to actively participate in local governance to ensure accountability within their communities.

That, he explained, would assist in abating the inadequacy in local development that affected the citizenry well-being.

He gave the advice in Tamale, during a workshop organised by the Tamale Ecclesiastical Province Pastoral Conference (TEPPCON) on its Civic Education project dubbed: ‘Strengthening Citizen Participation in Local Governance in the Tamale Ecclesiastical Province’ and funded by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).

It was aimed at empowering key stakeholders to ensure all-inclusiveness and citizenry active participation in governance especially within selected districts of the Tamale Ecclesiastical province, which included Wa, Tamale, Yendi, Damango and Navrongo -Bolgatanga Dioceses in the three northern regions.

The Most Rev. Angkyier disclosed that the three-year project, (2017-2020) focused on mobilising and strengthening the capacity of citizens’ groups to engage and demand for accountability from local government authorities on the development of their communities.

“Citizens should be encouraged to mobilise and engage their various district assemblies to provide knowledge and information about their operations as well as provide content of engagement between the assemblies and the citizenry to help improve on development.

“There is the need to effectively discuss with your respective Bishops on activities they intend to carry out in their dioceses, objectives, indicators after each activity, should be concern about effectiveness of the project outcome and not financial gains,” Rev Angkyier stressed.

Rev. Father Dr Matthias Mornah, the Judiciary Vicar of Tamale Inter-Diocesan Tribunal, speaking on ‘the role of the Catholic Church’s social teaching in strengthening citizenry participation in local governance’, indicated that social teachings of the Church were derived from natural laws, Divine revelation that guided organisation of society and ensured just ordering of social economy.

“The government should hasten its promise to return all mission schools to the churches as well as empower their Education Units to help ensure modification of their curriculum to make room for proper education of their children,” he noted.

Alhaji Hazic Zakaria, the Executive Director for Community Development and Youth Advisory Center (CODEYAC), speaking on ‘the relevance of Islamic values of social teaching in strengthening citizen participation in local governance’, observed that Islam made reference to law, order and responsibility in relation to development. -GNA

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