Participants at a project inception meeting on ‘Promoting issues based campaign on fisheries, mining, oil and gas governance for election 2020’, have kicked against the development of political manifestos independent of State Policy and the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).
They indicated that the practice over the years had resulted in the slow pace of national growth and development, abandoned projects on the part of successive governments and the winner takes all phenomenon that was becoming entrenched in the body politics.
The inception project, organised by the Friends of the Nation with funding from STAR Ghana is a 15-month programme to increase the citizenry action to influence manifestos of political parties to address issues in fishing, extractives and prioritise citizen’s needs and aspirations in line with state policy.
The chapter six of the 1992 constitutions under article 39 gives directive principles of State Policy regarding how social, economic, cultural, political, and international relations should be conducted for betterment of the citizenry whilst the NDPC provides growth and development plan to guide any well-meaning group to follow in advancing the course.
Solomon Ampofo, the Coordinator for Natural Resources at Friends of the Nation, stressed on the need for proper analysis of extractive industry to inform policy in that direction.
He said the project would be jointly executed with partners such as the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Electoral Commission (EC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Minerals Commission to develop a citizen’s priority charter from which the political parties could adopt.
Kwame Lan Tugbenu, the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Director of the NCCE, pointed out that, “It is imperative for the citizenry to enlighten themselves with the constitution in order to hold political parties and governments accountable.
“The 1992 constitution provides the springboard for every state activity and I wonder why interest of political parties are gradually superseding the interest of the state,” he said and entreated political parties “to go by the dictates of the constitution as reformative step in the upcoming general election in doing what is constitutional for growth and development”.
Asare Boafo-Gyan, the Deputy Director of the Western Regional Electoral Commission, observed that the commission was committed to peaceful elections to enhance democratic credentials of the state and urged all and sundry to take active part in processes. -GNA