Nana Soglo Alloh IV, Paramount Chief of the Likpe Traditional Area, has suggested that the elections of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) must be in tandem with the election of Assembly members, rather than the appointment and removal being made by the president.
He appealed to the government to ensure the election of MMDCEs came alive as proposed to deepen the decentralisation concept and participation at that level to fulfil promises it made to the citizenry to amend Article 243 of the 1992 Constitution to allow local people to elect their MMDCEs, and not on party political affiliations.
“Even though decentralisation enhanced political probity, transparency and accountability of local representatives to its citizens, Article 242 of the 1992 Constitution specifically stated that the president should consult with the traditional authorities and other interest groups in the Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts in appointing 30 per cent of assembly members which is scarcely done,” Nana Alloh postulated.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Guan District at Likpe-Mate, he said as a result of that, local actors’ participation in decision making within the decentralised arena was very low indeed and were always hesitant and indifferent to participating in any local political processes.
According to Nana Alloh, it was their wish a Member of Parliament (MP) would soon be elected to complement membership of the Assembly in line with Article 242 of the 1992 Constitution, adding that “alternative to immediate election of Member of Parliament, the government should make special financial arrangements to supplement income of the assembly before it gets full compliments from members”.
Dr Nana Arthur, Head of Local Government Service, hinted a total of 34 staff including a Coordinating Director had been posted to the Guan District who were carefully selected by the district and urged them to uphold all ethical values and professionalism to the development of the area.
He stated that the staff must develop cordial relationship between the Assembly and residents in garnering revenue for the district through collection of property rates, levies and taxes.
Dan Botwe, the Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development noted that creation of Oti Region and inauguration of Guan District were fulfilling the heart desires, hope and aspirations of the people. -GNA