Municipal and district information officers and cinema commentators of the Information Services Department (ISD) in the Upper East Region have attended a day’s training forum aimed at empowering them to sensitise the citizenry to turn out massively on December 17, 2019, to vote “ yes “ in the referendum to pave way for election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives(MMDCEs).
The officers drawn from all the 15 municipal and district assemblies in the region were also tasked to educate the communities to equally come out in their numbers to cast their votes in the district assembly election also scheduled for the day of the referendum on the election of MMDCEs.
Addressing the officers, the Municipal Chief Executive for Bolgatanga, Joseph Ameyuure, said the exercise was in fulfillment of the president’s campaign promise he made during the last elections.
He told the officers the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government was very passionate about the success of the programme and entreated information officers to ensure that they double up their efforts to make the voting exercises a success.
The Regional Information Officer, Benin Issifu, who took the participants through the two constitutional amendment bills, Article 243(1) and Article 55(3), told the officers to ensure that the region met its target of 75 per cent of people voting yes.
“As information officers and communicators of the government’s policies and programmes we should be guilty of ourselves if the nation fails to secure the 75 per cent yes votes to pave the way for the electorate to elect MMDCEs and move away from allowing them to be appointed by the president,” he stressed.
Mr Issifu urged stakeholders to sensitise the citizenry to be aware that the election of MMDCEs could lead to promotion of local democracy by affording local communities the opportunity to vote for their choice.
He indicated that apart from the system bringing meaning to popular democracy and creating the opportunity for competent persons to contest for MMDCEs positions, it would also discourage “the winner takes all syndrome”.
“The election of MMDCEs will also guarantee the security of tenure of MMDCEs and give them sound mind to ensure development and effective implementation of the medium term development plans of the assemblies and will reduce perceived tension between MMDCEs and Members of Parliament (MPs),” Mr Issifu indicated.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA