The Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Josephine Nkrumah, has refuted an allegation that the Commission has taken a ‘yes’ vote stand on the upcoming referendum.
She maintained that the Commission has never ever and would not take a stand in any of its campaign messages on the referendum saying “we have never and will not and cannot canvass for either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote in any forum of the December 17, 2019 referendum.”
Ms Nkrumah refuted the allegation on the sidelines of ‘The 4th National Dialogue on Whistleblowing’ in Tamale in the Northern Region on Tuesday to engage, educate, sensitise, create awareness and empower the citizenry to actively participate in the governance processes through contributing to reduction in corruption.
She was reacting to an allegation by a journalist that the commission was canvassing for a yes vote in the pending referendum and stressed that the commission did not do such a thing in any fora anywhere since their mandate was to educate, sensitise and create awareness for the electorate to exercise their constitutional right.
“Power is in the hands of the citizenry to either vote for yes or no in the referendum, our duty as commission is to educate, sensitise and create awareness for the citizenry on the bill but not to campaign for either yes or no,” Ms Nkrumah noted.
She reiterated the point that the December 17, 2019, referendum was not to vote for election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives but rather a vote to decide whether assembly and unit committee members should be elected on partisan bases or not.
“It is important for people to be educated, sensitised and create awareness on the referendum due to a lot misinformation, misconception and misrepresentation on the upcoming referendum which needed to be clarified,” Ms Nkrumah bemoaned.
Touching on the Whistleblowers Act, she assured of the Commission ensuring that the whistle blower was protected regarding the issues being exposed to fighting corruption and appealed to the citizenry to report issues they considered inappropriate to religious leaders and traditional authorities for action.
Ms Nkrumah stressed on the need for the fight against corruption be a collective effort and not left in the hands of the government and civil society organisations alone.
FROM YAKUBU ABDUL-MAJEED, TAMALE