The Information Services Department (ISD) has been told to intensify its public education on the upcoming referendum on Article 55 (3), slated for December 17, 2019.
They should let citizens come to terms with the merits and demerits of the referendum, to help them to make informed decisions for an improved local governance system.
Dr. Eric Oduro Osae, Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), described the referendum as a defining moment for the nation since it sought to deepen grassroot democratic dispensation.
“We must ensure consistency in our governance system from the national to the district level,” he said, stressing that this was the most acceptable practice for accelerated development and growth.
Dr. Oduro Osae was delivering a paper on the topic “Issues to Consider in Educating Citizens on the 17 December, 2019, Referendum”, at a day’s workshop in Kumasi.
It was organised by the ISD for its Regional Information Officers to equip them with the requisite strategies, messages and skills needed for an effective campaign on the referendum, and the up-coming district level elections.
Ghana is currently seeking to embark on democratic reforms with a constitutional amendment to Article 55 (3), to pave way for the involvement of political parties in the election of assembly members and unit committee members.
To achieve this amendment however, a critical minimum of over 40 per cent turn-out with over 75 per cent endorsement from voters was required to effect an amendment to the constitutional Article 55 (3).
Dr. Oduro Osae said when the changes were finally effected, the people would have the opportunity to choose their own Chief Executives for their respective assemblies.
“By so doing, there would be a lot of accountability and transparency in governance at the local level for the benefit of the nation,” he noted.
He advocated the strengthening of local government structures to enable the assemblies work effectively in meeting the needs of their people.
Mr. Charles Wereko, Acting Director of the ISD, assured that the Department, which had a long and cherished history in the conduct of such high-profile national education campaigns, was determined to bring all their expertise to bear for a successful exercise.