Communities advocate postponement of referendum


Participants at a day’s capacity building workshop on Local governance have kicked against the December 17, Referendum.

The participants said public education, awareness and sensitisation on the referendum had not gone down with the people to enable them to appreciate the process.

They have therefore called for the postponement of the process to ensure the citizenry were engaged to appreciate the ‘nitty gritty’ of the whole process and its positive contribution or otherwise to the Democratic discourse.

The capacity building workshop facilitated by Friends of the Nation to expose selected communities in the Western Region, to the Open Governance Partnership (OGP) ideals and the use of the Infrastructure Transparency Initiative (CoST) standards to strengthen transparency and accountability, was given financial support from Oxfam under the Economic and Social Justice project.

Nana Kofi Abuna, the Chief of Essipon, said the process was for Ghanaians and therefore made it prudent that all Ghanaians understood to become abreast with the Referendum to ensure informed decisions as against the usual campaign message of “vote yes in favour and no if not in support”.

She queried,”what is the NCCE and Information Service Department doing, we need open engagement in all Communities before we can take such a delicate national decision”.

The Local Action Plan on the Open Governance Partnership for the STMA hinges on Transparency and Accountability, Improved service delivery, information and communication, while the CoST standard promotes disclosure, Transparency and social accountability in the construction sector.

Mr Solomon Ampofo, with the Friends of the Nation said there was the need for citizens’ to be empowered to understand the concepts of local governance and decentralisation to effectively demand for accountability in the utilisation of public resources for better service delivery.

In all, 55 community leaders and champions from 20 communities within the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis and Effia Kwesimintsim Municipality were trained on the Local Governance Act, Processe for preparing District Development Plans and Budget and avenues for community participation.

They were also sensitised on the 2020 Action Plan and Composite Budget of Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly.
He stated that the training was part of the implementation of the 2018-2020 Open Government Partnership (OGP) Action Plan and use of CoST standard to enhance Civic Participation in Local Governance and transparency in infrastructure service delivery.

Mr Aziz Mahmoud, with STMA who gave an update on OGP and CoST said the STMA signed unto such global schemes in promoting more opened administration that respected the views, contributions and participation of the people it served for improved livelihood.

He mentioned that the CoST standards and models would help to realise the OGP commitment of Transparency and accountability in the construction sector which over the years were bedeviled with corrupt practices.

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