The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has underscored the urgent need to encourage marginalized persons to partake in this year’s district elections, to promote inclusive and participatory governance.
Mr Mawuli Agbenu, the Upper East Regional Director of the Commission, who made the call, noted that over the years, women and persons with disability had not been much involved in the district level elections due to their vulnerabilities.
He said the situation was worrying and defeated the principles of democratic governance and called on major stakeholders to work to remove barriers confronting them and support them to stand for leadership positions in the impending district and national elections to enhance good governance.
He was speaking to staff of the Upper East Regional Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority as part of activities marking this year’s Constitution week, one of the Commission’s flagship programmes.
This year’s celebration was on the theme, “Thirty years of consolidating Constitutional democracy: building national cohesion through civic education and participation in local governance.”
Mr Agbenu said the 1992 Constitution had stood the test of time and outlived all previous Constitutions and all efforts must be made to ensure inclusive governance, to deepen the democratic credentials of the Constitution.
Generally, he said participation of women in the Ghanaian political space had been poor, adding that out of the 275 Members of Parliament in the current Parliament, only 40 were women, representing an insignificant number of the total women population in Ghana.
This, he said, was even worse in the district level elections as many people did not have interest in such elections and the situation had always led to low turnout but the Commission was determined to change the narrative.
“We know there are lots of issues of socio-cultural beliefs and practices, finances among others hindering vulnerable people like women from contesting in elections and we are intensifying education to encourage more people to show interest in district level elections and support more women this year.
“We are also calling on the Parliament to pass into law the Affirmative Action Bill which has been in Parliament since 1999 to encourage more women into politics,” he said.
On the threats of terrorism from the Sahelian region to the peace and security of Ghana, the Regional Director noted that conflicts between communities and herdsmen were major breeding grounds for terrorists to attack the country.
He said the border communities needed to be sensitized on the protocols on transhuman protocols of the Economic Community of West African States and urged the Customs Division who worked at the borders to help educate the residents to ensure peace among the people.
Mr Samuel Owusu, the Upper East Regional Sector Commander of the Customs Division, hauded the efforts of the NCCE for driving home civic education among Ghanaians and said the move would help consolidate the peace and security of the nation.
He said the Customs Division in the region was working with other security agencies to ensure the borders of Ghana were properly manned to prevent any spillover of the activities of the terrorists into the country.