The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) says it has spent GH¢1 million creating awareness and educating the public on the upcoming December 17 district-level elections as well as the aborted referendum.
According to the Chairperson of the Commission, Madam Josephine Nkrumah, the money was made available by the Ministry of Local Government to raise awareness and educate people on the referendum as well as the district level elections.
“We were kindly sponsored by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. We didn’t have direct funding from government of Ghana to carry out the district level elections and referendum on the awareness raising and education…. We were given a million cedis and as we speak, we’ve dissipated all of those resources and that is not cheap money for NCCE,” a visibly disappointed Madam Nkrumah said in an interview on Joy News.
“You look at all the work you did and you are like wow, so all of this and it’s been called off. I think it was a real opportunity for us as Ghanaians in terms of local governance, in terms of reforms and in terms of where collectively as a people we wanted local governance to go. It’s a golden opportunity that we’ve all missed,” she added.
On the brighter side however, Madam Nkrumah said, the combined campaign programmes have created a better understanding among the populace on the need to participate in local government elections.
“For NCCE, on the premise that the referendum was riding on the back of district level elections, we continue to carry out with our work. Perhaps there’s been some good that has come out of this. People are beginning to understand the importance of local governance people are beginning to appreciate that that is where real change can be made,” she said.
Moving forward, the NCCE chair said her outfit would now focus on creating more awareness on the district level elections.
“We have pumped money in into adverts, jingles…on one side we were doing the referendum and on the other side we were doing the district level elections. So, what it is for us is to curtail education on the referendum and continue to speak about district level elections,” she said.
President Akufo-Addo, on Sunday, December 1, 2019, called off the referendum slated for December 17, saying there was lack of broad, national consensus among key stakeholders and the populace.
He consequently instructed the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, who was spearheading the process on behalf of the government, to abort the process and see to the withdrawal of the bills for the amendment of the Constitution, both in respect of articles 243(1) and 55(3).
In a televised address, he explained that he assumed office with the firm conviction emanating from the campaign and national discussions that there was a national consensus for the two amendments to the country’s governance system which would enhance its effectiveness and accountability.
President Akufo-Addo expressed surprise that after an initial consensus among key stakeholders, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) made a U-turn and said the party was no longer prepared to go along with the national consensus, indicating that they will actively campaign for a ‘No’ vote.