The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has advised the public to stop the political colouration of its activities in relation to the December 17 Referendum and District Level Elections (DLEs).It said the incessant unsavory personality attacks were often targeted to impugn the reputation of the Commission with unfounded political allegations aimed at creating disaffection among the populace.
Consequently, it has reminded the public that members of the Commission were men of high repute and independent who could not be manipulated by any politician or political party to do their bidding.
Mr Paul Tetteh, the Assin-Fosu Municipal Director of the Commission, gave the advice at a public sensitisation programme held at Assin-Fosu to educate and create awareness on the upcoming DLEs and the Referendum.
Giving accounts of his personal ordeal, he revealed how some politicians in the two major political parties had maligned him with verbal assaults and doubted his professionalism, neutrality and integrity as a civic educator.
The Commission works to promote and sustain democracy and inculcates in the citizenry, the awareness of their rights and obligations, through civic education.
He underscored the important role assembly members played in the local government system, and said it was imperative to elect people who could analyse issues critically and make constructive debates.
"Community development require development-oriented people to represent their constituents, therefore you must elect knowledgeable, capable and competent persons as assembly members," he said.
Many local communities are under-developed because their assembly members are not able to push for their pressing needs to be captured in the assemblies’ development plans.
Stating the essence of the referendum, Mr Tetteh explained that the event, scheduled for December 17, is to allow Ghanaians to vote for the amendment of the constitutional provision, which currently prevents political parties from participating in DLEs.
He reminded the people that the referendum was not an election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives but to introduce multi-party participation in the Local Government system in Ghana if given the nod.
Mr Tetteh said the provision, as entrenched in the Constitution, can only be amended if 40 per cent of eligible voters showed up to vote and 75 per cent of the voters vote ‘YES’ in favour of the amendment.
A successful amendment of Article 55 (3) will make room for political parties to sponsor candidates for District Assemblies and Lower Local Government units.