Bawku (U/E), May 9, GNA - The Bawku Municipal Chief Executive, (MCE) Mr Abdul-Rahman Gumah, has stated that a well informed citizenry is the only way to ensure that government and its appointees remained accountable to the people at all times.
"A deepened awareness of the people at the grassroots level would not permit the government to impose its will on them," he said. To this end, he called for the active participation of the citizenry in the full implementation of the decentralization process and to ensure that projects and programmes are meaningful to the needs of the people.
Mr Gumah stated these, at the Fifth Constitution Week celebration organized by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in Bawku. The theme for the celebration was "Poverty Reduction through Enhanced Citizens Participation in Local Governance".
He said government was determined to empower the people through the decentralization process to enable them to participate in wealth creation in order to reduce poverty and build a sustainable economy. Mr Gumah called on parliamentarians, assembly and nit committee members to de-emphasise their partisan affiliations when it comes to explaining government policies to move the nation forward.
He urged the NCCE to step up its educational campaigns not only on election-related issues, but also on other civic issues.
The Municipal Director of NCCE, Mr Roland Azumah, in his welcome address, said the poor and disadvantaged in the society would be sponsored to witness assembly sittings to discard the erroneous impression that only the rich and the well to dos take decisions. He said women in the district would also be encouraged to participate in local level politics to ensure gender equality in decision-making. He noted that this would go a long way to fight poverty, since majority of the citizens were women.
The Municipal CHRAJ Director, Mr Mohammed Tiamiyu, who presented a paper on the theme for the celebration, said people must be well equipped with information on government's policies to prevent apathy in society.
He said in order for communities to have the full benefits of programmes, they should be involved in the decision-taking and implementation processes.
Mr Tiamiyu explained that, according to a study conducted in 2003, nine out of every 10 people sampled in the area were found to be poor, and that this should serve as a challenge to all.
He, therefore, called on district and municipals assemblies to sensitise the citizenry on the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) document for them to appreciate and adopt means of reversing the vicious poverty cycle.