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Politics Sat, 29 Apr 2006

Western Region Constitution Week launched

Agona Nkwanta(W/R), April 29, GNA - Mr Kwaku Baa Owusu, Western Regional Director of National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) on Friday called on Ghanaians to demand accountability from its elected leaders to reduce poverty, hunger and achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

He made the call when launching the Sixth Western Regional Constitution Week under the theme "Local Participation and Social Auditing for Poverty Reduction" at Agona Nkwanta.

Mr Owusu said, "I wonder whether Ghana can achieve these goals if Ghanaians adopt the negative culture of a national life in which we forget our leaders except during electioneering campaign when they come around to remind us of their presence and demand our votes for power." He said, "As a people we need to examine our individual and collective roles in ensuring accountability at all levels." Mr Owusu said the decentralization policy of the local government system required direct participation of the people at their local community levels through Unit Committees and other district assembly sub-structures.

He said it was only when these local level institutions were effective that individuals at those levels would have the courage to assert their sovereignty as citizens. Mr Owusu said citizens would also be able to exhibit critical qualities that were required to ensure accountability from people in leadership positions.

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He said it would be ideal for the citizenry to know the power they wield and power limitations of their leaders. Mr Isaac Kwakye, Ahanta West Deputy District Coordinating Director, said the country's democratic process could only be sustained to become the bedrock of peace and national unity when key stakeholders played their respective constitutional roles effectively.

He said democracy would thrive when stakeholders recognised their constitutional limits and played their defined roles in consonance with checks and balances inherent in democratic governance.

Mr Kwakye expressed appreciation to civil society that was assuming its proper and legitimate role in political governance. Launching the week, Reverend Mark Opoku Agyeman, Pastor of Christian Faith Church, Sekondi, called on Christians and other beliefs to participate in national life.

He said Ghana was a secular state and the Constitution permitted freedom of religion, therefore, the people should take up the challenge and participate in social and political activities in the country. Reverend Agyeman advised politicians, public and civil servants to be honest and perform their duties as required by the Constitution. He said time was money but Ghanaians had little value for time adding; "This attitude is affecting national productivity." Reverend Agyeman appealed to Ghanaians to use the working hours efficiently to improve productivity.

Source: GNA
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