Politics of Fri, 24 Mar 20060

Workshop on Assembly Elections

Zabzugu (N/R), March 24, GNA - A one-day capacity building workshop on the forthcoming District assembly elections in August for District Assembly members and Area Councillors of Zabzugu/Tatale District of Northern Region has taken place at Zabzugu. The workshop was organised by the Zabzugu/Tatale district National commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in collaboration with the Zabzugu/Tatale District Assembly and financed by Action Aid International Ghana.

In an address read on his behalf, the Zabzugu/Tatale District Chief Executive, Alhaji Yakubu Bukari said "our democratic path we have embarked upon is something we should put all our strength and might to ensure its sustainability."

Alhaji Yakubu said one way of ensuring this is to ensure that the decentralisation process grows from strength to strength. According to the DCE for this to materialise, there is the need for constant sensitisation of the citizenry to inculcate in them their civic responsibilities, rights and obligations as citizens of the nation. Alhaji Yakubu said, the framers of the Fourth Republican Constitution put this responsibility in the hands of the National Commission for Civic Education as enshrined in Section 233 of the 1992 Constitution. He said, all this important tasked can be done effectively if the Organisation is well resourced.

Alhaji Yakubu made a passionate appeal to the government and all well-meaning organisations, including the NGOs to adequately resource the Commission to enable it to effectively undertake its constitutional obligation.

The Presiding Member of the District Assembly, Mr Edward Atta Abebe Dawuni reminded the assembly members that, the District Assembly concept is non-partisan and those who will file to contest the impending District Assembly Elections should not link the elections with any registered political party.

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Mr Dawuni said, "it is only through this process that we can have peaceful district assembly election."

He said, the workshop is aimed at sensitising participants on some of the do's and the don'ts in connection with the August 2006 District Level election.

According to the Presiding Member, the responsibility to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections would depend on the candidates and their supporters as well as voters and Electoral Commission. Mr Dawuni appeal to the chiefs, opinion leaders and the people of Zabzugu/Tatale, Yendi, Savelugu/Nanton, Tolon/Kumbungu, Karaga and Gushegu district assemblies and Tamale Metropolitan Assembly to retain members of these assemblies since they have not served four-year term of office.

In an address, the Programme Manager of Action Aid, Easter Corridor, Mr Michael Lumor said, Action Aid believes that real development can be achieved if only people live in peace to exercise their fundamental human rights.

Mr Lumor reminded Ghanaians that, issues of elections are matters of participation, inclusion, good governance, democracy and development and not matters of life and death.

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He said his organisation believes that, development is a process where a community of people strives to make its possible for all its members to satisfy their fundamental human needs and to enhance the quality of their lives.

Mr Lumor called on the people of the district to be more occupied with discussion and operationalising development oriented issues like t he capitation grants, National Health Insurance Scheme, Peace and Security, HIV/AIDS and the emerging threat to child trafficking in the district.

He reminded them o the election incidence of violence that characterised the general elections in the 2004 in some part of the country including the Zabzugu/Tatale District that even led to the very late release of the results.

Mr Lumor said, much money is always invested into elections and it is always important the election ends peacefully. The Zabzugu/Tatale District Director of NCCE, Mr Iddrisu Shahadu called on the women who are 52 percent of the national population to come out to contest the impeding district assembly elections. Mr Shahadu said, this is because t is women who can easily put women issues across simple when it time for planning development targets. He said NCCE will be organising series f workshops in most of the electoral area to ensure that the Electoral Commission comes out with peaceful, free and fair district assembly election results in August 2006.

He commended Action Aid and the Presiding Member of the Assembly for making it possible for the workshop to take place. 24 March 06

Source: GNA

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