NCCE urges interest in referendum

BY: Victor Kwawukume
Mr Daniel Agbesi Latsu, NCCE District Director (standing) addressing participants
Mr Daniel Agbesi Latsu, NCCE District Director (standing) addressing participants

The Kadjebi District Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Mr Daniel Agbesi Latsu, has appealed to eligible voters to develop keen interest in the upcoming referendum on the creation of proposed six new regions.

According to him, it was both a civic duty and right to participate in all voting processes intended to entrench constitutional democracy in the country.

Mr Latsu said, “it comes as a duty in the performance of our roles as citizens working towards securing for ourselves the blessing of liberty, equal opportunity, prosperity and good governance,” stressing that voter apathy would, therefore, deal a severe blow to any quest to create a region, and so they must avoid it.

He added that the low level of civic participation and engagement at all levels of governance by the citizenry remained a major drawback in the democratisation processes of the country.

That, he said, had resulted in disequilibrium between the supply and demand sides of good governance and needed a paradigm shift.

Mr Latsu, made these statements at a sensitisation programme at Dodo-Amanfrom in the Kadjebi District in the Volta Region organised by the Oti Movement, an advocacy group, in partnership with the NCCE to educate the electorate on the need to turnout and vote during the referendum on the Oti Region creation.

High turnout

He said their presence at the polls was vital because the issues referred for determination by referendum should not be taken to be determined by the referendum unless at least 50 per cent of the persons entitled to vote cast their votes at the referendum.

More so, of the votes cast, at least 80 per cent  ‘yes’ votes were cast in favour of that issue; adding that anything short of that would make the exercise null and void.

Giving background to the creation of regions in Ghana, he said Ghana moved from three colonial territories to five as of Independence in 1957, then to six in 1959, then to seven in 1960, then to eight in 1970, then to nine in 1982 and finally to 10 administrative regions in 1983 when the latest being Upper West Region was created out of the then Upper Region.

He said the creation of new regions was not new and thus, called on all interest groups to remain calm before, during and after the creation of the proposed six new regions.

The Kadjebi District Chairman of the Oti Region Creation Organising Committee, Mr Nicholas Kwame Fato appealed to the electorate to turnout and vote because dead voters, ghost voters and absentee voters who had their names in the voters’ register but were not present to vote would be deemed to have voted against the creation of the region.

Remain peaceful

The Paramount Chief of the Dodo Traditional Area, Daasebre Obornie Sebewie V called on the electorate to avoid violent acts even if they were provoked in order not to mar the beauty of the polls in the district.

Daasebre Sebewie V also appealed to the government to construct the Dodo-Amanfrom to Dodi-Papase Roads.

He said the neglect of the road had left farmers and traders in the area in sorrowful state as they could not transport their farm produce to marketing centres in Kadjebi, Jasikan, Hohoe, Ho, Accra among others, resulting in post harvest losses.

The Chief of Dodo-Pepesu, Nana Saafo Attara II said the benefits of the creation of a new region were enormous and thus, called on the electorate to turnout in their numbers and vote YES for the creation of the Oti Region for rapid development.