Madam Josephine Nkrumah, the Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has entreated Ghanaians to be advocates for the forthcoming Referendum and District Level Elections (DLEs) and sensitise each other to ensure success.
Available records had shown that the general participation in the DLEs had been very low, which was not healthy for effective local governance and decentralization, as the assemblies played a major role in development, she said.
Madam Nkrumah made the call at the Bono Regional launch of the
Public Sensitisation and Awareness Raising Campaign on the DLEs and the Referendum for the Amendment of Article 55(3) of the 1992 Fourth Republican Constitution.
Forty per cent turnout of the total registered voters was required for the Referendum and 70 per cent "Yes Votes" were constitutionally required to pave way for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs).
The Campaign was organised by the NCCE in partnership with the Electoral Commission and Information Services Department, and supported by the Ministry of Local government and Rural Development.
People of diverse backgrounds attended including representatives of traditional councils, religious groups, security services, Ghana Federation of Disabilities, and Political Parties.
It was designed, among other things, to create awareness on the Local Government system and the duties of assembly members, effects and benefits of the election of MMDCEs on partisan basis and educate the electorate on the right to vote, tolerance and the need for peace before, during and after the election.
Madam Nkrumah said the highest turnout for the previous DLEs was 35 per cent, regretting that the attendance was far too low and called for its improvement adding; "Democracy is about the voice of the electorate".
She urged the populace to actively participate in the process to ensure success.
Ms Doris Gbongbo, the Bono Regional Director of the NCCE, urged participants to assist the NCCE to spread the message by organising community meetings and church outreaches among others to ensure high participation.
She appealed to managers of radio stations to offer free airtime for the NCCE to sensitise listeners on the Referendum and the DLEs.