The National Commission for Civic Education, (NCCE) has launched a public sensitization and awareness-raising campaign on the impending 2019 District Level Elections (DLEs) and Referendum in the Eastern Region.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Hon. Eric Kwakye Darfour (MP for Nkwakwa Consitutency) launched the campaign at Appenteng Hallin, Koforidua. The activity chaired by Most Rev. Joseph Afrifa Agyekum, Catholic Bishop of Koforidua Diocese, was attended by MMDCEs and Coordinators, Nananom, the Clergy, Heads of Departments, security services, students, political parties, Assembly members, District Directors of the NCCE, the Media among others.

Most Rev. Afrifa Agyekum noted that “Power indeed belongs to the people” and only their effective participation in local decision-making can make decentralization meaningful. He observed that any outcome of the 2019 referendum will be a product of the People's collective efforts as stakeholders and therefore admonished participants to encourage their constituents to take part in such important national decisions.

Mr. Alex Sackey, Eastern Regional Director of the NCCE welcomed guests and participants and disclosed that about 2,000 sensitization activities will be implemented by 17th December 2019, the date set for the DLEs/Referendum. Mr. Sackey said “Any turnout less than 40% will render the referendum invalid” and therefore entreated the

stakeholders to support NCCE’s sensitization campaign to succeed. The Eastern Regional Director of the NCCE also acknowledged the contribution of the Koforidua Technical University (KTU) Radio and GBC Sunrise FM who supported the Commission with airtime and urged other media houses to do the same for awareness-raising.

The Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, Mrs. Faith Amedzake in her address, said the Region has 821 Units and also 821 Electoral Areas (EAs) but the Lower Manya Krobo will participate in the referendum only. Mrs. Amedzake explained the purpose of the referendum is to amend Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution for political party participation in future DLEs and noted that “this is about numbers so all should join to help improve Ghana’s democracy by encouraging others to participate.”

Representatives of the NDC and NPP pledged to educate their followers and support the sensitization campaign to have Article 55(3) amended. Hon. Darfour before declaring the campaign launched, affirmed the commitment of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to bring local level development decision-making to the people themselves. He, therefore, encouraged all participants to take campaign activities towards the referendum very seriously in order to promote decentralization. “The test now is not for the NCCE but all of you to sensitize your people to make the power-sharing happen” he added.

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