Elect Competent Assembly Members – Minister

The electorate has been advised to consider candidates who have proven to have interest and are willing to partake in local governance issues in the forth coming district level elections.

Electingsuch persons to the assembly would ensure that the decentralisation process desired by central government is achieved.

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Julius Debrah, urged voters to elect people with better understanding of local governance issues into their respective assemblies and not any contestant who has no idea about what the system is about.

He expressed worry about the growing phenomenon of people declaring interest in contesting as assemblymen and women without recourse to local governance issues which should form the basis for their interest in representing their electoral areas at the grassroots.

According to him, many district assemblies were unable to meet their revenue targets last year, especially in the Northern Region where out of 26 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies only three met their revenue target in 2015, blaming the situation on electing the wrong people.

Mr Debrah therefore urged the electorate to consider the development of their areas first before electing people into the various assemblies, noting that it would reverse the negative trends in the assemblies.

‘The challenges confronting some district assemblies can be largely attributed to the calibre of assembly members in the assemblies,’ he observed.

The minister, in his maiden interaction with the media in Tamale as part of his week-long working visit to the region, attributed problems confronting some of the district assemblies to the people the electorate chose.

He reminded the electorate that it is not everybody who shows interest who should be elected, warning that such incapacitated assembly members always  end up approving anything the MMDCEs want them to.

The minister observed that such assembly members have diverse means of adopting delay tactics during their assembly meetings, and before citizens realise monies meant for development are used for their sitting allowances.

Such assembly members, Mr Debrah emphasised, find their way into the various assemblies as a result of the apathy that normally characterise district assembly elections and appealed to the people in the region to show keen interest in the upcoming district assembly elections.

The local government minister and his team are in the region to encourage citizens’ participation in the forthcoming district assembly elections, to promote northern region’s business potentials and also ensure the success of the region’s turn of the National Sanitation Day (NSD) exercise.

Mr Debrah stated that the ministry’s tour is to promote the region’s business potentials but not for the region to compete with the rest.

From Stephen Zoure, Tamale

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