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14.05.2005 Politics

Politicians urged not to politicise development issues

By GNA

Wa, May 14, GNA - A speaker at this year's Constitution Week celebration at Wa on Thursday, called on politicians to avoid giving political colour to development issues because that was threatening the survival of decentralisation.

For decentralisation to succeed, Mr. Mohammed Rufai, the Wa Municipal Deputy Co-ordinating Director, said the total commitment of all stakeholders including the government, political parties, non-governmental organisations and other civil society groups was needed.

He spoke on the topic "Decentralisation Structure and Functions of Municipal and District Assemblies" at the ceremony that had the theme, "Poverty Reduction Through Citizens Participation in Good Governance". Mr Rufai said decentralisation had suffered at all levels because of the lack of skilled personnel to carry out its programmes. He suggested that the election of district chief executives should be given serious consideration in order to give practical meaning to governance at the local level.

Mr Rufai also called for the revamping of unit committees to achieve the purpose for which they were instituted. Mr Dominic Bede Donnir, Upper West Regional Director of the National Commission on Civic Education, said people blamed government and political institutions for certain actions due to their lack of knowledge about the constitution.

He said society had not been able to play its role as social auditors of the district assemblies, hence the perception that they were being re-centralised.

In his opinion, people who refused to meet their tax obligations had no moral authority to question how government spent its money. Mr Edmund Mankyiri, Wa Municipal Budget Officer noted that constituents made demands on their Members of Parliament because they did not know the functions of the MP on one hand and the DCEs and district assemblies on the other.

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