The Head of Internal Audit of the Ho Metropolitan Assembly, Mr Abdulai Abdul-Gafaru, has urged members of the public, to elect knowledgeable, capable and competent persons as assembly members.
He underscored the important role assembly members played in the operations of the local government system, and said it was imperative to elect people who could analyze issues critically, and make constructive debates.
"Don't vote for people who only “shout yeh yeh” and accept everything put before the floor of the house," he cautioned.
Mr Abdul-Gafaru made the call at a two-day training workshop on “Political and Fiscal Decentralization and development of action plan for media campaign on district budget process”.
It was organized by the Social Accountability Unit of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development under the Local Government Capacity Support project (LGCSP) for members of the Central and Western Region Media Network on Social Accountability, at Winneba.
The workshop was, to among other things, enable members of the network develop an action plan for the media network campaign on the budget process of Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies, as well as acquire knowledge on the Political and Fiscal Decentralization process.
According to Mr Abdul-Gafaru, some District Assemblies were under-performing, as a result of the caliber of assembly members elected.
He noted that many of them did not have any knowledge in accounting, economics and even the laws, thereby making them victims of tricks and manipulations.
He therefore tasked the electorate to always endeavour to investigate the academic background of people who seek their mandate to make sure they elect competent and committed people who have the expertise to perform.
On Government Appointees, he advised that technocrats and people with the requisite expertise should be appointed to complement the efforts of the elected members, adding" The caliber of people sent to the district assembly will determine how the assembly functions”.
Mr Abdul-Gafaru said district assembly members should also be selfless and ready to sacrifice to enhance the development of the district assembly system.
Touching on DCEs and MCES, he advocated for them to be elected and also be transferred from time to time, to help reduce the pressure and manipulation some of them face in their home districts.
On development projects, Mr Abdul-Gafaru said the lack of a National Development plan (NDP) was a bane to the development of the nation and called for the institution of a comprehensive NDP to compel successive governments to complete development projects initiated by previous government.
Mr Abdul-Gafaru urged members of the media network to develop special interest in the district assembly system, and make public all the activities of the Assembly, especially its budget process and the execution of development projects.
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