Nana Soglo Alloh IV, Paramount Chief of the Likpe Traditional Area, has called on the government to ensure the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) come alive as proposed to deepen decentralisation and participation at that level.
He said the government must the fulfil promises it made to the citizenry to amend Article 243 of the 1992 Constitution to allow the local people to elect their District Chief Executives, and not on party political lines.
He said the elections of MMDCEs must be in tandem with the election of Assembly members, rather than the appointment and removal being made by the President.
Nana Alloh who spoke at the inauguration of the Guan District said, “even though decentralisation enhanced political accountability of local representatives to its citizens, Article 242 of the 1992 Constitution specifically stated that the President should consult with the traditional authorities and other interest groups in the District in appointing 30 percent of the Assembly persons, “this is scarcely done.”
“As a result of this, the local actors’ participation in decision making within the decentralised arena is very low indeed.”
He noted that the local actors were always hesitant and indifferent to participating in any local political process.
The Paramount Chief noted that they wished a Member of Parliament would soon be elected to complement the membership of the Assembly in line with Article 242 of the 1992 Constitution.
“In the alternative to the immediate election of the Member of Parliament, the government should make special financial arrangements to supplement the income of the Assembly before it
gets its full compliments from members.”
He noted that the MP’s common fund was a crucial financial lifeline for an assembly like the Guan District Assembly which lacked internal generating funding.
Dr Nana Ato Arthur, Head of Local Government Service said a total of 34 staff including a Coordinating Director had been posted to the Guan District.
He said the staff were carefully selected by the District and urged them to uphold all ethical values and professionalism to the development of the District.
Dr Arthur said the staff must develop a cordial relationship between the Assembly and the residents while aim at garnering revenue for the District through the collection of property rates.
Mr Dan Botwe, the Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development noted that the creation of the Oti Region and the inauguration of the Guan District was fulfilling the heart desires and aspirations of the people.