Mrs Abigail Amponsah Nutarkor, Deputy Director, Gender, Youth and Disability, Electoral Commission, has appealed to tertiary students to vote in upcoming District Level Elections (DLE).
She stated that voting gave legitimacy to the elected and indicated serious local participation in decision making, as well as approval from the people for the election.
‘So, if you don’t go and vote, a few people will go and choose a leader for you. Please go and vote for me and mobilise people to go and vote. Those who have not voted before and are qualified, you can encourage them to use it as a first-time practice,’ she said.
Mrs Nutarkor made the call on Wednesday, when the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) held a sensitisation programme for students at the University of Ghana as part of its 30th anniversary celebration.
The programme was on the theme: ‘Building Youth Leadership for Participation in Local Governance.’
Ghanaians go to the poll on December 19, 2023, to elect District Assembly and Unit Com
mittee members for their various localities.
The elected would assist people in their communities to taking part in decision-making processes at the grassroots level and in mobilising development for them.
Mrs Nutarkor stated that students with youthful enthusiasm had to take part in elections to contribute to democratic development.
She also encouraged them to mobilise eligible citizens to vote or to be politically conscious of community issues and civic responsibilities, as well as to stir up the public’s interest in governance and participation.
The students were also charged to intensify efforts to get with women, youth, and people with disability to participate in the process through physical outreach and social media platforms.
Ms Kathleen Addy, Chairperson, NCCE, said living under military rule or political uncertainty was unsettling, and that it was prudent for citizens to know about their rights and obligations in the architecture of governance.
She stated that the Commission saw the need to wo
rk more with youths who show interest in leadership to enable them to transition from tertiary leadership to other forms of leadership.
‘The NCCE should work with the public to build a civic culture so that the natural things people do would have a democratic element in it,’ she added.
Ms Addy cautioned the students not to agree with anyone who claimed that military rule was desirable in a country facing economic challenges.
‘You are the lucky generation. Before the fourth Republic where the nation was under military regime, things were not pleasant at all. Life was not pretty.
‘So there came the need to set up an institution, the NCCE to enlighten the public not to opt for a military regime no matter what, and for the citizen to defend the constitution and stand up against a coup,’ she said.
Students from the University of Ghana, UniMAC-GIJ, and the Tertiary Education Students Confederacy of the New Patriotic Party, among others, took part.
Source: Ghana News Agency