The President of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin has said much respect wasn’t placed on the December 17, 2019 referendum by the needed stakeholders.
He made this known on Monday December 2, 2019 whiles addressing the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs on the Occasion of the End of year General Meeting in Koforidua.
“We heard the President withdrew the referendum lastnight. On our minds, on my mind, my convicted opinion was that it was going to bring governance to doorstep of the people and it was going to allow people to shape their future at the district level, and take charge of their own destiny. But unfortunately, the message was not delivered properly and people did not understand the benefits of that referendum”. he said.
There have been varied public reactions on radio and on social media since President Akufo-Addo announced a decision to call off the December 17 referendum with some arguing that the government should have allowed the amendment of Article 243(1) to go ahead in Parliament to make the position of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives to be elective not on partisan lines but as independent candidates same as what pertains with Assembly and Unit Committee Members.
In effect, some have argued that the government should have withdrawn only the Bill for the amendment of Article 55(3) which prevents political parties to take part in local level elections following the breakdown of consensus.
But Okyenhene averred, the institution of Chieftaincy has been saddled with myraid of challenges despite strives made by Chiefs in the region.
He said the “Eastern Region still faces the challenges of collapsing social and economic infrastructure, unmotorable roads, falling standards in basic Education, destitution and unemployment of our youth”.
He, however, hastened to add that “I am happy the 2020 budget has laid a concert plan to address road infrastructure in the country”.