Ghana: Aspirants Pledge Issue-Based Campaigning

Four parliamentary candidates out of five in the Effiduase/Asokore Constituency in the Ashanti Region have pledged to conduct their campaigns based on issues.

The four are John Awuku of the National Democratic Congress (NDC); Lovina Berko, People's National Convention (PNC); Millicent Osei, Convention People's Party (CPP) and Joseph Afriyie of the National Democratic Party (NDP).

They made the pledge during a parliamentary debate organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), in collaboration with the Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP), with support from Strengthening Transparency and Accountability Responsiveness in Ghana (STAR-Ghana) at Effiduase.

The debate, attended by representatives of political parties, civil society organisations, religious groups, opinion leaders and heads of department, was organised to afford the parliamentary candidates the opportunity to present key issues from their parties and personal manifestoes to voters in their constituencies, to enable the electorate make an informed choice at the polls.

Mr. Michael BosompemTwum, Programme Manager of CEDEP, said his outfit worked in areas like development education, community development, women's empowerment, advocacy, gender and good governance.

The NDC aspirant, Mr. Awuku, said he would launch an educational fund to be known as the Sekyere East Educational Fund, from which the Krobea Asante Technical and Vocational Institute would receive massive infrastructural development, in order for more youth to have access to formal skills training.

He said the establishment of a library and an ICT Centre and Teacher Training college in the constituency would be his priorities.

Mr. Awuku said if he got the nod from the people, he would establish a Youth and Women Empowerment Fund, with a revolving fund of GH¢1 billion, and also equip the Asokore Oil Mills with modern equipment.

Ms. Lovina Berko, on her part, said she would use her influence as a Member of Parliament (MP) to establish a bakery, and also ensure that women receive employable skills in soap making, tie and dye and batik.

"I will constantly be in touch with the chiefs and assembly members to work out more programmes and activities to better the lot of the electorate," Ms. Berko intimated.

Ms. Millicent Osei, a teacher by profession, also indicated that education, health, sanitation, and agriculture would be her main focus, if given the nod as MP.

She said she would ensure that school children received free textbooks and other teaching and learning materials to enhance effective teaching and learning in the district.

Ms. Osei disclosed plans to establish a fruit and juice factory, since the area abounds in fruits which usually go to waste.

Mr. Joseph Afriyie of the NDP promised to cede 50% of his salary to the constituency to cater for educational purposes.

He, again, promised to establish either a teacher or nursing training college in the district, and also promised to offer quality leadership to the people.

The Member of Parliament for the area, Lawyer Frank Boakye Agyen, who is the New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate, could not turn up for the debate.

Earlier on, the District Director of NCCE, Mr Victor Nuworkpor, emphasised the need for Ghanaians to jealously guard our democratic credentials.

He said Ghana had enviable democratic credentials, which behoves on all and sundry to protect, and hoped the platform would afford the parliamentary candidates the chance to deepen our democratic credentials.

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