Wednesday, November 12, 2008

PNC to give power to the people at the grassroots

Dr Edward Mahama, Presidential Candidate of People's National Convention (PNC) on Wednesday said he would ensure that the people at the grassroots wielded power so that they could hold government functionaries accountable for their actions.
     He noted that there was too much power concentrated in the hands of a few government functionaries, who directed the affairs of the country.
     Dr Mahama said this at the Second Presidential Debate organised in Tamale by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) under the theme: " Strengthening The Pillars of Ghana's Democracy" which brought together the Presidential Candidates of four political parties that have representation in Parliament - Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of New Patriotic Party (NPP); Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom of Conventions People's Party (CPP); Professor John Evans Atta Mills of National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Dr Mahama.
      The PNC Candidate said as part of his Party's plans to fight corruption, his Government would institute prudent check and balances; strengthen the existing institutions created to ensure that corruption was eradicated, as well as set leadership example by declaring his assets publicly before and after his tenure of office.
       He said he would separate the Attorney General's Department from the Ministry of Justice to speed up justice delivery in the country.
        The PNC Leader intimated that rural infrastructure development was a core element of his development agenda and as part of efforts to get things done right and to ensure that rural communities got their fair share of the national cake, he would institute a "Growth Pole and Urban Renewal Programme" under which he would encourage the establishment of agri-business as the bedrock of economic growth.
      He expressed worry at abandoned factories, especially in Northern Ghana, and said the PNC had captured a series of development agenda for Northern Ghana among, which was the speedy infrastructure development of rural communities to make them more attractive to investors and the youth to turn the wheel of development.
      As to how he would manage waste related issues affecting the country, Dr Mahama declared; "I shall bring Central Government on board, ensure good waste management and housing policies and select key towns for model urbanisation and proper housing schemes."
       Dr Mahama indicated that he would institute a well-coordinated body, whose duty would be to advise Government to take up science and technology seriously; encourage investors to venture into science-related businesses, emphasise and support research in schools as well as standardise measures and weights to boost development.
       He said the development of the three Northern Regions could not be accelerated effectively if Northerners were denied equal access to education, agriculture and health, adding that when voted into power his Government would ensure that the areas were stimulated effectively to achieve the needed growth.
     Asked what elements should be changed in the Fourth Republican Constitution after 16 years of democratic dispensation, Dr Mahama said the Constitution was not the problem, however, he asserted that many things could be done to bring about good governance and indicated that there was the need to strengthen the Council of State and the constitutionally mandated bodies such as the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ); Serious Fraud Office and others to ensure, fairness, justice and accountability, which, he said were the bedrock in the building of a democratic country.

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