The CEO of the Attah Mils Institute Koku Anyidoho has criticized the continuous neglect of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) as against the Electoral Commission.
The former NDC Deputy General Secretary blames the phenomenon for the country’s developmental challenges adding that institutions like the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) are equally important.
He believes government’s programmes and policies will have massive support from citizens if the NCCE is adequately resourced.
Speaking on the time with the CEO segment on the Morning Starr with Francis Abban Monday, he said per the constituion, the NCCE chairperson and the EC chairperson are of equal ranking, they have a fixed tenure of office, the office is secured, etc..
He complained “but what have w done. We have succeeded in paying a lot of attention to the electoral commission as an election machinery. So the whole democratic dispensation is focusing on elections and voting and we have downplayed the civic education aspect of it. So when it comes to elections, next year by this time I’m sure the conversations, the whole temperature will be who will and not win.”
He went on “so the whole country is being driven down that part of voting and election. So once you win power, you are thinking about the next election, ‘what decisions, what policies can I put in place that will make benefit accrue to me so I can win the next election’. So we are all about the election and we have forgotten about the civic education.”
“So we don’t seem ready to empower the people , to give them that education, to break the barriers, to open the space for the mindset transformation,” he added.
He is of the view that when there is a right balance between politicians and politicasters, and the majority of Ghanaians are on the side of politicking and not politicasting, then the country will move to a level of conscientization.
Mr Anyidoho shared his thoughts on the back of the high incidence of open defecation and the overall cleanliness of Ghana as a country and the pivotal role the NCCE can play in reducing the menace.
According to him, there is a current WHO report documented which ranked Ghana umber 2 in the whole African continent when it comes to open defecation. And another report where Ghana is ranked 7th most stinking country worldwide.
He said “once we get the balance right of politicians vis a cis politicasters, we are in business. Then the majority as it were, that’s democracy. Once we have the majority of the people on the side of politicking and not politicasting then we are moving to that level of conscientisation where you don’t need a policeman to tell you not to ‘wee wee’ in a public place. Because the mindset has been so built and conscientised that you know that peeing in public is not acceptable.
He went on “but the other side of it is that while the conscience sis being built, the politicians are also giving us the public places of convenience. So with the existence of public places of convenience, obviously defecating in the open becomes unattractive. You do it and your own conscience will beat you up. But where we are now as a country.”
He quizzed “why are we prepared to arm the EC to the teeth, but we are not prepared to arm the NCCE up to maybe even a breast level. Why are we doing so?”
Mr Anyidoho noted “another important organ is the NDPC. Having a long term national agenda which goes beyond Francis Abban and Koku Anyidoho. Which moves into eternity and that is where the research comes in, that is where the engineers come in, and that’s where the planners come in. So we are planning ahead.”
“The third one is the Ghana academy of arts and sciences. It is that academy that holds the brain box of whatever we would achieve as a nation in terms of the arts and the sciences,” he ended.