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Deliberately under-resourcing NCCE benefits politicians – KNUST Professor

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A Political Historian at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor Adu Gyamfi, has asserted that successive governments have intentionally under-resourced the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to avoid accountability from an informed citizenry.

Professor Gyamfi highlighted that for years, politicians have deprived the NCCE of essential financial and logistical support, hindering its officers from effectively performing their duties.

His comments follow persistent complaints from district and national NCCE officers about logistical constraints that continue to obstruct their work.

In a 2015 study on the NCCE’s operations, Professor Gyamfi found that staff nationwide were struggling with resource and logistical constraints. The study also revealed that the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) is more well-known than the NCCE Chairperson, due to the higher publicity of the EC’s activities compared to those of the NCCE.

Professor Gyamfi stated that although the NCCE has been educating citizens about their rights and civic responsibilities, many people remain unaware of its activities due to insufficient resources for public engagement.

He remarked, “The government and politicians are not interested in the NCCE because they prefer citizens to remain uninformed about their civic rights and responsibilities. An educated populace would demand accountability and challenge political control. Therefore, investing in the NCCE does not benefit politicians.”

He described the politicians’ actions as deliberate, adding, “When citizens are empowered, they will hold politicians accountable. They will understand their constitutional rights and the obligations of state actors. Politicians find it easier to exploit a less informed populace.”

Logistical and resource constraints continue to be significant challenges that prevent the NCCE from fulfilling its constitutional duties effectively.

These challenges are evident across NCCE offices nationwide, including the Asokore Mampong District Office, where officers have reported difficulties in their work, particularly as general elections approach.

NCCE officers in Asokore Mampong face significant hurdles in performing their duties in this densely populated municipality. Logistical constraints exacerbate the challenges faced by the staff.

The Asawase Constituency is often a hotspot for political activity, especially during elections. The two major political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), recognize the importance of the NCCE in educating constituents. However, both parties are concerned that the NCCE lacks the necessary resources to carry out its work.

Despite these constraints, NCCE officers in Asokore Mampong are striving to fulfill their duties. Director Mathew Agbenu noted the difficulties, explaining that officers sometimes have to walk to communities to conduct public education due to the lack of an official vehicle.

With the general elections approaching, the role of the NCCE in educating citizens about their civic responsibilities is more crucial than ever.

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