The Chairman of the National Peace Council (NPC), Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante, has described as laudable, the decision to put on hold the referendum which was slated for December 17.
According to him, one could see clearly that Ghanaians were politicising the referendum and “I think this is not the way to go”.
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Most Rev. Prof. Asante, who said this in an interview with Graphic Online in Accra on Tuesday [December 3, 2019], noted that changing an entrenched article in the constitution called for consensus and the way the issue was being politicised made it difficult to get that consensus.
“It is important that you put on hold once you begin to see that polarisation is coming on such an important issue. Once you see that positions have been clearly stated – that could create division in the country, it is better for us to hold on, educate the public until such a time that we begin to realise that it is a good thing to change,” he said, and that “for me I think the decision to put it on hold until the attainment of broad consensus we would do ourselves well to hold on”.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, last Sunday, called off the referendum slated for December 17, this year, saying there was lack of broad, national consensus among key stakeholders and the populace.
He consequently instructed the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, who was spearheading the process on behalf of the government, to abort the process and see to the withdrawal of the bills for the amendment of the Constitution, both in respect of articles 243(1) and 55(3).
Most Rev. Prof. Asante said when it came to the issue of the referendum, there would be definitely Yes and No votes but that should not be done along political lines.
He said there was no need for political parties to banter over the issue but look at it carefully and see whether there was a need for it.
“I would urge the political parties not to engage in politics of animosity but deal with politics of issues, tell members of the public what we can do and let them decide and once they elect you, they would have elected you on the basis of your capacity to deliver,” he said.