By Laudia Sawer
Ashaiman, Dec. 04, GNA --- Mr Ernest Henry Norgbey, Member of Parliament for Ashaiman and candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), had a field day at a National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) debate as his contender failed to turn up. Alhaji Labaran Yakubu Barry, the two-time parliamentary candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Ashaiman constituency, did not show up but rather sent a representative to debate on his behalf. Madam Gifty Agyeiwaa Badu, Ashaiman Municipal Director of the NCCE, said they could not allow his representative to debate for him as the dialogue was supposed to be between the candidates who were seeking the votes of the constituents to represent them in Parliament. Madam Badu said the NCCE found it important to give the opportunity to the candidates to engage the electorates on their party’s plans for them should they be elected in the December 7 general elections. She added that the electorates were the ones who provided candidates the power to lead them therefore the importance of granting them a platform for voters to interact with candidates could not be overemphasized. She said the NCCE conducted a research which key findings are the basis of the debate, saying some of the issues raised by the Ghanaian voter in the research included health, education, and employment among others. Mr Ernest Norgbey, incumbent MP for Ashaiman, described the inability of his contender to attend the debate as deliberate stressing that “Ashaiman deserves better, this is not the first time a debate has been called and he has run away, he did same in 2016”.
“If NCCE which is a government institution can organize a debate and one candidate always runs away then why should Ashaiman people have confidence in him to vote for him. Most of the time, it is incumbents who want to shy away from debates but in Ashaiman it’s the other way round”.
The NCCE used the debate to educate voters on the process of voting and the correct way of thumb printing the ballot paper to ensure that the constituency recorded a few rejected ballots.
The need to observe all COVID-19 protocols, especially during the December 7 general elections, was also stressed by the civic educators.