The Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Ms Josephine Nkrumah, has expressed worry that many of the election-related activities of the commission may be suspended in the run-up to the 2020 polls.
That, according to her, was because the European Union (EU) that provided funds for the NCCE to undertake its activities since 2012 would run out this year.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Chairperson of the NCCE, Ms Josephine Nkrumah, however, added that the commission was still in talks with the EU to see how best to manage the situation such that the programme of activities of the commission would not be thrown out of gear.
While expressing optimism that talks with the EU might produce some positive outcomes, she called on the government to give priority to the activities of the commission.
According to her, about 90 per cent of their election-related activities, which mainly covered programmes to educate the citizenry, had been funded by the European Union.
Ms Nkrumah indicated that the failure of successive governments to prioritise the activities of the commission was to blame for the current turn of events.
“If you look at what has transpired over the last few elections, there has been little funding from the government of Ghana.
Typically, we have been funded by the European Union during the 2012 elections and the 2016 district level and general election.
But that grant title has come to an end. So in the near future, if we are going to fund as we currently are, then largely it means that little money will be going into rigorous election and education in anticipation of the 2020 general election.”
“If you look at the Constitution, we are supposed to be funded by the government from the consolidated fund.
But we have always had the complement of the development partners supporting us from various aspects.
And for the last seven years, our consistent partner has been the European Union.
The government usually gives us a part of what we are meant to get under the ceiling they compel us to operate under.
The ceiling is inadequate and the releases are not timely so it is important that we are properly funded.
I think that for a long time, the NCCE has not been a priority to many governments and so we are constantly and consistently fighting to stay above water.”
Ms Nkrumah further mentioned that the NCCE was, therefore, appealing to other development partners to come to their aid, especially at a time where vigilantism is hovering around in order not to mar the conduct of next year’s polls.
“The commission cannot sit down for this to happen so we are looking at specific collaboration. We believe that we can still continue to talk to development partners to see if we can get some support from them.
For the development partners, they hold the view that as a country, we should be able to hold our own election activities without their support.”
Also, the major concern of the commission, she said, was the series of activities by the commission aimed at putting an end to political party vigilantism as the country inched closer to the 2020 polls.
She said political party vigilantism posed a major threat to the peace and cohesion of the country, especially as the country approached the 2020 elections and for that matter, sustained efforts were needed to nip the practice in the bud.