The Catholic Diocese of HO and St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, Kpetoe in contributing a quota to deepening local governance in the country, organized a town hall meeting on the 27th of November, 2020 at Kpetoe. The programme was on the theme: ‘Role of the Member of Parliament, Local Authorities and Participatory Governance for Community Development’.
The move is part of the Catholic Church’s initiative to promote community participation in local governance and development. It is also to re-echo the need to engender active community participation in building robust community interventions to promote development while addressing the misconception which gradually gained grounds that community development is solely the responsibility of Members of Parliament.
The event which was attended by some delegation from the Justice and Peace Committees / National Catholic Secretariat/Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Reps from the DCE and the MP, Chiefs, Queen Mothers, Selected Heads of Department such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), was lauded by many.
Rev. Father Sebastian Samuel Sekpe and Rev. Father Frank Paul Gbenya, the assistant parish priests were in attendance to offer their unflinching support.
In his opening remarks, Rev. Father Sebastian Samuel Sekpe appreciated everyone for honouring the invitation to be part of the meeting.
Thereafter, the Bishop’s representative at the town hall meeting, Mr Steve Salakpi, spoke succinctly on the topic “Role and responsibility of the Members of Parliament in Ghana”. On behalf of the Bishop, he enlightened the gathering on the critical roles that parliamentarians are clothed with. According to him, times have changed for the MPs to be seen as law makers rather than developmental agents. He asked for the church to always lead the way for peace and tranquility to prevail at all times.
Mr. Kentil Agbobli who deputized on behalf of the DCE was full of praise for the Kpetoe Catholic Church for organizing such a programme to sensitize the citizens on the roles that MPs are mandated to perform. He explained that the DCE’s absence was due to an official engagement. The DCE, through his representative, prayed that he is given the opportunity to lead the constituency because he has the development of the areas under his jurisdiction at heart. He has plans of investing part of his end of term benefit in pushing forward the developmental agenda of the district.
Finally, Mr. Kentil Agbobli revealed that it is the wish of the DCE that the two major political parties and their avid supporters conduct themselves in a way that would further deepen the peaceful atmosphere.
Mr. Liberty Seyram Mensah, who stood in for the Member of Parliament for the Agotime Ziope Constituency, Hon. Charles Agbeve, spoke briefly on the need to critically understand the constitutional mandate of MPs. According to him, MPs are to help enact laws for the smooth running of the country. Paying of school fees, attending funerals and outdoorings are never the duties expected of them. He was grateful to the Catholic Church for leading the charge to educate the citizens.
There were goodwill messages from other dignitaries as well. Notable amongst them were Pastor Stephen Tetteh from the Church of Pentecost and Local Council of Churches, Nene Agbovi VI, right wing chief, Kpetoe and Manye Kwadade II, Paramount Queen Mother of the Agotime Traditional Area.
Pastor Stephen Tetteh, a representative from the Local Council of Churches thanked the Catholic Church for the programme since it has become a necessary tool. He revealed that the church as a prophetic voice has the mandate to educate the citizens on the electoral process. It his hope that Christians would propagate the essence of peace ahead of the elections.
Nene Agbovi VI, a right wing chief from Kpetoe added his voice to the need to maintain peace before, during and after the general elections. He also expressed his excitement about the way the two reps of the DCE and the MP conducted themselves at the programme. It is his prayer that the peaceful atmosphere prevailing in the constituency is maintained.
Manye Kwawudade II, the paramount Queen Mother of the Agotime Traditional Area tasked mothers to take proper care of their wards as it is a responsibility bestowed on them by God. Touching on election issues, she expressed satisfaction about the unity amongst the DCE and the MP towards the development of health issues in the district and asked their followers to follow suite.
The participants at the meeting lauded this act by the Catholic Church. They resolved to carry along whatever education that they have received which in turn, would promote nation building.
The programme was funded by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), an NGO from Germany.