The Paramount Chief of Sagnarigu Traditional Area, Naa Yakubu Abdulai, has called on local governance advocates to prioritize quality control mechanisms during election of Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to prevent partisanship abuse and exploitation
He made the call during a one-day broad stakeholder consultation in Tamale, organised by The Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), under the theme: “Participation of Political Parties in Local Governance-A Citizen’s Education and Community Empowerment”.
The stakeholder consultation which brought together chiefs, religious leaders and bodies, the youth, women, the physically challenged and political parties, deliberated on the processes in the lead up to political parties’ participation in MMDCEs elections.
Other topics discussed included; multiparty governance reforms, democratic devolution of power, strengthening political parties as development organisations, strengthening public administration bureaucracies and political parties and election overload among others.
During the consultations, Naa Abdulai mentioned that though opening local governance for partisan politicking will stir up competition and enhance participation, current experiences in both presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana are classical examples that, we are not guaranteed electing competent candidates as MMDCEs.
Most often, he noted, candidates are chosen to represent the people not based on merit of their competencies, but on merit of local issues, partisanship, generosity and the persona of candidates.
This he lamented has been the norm and practice after two decades of democracy since Ghanaians accepted and adopted the 1992 constitution.
The result of this, Naa Abdulai noted, is the menace of our underdevelopment, political vigilantism, vandalism, deep rooted polarization, corruption and further exacerbation of the poverty gap.
He mentioned that the election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs), is a laudable idea in deepening democratic governance. He says deepening democratic governance through inclusiveness by any sitting President of Ghana will be worthwhile and must be lauded by all.
What also needs to be done is for policy think-tanks like the IDEG to concentrate on the processes leading to the election of MMDCEs and whether they should be open to all political parties.
Other modalities such as the representation of women, the youth, physically challenged and the vulnerable in society need to be critically examined.
Naa Abdulai therefore cautioned Ghanaian think-tanks and the general public to move away from putting all our governance and political challenges on the “winner takes all” syndrome.
He further posited that the modus operandi of the processes leading to the election of the MMDCEs must be made clear such that all questions relating to its successful implementation must be clear enough to cast out all doubts.
By Abukari Jamaldeen/zaaradio.com