The Tamale Metropolitan Assembly (TAMA) , on Tuesday, failed to show up at a crucial Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Accountability Citizens’ Perception Survey findings presentation forum in Tamale.
The forum was to present a Citizens’ Perception Survey (CPS), which was conducted by the Social Public Expenditure and Accountability (SPEFA) Unit of the local government ministry to the citizens at the precinct of the assembly officials.
Out of the 23 selected Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies, Tamale metro and Yendi municipality were selected to benefit from component 3 of the Local Government Capacity Support project (LGCSP) which seeks to improve citizens’ engagement with urban assemblies and their perception of the urban management by stimulating demand for accountable governance and service delivery.
It was part of efforts to improve citizens’ perception in public financial management at the MMAs. The CPS is being funded by the World Bank under the implementation of the LGCSP. However, the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly was conspicuously missing during the survey dissemination forum held at the round hut of the Northern Regional Coordinating Council.
Technocrats from the Yendi Municipal Assembly were led by the Municipal Chief Executive, Alhaji Issah Zakaria attended the workshop to answer questions on the findings. Organizers told participants that the Tamale metropolitan assembly did not indicate to them their intention not to attend even though they were also holding a general meeting.
The Regional Economic Planning Officer, who left disappointed, could not understand why Tamale Metro failed to show up, even though they were holding a meeting to adopt the 2016 fee fixing resolution and rectify the annual work plan and budget like their counterparts in Yendi, who left a security meeting and came to Tamale.
The absence of the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly left many participants disappointed as their questions to city authorities were not answered. The citizens wanted to know why at the last confrontation, city authorities unleashed the military on them and also why town hall meetings were normally organized on Fridays, knowing that Tamale is a Muslim- dominated area.
The Friday town hall meetings, according to them, account for the low turnout. In most of the town hall meetings, a large number of citizens are normally denied the opportunity to ask questions on development issues in their communities due to limited time.
They also wanted the assembly to explain the procedures in inviting the various interest groups and the ordinary citizens’ procedures to the meetings. A field Officer from the Local Government Ministry’s Accountability Unit, Elvis Otoo said the issues raised by the participants needed answers from the TMA, because they were legitimate concerns.
He lauded the participants for bringing out issues affecting them in their communities to be resolved through dialogue. We need more of this engagement, Mr. Elvis stated.