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Mayors are an imposition; give residents of cities the opportunity to elect them.

There is one aspect of our cherished democratic system that leaves a lot to be desired, and in my estimation should be overhauled. That troubling aspect is the fact that we don’t elect the mayors of our cities. They are, to put it bluntly, an imposition on us; appointed by the president, and delegated with power from his office, they serve at his pleasure.

This is not only unfair but it is also an affront to representative democracy. Free and fair elections, it should be emphasized, are the hallmarks of a true democratic society, and for twenty plus years, we have demonstrated confidence and trust in the system by freely and fairly choosing our political representatives.

But the fact that we don’t elect our mayors takes away from all that we have achieved as a democratic nation. It is a shortcoming that has over the years given rise to complaints.  However, our politicians have failed woefully to remedy the situation despite countless promises.

So, what we have ended up with is a grossly unjust system that imposes an individual with a set of values beliefs and political ideology on a city with distinct and vastly different values, beliefs and political ideology. Ultimately, it makes for poor and inadequate leadership.

Because they are not elected, the mayors of our cities have no allegiance to residents. Indeed, they feel no obligation to their cities; they do as they see fit and pursue policies that are at variance with the needs and wants of their cities, but designed to enhance their political fortunes and those of the president who appointed them.

Just last month, the mayor of our city, Mr. Musah Superior, backed by a combined force of police officers and civil servants roamed the streets of Tamale rounding up children they described as truants and homeless.

The mayor did not mince words when he said that forcefully removing the children from city streets was the right thing to do and a well-intentioned effort by city government to give the children a fresh start and make their lives more meaningful.

However, the good ideas behind the mayor’s move have been thwarted and defeated by the very children he told us needed the city’s help. They are back in the streets, this time in huge numbers.

And, to date, we have not heard a peep from the mayor; the city has been strangely quiet about this latest development. Apparently, the mayor’s efforts to clean Tamale streets of undesirable children have fallen flat.

The same can be said of the mayor’s fight to rid Tamale streets of hawkers and vendors. That effort crashed and burnt, and never went anywhere. The traders are back in full force on our streets, and city authorities look silly and hapless in the face of this open defiance of their authority.

Against this background, there is the temptation to call the mayor’s bluff, the irresistible urge to describe his aggression towards these groups of our citizens as a publicity stunt, constructed in large measure to boost his political ambitions.

That the mayor has an eye on a higher office is no secret. But he should not use the predicament of the most vulnerable in our society to promote his personal cause.















that need immediate fixing, but our politicians have

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