A former Local Government Minister, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo has warned about the possible downsides of electing Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives as promised by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
“Already, we are living in a very polarized environment and one of the threads that have kept us together is our local government and decentralization system which operates on a non-partisan basis, and gives people the opportunity to play their role in the governance process in that non-partisan manner.
Any attempt to make local elections partisan must tread very cautiously in order not to polarize this country from top to down,” he cautioned in an interview on Eyewitness News.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during the 2016 electioneering campaign promised to make the position of MMDCEs electable as per recommendations by the Constitutional Review Commission. According to him this will be made possible in 2018.
But Mr. Ofosu Ampofo advised that such a move would require “a lot of debate and argument and depends on arrangements that would be put in place.” He thus advocated for the sustenance of the current system that sees MMDCEs appointed by the president. “The system as we have now has kept this country together.
It has built national cohesion at the bottom of development and it has ensured that there is balanced and even distribution of resources at the local level.”
Mahama’s MMDCEs sacked The NPP government over the week terminated the appointments of the various MMDCEs appointed by the erstwhile Mahama-led administration. But Ofosu-Ampofo argued that the move was impulsive.
He described government’s approach to purging the local government of its heads as akin to a “coup mentality.” “I believe this decision was very harsh. It was taken in a very rash manner,” Mr. Ofosu Ampofo stressed.