Director at the Centre for European Studies (CES) at the University of Ghana, Prof. Ransford Gyampo has criticised the Akufo-Addo-led government for failing to communicate effectively to Ghanaians.
Describing the government as lacking good communication skills, Prof. Gyampo expressed his disappointment with their inability to communicate well to the general public on pressing issues.
His comment follows the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama’s announcement on the postponement of the election of Municipal, Metropolitan and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) from 2019 to 2021, which defeats the NPP’s 24 months the NPP pledged to get MMDCEs elected.
Speaking at a press conference organised by the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) on the need to amend Article 55(3) of the 1992 constitution, Prof. Gyampo said government’s lack of good communication skills is the cause of the on-going debate which seems to indicate that it has failed on its campaign promise to hold multiparty election of MMDCEs in 2019.
According to him, the NPP government must come out to explain to Ghanaians the reasons for the postponement of the MMDCEs election. This is because if the general public isn’t made to understand the broader vision and strategic nature of the President’s decision, implementation of the decision to amend Article 55(3) will be frustrated.
“My issue with this current government has been their inability to communicate what they stand for and often times it seems to me that a few people know what is being done but those who are expected to go out championing it and sensitizing and educating people about it are unable to do so. So there is always a kind of confusion”, he said.
Prof Gyampo added that, “I think what has not been adequately communicated is the fact that now the promise has been shifted on to the later and if it’s about the later, then we must go through the processes. And so, somebody must come out there to explain that yes we promised we were going to have direct election of MMDCEs but upon assumption of power and after consultations we’ve realised that what will be more helpful is to also ensure that this process also takes place on partisan basis, and so that will call for more time. That is what in my view is not being done and so it creates some kind of confusion, the body politics so people feel that promises have been broken and all that”.
According to a Senior Fellow of IDEG, Prof. Atsu Ayee, President Akufo-Addo used a pragmatic approach in postponing the MMDCEs election to 2021.
According to him, it’s risky to organise a referendum, the reason for the President’s choice to take time to look at issues more objectively by consulting former heads of states and leaders of political parties first so, no one should think he has reneged on his pledge to Ghanaians.