RE: Mahama has announced his first ministerial reshuffle
Feature Article of Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Columnist: Fordjour, Kwadwo
Rejoinder: President John Mahama has announced his first ministerial reshuffle
“President John Mahama has announced his first ministerial reshuffle barely a month after appointing them into office as part of the vision of his administration to transform the MMDAs into incubators and realisers of local level development that brings real, immediate and sustainable development opportunities, benefits and services to the people of Ghana.
In line with this vision, in order for Regional Ministers to focus mainly on the political and technical coordination of the development efforts of MMDAs, and as a measure to foster national unity, integration and cohesion, the President has effected…” This musical chair game will not solve Ghana’s socio-economic development problems.
It is unfortunate that President John Mahama and his administration did not consult stakeholders and affected communities when he developed this so called vision. If the president does not know what a vision is, please this “ A vision is an aspirational description of what an organization ( community) would like to achieve or accomplish in the mid-term or long-term future. It is intended to serve as a clear guide for choosing current and future courses of action.”
The vision is developed through a process that integrates broad ideas and the direction of the community for its future. The community explores in detail possible options for achieving the goals and objectives identified in the vision in a unified and comprehensive manner. Mr. President, please don’t forget who you are accountable to and consult them when you are making decisions that affect them.
The local government system in Ghana was established in the 1988 constitution of Ghana to decentralize government services and to involve residents in decision-making at the local level. It is time that the government of Ghana place local government where it belongs…in the hands of the local people most affected by the decisions in their lives and communities, after all, as the late US Congressman from Massachusetts T. P. O’Neil said “All politics is local”. Russia and United Kingdom, champions of strong centralized system of government have decided to ease their grips on top-down, military style of command and control to allow citizens to elect who should lead them in a transparent and accountable fashion.
If the government of Ghana does not have the will do decentralize local government, the good people of Ghana should have a referendum on local government decentralization. President J.A. Kuffuor campaigned on decentralization of local government, but did not even introduce a bill in parliament when he was in office for 8 years. John Atta Mills’ constitutional reform committee has recommended some form of local government decentralization. However, unfortunately, the current NDC administration has not included it in the party manifesto. The only way for anything to be done on decentralization of local government in Ghana is through a National Referendum.
By Kwadwo Fordjour, AICP, firstname.lastname@example.org