A research conducted by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) has indicated that most Ghanaians trust religious leaders to solve national issues than government officials and appointees.
The research further pointed out that majority of Ghanaians feel government officials and appointees do no listen to the cry of the local, hence the lack of trust.
They added that, majority of Ghanaians see government officials as corrupt and do not think they are the right people to solve societal issues.
According to the research, “71% of Ghanaians never contacted government officials about problems or to offer opinion during the previous years.”
During the release of the Ghana Afrobarometer Round 7 findings on local government and the Election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), the institution revealed that majority of Ghanaians support the election of people for the position.
“Almost seven in every 10 Ghanaians (69%) say MMDCE positions should be made elective, including 55% who agree very strongly with this view,” the research read.
The research further highlighted that, “support for election of MMDCEs is strong across demographic groups, including supporters of both the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress.”
“It is stronger among citizens with higher education than those with no formal education,” they argued.
Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director, Institute for Democratic Governance called for the need to include political parties at the local governance level.
This, he explained, will be right and effective way of ensuring that development is spread across the country.
“If we have a district where we have a member of the opposition occupying that position, he or she will make sure there’s development at that level so that they can use it for campaign during the next election period.
“There will be the argument of sabotaging, but in that case it will affect the leaders where one will ask for accountability,” he said.
Dr Eric Oduro Osae, Dean of Graduate Students and Research, Institute for Democratic Governance, urged Ghanaians to persistently hold people in office accountable for their actions.
According to him, there should be frequent sensitisation programmes for the electorate about the jobs of local authorities.
This, he argued, will equip them with the knowledge to hold the officials accountable and ensure good governance.
Deputy Minister for Local Governance, Mr O. B. Amoah disclosed that the government had drawn a programme to ensure that they amend the constitution which will allow Ghanaians to elect MMDCEs by the end of the year.
He added that they are on course to meet the requirements to achieve their target by the end of the year.
“What is critical for us based on the finding is the fact that there is a constitutional requirement that at such referenda, 40% of voters should have turned out, and then 75% of those who turn out should vote for that particular requirement, whether MMDCEs should be elected,” he said.
On corruption, Mr Amoah said the government is constantly training local government officials to know what they are required to do under law.
“Most of the people in the system don’t know what they’re required to do under the law. When an officer is not in the system again, you inform authorities so that he or she is not paid otherwise they become ghost workers which is against the law,” he told the press.