BY: Hon. Makafui Woanyah | OPINION |
In respect of the impending referendum, I write as a former member (elected) of the Keta Municipal Assembly for well over Sixteen years and the Volta Regional Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party.
I have observed with great dismay, the hypocrisy and pretense that has characterized discussion on the necessity or otherwise to allow for Political Parties participation in our local government System.
Is it not common knowledge that since the inception of the fourth republic, our local Assemblies have been unavoidably partisan both in composition and operation? What are we pretending about? Every serious politician or observer has been concerned about the constitutional contradiction and the hypocrisy of the System.
Our so-called nonpartisan Assembly system which is a carryover from the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) Revolutionary regime has not only been abused but also found out to be unworkable. Hence, the general consensus amongst all major political players to amend the constitution to legally allowed political parties, participating in the local governance system.
It is in the light of the above that the sudden U-turn of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is disappointing and hypocritical. It is instructive to note that, some of the reasons stated to back their sudden U-turn are so pedestrian, flimsy and lack substance.
The NDC, a political party and a major player of Democratic dispensation among other things mentioned political divisiveness and rancor as an ill that might affect partisan local governance is to say the least unfortunate.
They mentioned that stakeholder consultation and competence will be compromised by a partisan contest; A very spurious assertion to be made by a political party seeking the mandate of the people. Stating expensive election and party whip system as reasons is not only hypocritical but questions their sincerity and commitment to our multi-party democracy.
How can a serious political party argue that a partisan political system would hamper continuity of development projects and compromise accountability rather than the opposite?
The sudden U-turn and the stated grounds of NDC are very frightening and pose serious danger to our democracy. But I can safely conclude that, the NDC’s U-turn and argument can only stem from unnecessary fear and suspicion that the local government reforms might disadvantage them and dwindle their political fortune.
It is also evidently clear that the NDC is playing to the gallery by yielding to fragments of uniformed opinions against the impending referendum and the issues therein; A clear case of lack of focus and policy clarity and direction.
Finally, the NDC U-turn is a cheap attempt to turn the referendum into a midterm election to test their own strength and the ever souring popularity of the ruling NPP. Any setback to our comprehensive local government reforms leading to a total democratization of our country should be placed squarely at the doorstep of a reckless opposition NDC.
Source: Hon. Makafui Woanyah, Volta Regional NPP Chairman