The government has been advised to be circumspect in the choice of appointees to the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
Dr. Smart A. Sarpong, Senior Research Fellow of the Kumasi Technical University’s Institute of Research, Innovation and Development (IRID), said it was imperative that the exercise followed due process to get competent hands.
That, he argued, would help get qualified people with technical knowhow and expertise to support the Assemblies in the development agenda, rather than “turning the appointment into something like a job for the boys.”
Dr. Sarpong, sharing his views on the recent release of names of the President’s nominees for the various MMDAs, told the media in Kumasi, that the Assemblies ought to court experienced hands to underpin the realization of their vision and mission.
“It should be devoid of partisan politics as witnessed in times past,” and pointed out that the availability of human resource at the Assembly level was critical to achieving socio-economic growth.
Per the local governance concept, a district assembly is supposed to compose of the District Chief Executive (DCE), elected councilors and not more than 30 per cent of members appointed by the President.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, through the Local Government Ministry, on Sunday, September 19, officially announced the list of the Chief Executive nominees for appointment to head the various Assemblies in the next four years.
Of the 260 list of nominees, there are only 38 females.
Dr. Sarpong, wading into the argument by some political analysts on the need to increase women representation at the decentralized government level, said it was more critical for women to work hard in preparing themselves for leadership positions.
“The onus lies on our women to take deliberate steps in participating actively in multiparty democracy, learning to be leaders and cultivate self-confidence, if they were to change the status quo” he noted.
According to the Senior Research Fellow, men were genetically born leaders and as such taking up the mantle of leadership was in-built.
On the reaction of the people to the President’s nominees, Dr. Sarpong said a survey by the IRID indicated that “the President’s nominees have about 90 per cent acceptance rate from members and activists of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).”
“We are seeing less violence amongst the party faithful in their reaction to the names mentioned, because of the general acceptance of the nominees,” he insisted.
He cautioned the nominees to be committed to working with some key identifiable groups within their respective communities, including traditional authorities, when they get the Assembly’s nod.
This, he said, was crucial to enhance their working relations with the people for sustainable development.