Happy holidays, dear reader. May 2020 be a peaceful election year for Ghanaians. This year, most members of Ghana's political class, freely admitted that the intense rivalry between the two identical sides of the same toxic-coin, which the NPP/NDC duopoly that dominates our nation's politics, represents, is deeply divisive for Ghanaian society.
Some politicians have also insisted openly that that egregious-divisiveness is slowly destroying Ghanaian democracy, because of its winner-grabs-everything-in-sight-once-in-power, nature; and therefore ought not to be allowed at the grassroots-level in the running of the decentralised Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs). Implement General Kutu Acheampong's Unigov idea, now, anyone?
The question is: How do our politicians propose to manage the pent up frustrations of communities across the nation that are fed up to the back teeth, with the current clearly unsatisfactory local government system - in which residents of countless villages, towns and deprived areas of cities nationwide, are having to grapple with a myriad of local challenges?
To be relevant for such communities, we clearly need a local government model that will be inherently responsive enough to deal efficiently with community challenges that are the subject of vociferous complaints nationwide - if widespread anger that eventually results in a massive social explosion across the nation is to be avoided. We must avoid what is happening in places such as Iraq that have similar societal dynamics at play, from occurring in our homeland Ghana, too.
The question we must ponder over is: Will elected chief executives and assembly members of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, see the resolution of local challenges, as top-priority issues for their administrations, and move rapidly to efficiently deal with problems such as pothole-riddled-roads; dangerous footbridges; mountains-of-piled-up-rubbish; lack of access to quality healthcare facilities within easy reach; dilapidated school buildings that are deathtraps structurally, and totally unsuitable for teaching and learning to take place in; demands for decent markets with hygienic sanitary facilities; etc., etc.?
If peace is to prevail across Ghana, we must confront the issue of resolving local challenges that negatively impact the quality of life, and living standards, of grassroots communities. Towards that end, it makes a great deal of sense to elect the chief executives and assembly members of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies. For sure. Happy holidays, dear reader, and may 2020 be a peaceful election year in Ghana.