Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the Bantama Constituency, Fiifi Mensah has mounted a spirited opposition to President Akufo-Addo and his party’s manifesto commitment of getting Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chiefs Executive (MMDCEs) elected by the end of 2020, MyNewsGh.com reports.
The Electoral Commission has scheduled December 17, 2019 for Ghanaians to decide by a YES or NO vote, the election of MMDCEs, a major campaign promise of the NPP in the run-up to the 2016 election.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has had occasion to say the credibility of his government in the 2020 general elections would be injured if it cannot deliver on that manifesto commitment a year to the polls, urging his appointees to take the referendum “seriously”.
“I’m appealing to you. Let us take this referendum seriously. Speaking on a purely partisan level, it’s going to look very bad if the manifesto commitment by the NPP administration with a year of going to the polls cannot deliver on it. We have to deliver on it otherwise our credibility will be very much at stake in 2020 and since everyone’s position hinges on the victory of the NPP, we should be careful about jeopardizing the chances of the NPP in the elections ahead of us,” the president told MMDCEs and other key staff of the various assemblies at a training programmed on the Dissolution of Assemblies and Referendum in Kumasi.
“I have no doubt in my mind that it is a progressive step that we are taking, and that the reputation of our government and tradition for being the forefront for the reforms of the body politics of Ghana are going to be further heightened and emboldened by this step that we are taking, that whenever NPP is in office, steps are taken that modernize our nation and bring our nation to higher levels of progress, accountability and awareness,” he noted.
But Fiifi Mensah believes otherwise, arguing that the election of MMDCEs on partisan lines would be a recipe for sabotage of key government policies like the Free SHS and the One District One Factory initiative, should elements of the opposition be elected to man the assemblies.
He believes Ghana is not ripe to take such a step because, the country has no comprehensive national development agenda that would bind successive governments to work towards achieving its aspirations, so it would be suicidal to have opposition elements in the governance structure, especially in critical positions like the MMDCE.
Speaking in an interview with Sunyani-based Space FM monitored by MyNewsGh.com, he urged Ghanaians to honour the president and appreciate his work by voting at least 90% NO; a clear deviation from the wish of Nana Akufo Addo.
“I’m appealing to all the good people of Ghana, especially homes that have benefitted from the Free SHS, Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) and other social interventions instituted by this government to thank the president by voting NO in the upcoming referendum”, he said.
This would be the second time under President Nana Akufo-Addo that a referendum would be held.