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MMDCE’s should not be influenced by ‘honourable’ game – President

By Ken
Sackey, GNA

Accra, July 5, GNA – President Nana Addo
Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief
Executives (MMDCEs) not to get caught up in the “Honourable and excellency”,
game  and rather focus on discharging
their duties satisfactorily.

“You can easily be caught up in the honourable
and excellency game and begin to think that change has indeed come because you
are now being called honourable or excellency, or you are now riding in an eye
catching vehicle or now living in the most imposing house in town,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo said as the most regular
and direct representatives of government in the decentralisation process, the
MMDCEs should work for Ghanaians to feel the change that was promised them.

He made the call when he addressed an
orientation programme organised for the 199 approved MMDCEs by the Ministry of
Local Government and Rural Government, at the Institute of Local Government
Services, at Ogbojo, near Accra.

He said the change that Ghanaians voted for in
the December 2016 general election would start with the kind of attitude the
MMDCEs adopted towards people.

“The people of Ghana spoke loudly in December
7, whether the cry for change would be truly reflected in the lives of the
people would depend very much on what kind of chief executive they get.

“The best efforts of the President and his
ministers would be brought to naught, if you in this room do not perform
creditably.

The people of Ghana would see and feel and
know the change they voted for has truly arrived if their Chief Executive
delivers on the promise of government. It starts with the attitude you adopt
towards people,” he said.

Change, the President said, would be measured
in better sanitation and a more wholesome environment.

“People would know there is change when the
quality of local governance shows improvement, they will know there is change
when there are jobs for young people, and they will know there is change when
officials come to work on time,” he noted.

President Akufo-Addo reminded the Chief
Executives that people in their districts “were not looking for people that
would lord it over them, they are not looking for a new set to jump the red
lights and traffic queues, instead of working to find solutions to the traffic
jams for all of us.”

According to the President, “People would know
there has been no change if a three unit classroom block is still built at
exorbitant cost to the state and if contractors are not being paid on time and
businesses are suffering.”

He said the people would know there was change
when the Chief Executive was seen to be implementing the pledges of government.

“They will know change has come when you treat
them with courtesy and humility as their servant…they will know change has come
when the galamsey (Illegal mining) menace has been defeated in your locality.”

The President said Ghanaians were looking for
a higher standard of conduct from current public officials than in the recent
past and asked them, to declare their assets as demanded of public office
holders by the 1992 Constitution.

He said that his office would submit the names
of all the MMDCE’s to the Auditor General by Monday, July 10, and they would be
expected to file their assets declaration forms within two weeks.

“That exercise will be monitored. It is
important that the Ghanaian people understand that, for us, public service is
exactly that, public service, not personal gain.”

President Akufo-Addo urged the MMDCEs to help
build the capacity of unit and zonal councils of their Assemblies, and also
allocate resources to allow them play their proper roles in the local
governance system.

“I do not intend to start any new controversy,
but I will say this; we need to take a closer look at the unit committees and
zonal councils especially, and see how effective they can be.

“If we need to do some radical realignment of
the structures, we should not be afraid to do so. This would be a good time to
take a close look at the things that work and those that do not, and not carry
a lot of baggage simply because they are on the books,” he added.

He also urged the Chief Executives, as chairs
of their various Security Committees, “to ensure peace and law and order in
your districts. All our plans will only work if there is peace. I advise you to
be careful and tactful in managing issues of intelligence and security”.

GNA

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