Dr Eric Oduro Osae, Dean of Studies and Research at the Institute of Local Government Studies, has said there is the need to incorporate traditional systems and practices into modern day governance in order to enhance our development process.

“We have relegated our traditional customs to the background and copied blindly from the develop world – but I think if we are able to incorporate our traditional practices into modern day systems, it will help our governance system”, he said.

Dr Osae said this during a one-day sensitization workshop for non-state actors (Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Traditional Authorities on the Local Governance Act (Act 936) and the Revised Planning and Budgeting Guidelines for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) held in Wa.

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The Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA/LOGNet) collaboration was funded by the Inter Ministerial Coordinating Committee (IMCC).

Dr Osae said to do this, there is the need to bring back the quality assurance people have in the traditional system into the modern day governance architecture.

He said this quality assurance system associated with the traditional system was what was needed in modern day governance in order to ensure that democracy through popular elections brought about the election of the most competent and most popular person to lead the nation.

The Dean of Studies and Research at the Institute of Local Government Studies said traditionally, before one could become a chief, he or she must qualify and must also be accepted by the people to lead them.

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He said democracy by popular elections only led to the election of the most popular person but not the most competent person, adding that “I think we have to go back to our roots, it will help us”.

Dr Osae said Assembly Members and Members of Parliament (MPs) also represented their people at the various levels and they must let their decisions and voting reflect the interest of the people.

He said this practice of Assembly members and MP’s not consulting their electorates before voting for decisions was against representative democracy, noting therefore that the country must develop its laws in such a way that it would be mandatory for these people to go back and consult the people they represent.

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“If we are able to do that then we will be truly implementing representative democracy – but the way it is now, it seems to me that Assembly members and MPs represent their political parties rather than representing their people”, he said.

Madam Gladys Gulian Naadu Tetteh, Deputy Executive Director, CLGA, said the new Local Governance Act, Act 936 has come to empower citizens to do a lot of things at the local level.

She said under the law, citizens could now take their Assemblies to court if they felt their common fund was being misused by the Assembly, adding that they could also be jailed for inappropriate disposal of refuse.

Source: GNA/Newsghana.com.gh