Richard Ahiagbah — Communications Director of NPP, Dr Rashid Pelpuo — NDC Member of Parliament for Wa Central
Richard Ahiagbah — Communications Director of NPP, Dr Rashid Pelpuo — NDC Member of Parliament for Wa Central
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Graphic's Your Ghana My Ghana programme: Voters prioritise economy, roads, jobs - Poll

Issues regarding employment, the economy, education and roads will be major determinants of the outcome of the 2024 general election, an opinion poll has suggested.

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The poll sampled views on a number of cross-cutting areas and issues across the country, including whether the four issues will determine the way they exercise their franchise.

It also sampled views on what Ghanaians thought about the performance of the government in an election year. On a panel discussion dubbed, 'Your Ghana, My Ghana' hosted by Graphic Online on its YouTube social media network, opinions were sharply divided between the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on the outcome of the poll.

Members of the panel were the Communications Director of NPP, Richard Ahiagbah, the opposition NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Wa Central, Dr Rashid Pelpuo, and the Executive Director and Head of Polling Analysis of Global Info Analytics, Mussa K. Dankwah. 

Poll

The poll which sampled 6,128 people between March 22, 2024 and March 31, 2024 out of which 5,928 responded, indicates that 65 per cent of voters believe the country is moving in the wrong direction as opposed to 25 per cent who believe it is on the right track. 

When it comes to rating the President’s job performance, 62 per cent disapproved of his performance while 32 per cent were happy with it. Majority of the sampled voters disapproved of the President’s performance in all regions, except in the Bono East and Eastern regions. 

Mr Dankwah stated: “These are the things that are bothering voters that they will use to vote eventually. There are those who the LGBTQI+ will become a peripheral issue that they may consider at a certain point in time.”

Does not reflect reality 

However, Mr Ahiagbah disputed the results of the research, saying that it did not reflect the reality of how Ghanaians felt about the NPP-led administration. “I have a problem with the poll itself. The measurement we are dealing with, I don’t have confidence in it. It is something that should be taken on its face value but not a representative feeling of the people because of the research itself. I don’t think it gives us a clear picture of people’s views presently in the country,” he said. 

Buttressing his point  by quoting a question from the questionnaire used, the NPP Communications Director stressed that the methodology used by Global Info Analytics for the research was problematic and did not allow respondents to give a clear impression of the direction of the country. 

Mr Ahiagbah also cited a recent report by the World Economics Governance Index 2024 which named Ghana as the fifth best country on the continent in terms of governance and the best county in West Africa.

He said that contradicted what the Ghanaian research firm had produced in terms of where the country was headed, and as such he urged Ghanaians not to take the results of the polls serious because it lacked scientific basis and sufficient evidence. 

Context

World Economics Governance Index 2024 recently named Ghana as the 5th best governed country on the continent. The country came behind Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa and Botswana at first, second, third and fourth places respectively. 

The new ranking automatically names Ghana as the best governed country in West Africa. The countries were assessed based on corruption perception, rule of law, press freedom and political rights with equal weight given to all four criteria.

The NPP Communications Director stated that it was only natural for citizens to pour their frustrations on whatever government was in power but people were generally happy with the NPP and were committed to keeping the party in power. 

“The challenges we have faced are clear. What I think we are doing now is to be a bit more aggressive in documenting for Ghanaians to be able to merit another four-year term in government. The performance tracker will detail for Ghanaians what we have done till this point, and that will be the basis Ghanaians will use to vote for us,” Mr Ahiagbah said. 

Firm confirmation

Dr Pelpuo, on the other hand, described the results of the survey as a firm confirmation of the sentiments of the general public, adding that it was strategic enough for both parties to begin assessing themselves and work for the benefit of the country. 

“It is confirming the feelings and pain we are going through. The general feeling of an economic downturn that we are all experiencing, the rise in fuel prices, the fall in our cedi, the failing of businesses across the country, the challenge of corruption and everything that contracts an economy,” he added. 

In that vein, the Wa Central MP described the report that named Ghana as the best managed country in West Africa as a mockery and an attack on the integrity of Ghanaians, considering the country was in the middle of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout, among others.

“Ghana’s unemployment rate is one of the worst in Africa, Ghana’s debt is the worst in West Africa, Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has ranked down; we were above Cote d’Ivoire but now we are going down. Our cedi is the worst performing currency in West Africa,” Dr Pelpuo stressed. 

The NDC lawmaker advised the government to take the statistics seriously to reorganise and re-manage the economy for the remaining eight months before elections to address the issues and the myriad of problems. 

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Dr Pelpuo stated that even though the NPP would not win the elections, they had the opportunity to address some of the key problems that were facing majority of Ghanaians before leaving office. 

“People are finding it difficult to feed themselves. People are finding it difficult to report to work because they spend all their money on transportation. They can’t pay accommodation. Things have gone terrible,” he added.

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