The latest UG report can best be described as fraudulent and misleading. The report is fictitious as there was no opinion poll conducted anywhere in the country. It is unfortunate that the highly respected University of Ghana could be used for an unprofessional job.
In any case, in the recent past, the political science department’s opinion polls have largely been incorrect and inconsistent with the reality and wishes of the masses. The report is politically induced compiled by a few NPP surrogates in the department and their fake and conjured report is to satisfy their party’s interest. These NPP supporters using their academic cassock to deceive the masses are just interfering with freedom of the voters and their activities go against the principles of objectivity that our intellectuals should uphold.
These politically motivated opinion polls should not be given attention by the media. The University’s authorities should ban the department from conducting fraudulent polls in its name. Their polls are not based on facts or real factors. We all witnessing happenings in the country, and know the people’s pulse. Ghanaians have more sense of what people think than those conducting such polls. Previous polls conducted by these agenda setters operating behind the image of the University of Ghana Political Science Department turned out to be a big fail. Before I deal with the inherent distortions in the report, the researchers should know that local politics, local issues and dynamics have given each of the 275 constituencies, the districts, towns etc it a own distinctive political color. Our constituencies etc are becoming so diverse and they cast their votes for such different reasons..it makes a proper sample incredibly difficult to construct. To get a meaningful number of interviews, in a majority of constituencies, a polling agency like the so called UG researchers would need to employ a virtual army of pollsters. I have brought in these issues because of what the Head of Political Science Department, Dr Maame Gyekye-Jandoh, who heads the research team, said told the media. According to the report, “For Nana Akufo-Addo, 49% said they would vote for him, 33’3% said they would vote for Mahama and 7.35% for Paa Kwesi Nduom”. According to Dr Gyekye Jandoh, the research sampled about 5,000 Ghanaians nationwide and forced on the economy, education, campaign promises, government policies and programmes among others.
In examining these polls and pre-election reports, however, Ghanaians or observers ought to be mindful of the fact that election polling and projections in Ghana is notoriously unreliable exercise. It suffers from political and even tribal biases of the researchers or polling agencies and news outlets that help spread their work. A more serious challenge to reliability comes from operational problems inherent in Ghana’s electorate, complex demographics, poor infrastructure, all of which make accurate polling an immensely labor intensive, expensive and often dubious process. According to Dr Gyekye-Jandoh, a majority of the people interviewed live in Accra and the regional capitals and their main focus was capturing the feelings of Ghanaians but not the voting pattern, influence of strongholds and other core issues. The system is too polarised for this simplistic research work.
Dr Bossman’s appointment as a deputy commissioner of the electoral commission confirms the sacred truth that there are lot of political and business interests involved in such polls and reports and it will be foolhardy to take them on face value. Dr Bossman spearheaded many anti-NDC polls when he was with the department.
If you take the economy, the researchers do not need special lenses to see the economic hardship Ghanaians are going through. Maybe, they interviewed wives and children of the President and his appointees who are swimming in their siphoned monies. The economy has declined in the last two years. Ghana started experiencing steady growth in the economy in mid-2015. The IMF, the world bank and other credible financial institutions project high growth between 2017 and 18 because of investment made in the oil and gas sectors by the Mahama administration. The new administration has not been able to sustain the economic growth leading to the shambles. Ghana’s has dropped in human development index, corruption has increased according to latest Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index rating, banks are collapsing because government’s austere and control measures, businesses are collapsing and laying off workers.Ghana is in shambles, the people can hardly feed, the Cedi has crashed to almost Ghc 5 to the Dollar.
The researchers should leave the cities and get to the people in our villages, the farming communities, the business areas etc and interview people who live in these places. The should go and interview the cocoa farmers who are now buying fertiliser which were distributed to them (free) under Mahama, who received free hybrid seedlings. They should interview the poultry farmers who received financial support under the previous administration. Sector by sector, the report published doesn’t capture the prevailing reality. The double track system and other problems associated with the free secondary school policy are undermining smooth implementation of the policy.