A Political Science Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Isaac Owusu-Mensah, has denied claims that a survey conducted by his Department which gave the government largely favourable scores after its first year, was paid for by members of the current administration.
The survey noted that, 62% of Ghanaians were pleased with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s performance so far.
It also revealed that, 64% of respondents backed the creation of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, with 49% of the 5000 voters sampled, endorsing the Free Senior High School [SHS] programme while 37% approved of the campaign against illegal mining.
Some critics of the government have expressed skepticism about the results, suggesting that the department might have been induced to skew the findings in favour of the government.
Others have even suggested that the government funded the whole research, compromising the objectivity of the findings.
However, Dr. Owusu-Mensah brushed aside these claims, stating emphatically that the government had no influence over the results of the survey.
He noted that the criticism of the survey results was expected, with various groups choosing to accept the findings depending on whether it favours them or not.
“The government had no hand in it whatsoever. No government functionary gave us one cedi as far as this survey is concerned. When we do a study, people will bastardize you no matter what. In 2016, we told NDC that they were trailing the NPP by nine percentage points. When the results came, they lost by exactly nine percentage points. If somebody says that I sit in my chair and determine the results they are wrong. I don’t have a hand in fixing the results. No amount of money can buy my reputation,” he said on Eyewitness News.
‘No one should be happy’
A number of sympathizer of the governing party have expressed delight with the findings, stating that it is an indication of how well the government has performed in office so far.
However, Dr. Owusu-Mensah believes the survey results showed that Ghanaians aren’t pleased with either the New Patriotic Party (NPP) or the opposition Nation Democratic Congress (NDC), as both parties recorded lower percentage points than in 2016.
“Nobody should celebrate the findings because it isn’t good for any of them. These people we interviewed, 56 percent voted for NPP in 2016. If elections are held today, 52 percent said they would vote for NPP. So the NPP has dropped by four percentage points, the NDC has dropped as well so neither party should be happy,” he added.
58% of voters want Mahama as Flagbearer
According to the survey, 58% of voters believe that former President Mahama will lead the opposition National Democratic Congress in the 2020 elections.
“We wanted to find out who the voters think should lead the party in 2020 and overwhelmingly 58% of the candidates we interviewed said they believed Mr. Mahama will become the candidate. It means when you look at the graph, some people were getting 2 percent. Prof Alabi, Ricketts Hagan, Spio Grabrah, I think all of them were getting less than 7% so we were all surprised.”