Afrobarometer survey shows approval ratings for Akufo-Addo still high as he remains front-runner by far Featured

By By Kwasi Frimpong December 02, 2019 1231 5 comments

The personal approval rating of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo stands at 61 per cent, the latest Afrobarometer survey shows, significantly higher than the 53.9 per cent he garnered in securing victory in the 2016 presidential race.

Former President John Mahama’s approval rating, when Afrobarometer checked this under his presidency in 2014, was 41 per cent.

The survey also shows that more Ghanaians would vote for the governing NPP than the NDC if elections were held today.

However, despite the relatively favourable ratings for the President and the New Patriotic Party against those for the National Democratic Congress and its presidential candidate, just 37 per cent say their living conditions are “fairly good” or “very good”. Also, only 35 per cent say the country is “going in the right direction”.

Trust the leader

The survey found the President as the third most trusted institution in Ghana, enjoying 58 per cent support, with the army and religious leaders as the first and second most trusted, attracting trust levels of 72 per cent and 62 per cent.

Only 41 per cent said they trust Parliament, and the local government system is bottom of the trust list for political office holders.

The NPP also enjoys an appreciable level of trust among Ghanaians, with 49 per cent seeing the party as a better manager of the country. All the opposition parties put together recorded 37 per cent trust.

NPP to win

The survey also found that if elections were held this year, the NPP would win, even though it would not secure a one-touch victory with its 43 per cent score. Only 22 per cent of those surveyed said they would vote for the NDC.

Twelve per cent were undecided and 11 per cent would not vote, while 19 per cent would not disclose whether they would vote or not.

The survey also put the NPP ahead in seven parts of the country, including the Northern Region and swing regions such as Bono, Central, Greater Accra and Western.

Free SHS

According to the survey, an overwhelming 87 per cent of Ghanaians are happy that the Free Senior High School policy has created opportunities for many who otherwise would not have been able to afford secondary education.

Half of Ghanaians either “agree” or “agree very strongly” that it is better to have Free SHS, even if it leads to an increase in the number of educated citizens who cannot find jobs.

However, they are split over whether the policy should have targeted only the poor, and whether government should have put all the necessary structures in place before implementing it.

The message is all

Commenting on the report, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a legal practitioner and publisher of the Daily Statesman, said the NPP’s failure to articulate the gains it is making effectively partly accounts for the drop in the government’s approval rating.

“In my view, it is principally due to two things: (1) the failure of the ruling party to properly articulate the gains it is making, and (2) and how that failure feeds inconveniently into the fact that too many Ghanaians would continue to struggle for some time to make ends meet in spite of the billions of interventions made by the government to bring relief,” he wrote in an article posted on social media.

“NPP is still falling short in persuading people that the plan is to sort out the economy and keep it stable, which has been done; push an industrialisation agenda, which they are doing with 1D1F; getting our bauxite and iron ore and manganese developed in an integrated way that adds value, which is work in progress now,” he said.

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