NPP Ready For Dumsor Demo
All seems set for a massive demonstration against the erratic power supply in the country, known in the local parlance as 'dumsor,' that has beset the nation.
Next week Wednesday, members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) will lead a demonstration against the power crisis and have called on Ghanaians from all walks of life to close their ranks and join them in the protest march.
The demonstration, which has been dubbed 'Won gbo' literally meaning 'we are dying,' is being organized against the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government for its inability to solve the problem.
It comes ahead of a similar one being put together by a group calling itself Concerned Ghanaians scheduled for Independence Day, Friday, March 6.
At a press conference in Accra yesterday, General Secretary of the NPP, Kwabena Adjei Agyepong, could not fathom why 'we have an energy crisis of monumental proportions with no end in sight, despite countless assurances from President Mahama since 2012.'
He added, 'The government continues to show their inability to deal with the energy crisis.'
The situation, he said, had gotten out of hand hence, the need to send a strong message to government to find ways to address the issue.
That, he said, was because 'businesses, artisanal Ghanaians, seamstresses, tailors, vulcanizers, welders, sprayers, barbers, printing presses and many others have been hit extremely hard. At our health facilities the situation is extremely precarious with several deaths attributed to the frequent outages.'
As an opposition party that claims to be a responsible political stakeholder, Mr Agyepong said, 'The NPP considers it a national duty to bring the deep suffering of the Ghanaian people and the intolerable state of affairs today to the attention of this government, which is obviously incompetent, insensitive and uncaring.'
He averred, 'We commence that struggle with a street protest next Wednesday, 18th of February, in Accra.'
He therefore made a clarion call for 'all Ghanaians of different shades of opinion, including our NDC brothers and sisters, civil society organisations, labour unions, market women, unemployed youth, barbers, tailors, hairdressers, etc. to join us on that day in order to send a clear message to the government that indeed, 'Won gbo:' We are dying.'
The NPP General Secretary indicated that 'When we' (referring to the then NPP administration) 'were leaving (government) in 2009, we bequeathed them with enough generating capacity.'
Mr Agyepong believes the problem could not be that of generating capacity. 'It is more of poor management of our power sector,' he observed.
According to him, 'This situation becomes all the more mind-boggling when we consider the massive amount of resources that have been available to this administration over the last six years.'
He recalled that between the years 2009 and 2014, the NDC government borrowed the equivalent of some $27 billion, which is more than four times the amount of money the NPP borrowed during its eight years in power.
Aside that, he said the government collected GH¢62 billion as tax revenue in the last six years, which is in contrast to the NPP's GH¢15.2 billion between 2001 and 2008.
The NPP chief scribe noted that within the same period (six years), the NDC has exported $14.5 billion worth of cocoa as against $8.7 billion in the eight-year tenure of the NPP. He recounted that export of gold within the eight years of the NPP regime amounted to $9 billion, whereas, in the six years of the NDC, gold export had amounted to $25 billion.
What seemed to baffle him was the fact that 'No government in our history has had the benefit of oil revenue, except the current NDC administration.'
Kwabena Agyepong indicated that 'The total amount of revenue accruing from this source is something they (NDC) are uncomfortable to clarify,' even though it is estimated that Ghana has exported some $13.7 billion in the last four years.
'Despite these significant inflows, the Mahama-led government continues to default in statutory payments like the NHIS, GETFund and the District Assembly Common Fund, which are all several months in arrears', he emphasized.
These and other things are what have compelled the largest opposition party in the country to be planning the 'Won gbo' demonstration for next week to bring pressure to bear on the government to reverse the trend.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu