Thursday, 19 February 2015

NPP "Won Gbo" Demonstration

 For the first time in Ghana’s history, citizens are experiencing a load shedding exercise dubbed ‘’dumsor’’, 12 hours of power, 24hours of lights out. This scenario has placed great stress on the daily lives of Ghanaians , with a myriad of economic consequences.

The Opposition NPP blames this precarious energy situation on what is says is the ‘’government’s mismanagement of the energy situation’’.

The party led by its leader Nana Akuffo Addo fronted a demonstration which brought together men and women from all walks of life. The protest dubbed ‘’Wongbo’’ was to send a clear message to President Mahama and his cohorts that Ghanaians are suffering.

According to the NPP, the government is not a listening one and the only option it has is to pour into the streets to get the attention of government to address the issues. Political analysts believe that the NPP is justified by going into the streets to let the government act with urgency to fix what is described as a ‘’national energy crisis’’.

Agreeably, the NPP like any other party has the constitutional mandate to demonstrate, and practically too the load shedding exercise is not a friendly one.

The toll is severe on industries, most running below capacity, educational  and institutions and academic work is being disrupted , as we are told the cost of running generators are being passed on to the students. Clearly, the massive turn out of persons to the ‘’Wongbo’’ demonstration, sends out the obvious signal to government that a lot of Ghanaians, who may not necessarily belong to the opposition, identify with the current state of affairs and cannot sit unconcerned.

President Mahama has no choice but to find clear cut solutions to the problem. It may be uplifting that President Mahama admits that the energy situation has eroded some gains made by government on the economy. Contrary to the NPP’s view that the President is insensitive to the current power situation, we were told at a recent news conference by the new power Minister Kwabena Donkor that the load shedding will end this year.

Besides, putting in place long term measures to resolve Ghana’s energy deficit, for the short term we are told that barges are being brought in to manage the energy problem.

Ghanaians should perhaps blame themselves for the current energy crisis because we have all failed to hold our governments accountable, evidently this energy predicament is plainly one that built up overtime. During the demonstration, there were reports that police had a tough time in  controlling the massive crowds, while there was traffic hold up at the city centre.

The police need commendation for a good work done in making sure that there was no police-protestor altercation. As was clearly stated by the Greater Accra Regional Police PRO Afia Tenge, although the  demonstrators diverted the approved routes, the police managed by the end of the demonstration to achieve its target of protecting lives and property. When the protestors converged on the Hearts of Oak Park, their final destination, the NPP leadership addressed the gathering. One would have expected  the party to present a petition to the President outlining concrete ways of fixing the energy crisis.

The crux of their message to government  is simply to find an end to the load shedding, so that Ghanaians can continue to live normally.

Party leader Nana Akuffo Addo was quite brief commending demonstrators for coming out in their numbers and told them to vote the N D C out of power come 2016. The N D C on the other by close of  day of the demonstration held a news conference to react to the N P P's led protest in the streets of Accra.

The party pointed out that the
N P P simply wants to take credit for what the government is already working on, reminding all of numerous agreements signed in the  long term to turn the energy situation around. Ghana's current energy deficit did not happened overnight.

If previous governments took steps to think ahead , this country may not have been experiencing this crisis.Undoubtedly, President Mahama's name will go down in history as one of the best Presidents  Ghana ever had if he is able to solve what Political Scientist Bossman Asare describes as ''unprecedented national power crisis. What will be dangerous for Ghanaians at this time is for the NPP or the NDC to attempt to politicize the already precarious problem. The dumsor or the dumdum is not a party problem, it is one for all Ghanaians.

As evidently depicted in the Wongbo protest in the streets of Accra, the time for President Mahama to find an urgent solution to the load shedding is now.   

By Rebecca Ekpe, a Journalist.

No comments:

Post a Comment