Mahama’s Failed Promises Are Becoming Too Many!

In fact, President John Dramani Mahama is gradually gaining notoriety for himself as one president who cannot keep his promises. And yet in the face of all this, he always wants Ghanaians to pat him on the shoulder for causing no meaningful transformation in their lives.

Among his failed promises, the one that I’m much appalled about is the erratic supply of energy in the country. Jokingly, that phenomenon has generated a household name: “dumsor dumsor” which the New Patriotic Party (NPP) even went to the extent of coining a “funny greeting” gesture to accompany it. This is how the greeting goes: “Mema wo dumsoo “and the respondent would say: “Yaa Mahama,” to wit Greetings for experiencing power cuts oooh and the respondent would say we have heard you ooh Mahama.

But the question is: Can we blame those who are championing this “unsavoury” comment. My answer is a BIG no. The reason is because the situation at the time was too much. And because of the rampant power cuts, businesses and industries folded up whilst others and relocated to neighbouring countries.

This was as a result of the damage caused to the West African Gas Pipeline in 2012 which created a power crisis that lasted for about a year. That crisis contributed to a slowdown of GDP growth in 2013, estimated at 7.4 per cent compared to 7.9 per cent in 2012.

The president saw this as a serious challenge having been sworn in after a fiercest election contest in 2012 which ended up in the Supreme Court. Promises upon promises were made by the president to end the energy crisis. But my checks reveal that none of them was fulfilled.

Surprisingly, somewhere last year [2013] when the load shedding was virtually dying off after the damaged Gas Pipeline was repaired, President Mahama was reported to have called on Ghanaians, especially NPP members who were teasing him on the energy crisis, to change their sarcastic greetings and heap praises on him for doing well to normalise the problem.

The president also jovially requested that that cynical greetings directed at him by Ghanaians be changed to “Mema wo Mahamaoo” which will come with the response: “Yaa nkanea” which literally means with President Mahama at the helm of affairs we don’t have to worry about any energy problems. Again, the president was said to have announced an end to the load shedding exercise during the commissioning of the 400 Bui Hydro Project in December last year, declaring that Ghana was on its way to becoming a power exporter.

Amazingly, I didn’t know the president was only interested in praises and appellations when what he claimed he had solved was only short-term. A little over a month after the president’s declaration and demand for praises from Ghanaians, one of the providers of power in the country, Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo,) said the country had to go back to a load-shedding programme. In fact, that announcement was in sharp contrast to the assurances by government that the load-shedding undertaken for the most part of 2013, will not recur in 2014.

What made it serious and funny this time was that the power providers—GRIDCo, Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and Volta River Authority (VRA)—failed to provide a “time-table” on the current energy problem and also tagged the problem as load management instead of what Ghanaians used to know- load shedding. Probably, their intention was to soften the anger that they (the providers) will incur from Ghanaians hence their decision to settle on a “mild” word “management” as if we can’t reason.

Sadly, the power cut occurs intermittently; sometimes at dawn, in the middle of the night, evenings, mornings and afternoons causing all kinds of problems to Ghanaians. In the face of this frustrating environment, coupled with an ailing economy, the providers have the guts to demand for tariff increment. Is ECG and its paymasters not ashamed of their action?

What is more worrying is the fact that we don’t even know when the dumsor dumsor will end. My checks at the corridors of power indicate that the problem is not ending anytime soon because the non-availability of some of the generators has led to a loss of some 50 megawatts of power.

Can President Mahama come back again and promise Ghanaians as far as the current energy situation is concerned? People like us have grown to know Mahama well since he took office and have concluded that he is not cut for the presidency.