Wongbo demonstration is misplaced – Hassan Ayariga

General News of Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Source: Graphic Online

Ayariga Hassan PNC Prez Cand

The 2012 presidential candidate of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Mr Hassan Ayariga, has condemned today’s demonstration by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on the energy crisis confronting the nation as a misplaced priority.

He reasoned that the NPP, which was in government for eight years under the Fourth Republican dispensation, could not tackle the energy challenges.

“If they were able to solve the energy problems the country would not have been in this situation,’’ Mr Ayariga told the Daily Graphic in an interview.

He was sharing his perspective on the energy crisis and the demonstration being organised by the NPP.

Following the massive public outcry over the erratic power supply in the country, the NPP has set today to stage a mass demonstration over the issue.

The party claims the demonstration is also aimed at expressing their displeasure over the worsening economic situation in the country.

Ghana has been battling with power crisis for some time now, a situation which has compelled the government to place orders for emergency power badges for the country.

President Mahama has given the assurance that he will do everything within his capacity to resolve the power situation which has bedevilled the nation.

The chief scribe of the NPP, Mr Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, said today’s “Won Gbo” demonstration by the party is “a peaceful protest”, and therefore cautioned troublemakers to stay away from it.

He disclosed that, “all is set for the demonstration to protest the government’s handling of the energy crisis”.

But in the view of Mr Ayariga, political parties must provide an alternative solution to the power crisis.

He opined that political parties should be ready to advise the government on the way forward instead of only criticising for criticism sake

“This is the reason I am disappointed in today’s demonstration and consider the exercise as hypocritical on the part of NPP and its leadership,” he stated

“I think the problem of today is not as a result of mismanagement by the current government but failure on the part of previous governments to match real tangible development springing up all over the country,’’ he said.

Mr Ayariga expressed the hope that Ghanaian politicians would talk less and act more, saying ‘’we talk too much and do very little; it is time we live by example and bring out solutions instead of demonstrations’’.

He, therefore, suggested an energy mix for the country to reduce the pressure on hydropower supply in the country, explaining that a three-prong approach of the use of solar, wind and hydropower could help reduce the pressure on hydro.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily Graphic Mr Ayariga said the northern part of the country had a lot of sunshine, and that the government could build more solar panels to provide solar power for the northern sector.

He further explained that coastal areas with strong winds in abundance could be provided with windmills to generate wind power.

Mr Ayariga said by so doing the pressure on the hydropower could be drastically reduced to enable the hydropower to serve areas that did not rely on solar and wind power.

He said since 1957 when the population was three million and in 1965, eight million the country was able to rely on the Akosombo for all its energy needs..

The presidential candidate said presently the population of the country had risen to 26 million with many people using air conditioners while a lot of industries had sprung up in the country, using all sorts of machines, gadgets and equipment that consumed a great deal of power.

He said for instance that some homes had more than 200 light bulbs while a lot of hotels in the country now used air conditioners and bathroom jacuzzis extensively,consuming a lot of power.

Mr Ayariga therefore called on Ghanaians, especially captains of industries, to minimise the use of machines and adhere strictly to the load-shedding programme and allow it to work effectively, and in that way solve the energy crisis confronting the country.