Mahama Runs From Dumsor

President Mahama exchanging pleasantries with some party faithful.

It appears Ghana’s President, John Dramani Mahama, has finally resolved not to make any statements in connection with the current energy crisis until the situation stabilises.

This was evidenced at a recent public event in Ho, the Volta regional capital, where he inaugurated the Eastern Corridor Fibre Optic Backbone (Broadband Infrastructure).

For some time now, the President has been noted for making promises concerning the crisis, but this did not happen in Ho.

Not even the enthusiastic crowd, obviously made up of over 90% supporters of his government and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), could move him to make such statements.

The last time the President commented on the crisis was when he subtly politicised the ‘#dumsormuststop’ vigil organised by Yvonne Nelson and her colleague celebrities.

The President had posted on his Twitter account that ‘The division in our politics is bad enough. Let it not spread to our creative industry. Let’s cease the polemics. — JM.’

His tweet came after some of his appointees accused the celebrities of doing the bidding of the main opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP). However, many Ghanaians did not take the comments of the appointees kindly, making some of them to render apologises while others refrained quietly.

The energy crisis, commonly known as ‘dumsor’, was not the only issue the President swerved.

He also swerved making promises in relation to the unpaid allowances of nursing training and school of hygiene students. As well, he failed to say anything regarding the cancelled allowance of teacher trainees, despite the loud roars and chants students of the respective institutions present at the gathering made. They were heard chanting, “pay us our ‘allowa’ [allowance]” and “allowa ohh allowa”. These certainly caught the President’s attention but he ignored them all.

However, Madam Helen Ntoso, the Volta Regional Minister, in her speech at the same event, said “the President is fixing it.”

Currently, teacher trainees are on an indefinite strike to demand the reinstatement of their allowance which has been replaced by a student loan facility.

According to the trainees, the student loan and the feeding grant which were to replace the allowance had still not been paid.

More so, they noted, since the termination of the allowance, students were finding it difficult to pay for their tuition, upkeep, learning materials and feeding.

According to them, even if the feeding grant and student loan were made available, they would be woefully inadequate to cater for their needs.

The nursing trainees’ allowance, according to the students, is in arrears of over a year and all attempts made to get government to release the allowance have proved futile. The frustration of the nursing students over the situation was made evident when some of them bussed themselves from Dunkwaw to Accra, the national capital, to demand their allowance.

From Fred Duodu, Ho ( [email protected] )

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