I was stunned when I listened to an old cynic’s take, on the frequent power outages and the many public-sector strikes, over pay, going on in the country, at the moment.
According to him, not too long after the current government came to power in January 2009, elements of the previous New Patriotic Party (NPP) regime, put together a secret plan to cause disaffection amongst ordinary Ghanaians, against the new National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime of President Mills.
The private media houses and journalists that had been supported financially by the NPP regime (apparently on a one-removed basis, to hide the fact), were to play a key role in the implementation of that plan.
In his view, the current public-sector strikes over pay and the frequent power outages, are not a coincidence – and that there is more to what’s going on, than meets the eye.
He is convinced that they result from pro-NPP individuals in leadership positions in public sector institutions, professional associations and organised bodies – and aware of the existence of that 2009 plan to cause disaffection against the NDC regime – seizing the opportunity to embarrass the government, in the run-up to the December 2012 elections.
Well, it all does sound rather far-fetched in my humble view – but in the byzantine world of Ghanaian politics, anything is possible.
Whatever be the case, it is important that the government pays particular attention to the power sector: as power outages affect households and businesses directly, and give ordinary people the impression that things aren’t being managed efficiently, by their rulers.
At all costs, the NDC government of President Mills, must ensure that those who would like to take advantage of operational difficulties in that sector, to play their own role in the realisation of that 2009 NPP plan, do not succeed in doing so.
Above all, for strategic national security reasons, we must end our reliance on gas from Nigeria – which has proven not to be a very reliable supplier – for power generation, as soon as practicable.
And whiles the project to harness Ghana’s own gas deposits proceeds apace, surely, there must be financial penalties that the Nigerian suppliers of gas to Ghana, ought to be paying the Volta River Authority (VRA), if gas doesn’t flow to its Ghanaian customer?
If it is indeed a fact that gas expected to flow through the West African gas pipeline from Nigeria has failed to do so, surely, it must amount to a breach of contract – for which penalties must exist?
If that is a contractual obligation, and the position is that they have to honour legal undertakings, why not invoke those particular relevant clauses – and utilise any penalty payments made by the Nigerian gas suppliers, for the ongoing modernisation of Ghana’s power sector?
Whatever be the case, steps ought to be taken to ensure that the difficulties over public-sector pay, and that faced by the power sector, are not taken advantage of, by any unpatriotic individuals, keen to sabotage the government of the day’s nation-building efforts – because they are disloyal citizens, who only care about Mother Ghana, when their own political party is in power.
Prudence dictates that those now in power, take steps to make the manipulation of such elements by invisible hands, of no consequence to our nation and its hard-pressed people. A word to the wise…
By: Kofi Thompson.