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NPP Exploiting “Dumsor” To Score Political Points: Political Opportunism at Its Ugliest


It is a well established fact that political parties that find themselves out of power for long periods of time are predictably desperate, lost and confused. Inevitably, they turn to activities, some positive, others just plain puerile, to draw attention to their forlornness. Recent activities of the main opposition party, the NPP fall within this realm.

Out in political limbo for nearly 8 years, the party has been relentless in assailing almost everything the party in power, NDC, does.  It has, since losing the 2012 general elections, clandestinely nudged think tanks and other civil society groups to mount furious and sustained attacks against every government initiative.

Leading the charge is the IMANI think tank whose founder and president, Franklin Cudjoe revels in baiting government officials with bogus claims of corruption and incompetence. The daily drumbeat of criticism also draws in the likes of an outfit called Occupy Ghana which is affiliated with the NPP and IMANI, shouting itself hoarse with cries of official malfeasance.

What is more, the NPP leadership continues to launch verbal assaults against the President, vowing to undermine his administration at every turn. Last year, it was the party’s perennial election loser and recently reelected presidential candidate, Nana Akuffo Addo, who while in London on a personal visit inexplicably tore into President Mahama labelling his policies inept and his administration detached from reality.

Dr. Bawumia, Addo’s running mate has been equally relentless in bashing the President and the NDC. And Safo Marfo’s acerbic remarks about resource – rich parts of Ghana and their absence from political leadership of the nation indicate to a large extent the party’s unfailing adherence to negativity and bigotry.

Long portrayed as desperate for power at all cost, Nana Akuffo Addo’s naked ambitions to be the next president of Ghana were on full display last week. Clad in traditional southern (black) mourning clothes and exuding the confidence of someone sure of his destiny, Addo inexplicably led a largely NPP orchestrated demonstration against the government’s seeming inability to bring regular blackouts in the country to an end. The blackouts dubiously named “dumsor” by virulent critics of the government are indeed a retardant to our economic progress and have doubtlessly caused a great deal of havoc to citizens and industries.

Like every other problem besetting the country, poor infrastructure, education and illiteracy, blackouts have a long history of inattention and neglect from authorities. Their genesis can be traced to the 1970s when the Akosombo River which at that time was the sole source of the country’s power needs began experiencing dramatic reductions in its water level primarily because of shortened raining seasons.

Official response to the problem was for most part tepid and half-hearted. The military governments at the time failed mightily to treat the issue with the agility and attention it rightly deserved and subsequent governments neither paid attention to the problem nor developed alternative sources of power. 

Our dependence on Akosombo grew even more pronounced until the 1980s when reality finally set in and other sources were acquired.The Bui Dam was built with Chinese aid under the guidance of the Kufuour administration, but the problem was far from over.  Blackouts persisted and lasting solutions continue to elude authorities.

Worsening the situation was the sudden surge in the Ghanaian population, especially in urban areas where electricity consumption has always been high and the inability of the Bui Dam to produce electricity at full capacity has not helped matters one bit.  Demand outstripped supply. So much for our dependence on turbine-driven sources of power!!

Certainly, the Mahama administration deserves some blame but one cannot justifiably point an accusing finger at the government for being negligent. It inherited the problem from the previous administration which also inherited the problem from the administration that preceded it.

The government is currently doing its best to bring some relief to power-starved Ghanaians.  And it sure needs the assistance of everyone, even its political foes as it embarks on this challenge. Politicizing “dumsor” as Addo, Bawumia and other NPP hierarchy are feverishly doing, smacks of political opportunism at its ugliest. Ghanaians are the victims here and certainly don’t need politicians taking advantage of their precarious situation to score political points.


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