Saturday, 21 February 2015

Let Us Protect Ghana From Those Sabotaging The Nation-Building Effort

One can understand more mature politicians in the National Democratic Congress (NDC), being irritated by the negativity generated by the public utterances of youthful firebrands, in their party - particularly during a severe power crisis that has led to the governing party in Ghana becoming unpopular across the nation.

However, it is important that senior figures in the NDC don't dismiss out of hand, the suggestion that some sabotage in the power sector, cannot be completely ruled out.

The NDC's leadership must also recognise the fact that atavism is what is actually driving the most implacable of President Mahama's opponents and critics. They must also understand that it is pointless reasoning with such bigoted opponents.

Bigotry is irrational. That is why it is often so hard to understand some of those who are so verbally aggressive in their opposition to President Mahama.

It is pointless reasoning with politicians like the John Kwadjo Owusu-Afriyies and the Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). The government of President Mahama must focus instead  on getting the country's economy back on a sound footing again.

What is monstrous  about the unreasonableness of the John Kwadjo Owusu-Afriyies and the Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos, is that essentially, like Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, the NPP's presidential candidate for the 2016 election, President Mahama too is basically a good and decent human being.

Although many in the NPP will deny it, the truth of the matter, is that the main reason why President Mahama is being so unjustly vilified and demonised,  is that a small number of  tribal bigots in their party, find it intolerable to be ruled by a northerner. What infernal cheek and arrogance - when scientific research confirms that Ghanaians share virtually the same DNA: and are thus one and the same people, effectively.

Going by the revealations from the recording of a conversation between the Hon. Yaw Osafo-Marfo, and party elders in the Eastern Region, it  is obvious that such individuals believe that dominating our country, is their birthright.

On that basis, it is easy to understand why President Mahama is seen by such opponents as a usurper whom they must get rid of at all costs.

 Nothing will stop such bigoted individuals from pursuing their objective - regardless of how much suffering their actions cause ordinary people. And how the saboteurs are making Ghanaians suffer. And to think they are being allowed to get away with it, too.

That is why urgent steps need to be taken to contain those tribal-supremacists who are clearly prepared to go to any length to achieve their goal of removing the president from power. That must be done side by side  with the ongoing fight against high-level corruption.

One of the steps the government can take in that direction, is to work with the satellite company, Urthecast, so that the security agencies can monitor important installations throughout the country from space, using Uthercast's near-realtime video streaming satelitte platform.

Using that platform during the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections, for example, the 26,000 or so polling stations across Ghana, can be monitored by all the political parties and ordinary people who have access to the internet.

The whole world will be able to confirm the veracity or otherwise of allegations of the NDC's skullduggery in the Volta Region, and the NPP's shenanigans in the Ashanti Region. Both parties had better not engage in rigging in those two electoral strongholds of theirs, or anywhere else in the country, in 2016, for that reason.

And various state agencies could also watch our borders, monitor the remainder of our forests, track illegal gold miners and sand-winners, monitor sundry street furniture and track those who steal them.

The Urthecast space platform could also be used to enable the Ghana Health Service to monitor the spread of infectious diseases in communities across the country - and track infected individuals if need be.

Road accidents could also be spotted in time by the police - and ambulances dispatched to take seriously injured passengers to hospital.

 It will also enable smallholder farmers to monitor their crops.

And during natural disasters, such as flash floods and earthquakes, by using the Urthecast space video streaming platform, more targeted help could be provided by the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), to victims across the country.

Finally, since the power crisis is becoming a national security issue too - as it leads to the closure of businesses and the laying off of workers - perhaps Ghana ought to replicate market-driven solar power solutions that have been a great success in Kenya and the U.S.

Incidentally, it is significant and telling that not a single NPP leader took advantage of their recent demonstration in Accra, to speak out against the theft of electric power by individuals, households and businesses across Ghana.

Neither did any of them  bother to take advantage of the occassion, to encourage Ghanaians to conserve power by not wasting it, and use energy-efficient appliances, to help save energy in Ghana.

That would have been a practical demonstration of patriotic leadership, would it not?

 Alas, when it mattered most, they failed Mother Ghana - because they were too busy scoring political points, and, based on the large number of demonstrators, no doubt dreaming of returning to power again in 2017. Pity. The current power crisis is a collective failing of all Ghanaians - and the short-termism and lack of political will to take painful but necessary reformist decisions, on the part of the present, as well as previous NDC  and NPP regimes, of the recent past.

In any case, the question for President Mahama is: why does his government not invite Jesse Moore, the founder of M-Kopa, the leading affordable solar power systems provider in Kenya and Uganda, and Lyndon Rive, the founder and CEO, of SolarCity, the industry leader in the USA, to Ghana - so that they can partner Ghanaian solar power companies to provide affordable solar power systems for homes and businesses in Ghana, whose owners can take advantage of their innovative financing models?

 We must protect our country from those sabotaging the nation-building effort for tribalistic reasons - by providing innovative ideas that will halt the downward slide along the slippery slope to economic disaster and national ruination. God forbid that Ghana ever ends up like that. The saboteurs must not get their wish.

The above  are one's widow's mite contribution in that regard. Hopefully, the Kokou Anyidohos will make sure that the minister of power acts upon it.
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