Ghana opposition leads protest against power crisis

By Dasmani Laary

Posted on Thursday, 19 February 2015 10:36

Protesters, including legislators, the aged, traders, artisans and the disabled, clad in black and red carried placards that read: “wow, what a John,” “Boko Mahama,” “we need our money” and “businesses are collapsing”.

We are holding government accountable for not only ‘Dumsor‘ [erratic power supply], but mismanagement due to incompetence

School children in their uniforms also took part in the street protest.

NPP supporters accused the government of refusing to listen to complaints by Ghanaians about mismanagement of resources.

“We are holding government accountable for not only ‘Dumsor‘ [erratic power supply], but mismanagement due to incompetence, which has led to this worse kind of power situation we ever faced in this country,” top party leader, John Boadu said.

“We need ‘dumsor‘ centres and not Ebola centres because it is this energy crisis that is killing us,” a protester told The Africa Report.

NPP’s 2016 presidential candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo led the protest.

Akuffo-Addo, before the march which began at Kwame Nkrumah Circle, urged the teaming crowd to remain “disciplined” and ensure that they had a “peaceful” protest at the end.
He called on the government to fix the numerous problems facing the economy.

Ghana is currently shedding between 440 and 650 megawatts of power during off-peak and peak periods as a result of a production deficit, which is crippling businesses with many downsizing and others folding up.

The government has made many promises and given timelines to end the crisis, but such pledges have never been fullfilled.

This has provoked public anger and infuriated the main opposition party and pressure groups.

Corruption issues have also become a thorn in the flesh for the government.

The latest case was exposed by an Auditor General’s report accusing Savanna Accelerated Development Authority and the Energy ministry officials of embezzlement.

The report which was presented to parliament by the Auditor General, Richard Quartey, on Tuesday revealed that the Energy Ministry spent over six million cedis on 38 luxury vehicles.

The vehicles were bought from a budget meant for extending electricity to 1,200 communities under the Multi-Donor Budgetary Support Programme between 2010 and 2012.

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