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An open letter to a John

There have been many times in the past that I have dreamt of wearing the shoes of the President, but obviously this is not one of such moments. Not at all. The toad, they say, loves water but not when it’s boiling.

Dumsor has become synonymous to John Mahama. Almost every time the expected or unexpected happens, Mr. Mahama has to come in for some verbal abuse. We have sunk low—beyond despondency.

Clearly this is understandable. In recent times, the frustration can not only be seen but held and even caressed. There are talks about job losses due to the power crisis but nothing compares to the lives which have been lost as a result.

Oh! Can you imagine? My lights just went out. But never mind. You see, many a time when we complain we are told power crisis is nothing new so we can’t blame this government for it – arrant nonsense, I will let that pass.

Of all the places that could go off, I can’t imagine health institutions are also part of the schedule. In some clinics, pregnant women are delivering babies in darkness with midwives assisting doctors holding torch lights.

There were times some babies have died due to lack of power to operate incubators. I can’t just imagine the pain of a mother who loses a child after nine months in these circumstances. Very heartbreaking.

But I must say Prez Mahama has also not been on top of his game. We all know him to be a communication expert par excellence but in these times that we need to have a leader who talks to the emotions of the suffering masses, he’s been very shambolic.

He has served us enough doses of promises on the exact time dumsor will be eliminated. None has materialised and the last thing people now want to hear him say is to say businesses that are having to lay off workers aren’t smart.

That’s quite unfortunate. I disagree when people say that those managing the economy are trying to sabotage businesses with this present power crisis. Rather, what I see is stark incompetence.

Those put in charge to man some of the key aspects of our economy have no idea what they have been tasked to do. The several boards of some of these state enterprises have been filled with party people who only look up to drawing huge sitting allowances and nothing else.

I have no problem with the party people, but the quality of those appointed. Most of these people are not qualified to even serve in such capacity and such become a drawback in terms of steering the affairs of these enterprises.

The same can be said of some people appointed to ministerial positions. So long as some of these positions remain job for the boys, we should not expect any meaningful progress. I am sorry, Mr. President.

Last Sunday, I was at the Trade Fair to participate in FashionistaGh’s trade exhibition. Whereas part of me was happy seeing that most of the exhibitors are young people trying to make a living, other part of me felt sad.

These young ones mostly rely on power to make some of their products. We all know about the high cost of credit, right? For most of them, they have to access bank loans not only to expand their business but to buy generators. How mean!

Most of these young businesses have resolved to create something for themselves rather than look to government for support. If government cannot assist their businesses, why must it allow them to be collapsed by unavailability of power?

The Akans say, hope I got it right though, if you’re not able to take care of your mother-in-law, you don’t accuse her of being a witch. If that’s not wickedness, I don’t know what else is. Government is not creating jobs or much more creating a conducive environment for some to be created, rather it is making things difficult for those who have taken it upon themselves to create jobs.

I see already some government appointees have entered election campaign mode – sharing pictures of ongoing infrastructural projects on social media sites. That’s not bad for a start as if these projects are funded with taxes from Azerbaijan rather than our meagre income taxes and VAT.

Truth is, I don’t have any problem voting for this government so long as it solves dumsor, gives us good roads, resuscitates the health insurance, creates an environment for businesses to flourish as well as introduces more policies that cater for the vulnerable.

I haven’t asked for too much, have I? As for those projects they are trumpeting to be achievements, they are nonstarters. To say building a school or hospital is an achievement, is like a father saying that sending a child to school is an achievement worth celebrating.

After his coup d’état, Mr. Mahama has probably gone to sleep. We are still waiting to see if he will resurrect from his slumber in 2016.

We wait to see!

By Richard Annerquaye Abbey |

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