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Opinions of Monday, 19 January 2015

Columnist: Gyimah, Gilbert Adu

Never Again!

A most sad and heart-wrenching story, complete with graphic pictures, was published on PeaceFM online the week of January 12, 2015. The story was about two young children who got burnt to death whilst asleep as a result of a fire caused by candle use. The unfortunate incident took place in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital. The publication on PeaceFM online attributed the story to Messrs Ameyaw Adu Gyamfi and Michael Akrofi.
Those poor children lost their lives not because they were destined to die or that it was the will of God but because of the dereliction of leadership and very poor choices that have been made by the government. The leadership of the country was asleep at the switch when it mattered most.
Should the death of these two unfortunate children on top of others that are too numerous to mention be seen as “business as usual”? Is this the new normal or the new low?
Ghanaians are dying needlessly and often under very painful and tragic circumstances as a result of dumsor dumsor, either directly or indirectly. They are happening in homes as a result of fires and armed robberies. They are happening in hospitals and God knows where else.
How can a nation, a government, a President feel proud to talk about infrastructural projects when a basic necessity such as a decent supply of energy is lacking leading to children dying needlessly in their sleep from dumsor-dumsor-caused fires? What steps are in place to make sure this does not happen again?
Where is the outrage, fellow Ghanaians? Until we collectively say that “Never Again!”, we shall continue to experience more of the same, that is to say basa basa basa.
Ghanaians must demand excellence and accountability. Somebody must answer for the deaths of these two innocent children as well as that of others due to dumsor dumsor.
A power interruption here and there can be tolerated. But for a power crises to last for over three years when there has been no drought under a government that has been in power for six continuous years is simply unacceptable.
When President Mahama assured in 2012 that by the end of 2013, dumsor dumsor “would be a thing of the past”, it stands to reason that he made the promise based on resources that were available to make that promise deliverable. What happened to those resources? Were those resources consumed in the last six months of 2012? Was that what made it possible to win the 2012 elections after the much touted four or so months of campaigning?
After the Holocaust, the World united behind two words: “Never Again”. After the horrific deaths of those two children to dumsor dumsor, Ghanaians should be able to say “Never Again”. And that should be signaled by a painful and humiliating defeat at the polls in 2016 of a government that lost focus even before it had begun. This would send a strong to any in-coming government that the people’s business is not to be trifled with.
Gilbert Adu Gyimah
Alberta, Canada