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Opinions of Monday, 29 June 2015

Columnist: Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Payment of Ghc 24,105 by VRA for Aboadze gods is wrong

Many people in Ghana and the world over will agree with me that Volta River Authority (VRA) is wrong in paying some chiefs in the Western Region for Gods to allow power to flow from one of the Aboadze power plants.

The story as published in the Daily Guide and the Ghana web is that “The Volta River Authority (VRA), operators of the Aboadze Thermal Power Station in the Western Region, on Wednesday presented a cheque of GH¢24,105 to chiefs of three communities in the region for the construction of a shrine for the river god in the area.

“The communities include Aboadze, Abuesi and Dwomo – all in the Shama district.

The chiefs and elders of the three communities, who own the lands on which the Aboadze Thermal Plant is built, claimed that the T3 power plant generators would never produce power again until the gods in the area had been pacified.

In this day and age everyone is aware that the world was created by the Almighty God. We are also aware that the Lands, Rivers and all things including the people on earth were created by the Almighty. Even the traditionalists testify to this.

There is nothing wrong when the chiefs ask for compensation for the lands or schnapps to pour libation as done by them occasionally to seek Gods guidance and protection for the projects on their lands.

Apart from this the gods have no power to conjure the release of power from Aboadze plants.

Except God not even the Pope or any religious leader in Islam, Christianity or Buddhist sects can stop power from flowing from Aboadze. Since God means well for mankind he will not hamper the progress of work at the Aboadze plant.

The issue is technical and not spiritual. When some religious leaders prayed to stop the downward trend of the cedi against the dollar and other currencies in the world many people opposed this prayer and said prayers alone cannot prop up the cedi.

They were right because currently that prayer has failed because the cedi is going down daily against other foreign currencies. When the prayers were said the cedi was ghs 2.50 against one dollar. Today it is Ghs 4.50 against the dollar, a situation that has led the government into getting the Bank of Ghana to dish out $20m a day to prop up the cedi.

What we need to know about the Aboadze plant which we consider technical and not spiritual is that in 1994, government acquired 420 acres of land owned by the three chiefs for the construction of the T1, T2 and T3 projects.

The T3 combined cycle plant is a $256-million power generation project funded by the Canadian government and managed by the VRA. It uses both light crude oil and gas for power generation.

The T1 and T2 plants of the Aboadze Thermal Station are currently generating 340 megawatts of power, while the T3 is expected to generate 132 megawatts at full capacity.

Barely two months after President John Mahama inaugurated the T3 facility, was it shut down due to a fault. This is technical and not spiritual.

The VRA said the T3 needed re-engineering and re-modification. But the traditional rulers insisted that the VRA could bring all the best engineers in the world, but the machine would never work until the rites had been performed.

Rites can be performed at huge cost to the VRA and for that matter the state.

I insist that a serious study into the situation shows that it is wrong for the management to VRA to release huge money to the chiefs concerned in the western region.

How the management of VRA can stoop so low to allow the chiefs to deceive them that their small gods are so powerful to stop the plant from operating beats my imagination.

I insist that the problem with the plant is technical therefore we must continue to look for ways of solving it through technical means. We must find out why the first plant is operational while the second one is not.

By all means, we must pursue scientific and not spiritual means of solving technical problems. When all is done through our God-given knowledge we can bring in the traditionalists to pour libation to thank God Almighty for what God Almighty has done for us and not what the small gods have done.

The VRA must be careful because when things go well after this payment it is likely the chiefs can demand more payments for facilitating work at the Aboadze plant.

By Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Executive Director

EANFOWORLD FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
244 370345/ 0264370345/0208844791 abdulai.alhasan@gmail.com/eanfoworld@yahoo.com