Whoever said religion is the opium of the masses was right but is wrong. In our part of the world the opium, an abnormally potent one, is politics. We are so hooked that we are permanently high though we take the dose once every four years! The dust has gratefully settled on the 2020 general elections and petitions and life is back to the  normal abnormal (no pun intended). Even the dreaded “Kofi 19” seem to be losing interest after a year of sojourn in this land of our death! But one familiar visitor has quickly taken prominence! Our lights have found their hidden dancing shoes and gleefully started the disco moves we christened DUMSOR!

Lights started going off in homes and work places of Ghanaians irrespective of political affiliations and or sympathies across the country. In fact the entire country was cut off for some hours some time back and that triggered the return journey of DUMSOR!  As usual the games started! The opposition saw it as a time to “tell them so” that the government is incapable of fixing the power situation. That their government has done far better than the current one! The government, on the other hand, have run to town to do PR work for producers and distributors of power! We were told by the information Minister that God should forbid  us to think, let alone, say the situation is DUMSOR! We must proclaim (by faith?) that it is intermittent power outage due to maintenance works!! Quite a smart thing. Isn’t it?

Two posts on Facebook: one, already alluded to, by the Information Minister and another by Manasseh Awuni Azuri, and the subsequent responses of fellow Ghanaians have not piqued by interest but rather killed it! To Manasseh, DUMSOR is rearing its ugly head again but the Minister says it is intermittent power outage due to maintenance!  Both gentlemen were applauded and attacked in equal measure by the opium addicts. Nobody cared to comment as a Ghanaian as party flags waxed lyrical in  frenzy to unanimously crucify, not our Lord Jesus Christ this time, but our homeland Ghana! The cacophony of their addiction has drowned the very subject that ought to have been addressed!

First of all then candidate and now President Akufo Addo rightfully twitted that when the lights go off and come back then it is DUMSOR.We upheld that verdict rightly then. With that precedence when our lights now go off and come back it is nothing but DUMSOR! No amount of intermittent pressers or releases can or should change that. We can’t be so high on this opium to deny this. We can’t pretend to enjoy the dry dreamless sleeps of nothingness in the dark after the days hustle as we lie down in the dark; locked in mental combats of what the next day holds; drenched in the sweat that the unforgiving night heat unleash on us! We can’t be so blinded politically to ignore the loss and or reduction of our daily bread due to DUMSOR!

Alas! We are doing exactly that. Our smart politicians have diverted our attention to what name the crisis should bear and which political party should carry the blame! So the substantive issue remain untouched as usual and we andulate in perpetual angusih. For how long would this continue? We clamour for change every political season yet nothing changes except the political actors and their private purses. We always call posterity to judge our leaders for their deeds. But some time back, we were the posterity. It is our turn yet we push it to a new posterity! When will posterity ever sit in judgement? If we don’t caste our political garbs away and speak to issues with the unanimity shown lately by our apex court, the doom and gloom multiply. Posterity won’t meet the leaders of today to judge and pass any verdict. We have to and we owe it to ourselves. Let posterity deal with the leaders of posterity and the now deal with their own. That lazy passing of the buck ought to stop now.

There are pertinent issues to address than commending President Mahama (rightly so by the way) for his efforts in tackling the power crises. He did it anyway and could have done so much speedily if we had not engaged in same political jamboree we are starting again. It started with denials at that time then a reluctant acceptance and finally shifting cultivation style deadlines until months of chaos, heat rashes, job losses, sicknesses,preventable deaths etc came to an end and we started experiencing stable power supply. We got fed up with his administration and kicked him out. Nana (traditional reference to”President or His Excellency” than his name) came in for four years and still cried for four more and got it. If now the Mahama DUMSOR symptoms are showing in Nana’s regime, how can we afford to forget those bitter experiences and begin a dance of pretense with Nana? Is that not the proverbial hernia scrotum and the washing pot Palava?

Please Mr President, we admire the linguistic prowess of the Minister of Information but sorry the heat is too much for us to be carried away. If indeed it is a mere maintenance problem as he put it, then we need you to act. Because when we enstooled you, we had stable power supply throughout your first term. If now in the first year of your second term we are having maintenance problems then some people are out there to embarrass you. We don’t want to believe you lied to us about your competency and that of the men you told us you have. We don’t want to think that you are tired after a tenure and are now sleeping on the job. No. That is why we want proper actions.

How can we not do routine maintenance for power, you told us was even in excess, for four years and now the system shut the entire country down once and continued to shut parts down afterwards? What were the people you appointed on our behalf and been paying with our monies doing? Did they sleep till the power drained and the excess also run out to the point of rationing? We don’t want to believe you did not resource them enough to sustain and add to the power production and distribution. So we demand you take action. The men ought to be shaken awake or changed before the embarrassment become gargantuan. If this is not possible then we would doubt you and your competency. We will label you the way we did to former President Mahama.

In fact more than him because he eventually exonerated himself. So please whip your men to order and let them finish the maintenance as quickly as possible. While at that the outages should be humane enough to drown our shouts and name-calling. If you cannot do this then you must apologise to us and also be humble enough to do the same to the former president. Then tell us the truth about the power situation. We love you enough to give you the four more you requested though we denied your opponent the same. So we will understand and be patient with you to solve the problem as quickly as possible.

For things are hard, actually you told us so and asked we bear with you. But in your wisdom, you made increments where you deemed fit. So as we bear this, don’t let us add the heat of DUMSOR to it for long. Please forget about the name we should call it, forget about Mr John Mahama and stop the DUMSOR. For as long as the lights go off and come back, it is DUMSOR: that you taught us and we understand. There is DUMSOR Mr President, just kindly ensure it doesn’t last as before and earn our respect and appreciation.

Fellow Ghanaians, when we go to the polls and one candidate is declared the winner, that person rules us all and we have all automatically become their electors. If we continue the campaign tantrums and leave our politicians alone, our sufferings will know no end because it is self inflicted! Look at the opposition! Look at how easily the “draw-draw” parliament is suddenly becoming majority minority in key decisions. We have but ourselves to fight for and defend. Before you toe the party line think about the heat of the night at least. Even if you are shielded by some political grace from the dumsor, know that power does not last forever and you will one day join us. By then we would have developed enough schemers to adapt and you will suffer most. Let us fight this DUMSOR together and get quick results.

Fiawoyife Asiwome
Fellow Ghanaian in the DUMSOR.
SOGAKOFE.