Opinion

The bitter patriot

I am Ghanaian and I love my country. I am passionate about what happens in this country endowed with resources. But with excruciating heart pain, I say that I am a bitter patriot.

Indulge me.

Here we are in a new year, 2015, and our resolutions neatly written somewhere.  I was confident of a year of fruitfulness coming my way. I still do. In fact, my colleague Fred Smith and I received the message from Bishop Agyin Asare. We were not the only benefactors- the first gentleman of the land was also present- Mr President. In that spirit he spoke with conviction these words ‘…this is the year where we will banish darkness from this land’. As to whether I believed him when he said that- will tell you when we meet in person. The pump and pageantry that heralded this year has fast faded like the silent yet violent wind. Same problems- different times. 

I wrote three articles last year about the lack of Power. I even couched a greeting-; Dumsornomics- Dark and Lovely. And I thought 2014 will take it all away. Blind optimism? Hmmmmm.

Ghana turns 58 this year and the country can be described as a man who should be fully prepared for pension after working so hard.

An economy was built from scratch or let me say from a foundation created by Aunty Lizzy (Queen Elizabeth II). 58 years later, is this country able to afford all the basic needs of its citizens?

I shudder to offer a response.

Healthcare is wobbling like an alcoholic hugging a bottle. Kids, mothers and old men die of common avoidable diseases and the refrain is- ‘we are working to improve your lives for a brighter future’.

Education in Ghana is a photocopy of a confused man- much more like a production line in China. We are busy producing graduates but unable to provide skilled labour ready to rapidly grow a 58-year-old man’s economy.

Energy or Dumsor? Oh my goodness. Here’s where the plot thickens.

My uncle who was born before Ghana became independent just said something rather gripping yesterday- ‘In all my life on earth in this country, never have I seen erratic power supply as horrible as this’.

I can’t validate his claim but I will not hesitate to say ‘he who feels it knows it’.

I have heard the promise of dumsor ending since 2012 and I am still looking at an unfulfilled promise. I think what’s actually working quite well is the vibrant social media in GH.

My good friend and former classmate Joseph Quaye Amoo on Facebook says ‘In Ghana, “power crisis” applies to two things- leadership and electricity’.

Inferring? I enquire- Do we have the kind of leadership that can truly fix the power crisis? Power Minister Dr Kwabena Donkor told Ghanaians this week that we should patiently bear with government through these challenging times. For residents in Accra who get power from the Achimota and Mallam substations (who we know are worst hit) – are you bearing with Dr Donkor through these challenging times?

In fact Mr President after inspecting some power plants thanks you for keeping the patience flame alive and asks that you let the flame stay a while longer as the problem is fixed.

Patience is one virtue that’s difficult to have. Listening to Pastor Kakra Baiden’s audiocast about patience, I learn that it moves mountains and solves the toughest of problems. I can authoritatively say that Ghanaians have their patience running out. For all who are losing it because of the power crisis, I humbly recommend Kakra Baiden’s audiocast for you. Please listen. It’s helped me a great deal.

We are all in strong spirits as Ghanaians as we support the Black Stars today, as we seek to scale over Equatorial Guinea and meet our neighbors Ivory Coast at the Nations Cup final. If you’re not in the stadium at Malabo, you’d rely on commentary on radio (George Addo Junior on Joy FM recommended) or the television screens for the action. I pray we win but I have a bigger request to make of God. Here it goes…..

Father I know you listen to me

I have loved you each day with a lot of belief in your unflinching support

But today I am not asking for anything for myself but for Ghana

I pray that you give us uninterrupted power supply for two months

Show our leaders how it’s done

I won’t bother giving you suggestions because you created this world; nothing is too big for you

And dear Lord, bless the leaders of this country with the wisdom and know-how to fix the power crisis

And let us win in Malabo but with the support of Ghanaians across the country that will have power tonight to watch your blessing manifest and sleep too with comfort.

Thank you for an answered prayer

PS: If I forgot something people, add it for me wai na mabr3 mpo!!!!!!

Francis Abban is a broadcast journalist at Joy 99.7 fm. This article is my personal views and do not represent the organisation I work for.  I blog at francis.abban.wordpress.com. Twitter- francis_abban. Instagram (IG)- kobbyacquaah

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