General News of Wed, 1 Apr 201532
Dumsor: We won't sacrifice long-term measures just to win 2016 - NDC
General Secretary of the incumbent National Democratic Congress, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, says Government will stick to long-term measures to address the recurring power crisis even if that will cause the party to lose the 2016 elections.
Mr. Asiedu Nketia said this on TV3's New Day on Wednesday, when the Host, Nana Aba Anamoah sought to point out to him that his party could lose the elections if Government fails to tackle the 'dumsor' crisis effectively.
The man, popularly referred to as General Mosquito, who was seeking to clarify reports that he had criticized the President's handling of the energy crisis, said he only sought to remind party communicators not to insult the sensibilities of Ghanaians who were demonstrating against 'dumsor' because the negative effects was a reality.
"I haven't said that the President hasn't handled the thing well. The problem of 'dumsor' is real and the President is doing the best he can about it. So we cannot deny that 'dumsor' is not there and it is impacting negatively on the lives of people. President Mahama has repeatedly admitted that this is not pleasant and that it's a challenge that came about as a result of years of neglect of the power sector and so he intends to fix and not manage it. Presidents who are that truthful are rare. Who can deny that lights don't go off? I only came out when I heard some of our communicators saying uncomplimentary things about people engaged in the 'dumsor' demonstration. I told them that when something is real and its impact on the people is real, they have the right to demonstrate. My only problem was about the politicians who tried to take advantage by leading those demonstrations."
Contrary to perceptions that African governments largely focus on winning elections to the detriment of real development, General Mosquito said the NDC was first committed to development.
He said Government will resort to long-term measures for the larger benefit of the country rather than resort to short-term measures to gain an electoral advantage ahead of the 2016 polls.
"The issue is not about winning the elections. The main purpose of NDC coming to power is not just to win elections but to contribute our bit to uplift the country. So if we have to take decisions whose end effect will achieve that purpose, so be it. They won't be decisions to appeal people; we will take the right steps to fix the economy, the energy crisis, education and everything. If the right steps are taken and the NDC would have to lose elections so be it. If all that politicians do is short-term things to win elections and increase our suffering, then let's try something else. And when people feel frustrated, they will go for a change whether that change is good or not. So we have a responsibility to take the right decisions and don't care too much about whether the short-term impacts will be painful".
"2016 is not our main purpose of being in government. Why should a democrat be afraid of the outcome of elections. If you are afraid, then democracy is not your place. All that we want to do as a nation is to demystify the alternation of power so people don't get so anxious about elections. And I am happy the President has demonstrated leadership at ECOWAS level and I want to believe that his advice to Jonathan has been well taken. He told him to accept the will of the people and so Jonathan has since called to congratulate General Buhari".