Celebrating the Bui Dam minus Kufuor?

Mon, 6 May 2013 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Friday, May 3, 2013

Folks, former President John Agyekum Kufuor is seething with anger, making it known as such on some radio stations in Accra, because he has been slighted and not invited to participate in the commissioning of the Bui Hydro-electricity Dam.

I agree with him a zillion per cent. By slighting him this way, the government has done him a huge disservice, which rubs off on all those in his government who worked hard to take the project off the ground.

Why am I saying so? It must not be difficult to fathom that Kufuor did marvellously well in ensuring that the project could be revived, many years after the Great Osagyefo had identified the Bui area as suitable for an addition to the country's hydro-electricity generating capacities.

I haven't been keen in supporting Kufuor, but in his singular effort to add this project to the Akosombo dam and to actualize the Great Osagyefo's dream, he deserves more than has been meted out to him.

What would the government have lost had it invited Kufuor to participate in today's ceremony? NOTHING!!

Instead, the government has lost face and goodwill by slighting him. Of course, one might be tempted to think that including him in the programme might revive the NPP's face-saving agenda of "boycotting" everything associated with President Mahama and that not inviting him at all would cut everything short.

But I differ. Having already proved to his admirers in the NPP that he has risen above narrow partisan politics to consider himself as a statesman who will participate in events to serve the national interests, he should have been invited.

At least, the government could have benefited from his inclusion inasmuch as it would give us all the chance to see things being done above narrow partisan political limits.

No one can wash away his role in the project, and the best honour to have been done him, which should go to prove the government's appreciation for his vision, was to give him the visibility that the commissioning of the project entailed.

Unfortunately, someone in the corridors of power thought otherwise. This mistreatment to Kufuor confirms fears that our national politics is still characterized by needless acrimony and wanton disrespect for others' political persuasions. How can we ever work together to build the country if we behave this way?

Were Dr. Nkrumah alive, would he have been invited to participate in the project? Certainly, yes! Because he would be regarded as the brain behind it.

What hasn't Kufuor done on this project to warrant his being recognized and appreciated? Don't tell me that former President Rawlings wasn't invited either, so there is nothing wrong with what Kufuor is complaining about.

I think that the government has lost a good opportunity to endear itself to the hearts of even its critics. That is not how politics should be done in this 21st century.

An unconditional and unreserved apology should be given Kufuor for this disrespect shown him. In future, those in charge of handling such protocol arrangements should be more level-headed so as not to repeat this faux pas.

Meantime, we hope this project will add value to the energy sector and all efforts made to complete it on schedule. Welcome to Ghana, BUI!!

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.