Avoid Dumsor Man’s Ways


Electricity supply has become one of the critical resources needed on the African continent to spur growth and development. Economic giants such as South Africa and Nigeria are deficient in energy generation and distribution to their people.

South Africa, for example, has been in the throes of dumsor for some years now, while in Nigeria, dumsor is a regular feature of national life. Generators are common spectacles in the residential communities and business centres.

Dumsor gained currency in Ghana during the John Dramani Mahama era, from 2012 to 2016, although we experienced dumsor in previous regimes. As a people labelled to have “short memories” by John Mahama, we seem to have forgotten our experiences from the reigns of Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor to John Evans Atta Mills.

The dumsor we experienced during the era of John Mahama was very severe, devastating and unproductive, earning him the nicknames, “Mr Dumsor”, “Mr Power Cut”. Ironically, the NDC flagbearer spends his time these days to tell Ghanaians that he fixed dumsor before exiting office on January 7, 2017.

John Mahama, as he told the BBC in response to the question whether he has taken bribe before, we think as a person, he is a nice gentleman. However, our problem with him is his inconsistencies and incompetence shown in his handling of dumsor and other issues during his tenure. We can now feel the load John Mahama carried during the dumsor era, judging from his incoherent responses to the crisis. If it is not an act of God, then it must be the result of the increasing usage of mobile phones and television sets, low tariffs to high demands in the wake of low generation.

Again, the “Dumsor Man” told Ghanaians during his presentation of the State of the Nation Address in February 2016, that his government had overcome the power crisis but two months later he said, “we are not out of the power crisis yet”, but indicated that it was better than it used to be. Speaking to the Christian community in Kumasi in June 2016, he said the crisis appeared to have been prolonged by the non-supply of gas from Nigeria.

John Mahama gave all kinds of excuses for his inability to tame what looked like an invisible phenomenon then. The Goebbelsian lies did not help John Mahama to win the second term in 2016, as dumsor saw him packing from the Jubilee House.

It is against this backdrop that, we are not very happy with the way the Akufo-Addo government is handling the current energy challenges. Ghanaians want electricity to run their businesses and personal homes but not the excuse of “dum sie sie.”

If there is no power, it does not matter to the trader whether it is because of Matthew Opoku Prempeh’s mantra of “dum sie sie”. The government must recognise that Ghanaians dread dumsor, especially in this unfriendly weather exacerbated by the increasing cost of doing business.

The NPP government ought to be told that when it comes to dumsor, Mahama cannot be the good example, and that explains why he lost miserably in 2016. We are convinced that Ghanaians are prepared to forgive governments for other ills but not dumsor.

President Akufo-Addo told the May Day parade of workers last Wednesday that the power challenges have been resolved and yet many people still complain of dumsor. We keep reminding the NPP that when it comes to policy initiatives and implementation, John Mahama and his NDC is not the reference point.

John Mahama, in his address to Parliament in February 2015, admitted the challenges in the power sector but boasted thus, “I, John Dramani Mahama, will fix this energy challenge”, and yet dumsor persisted until he exited office.

The NPP government and the 2024 flagbearer must take a cue and avoid the mistakes of John Mahama. That is why we think President Akufo-Addo should as a matter of urgency order the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah to apologise to the workers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), especially those in Ashanti Region.