Today is January 1, 2016 and Dr. Kwabena Donkor is no more minister for power. Well in case you didn't know, he resigned on the eve of new year 2016 to meet the promise he made to all Ghanaians the year before. Dr. Donkor had promised his resignation early 2015 when he was made the first ever energy minister if he failed to end a four year power crisis popularly known as “Dumsor”.
Ghana had been battling a power crisis since 2012 and many industries were dying. Individuals were fed up and the Ghanaian people were wallowing in pain from constant light out. When all hope were almost lost and people were ready to give up, the power ministry was created with Kwabena Donkor as the minister. He made a public pronouncement to resign if the challenge persisted at the end of the year, and the president reminded him months later that his head was on the line.
It was not easy for Dr. Donkor at all because the whole country was on him waiting to hold him to his promise. He made many deadlines within the year which were not met but he still had up to 31 December 2015. Many deals were signed to get us power yet the situation worsened as the days went by. A lot of technical explanations were given but all Ghanaians cared about was getting their power.
Pressure started mounting on him from all angles, from the concerned citizens, the mainstream media and the general public. Some people took to social media as early as October to count down for him. The most talked about issue at public places was the power minister's resignation.
I supported calls for Dr. Donkor to resign for only one reason which is the fact that he played politics with the power disaster. He knew perfectly that it was impossible to end load shedding by end of year but because he wanted to please a political audience he went ahead and made those promises. My support increased when I realised that he was a member of parliament and was seeking re-election.
Like Kwabena Donkor, many have played cheap politics with our country for which we are where we are today after over three decades of continuous democracy.We have probably become worse than we were during the colonial times.
All sectors of economy which ought to be handled by experts and operated professionally, have been politicized. My biggest shock probably was when Prof. Mills did not wait to experiment the four year Secondary school program because of politics and today the same government wants to reconsider it.
The opposition is not left out they will go all out to downplay government policies because they did not initiate it. So instead of supporting government, they pull the government down. The irony is that in asking for votes, they promise development to the people yet they sabotage development because their party is not the ruling government. I don't know what witchcraft will be if this is not witchcraft.
Maybe it is about time we took the power from the politicians in an attempt to develop our country. I have always said that our solution to the many problems we face is allowing experts and professionals to handle our economy regardless of their political orientation. There are many Ghanaians out there with expertise in diverse fields who can help change the face of our country, but their fear is that they will be politically ridiculed.
Even though the power crisis have improved dramatically, the massive call for the minister's resignation is a strong signal that Ghanaians have come of age thus you cannot just have your way with cheap politics. The pressures mounted so much that if Dr. Donkor has refused to resign, the attention would have been shifted to the president a development which would have been a very interesting development in our democracy.
At some point it was clear that the power minister wished he could take his words back because he had done so well but for that promise, he had to go. There were rumours that the presidency gave him an ultimatum to resign or risk being fired.
While celebrate the minister for honouring his promise, we need not to forget the many citizens who took to the street to demonstrate, the social media campaigners, the mainstream media and general public for the spirit of accountability.
Dr. Kwabena Donkor has been used as a sacrificial lamb as I saw somewhere on social media. But that is a significant development I am proud of as a Ghanaian. It will be a precedent for future leaders to know that you can no longer buy the Ghanaian a box of matches and “Bentoa”. So the next time you think of playing politics with the development of the Ghanaian society, go and see Dr. Kwabena Donkor (former minister of power) for advice.