Thursday, March 7, 2013

President appeals against misuse of water, electricity

By Edmund Mingle & Samuel Nuamah

President John Mahama has made a passionate appeal to Ghanaians to halt the wanton abuse and misuse of water, electricity and other public services, as the government resolves the utility challenges. 

He noted that the current water and energy crisis had burdened the economy and reiterated government’s commitment to collaborate with the utility companies to ensure that the challenges were over in the shortest time. 

President Mahama made the appeal yesterday when he addressed a colourful parade of the security services and school children to mark Ghana’s 56th Independence day at the Black Star Square in Accra. 

He spoke on the theme, “Partnership and innovation for building a new and Better Ghana.” 

President Mahama, who presided over the ceremony for the first time since becoming President last January, stressed that those who abused the country’s utility supplies, either through unauthorised connection or through misuse, created problems for everyone else. 

“We appeal to your patriotism and we urge everyone to demonstrate a commitment to collective responsibility,” he said, assuring that “we are working hard to bring this crisis to an end, and every bit of assistance will take us one step closer to that goal.” 

Singing from the second stanza of the national anthem, President Mahama stressed the need for all Ghanaians to rise to the service of the motherland, pointing out that efforts towards national progress was a collective responsibility, which, therefore, required collective action in achieving. 

In addition, he asked the citizenry to embrace the “wind of change,” for progress across the country, indicating that “change does not come easily, and change does not come overnight”. 

“Each and every one of us has a responsibility to make a meaningful and constructive contribution towards the growth and betterment of this nation. We owe that much to ourselves and to our children who will inherit this land and we owe that much to all those who fought for us to have a place to claim as our own,” he said. 

President Mahama cautioned that people should not continue to undertake negative practices that hinder national development, and expect the nation to progress. 

“We cannot throw plastic waste in our drainage system and expect not to be confronted with floods when it rains. We cannot continue to drive recklessly on our roads and hope that our society will be free of vehicular accidents. 

“People cannot pay and collect bribes and hope that somehow public services will automatically improve. We cannot create markets for the purchase of stolen items and expect that crime in our society will cease by itself,” he stressed. 

Calling for support and cooperation with the government, he noted that governance was a shared responsibility, and stated that although his administration would do its best to provide the needed social and economic infrastructure and incentives, everyone needed to contribute to solving the challenges that face the nation. 

“Unless we demonstrate a strong desire and unflinching commitment to be part of the solution, most of government’s effort will amount to nothing,” he warned, stressing that “the change we seek is one that is intended to make our nation a better place for all.” 

The President also appealed to Ghanaians to “work together as a team,” asking the citizenry to be mindful of their actions and remain optimistic at all times, saying “if we speak of success, we envision success and we work towards realising that vision, we will achieve it”. 

“If we speak and focus on failure, any inspiration to believe to see and to create has already been killed. We must also remember that our actions do matter; they matter in the short term and they matter in the long term. Our actions come with repercussions,” he stressed. 

President Mahama paid glowing tribute to the nation’s forebears, including Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who led the independence struggle, and all those who sacrificed in achieving nationhood and a strong foundation for the present generation. 

He urged the citizenry to use the occasion to reflect on how they could contribute in building the foundation so that a good legacy could be left for generations yet to come.“Today is also a time to ask ourselves, where do we want to go from here? And how do we get there?” he said. 

Sounding optimistic of great prospects for the nation, President Mahama urged the people not to despair but to hold on to the positives, and work towards the aspirations of the nation. 

According to him, Ghana had progressed too far in her social, democratic and economic life to retrogress, adding that “there was no turning back”.

“Ghana has never cut off its own nose to spite its face; Ghanaians have always been able to see that tomorrow is not the only day the future holds for us. 

“This is why we cannot go back to yesterday and tread grounds that has already been covered. We cannot go back and fight battles that have already been won. We cannot waste away any more time and energy in petty political squabbles and insults and expect that our country will still somehow magically prosper,” he said. 

President Mahama urged all to heed the call to duty, saying the call to national duty was aptly captured in the second stanza of the National Anthem, which he sung to the admiration of the audience. 

The President reiterated his pledge to make full use of the advantages the nation has “to increase our prosperity” and invited all Ghanaians to join him in that venture of working to build a better Ghana.

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