We must be civic in our actions

BY: Daily Graphic
We must be civic in our actions
We must be civic in our actions

Last week Friday, the dust finally settled on the fracas between the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and residents of Yilo and Manya Krobo in the Eastern Region, leading to the restoration of electricity after the residents had been in total darkness for three weeks.

Since July 27, this year, the entire Kroboland had been without power due to over-accumulated bills and misunderstanding over the installation of prepaid meters. There was fierce resistance to the installation of the prepaid meters and alleged attacks on ECG staff and its infrastructure.

Thankfully, the impasse has been resolved and power has been restored.

However, the Daily Graphic believes that the values of civic consciousness, engagement with policy makers and reasonableness have been lost on most people living in Kroboland in the past few weeks.

It all began when the ECG decided, against all odds, to demand the payment for electricity from everyone, be it public or private institutions and individuals. The people of Kroboland and its environs were affected.

However, instead of mounting a strong engagement with the ECG to obtain a payment plan for past debts and plan for the installation of prepaid meters for the future, some resorted to vandalising the infrastructure of the ECG. They did not want to pay their debts of the past and had a sense of entitlement to enjoy electricity free forever!

The Daily Graphic believes that the actions of those people in Kroboland and other places where they vandalised the property of the ECG are barbaric, to say the least, and must be condemned.

Democracy is all about a contest of opinions and views, with the best ones holding sway over all others. Sometimes, for the sake of order, the views and opinions of those in charge hold sway, even when they seem inconsistent with our aspirations.

The infrastructure damaged by the people is the same to provide electricity for the communities and homes. Why then do the people want to cut their noses to spite their faces? This behaviour by some Ghanaians needs to stop. We cannot choose violence when we want our way.

Indeed, inherent in a democracy is the ability for all to give up their individual sovereignty to those in authority to rule and administer our common resources.

The Daily Graphic also believes that the dearth of civic consciousness and ability to engage fruitfully with policy makers is a sign of the failure of institutions such as the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the government too.

One would have thought that when news of the fracas between the ECG and the people of the area began, the NCCE, as well as the National Peace Council, would be on the ground mobilising for civic engagement and peace.

Be that as it may, the government must also see the resourcing of these institutions as key; for it is in its own interest to have a reasonable people to govern.