Ex-President J.A. Kufuor

Spokesperson of ex-President John Kufuor has confirmed a telephone call from President John Mahama to his boss literally to stop his tears over what he thought was a deliberate plot by the incumbent not to ?immortalize? his contribution to the construction of the Bui Hydro-electric Power Project, which was initiated by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana?s first president.

Frank Agyekum, said Mr. Kufuor, had accepted the explanation from President Mahama on why he was not invited to the commissioning of the Bui Dam, which added a whopping 133 megawatts (MG) of power to the national grid to augment energy supply in the country.

Mr. Agyekum, was quoted by XYZ News over the weekend, as saying that President Mahama called the office of former President Kufuor to explain that the official commissioning of the Dam would be done in November, this year, to which the former President would be invited.

Mr. Mahama, at the commissioning last Friday, categorically stated ?Today, I am happy to switch on the First Power of Bui Hydroelectric Dam, which brings on stream an additional 133 megawatts to the total national grid while we continue to work towards bringing on stream the entire 400 megawatts by the close of this year; and let me explain that this is not the official commissioning of this hydro power plant.

This event represents the switch on of the first turbine of the plant. The official commissioning will take place sometime before the end of the year?.

?I do not intend to speak much today as this is not yet the official commissioning, but it offers me a unique opportunity to pay tribute to all my predecessors, especially to the vision of our first President Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who took the initial steps toward the development of this project; and to President John Agyekum Kufour for prioritizing and accelerating work on this project.

Even before, President Mahama and his officials could return to Accra, last Friday, ex-President Kufuor had gone to town, registering his disappointment over what he suspected was his exclusion from the commissioning of the Bui Hydro Dam.

According to the former President, it is very painful that he had been sidelined in the commissioning of a project which was very dear to his heart, adding he was shocked at the level of forgetfulness of some people, considering especially the effort that he personally put in to make Ghana realize its second hydro electric project after Akosombo in the Eastern Region.

Speaking in an exclusive interview on Asempa FM?s Ekosii Sen programme last Friday, former President Kufuor expressed grave displeasure that he was not invited for the commissioning ceremony.

He said it was very painful to be sidelined in the commissioning of a project which was very dear to his heart.

Mr. Kufuor recalled the difficulty his administration went through with the Chinese government just to get funding for the project and wondered whether all that hustle was worth it, appealing to all Ghanaians to condemn the Mahama government in no uncertain terms for the deliberate act.

This notwithstanding, Mr. Kufuor was happy at the final completion of the first phase.

The erstwhile Kufuor government signed the contract with the Chinese engineering and procurement organization, Sinohydro in April 2007, to construct the dam that would add more megawatts of power to the national grid.

The construction of the dam cost the government of Ghana US$60million out of the total project cost of US$622 million which was largely funded by the Chinese government.

Prior to President Mahama?s call to ex-President Kufuor, the Energy Ministry through its Head of Communications, Edward Bawa had explained that the former president was not invited to the ceremony at the Bui Power Plant on Friday because it was not the final commissioning of the project but simply a ?switching on ceremony?.

Source-The Herald


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