Bawumia attracts social media bashing over coronavirus vs ‘dumsor’ comparisons

The coronavirus pandemic is now a war of words for political figures in Ghana, and the public has responded to the latest jab by Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

Dr Bamuwia was responding to former President John Dramani Mahama’s comment that the country’s economy was on ventilators at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), less than two months after the coronavirus struck.

In a live Facebook discussion, also published on his website, Mr Mahama said:
“a leading member of this government told us the economy was so robust…that for three months if anything happens to us, we would be able to survive.”

“We have not been able to survive even one month,” Mr Mahama noted, adding, “If we didn’t run to the IMF for the $1billion rapid credit facility, it is possible that in the next two months probably, salaries would not have been paid.”

According to him, the economy “is on ventilators, and it needs thinking to rescue it from the ICU.”

However, addressing journalists on Monday, April 5, at the Jubilee House on the sidelines of a Covid-19 meeting, Dr Bawumia said the Akufo-Addo-led government was better at handling crises.

Your weak economy couldn’t even mitigate the impact of dumsor – Bawumia Tells Mahama

He cited the power-shedding, which came to be known as ‘dumsor’ era during the Mahama administration to justify what he said was better management by the NPP.

“If you want to test the robustness of an economy, you test it in a time of crises. Thankfully, we have had two crises. Under the NDC, it was an internally generated crisis, which was ‘dumsor’. Under the Presidency of Nana Akufo-Addo, there has been an externally generated crisis, which has been the global Coronavirus pandemic.”

“I just want you to ask yourself, how have these two crises been managed? The ‘dumsor’ crisis which crippled this economy for four years. What were the mitigating measures offered to businesses and individuals during the ‘dumsor’, an internally generated crisis?” the Vice President asked.

“We saw that even during ‘dumsor’, electricity prices were being increased, fuel prices were being increased, teacher trainee allowances were being cancelled, nursing trainee training allowances were being cancelled. All of that was happening during that particular crisis.”

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“You look at the Coronavirus crisis, and you look at the difference in terms of what has happened. The President has reduced electricity prices and has made it free for lifeline consumers. He has given free water to all Ghanaians for three months, has made sure that there is a stimulus package of 600 million Ghana Cedis for businesses and we have seen domestic production of PPEs (personal protective equipment) for our health workers locally.”

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But his comments have generated massive uproar on social. As usual, people who belong to either side of the political divide have supported their political figureheads.

A section of the public condemned Dr Bawumia for playing politics with a health crisis which has not yet been resolved with 18 people losing their lives within two months.

They could not fathom why the Vice-President would liken a present health crisis to an energy crisis of the past.

However, others have defended Dr Bawumia for responding to highlight the incompetence of Mahama in dealing with critical issues including electricity, fuel and other price hikes which overburdened Ghanaians a few years ago.

Below are some of the social media comments by critics.

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