The presidency made a public announcement that cabinet meetings have been suspended till further notice because of Coronavirus scare. It has not yet been established if some of the members in his cabinet have tested positive for the virus but a section of Ghanaians have speculated that some of the cabinet Ministers have tested positive for Coronavirus and they haven’t yet communicated to us. Well, time will tell.
Although two of them boldly told the public about their status on COVID-19, others too are missing in action. The Minister for Health, Hon . Kwaku Agyeman Manu was the first cabinet minister to test positive for the Coronavirus. He didn’t tell the public. He just disappeared from all public engagements, and it took some media outlets to make the announcement. The president subsequently made the confirmation in one of his regular addresses to the Nation.
The second cabinet Minister to also make an announcement was the Minister for Education, Hon. Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, who calls himself Napo. Napo released a statement informing the public that he was admitted to the University of Ghana Medical Center two days after he was acclaimed as the Parliamentary candidate for the Manhyia South Constituency. He was discharged last week and has been having media engagements after that. He probably came out boldly in order not to suffer the backlash the Health Minister had from Ghanaians.
Another cabinet Minister who has taken the test is Hon. Dan Kwaku Botwey, the minister for Regional Reorganization. Dan Botwey also informed the public he has been admitted to the University of Ghana Medical Center and is awaiting his test results. Interestingly the public has not been updated on the outcome of the results or his whereabouts after over two good weeks.
Then we also heard an announcement made by Hon. Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah that the Senior Minister had tested positive for Coronavirus and is receiving treatment in an unknown hospital. His announcement came after widespread speculation of the minister testing positive but keeping it out of the media. Others even think he recovered before making his status known.
These are those who have communicated to the public about their status, even though some did it reluctantly and others too did it by their own volition which is good for the fight against COVID-19 and the accompanied stigmatisation in our country.
There are some too who are entirely missing in action, and we are neither seeing them nor have we heard anything about their status or whereabouts.
The Minister for Finance, Hon. Ken Ofori Atta has not been seen in a while now. We have been told that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has been closed down over a high number of Coronavirus cases recorded there. We were also told by the president that one person in his close circles had tested positive for Coronavirus hence, his decision to self-isolate for 14 days.
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We are also aware that the finance minister is one of the family members Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo appointed into his cabinet. As a close relative of the president and a minister of the all-important Finance Ministry, Hon. Ken Ofori Atta has a 24-hour access to the president. Once we are not officially informed about his status, it will neither be callous nor out of place to engage in a speculative venture that he MAY be the person in Nana Akufo Addo’s close circle who tested positive.
Another cabinet Minister has also been missing in action, and her deputy has been doing almost all the works of the Ministry. Where is the Minister for Attorney General, Hon. Gloria Akuffo? This woman is a close relative of the president, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo and a former mentee of his Akufo Addo Prempeh and Co Chambers. The minister has not been seen and gives room for speculations and assumptions.
The Minister for Energy Hon. Peter Amewu has been one of the most visible cabinet Ministers over the past three years. From his days at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to his days at the Ministry of Energy, he has always been in the Media. He rose to prominence in 2017 when he played a critical role to ‘stop’ illegal mining in Ghana.
It is surprising that after the cabinet announced that some of them had tested positive for Coronavirus, Hon. Peter Amewu has also been missing. We have even heard that some subsidiaries of the ministry he heads have been closed down because of a good number of them have tested positive.
The Petroleum Commission, BOST and Tema Oil refinery have all been closed down. We can only wait to have an official communique from his outfit to ascertain his condition.
The Minister for Agriculture and a close friend of President Akufo Addo has not been seen in a while. Ghanaians are asking where Hon.Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has been all these while.
The purpose of this article is to encourage our Leaders to help fight stigma by publicly disclosing their status of Coronavirus. If the public has the feeling that some of them are concealing it, they won’t submit themselves for testing.
The big question still remains: Where are these missing cabinet members?
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