Globally, it is a general and an accepted rule that leaders led by setting examples for followers. It was, therefore, a shocking moment for most Ghanaians when the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo announced that being in the public without a face mask in Ghana is a criminal offence while he, the president had no mask on despite finding himself in the midst of production crew broadcasting his address to the nation.
During his eleventh address to the country on the nation’s state of COVID-19, the president stated that, as a result of the surge in the coronavirus active cases and the death toll, it has now become significant for the wearing of nose masks to be made compulsory.
“With the doctors and scientists telling us that the virus is transmitted from human contact, through talking, singing, coughing and sneezing, which results in sending droplets of the virus from one person to another, residents of these four regions, and, indeed, all Ghanaians, must remember that the wearing of masks is now mandatory”. He said.
Not only did he make the wearing of nose masks compulsory but it is also a criminal offence not to wear them in public.
“Leaving our homes without a face mask or face covering on is an offence. The Police have been instructed to enforce this directive, which is the subject of an Executive Instrument,” the President said in his address to the nation, the president emphasized.
The president further asked the Ghana Police Service to be on the lookout to arrest and prosecute any citizen seen in public without a nose mask. The wearing of nose masks in public places was initially made mandatory within the Greater Accra Region. All public and private institutions in the region were also instructed by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly to begin a ‘No Face Mask, No Entry’ policy.
Despite the logical reasons given by the president for the wearing of nose mask, how would citizens obey if the president is publicly flouting this law? And since it is now a criminal offence to be in public without a nose mask, should the president not be reprimanded or the president is above the law?