Jean Mensa chairs the Electoral Commission

The danger of coronavirus transcends being ill; it affects every aspect of human life. Many people have argued that coronavirus has been the best leverage of the century. Before now, there were superpower countries who controlled virtually everything under the sun. The United States of America and Russia were simply meddling in every country’s affairs, including elections and education. We still remember very well how America orchestrated the downfall of Libya’s King Muammar al- Gaddafi some years ago. Gaddafi was the most potent African Leader who had the vision to unite the continent, and he showed an example of superb leadership.

Gaddafi demonstrated the Africans were capable of managing their own affairs. His mission and vision became threats to the USA, and they instigated his removal from office, and that led to his untimely death. These are just but some few examples to demonstrate how those countries always had their ways.


But so soon, coronavirus reared its ugly head in far away in China. Not even boundary nations could envisage being at the mercy of that novel virus when it was first reported. America, for instance, never took it seriously, and their president publicly underrated the virus.

After keeping China under lockdown for months, it started spreading to other parts of the globe. The virus kept China who could build a 2000 capacity treatment centre within weeks, on their knees. Schools were not functioning, industries ceased production, and virtually everything came to a halt.

What makes it more serious is that the virus has exposed the weakness of the world. We have all understood that the United States of America was not powerful after all. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson was not spared. The virus does not also respect personalities. It got the guts to send Prince Charles to the ICU.


We earlier had the impression that Blacks (Africans) were immune to the virus. Some suggested that the virus could only survive under the temperate zones because of their low temperature. Some people, although not scientifically proven, said the scorching sun in the tropical zones would destroy COVID-19 if it attempts to come anywhere near Africa. This contributed to the lack of adherence in Africa to the safety protocols.

Some who were aware of how weak the health systems were in Africa only prayed for us to be spared by the pandemic. They anticipated mass fatality in Africa. But unfortunately, Coronavirus had its way into our continent. This was easy because people were running away from Europe and Asia where the virus was devastating there to Africa.

When our neighbouring counties recorded their cases, well-meaning Ghanaians mounted pressure on the president to shut our borders to human traffic. Because there was sufficient evidence at that time to justify that, the virus could only travel through human as the medium. It never travels in a vacuum. But the president was adamant to the calls and kept our borders widely opened for everyone.
We sat aloof until we recorded our first cases in the country. And all the people who had the virus in Ghana had made contacts with people upon their arrival.


This put Ghana at risk since that could lead to community spread. We were told even after we recorded more cases that, all the patients have been quarantined and pose no threat to the people within the country. They only closed the border after the virus had infiltrated in the country enough to cause havoc.

The president immediately placed a ban on all social gatherings including churches, schools, weddings, marriages and even political rallies. Ghana subsequently went under lockdown following the president’s order to enhance contact tracing and testing of the virus. It got to appoint our economy could no longer support the lockdown, and it was lifted. The president encouraged us to continue observing social distancing and all the other safety protocols.

The president opened Churches to only one hundred people for one hour, and schools for only final years to enable them to write their exit exams. All along, the ruling New Patriotic Party had not conducted their primaries to elect their parliamentary candidates and their flag bearer. So they needed a way to do that since the date for the elections was getting closer.

The electoral commission too was very poised to compile a new voter’s register whether rain or sunshine. Despite resistance from various political parties, the electoral commission said they could do nothing but to compile the register. They argued that they could practice the best social distancing and adhere to best safety protocols that the world had never witnessed.

The New Patriotic Party went ahead and conducted their primaries at a time the total cases of Coronavirus in Ghana was over 12000. They threw social distancing to the dogs. They hugged and kissed each other as though there was no pandemic. Weeks later, several senior party members of the party are dying, and some of them are critically ill and admitted under the Intensive Care Unit. They are having a taste of the health system of Ghana for the first time since they cannot travel outside for treatment.

The cases are expected to keep surging partly due to their primaries. People who had the virus and participated in the event in any way might have passed it onto other people. A delegate who voted at the primaries died of coronavirus a few days afterwards. He is the brother of the Kwadaaso SDA Hospital doctor who died of the virus. Just imagine how many people are likely to have come into contact with him.

Strangely the Electoral Commission has also begun their mass registration of the voter’s ID card. Several reports from across the country indicate how there has been chaos at registration centres. People are going to the centres without masks to protect themselves and others, and social distancing protocols are not observed.

The EC through the compilation is putting innocent lives under risk and in danger. Should there be a spike, can our already choked hospitals be able to salvage the situation when the health workers themselves are not even spared?

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