The President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo has received international accolades for being one of the most effective leaders in the coronavirus pandemic fight. In Africa, Ghana would be part of the top five (5) countries who managed the pandemic very efficiently. Immediately the virus came to the country, the president addressed the nation. In his speech, he ordered for a closedown of all schools; either public or private, in exception of final years to enable them to prepare for their final exams. He placed a ban on social gathering, including funerals and weddings. He further closed down all forms of religious mass gatherings. These steps were all taken to minimize the spread of the virus and contain the same.
As the figures shot up, he later closed down the final year students as well. This was necessitated by the West African Examination Council’s directive to suspend their examination. The president even took the toughest political decision that tends to cost him politically.
Masses of Medical and Health experts called on the president to lock down the country to control the spread of the virus. This was a better practice since China which was able to defeat the virus within two months when they took that approach. The government, through its communicators like the minister for information at that time, sounded inconclusive about Government’s decision. Ghana’s poor population outnumber the people having a better living standard. Locking down Ghana meant that more people would suffer and since this is an election year it was not wise to subject the citizens to suffering and hunger.
However, it became imperative for the president to take that tough decision by locking down Ghana. All the problems that the government anticipated it would encounter came up during the lockdown in its worse form. Ghana Police Service started arresting people who flouted the lockdown rules and social distancing protocols. Although the government gave exemption to essential service providers, the police still harassed them when they stepped out for work. Security operatives beat market women in the various markets without even telling them what they have not done right.
The president provided money to some ministries and the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) to provide food for the vulnerable in society. The handlers of the fund mismanaged the distribution and reduced it to a breeding ground for the coronavirus we were fighting.
Men of God in various parts of the country have been arrested, prosecuted and jailed by the government for breaching the coronavirus prevention protocols. We thought the very people prosecuting the people who break the protocols would be the last people to do anything closer to that. The president has conducted himself so well, and from all indications, he means well for the citizens. And he has also suffered from the outbreak of the virus in Ghana. The virus has taken or 2020 fiscal year budget out of control. The government reserved all their infrastructural projects to 2020 to influence elections. Little did they know something like this was going to happen to shutter their plans.
The president’s party which ought to have shown exemplary leadership of what it means to observe social distancing and safety protocols totally disregarded it. They went about their business as though nothing was at stake. They flouted every directive of the coronavirus safety protocols because they knew the police could not dare arrest them. When they were conducting their primaries, videos surfaced on social media showing delegates in the midst of people without nose masks, even though, the president had made it a law to wear it. We saw people hugging and handshaking in the full glare of the cameras without any iota of fears because they knew nothing could happen to them.
Then when the Electoral Commission just started their mass voter ID card registration, we had a whole member of parliament and a deputy minister who ought to be educating the public doing the exact opposite of everything the president has been saying for months.
Hon. Carlos Ahenkora went to registration centres even though he had tested positive and knew his status, just to go and observe. His action put several people at risk and danger.
This is human life we are talking here. Earlier, the former General Secretary who was very much active in the primaries tested positive and died as a result. We do not know where exactly he contracted it, but what we know is that he may have transferred it to other party folks by virtue of the role he played in the primaries. He visited most constituencies and campaigned for his favourite candidates.
A brother to the Kwadaso SDA doctor who died of COVID-19 was also at the NPP Primaries. The doctor’s brother died days after casting his vote. Party Chairman Mac Manu has also been hospitalised for COVID-19.
Were the primaries really necessary at this crucial time where everyone is avoiding any form of gathering?
The leadership of the New Patriotic Party and the President himself have failed the people of Ghana and have made all efforts fruitless.