Flag bearer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama has called on Service Commanders of the various security agencies involved in enforcing government’s lockdown in some parts of the country to brief security officials to be “firm but fair” in the discharge of their duties.
This follows reports that some security officers have been brutalising some persons believed to have flouted the lockdown order.
As part of measures to prevent further spread of the deadly virus, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced restrictions of movement within the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions and Kasoa effective 1 am on Monday, 30 March 2020.
In his fourth address to the nation on the virus, Mr Akufo-Addo urged residents living in the affected areas to comply with the lockdown.
However, essential services have been exempted from the lockdown.
In a post on Facebook on Wednesday, 1 April 2020, Mr Mahama said: “We have noted some excesses involving brutalisation of the civilian population by some service personnel and I urge the various Service Commanders to urgently brief the men to be firm but fair in the execution of the directives.”
Mr Mahama also advised citizens to stay home.
“My advice to all my fellow citizens, whether your area is affected by the restrictions or not, is to please Stay Home as far as practicable. This will help you to avoid getting infected and also prevent you from infecting others if you have the disease. Also, let us continue to regularly wash our hands with soap and under running water.
“As we have all noticed, COVID-19 does not discriminate between the rich and the poor. Every one of us is at risk. During this period, however, the poor are suffering disproportionately from the effects of social distancing and the lockdown. We need to do more, as a people, to alleviate the suffering of this disadvantaged and vulnerable group.”
Mr Mahama further commended the contributions of persons who are helping to mitigate the plight of fellow citizens during these times by making donations to health facilities and also to the poor and vulnerable.
“I wish to commend, especially, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament, our Parliamentary Candidates and other executive members for responding positively to my call to step out and show compassion and charity to their constituents during this bleak period in our history.”
He also encouraged others especially Members of Parliaments (MPs) and MP aspirants to show compassion and support to the vulnerable in the wake of the pandemic.
He further stated that: “Despite the shortage of essential medical supplies we are managing to procure some PPEs and other supplies, which we shall shortly commence distribution to the Tamale Teaching Hospital and other Regional facilities currently known to have registered cases of COVID-19.”
“I urge all to do more. As the Medical Director at the Ridge Hospital (GARH) said to me when I presented PPEs and other items to them on Sunday, ‘like Oliver Twist, we ask for more,’” Mr Mahama added.