MAHAMA WASTED AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE A STATESMAN
The world is hit with yet another debilitating disease that is causing havoc across nations of the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) on 11th March, 2020, described the disease, COVID-19 as a pandemic. So far, 159 countries have confirmed cases. WHO is leading the world to wage a relentless fight against this disease that is spreading at alarming levels and all leaders must fully support this move devoid of partisan interest.
Here in Ghana, the President has put in place many measures to control the spread and contain the disease even before the first two cases were confirmed. These measures according to the Information Minister will be reviewed from time to time to make sure that every Ghanaian is safe. And so far, the President’s directives have been well received by majority of Ghanaians except those who want to do politics with everything including the COVID-19.
So when it was announced that the NDC flagbearer who has refused to answer questions about his involvement in the Airbus scandal was going to speak on the disease, many were those who thought he was going to use this opportunity to become a statesman that Ghanaians expected him to be since he lost the 2016 elections. He once again spoke like a propaganda secretary and launched an unnecessary attack on the government. Here are some of the self serving points he raised:
1. He said his party is the voice of the voiceless and therefore he is fighting for the ordinary man. This to me is a joke. It was this same man who opposed FSHS by sponsoring over 32 adverts against it. And this policy mostly benefits the poor. He cancelled allowances for trainee teachers and nurses and not even their cry for help could cause him to restore it. He did this against the poor yet he continued to enjoy all his fat allowances as the President of Ghana.
2. He sought to win the hearts of our hardworking health workers by suggesting that an insurance package should be put in place for them. This is hypocritical of the man who only paid 3 months of their salaries when they have worked for 2 years. He refused to employ trained health workers. And for years many were unemployed. It took this government to begin a massive recruitment drive in the health sector to clear the back log.(over 54,000 health workers have so far been employed). This recruitment is still ongoing. It was Mahama who cancelled the the policy that allowed medical doctors to specialise for free in Ghana. This government has reintroduced it. And these health workers know that this government will continue to work hard to make sure that they are well protected and catered for even as they battle this disease.
3. It was a a moment for self-glorification. He praised himself and his former appointees for working hard to prevent ebola from entering Ghana. What he should know is that this current disease is a pandemic and instead of supporting government by way of education, he sought to create the impression that the government is not on top of issues which is not the case.
4. In his attempt to blame the government, he exposed himself as not having the right information. He called for government to open isolation centers in all the regions and also to provide PPEs to frontline staff. This was a misplaced one. The President had earlier told the nation that isolation centers are being constructed in all the regional and even the district hospitals. The Director General of the Ghana Health Service had also informed the nation that over 13,000 PPEs have already been distributed to health facilities across the country and they are in the process of procuring more to augment what is already in the system.
5. He failed to call on Ghanaians to be each other’s keeper at this crucial point. He couldn’t admonish some unpatriotic Ghanaians who have taken advantage of the situation to increase the prices of their goods astronomically to desist from such acts. After all, he has also taken advantage of the situation to launch unnecessary attacks on the incorruptible President.
Fellow Ghanaians, let us all support the government to make sure that this disease is fully defeated. Let us refrain from acts that will put our lives and that of others in danger. Let us refrain from doing politics with the dreaded COVID-19. Let us win this war together.