In late March when President Akuffo Addo announced the stay home and lockdown measures, I wrote and asked Ghanaians to support the measure. I believed it was our best chance for reducing infections, control the pandemic, and save lives. That’s what the scientist advised, and the evidence supported it. I encouraged those who can, to find ways of supporting their local communities.
Not surprisingly, many NPP sympathizers hailed my piece and the Daily Guide did a news article with it. Ghanaweb picked the story and published it. Many in my NDC pounced! They were not happy!!
Subsequently, the government lifted the lockdown prematurely and I wrote to condemn it. It was clear the reasons for that action was to enable the NPP primaries, and also allow the EC to execute the new registration. Some in the NPP believed the president’s hands were tied in this matter. I disagreed. It was an opportunity for the president to lead.
The same NPP people who were happy when I asked Ghanaians to support the lockdown, questioned my motives for questioning the lifting of the lockdown. I was accused of partisan politics. It’s unfortunate, but we cannot continue to allow the sole measure of our political consciousness to be partisan affiliation. We can and must put lives and Ghana first!
Since then, they held their primaries and infections increased among their ranks. Many heard of Sir John’s death because he’s a famous person. Indeed most people did not know he was sick until his death. We now know his mother, sister, and others in his family died from Covid, days before Sir John passed. It was unfortunate and an unnecessary death! May God rest his soul peacefully. The truth is; across the country, many NPP patrons got sick and many have died since their primaries.
The borders are closed, the airport is closed, churches are not allowed to congregate in their numbers, funerals are banned and burials have limited numbers of attendance.
All these measures recognize the need to prevent infections and death by doing what works.
What then, is the urgency in asking Ghanaians to congregate in their numbers and stand in line for extended periods to register during this pandemic, when there exist a good register with which the ruling party won massively in 2016? Why must we risk so many lives just to execute the contract for the registration? The procurement has taken place. That should be enough.
How many human lives are we willing to sacrifice as a nation, to fulfil this registration? We know this virus is spreading. We know most of the registrants are not using masks and even those who use masks, are not 100% protected. Recent WHO updates suggest this virus is airborne and therefore more dangerous than previously thought. As with the primaries, we know many will be infected, and some will die. THAT IS NOT OK!
Everyday people congregate and line up to register, is another day for the virus to spread. We must stop that and save lives. It would have been great if this registration was never started. However, stopping it now and using the existing register will undoubtedly save lives, and that’s important. It may be difficult to enact another lockdown, but it should be easy to stop this registration, save lives, and contain the pandemic.
The NPP has nothing to fear relative to the current register. It’s a credible register. The NPP won power credibly and with emphasis in 2016. The current register delivered that victory. While many campaigns predict one-touch victories, only the NPP achieved it in 2016 with that register. It was the first time power had changed hands in the 4th republic without a run-off. The NPP won with the widest margins in 2016 with that very register.
It is credible and available!
We must not risk lives so needlessly. It is not too late to save lives. The NPP primaries and it’s aftermath must be a teaching moment for the nation and our leaders. The worse outcome of the pandemic is the deaths it’s causing all over the world and in Ghana.
It is also important to note, the longer this pandemic lingers, the more difficult it will be for the economy to get back to where it needs to be in a timely fashion. People are suffering, families are hurting, and people are dying. We cannot and must not prolong this suffering. Continuing the registration, only guarantees prolonged suffering, disease, and death.
Nobody’s father, brother, mother, sister or grandmother has to die for this new register, and everyday this registration continues, we risk lives unnecessarily. The government must stop the registration, and use the very credible register used in 2016 for the 2020 elections. Any candidate can win with it.
If there are flaws with the register, we can all agree; this is not the time for any corrections. It’s not urgent. What is urgent is we must do whatever we can to reduce infections, and save lives. Our most important asset as individuals and a people; is our health and lives. We must not risk it for a needless register, and especially not during this pandemic.
I pray our president and leadership to heed the voice of reason and take the bold decision and stop this registration. It may not be the politically expedient thing to do, but it’s the right thing to do.
Thank you, stay safe, and God bless you!