President Nana Akufo-Addo has delivered a controversial speech, condemning the violence that occurred at some registration centres during the just ended voter registration exercise.
In his 15th televised Coronavirus address to the nation, President Nana Akufo-Addo stated that those incidents were ‘regrettable’, nevertheless, they were ‘isolated incidents’ within what he described as a largely successful exercise.
He, then, hoped and prayed that the police would deal with those involved in the violence, but never told the nation that he, as Commander-in-chief of the Ghana Armed Forces and Head of State, was now “aware” of the very acts of violence he denied knowledge of, despite viral videos.
“By the grace of God, the work of the Electoral Commission, and the effective measures put in place by the government, these prophecies of doom did not materialize. There were, nonetheless, deeply regrettable, isolated incidents of violence, which I condemn unreservedly, and which I expect the Police to deal with without fear or favour, but the exercise was generally peaceful,” Akufo-Addo said.
The President used the opening parts of his address to deliver a tongue lashing diatribe against those he called ‘political naysayers’ who were opposing the compilation of new voters register but ended up registering.
He said: “[Those] who swore heaven and earth to resist the compilation of the register at the peril of their lives, ending up registering”.
He continued: “There were also those who offered delicate, personal sacrifices in the event of the register, again, ending up registering. And, there were those who claimed that, in the midst of a pandemic, the registration exercise should not be conducted, with some warning of an ‘explosion’ in our case count and very high numbers of deaths, should the exercise go ahead.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo then expressed his profound gratitude to the Electoral Commission (EC) over the ‘orderly and safe’ conduct of the ‘most credible’ voter register, while singling out for praise some staff of the Electoral Commission, an act uncharacteristic of Ghanaian heads of state, when in office or out of office, with about three months until Election Day.
“On behalf of the people of Ghana, I congratulate warmly, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs. Jean Mensa, her two deputies, Dr. Eric Bossman Asare and Mr. Samuel Tetteh and the entire commission for their efficient, safe and transparent nature of the registration exercise”, he said.
President Akufo-Addo and his incumbent NPP insist the new register was necessary to remove names of minors, foreigners and dead people.
The incumbent argues especially strongly that for a population of 30 million, Ghana should not have more than 15 million names on its electoral register.
The USD150 million new provisional register is only about 70 thousand names shy of 17 million registrants. The EC has admitted that those same problems for which the new register was compiled persist and have hence vowed to remove the unwanted names, another controversial move which has generated controversy as to the criteria and legality.
Critics have asked why people had to crowd at registration centres and infect each other with COVID-19 in a nation where some 3374 coronavirus samples were left in a veterinary laboratory in Takoradi for several weeks because there were no reagents and “discovered” around 17 July.
The President himself, apparently now aware that his decisions and addresses do not follow “the science and the data”, as he and his hirelings often claim, now declared: “Indeed test results that used to take weeks are now available within 48 hours”.
In Ghana, contract tracing is the longest-running joke by far. Has anybody tried contacting the 3374 Takoradi people to test them again since we were told their samples were discarded?
And judging by trends, some “too known” man has estimated that if even one per cent, namely 34 of the 3374 were positive, how do we trace the persons those 34 met then, and continue to meet?
Mr. President must be made aware that the trend worldwide is that 99 per cent of those who catch the virus will recover anyway, hence he is completely at sea; he has missed the mark completely.
Yes, we may not be dying in Ghana, but avoiding death is not the only reason for the global fight against COVID-19. There is even documented evidence of long term illnesses including nervous system problems.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) “Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan” has at number one on their list of objectives: “Limit human-to-human transmission, including reducing secondary infections among close contacts and healthcare workers, preventing transmission amplification events, and preventing further international spread from China”.
This document has been in “draft form as of 3 February 2020” and has been available as a “Featured Publication” since “14 April 2020”.
Now replace China with Ghana and try flying out of Ghana on “1st September” as the President promised.
We must be our neighbour's keeper; that is the principle here, for crying out loud.
The author is a journalist, communications and media analyst and a writer. The views expressed are solely his and does not represent the organisation he works for.
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