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Opinions Fri, 3 Jul 2020

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Our Supreme Court joined NPP government and EC to sign our death warrant

I am still surprised that the Supreme Court (SC) completely ignored the warnings from our medical doctors and granted the Electoral Commission (EC) and Government the green light and free will to proceed with the mass voter registration exercise despite the prevailing hike in Covid-19 infection prevalence in the country.

Over 200 medical doctors signed a petition admonishing the SC that in the interest of public health safety, Covid-19 infection rates in Ghana were likely to increase astronomically should the EC proceed with the mass voter registration exercise.

From a national tally and infection prevalence of 1,042 Covid-19 case count on 20 April 2020 when President Nana Akufo-Addo prematurely lifted Covid-19 lockdown restrictions imposed in “Greater Accra” and “Greater Kumasi” which we now know was to pave the way for NPP to hold its parliamentary and presidential primaries, and also for the EC to compile a needless new voters register for the December 2020 general elections, the national tally for Covid-19 case count as at 01 July 2020 now stands at 18,134 and rising with steady rise in Covid-19 mortality rates to 117 deaths.

The breaking news on 01 July 2020 of the untimely eternal home call of Sir John (aka Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie) to Covid-19 should send a signal and shivers down the spine of Nana Akufo-Addo’s NPP government that Covid-19 is no respecter of persons and that he President Nana Addo, and the EC Chairperson Jean Mensa, and the Justices of the Supreme Court along with all of us (citizens of Ghana) are not immune and can easily succumb to Covid-19 and become the next victims.

The news that Peter Mac Manu Campaign Manager of NPP for the 2020 Elections and Hon Carlos Ahenkorah, NPP MP for Tema West Constituency and Deputy Minister for Trade & Industry are the latest high profile NPP members to have succumbed to Covid-19 and receiving treatment at the Korle-Bu Hospital ICU (Intensive Care Unit) should serve as humbling news and warning to all politicians and indeed citizens of Ghana that Covid-19 is a national public health threat that should guide all of us to think and act wisely, and put the national interest above anything else.

We thank God for the recovery from Covid-19 of Hon Kwaku Agyeman Manu, NPP MP for Dormaa Central Constituency and Minister of Health. We also wish Hon Mathew Opoku Prempeh, NPP MP for Manhyia Constituency and Minister of Education, and Hon Dan Botwe, NPP MP for Okere Constituency as they receive treatment at the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC) a medical facility which Nana Addo and NPP claim to be a “phantom” Photoshop hospital that only existed in NDC’s Green book.

God Almighty has answered and responded to the vile attempts by NPP to disregard or rubbish the sterling visible infrastructure projects executed and accomplished by the NDC under the leadership and stewardship of John Dramani Mahama, and the late Prof John Atta Mills of blessed memory.

The EC commenced the mass voter registration exercise on 30 June 2020 and so far, reports suggest that more than 99% of the registration centres completely ignored or did not strictly observe the Covid-19 protocols of social distancing.

The Vice President of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has called out Jean Mensa that she would ultimately be held solely responsible and accountable for any Covid-19 breaches at EC voter registration centres. I am therefore surprised that Jean Mensah is rather blaming people for acting irresponsibly even though she (Jean Mensa) has inflicted the compilation of a needless new voter register on us when she knew very well the consequences of Covid-19 and the fact that the old electoral register was fit for purpose and that only a limited voter registration exercise instead of mass voter registration was all that was required considering the Covid-19 pandemic.

If Nana Addo and his NPP government were minded to act with good conscience, and if Nana Addo and his NPP government were genuinely sensitive to the plight and welfare of ordinary citizens they would have despite the erroneous Supreme Court ruling which from all indications amounts to a pyrrhic victory, proceeded to suspend the mass voter registration exercise and opt for a limited voter registration.

We must all not forget that Nana Addo’s NPP Government in December 2019 backtracked and dismounted their political high-horse posturing and suspended the referendum which sought to extend party politics to the local government District Assembly level for election and appointment of District Chief Executives (DCEs) along partisan lines. The election of DCEs was a 2016 NPP Campaign Manifesto promise along with the referendum for creation of the 6 additional regions, yet in the face of public opposition and “common sense” Nana Addo and NPP jettisoned it.

Compilation of a new voters register was not an NPP 2016 Campaign Manifesto promise. However for parochial and selfish reasons Nana Addo is pursuing the compilation of a new electoral register with the help of Jean Mensa and Charles Bossman Asare of the EC who are arguably NPP de-facto Minister and Deputy Minister for Re-election of Nana Addo and Bawumia though the subtle voter suppression and disenfranchisement of eligible voters by solely resorting to using the Ghana Card and Passport to compile the new voters register.

Nana Addo and NPP have allowed both the EC and Ken Attafuah’s National Identification Authority (NIA) to multiply and rapidly spread Covid-19 nationwide as part of NPP’s subtle political agenda of “One voter – One Covid-19 infection” to add to the litany of NPP “One this-One that” political campaign agenda.

President Nana Addo and NPP should take a cue from Burundi where the President and some senior government officials all suddenly died by contracting Covid-19. No one is immune to the Novel Coronavirus hence a wise and reasonable government would be guided by “common sense” even after using their apparent nefarious influence on the Judiciary and act wisely by disregarding the “stolen verdict” they have procured from their proxies in the Supreme Court, and act sensibly by proceeding to halt the ongoing mass voter registration exercise to save lives, including their own lives and those of their family members from Covid-19.

We don't want Ghana to be like Ecuador where due to mass Covid-19 deaths the country has run out of space even for burial.

Nana Addo should know that if not for Covid-19 Sir John, his mother (i.e. Sir John’s mother) and Sister (i.e. Sir John’s sister) would all have been alive by now.

Let us act to stop Nana Addo before he sacrifices all of us to Covid-19. It is not too late to abandon the needless ongoing mass voter registration exercise due to the spread of Covid-19.

We have the power as citizens to compel Nana Addo and NPP to suspend the voter registration exercise. Let's use our power as citizens to compel Nana Addo to advise the so-called independent EC to wisely suspend the mass voter registration exercise just as they suspended the December 2019 referendum for partisan election of DCEs.

Rest in peace, Sir John.

Columnist: Efo Worlanyo Tsekpo

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