Those ‘fleeing’ Accra should not be sent back – Ofosu-Ampofo
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has met leaders of political parties in Ghana to discuss ways to win the fight against the novel Coronavirus.
The meeting, which took place at the seat of government -Jubilee House -brought together leaders of all the political parties in the country.
In his address, the National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, indicated that it was not healthy for people who are fleeing Accra to be stopped and sent back.
To him, systems could be put in place for the authorities in various districts to test these people living the national capital. He suggested that traditional leaders should be integrated into the fight against the virus at the local level, as their influence on the local people could not be over emphasized.
“Our country operates a decentralized system of administration…We have the various sub-district structures. Because this pandemic is virtually coming to the doorstep of the people we believe that a decentralized approach should be adopted. We need to activate all the structures that we have.”
“We also want to suggest that once we have our teachers who have left the classrooms and are now within the communities, we could also put some public education volunteering groups in place to support the efforts of NCCE. The teachers are there and are easily accessible to the people. So that all hands will be on deck,” he added.
The 2016 presidential candidate of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Greenstreet expressed gratitude to the President for inviting them to deliberate on how to stop COVID-19.
According to him, some governments across the world have delayed in making drastic decisions towards the fight, but same could not be said of President Akufo-Addo.
“We have also been witnesses to how some governments perhaps have been slow or hesitant with important decisions they should have made. Fortunately, this is not a charge Mr President your government can be accused of. I think your decisions thus far have been decisive, resolute and very important. I say this from a personal perspective,” he stated, citing the mandatory quarantine and its results.
On his part, the National Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay was happy the President had invited political parties to share ideas.
“Colleague political leaders, as has been said over the past few months, we have one country and let’s together be behind our President and his government to ensure that this virus wouldn’t do us much damage as it’s being done to many even very developed economies,” he ended.
The leader of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings said the actions taken by government so far have been timely and purposeful.
She agreed with earlier speakers that there is a responsibility on everyone to take as political party in the society.
He noted that there were some clashes between security personnel and the public, stressing that the former needs education as well as the latter, including people at the various markets in the country.
In his remarks, President Akufo-Addo was grateful the political parties acknowledged his invite and made time for the meeting.
One thing that was key to the President was how the political parties could come together to give confidence to the frontline health workers.
“First of all, I am already very happy for holding this meeting because what I was hoping for, has already begun happening. The contributions, the various perspectives that you are bringing to the discussions on how to defeat the virus. The ambulances, we have to find a way to use the ambulances. We will find a way to integrate the ambulances.
“The issue of education; a lot of you have identified that as a critical matter and I have to agree with you that it is critical for us to ramp up as much possible public education and we can do it using all the institutions that are available in our country to do that.”
He continued that, “fortunately we’ve began a programme now to clean the country. Government is using the lockdown in Accra and Kumasi to begin a major programme of sanition. It is a worrying matter for us. We’ve not had in place institutions that could maintain a constant high level of sanitation in our country. The time has come for us, and I think that the lockdown gives us the opportunity to clean the country.”
By Maxwell Ofori / www.thechronicle.com.gh