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General News of Tuesday, 24 March 2020


Coronavirus team: 'Wrong move, totally needless' - Awuku berates Mahama

Former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama Former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama

The National Organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Sammi Awuku has described as "unpresidential", former President Mahama's decision to form a coronavirus response team.

Former President and Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama, on Sunday, March 22, 2020, revealed that the opposition party has submitted a proposal of a national action plan on combating the Coronavirus disease to the Speaker of Parliament.

NDC COVID-19 Response Team

Speaking at a church service to end a three-day prayer and fasting organised by the NDC, he also announced the formation of a technical team to spearhead the affairs of the national action plan, pointing it out that it is evidence of their commitment to assisting the government in the fight against the pandemic.

“I have also already announced that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is committed to assisting government in this fight by availing all technical and logistical resources at our disposal. As evidence of our seriousness in that respect, we have assembled a technical team to guide our efforts and to lead the NDC’s response to the evolving situation. The team is an assembly of experts from the many fields that will be required to implement a national action plan on COVID-19,” Mahama reportedly said.

Politicizing Coronavirus Situation

But some have questioned the rationale for and the terms of reference of this response team since they consider it an unnecessary favour seeking attempt by the opposition party.

Unpresidential Conduct

Speaking to this on Peace FM's morning show 'Kokrokoo', Sammi Awuku who commended President Akufo-Addo for his proactiveness in curbing the spread of the scourge, indicted the NDC leader for seeking attention in dire moments for political gain.

"...Mahama's conduct was not presidential…there was no need to form any committee except for political gain. They have travelled beyond basic politics. What kind of suggestions are they going to give? Politicizing this is the lowest point in this whole discussion...

"...every step of the Government goes a long way to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The government has recalled all retired health experts to help curb the spread of the disease…This is not the time to play politics but I was surprised to realize that the leader of the NDC has set up a covid-19 response team. There is no country where an opposition party has set up a response team. what is the terms of reference? It was a wrong move, totally needless and sought to politicize the situation and I think the former President’s conduct was not presidential at this point in time," the NPP National Organiser said.

Members of NDC’s COVID-19 response team

1. Nana Kofi Quakyi (Assistant Professor in Public Health/Specialist in Health Economics)

2. Dr. Vida Yarkong (PhD in Interdisciplinary Medicine)

3. Dr. Prosper Akanbong – Immediate Past CEO of Tamale Teaching Hospital and Physician Consultant

4. Dr. Jehu Appiah: Senior Medical Consultant and former General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association

5. Prosper Bani – Former Minister of Interior and former Head of UNDP’s Crisis Prevention and Recovery Team for Africa

6. Dr. Zanetor Rawlings – Medical Doctor

7. Alex Segbefia – Former Minister of Health

8. Mintah Akandoh – Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Committee of Heath

9. Prof. Margaret Kweku – UHAS

10. Dr. Jonas Asamoah – Public Health Expert, Hawa Memorial Hospital, Osiem.

11. Mrs. Mawuena Trebarh – (Communications Specialist) NCB-HQ

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