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Opinions of Friday, 1 May 2020

Columnist: Osei Tutu

Is the citizenry above criticism?

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Since the advent of Coronavirus, many a people have found reason to criticize the leadership of the country for not acting promptly to stem the spread of the disease. Some of the criticism are so vile that one wonders whether being a leader in this country of ours is worth the trouble. Some of the criticisms are so spiked with politics as if to some people this is the finest opportunity to snatch political fortune. I personally want to believe that all these criticisms are intended to put leadership on their toes to perform to satisfaction.

What I find intriguing is the fact that no such criticism has been directed at the citizenry through whose carelessness and outright irresponsibility we find ourselves in this mess. Indeed from day one we the citizens have acted irresponsibly in every step of the way.

In between the time the first case of Coronavirus was confirmed and the closure of our borders and airports, about thirty thousand people came through our airports and were asked to go home and self quarantine. Did they quarantine? No. Not only did they refuse to quarantine but went about partying, attending funerals and weddings and what have you. In the process these individuals have succeeded in transmitting the virus to a large number of people. This is part of the reasons why our confirmed cases are skyrocketing like no one's business.

Then came the lockdown. Instead of the citizens staying where they were so that the virus could be contained, they rather, for the sake of easy life style, moved Helter skelter to get out of the areas where the lockdown was to be implemented. In the process they have spread the virus to areas where there was non. A case in point is what has been reported in Asamakese in the Eastern region. A couple of people, trying to escape the lockdown, ended up in that town. Their family members irresponsibly accommodated them unconditionally. Now it happened that these escapees were infected with the virus. The upshot is that they have infected a number of people in that community. This is just a microcosm of what happened Nationwide during the lockdown.

Even though our borders are closed, foreigners are able to get through. How are they able to do that? It is our own people who, for the sake of a few cedis, aid these foreigners to pass through. Now most of these foreigners come laden with the virus and all they do is to spread it to our people

If you visit any of our markets in recent times, you will weep for mother Ghana. It is as if there is no social distancing rule in force. People go about their duties with reckless abandon. Sometimes some of the local assemblies have to step in to ensure the right thing is done. These are the very things that are doing us in.

As citizens this is how we have behaved and it's so painful that the leadership always have to take the flak for our arrant irresponsibility.

I therefore wish to urge everyone to adhere to the social distancing protocols to help curb the spread of the disease.