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Opinions of Monday, 30 November 2020

Columnist: Daniel Yiadom Boakye

Our president, Nana Akufo-Addo is in a very serious conundrum on the coronavirus protocols

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Two factors have been largely responsible for the reduced effect of the Covid 19 pandemic on the people of Ghana, the grace of the Almighty God factor on one hand and the measures of His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo factor on the other hand.

The Almighty God has kept the population of Ghana and by extension, Africa from the deadly fallouts of the Coronavirus pandemic. This assertion stems from the fact that many were those, including my good self, who harbored fears as to what would happen to Ghana and Africa as a whole because of the deleterious effects the pandemic had on developed countries like Italy, Spain, France, America and a host of others whose health systems and their operational viability are incomparable to Ghana and Africa by large.

The other factor, the measures of His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo deserve commendation and properly so because they ameliorated the devastating effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on the average Ghanaian. It is incontestable fact that the three month 50 percent reduction in electricity bill, for instance, brought immeasurable relief to several households and to greater degree, reduced the rancorous acrimony that characterizes the payment of electricity bills from among households that share a common meter.

It is also praiseworthy for one to commend him for the free water which cumsumers of the Ghana Water Company continue to enjoy from March till now together with other measures all of which are geared towards bringing some level of relief to the Ghanaian people and also bringing the economy back on track.

However, the two factors have reduced to only the grace of the Almighty God as we draw nearer to December 7. Observance of social distance and wearing of face mask which are the weapons in fighting the pandemic, at least for now until approved vaccine is found, have been largely disregarded as the president and the other presidential candidates including parliamentary ones, have failed to ensure that people at their campaign rallies comply with the protocols. The president appealed to supporters of all political parties to adhere to the measures but it seems that appeal has fell on deaf ears especially on social distancing at campaign rallies.

The president cannot sack supporters who come to his campaign rallies for not wearing mask or not observing social distancing for fear of incurring their wrath, rippling effect of which would affect his fortunes in December 7. Neither can he stop or limit Former President Mahama and the other candidates both presidential and parliamentary, on same grounds as it would be seen as political witch hunting.

If he sits back for the reason of practising what he preaches on the protocols too, the opposition would take advantage ahead of him because it conspicuously clear that all the candidates especially Nana and Mahama have really not changed much in terms of their mode of campaigning. They are all bent on showing crowds that feed psychologically into the minds of the people that they are winning. For this reason, virtual campaign rallies or admonishing supporters to wear masks and observe social distancing is not an issue for consideration at all.

The season in which we find ourselves is very hot which makes wearing face masks a herculean task. Therefore people begin to wonder if it is needful to wear their masks under this hot weather condition whereas politicians pull crowds upon crowds each day. The difficulty is better understood when one board any of the obsolete vehicles used as 'trotro' with glasses that cannot open and passengers have to wait for a while during when it is loading.

Simultaneously, the president is the one who has to appeal to the nation on the strict adherence to the protocols too. This is a very serious conundrum in which he finds himself and I really feel for him. Such a difficult time to lead a nation!