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Opinions of Thursday, 23 April 2020

Columnist: Ralph Asubonteng

Akufo-Addo's open lockdown: Fire of Prometheus or an opened Pandora Box?


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Finally the die is cast and nothing prevented the crossing of Rubicon. Lockdown is opened but receiving mixed reactions. Questions of ethics, kind of decision making and effect of the president’s action are occupying the minds of many people. Is the open lockdown a right decision? Is it going to yield any positive or negative end? Was the President motivated by altruism?

In whichever ways we look at it, what matters most it’s the ultimate effect which I seek to ask, whether the action of the president is a Fire of Prometheus to bring relief, enlighten us and results in a positive end as the case of Prometheus in Greek mythology who defied conventional laws, took a risky decision to steal fire from the gods for the betterment of humanity or A Pandora Box which was opened through curiosity by Pandora to increase human sufferings and misery and only closed upon realizing her mistake and the harm it was causing humanity. Though was too late for her, one thing was left in the box (Hope) which tells that despite the mistake which resulted in increased human misery and sufferings , there was still hope for mankind to thrive.

Surprisingly, hope indeed restored the peace and wellbeing of humanity and ended the misery and suffering.

For the president’s decision, only time will tell as the clock ticks to know who the president has become in his open lockdown decision. Prometheus or Pandora.

Personally, I was stunned by the decision because, in retrospect, I never knew Nana was a mathematical genius. Now, he has defied most mathematical theories especially chaos theory and probability theory. Cracked the lockdown problem with only three mathematical theories: elimination, asymptotic and deformation theories. Mathematical experts for your assessment.

To my philosophers, my only question is , what philosophical assumption informed Nana’s decision? Was it rationalism, empiricism,relativism or constructivism?

To my political scientist and public policy experts, what decision model or theory would have been best given such complex ethical decision challenges? Is it Herbert Simons Rationality, Charles Lindbloms Incrementalism, Etzioni’s mixed scanning , Yehezkiel Dror’s optimal decision, or Game theory?

To the legal experts, is it in line with constitutional provisions?

To my health professionals and public health experts, does it conflict with health ethics and pose any health risks?

Summarily and in my own perspective, let’s be reminded and be honest that the ethical decision that confronted the president was extremely a tough one considering the socio-politico-economic and cultural context as well as the diverse public views.

However, like Shakespeare said; uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. The president has taken a very bold and critical decision that demonstrates leadership. Some may disagree using logic and rational theories, to me what matters most is the public interest and the voice of the general public which has become mixed and not empirically verified.

As a religious country and people, let’s only pray, have a strong faith, and hope the decision yield positive outcome albeit the unsettling pandemic.

Even if the situation gets worst, let’s sympathize with Pandora (President) because I believe, as Pandora did, he will recognize his mistake and quickly do the needful by closing the Pandora box (locking down). Though to many, it may be too late, we will still be left with hope for God and our country Ghana.

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