The Greater Accra Regional NDC wishes to register its resentment over the reports of molestation and intimidation of the civilian population by some security personnel detailed to enforce the lockdown protocol announced by His Excellency the President.
We all understand the imperatives of the lockdown and our shared responsibility to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease. It is our conviction however that the execution of the lockdown must be done with a human face.
The primary responsibility of giving Public Education on the dos and don’ts has been largely insufficient to the extent that, even some govt officials appear not to know what exactly the Lockdown Protocol entails. This obviously is the reason why govt officials keep clarifying, in vain the President’s directives since the announcement was made. It goes without saying therefore, just as those enforcing the directives themselves require briefing, so does the civilian population need round -the- clock public education and constant reminders.
We believe that whenever security personnel encounter persons they consider to have breached any part of the directives, the first thing to do is to explain what is expected of us all and offer advice where necessary. Resorting to instant physical punishment of the civilian population should never be the order of the day.
Let us face it, those deeply affected economically by the lockdown are the poor market women, Kayayei, Artisans etc. If the lockdown isn’t managed properly these are the people most likely to bear the brunt of the exercise. In this vein, it is important we are guided by the old adage that “a hungry man is an angry man” in order to avoid the unpleasant consequences of otherwise a Useful exercise.
In a related development, some individuals who have stepped out to purchase electricity prepaid, buy basic items such as food, fetch water or use public laterines have been arrested and allegedly brutalized by the Security personnel. That should not be countenanced in this day and age.
In as much as we support the security services in maintaining law and order and ensuring that the directives as stipulated in the President’s speech are adhered to, the NDC as a Party in Greater Accra is calling on the Security Services to treat the citizenry with decorum and in a humane manner. Civilians and members of the security services should see themselves as partners in ensuring the success of the exercise and not opposing forces or enemies.
We wish to pray for a spirit of partnership between us, the civilian population and the security services so that together we can help make Accra a virus-free place to live.
Mr Kobina Ade Coker.