It is easier to access information on testing/tested samples of suspected cases and related developments on those feared to have contracted the dreaded covid19 from faraway places like Italy, Spain, the UK [just to mention a few], than to do so in Ghana; in the global effort to contain the spread of this contagion.
In fact, news of the level of show of dedicated commitment, openess and transparency in government reporting of efforts and in commitment of resources to this end from these jurisdictions, undoubtedly, tells why migrant workers take life-threatening risks in search of such greener pastures in these countries. Also, such level of government concern for its citizens at all levels, has added meaning and understanding to the spirit of sacrifice and voluntarism by citizens of these countries. No wonder the power of sworn allegiance.
In Ghana, the news coming from government sources concerns itself with much interest on facilities [built at taxpayers expense] dedicated and allocated for the exclusive use by only VIP. In fact, government went public with this open discrimination, at the time it’s agencies had intercepted a Walewale-bound cargo truck conveying head-potters [kaayayei] fleeing Accra in fear of being trapped by the President’s enforcement of an Imposition Restrictions Act, 2020 (1012), in the middle of nowhere at Accra.
These head-potters weren’t housed in hotels after their vehicle was intercepted at Ejisu and forced to make a u-turn back to Accra, as government instructions did with the accommodation of inbound passengers from various destinations abroad, supposed to undergo a mandatory quarantine whilst blood samples are taken to confirm their status for isolation or entry into the country. The government promised a stipend of GHS 10 each to the head-potters plus feeding.
But as frequent with the government style of President Akufo-Addo’s attitude to promises, nothing as stated above was shared to these wretch of the earth who earn living by carrying heavy loads like beasts of burden. News trickling in indicate that the supplies were diverted and shared among NPP party activists, aspirants of NPP’s forthcoming parliamentary primaries and sitting NPP MPs at the expense of these mentioned as beneficiaries.
At best and after correction following public bashing, temporary structures are now under construction to house these deprived and vulnerable in society; at the expense of affordable houses built by government sitting idle and allowed to depreciate at no benefit of cost. Currently, these poor people are left at the mercy of church buildings without mattresses or place of convenience to host them. The quality of served food at these centres have been described in derogatory terms.
The security personnel deployed to enforce the partial lockdown, hasn’t also been spared a patch of the ordeal. They were promised GHS100 per day. But a day after this disbursement, the conditions were changed and converted to served meals. As expected of food prepared under such circumstances, the quality of food compelled the police team to reject it, describing it as not fit for consumption by even domestic animals or a pet. By estimate, the total cost of a serving stood at GHS5, comprising of about two ladles of rice, a hard boiled egg-in-shells and sauce tucked in a polythene wrap – a far cry from the expected value of GHS100.
Even at this level of frightening growth of the pandemic in Ghana, privileged inbound travellers from abroad with clout, influence and/or the connections to the corridors of power, are released to mingle with the public upon directives from above. These hotels are owned by NPP bigwigs, and believed to be an arrangement to make owners of them, NPP party sympathizers, to benefit from the disbursement of the US $35 million released by the world body, World Bank. A whooping US $14 million out of the total, has been budgeted for this purpose.
In all of that, the worst fight is contained in the latest one sparked by the President for definition, captured in his ambiguous latest broadcast to the nation. He made announcement detailing incentive packages for front line health workers, households and businesses. But his words were eaten back, after it was discovered that only 18% of households have access to portable water, the only package the President mentioned for families and households. And those with access to water come from the privileged upper class with little or no problem to pay for such utility services. Reports of government food intervention to households is pathetic, in which one account talk of a one-time supply of a GHS 1 size kenkey served with two small pieces of fish and grounded pepper.
Whilst health workers are struggling to define those on the front line in the fight against the scourge, those working at regional, district and local health facilities have asked government to stop the discrimination in the provision of safety gears and equipment for front line health workers in these places. Their fear comes from reported cases of medical doctors and nurses, who have tested positive for the dreaded disease after coming into contact with patients under their care, unprotected.
Meanwhile, government functionaries and NPP party apparachiki were captured making donations of branded PPEs, gum boots, gloves, N95 mouth and nose masks with their images pasted and attached fliers. These items came from government supplies either bought or donated to and on behalf of the government and people of the Republic of Ghana. This is contrary to the call made by President Akufo-Addo, when he encouraged Ghanaians from all diverse political persuasions to join hands to complement and support government efforts in such troubling times. He later followed his call by inviting all presidential candidates who contested 2016 elections and the European National Chairmen/Chairpersons and General Secretaries.
Does this for bode well for consensus building and national development, discerning minds?
Source: Comrade Shmuel Ja’Mba Abm