The COVID-19, Public Health Safety and Politics: The Mistakes Leading Ghana to Hell


How many mistakes have we made so far with our shabby fight against COVID-19? Countless, if I ask you to list them.

Ghana’s COVID-19 case surge is alarming and is heading towards the 30,000 marks before the end of July. As a country, our decisions since the lockdown was lifted has made our fight against COVID-19 a mirage.

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Ghana seems to have lost the fight because, as a nation, our leaders have lost focus. We have made sad mistakes right from the top to the least Ghanaian in our approach to battling this COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Public Health Safety has been sacrificed on the altar of political capital and many many mistakes have we made. It is looking as though the government of the day is always right and spot on with every decision and Ghanaians are losing confidence and trust in leadership.

Lifting the lockdown too quick

One of the biggest mistakes we did as a country is to lift the ban. The moment this was done, we began to see an increase in cases and it has not looked good ever since however, the politicians will be quick to say, we should look at the current cases rather than the total cases. Just as we failed as a nation to deal with the lockdown challenges, we have done the same after lowering the restrictions.

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No leadership by example

Letting political office holders break the protocols with impunity without any arrest is another sad thing that every right-thinking members of society must condemn. Right from the NPP primaries, we saw the disregard for the basic social distancing and the wearing of nose face mask by party faithful and political leaders. This sent a bad signal to the entire nation. The leadership of the party and government has failed to arrest and prosecute offenders.

Reopening schools for political gains

From every indication, the reopening of school was not for academic purposes but rather for the political gain of the government. For some political actors, since the students are not dying in their 100s, it is alright. At the same time, officers of some political parties especially the NPP have turned the schools into campaign grounds but have placed an embargo on parents to prevent them from visiting their wards.

Going ahead with the voter’s registration exercise

The decision to go ahead with the new voters’ registration is one anyone can do anything about but we probably failed to put the lives of the ordinary Ghanaians 18 years and above on the line.

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The government knows it all mentality

The current posture of the government of the day never amazes. They know it all and know it right. Every action is defended and what is wrong looks right to many Ghanaians however, it is clear that the majority who make up the loud silence would have a lot to say if given the chance. In fact, the government knows it all about COVID-19 and the remaining stakeholders only have to watch on.

The decision to write the WASSCE and risk it

The decision of the country led by the MoE and GES to go ahead with the WASSCE and BECE breaks our hearts. Leadership is looking at the political capital that will evolve out of the examination and results which is expected to translate into votes rather than the safety of our future leaders. Over 110 students have contracted COVID-19 but the education ministry and service will go ahead with the exams come 20th July 2020.

The government probably needs a good number of students passing to prove that the Free SHS has succeeded. In the same vein, the government needs to embark on the enrollment of BECE graduates for the 2020/2021 academic year to make more noise about the numbers admitted with little emphasis on the quality of education, contact hours, the shortness of the terms and the extra cost parents are incurring. The passes are of important than the fear that the students will contract COVID-19.

Increase in transport fares

An increase in transport fares by 15% is the straw the broke the camels back. Transport operators have made it worse for Ghanaians as some of them have increased the transport fare by some 30%. Others have shared the lost income per trip on the old transport fares to arrive at the new fare instead of the approved 15%. A reduction in fuel prices would have been a better option. In the face of COVID-19, reduced income, lost jobs, government failed to reduce taxes on fuel.

New mistakes expected to be made in the following weeks

Opening our borders – A rush decision to open our borders will create very challenging moments for the leadership of the country should it lead to the importation of COID-19 cases.

Increase social gathering limits – An increase in the least number of persons for social gatherings is more likely to be increased from 100 to at least 200 per event and at most 500 per social gathering. This will indirectly be done to fuel political activities such as mini political rallies.

This is where we are as a country, let the leaders have their way now, we will have our say on election day.

Source: | Wisdom Hammond 

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