6 times NPP and NDC have played politics with COVID-19
Ghana currently has 5,530 coronavirus cases across the country with Accra being its epicenter with 4,147 of the total case count.
However, despite these ever-increasing numbers of the virus in the country, the two main political parties - NDC and NPP - have veered a couple times during this fight to engage in partisan politics.
Though President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo admonished Ghanaians to eschew partisan politics in the fight against the pandemic, this advice has been flouted on several occasions since Ghana recorded its first case on March 12.
We, therefore, compiled 6 instances where politicians from both the ruling NPP and the opposition NDC dabbled in politics in this COVID-19 fight.
1 . Asiedu Nketia's demand for testing for the Presidency: The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) set the ball rolling with politicking of COVID-19 when he demanded that all members of the presidency should be tested.
He said the NDC will continue to politicize the pandemic till President Akufo-Addo and his appointees have been tested for the virus.
He said some state appointees could be infected since they were exposed to the virus when they traveled with the President to Norway last month.
“We [NDC] will not stop politicizing the issues until Nana Addo and his appointees are tested and make public their result just as other leaders in the world are doing.
“They are all exposed to the virus...the government cannot say our first case was recorded on March 12th. It is a palpable falsehood if the government claims so...because evidence abounds that it was way back before that (in February).”
2 . National Organiser of the ruling New Patriotic Party, Sammy Awuku, said in April that the party will feature the achievements of President Nana Akufo-Addo in the ongoing fight against the novel coronavirus in its upcoming political campaign.
He said the NPP’s decision to include the achievements in the campaign message is to highlight the ruling party’s competence and leadership prowess in dealing with unforeseen challenges such as the pandemic with a full rounded approach.
“First of all we’ve shown courage, we’ve shown honesty and we’ve shown that…we can do it again. That is what I am saying, that…the way we’ve handled [the health crisis in Ghana] will also form part of our narrative that when we were confronted with this pandemic, this was our response, this was what we were able to do as a people."
3 . During the 3-week lockdown of Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi, the NDC Member of Parliament for Korle Klottey, Dr. Zanetor Rawlings alleged that NADMO officials sharing food in her constituency were doing that on a partisan basis.
She called H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to institute credible investigations into the seeming politicization of food distribution in this time of crisis.
4 . In a media engagement, the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said the government has ensured a resilient and buoyant economy despite the harsh conditions presented by the coronavirus pandemic.
He, therefore, compared their record to that of the NDC when they faced a crisis in "Dumsor". Dr. Bawumia said President Akufo-Addo has demonstrated leadership and competence amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, better than the former president who failed to properly manage the ‘dumsor’ situation during his time.
5 . John Mahama in a Facebook interaction session said the much-hyped economy by the governing New Patriotic Party has failed the test of time as it is currently in shambles a few weeks after the Coronavirus outbreak.
According to him, the economy is currently in Intensive Care following the ravaging impact of COVID-19.
The former President in answering a question from a viewer about how he intends to revive the economy should he be elected as President in the 2020 general elections said the economy is struggling because it was built on propaganda.
“In reflecting on this question, this is one of the issues that we have continuously talked about that it is always necessary that when you are building an economy to have enough buffers and create fiscal space so that when you are faced with a shock or adversity, you are easily able to overcome it”.
6 . In his 8th national address, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced that his government will build 88 district hospitals and 6 regional ones within a year.
He said these investments will boost the health sector in its fight against COVID-19 and other future pandemics. However, this promise generated a lot of controversy as some political pundits thought it was more of a political campaign promise than an update on Ghana's fight against coronavirus.
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