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NPP "Mahama must focus on Zika virus, not Montie 3"

“President Mahama could use the power of his Office to channel the energies of the Ghanaian people away from discussing Montie-4 to discussing Zika. With the prevalence of mosquitoes in Ghana, the effects of the Zika virus on our shores would be nothing short of catastrophic,” NPP-Canada has said.

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John Mahama

NPP-Canada has asked President John Mahama to ignore discussions around the jailed Montie contemnors and rather focus on ways of putting in place measures to prevent the Zika virus from getting into the country.

The Montie three, Alistair Nelson, Godwin Ako Gunn and Salifu Maase alias ‘Mugabe’ were sentenced to four months in prison by the Supreme Court following contempt proceedings against them.

The contempt proceedings came after the three threatened the Supreme Court judges who sat on the Abu Ramadan and Gary Nimako versus the Electoral Commission case.

READ ALSO: Montie Saga 'People are deliberately setting traps for Mahama' - Kwesi...bullet

Some members of the public including lawyers for the three, Nana Ato Dadzie and George Loh, have described the sentence as “harsh”, and insisted that people must not be committed to prison for infractions on free expression especially in light of the repeal of the criminal libel law.

Many are however of the view that the president will be violating the law and undermining the work of the judiciary if he gave in to the pressure mounting on him to grant the presidential pardon to the three Montie FM contemnors.

But a statement released by the New Patriotic Party representative in Germany said the discussions on the three are unnecessary.

“President Mahama could use the power of his Office to channel the energies of the Ghanaian people away from discussing Montie-4 to discussing Zika. With the prevalence of mosquitoes in Ghana, the effects of the Zika virus on our shores would be nothing short of catastrophic,” the group said.

READ ALSO: Zika Virus, Lassa Fever Ministry of Health issues alert

Zika virus is spread through the bite of an Aedes species of mosquito. Zika can also be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth.

Some countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, have already recorded cases of the Zika virus disease, which has been declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Below is the full statement by NPP-Canada

NPP-Canada expects the Mahama Administration to take urgent steps to douse the unnecessary man-hours being spent on the Montie Gang of 4 (includes Deputy Minister nominee Mr. Oti Bless). 

Even before the sentencing of the Montie-3, an inordinate amount of time had been spent by the nation discussing the Montie-3. 

Any serious Administration would have taken steps to re-align (an increasingly favorite word of the President) the energies of the Ghanaian people into more productive and worthwhile pursuits.

The Montie-4 matter itself will not have seen the light of day if the Mahama Administration in whose interest the Station/Program was serving had cautioned against the intemperate language that was being used routinely. President Mahama had occasion to draw attention to an anonymous UK-based Auntie Bea whose intemperate language surfaced on Whatsup. How could President Mahama have failed to draw attention to the intemperate language being aired on Montie FM on an almost daily basis in Ghana?

How can a nation like Ghana be expected to develop appreciably if indecision or inertia on the part of the President causes so much man-hours to go down the drain?

Malaria, a mosquito-borne disease, is already the leading cause of death in Ghana. Around one-quarter of children who die before their fifth birthday in Ghana are killed by malaria. The least said about the economic burden of malaria, the better. To add to the unfortunate malaria scourge is the specter of ZIKA.

According to the US Center for Diseases Control (CDC), :

Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters. They can also bite at night.

Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.

There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Presently, a widespread outbreak of Zika is ongoing, primarily in the Americas causing the US to issue an unprecedented travel ban to an area within the US, specifically within Miami.

President Mahama could use the power of his Office to channel the energies of the Ghanaian people away from discussing Montie-4 to discussing Zika. With the prevalence of mosquitoes in Ghana, the effects of the Zika virus on our shores would be nothing short of catastrophic. How can President Mahama achieve this objective? NPP-Canada hereby suggests the following:

President Mahama should immediately withdraw the nomination of Mr. Oti Bless, the fourth member of the Montie Gang of 4.

President Mahama should announce to the Ghanaian people as soon as possible that he will not undermine the authority of the Supreme Court of Ghana through a precipitous pardon of the Montie 3.

President Mahama should use the Montie Gang of 4 saga as a pivot to caution all and sundry against unsavoury, politically-inspired discourse in the commercial media – both print and electronic.

The President should plan on outlining his Administration’s efforts at ensuring that the Zika virus does not land on the shores of Ghana, and indeed in the West African sub-region (through sub-regional concerted efforts).

The Mahama Administration should reinvigorate its campaign at ridding our town and cities of filth.

Mr. President, we trust that you will take the above suggestions in good faith, decide quickly, and act accordingly. – NPP Canada

Gilbert Adu Gyimah

Director of Communications, NPP-Canada

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