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Akufo-Addo’s ban on public gatherings ‘ill-prepared’ – Asiedu Nketia

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has urged President Nana Akufo-Addo to show leadership in enforcing the Executive Directives banning all social gatherings in the country.

The Party made the call following the National Identification Authority’s continuous Ghana card registration exercise despite a ban on such activities.

Officials of the NDC had earlier called for the arrest of the National Identification Authority’s Chief Executive, Professor Ken Attafuah for the ongoing exercise which the party claims make a mockery of President Akufo-Addo’s orders.

The General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia in a Citi News interview called on the President to stop the National Identification Authority from continuing with its field operations.

“We believe the President but he doesn’t seem to believe in himself. He doesn’t seem to believe in what he is telling us and we are worried about that. He should show leadership and demonstrate that indeed, he means what he is saying as he is communicating to us. We raised the issue of the need for the government to do something about the pandemic. The President had to reluctantly rush in with this ill-prepared directive. Our flagbearer has since spoken that we are to be on board. We should compel the President to walk his talk because the pandemic is more serious than the attention the presidency is giving to it,” said Asiedu Nketia.

President’s directive

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo banned all public gatherings including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, church activities, and other related events as part of measures to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country which has affected about 11 people who returned to Ghana recently.

President Akufo-Addo in a national address on Sunday [March 15, 2020] said the ban will be in force for four weeks.

“I have decided in the interest of public safety and the protection of our population to review the public gathering advisories earlier announced as follows: Firstly, all public gatherings including conferences, workshops, funerals, festivals, political rallies, sporting events and religious activities, such as services in churches and mosques, have been suspended for the next four (4) weeks,” the President said.

He said private burials are allowed but should just be “with limited numbers, not exceeding twenty-five (25) in attendance.”

National Identification Authority registration

The National Identification Authority (NIA) earlier this week said it will continue with the Ghana Card registration despite the misgivings from some of its officers because of the novel coronavirus.

The Authority released guidelines for its officers in line with the government’s new directives on public gatherings to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in Ghana.

Some NIA officers who had reached out to Citi News anonymously expressed concern about the absence of protective measures.

They say a single registration centre can be visited by 200 to 300 people a day seeking the Ghana Card.

Ghana Medical Associations Call

More groups mounted pressure on the NIA to halt the exercise currently ongoing in the Eastern Region.

The Ghana Medical Association in a statement signed by its President of the GMA, Dr. Frank Ankobea noted that “in the interest of Public Health and Safety, the GMA calls on the National Identification Authority (NIA) to suspend with immediate effect the ongoing mass registration exercise in the Eastern Region. The mass registration exercise also defeats the spirit and letter of the directives (especially on mass gathering) issued by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana as part of the measures to combat the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.”

“It is the considered view of the GMA that these mass registration activities by the NIA if allowed to continue could create a fertile ground for potential spread of COVID-19 endangering the lives of the staff of the NIA, the communities involved and the entire nation in the process. This will undoubtedly be fatal for the country.”

 

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