The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said it is “sad, cruel and reprehensible for President Akufo-Addo, who promulgated (E.I 64), which has led to the arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of pastors and other Ghanaians, to turn around and supervise the flagrant violation of the same law by his party officials and members with impunity” during the governing New Patriotic Party’s parliamentary primaries over the weekend.
Per E.I.164 (No. 10), not wearing face masks in public is an offence punishable by law but NPP delegates, supporters and some parliamentary aspirants were seen, over the weekend, without nose masks in public while electing their candidates.
Social distancing was also absent as large crowds gathered to celebrate their winning candidates after the polls.
This has raised concerns about the government’s commitment to the fight against COVID-19 and observance of social protocols to keep the citizenry safe.
Speaking about it at a press conference held in Accra on Monday, 22 June 2020, Mr Sammy Gyamfi, National Communication Officer of the NDC noted that the actions of the governing NPP is “unacceptable and abominable, particularly at a time church and mosque gatherings have been restricted to a maximum of 100 attendees and a duration of one hour, and at a time, Ghanaians who are found not to be wearing face masks are being subjected to all manner of degrading and inhumane treatment.”
According to him, “the recklessness and lawlessness displayed by the NPP during their just-ended parliamentary primaries, coupled with the selective application of the law on COVID-19 preventive protocols by our law enforcement agencies, make the imprisonment of pastors and Ghanaians who were convicted for breaching public gathering restrictions under E.I 64, totally unjustifiable and unfair.”
“Actions, they say, speak louder than words. The flagrant violation of COVID-19 precautionary protocols provided under E.I 64 by officials and members of the NPP and the President’s tacit approval of same, make nonsense of our collective fight against the dreaded coronavirus pandemic and shows that President Akufo-Addo and the NPP are not committed to Ghana’s COVID fight,” he added.
The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) has also raised similar concerns and called on the President to call the NPP activists to order and to ensure that justice and fair play is seen to be administered at all times to all Ghanaians irrespective of their political or social status.
GPCC said in a statement signed by its President Rev. Prof. Paul Frimpong-Manso that: “If what happened over the weekend during the NPP parliamentary primaries is anything to go by, the Council and many right-thinking Ghanaians have no doubt to believe that the floodgates for flouting the law in the name of political activities has just been opened if action is not taken against those political activists who flouted the rules by bringing them to justice.”