“Misinformation, Deliberate Distortions By John Mahama Roundly Condemned By Ghanaians” - Hadzide
Deputy Minister of Information, Pious Enam Hadzide hit back at the largest opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC), saying the misinformation, deliberate distortions and warped analysis put out by its flagbearer, John Mahama has been bemoaned and roundly condemned by many well-meaning Ghanaians.
According to him, since the NDC has no vital information on the Covid-19 cases, it was merely invited to offer cover to their Flagbearer who has been badly bruised by the politicization of the COVID-19 Pandemic started by him.
Addressing Journalists in Accra, the Deputy Minister said “Just days ago, the Presidential Candidate of the NDC, Mr. John Mahama in one of his COVID-19 political broadcasts on Facebook, embarrassed himself by ignorantly questioning why the government had accessed an IMF facility, claiming that no other African country had done so – an outright fabrication from a man who occupied the high office of President a few years ago”
He added that twenty (20) other African countries, including all the ones Mahama specifically listed, have accessed the IMF facility of $18 billion for African countries to help cushion them through the crisis.
He however noted although the facility is interest-free and without the suffocating conditionalities the IMF imposed on Ghana when forced by a toxic mixture of incompetence and insensitivity, Mr. Mahama and the NDC went for a bail out and policy credibility.
“Whiles it may ordinarily be a good thing for the NDC minority to have found their bearing and a voice several weeks after Ghana started confronting and containing the COVID-19 pandemic, it is pathetic that even upon hindsight the minority is still unable to offer any pragmatic alternatives but merely rehash those same lame queries that Mr. Mahama has asked during his political broadcasts on facebook” he said.
Mr. Hadzide hinted that several weeks into COVID-19 and after several media engagements; both at the Presidential and other levels, it is disappointing that such deep levels of unawareness is being exhibited by the minority.
He explained that it is disappointing for the minority to say it is unaware of the public education is ongoing across the various Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts Assemblies (MMDAs).
GHANAIANS STUCK ABROAD
Touching on Ghanaians in Abroad, the Deputy Minister of Information said” It is shocking, even embarrassing, that the NDC is still latching onto their very bogus proposal that the government should have repatriated Ghanaian students from Wuhan! The students themselves have spoken to several media outlets and shown gratitude for the much wiser decision of the Akufo-Addo government”
He noted that schools have in fact reopened in Wuhan and not a single Ghanaian student in China was infected by Covid19.
He stressed instead of conceding that the government exercised far superior judgement - as we always have – the NDC keeps repeating the bankrupt and expired proposal.
He said “Under the able leadership of President Akufo-Addo, monthly stipends for Ghanaian students studying abroad on Government Scholarship have been paid upfront and in advance. Yes, the second quarter i.e. April, May and June have already been paid. This administration inherited an accumulated arrears of one year from the NDC and Mr. Mahama”
Hon. Hadzide also stated that whiles Governments has declined the invitation of the NDC to engage in a blind and partisan banter on COVID-19, it is also imperative that for their education, it restate some of the facts around Ghana’s very effective and successful COVID-19 Response Plan.
The Deputy Minister of Information also emphasized that very early into the global outbreak, President Akufo-Addo constituted a COVID-19 Task Force made up of technical persons, including Epidemiologists, Virologists, Medical Doctors, Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service Officials and Security Heads among others.
“The COVID-19 task force is coordinated by a former Deputy Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Asamoah Baah. It is this task force of persons of reputable background knowledge, and expertise that advice H. E. the President on the policy options in fighting COVID-19 and not politicians masquerading as medical doctors in partisan COVID-19 teams” he noted.
He justified that claims from the NDC saying ‘Science has been relegated to the background’ and that the President seems more interested in his re-election than in the safety and life of Ghanaians is false and without basis.
He said “The NDC cannot be allowed to approbate and reprobate on this matter. In one breath they claim, the scientist at Noguchi and all other testing facilities deserves this nation’s thanks for the commitment they have shown in this national effort so far and in another breath indict them by claiming that they misuse scientific terminologies without empirical basis”
He stressed that President Akufo-Addo has led from the front and continues to address the nation honestly and regularly.
“President Akufo-Addo addressed the Nation and announced Ghana’s preparedness way before Ghana recorded its initial cases. The President announced an initial investment of GH¢35 million into our preparedness. This has now being ramped up to some $100 million for Ghana’s response” he explained
Hon. Hadzidze debunk claims by the NDC that the Government made no provisions for the eventuality of an outbreak in Ghana is not just unfortunate but also unfounded.
He said “It is regrettable the minority in Ghana’s Parliament has lowered the bar on public discourse by making serious and yet unsubstantiated allegations. They claim that blatant falsehoods have been told to garnish the administration’s image without providing an iota of evidence. In asking the question couldn’t Ghana have close its borders earlier, the NDC Minority suggest that by January 20, 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 a global health emergency”
“What they deliberately did not add was that the WHO recommended that there was no reason for measure that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade at the time.
For the records, the WHO declared COVID-19 global pandemic on 11th March, 2020. Subsequently and when there was reasonably sufficient basis, Ghana’s borders were close on March 22, 2020” he added.
Hon. Hadzide outlined that to limit and stop importation of cases, a number of steps were introduced including, enhanced screening and surveillance at our points of entry to ensure that persons with manifested symptoms were identified and isolated.
He added that this was escalated to the issuance of a travel advisory to ban non Ghanaians and persons without Ghanaian residence permit from coming into Ghana from countries with significant recorded cases.
“Data from port authorities indicated that there was a drastic decline in arrival numbers. This was followed by mandatory quarantine of persons who were not affected by the ban. Ghana also closed its air, land and sea borders subsequently” he hinted.
Story: Joshua Kwabena Smith