The Electoral Commission, like any other institution, be it private or public, would not be allowed to undertake any exercise that is likely to defeat government’s drive to contain the spread of coronavirus, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said.
“The president has been very, very clear on this…whether it is a private organization, ministries, departments, agencies, EC, NIA, nobody would be allowed to essentially breach these measures that are being put in place and put people in harm’s way,” the minister told TV3’s New Day on Monday.
Ghana’s electoral body is set to have training workshops for its officials and some contract staff as it insists on compiling a new voters’ register amidst criticisms from opposition parties and some civil society groups.
Some Ghanaians who disagree with President’s Akufo-Addo’s decision to lift a three-week partial dockdown in some cities, are connoting that the decision was a step into clearing the Electoral Commission to compile the register whilst the country is still battling with covid-19.
For instance, Director of Communications of the National Democratic Congress, Sammy Gyamfi said the decision by President Akufo-Addo was politically motivated.
He claimed the president simply wants “to allow the EC the space to undertake its entrenched and illogical determination to compile a new voters’ register for the 2020 general elections and nothing more”.
But Mr. Oppong Nkrumah assured Ghanaians in an interview with TV3’s Johnnie Hughes: “I think nobody would be allowed into a situation that compromises the measures that would be put in place in the country to reduce the infection rate to the barest minimum to ensure that we win this battle.”
He asserted, “What is important is that we protect and save lives. It doesn’t matter what your interest may be, if by the time you are done achieving your interest people have been infected and are dead, that would be plainly irresponsible, that is not something the president would countenance.”
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has said lifting the lockdown in Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Accra, does not mean “we are letting our guard down”.
He insisted that all other measures are still firmly in place, and have not been relaxed.
“In here, I am referring to the suspension of all public gatherings, including conferences, workshops, funerals, parties, nightclubs, drinking spots, beaches, festivals, political rallies, religious activities and sporting events. All educational facilities, private and public, are to remain closed. Businesses and other workplaces can continue to operate, observing staff management and workplace protocols with the view to achieving social distancing and hygiene protocols,” the president stated on Sunday.
About 1,042 persons have tested positive for Covid-19; out of which 9 have died and 99 others have recovered as of April 19, 2020.
By Isaac Essel | 3news.com | Ghana