John Dramani Mahama, leader and flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has given his observation about the ongoing lockdown being experienced in parts of the country.
The NDC has, among many things, called for more support for the poor and other vulnerable groups in the time of the lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Below is his full comments on the 3-day-old lockdown:
This is the third day of the expected 14-day partial lockdown announced by the President in some areas of the country under the Imposition of Restrictions Act 1012 of 2020.
Following this announcement, we have encouraged citizens to abide by the directives to stay at home as much as possible in order to slow the spread of the virus and give the relevant authorities enough space and time to mount a robust response to the pandemic.
We have noted some excesses involving brutalization of the civilian population by some service personnel and I urge the various Service Commanders to urgently brief the men to be firm but fair in the execution of the directives.
My advice to all my fellow citizens, whether your area is affected by the restrictions or not, is to please #StayHome as far as practicable. This will help you to avoid getting infected and also prevent you from infecting others if you have the disease. Also, let us continue to regularly wash our hands with soap and under running water.
As we have all noticed, COVID-19 does not discriminate between the rich and the poor. Every one of us is at risk. During this period, however, the poor are suffering disproportionately from the effects of social distancing and the lockdown. We need to do more, as a people, to alleviate the suffering of this disadvantaged and vulnerable group.
I acknowledge and also commend the contributions of the many who are helping to mitigate the plight of fellow citizens during these times by making donations to health facilities and also to the poor and vulnerable.
I wish to commend, especially, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament, our Parliamentary Candidates and other executive members for responding positively to my call to step out and show compassion and charity to their constituents during this bleak period in our history.
I have particularly noted a video of PC Lawyer Francis Xavier Sosu who is seen personally, serving some homeless residents of Madina with bread and porridge (koko).
I want to encourage us all, and all other MPs and Candidates to show compassion and fellow-feeling to our people at this time.
Despite the shortage of essential medical supplies we are managing to procure some PPEs and other supplies, which we shall shortly commence distribution to the Tamale Teaching Hospital and other Regional facilities currently known to have registered cases of COVID-19.
I urge all to do more. As the Medical Director at the Ridge Hospital (GARH) said to me when I presented PPEs and other items to them on Sunday, “like Oliver Twist, we ask for more”.
Please let us all do more!