President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged political leaders in the country to support government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic because “the disease doesn’t have a political colour”.
In a meeting with political party representatives at the Jubilee House, Accra on Friday, the President said it was important that party leaders recognised that threat of the virus to human existence.
“This virus is a threat to our communities, society and nation…and we should be able, collectively, to find an input as to the measures that, on societal basis, can be taken to arrest the spread, and, ultimately, lead to the defeat of this pandemic.”
President Akufo-Addo had invited the leadership of the major political parties to the presidency, as part of wider consultations with stakeholders to exchange information and ideas and agree on measures to contain the spread and overcome the COVID-19.
The parties included the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention Peoples Party (CPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC), the Nattional Democratic Party (NDP) and the Progressive People’s party (PPP).
The meeting was held behind closed doors after initial remarks by representatives of the political parties.
The President told the party representatives that it was of utmost importance that political parties united at “this time of crisis and collectively agreed on the measures” that should be taken to address the disease to minimise its effect on the socio-economic life of the country.
“It is essential for us to have an opportunity to exchange information with each other, and, more than anything else, to agree on the measures that we can take as political leaders to ensure the unity of our nation at this critical time, and to stress the need for solidarity amongst ourselves.”
“The example of our own country and countries around the world, which we are all familiar with, is that the disease doesn’t have a political colour. It doesn’t know NDC or NPP, democrats or Republican, or Tories or Labour. It is attacking human beings. That recognition is what should drive our collective response as a people to this pandemic,” the President stated.
The leaders of the political on their part commended the President and the Government for the decisiveness in the handling the crisis, and for the measures so far instituted to deal with the pandemic in the country.
Mr Freddie Blay, NPP’s Chairman, praised the “exemplary” manner that the President was dealing with the situation, saying, “Ghana is lucky to have you at the helm of affairs at this time.”
The Chairman of the NDC, Mr Ofosu Ampofo urged his colleague political leaders “to come together, put our shoulder to the wheel, and assist government to fight and defeat the pandemic.”
Mr Edward Mahama, also applauded the President’s decisive handling of the situation, which he said “shows your desire to unite the country at a critical time where unity is needed to overcome the pandemic.”
“Without unity, the virus can devastate us,” he stated, adding that the idea of the COVID-19 Management Team was a very brilliant one, and called for more logistics to enable it perform effectively.
The representative of the PPP, Madam Bridgette Dzogbenuku, said her party was happy with the Government’s efforts to combat the disease, and told the President the founder of the PPP, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, was making available seven ambulances toards the fight aagaisnt the pandemic.
She noted that the current situation “is a difficult place to be… so political parties should stop comparing and contrasting because we have not been there and this is not the time to compete, but the time to put on compassionate lenses and join the bigger fight against the disease. So let’s bring out the compassionate side and not the competitive side to address this problem.”
Mr Ivor Greenstreet of the CPP commended the government for its decisions, which have “thus far, have been decisive, resolute and important.”
He said many governments around the world were paying a heavy price for their actions and inactions, but “fortunately, this is not a charge your government can be accused of,” adding that it was critical that “all of us come together at this perilous time and cast away our difference to ensure that we do all we can to return to a level of normalcy.”
Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings of the NDP, thanked President Akufo-Addo for the actions taken so far, and stressed that those interventions had been timely and purposeful to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.