Former NMC Chair’s open letter to Akufo-Addo on COVID-19

Good morning, Mr. President. Once again, thank you for leading from the front on the war against Covid 19. One can only imagine how difficult it must be taking decisions that only you can make.

Your leadership has guided the nation through all the phases of the management of the pandemic in our country, and even though others may have different ideas, so far so good. My concern for writing this arises from the following sentence in your tenth address, which you delivered last Sunday.

“The great majority of us continue to adhere to the social distancing and enhanced hygiene protocols; we have, as a result, altered our way of life to accommodate these changes; and we continue to make sacrifices to speed up the process of bringing our lives safely back to a state of normalcy”.

Mr President, I know you cannot be everywhere, so probably you base your observation on information provided to you by your officials. Maybe they have evidence the rest of us don’t or can’t have. But the rest of us can see for ourselves, at the very least, where we live, work and visit… In my case, Mr President, since the outbreak of the disease here, I have written about 30 articles in two newspaper columns, some of which I have published on social media sites. As part of this obligation, I make it my business to observe beyond the casual. I can report that sadly, the great majority of us are NOT observing the protocols nor have we ALTERED our way of life…

Please, Sir, I am worried that you may be making decisions on the assumption that the great majority of us are behaving in a certain way when in fact, the reverse is the case. Please, Mr President, don’t take my word for it. Send out teams to observe and report to you, but tell them not to over-concentrate at places like Cantonments, Airport Residential Area and the like.

However, I am writing to you not only to express a negative thought on this but to say that, as you doubtless wish it to be the case, you can get the great majority to do the right thing if you make that your business. I believe that we may have a challenge of message failure as a reason why MOST people (from what I see) are not observing the protocols. Mr. President, if we get the communication right, people will do as you want them to do in our collective best interest. It depends on what they hear when you speak. Communication too is a science.

Have a pleasant day, Sir.


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