These Four Entities Have Slammed Gov’t ‘Hypocrisy’ On Sir John Funeral

A section of the crowd at the funeral of the late former NPP general-secretary Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, also known as Sir John.

The funeral of the late former general-secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, has drawn the ire of Ghanaians due to the occasion’s breach of government COVID-19 rules.

Intriguingly, the funeral featured heavyweights of the governing NPP, including the president, Nana Akufo-Addo, his vice and some members of his cabinet. Also in attendance were some top hierarchy member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The restrictions these individuals were expected to observe is in line with the Akufo-Addo government’s initiative to keep the infection rates down. The measures first came in force in March of 2020 and lasted for several months until the president relaxed them to no more than 25 people at a burial, for instance.

In February this year, health officials advised an expansion of the limit to 100 people at private events, including funerals. Mask-wearing was also highly encouraged.

The repercussions for breaking these public safety rules included criminal prosecution.

But at Sir John’s funeral at the end of last week, many Ghanaians have cited flagrant disregard for the rules that are intended to keep everyone’s safe. Some professional bodies and public individuals are, however, voicing concern.

  1. The Ghana Medical Association Wants Prosecution

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has sent the strongest indication yet that it does not take the breach lightly. In a statement issued on Monday, June 7, the professional doctor’s union said: “We call on the law enforcement agencies to investigate and deal with the organisers of this and any similar events to serve as a deterrent to others who intend to endanger the public health of our nation. We call on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to act without fear or favour in this regard.”

It remains to be seen if the police can actually act in pursuance of the law in a situation where very powerful men and women were involved in flouting the rules set by the Executive.

2. OccupyGhana regrets impunity

The pressure group OccupyGhana has slammed the Ghanaian government for failing to abide by the rules that the police would ordinarily arrest ordinary Ghanaians for. In a press release, the group regretted what it thought was a “disappointing and frightening” indiscretion by government officials.

OccupyGhana’s statement read: “We saw and read about the police charging the people who organised the Christ Embassy event with offences under the Imposition of Restrictions Act. We have seen the Police resort to court injunctions and threats of force to stop the planned #fixGhana protests and demonstrations, with the weak excuse that they will defy the same Act.

We hasten to ask whether the government has any moral authority now where these matters are concerned?”.

3. Efia Odo highlights the hypocrisy

Efia Odo, an actress and entertainer who has recently picked up the new occupation of social activist along with the #FixThe Country campaigners, tweeted: “Looking at the crowd pulling at Sir John’s funeral (may his soul Rest In Peace) I don’t think we should have a future demonstration for the Fix the country.”

This tweet was published on her Twitter account before the actress vacated the platform reportedly due to cyberbullying.

4. Public health expert reminds the government of possible third wave

A public health expert, Nana Kofi Quakyi, took the opportunity to remind the government that African health officials have warned of a possible third wave of coronavirus infections in certain countries.

Quakyi tweeted: “[Government is] Undermining #COVID19 risk communication and protocol compliance in the same week the @AfricaCDC [Centre for Disease Control] chair warns of an imminent third wave on the continent. Never mind the comical intellectual dishonesty of barring the #FixTheCountry protests on the basis of super spreader risks.”

 

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