Members of the Loyal Ladies, an all-female group sympathetic to the ruling New Patriotic Party, have advised former President John Dramani Mahama to refrain from making political capital out of the coronavirus pandemic.
The group, in a statement jointly signed by its executives, said the COVID-19 pandemic is a worldwide health crisis which ought to be tackled devoid of politics.
“It therefore ill-behoves any opposition figurehead, let alone an erstwhile president, to make political capital from a catastrophe which has spared no nation in its malevolence, claiming thousands of lives. Former President John Mahama’s behaviour has been nothing but irresponsible,” the statement said.
Former President Mahama, since the emergence of the pandemic, has on numerous occasions taken to his Facebook to lambast the government’s handling of the pandemic. Many have expressed worry at the continuous attack by Mr Mahama on the government, when he is expected to offer pragmatic suggestions to the government and refrain from the politicisation of the pandemic.
According to the group, it is not against criticism per se, but wants it to be constructive.
“This is not to say that constructive criticism is not welcome. Any government should welcome ideas on how matters can be handled better, for now and the future. However, there is a marked difference between constructive criticism and playing a game of political football for electoral gain, especially when a former president predicates that game on exaggeration, lies and a stating of the obvious,” the group stated.
“For him, every utterance is couched for maximum political advantage. He has ignored the facts, only seeking to pontificate whilst offering nothing constructive. He achieved nothing as president and it is evident that he has achieved nothing in opposition as well,” the group said.
They admonished the former President to emulate the statesmanship of past leaders such as John Agyekum Kufuor and put a stop to “the irresponsible spectacle he is subjecting Ghanaians to”.
They also urged the former President to examine his facts before addressing Ghanaians.
“When all stakeholders – traditional, religious, political and civil society leaders – have come together with the government in an effort to fight coronavirus, Mr John Mahama seeks to make political capital by accusing the government of ‘failing the people of Ghana’. This accusation is risible as much as it is false. One would do well to examine the facts.”
Stable so far
The group acknowledged that Ghana, as compared to other African countries, has done well in its testing of cases.
“It is acknowledged that Ghana, on a per capita basis, has implemented the widest testing regime in Africa. Out of about 120,000(currently more than that) people traced, Ghana has been able to test 100,000(more than that at the moment) people. It should be noted that consistently through the period of testing, the positive tests have remained stable and the death rate has been relatively small. As of May 10th, about 4,263 people had tested positive, 378 recovered and 18 had died. Majority of those we have unfortunately lost to this insidious virus had underlying health conditions,” it said.
The group commended the hard work of health professional and medical experts who have helped government know which areas are to be considered hotspots for decisions to be taken.