The Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has jumped to the defence of Vice President Dr Mahamadu Bawumia and other members of the ruling government for seeking to score political points with government’s handling of COVID-19 in the country.
Reacting to what he described as calls for the de-escalation of the politicisation of the pandemic, the minister said while it remains important for the country to stay focused on the common enemy (COVID-19), initial calls by government in the same direction were mocked by members of the opposition while civil society looked on.
“These calls if you recall are calls we started making right here form this podium over a month ago that it is important for us to focus on the common enemy. The president has said that in several of his speeches, we have to focus on the common enemy that is COVID -19 and not one another. Initially when we started these calls for an apolitical discussion of the subject and for us to create more room for the experts to come through with their analysis we were mocked. Some of the political leaders were mocking us making all sorts of comments.
“At that time some of the respected persons who are making the calls for the de-escalation of the politicisation today, at that time there were very quiet because as it appears their political leaders and their political candidates were championing an agenda at the time. Now when political activists from the governments side are also responding politically now they say we should begin to tone down on the politicisation.” He stated.
Alluding to the saying “what is good for the goose is good for the gander”, the minister said elements of the ruling government only become political on discussions around the COVID-19 fight when opposition figures failed to adhere to government’s constant calls for the depoliticisation of the pandemic while civil society remained unconcerned.
While underscoring the need to ensure the nation rids its fight from politics, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah called out faith-based organisations, statesmen, civil society groups, and the media to find their voice as much as they do when either sides of the political divide are seeking to turn national discussions into a political banter.
“The nation in all honesty stands a real risk of losing focus and degenerating into partisan political banter while the real key issue of covid-19 and managing it is relegated to the background. So it’s important that we all not be silent when our political candidate is politicising the matter only to speak when other people start responding politically. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.”
Vice President Bawumia has, in a number of his recent engagements, sought to suggest that the Akufo-Addo-led government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and its related effects on the economy has been better as compared to the other crisis such as the erratic power supply that the nation witnessed under the previous John Mahama-led NDC government.
The vice presidents claims and similar ones by elements of the ruling government have courted public criticism as the government is being accused of politicising the COVID-19 pandemic.