Godfred Opare Djan Writes: Con And Funny Games In COVID-19

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The mere mentioning of Coronavirus or COVID-19 invokes fear and weird images among greater portion of the human race because the virus is causing pain, anguish and dreadful consequences all over the world.

Each day in the last five months comes with different news on the same virus from different places around the world.

In all honesty, there is no popular name on the earth surface now than COVID-19 as no second passes without that name being mentioned.

The insurgence of the dreaded pandemic has become an eye-opener to the world and Ghana is no exception as the country is going through trying times.

Ghana had conmen but majority of the people did not fully know of their activities until COVID-19 caught up with the country just like the rest of the world.

The Clergy (Businessmen) in Cassock as some of them are described, government, politicians, businessmen and the ‘common’ people have in various times in the dreaded COVID-19 displayed that the Ghanaian could not be fully trusted even in terrible times.

Businessmen In Cassock

Some men of God before Ghana reported cases of COVID-19 were communicating with God on daily basis and had vision on every facet of life in Ghana but could not have vision about the bug that is eating away lives.

After the virus had hit Ghana some of the Clergy without any shame had the impudence to tell Ghanaians that God revealed the virus and how it would wreak havoc on the world but God did not tell them the name of the virus.

Even when it had become of obvious that COVID-19 was in Ghana and was more of health issue than spiritual thing, the Men of God would not let Ghanaians be as they went ahead to speak as if they had control over the pandemic.

They gave their true colours out easily when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced measures in tackling the virus in Ghana.

What hit the Churches and their founders/leaders among the measures was the ban on public gathering. It was clear that businesses had been closed and there was the need for the ‘Men of God’ to design and develop strategies to help them to stay in ‘businesses’.

Some Churches resorted to activation of Mobile Money short codes to enable members to send offerings and tithes through them.

In order to not create a wrong impression about themselves, churches that were not in position to secure airtime on radio and television, resorted to online services, all in the name of making Ghanaians to believe that they were serious about the work of God.

Others held church services with stipulated 25 congregants in series and per their permutations; they could hold service for large number of their members.

The usual counselling sessions was on for those who were interested in Spiritual Consultations at various fees.

As if the Churches were competing among themselves, various donations and assistance to the needy and under-privileged that they offered were done amidst pomp and media blitz.

In effect, the churches saw the donation and assistance to the needy in the hard times as offering favour to some Ghanaians; something which was against the doctrines of Christianity.

The rivalry among some of the ‘Men of God’ was openly displayed as they were competing as to who has offered more goodies to needy Ghanaians. Churches with their own TV stations would only telecast the donations and help offered to others in the COVID-19 period.

Many Ghanaians after reading through the lines of the actions of some of the Churches formed a simple opinion that profit oriented activities have engulfed the very entity that was to preach salvation and seek the well-being of the poor and afflicted.

Government False Pretences

 Articles 34, 35 and 36 of the 1992 Constitution which are on the Directive Principles of State Policy are very clear on how the state should provide and protect the citizens and the President of the Republic of Ghana who represent the state authority should be the lead person in ensuring the safety or otherwise of all Ghanaians.

It is therefore not out of order for the President and for that matter the state to fashion out moves and pragmatic steps to alleviate the suffering of the very Ghanaians he an oath to protect all times.

The very government that from the onset called for non-politicization of issues bothering on the COVID-19, engaged into nasty politics with the pandemic.

President Akufo-Addo and his Vice, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia were/are heavily involved in politicizing the COVID-19 and used it as the springboard for campaign towards the 2020 elections.

Ministers, heads of state agencies, including security persons all politicized the COVID-19 but yet were going round calling on others not to politicize the bug.

Plain insults on political opponents, especially against National Democratic Congress (NDC) persons were activated by government persons and their Goro Boys/Political land guards all in the name of scoring political marks.

In the estimation of the government and its hirelings for filthy machinations against former President John Dramani Mahama, it was divine for President Akufo-Addo and members of his government to donate their three months unearned salaries into the COVID-19 Fund but it was satanic for former President Mahama to donate all-important Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to health institutions across the country.

The government saw it as demonic and unholy for the former President and his NDC party to offer help to Ghanaians in such crucial but holy for them to go round with goodies to Ghanaians.

The government in the critical period resorted to the use of the social media to attack individuals, groups that would not agree on some of the things that government was doing in the fight against the COVID-19.

The COVID-19 exposed Ghana as lagging behind from all fronts and at the same time became an eye-opener for the nation (not politicians alone) to rethink about where it wants to go and how to get to the destination but the government, especially would still offer false hope as if it was in campaign period.

Praise singers were busy as usual for the government and were rowdy in their attempt to massage the ego of the President and his men and women at the time that Ghana and the whole world are in terrible times.

The very government that was not comfortable with the opposition NDC having a COVID-19 team, later ate a humble pie and invited all political parties to speak about how to deal with the spread of COVID and fashion out measures to contain it.

What became an albatross on the neck of government was the fact the alacrity with which the NDC was condemned for having COVID-19 team was missing when it decided to invite parties, government would not praise the parties for availing themselves for the good of Ghana.

In a cluttered manner, the government would look on unconcerned for state institutions that survive on the Ghanaian taxpayer to contribute into the COVID-19 Trust Fund just because Ghanaians would see those institutions and for that matter government as caring for them.

Weak Opposition

The NDC and its leader are making tremendous contribution in the midst of the COVID-19 but would not be able to tell their story better because it bought into the queer mind games the government was playing.

Childishly, former President Mahama and the NDC would not be able to tell Ghanaians that supplying PPE to hospitals across the country was far better than President Akufo-Addo’s gesture of contributing three months unearned salary in the COVID-19 Trust Fund.

Whiles the government and the ruling party were busily using the COVID-19 to shore up its political marks, the NDC and Mr. Mahama were doing things silently, when indeed the former President showed leadership and magnanimity to Ghanaians.

Consistently failing to tell the good stories, the party and the former President would allow the government and the NPP to run down all the good things they were/are doing in the COVID-19 era as if they don’t have proper channels to tell their stories.

Former President Mahama and his people would rather resort to facebook live instead of exposing government lies and cheap ways to score political marks with the pandemic.

What was nauseating was the fact some NDC persons created disaffection for candidate Mahama and the party by talking about issues that had nothing to do with the pressing matters bothering COVID-19.

Hazy Corporate Agenda         

Corporate Ghana would not miss the opportunity of using the COVID-19 era to look better in the eyes of their publics and government by donating to government and individuals.

What is interesting is the fact that government would not look at the tax records of companies that were making huge various donations to the COVID-19 Trust Fund and Ghanaians. It was too clear and obvious that the companies were rushing to catch the attention of the government because of various stimulus packages and relieves for business in the hard moments.

What was laughable and mind boggling was an anaesthetized point that some companies that were laying workers off, had the audacity to make huge donations to the government but could not offer any better packages for their retrenched workers.

It was obvious that tax evading companies and others with terrible workers relations records were out to satisfy their own whims and caprices and turn round to make the government to believe that they have the interest of Ghana at heart.

It may sound unthinkable and stroppy but government must look into tax records of various companies that pretended to be doing government and the people of Ghana favours when the truth of the matter is they were doling out part of the booty from tax evasion in the miserable times.

Other Matters

As the COVID-19 figures continue to rise in Ghana and elsewhere, it is crucial to take stock of the posturing of certain key entities with critical and crucial roles in advising government going forward with certain decisions.

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) is one of such entities. There were/are glimpses of dishonesty on the part of the umbrella organization for medical doctors in the country.

The GMA was the first to call for lockdown when Ghana’s cases were not even up to 50. The doctors were expecting total lockdown of Ghana but government went in for partial lockdown of Greater Accra, Greater Kumasi and Awutu areas.

Interestingly, the GMA was silent on the lifting of the lockdown at the period when Ghana’s figures of reported cases were moving up astronomically.

It was the same GMA that was not happy with the two weeks lockdown and recommended an additional week of the lockdown but jump into jubilant mood when President Akufo-Addo lifted the lockdown, claiming that it was in the interest of Ghanaians.

The GMA is silent on the increasing cases of the COVID-19but was quick to tell Ghanaians of the number of Doctors that tested positive of the virus, blaming the situation on the poor distribution of PPE to health facilities across the country to fight the virus.

Instead of telling the government of the weaknesses in the COVID-19 fighting strategies, some notable figures in the GMA joined the government praise singing bandwagon to the surprise of Ghanaians.

The Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) is another surprise element in the COVID-19 period with inconsistencies in its position on issues.

GTUC wanted a total lockdown and raised issues concerning the partial lockdown but was quick to be in ecstatic mood when the partial lockdown was locked up without interrogating what informed the President’s decision.

Till today the umbrella body of the labour front could not tell the Ghanaian worker of they know to have informed the lifting of the lockdown the President Akufo-Addo when Ghana’s cases are spiking.

Ghana’s fight against the dreaded bug is still on; there have been achievements as compared to other countries with huge cases, albeit in not so good health sector.

But the truth of the matter is that the country and its leadership were too playful from the initial when it became the reality that COVID-19 had entered into Ghana’s territories.

The over 4,000 cases in Ghana would have lesser if authorities had taken some drastic measures earlier, but it is better late than never.

The country is fighting hard to confront COVID-19 from all fronts, citizens are helping in all forms but the con and funny games are too many to ignore at the period that every normal thing has become abnormal.