TUESDAY, MARCH 17, 2020
Corona Virus: No Public Gathering of any Form Should Work Undercover in the country, Coalition of University Students to Government
Last Sunday night, the President of the Republic, in his second address on the COVID-19 pandemic, announced emergency precautionary measures to be observed across the country. Among the steps taken include a ban on all social gatherings. The coalition of university students has learnt with worry and disappointment, that in spite of the President’s directives, the National Identification Authority is yet to suspend temporarily its mass Ghana card registration exercise currently ongoing in the Eastern region.
No gathering in this country, be it social, economic, political, academic, or religious, is more ban-worthy than the Ghana Card mass registration exercise. Earlier, the Coalition of University Students had called upon the government to suspend the exercise before Ghana recorded her first confirmed case of the COVID-19. Succinctly, we made the argument why continuity of the registration exercise could have a more damaging impact on the country at this material moment of the ravaging and savaging COVID-19.
However, it appears the exercise is what the government considers to be more harmless. As though without it, Ghana would not prosper.
We have, as concerned university students of Ghana, intercepted a Press statement by the National Identification Authority (NIA) which struggled to defend the continuity of the exercise in spite of the ban.
Some of the excerpts of the Press Statement of the NIA read: “Pursuant to the directive of H. E. The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, regarding the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, the National Identification Authority, NIA has determined that mass registration in the Eastern Region is to continue under the following guidelines and protocols.” Under that were some alien guidelines they enumerated which would guide the registration exercise in these trying times.
They concluded their Press Release assuring that “The authority wishes to assure the general public that it is committed to ensuring that the registration exercise is conducted in utmost safety, with all reasonable despatch and economy in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus whiles fulfilling its statutory obligation of efficiently registering qualified Ghanaians and issuing them with the Ghana Card. The authority would continue to observe closely the implementation of the foregoing and guidelines and would issue such further directives as may be necessary and appropriate”
Meanwhile, “government through the Attorney General is set to seek parliamentary approval for emergency legislation that will stipulate punishment for groups or persons who go contrary to the national ban on mass gathering following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ghana.” Yet, the NIA is vehemently in operation despite the directive by the government under which auspices the NIA operates.
We find this “smart move” by the government repugnant, and condemn that hypocrisy in no uncertain terms.
The NIA as a law-abiding state institution should as a matter of urgency and in the supreme interest of our population, immediately call off the exercise observed in strict compliance with the directives of His Excellency the President.
MAHMUD ABDUL WALIU KABORE
Idrisu Abdul Hakeem
Dept. P.R.O ( ONLY ENGLISH)
Ebenezer Amoah Affedzie