UPDATES TO GHANA’S ENHANCED RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

• To the men and women of our security services, who have been enforcing the directives, by patrolling our streets day and night, conducting surveillance, snap checks and mounting road blocks, we are deeply in your debt.

It is these security measures that have created the basic framework within which our medical personnel are able to pursue contact tracing, testing and treatment of persons with the virus, whose implementation offers us the most secure means to defeat the virus.

Furthermore, working with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, we see personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces involved in the clean-up of our drainage systems and of our markets.


NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA

Address To The Nation By President Of The Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, On Updates To Ghana’s Enhanced Response To The Coronavirus Pandemic, On Sunday, 5th April, 2020.


Full Speech

Fellow Ghanaians, Good evening.


Nine (9) days ago, I came to your homes and requested you to make great sacrifices to save lives, and to protect our motherland. I announced the imposition of strict restrictions to movement, and asked that residents of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area and Kasoa and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and its contiguous districts to stay at home for two (2) weeks, in order to give us the opportunity to stave off this pandemic. As a result, residents of these two areas had to make significant adjustments to our way of life, with the ultimate goal being to protect permanently our continued existence on this land.


They heeded the call, and they have proven, so far, to each other, and, indeed, to the entire world, that being a Ghanaian means we look out for each other. Yes, there are a few who continue to find ways to be recalcitrant, but the greater majority have complied, and have done so with calm and dignity. Tonight, I say thank you to each and every one of you law-abiding citizens.


Let me thank, in particular, all our frontline actors who continue to put their lives on the line to help ensure that we defeat the virus. To our healthcare workers, I say a big ayekoo for the continued sacrifices you are making in caring for those infected with the virus, and in caring for the sick in general. You are the heroes and heroines of our generation, and Government will do all in its power to provide you with the relevant tools to do your work effectively.


To the men and women of our security services, who have been enforcing the directives, by patrolling our streets day and night, conducting surveillance, snap checks and mounting road blocks, we are deeply in your debt. It is these security measures that have created the basic framework within which our medical personnel are able to pursue contact tracing, testing and treatment of persons with the virus, whose implementation offers us the most secure means to defeat the virus.


Reports I have received so far indicate that the police, military and other members of our security services have discharged their mandate with considerable professionalism.


Furthermore, working with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, we see personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces involved in the clean-up of our drainage systems and of our markets.


In the very few instances where members of our security agencies have employed the use of excessive force against the citizenry, in enforcing the restrictions on movement, the Inspector General of Police and the Chief of Defence Staff of the Armed Forces have taken steps to investigate such incidents, and, they have given me the assurance that, those found culpable, will be duly sanctioned.


Thus far, the alleged wrongdoers have been withdrawn from the ongoing exercise. To enhance command and control, more senior officers have been deployed at the operational level, and each member of our security services participating in the exercise has been handed an aide-mémoire highlighting, essentially, the guidelines for the operation.


However, I am extremely disturbed by the actions of a few, unpatriotic persons, who are deliberately passing off and circulating old videos of alleged brutality by members of the security agencies, largely of foreign origin, and presenting them as though they were new incidents by Ghanaian security personnel, which have occurred during the course of this past week. It is sad, it is unfortunate, and it must end.


We should all be in this fight together, and there is nothing to be gained with widespread fabrication and distribution of such videos, whose sole aim is to create discontent, and undermine the trust of the population in the men and women of our security services. Who gains from such conduct? Nobody in their right senses! The law enforcement agencies are determined to locate the originators of these anti-social acts.