Watch the throne
These are tough times for us all. We never anticipated a global health crisis on this scale. The COVID-19 pandemic will test both our solidarity as a Republic and the aptitude of our political leadership.
Yes, arguably, government should have been more proactive. Mistakes were made. The response was slower than expected. But there is a unique element of uncertainty with the management of COVID-19 that our healthcare professionals have no extensive experience with. The most difficult aspect of this pandemic is that it requires pragmatic leadership, like never before, to resolve a complex human catastrophe.
The President, at the forefront of this struggle, has to make some difficult decisions now. He must strike a fine balance between risk and reward. Any cognizant viewer most likely noticed how frail Nana Akufo-Addo looked while he addressed the nation on COVID-19. There is clearly an enormous amount of pressure on him as the entire Republic keenly awaits redemption. It is, perhaps, since he took charge of the Presidency, the greatest examination of his innate ability to govern. His cabinet must think ahead of the problem and prepare for the worst possible outcome. Government policy must adapt to the situation as quickly as it develops.
It is more than just a health crisis; businesses and households have been hit by an economic setback. The streams of income for many enterprises, especially for services, have been blocked. And I expect the exchequer to outline realistic, costed and dated financial measures to mitigate this predicament.
On the brighter side, immediate former President, John Dramani Mahama, recently extended his support to the sitting government and committed the rank and file of Ghana’s largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress, to a bipartisan battle against the virus. In an election year, the unthinkable has occurred: partisanship has lost its relevance, at least for the next few weeks ahead.
Through the blues.
Fear and panic continues to consume most of us; we cling unto our tech devices for updates on what might come next. But It isn’t all gloom; Ghanaians have a natural tendency to find humour in rather severe issues. While we do need to take personal hygiene precautions seriously, it is important that public morale does not sink to the deepest pits of sorrow. A joke here and there is necessary to keep our spirits up.
If we are to get through this — and I know there are serious trust issues between us and them — we must cooperate with our politicians and strictly comply with the advice of health experts. We, the citizens, are the only solution to the spread of COVID-19. Take care and stay safe.
The writer Vincent Djokoto is a Business Executive and a columnist.