On Sunday, April 5, 2020, the president of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo addressed the nation stating measures his office has taken to curb and fight the deadly coronavirus. In his speech which happens to be his fifth address in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the president outlined measures he believes can help fight the pandemic.
After his speech, our reporters were in town to seek the views of the public and were privileged enough to bump into renowned gospel musician Bra, Paul.
Bra Paul being one of the topmost gospel gurus in Ghana congratulated the president on his efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Looking at his efforts so far in the fight against this pandemic (COVID-19), the president, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has done tremendously well though there is still room for improvement. This is trying times for leaders across the world and as a citizen who has held some leadership positions in my career, I know how one would rush to make hasty decisions especially when everyone seems to drag you left, right and center. However, the president won the heart of most Ghanaians when he stood his grounds amidst media pressure calling for total lockdown. According to him (Nana Addo), such decisions (total lockdown) will only favor the ‘well to do’ and never the vulnerable hence, his decision will be one that favors the ordinary person on the streets. His words made me believe he has the vulnerable at heart and so, I was never surprised when instead of a total lockdown, the president within his powers restricted movements in certain parts in Ghana” he explained.
The musician, however, had a contrary opinion on the president’s decision to absorb water bills for the next three months.
“Absorbing water bills for the next three months is a good initiative especially in this trying times but, the initiative will only benefit house owners with taps and not the ordinary Ghanaian on the streets. Tap owners will continue to charge exorbitant fees in the name of maintaining the facility and in the end, this initiative will cause more harm than good to the ordinary Ghanaian. I believe it would have been more beneficial for the president to fix taps in vantage areas to the advantage of the poor before coming public with the announcement. It would have been better that way rather than sending water tankers to some deprived areas which will cost the state extra income. The Majority of Ghanaians can’t practice the culture of maintenance, you have no idea the number of people who will troop into people’s houses to get water. In the process, the compound will be messed up, few others might get damaged which the tap owner must bear the cost, to avoid this, he or she ( tap owners) will either charge a fee or stop them (vulnerable) from fetching the water. Again, one thing that would’ve been more beneficial to the vulnerable is free electricity. Imagine waking up one morning realizing a top-up of two hundred cedis worth of prepaid credit? The vulnerable with less consuming gadgets can manage this credit for one or two months unlike the rich with more sophisticated gadgets who might use it for a week or two”
“Water is important but I can say citizens will prefer electricity overwater especially during this time of partial lockdown. Without electricity, it will be very difficult to stay indoors because they have to entertain themselves with music, watch television, etc. Most people as we are aware have perishable food items stored in their refrigerators and without constant electricity, these items will go bad and if this happens, a lot of people will be faced with hardships to restock as money is difficult to come by. Unlike water, electricity is very expensive to afford by a majority of the populist and this is not a hidden fact.
“Even with this gesture by the president, the majority of Ghanaians will still have to buy sachet and bottled water as they believe pipe-borne water isn’t purified enough for their system but with electricity, there is no extra cost once you have credit on the prepaid card. Staying home means more usage of electricity, there is no point to wash my hands every second when I haven’t engaged in any sort of physical contact with friends, I can decide not to have my bath a whole day and would still be comfortable but I can’t do same with electricity, a minute without lights brings certain discomfort to the individual” he observed.
The Bibiaa Beye Fine crooner advised the president to review the ‘free water’ initiative if it was to benefit the poor. He again pleaded on the public not to abuse this gesture by the president as he believes people will take this opportunity to wastewater causing financial loss to the state. In concluding, he pleaded on the government to review the ban on churches as he believes the services of the churches will be needed in fighting this pandemic.
Follow Bra Paul on;
Facebook: Bra Paul ministries.