Bold award-winning investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni has appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to stop using his addresses on the fight against the novel coronavirus in the country as campaign platforms, arguing that the President will attract scorn for his pronouncements if he persists in using such a platform as a campaigning opportunity.
His piece of advice comes on the heels of a promise by the President to build some 88 district hospitals across the country while he was addressing the nation on the measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country for the eighth time since the pandemic hit the nation.
For Mr Azure Awuni, the announcement by the President that work on constructing 88 district hospitals this year is an attempt to respond to criticism by opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) members that but for their erstwhile government’s investment in the health sector, the fight against COVID-19 would have been much more difficult.
Members of the NDC have repeatedly pointed out how the NDC government led by former President John Mahama invested heavily in health infrastructure that has become useful in the country’s fight against COVID-19.
Mr Azure Awuni argues that if it is the desire of the President to responding to the NDC, then he should choose a different platform given that the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us
“We are not out of the woods yet, so do not be distracted by the thoughts of December 7. When you turn that hallowed platform into a 2020 campaign podium, people will begin to treat what you say with scorn. I’m not saying you cannot campaign. After being reminded by your opponents that the arsenals of your warfare have been provided by them, I know how it feels. You must prove a point and nullify their “noise” about a certain visionary John Mahama but for whose health sector investment our nation would have been exposed like the anus of a fowl when the Covid-19 wind blew from behind us.
But, please, create a separate platform for that. To some of us who are yet to see any semblance of factories in our districts or dugouts in out villages, the promises you made last night sound like what a man promises a woman at the peak of his sexual ecstasy. Until we see those hospitals, we cannot put any weight on those promises.
So focus on leading us out of Covid-19. We must be alive to vote. See how to adequately resource Noguchi and other testing centres. Concentrate on how to get our frontline health workers the required PPEs to work because they complain bitterly. I have read an insightful article written by Bright Simons, which has convinced me that the pooled testing being improvised by Noguchi has the tendency to undermine the efficacy of the tests they are conducting. Even with those testing one sample at a time, I read somewhere that it’s not 100% efficient. So keep your eyes on the blazing ball,” he admonished.
On social media, the President’s promise to build the 88 district hospitals has been met with mixed reactions; supporters of the President are upbeat about his fulfilling it while critics remain doubtful, wondering where the resources will come from”, he wrote.