Let’s not politicise COVID 19 – Gov’t to political parties

Government urged political parties to support measures to fight COVID-19

The government has urged political parties to support its measures to fight COVID-19 in the country and not politicise the matter.

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah made the call at a sensitisation workshop for political parties in Accra on Thursday, 26 March 2020.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) as well as smaller parties such as the Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP), National Democratic Party (NDP) and the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG).

Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the engagement was important in line with the key pillars of global pandemics which include risk communication and social mobilisation.

He said: “One of the groups that requires serious engagement is the political parties. It is because political parties, among other things, have very large following, who, sometimes, belief their following more than experts. So, at a time like this, when you are trying to get as many people as possible mobilised to follow a particular path, as part of the preventive measures, you cannot leave out political parties. You, literally, on a daily basis, are part of the national communication exercise and are putting out views and facts and alternative facts, so, it is the reason why you have to be engaged on the dos and don’ts and also take feedback from you.”

The Minister said the meeting was also to give the Ghana Health Service (GHS) a platform to engage the political parties on the virus and discuss how “we can rally the entire national support behind all that is being done to win the fight and not politicise the matter”.

The Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Alexander Abban, who also addressed the gathering, stressed the need to unite as political parties in fighting the pandemic and not build political capital on the matter.

“When we leave this engagement, we are leaving here as Ghanaians ready to fight this pandemic and not political parties. We need ideas that must not shape partisanship”, he added.

The meeting with the political parties forms part of the government’s broader consultation and training to equip stakeholders with the appropriate information on the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.

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