Ghana: Of Electioneering, Campaign, Road Safety Concerns Avoid Covid-19 Pandemic

There is no doubt that electioneering towards the December 7 polls have gathered momentum, and political parties and their candidates are crisscrossing the country to get their messages across to the electorate to win their support.

Indeed, we are still not in normal times, following the outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) that is responsible for the COVID-19 disease.

The disease continues to have a heavy toll on our health and economic lives, which we are struggling to overcome.

Although, as a country, the science and data have proven that we are doing well in our efforts to stop the spread of the disease, and restrictions eased considerably, we are certainly not out of the woods yet.

That is why we are still required under the Imposition of Restrictions Act 2020, and the Executive Instrument issued by the President to adhere strictly to the safety protocols of social distancing, hand-washing and wearing of face masks, to help prevent spread of the disease.

As the electioneering of the political parties contesting the polls gather momentum, the issues of social distancing, wearing of face masks and hand washing have become difficult to observe at political gatherings.

The Ghanaian Times is concerned that political rallies could become fertile grounds for the spread of the virus and wishes to remind political parties to, as matter of urgency, instill in their supporters the need to strictly observe the health and safety protocols.

Although, we are told that we are making significant strides in the reduction of community spread of the disease, we should remember that we risk a second wave of the spread of the disease if we lower our guards.

Perhaps, it would be very helpful for the political contestants to engage with smaller groups through inter-personal door-to-door campaigns.

The political parties owe it a duty, not to put the lives of the people whose mandate they are seeking to govern at risk.

Another critical issue of concern to us, and many others is the safety on our roads. Road crashes continue to devastate the lives of commuters across the country.

Disappointingly, our report in Wednesday, August 19, 2020, issue of the Ghanaian Times stated that the Ashanti Region recorded 224 deaths through road crashes in the first half of the year, while 1,728 people were injured. We pray for their speedy recovery!

This is just the tip of the iceberg as other regions maybe recording more casualties.

Political parties and their supporters are critical stakeholders, especially during this electioneering, where they engage in bussing supporters to rally grounds. In some instances the drivers become careless and pay less attention to safety protocol on the road.

More disturbing, is the issue of motorbike riders, who accompany the campaign trail and engage in risky behaviours on the roads. These careless motor rides do not only put their lives in danger, but the lives of pedestrians as well.

Unfortunately the law enforcement agencies, including the police sometimes become helpless in enforcing the road safety regulations.

We are bringing these issues to the attention of the public, and to urge all stakeholders, especially the Police Motor and Transport Department, to strictly enforce the traffic regulations without fear or favour to ensure that lives are not lost unnecessarily during the campaign period.

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