Prof. Gatsi writes - NIA, EC and Coronavirus: The poison of a Crocodile

Prof. Gatsi writes – NIA, EC and Coronavirus: The poison of a Crocodile

When l was young, l learnt from the elders the reason why one or two person(s) is/ are not allowed to prepare a dead crocodile. I was taught that there is a part of the crocodile that is very poisonous and to protect the entire community, a number people were to prepare a dead crocodile to remove the poison and damp in the public place of convenience which is normally a deep big hole so that one or two person(s) will not be tempted to keep the poison and use against individuals and community members when there arise disputes because that poison can kill easily with the speed of “Usain Bolt” and with tenacity of marathon runner.

In handling an epidemic so dangerous like Coronavirus which has defiled robust health and financial architecture of well developed economies, selfish interests must give way to refined reasonable national interest. Just like the community approach to dressing a dead crocodile, the fundamental human rights , protecting the lives of citizens and health should be the focus of government and state agencies irrespective of whether they are under the office of the president or creation of the constitution.

The posturing of the NIA for sometime now is disturbing and may soon poison us. In the first place it is wrong for the NIA to behave as if its mandate is to collate and establish a database for use by the Electoral Commission (EC) for the 2020 elections. This is not true . The mandate of the NIA is basically to provide opportunities for Ghanaians to register to generate a primary national database that maybe used for various public and private projects. The Executive Secretary openly indicated that EC can compile new voter register in April because the NIA will complete mass registration exercise ending of March 2020. Now the NIA is behaving as if the only mode of registration in Act 750 is mass registration. The law provides space for Ghanaians to freely walk to any NIA Office to register. This should be part of the education but NIA is busy about compile a new register for 2020 elections. This is sad.

We are all obeying the limitations placed on our freedoms and rights to limit coming into contact with Coronavirus but NIA is exposing Ghanaians to Coronavirus especially those in the eastern region intimidated to register because the card will be used for the 2020 elections.

Ghanaians raised concerns about this but the leadership of NIA and the information minister surprisingly would not listen. We were thinking the NIA will respect the call by CHRAJ for NIA to stop the exercise for now and respect the Directive by the president but still the NIA is showing that it has become callous with inordinate desire to expose Ghanaians to Coronavirus.

It is indeed true that one or two person(s) doesn’t / don’t prepare a dead crocodile if we are to ensure the safety of society.

When institutions of state become callous and possessed with inordinate desire to do their pressured and collateralized wish, respect for citizens and their protection , may only be discussion in their weird dream world and cannot form part of the construction of their realities.

How can EC be terribly seeking parliamentary approval to use only passport and cards issued by NIA to register to vote in 2020, at a time when passport offices have suspended operations but NIA still thinks it must continue to expose people to Coronavirus in the name of establishing a database to be used by EC. Even when government has announced closing down markets to fumigate and them unfriendly for Coronavirus NIA is still stubborn. It is amazing that the health authorities have declared that Coronavirus infection has reached community transmission phase but NIA is still arrogant.

The actions of these institutions are about to activate the fear my elders have regarding allowing one person or two people to prepare a dead crocodile because they may harvest the poison to destroy society.

I will continue to draw from the rich wisdom of my elders.

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