Rejoinder: Statement On Alleged Maltreatment At Kotoka International Airport
It is quite strange that suddenly, after a video of maltreatment of Ghanaian passengers, including children, at Ghana’s Kotoka International Airport, Accra, going viral, Ghana Airports Company Limited would come out and defend what is patently indefensible. It would be recalled that this writer went on a two-day trip to Abuja, Nigeria on 22nd September 2020, travelled on African World Air Flight number AW 260 from Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana, to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria. This writer followed all the protocols as per the executive instrument of the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo.
This writer had in his possession a valid PCR Test Certificate from Lancet Medical Laboratory, East Legon, less than 24 hours before travelling.
On the return trip to Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana, on 24th September 2020, this writer who, again, followed all the laid down protocols and thus was exempted for a test at Kotoka International Airport for COVID19, was stopped and HARRASSED by the COVID19 Test Team at Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana. There were a team of 2 sets of 5 personnel lined up along the COVID19 section of the airport before one goes through to Immigration control, stopped this writer to demand payment of $150 USD, despite all the evidence this writer provided to these so-called COVID19 Test team, including the YOUTUBE BROADCAST OF THE PRESIDENT OF GHANA to lift the lockdown of Kotoka International Airport and all the measures put in place to protect the citizens of Ghana.
This writer went to the extent of showing these so-called COVID19 TEST TEAM evidence of the exemption, as was announced by Nana Akufo Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana as stated above, yet these officers were adamant that this writer pays the $150 USD. This writer who is a dual national through birth and parentage stood on his grounds and refused to pay. The sheer unrelenting harassment of passengers, who perhaps do not have the money to pay the $150 USD COVID19, can be very upsetting and could even distress some of the passengers as the video vividly shows.
Thus, for the management of Ghana Airports Company to threatened these poor passengers with National Security and of 14 days quarantine by folks who could not pay $150 USD for the cost of a COVID19 test in the first place, is not only cruel and barbaric but an infringement of their human rights!
The question this writer would like to ask Ghana Airports Company Limited and to a degree the Ghana Government is, when did it become a crime to detain individuals who due to lack of funds to pay for a COVID19 Test, a world health pandemic, and therefore warrant their detention and handed over to NATIONAL SECURITY? This is not only absurd but a scandal that must be investigated by the Government of Ghana and the Ghana Health Service!
In the case of this writer’s harassment by the COVID19 TEST TEAM at the Kotoka International Airport, this writer was fortunate to get the telephone numbers of the passengers on the return flight on 24th September 2020, Africa World Air Flight number AW 251 from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria to Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana. This writer wrote to selected media houses in Ghana, United Kingdom and United States plus copied the Ministry of Information and Ministry of Health in Accra, Ghana. Apart from the media houses, none of the ministries bothered to reply to this writer with an explanation of the harassment being perpetuated in the name of the Government of Ghana.
This writer is still considering filing a lawsuit against those who harassed him at Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana after all the evidence is gathered. This is an infringement of the Human Rights of fellow Ghanaians and must stop as a matter of urgency! When did it become a CRIME THAT IF ONE DOES NOT HAVE MONEY TO PAY FOR COVID19 TEST IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY OF BIRTH, IT BECOMES A NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE? WHEN? We live in a very interesting time indeed!
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