The President of the National House of Chiefs, Togbe Afede XIV, has urged government agencies, organisations and other individuals distributing free foods to needy households to re-examine their methods in order not to encourage anti-social distancing behavior that will aggravate the spread of the Coronavirus.
The distribution of foods and other relief items to the poor households and other vulnerable groups in the lockdown communities have been organized without proper adherence to the mandatory social distancing protocols, as beneficiaries scramble in long queues for their share.
A statement issued in Accra by the National House of Chiefs and signed by Togbe Afede XIV encouraged people to allow the national interest to guide all their actions calling on all Ghanaians to be united in the fight, and avoid politicising COVID-19 issues.
He cautioned the political parties not to claim ownership of ideas or insist on taking credit for any successes.
“I wish to commend all Ghanaians for joining hands in our historic fight against the COVID-19 pandemic which is wreaking havoc across the world, and threatening, not only our way of life, but our very existence. I wish to commend in particular, the patriotism and gallantry of our medical workers who are at the forefront of the fight. I believe, deep in my heart, that, together, we shall win this battle”.
The President of the National House of Chiefs expressed disappointment about the recent clash between a police patrol team and a group of Ga traditionalists who had gone to the beach to offer rituals and prayers to ward off the deadly COVID-19.
“I wish to commend our chiefs and other traditional leaders for taking a keen interest in the fight against COVID-19. But I also wish to remind all of us, as I did during my address to the National House of Chiefs on March 13, about the need to keep abreast with and abide by the prevention messages and directives issued by the government and health experts, and to educate our subjects accordingly, in order to stem the spread of the disease in our various communities”.
Togbe Afede XIV reiterated the earlier call by the House, reminding the traditional leaders to see the pandemic as an enemy and thus rise up to the occasion to support the government’s efforts to fight the disease.
The House earlier also called for the suspension of all traditional festivities and asked that rites that are associated with traditional festivals and traditional religious days, and special traditional prayers and rites to purify the communities, be restricted to a few people, taking into consideration the protocols and directives on social distancing.
He calls for close collaboration between the government, security agencies and traditional leaders in enforcing the government’s directives and social distancing protocols.
Togbe Afede XIV emphasised that there had been very little or no effort, to involve the traditional leadership, who should be able to help, not only in ensuring compliance with directives and protocols but informing and educating their people about the virus.