COVID-19: Lockdown now-Minority roars
The Ranking Member on Defence and Interior and a member of Parliament for Builsa North, James Agalga has called on the government to consider locking down the country immediately to save the citizenry from been infected with the coronavirus.
He said, there have been calls from many professional organizations which include Ghana Medical Association calling for a country lockdown and government must adhere to that since they are on the field as health professionals.
Mr. Agalga explains that, considering the number of affected persons with the coronavirus as at this morning indicate clearly that the situation about the disease is not getting any better but rather going from bad to worse.
He also urged the President to consider pardoning prison inmates who are almost done with their sentence and those with petty or minor offences.
In an interview with the Parliamentary Press Corps, he revealed that the current number of inmates or prisoners across the country are about fourteen thousand(14,000) which in actual sense, it is was made for a capacity of eight thousand (8,000) prisoners.
He said it would be appropriate for the President to pardon about four thousand (4,000) prisoners to ease the pressure in our prisons else, it will be a disaster for this country if there should be any incident of coronavirus at any of our prisons.
Meanwhile, says the government is considering the implications a lockdown would have on the ordinary people of Ghana.
Addressing the leadership of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) at the Jubilee House, Thursday [March 26, 2020], President Akufo-Addo said a responsible government is required to look at all the implications before decisions are made.
“People in Ghana are now talking about a lockdown. Majority of people who will be affected by decisions of that nature are the working people of our country. The ordinary people of Ghana. They are the ones who will be affected and it is important for us to take into account the circumstances and conditions,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“When we lockdown Accra, what are the consequences? A responsible government is required to look at all the implications before decisions are made. And that is the exercise we are currently engaged in and I am hoping that much sooner than later we will come to an agreement on what those measures are and the Ghanaian people will be informed,” the President said”.
Also, the president has granted amnesty to some 80 prisoners.
The amnesty granted was upon the recommendation of the Prisons Service Council and in consultation with the Council of State.
The categories of convicts affected include first time offenders, seriously ill persons, inmates on death row to be commuted to life imprisonment, inmates serving a life sentence to have a sentence commuted to 20 years definite term and very old prisoners who are 70 years and above.
Director-General of the Prisons Service Patrick Darko Missah in a statement said the first time offenders totalling 783 who have served half of their sentences, eleven, seriously ill prisoners, and three aged (very old) prisoners are to be released outright. However, seven prisoners on death row would have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment; while four prisoners serving [a] life sentence will be commuted to 20 years definite term.”