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Mass gathering: We cannot be blamed for crowds at Sir John’s funeral – Freddie Blay.



Mass gathering: We cannot be blamed for crowds at Sir John's funeral - Freddie Blay. 46



• Freddie Blay, the NPP Chairman, has said that they cannot be blamed for the large numbers that gathered at the funeral of Sir John

• He explained that although the numbers were overwhelming, they only attended the event as guests and not organizers

• He said aggrieved persons can go to the police

The Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay, has made an attempt to justify the mass gathering that attended the funeral of the late General Secretary the party, Sir John, amidst the strict protocols for the coronavirus.

Images and videos that emerged from the funeral of the late Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, and attended by the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, showed blatant disregard for the pandemic protocols.

Following that, several groups and individuals have condemned the president and the organizers of the funeral, especially because as part of the protocols, the president had limited funerals to private ceremonies of up to only 25 persons.

Speaking on, the Chairman of the NPP, Freddie Blay, insisted that it will not be accurate to blame them for partaking in such a mass gathering when they were only invited there without directly being informed of what numbers would gather there.

He explained that the organizers of the funeral were the family of Sir John, adding the NPP and government cannot be blamed for people’s flouting of the protocols, reports

He however admitted that the size of the gathering was “unfortunate” although measures were put in place to observe coronavirus protocols.

“The arrangement was such that most of the people were going to be in mask. Be it as it may, the gathering was something else… I take into consideration the expression of the GMA and OccupyGhana.

“However, it was the family that organized the funeral and we were invited. It was not a funeral that was officially organized by the government or the party. It’s unfortunate that most of the people were NPP activists. It wasn’t a government or party event. We were not expecting the numbers that were there.

“If you want to condemn the government because many officials were there then I think you’re wrong… The numbers were huge and I think it’s quite regrettable irrespective of the protocols that were put in place,” he explained.

Asked about the calls on the Inspector General of Police for the arrest and prosecution of the organizers of the funeral, Freddie Blay indicated that, all aggrieved groups are entitled to report the case to the relevant authorities.

“I wouldn’t respond to that, that is their opinion and if they are calling on the IGP to arrest the organizers, the law makes provision for that,” he said.

Pressure group, OccupyGhana and the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), have both condemned the governing NPP for disregarding the protocols at the funeral, compounded by the huge numbers of mourners who attended the funeral.