Samuel Pyne, the Ashanti Regional General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, NPP, has opined that the issue of coronavirus protocol breaches at the funeral of the party’s former scribe Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie who was widely known as Sir John, should not be treated as an isolated case of non-adherence to the safety measures.
According to him, the directive on mass gathering is constantly disregarded by traders and buyers at some of the major markets in the capital.
He also cited the match between Accra Great Olympics and Accra Hearts of Oak where nearly 30,000 fans watched the game contrary to the 25% stadium capacity directive by the president.
“We shouldn’t only use Sir John’s funeral because we saw what happened at Accra Sports Stadium. On a daily basis, the same thing happens at Makola, Kaneshie and Mallam Atta Market,” he told Neat FM.
Sam Pyne mounted a defense over the conduct of the some top government appointees who attended the event on grounds that they were present at the burial and not the funeral.
He said that at the burial grounds, all the protocols were religiously obeyed with government ensuring that the mourners adhered to the protocols.
“I wasn’t at the funeral and president was not at the funeral. We came for the burial service. It’s a matter for all of us to talk about. Government on its own way made provisions for the adherence of the protocols.
“90% of government officials who went there attended the burial service and not the funeral rite and before the funeral everything was followed. I wasn’t at the funeral so I can’t speak on it. I know of people who went for the funeral because Sir John had a lot admirers,”.
His defense comes on the back of criticism against government and the ruling NPP over the mass congregations witnessed ehich acts were breaches of the Coronavirus protocols.
Pressure group OccupyGhana were the first to release a statement expressing disquiet at how the funeral of the late NPP bigwig was handled.
“We cannot show such a remarkable sense of recklessness and abandon in these times and not expect to reap disastrous and possibly deadly consequences.
“We need no reminders that by exercising bad judgment in releasing Aisha Huang, government created a defiant galamsey population on its hands and more destruction of our water bodies and forests ensued until it had to resort to the illegal and populist remedy of burning excavators to try and stem the tide of evil genie unleashed with the release of Aisha Huang. Similarly, this disregard of the law will embolden several people to treat COVID-19 protocols with disdain and contempt,” their statement read in part.