Pressure is mounting on ex-President John Dramani Mahama to reprimand one of his aides, Joyce Bawah Mogtari, following her ill-fated mockery of the impressive Covid-19 recoveries.
Government has stated that Mr. Mahama will be deemed to have tacitly endorsed the distasteful comments if he fails to condemn his spokesperson publicly over the issue.
Deputy Information Minister Pius Hadzide said yesterday that “for the person of the calibre of Joyce Bawah Mogtari, a former Deputy Minister and spokesperson for the former President, to say this is disappointing.”
“I dare say her language was unbecoming of her stature. Was she expecting the people to die? I’m trying to be charitable. We should eschew such kinds of mentality,” he pointed out.
Mr. Hadzide stated further that his disappointment stemmed from the deafening silence from the office of Mr. Mahama on the subject.
“It is my expectation that Mr. Mahama finds his voice on this matter and look at her in the face and tell her you did not speak well or else it will be understood that she spoke his position on the matter,” the Deputy Information Minister said on Accra-based Starr FM yesterday.
According to him, Bawah Mogtari did not appear as someone genuinely seeking information, but expressing disappointment over the healing of Ghanaians who suffered from the viral disease.
The country recorded a boost in recoveries with a record of 1,086 discharges last Saturday, and Bawah Mogtari did not understand the surge.
She took to her Twitter account to express doubts about the figure rather mockingly immediately it was posted, thereby impugning the integrity of experts of the Ghana Health Service.
The low recovery numbers had been a source of worry for many, including health experts, after the country crossed the 5,000 mark.
Currently, the national tally on recovery of coronavirus patients now stands at 1,754.
So overwhelmed was she with the impressive recovery numbers that she threw finesse overboard and screamed, “How the hell did 790 more people recover overnight.”
“We need to put these numbers to strict proof,” she said by openly casting doubts on the integrity of the doctors in charge of managing the cases.
Her angst was also directed at the test figures as she tweeted “numbers don’t mean anything if you don’t put them in proper context.”
Even when a barrage of ‘reprisal attacks’ were directed at Bawa Mogtari, she fired back again, indicating that she was unrepentant in her widely condemned comment.
The Mahama spokeswoman posted “when you raise serious questions about statistics and data they rain insults on you! God help is (sic)!!”
Another member of the NDC, Kojo Adu-Asare, who once cried before a fact-finding committee after being exposed in the Brazil 2014 Black Stars corruption scandal, also joined the bandwagon to allege that the government selected NPP members and placed them at an isolation centre with the aim to blow the IMF $1 billion rapid credit facility on them, by giving each person GH¢350.
“Carefully selected party members were sent into isolation to make a case to consume the IMF money. I hear they got GH¢350 each,” he posted on his Facebook.
Attempt by Mr. Mahama’s aide, Bawah Mogtari, who still feeds on the national purse, to ‘poo-poo’ the official figures and court support of the public triggered a revolt over the weekend on social media, with scores of Ghanaians taking her to the cleaners.
While some Ghanaians described her comments as heartless, others also said the Mahama ‘girl’ just revealed the deep-seated wish of the NDC that many Ghanaians died of the disease.
“She wants more people to die so that she and her uncle can finally get a campaign message,” one Twitter user, Osikani Afoakwa said.
Some said cynically that Bawa Mogtari and other aides of Mr. Mahama are supposed to be public servants by virtue of the fact that they work in the ex-President’s office and are paid with the taxpayer’s sweat and therefore must show respect to the public.
In the ensuing heat, the Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, expressed shock at how the NDC elements were casting doubts on the Covid-19 recovery figures.
Dr. Nsiah-Asare said on Citi FM that there was no need for any doubt and gave an assurance that the government was being transparent.
“Why are people, all of a sudden, doubting what we are doing? It is data. We collect the data, add the data together and come out with the data. Nobody will hide anything. Nobody will suppress anything so I am very surprised people are in doubt,” he said.
He said samples of the recovered patients “were taken and people were isolated as far back as when the lockdown started,” adding “we should all be happy as a country that we have put in measures and people are getting well and that is something we should all be very proud of.”
Dr. Patrick Kuma Aboagye, Director General of the GHS, said yesterday that their analysis is pointing to more recoveries and the public should not be surprised that patients are recovering.
By Ernest Kofi Adu