Government & Politics

Blame Sir John’s family for breach of COVID-19 protocols – Freddie Blay

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• Freddie Blay says NPP should not be blamed for the breach of COVID-19 protocols

• He said NPP were just invited and Sir John’s family should be held responsible

• He indicates even though measures were put in place to observe the COVID-19 protocols, the number of mourners were unfortunate

Freddie Blay, the National Chairman of the governing NPP says the government cannot be blamed for the large public gathering at the funeral of the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John.

According to him, Sir John’s family was to blame since they organized the funeral and the ruling party was just invited.

He said though measures were put in place to observe the COVID-19 protocols, the huge number of mourners at the funeral was “unfortunate”.

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Freddie Blay’s comments follow condemnation from OccupyGhana and the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) following the governing party’s total disregard for COVID protocols at the funeral.

“The GMA condemns such activities that violate our protocols and has the tendency to reverse all gains made in our fight against COVID-19.

“We call on the law enforcement agencies to investigate and deal with the organizers of this and any similar events to serve as a deterrent to others who intend to endanger the public health of our nation. We call on the Inspector General of Police to act without fear or favor in this regard,” the medical association said in a statement.

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But speaking to Asaase radio in an interview monitored by GhanaWeb, Blay said, “The arrangement was such that most of the people were going to be in masks. Be it as it may, the gathering was something else… I take into consideration the expression of the GMA and OccupyGhana.”

He continued: “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.”

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On calls for the arrest and prosecution of the organizers of the funeral, 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.

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