The New Patriotic Party held its parliamentary primaries on Saturday 20 June 2020 in 101 constituency across the 16 regions of the country to elect its parliamentary candidate for the general election.
The election which started at 7 am ended at 1 pm where the voted were collated at the various collation centres.
According to the General Secretary of the Party in a press conference prior to the election, he expressed the party’s readiness as the necessary safety protocols to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the various polling stations were outlined.
Meanwhile, on Saturday after the election, all cautions about COVID-19 were thrown to the wind as party delegates and members were seen flouting the social distancing rule in most constituency after the results were declared.
In Okaikwei South for instance, after Darkoa Newman was announced the parliamentary candidate elect, delegates congregated in their numbers, mingled and interacted, including wild jubilation in the full glare of the police who are supposed to enforce the law.”
The media were also guilty of the breaches in the law as they also jostled for positions in their quest to capture the best of shots for their networks.
Instead of keeping to space provided for them, many ignored the protocols and moved closer to unauthorised places to get what they wanted.
The winning candidates in their excitement could also not restrain them as they violated the rules to grant interviews, often without their nose masks.
The massing up of supporters at the various collation centres to celebrate winning candidates was scary.
The nose masks were intermittently dropped, hugging and constantly shaking of hands to congratulate one another were common.
Indeed, the party had made provision for all the needed items including Veronica buckets, hand sanitisers, tissue papers and other protective materials, yet the supporters were carried away by the euphoria and simply forgot about the virus for that moment.
Surprisingly, the security personnel who were tasked to ensure strict adherence to the safety protocols could not control the crowd and just watched in awe.
The question I’m asking is, if this should be happening during a primary election, how about the general election?
Story by Naa Anyema Collison