A citizen’s take!
I had strict conservative Christian (Presbyterian, later Charismatic) upbringing. The principles we were taught to live by were not optional. You needed to pray first thing when you are out of bed and the last thing when retiring to bed. You must maintain fellowship with other brethren at Church too (do not forsake the gathering of saints).
The discipline of the Christian religion remained with us from infancy to adulthood. Till date, regardless of age, status and “independence”, you will still have to join evening devotion at 10 pm when you visit the old folks. This is our way of life and that is the only way I know. So! I LOVE THE CHURCH and a strong proponent of erecting befitting houses of worship (you may call it Cathedral if you want) for God.
Work, the hustle and bustle of keeping body and soul together daily and other social commitments gets to us all. I am no exception to that phenomenon. So! I love to stop over at the night club on weekends with my “buddies” to try shed off some stress and calm the nerves. So! I LOVE THE NIGHT CLUBS too. They are a great relief of a recreational abode for my friends and me.
I must confess I was bad hit in the wake of the deadly pandemic – COVID-19. It could get me in two places minimum. Either the Church or the Night Club.
Again, I have not been much as troubled about the pandemic as I am about the readiness of my government’s response to dealing with the same. I live in a country where health care continues to beg for attention to the extent the provision of a solution as basic as ambulances to every Constituency was trumpeted and celebrated to the high heavens.
Our hospitals do not even inspire life to their patients. We still do not have enough beds and most of the hospitals lack very basic lifesaving equipment. We still have Ghanaians dying of Malaria and pregnant women losing their babies (and their own lives sometimes) simply because of either proximity to a health facility (plus its attendant problems like bad roads), lack of appropriate care facilities or the none existence of professional medical officers in parts of the nation due to prevailing conditions in these parts of town.
I listened to the President of the Republic address the nation at last. I hoped for some inspiration and leadership direction. Was I going to be disappointed?
The president, with a face that we loosely termed “serious face” banned all social gatherings (caveat to some) with immediate effect and asked for the suspension of academic activities in all public and private educational facilities.
He went ahead to ban the assembly of believers in churches (cathedrals) too. I was alarmed to my own amusement. We Christians all over the nation have been praying against COVID-19. We did last Sunday and we looked forward to doing more to arrest the situation in the week.
Let us not forget that it is imperative and instructive for Christians to come together and intercede on behalf of a nation that is plagued with disease and affliction. The President of the Republic, adhering to best practice and safety precautions however took the most reasonable decision in the best interest of us all. So! I shall not go to Church until further notice.
Like all other Christians, I will pray from home. I extend my argument reasonably to include that, if we had a NATIONAL CATHEDRAL in place today, it would have been shut down from all Christians too until further notice.
This is where my problem arise with leadership of our country. So cathedrals are not solutions to the very basic needs of man especially in a country like ours that is faced with the deprivation of basic needs like clean drinking water, health care, education, Child protection and illiteracy rate and other unconventional and “scar” on fundamental human rights cultural practices such as witch camping, Child slavery through Child trafficking et al.
All is not lost for me. I still have the CLUB as a respite. The President didn’t ban activities of the Club absolutely. Mr. President only cautioned. He said, granted I can keep Social distance from others in the Club, it is okay and therefore, needless to ban the club. *I’M CONFUSED*! Social distance from my friends? Girlfriend? Or expatriates who have also traveled into the country and want to relax? Is leadership serious at all about the COVID-19 fight?
The CATHEDRAL/CHURCH is banned. The CLUB is still opened. The UG medical centre like other “near completion” medical facilities scattered all over the country remain closed too (maybe because we are a religious nation or we don’t have money). And we don’t even know whether or not we have an isolation centre proper in place with capacity to deal with the cases yet to be confirmed.
Let us get our priorities right as a nation. This will instil some confidence in the citizens and do away with panic which is as a result of the mistrust of citizens in leadership.