AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA, HIS EXCELLENCY NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO
FROM: THE TERTIARY EDUCATION OFFICE, NATIONAL UNION OF GHANA STUDENTS (NUGS)
We write in earnest anticipation of the evacuation of our brothers and sisters in Wuhan, in the Hubei province and the Chinese jurisdiction in general.
“Living in Wuhan is between a rock and a hard place. You have to make the daily decision of starving to death by staying indoors or going out to buy groceries and possibly get infected. Algeria(took students from Mauritania, Libya, and Sudan) Egypt, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Tunisia have all evacuated their students and citizens from Wuhan. Over 4,600 students and citizens from Black Africa are left to stare death in the face everyday – emotional and mental breakdowns, panic attacks etc. After all the racism we have endured here, our own people and government have abandoned us!” – Wuhan Student
Upon this account and myriads of chilling updates, we are obliged to strikingly register our unease and displeasure with the government’s dilatory tactics to engineer the evacuation of the over 300 Ghanaian students in the Wuhan and Hubei province. We appreciate the support from government to keep our brothers and sisters safe from the wiles of this epidemic but being apprised of the crucible Ghanaian students is enduring only pushes us to humbly remind the Government of Ghana to do the needful.
We gather from our very reliable sources that standards of living have skyrocketed. On the account of the deep-seated fear and scare, people who manage to safely buy groceries sell them to our brothers are sisters at overly inflated prices. Also, we gather that telephones and other mediums of communication in the possession of our brothers and sisters have been hacked. As a consequence, all SMS and social media engagements are being closely monitored, and this has cowered them into silence of complaining of common headaches.
What is further bemusing and befuddling is that there are safer provinces in China, where other countries have succeeded in moving their students to. This development drives us to harshly disagree with government’s stance to evacuate Ghanaian students at the right time. Is there any right time? It is depressing to hear some of them say they prefer to die in Ghana than in a jurisdiction where they are regarded as nonentities. Sadly, it is surprising that the media in Ghana is failing to mirror the real situation.
It is saddening to see this pressing issue being completely relegated to the background and no authority seems to make attempts to front this campaign. Do we think about the parents of our brothers and sisters? Do we think about the trauma? Have we imagined how shameful it will be to read the headline “GHANAIAN STUDENTS STARVE TO DEATH OUT OF FEAR IN CHINA”
What widely exposes our brothers and sisters to this virus is that their hostels have not been sprayed or given any necessary and precautionary attention. This situation alone exacerbates their fears and with Government’s posture, they are gradually losing hope. If Government is gravely concerned when Ghanaians feel unsafe within their own walls, it should be more concerned when alarms are blown outside its perimeter.
We believe that it is Government’s mandate to protect and defend the good people of Ghana from oppression. Let us remember that our brothers and sisters went to further their education to forward the progress we all seek and the development we all crave for.
If Government thought of making SHS free to widen the intellectual bracket, it must equally take quick steps to combat anything that threatens to shrink it. Our brothers and sisters cannot wait any longer, evacuate them now!
Joseph Star Botchway
Tertiary Education Officer (National Union of Ghana Students)
Cc: Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister of Health
Minister of Education
All Media Houses
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