Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has saluted workers in the country as Ghana joins the rest of the world today, May 1, to mark International Workers’ Day in silence.
“The 2020 May Day would not be observed with the usual parades, merrymaking and physical solidarity due to strict social distancing protocols, however, it is absolutely important that all Ghanaian workers, particularly, health care workers, utility workers, security agencies, media personnel and essential service providers – they must all know that this august House accords them our highest respect and that they are most deserving of our glowing tribute on this auspicious occasion. They indeed occupy a special place in our hearts and the hearts of the people we represent in this Chamber,” he said in a statement.
Mayday is marked across the world to celebrate labour and the working class.
Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, the North Tongu lawmaker dedicated hid speech to the “frontline health care workers, utility workers, security agencies, media personnel and all essential service providers putting their lives at risk and sacrificing their all in combating that teeny-weeny marauding virus which has caused so much global damage in its wake.”
Mr Ablakwa also called on government to prioritise the needs of essential service providers as the country battles the novel coronavirus.
“Mr. Speaker, the 2020 May Day must definitely salute and celebrate all essential service providers in this time of Armageddon. As we honour these true patriots, it is important that we urge authorities to provide them with all the tools they need to work. There must be no reports of inadequate personal protective equipment. We must do all in our power to ensure that our frontline medical staff are better equipped to win this war. That is the least we can do.”
In delivering the speech to commemorate the day, Mr Ablakwa called on the government to quickly put forward an economic recovery program that will cushion all workers against the economic impact of the pandemic.
“It is my hope Mr. Speaker, that considering the harsh effects of the pandemic on workers leading to massive job losses, pay cuts and psychological trauma; this nation will soon put out a bold economic recovery programme to restore the pride and joy of workers.”
“Mr. Speaker, I will be remiss if I do not highlight the astounding contributions our scientists, medical professionals and innovators have been making in the fight against COVID-19. The successful genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 by scientists of the University of Ghana’s Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens deserve high praise. The great news of a made in Ghana COVID-19 Rapid Diagnostic Test Kit developed by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Incas Diagnostics, a Ghanaian company must come up for worthy commendation. The College of Engineering at KNUST must be loudly applauded for also developing an automated ventilator to help us win this war. Prof. Fred McBagonluri and his team at the Academic City University College deserve the limelight and our recognition for developing a mechanical ventilator” he added.
Mr Ablakwa also applauded the efforts of “the gentleman who has developed a solar-powered touchless handwashing system” but added that there was the need for government and corporate entities to reach out to institutions and individuals who have made efforts to come up with inventions that will help the fight against COVID-19 and support them with funding and incentives “to enable them become giant industries in the near future that will create jobs and assist our post-pandemic economic recovery programme.”