Deputy Chief of Staff Abu Jinapor has described the government’s consistent communication with the public on the health status of Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, as a “marked departure” from the past.
Drawing comparison from the past regime’s handling of late President John Evans Mills’ sickness, Abu Jinapor said the government has been transparent from the very first day Dr Bawumia was taken ill.
When he was ill the Director of Communications at the Presidency issued a statement and when he went to London on the advice of his doctors the Chief of Staff sent a statement, he said.
On Friday, the Vice President returned home from his 12-day medical leave and was met on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport by President Nana Akufo-Addo, his wife Rebecca and a host government officials.
“In the past, there was no admission that the late president was sick,” he told Kojo Yankson on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Friday.
The health of Ghana’s president and vice president has been a major political weapon used by the two largest political parties -National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP)- during and post-elections.
Both the governing NPP and opposition NDC have raised issues with the health status of each other’s presidential candidates.
Deputy Chief of Staff Abu Jinapor
But their response to such attacks has been a complete denial as witnessed in the handling of the health of late president John Evans Atta Mills.
When the then president Mills arrived in the country in June 2012 after spending days outside, he said he went for a routine medical checkup.
He jogged on the tarmac of the Kotoka International Airport to dispel rumors that he was terminally ill.
Late president Professor John Evans Atta Mills
Unfortunately, he died on July 24, 2012, exactly five months to the controversial 2012 general elections.
But the consistent communication on the health condition of the Vice president is markedly transparent and departure from the handling of Mill’s health, Mr Jinapor said.
Vice president Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
“In my view, the level of disclosure is one that is reasonable and sufficient and ought to be commended,” he said.
But he would not subscribe to any call to have the actual health situation of Dr Bawumia made public.
“The fact that one is a public officer does not mean he is not entitled to some privacy,” he said.