”Fellow Ghanaians” – Akufo Addo takes a throw back

President Nana Akufo-Addo has revealed that the well-received phrase “Fellow Ghanaians”, a term coined by him during his regular COVID-19 updates from 2020 to 2022, embodied the Ghanaian spirit of unity and solidarity.

According to President Akufo-Addo, the phrase became the rallying call of all Ghanaians during the nation’s battle with the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Akufo-Addo made this assertion during the launch of Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye’s Book, titled ”Fellow Ghanaians, Telling Ghana’s COVID-19 Story: A Journey of Fear, Facts, Faith and Fortune”.

The ”Fellow Ghanaians” book records Ghana’s story from 12 March 2020 when the first case of the COVID-19 virus was recorded in Ghana to 2022 when President Akufo-Addo declared the pandemic over in Ghana.

Addressing the guests at the launch, President Akufo expressed excitement saying, “I stand before you today with a profound feeling of gratitude and humility as we gather to celebrate the launch of the book titled ‘Fellow Ghanaians’. This title holds a special place in my heart not only because it resonates deeply with the words, I authored during some of our nation’s most challenging moments but also because it embodies the spirit of unity and solidarity that defines us as Ghanaians”.

“Fellow Ghanaians is not just a title, it is a powerful reminder of the bond that unites us as a people, transcending tribe, religion, or political affiliation. It was a call to action, urging us to stand together in the face of the adversity of COVID-19 and to work tirelessly to win the fight against the pandemic.”

“When I first used the phrase ‘Fellow Ghanaians,’ during my national broadcast, I did so with a sense of responsibility and fellow feeling. As President, I saw it as my duty to provide Ghanaians with regulator updates on the situation and the measures the government was taking, and to seek their support and cooperation.”

He further remarked, “That is why I was a constant feature on your screens from 2020 to 2022, in the addresses that became popularly referred to as ‘Fellow Ghanaians’ and I thank you for welcoming me so warmly into your homes. You listened to me, you cooperated with the government and with the health experts. You adhered to the enhanced hygiene and mask-wearing protocols and a considerable number of you took the vaccines.”

He continued by adding that “it is a testament to the resilience and strength of the Ghanaian spirit even in the face of unprecedented challenges” and “a tribute to the countless acts of kindness, courage, and sacrifice that defined our response to the pandemic”.

But beyond its significance to me personally, ‘Fellow Ghanaians’ represents something much greater, it is a symbol of hope and inspiration for future generations, a reminder that even in our darkest hours, we can find light and strength in our unity.

“As we reflect on the pages of this book, and the account it contains, let us remember the lessons we have learned and the progress we have made. Let us recommit ourselves to the values that bind us together as Ghanaians; compassion, resilience, and solidarity,” Akufo-Addo said.

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President Akufo-Addo praised the handwork and dedication of the Minister of Health designate and former Chief executive officer of the national Health Insurance Scheme stating that the Dr. Okoe Boye has ensured that the stories of our nation’s journey through the COVID-19 pandemic will be preserved for future generations to come.

Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye said the book, “Fellow Ghanaians, Telling Ghana’s COVID-19 Story: A Journey of Fear, Facts, Faith and Fortune“, captures the fears, battles, tears, and triumphs of Ghanaians during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added that he took up the challenge of documenting the country’s COVID-19 fight because it was an experience worth telling.

Through all the bad times and the good times, I heard a voice saying this too shall pass. It was a confident voice, sometimes firm in tone, at other times mixed in pitch, especially those times when reports of hospital admission overflow and rumors of death permeated our homes and offices.

“One thing however remained, that voice kept on and on bringing with it hope, guidelines, restrictions, lockdowns, social protection, and at a point in time, vaccines. That same voice finally brought the goodness of the pandemic really coming to pass.

“It was that voice that gave all of us, myself in particular, the inspiration to put together our COVID-19 story in a way that is honest, factual, enduring, and honourable to the memory of all those loved ones we lost through COVID,” Dr Okoe Boye added.

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