Member of Parliament for Bongo Constituency in the Upper East Region, Edward Abambire Bawa, has refuted earlier reports suggesting he gave out alcohol to fight COVID – 19 in his constituency as part of donation items to fight the spread of the virus in Ghana.
According to him, the presentation of “Kalahari bitters” during his campaign and sensitization on COVID – 19, was in accordance with customary demands since the Bongo constituency is predominately traditional in terms of worship.
In a statement, he said bottles of gin were presented to family heads or clans for them to pour libation for the ancestors to intercede on behalf of Ghanaians during this Coronavirus pandemic.
Edward Bawa was responding to claims that he had presented bottles of local gin; ‘Kalahari bitters’ to his constituents to fight COVID – 19.
According to A1radioonline who reported the story, the motive behind him distributing the bitters was unclear as the choice of alcohol defeats the purpose of his presentation as traditional libations are either poured with Schnapps, brewed pito or pure local gin “Akpeteshie”.
However, the MP insists that a bottle of locally prepared gin is always added to the items presented to clan and family heads and was in accordance with the tradition, as they visited various homes to educate them and their households on the preventive protocols as prescribed by health experts.
” I wish to, therefore, emphasize that I would not indulge in any acts that will jeopardize the health of my people who have graciously given me the opportunity to represent them in the national assembly.” He added
Below is a rejoinder to the story
RE: NDC MP FOR BONGO DONATES ‘KALAHARI BITTERS’ TO FIGHT COVID 19
My attention has been drawn to a publication that appeared on Mynewsgh on May 8, 2020, with the above caption. The same has been published on other media portals.
Whilst I wish to acknowledge that a bottle of locally prepared gin is always added to the items presented to clan and family heads, the caption of the story is not only misleading but unfair to the essence of the exercise.
The following are the facts:
1. As part of our efforts to ensure that we protect our people against the COVID 19 pandemic, my team and I decided to visit clan heads and the elderly in their homes to educate them and their households on the preventive protocols as prescribed by health experts. These visits have taken us to about six hundred homes and families.
2. In addition to this, we also present to each household, face masks, and sanitizers.
3. Bongo is predominantly traditional in terms of worship. Therefore a bottle of alcohol is usually presented to the family or clan head to pour libation and ask our ancestors to intercede on behalf of Ghanaians so that we are spared from ravages of this pandemic. This is very customary and as a product of my custom, I see this gesture not as an excuse to take alcohol but an attempt to tap into the benefits of the spiritual world particularly for those who believe in traditional worship.
Therefore to have a caption that does not reflect the true content of our exercise is unfortunate to say the least.
I wish to, therefore, emphasize that I would not indulge in any acts that will jeopardize the health of my people who have graciously given me the opportunity to represent them in the national assembly. I will also wish to thank all persons who saw the said article and drew my attention to it. God richly bless you.
Together we can defeat this disease. Thank you and God bless us all. Edward Abambire Bawa (MP) Bongo Constituency.
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