The February 14, 2021 statement released by the Finance Ministry that Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta was flown to the United States over the weekend due to COVID-19 complications has sparked serious outrage and wild rumours in Ghana about his purported death.
Even though his aides have debunked the rumours, the situation has brought to the fore, gloomy predictions made on New Year’s Eve by some Christian clerics in their churches.
Two clerics had predicted that a Ghanaian Finance Minister will die.
The first to make that prediction is President Akufo Addo’s personal spiritual advisor, Reverend Isaac Owusu Bempah of the Glorious Word and Power Ministry announced on December 31, during the New Year eve that a Finance Minister of Ghana will die.
He said, the “Past or present” Finance Minister “who has controlled and managed the finances of the country before,” will die.
On the other hand, the General Overseer of the Alive Chapel International, Prophet Elisha Salifu Amoako, was unequivocal in his prediction when he mentioned the name of Ken Ofori-Atta and said he will die before March 2021.
“The Lord took me to the Bank of Ghana and whiles I was looking at the building, something happened. I saw a picture of the building. I also went to the Ministry of Finance and I saw the same picture there. The Lord said what can you see? And I said I saw a picture of the man in charge of the finances of Ghana. Hear me. The Lord said we should pray for Mr. Ofori Atta. If we don’t pray for him, from January up until March, this man will die,” he told his congregation on New Year eve.
In the statement from the Finance Ministry, it claimed the Minister got infected with the deadly COVID-19. However, none of that was made public until his emergency evacuation to the USA on Sunday.
Ghanaians have questioned the credibility of the statements coming from the ministry due to the consistent cover-ups about the status of the minister.
Meanwhile, his medical evacuation to the US has sparked outrage, especially because his government had woefully failed to improve Ghana’s medical infrastructure in its first term. A promise by President Akufo Addo to build over 88 hospitals across the country has not yielded a single health post.
Also, the Finance Minister’s travel to receive COVID-19 treatment in the US is viewed as a slap on the faces of Ghanaians as many who have been afflicted by the disease have been forced to stay in the country to bear with the woeful health facilities available.
Also, Mr. Ofori-Atta has been flown to the worst-hit country in the world in terms of COVID-19 deaths. The USA has recorded more deaths than any other country in the world, raising questions about the rationale of flying to the USA for COVID-related treatments.
President Nana Akufo-Addo renamed the 62-year-old minister to serve a second term last month after winning re-election in December.
Ofori-Atta was scheduled to face the Parliamentary Appointment Committee on February 16, 2021, for some grilling about his stewardship in the first term.
The coincidence of his flight to the US has therefore been viewed with mixed interpretations.