I was not hospitalised at 37 Military Hospital – President

President Akufo-Addo (middle) ineteracting with Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful (second from left).With them include Ms Gloria Akuffo (left) and other invited guests.

President Akufo-Addo (middle) ineteracting with Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful (second from left).With them include Ms Gloria Akuffo (left) and other invited guests.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has dismissed social media allegations that he collapsed on Sunday October 21, and was rushed to the 37 Military Hospital for medical treatment.

 

The President said he went to the Military Hospital to visit his brother-in-law who had been admitted to undergo a hip operation, and wondered why his presence at the hospital could be misinterpreted.

 

Reports went viral on social media on Sunday that President Akufo-Addo had collapsed, and was rushed to the 37 Military Hospital to be prepared for medical treatment outside the country.

 

However, the President appeared at a ceremony to commemorate the National Cyber Security Month celebration in Accra, yesterday hale, hearty and in a cheerful mood.

 

“Those whose political fortunes depend on my ill-health and degeneration, all I can say is that we are all in the hands of the Almighty,” he said in his opening remarks at the event.

 

The National Cyber Security Month is an annual event aimed at drawing the country’s attention to the growing importance of the digital world and its inherent dangers.

 

Focused on raising awareness on cyber crimes and the need to improve Ghana’s cyber security awareness, this year’s event is on the theme, “A safer digital Ghana.”

 

President Akufo-Addo said it was gratifying to note that the event had become a feature of the nation’s efforts to deal with the digital eco-system.

 

He indicated that the government, since January last year, had been developing a digital society where all economic transactions and social activities were captured.

 

“Policies such as the e-business registration system, paperless port clearance system, digital property address system, mobile interoperability, among others, with linkages to the databases of institutions such as the police service, passport office, among others, had been introduced,” he said.

 

While undertaking measures to digitise the economy and improve the quality of life, the President said government was mindful of the dark side of digitisation, such as cyber crime and terrorism.

 

“In recent times, we turn on our televisions to hear accusations and counter-accusations being made by the world’s most powerful nations against each other for one act of cyber infringement or another,” he observed.

 

Here in Ghana, he said there had been abortive cyber attacks on banks and commended the ingenuity of cyber experts and the security services who helped to foil such attacks.

 

President Akufo-Addo also recounted a cyber attack on the IT infrastructure of Mearsk, the world’s largest container shipping supply vessel operator by hackers who managed to deploy a ransom ware leading to a complete shutdown of the company for some days.

 

“Mearsk’s saving grace was one lone surviving domain controller in a remote location in Ghana. Apparently, according to reports, that one computer in Ghana, which was located in Tema, at the time of the cyber attack, was off, because of power outage in the area and, as such, had not been infected”

 

“Mearsk was, thus, able to retrieve its data and restore information because of that one computer located here in Ghana. It goes to show you how interconnected the world is and the importance we need to attach to this new global threat”

 

“It tells us also that on rare occasions, ‘dumsor’ (power outages) can have positive consequences,” he said, drawing laughter from the audience.

 

President Akufo-Addo touched on cyber fraud that had engaged the attention of the youth in the past decade, popularly known as ‘sakawa’ and the level of technical expertise exhibited by perpetrators.

 

He expressed hope that the introduction of the digitisation agenda, would help curb the upsurge of criminal activities through the internet saying, “with ten million Ghanaians connected to the internet, and about 4.9 million people on Facebook, the impact of any cyber attack on our e-business platform would impact negatively on businesses and on the lives of many Ghanaians,”

 

The President thus assured of government’s commitment to develop a fit-for-purpose cyber security infrastructure to combat cyber crime in the country.

By Yaw Kyei and Abigail Annoh

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