Ghana: Don’t Spare Office Holders

The Ghanaian Chronicle, Sunyani — The Catholic Bishops in the country have called on the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) and all other anti-corruption bodies mandated to protect the common good and national purse to fight graft in the public sector, to ensure that public office-holders are held accountable for their actions.

“The current situation whereby investigations and prosecution of corrupt public office-holders yield no concrete results is highly regrettable and seems to encourage further malpractices,” they noted.

According to the Catholic Bishops, the desire to make quick money and by whatever means possible, was bringing a huge social cost and untold suffering to the poor and vulnerable in society.

“It is in this light that we note with sadness the growing inequalities in our society, fueled by corruption and other forms of malfeasance in recent times,” the Catholic Bishops said in a communiqué issued in Sunyani, after the Catholic Bishops’ Annual Plenary Assembly.

They indicated that corruption comes in all forms and occurs in all places of public and social life. It occurs in churches, educational institutions and health facilities, among others. They added that everyone is culpable of what is happening in the country, since advertently or inadvertently, everyone stokes the fires of greed and materialism anytime one gives or receives bribe, steal from church, public and private institutions, or misuse public property for personal gain.

The Catholic Bishops also call on the government to ensure that all the law enforcement agencies are properly resourced and given the free hand to carry out their statutory tasks and to avoid creating any impression in the minds of Ghanaians that government condone and encourage a culture of impunity.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference observed that money has taken the centre stage in all aspects of the lives of the people, which is having a telling effect on the society and a big challenge to the new evangelization.

The communiqué, read by Most Rev. Joseph Osei-Bonsu, Bishop of the Konongo-Mampong Diocese, who was retained as the President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, noted that Ghana has in recent years, been touted not only as a peaceful and an emerging stable democracy, but also as a profoundly religious nation.

This, the Bishops indicated, was certainly evidenced by the growing Christian population within the country, the proliferation of religious movements by the day, and the obvious show of religious piety, even in the public fora where national days of prayers and thanksgiving, sometimes at the behest of the political leadership, have become the order of the day.

However, in spite of all these positive signs, the Catholic Bishops believes the Ghanaian context equally stands in urgent need of the new evangelization, adding that: “In spite of her flamboyant religious garb, the changing social, cultural, economic and political situation in Ghana is making a deep and personal encounter with Jesus Christ very difficult”.

According to the Catholic Bishops, although there were no signs of outright rejection of Jesus Christ and his message, there are indications of growing indifference towards the message of the gospel and a lack of personal commitment to him, on the part of those who bear the name ‘Christian’.

“Whereas our churches are packed on Sundays with faithful worshipers, the fruits of this religious fervor are yet to be manifestly visible in our socio-economic and political life,” the Catholic Bishops noted.

They emphasized that the road to a civil and political society inspired by the Gospel values passes through the hearts of men and women who act in those areas. Hence the hearts and conscience of civil and political leaders must be attuned to the requirements of the common good and the welfare of the people they lead.

The Bishops stated that the demands of the new evangelization require that they be men and women of proven integrity, with sincere love for the welfare of the people they govern.

On ethnic affiliation, the Catholic Bishop noted that the ethnic diversity is becoming a threat to the survival as a nation and posing a big challenge to the message of the gospel.

“While it can be an opportunity to build a mosaic of new social relationships, we need as a matter of urgency to evangelize the way and manner that we receive other who do not belong to the same ethnic or tribal group as we do”, they stressed.

They have, therefore, called on all men and women of goodwill to eschew any form of discrimination along the lines of creed, gender, ethnicity and status and to pursue the path that leads to harmony and mutual co-existence.

A call was also made to the traditional leaders to resist the temptation of collaborating with the perpetrators of persons or groups of persons who engage in activities that destroys the environment to the detriment of the common good of the people.

The Catholic Bishops again pleaded with traditional leaders to be circumspect in the way and manner some of them dispose of the land, which they hold in trust for their people, adding the practice of leasing or selling the same piece of land to multiple applicants thereby creating conflict in the society should be avoided at all cost.

Categories: Africa

About Author

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*