APOSTLE DR. De Graft Osei Kwame, founder of the Apostolic Faith Mission International Church has called on all religious bodies in the country to rise against actions that had the propensity to create tension.
Touching on the statement by Rt. Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana in which he asked the Electoral Commission (EC) to postpone its decision to create 45 new constituencies ahead of the December general elections, he indicated there was wrong with the bold step the church had taken.
Addressing a news conference in Accra last Sunday, Apostle Osei Kwame said Ghanaians should not misconstrue the moderator’s message but accept it as an expression of a legitimate concern.
“Although elections are generally a political affair, it is never wrong for any religious leader to intervene when some steps taken could have some negative impact on the nation. I want Ghanaians to understand that religious leaders are free to speak their mind to ensure that peace prevails in a country.”
Explaining the purpose of the news conference, he said it was based on the pursuit and quest for peace in the country, and also as an expression of the responsibility of God’s people to become watchmen for the nation as stated in Ezekiel 33:7.
Those who were saying that religious bodies should stay away from politics should understand that commenting on an issue concerning party politics did not mean they were becoming politicians, he pointed out.
He stated that since religious bodies had vital roles to play such as interceding for the nation in prayer or preaching the message of peace, they always had the responsibility of ensuring that peace prevailed in the country.
According to Apostle Osei Kwame, religious leaders should not wait for any tension or crisis to occur before they intervene but always be pro-active and act before the unexpected happened.
He stressed that it was rather unfortunate that most spiritual leaders feared criticism and did not want to openly comment on the ills in the society, forgetting that God had chosen them to ensure national peace.
“Ghanaians should not take things for granted and deceive ourselves that because Ghana is a peaceful and God-fearing country we are far from electoral misfortunes. We should all be concerned about the recent turn of events and speak against anything that would tend to threaten peace and stability in the country.”
The religious leader consequently called on EC Chairman, Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan to postpone the creation of the additional constituencies to avoid any tension in the country.
He said although the move was lawful, the commission should first think about the safety of the nation and the people in it.
“The creation of the 45 constituencies has generated passionate debates and concerns among the political parties and other stakeholders in the country; many of them with the view that it would have a negative impact on the election as the timing is wrong,” he added.
Source: Stella Danso Addai
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