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04.05.2005 Feature Article

The Pastoral Letter-The Buck Must Stop Somewhere!

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On the 9th of April,the leaders of four Christian religious bodies called on Ghanaians,especially those in leadership positions,to carefully watch and be circumspect about their language."They said political discourse should be a dialogue characterised by mutual respect,coolness,truthfulness,maturity and sobriety and must be of decent language.

This statement by the leaders of the four Christian religious bodies have generated a lot of furore with some sections of the general public and the NDC in particular,expressing their misgivings.While some have questioned the timing especially against the backdrop that,the president raised that issue when the moderator of the Presbyterian Church visited him at the Castle.This then gave them the cause to believe it was at the behest of the president that the statement was issued.

The first person to fire the salvo was the NDC national Chairman for Western Region,Nana Alex Asamoah,who described the church leaders as hypocrites in an interview.In the said interview,"he asked the clergy to render an unqualified apology to the former president for sitting down unconcerned without raising qualms,when he was subjected to various insults and innuendos by some top stalwarts of the ruling government,including the sitting president both when the ex president was in office and after hi! s tenure".The issue of the clergy sitting unconcerned does not come into play because if my memory serves me right,the likes of Dr. Aboagye Mensah and Rt Rev Dr Yaw Frimpong Manso were not in such positions to have expressed their views during those times Nana cited as examples.

Even in their august positions,their views have been rubbished by people like Nana Alex so what would have happened if they had issued the statement as pastors of their respective churches.

"He quizzed when the clergy realised that an insult of a sitting president was tantamount to denigrating the presidency and the president".He retorted further that,"the clergy has not only lost the moral courage to speak for the voiceless but has now betrayed the trust reposed in them by the public adding that the clergy has also gone to bed with the government,joining a section of the media".

"He went on further to support his claims with examples of when the incumbent,then in opposition hurled abuses at the ex.If we are to go into history,then he will realise his boss is the worst culprit when it came to hurling abuses.What did he say about the late Hilla Limann at an International Press Conference in France in 1981 and when he ceased power after the June 4 revolution,what did he say about those he ceased power from?Very unprintable words,indeed.

In Nana Alex Asamoah's everyday life as a father,when the youngest of his children trade insult with the eldest,does he sit askance?If he does,then he's shirking his basic responsibility as a father.On the contrary,if he sees the need to curb those insults and ask the youngest to apologize to the eldest,then that's exactly what the clergy had done.!!!!

One Kofi Adams,the Central regional NDC youth organiser had the bold effrontery to suggest that the church leaders are a frustrated group and that,they have lost focus on the real issues.He catalogued a couple pf examples to butress his point.His appeals to the Catholic Bishops Convention and Islamic religious groups to intervene and reconcile the two personalities,who he noted represent two traditions,which have huge followers is not only irresponsible but pure bunkum.!!

The ex-president in his first ever response to the call for him to apologize to President Kufuor over the controversial Atta Ayi Nie,Kufuor Nie song,he is reported to have said that,"the four church leaders have chosen to defend and patronise the most corrupt government" instead of calling the government to order for corrupting the moral fabric of the nation.Funny,isn't it.?Look who is now calling a government corrupt when he presided over mega corruption in his nearly two decades in power.

His response actually never came as a surprise to me because,having known him to be somebody who never kowtow to authorities,and at his behest treacherous acts were meted out to innocent Ghanaians,it was always going to be difficult for him to heed to the advice of the four clergymen.

The buck definitely needs to stop somewhere and the time is now.Rawlings will do himself a whole lot of good if he apologizes but his self conceited ego will not allow him to.By this,he has dealt a huge blow to what is left of his image,if he has one at all.!!!

POST-SCRIPT

I read with utter disbelief the action of some military men in Kumasi when they beat up civilians and vandalized properties all in the name of they avenging the death of a colleague of theirs in North and South Suntreso.The commission of inquiry set up is most welcome and those found to have indulged in this atrocious acts of indiscipline should be made to face the full rigours of the law. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Richard Gyan
Richard Gyan, © 2005

The author has 5 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: RichardGyan

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