A staunch member of the governing New Patriotic Party NPP in the Ashanti Region Chairman Odeneho Kwaku Appiah, branded in political circles as COKA, says religion should not be a reason to sideline any individual in the party.
COKA as one of the longest-serving constituency chairpersons of the NPP believes entertaining religious politics will divide the NPP fraternity and undermine their chances of retaining power in 2024.
In an interview with OTEC News, he has therefore called for an end to what he described as reckless comments.
Samuel Ayeh-Paye, the Eastern Regional campaign coordinator for Alan Kyeremanten said the party needs a Christian to lead them into the 2024 elections.
The former Member of Parliament for the Ayensuano is said to have made this statement during a tour by Alan in the Ashanti Region last week.
This, COKA find distasteful, indicating that, "Christianity, traditional and Islam are the three major religions in Ghana. For that reason, the 1992 constitution guarantees religious tolerance and freedom. Today, there are inter-religious marriages all across the country.
"Hon Haruna ldrissu (MP), Sule Muntari (footballer), Kalsoume Sinare( actress) and others are all Muslims married to Christians. And by religious tolerance, we appreciate spiritual values, beliefs and practices which are different from ours.
"It was a great move when the National Chief Imam visited a church and also made a donation to support the building of the national cathedral. His visit and donation to the Cathedral didn't change his beliefs and principles. This is a sign of religious tolerance which we all need to learn."
He continued, "When l hear people talk about who to lead and involve beliefs, tribe, faith and the likes, l get worried because the above cannot put food on our table or money in our pocket. Those who have nothing to offer will always want to divide us with the above but let’s say no to intolerance. Religion should not be a reason to reject or accept someone.
"I strongly believe that NPP members and the people of this country want us to elect someone who will lead and govern this country to our satisfaction. Are we looking for a pastor, lmam or a traditional leader?
"When a Christian is selected will all our problems be resolved? He quizzes.
COKA called on Mr Ayeh-Paye to immediately retract and apologize as such comments have the tendency of inflaming the passion of the religious groups and destabilizing the country.
"Whoever made that public statement, calling for a Christian to lead as president, should as a matter of respect to all religious bodies in the country, not only Islam, apologize. Such useless comments must not be entertained as they have the tendency to cause enmity among the religious groups in the country. to say the least!."