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17.02.2009 General News

Veep: Appointments will be based on merit

Veep: Appointments will be based on merit

Vice President John Dramani Mahama has reaffirmed Government's determination to partner with religious bodies to ensure that state appointees are not consumed with their own needs, but worked towards reducing the difficulties of the ordinary people.

He said the main focus of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Administration would be to seek the welfare of ordinary citizens, adding that in doing so, the government would rely on sound Christian and other ethical principles in bringing about a society that was fair and just.

Addressing the synod of the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra at the Saint Paul's Seminary at Sowutoum, Accra on Monday Vice President Mahama reiterated the commitment of the Government to place ordinary Ghanaians at the heart of its policies to bring about transformation in their lives.

Drawing on the universal Christian ethics of one loving his neighbour as themselves, the Vice President stressed the need for State functionaries not to focus narrowly on their own interests, but to rather work on securing the greater interest of the society to the benefit of all.

The Vice-President stressed the yearning of the Government to allow Christian values to be a centrepiece of its social development agenda, and as an indicator of a moral fibre from which State operatives could draw their inspiration.

Vice-President Mahama justified this as necessary in ensuring that Government "leads in the right direction" and avoided the pitfall of arrogance and self-centredness, which was perceived to be the source of bad governance in most African countries.

He said the desire of the Government to work with the religious bodies in transforming Ghana to a welfare-oriented society was due to the yeoman's role some religious institutions played in securing the security and stability of the State.

He said the 2008 General Election, for instance, demonstrated the non-partisan role some church groupings played in the transfer of power from one political entity to another without threats to the cohesion of the State for which they should be lauded.

Referring specifically to the Catholic Church, he said it had demonstrated sufficient expertise in carrying out social interventions meant to benefit the marginalized, citing the institution of a health insurance scheme by the Church years before the State even made an attempt at it.

The five-day synod, which is focusing on five thematic areas, is a platform for the generation of ideas, which could serve as the basis of the future direction of the Church.

The areas of discussion would include how the Church could address urgent national concerns such as youth development, peace and reconciliation, as well as ecumenical issues such as marriage, family life and liturgy, among other topics.

The Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, the Most Reverend Gabriel Palmer Buckle, said the forum would help to develop a short-to-medium term policy on how the Archdiocese could respond to social, moral and cultural issues in the capital city of Accra.

The move, he explained, was to fire-up the enthusiasm of congregants to hold on to their own in a permissive world where people were fast losing their sense of responsibility to one other.

The Apostolic Nuncio in Ghana, The Most Reverend Leon Kalenga, said Africa was in dire need of 'servant-leaders' and commended Ghanaians for being a rare example in that regard.

In an address read on behalf of the Catholic Archbishop of Kumasi, the Most Reverend Kwaku Mensah, he expressed worry about what he said was the acceptance of delinquent sexual acts in the Ghanaian society, a situation, which he said, Christendom should firmly tackle.

Other speakers, including the Reverend Dr Fred Degbe, Secretary-General of the Christian Council of Ghana; Apostle Ekow Wood, General-Secretary, Ghana Pentecostal Churches; and the Auxiliary Bishop of Cape Coast, the Most Reverend Matthias Nketia, dwelt on the need for churches to be at the forefront of moral regeneration.