Nana Owusu Gyamadu, a member of the Council of State, has decried the high rate of corruption that has permeated all institutions to the detriment of the poor and marginalized in the country.
The Council of State member said he was disappointed that people in leadership positions such as pastors, chiefs and other reputed persons, who should have lead the crusade against corruption were perpetrators of the act.
Addressing a two-day ethics workshop for religious bodies and groups in Koforidua, Nana Gyamadu called for drastic measures to check the trend because Ghana could only be a better place for all if institutions functioned devoid of corruption.
The event was organized by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) in collaboration with the National Catholic Secretariat, Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission and the Christian Council of Ghana, on the theme “Zero Tolerance for Corruption the Role of the Religious Bodies in Ghana”.
Nana Gyamadu called for the initiation of effective measures that would make corruption unattractive such imposition of stiffer punishments on offenders.
The Council of State Member, who is also the Chief of Akyem Anyinase, cited taking of bribe before enstoolment of some chiefs, resulting in numerous chieftaincy disputes, intrigue ways of taking money from congregations in the name of God and posting of pastors to stations based on favoritism as other corrupt activities that was retarding progress.
“It is sad that my own institution is one of the corrupted areas where chiefs instead of being the custodians of tradition rather take bribes and enstooled people who are not qualified and sell stool lands indiscriminately to the disadvantage of the people”, Nana Gyamadu lamented.
He said it was wrong to assume that corruption was endemic and nothing could be done about it.
Nana Gyamadu said in the public sector some workers who where being paid from the tax payer's money demanded “something” before rendering services.
A former Chaplain-General of the Ghana Prisons Service, Very Reverend Joseph Appiah-Acheampong, said corruption was linked to the break down of morality and it was sad to see corrupt practices in Churches and other reputable bodies in society.
He said religious bodies had a lot to do in ensuring that they were not associated with corruption for other people to emulate.
Participants who were drawn from the various religious bodies called for a check on the activities of pastors and Churches whose main objective was to become rich by illegally collecting money from their congregations.