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14.04.2009 General News

Bishop decries corruption in Ghana

By The Ghanaian Times
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The Anglican Bishop for the Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese, Rt. Rev. Col (rtd) John K. Otoo, has said that the Ghanaian society needs a drastic transformation as it pursues the path of zero tolerance for corruption.

"Corruption permeates religious circles, the home, schools and high offices of the country," he noted.

Bishop Otoo made this declaration when he delivered the keynote address at the opening of a two-day ethics workshop on "zero tolerance against corruption campaign: the role of religious bodies in Ghana" held at Takoradi by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), in collaboration with the Christian Council, the National Catholic Secretariat and Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission of Ghana.

He was disappointed that although Christians and Muslims constituted about 80 per cent of the society, corruption persisted.

"Every society that wants to enjoy peace, fairness, truth and the improvement of quality of life must wage a war on unacceptable behaviour, including environmental degradation.

"Corruption is something that confronts all of us and something must be done in our pursuit of zero tolerance of corruption," he said.

Bishop Otoo attributed the breakdown of society and morals to the dictation by donors who fund the education sector, saying "they have taken away our cultural beliefs, muzzled religious bodies and our hands are tied.

"Today, people do wrong things and get support. We must be responsible for the corrupt behaviour and vices." he added.

He was unhappy about the spate of drug addiction, homosexualism, occultism, indecent dressing and lesbianism among students in the senior and junior high schools and stated that "the wisdom of the world is foolishness to God".

He condemned the acts of greed and selfishness in some churches and urged the leaders to be humble and turn to God and do what is right.

Bishop Otoo also lashed out at politicians who would want to influence the management and control of the security apparatus and the judiciary, saying "government must ensure that justice is done. It must put its house in order. If it can give rewards it must also give punishments. It must enforce the law and ensure order."

The Programme Manager of GII, Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo said corruption had negative effects on the society as it undermined democracy, suspend rule of law and erode the institutional capacity of government.

The programme, Mrs Ofori-Kwafo explained, was to initiate a process of an ethic education programme for the religious bodies.

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