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That is the spirit

Ghanaian Chronicle
12 September 2012 | Editorial

Yesterday, we used this column to express concern over the comments made by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Mr. Osei Akyeampong, in reaction to an earlier one made by the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketian against the church and its moderator, the Rt. Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey.

Asiedu Nketiah had accused the Presby Church of trying to force the Electoral Commission (EC) to dance to the tune of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). This was after Rev. Emmanuel Martey had, on behalf of the church, commented on the intention of the EC to create 45 new constituencies a couple months to the elections.

But, in reacting to this comment, the Presby Church PRO went overboard, saying, 'I don't know whether Asiedu Nketia was speaking under the influence of alcohol, because how can any normal person, without taking in anything, speak that way?

This was uncalled for.' Whilst agreeing with the PRO that the church has the right to criticise any government that is going wayward, we felt as a Christian leader his reaction was rather too harsh, and that he must therefore, apologise.

Yesterday, we read on the various websites that Mr. Akyeampong had apologised for the comment he made. According to him, the peace of Ghana was paramount, and that nothing would be done to undermine it.

He also observed that as the country prepares for crucial elections in three months, the onus lies on every Ghanaian to ensure peace before, during, and after the December elections, emphasising the Presby Church would play its role in that regard.

The Chronicle applauds him for the mark of maturity he has shown, which is also in line with principle of the church, which is one of the most disciplined religious institutions we have in this country. Politicians, despite all the noises they have been making, are always afraid of criticism.

Those who point out their faults to them are, therefore, seen as enemies who must be subdued. Most of our religious leaders in the country are afraid to comment on issues of national concern, because of the nature of our politics, where one is tagged with either NPP or NDC colours, depending on the comment he makes.

Mr. Akyeampong should have known that since the NDC is in favour of the creation of the new constituencies, their defence will be to attack those who would be in opposition to the decision, and this is exactly what happened.

Unfortunately, the PRO did not realise this, and rather fell into the trap. It is the hope of The Chronicle that this kind of comment would not come from the mouth of Mr. Akyeampong anymore, even if he is provoked to the elastic limit. This is the price one has to pay for accepting to carry the cross of Jesus Christ.

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