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27.08.2004 General News

Seek ways to conscientise political leaders - JAK

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Ho, Aug. 27, GNA- President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday called on the Church to re-orientate the social and political leaders in West Africa to serve society better.

He said the Church was well equipped with great resources in educational, health and religious institutions to competently play this role.

" All these facilities must be used to broaden the mental horizons of our people within individual countries as we make our way within the globalisation process", he added.

President Kufuor made the call when addressing the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Association of Episcopal Conference of Anglophone West Africa (AECAWA) at Ho in the Volta Region.

The weeklong Conference attended by 70 Anglophone Catholic Bishops in the West African Sub-region has the theme: " Good Governance in West Africa: The role of the Church".

They were from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Gambia.

President Kufuor said "the collective institutional knowledge and wisdom of the of the Church, properly marshalled and deployed, would prove unequalled in the realisation of positive change in the sub-region as a whole and our individual countries in particular".

The Most Reverend Dr John Onaiyekan, President of AECAWA said the Assembly gave serious attention to good governance in the sub-region.

"We have also tried to seek positive ways forward. In particular, we have tried to identify the role of the Church", he said.

" As Bishops we have committed ourselves to playing more vigorously, those roles that are most proper to us: to proclaim the message of the gospel which offers a firm and valid basis for any good government", Most Rev. Onaiyekan said.

He gave the assurance that the Bishops would encourage those working hard to raise the standard of living of the poor and "condemn all forms of evil behaviour in public office".

The Most Rev. Onaiyekan said the Bishops would also empower "their followers to be good citizens and assiduously fulfil their civil responsibilities and courageously claim their rights".

The President of AECAWA said their counterparts from the Francophone countries participated in the Conference and efforts were being made to merge their activities next year to facilitate and consolidate the Church's support in addressing the concerns of ECOWAS, especially in conflict resolution and peace building.

The Most Rev. Onaiyekan urged President Kufuor to prevail on his colleagues in the Sub-Region to support the network of Catholic Universities in their respective countries to produce professionals with strong moral direction.

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