Catholic Bishops ask Ghanaians to fight against bribery, corruption,

Rev. Philip Naameh,Archbishop of Tamale

Rev. Philip Naameh,Archbishop of Tamale

The Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC) has asked Ghanaians to take bold steps and fight against bribery and corruption.

The Catholic Bishops said they recognised government’s efforts at addressing what it described as ‘the sin of bribery and corruption’ in Ghana, but, the general situation, “still remained undesirable and needs a more pragmatic approach to address this menace.”

They made the call in a communiqué signed by Most Rev.  Philip Naameh, the Archbishop of Tamale, and president of the GCBC, at the end of its annual plenary assembly, held at Asueyi, Techiman, in the Brong-Ahafo Region,  on  the theme ‘Our call to holiness.’

It said “corruption continues to permeate all sectors of society and the attitudes and actions that breed corruption seem to be consciously endorsed or unconsciously accepted as the norm. The immorality of bribery and corruption which ignore the ethical code of religion is on the rise in our country. We call on the citizens at all levels of society, particularly people of faith, to eschew attitudes, behaviours and actions that support, encourage and condone bribery and corruption.”

The communiqué urged the government to fully resource the office of the Special Prosecutor, to be able to carry out its work.

The Catholic Bishops also lamented the existence and emergence of many political vigilante groups in our country, “which act with impunity and in disregard of the rule of law, and destroy property, terrorise and harm people perceived to be in the opposing camp.”

The clergymen said “Over the years, it is becoming clear that government and the security agencies seem helpless when it comes to addressing the issue of political vigilantism. We condemn in no uncertain terms all forms of vigilantism and appeal to government to take the necessary steps to immediately outlaw all these groups.”

The Catholic Bishops expressed worry about the recent turbulence and uncertainties in the banking and financial sectors, and commended the government for its initiatives to sanitising the sectors and safeguarding the interest of clients.

They urged the government to address the sanitation and environmental problems,

saying “we are very much aware of the government’s ban on illegal mining, popularly known as “galamsey.” We commend the government on this decision as the practice destroys our water bodies and the ecology. However, in negotiating with the small-scale miners for their return to mine, care must be taken not to revert to illegal mining.

The Catholic Bishops urged “politicians, religious leaders, traditional authorities and other opinion leaders to lead the way in making Ghana a society that places premium on the dignity of human life. Indeed, we have the onerous duty to eliminate from our society practices and social vices that devalue human dignity.”

The Catholic Bishops commended the government for its pro-poor social interventions, including the Free Senior High School policy and the double-track system, which according to them were creative solutions to serious problems of exclusion and inequality in access to education, but, noted that challenges needed to be addressed.

FROM TIMES REPORTER, TECHIMAN

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