A former rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Professor Stephen Adei, has asked pastors to engage in politics, and stop being on the fringes in national discourse.
The involvement of clergymen in politics, however, should not be partisan and adversarial, but one that would be geared towards the development of the country irrespective of which party is in government,” he added.
Delivering the keynote address at this year’s National Clergy Conference of the Anglican Church in Accra yesterday, the former GIMPA boss, urged priests to “be interested in democracy and how we are governed….because politics is at the core of the calling but do not engage in partisan and adversarial politics.”
The conference, which brought together priests from the 11 dioceses of the Anglican Church in the country, was on the theme “Fulfilling your ministry and enhancing democracy in Ghana: the role of the Anglican priest.”
The week-long biennial gathering of the priests, is a medium used to discuss the church and its activities over a two-year period.
According to Prof. Adei, politics is about the development of all aspects of the national economy, for which reason pastors must not be mute.
“Politics is about national vision or visionlessness, development policy and agenda, poverty, education, health, electricity and water, roads, corruption and integrity, galamsey, church members’ welfare, land use and laws, foreign policy, crime and punishment, agriculture, employment and unemployment”, he stressed.
Prof Adei said persons in authority feared pastors because they have a sizeable percentage of the voters under their voice and that it was important they (pastors) took advantage of such recognition to keep politicians on their toes.
To Prof. Adei, politics in Ghana had reduced to the lowest ebb, and elections becoming “choosing the lesser of two devils”, and believed there was an “inbuilt corruption” stemming from the constitution which needs restructuring.
He said this needed to be restructured to make the politician incapable of amassing wealth illegally because “politicians are only interested in building structures” to have a leeway to misapply public funds.
The church, Prof. Adei noted, must help democracy strive and that could only be done if the ‘men of God’ insisted that elected people lived by the principles of God.
Venerable Emmanuel Mensah, the Prolocutor Archbishop of Internal Province of Ghana, said the Electoral Commission must be supported by all for it to hold incident free presidential and parliamentary elections in December.
He called on his colleagues to speak against the ills of society and continue to pray for the peace of the country before, during and after the elections.
For the will of God to be achieved on earth, he said, there was the need for pastors to render selfless and sacrificial service to the church.
By Julius Yao Petetsi & Kingsley Tefuttor