Former president and flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has said that the current economic difficulties Ghana is grappling with although self-inflicted demand a collective attention and resolve to turn things around.
According to him, there is more that could be done to improve the living standards and assuage the excruciating hardship Ghanaians are facing despite abundance resources the country is blessed with.
“One critical question that must not be lost on us is why we find ourselves in this economic mess, he asked rhetorically, pointing to the mismanagement of the economy by the current administration.
He consequently called on the people not to lose hope but have the belief that all is not lost and that Ghana as the black star of Africa shall rise again.
The former president was speaking at the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Catholic Diocese of Sunyani at Sunyani, Bono Regional capital on Saturday, as part of his two-day Building Ghana tour of the region.
The golden jubilee anniversary celebrations was on the theme ‘Catholic Diocese of Sunyani @50 Arise! Let us build the Lord’s Church’.
The objectives of the golden jubilee celebrations by the Sunyani Catholic Diocese was among other things to raise funds to support the maintenance of retired bishops of the church and other development projects being embarked on by the church.
The NDC flagbearer said the distressing remarks by the Catholic Bishops Conference last week Monday about the suffocating grip of uncontrolled corruption in the country’s landscape demand urgent reflection and action by all citizens especially the political leadership to stem the tide.
“It cannot be business as usual adding that if the trend persists, the political class stand the risk of losing its trust among the people.
The church he said must continue to play its critical role in shaping the moral ethos of society so as to bring the needed changes in our national life to enhance development in the country.
Allowing anti-graft institutions to work without fear or favour, Mr Mahama noted, would go a long way to minimise corruption saying if given the nod to assume power come 2025 he would implement same to reverse the declining corruption issues, assuring to ensure the enforcement of the probity and accountability enshrined in 1992 constitution
He said his 24-hour economy policy he is proposing would create jobs and prosperity for the teeming dispirited youth who lack opportunities and embark on dangerous journeys abroad for greener pastures.
He commended the Catholic Church for their enormous contributions to national development and congratulated them for the golden jubilee anniversary celebrations.
He said the celebrations must not only be viewed as the passage of time but an opportunity to take stock and reflect on present and past achievements.
The Catholic Bishop of the Konongo Mampong Diocese, Most Rev. Joseph Osei Bonsu, preaching the sermon urged Ghanaians especially Christians to live above reproach as mandated in the Bible.
He also urged Ghanaians to reject politicians who come before them to offer them gifts and bribes to seek their votes during electioneering campaigns.
He said accepting such inducements give such politicians the impetus to continue their corrupt practices thereby destroying the moral fabric of society.
He said the alternate goal of the church was to leave behind an enduring legacy of moral uprightness of integrity, discipline, quoting Galatians 5:19 to buttress his claim.
The Bishop of the Sunyani Catholic Diocese, Most Reverend Mathew Kwasi Gyamfi, said that the Sunyani Catholic Diocese was carved out of the Kumasi Diocese on March 30, 1973 with Bishop James Kwadwo Owusu, a major in the Ghana Army and Chaplain at Burma Camp, Accra, appointed its first Bishop.
FROM DANIEL DZIRASAH SUNYANI