General News of Sunday, 4 March 2001
The President, Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor on Sunday endorsed the need for Ghanaians to reconcile with God and appeal to Him to continue showering his blessing onto the nation.
President Kufuor said in spite of many natural, material resources and human talents the nation is endowed with, she has regrettably had more downs than ups in her forty-four year history of independence.
President Kufuor was speaking at an inter- denominational thanksgiving service held at the Independence Square to thank God for the peaceful elections and a smooth change of government.
It was also to commemorate the inauguration of the new government and give thanks to God for the Independence of Ghana attained on March 6, 1957.
The Forum of Religious Bodies in Ghana organized the service, under the theme, "Come let us thank the Lord and build our nation together."
President Kufuor said knowledge and good intentions are not enough in nation building, but "unless we lay for ourselves a very solid foundation on religion and morality, our knowledge and intention will not be adequate to chart the course for development."
"When only a few appreciate the need for providence, the majority of the people will continue to wallow in poverty, sickness and deprivation."
He appealed to Ghanaians to live humble lives and put their talents to the service of the less endowed in society.
Religious leaders, he said, must lead the nation to pray to God to touch the hearts of Ghanaians, who must also be reconciled with each. President Kufuor said the victory of the New Patriotic Party at the last elections was a victory for all Ghanaians. He however admitted that, there are more challenges ahead in efforts at rebuilding and called on all Ghanaians to continue to seek divine favour and atone for their errors.
Mr. Peter Ala Adjetey, Speaker of Parliament read the third scripture.
In a sermon, the Most Reverend Peter Appiah Turkson, President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference said a true leadership and rule must be appointed by God.
He said: "for the divine anointing, the king and the leader are supposed to have god-like qualities.
Likewise, the people of God, Reverend Turkson said, must be Godly people. The relationship between ruler and the ruled must be reciprocal.
The Most Reverend Turkson expressed regret about the spate of violence, robberies, promiscuous lives and serial murders saying they do not reflect training in godliness. Ghanaians must follow the teaching of Jesus and be merciful.
As the congregation solemnly sang "Aside Nka Nyame" (Thanks be to God), Bishop Charles Agyin Asare, Founder and Presiding Bishop of the Word Miracle Church International, in a prayer thanked God for the smooth election and transfer of power.
In an exhortation, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Justice Akrofi, Chairman, Christian Council of Ghana praised the media for on their role in ensuring peaceful elections.
Apostle Michael Ntumy, Chairman of the Ghana Pentecostal Council advised Ghanaians to be tolerant to different political views. Both the ruling and the opposition political parties must place the interest of the nation above their party interests. "If we sow political tolerance, we shall reap national unity and development," Apostle Ntumy said.
When Cindy Thompson chanted her devotional Ewurade Kasa (Lord, Speak) song, many people among the congregation slowly waved their handkerchief and sang quietly in unison, asking God to speak in favour of Ghanaians.
The entire congregation, waving white handkerchiefs later joined in an ecstatic singing and dancing in praise and honour to God.
The Muslim community had earlier held a national service for the Independence Day on Friday.