General News of Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Bishop Dag Heward-Mills of the mega church Lighthouse Chapel International says the only reason Ghanaians should exercise their democratic rights to change a government is to prevent one party from staying in power too long and becoming overly corrupt, but essentially both NPP and NDC are the same.
He was preaching at a special thanksgiving service to mark the 50th anniversary celebration of the University of Ghana Medical School, of which he is an alumnus.
Bishop Heward-Mills noted that both NPP and NDC have demonstrated gross incompetence in the area of meeting the basic needs of Ghanaians such as water, electricity, shelter and even food, and they have both failed to create the environment for wealth creation in the country.
While he was speaking the power went off, and he cited that as an example of the systemic failure of governments since the beginning of the Fourth Republic, emphasizing why Ghanaians should not see any political party as better than the other.
He said on the contrary, when NPP was in power, there were wild stories of corruption in government, and that created the impression that the folks in NDC were angels; but over the past four years NDC has also been in power there have been very wild stories of corruption about the NDC too.
“Corruption and the failure to provide the basic needs and infrastructure for Ghanaians to get out of poverty are the main common feature of both parties and that is what Ghanaians should be focusing on in order to prevent one of them from ruling for longer than necessary,” he said.
He said the elections should be a matter of ‘moko aya ni moko aba’, to wit, ‘someone should go for someone to come’ because “No matter which of the two is in power we can’t expect any marked difference in our lives.”
Bishop Heward-Mills said often times when he speaks about the politics of Ghana, people claim he and the church belong to one political party or the other.
“But I can assure you I have done two polls in my church I realize the church is sometimes 50% + 1 for one party and other times 50% + 1 for the other party – no one can say we belong to one political party,” he said. Why criticize government trained professionals turned preachers?
Bishop Heward-Mills also noted that several of those in politics were trained medical doctors like himself, but the public tend to criticize people like him for leaving the medical profession to preach after benefiting from government funds, but they do not criticize those who left the profession to do politics.
“It is wrong to say we have been trained with government funds and we have left the profession to preach – what about the politicians – haven’t they also left their professions to do politics?” he asked.
He mentioned Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor, Dr. Richard Anane, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Dr. Edward Omane-Boamah, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, and several medical practitioners turned politicians, but are not being criticized for doing so.
Bishop Heward-Mills said even though he does not practice medicine anymore, his church has established a hospital and his “Healing Jesus Crusade” team has also been running regular clinics everywhere they go, both in and outside of Ghana.
He said more serious cases discovered at the clinics are referred to the church’s hospital for further examination and treatment.
“Moreover, we combine our experience and knowledge as doctors with our calling as preachers to impact people’s lives in ways that other non-preaching medical doctors are not doing – we are helping people to find fulfillment in life, and to serve this country with the kind of honesty and loyalty that lots of the people who practicing their academically acquired skills are not doing,” he said.
Bishop Heward-Mills also sponsors the prize for the Best Pathology Student at the University of Ghana Medical School every year.
He has written hundreds of books, including the all time bestseller, Loyalty and Disloyalty, which has been translated into more than ten languages, including Russian and Korean.