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General News of Saturday, 17 October 2015

Source: Daily Guide

Incorruptible leader can fight corruption – Bishop

The Catholic Bishop of Sekondi-Takoradi Diocese, Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie has stated that only an incorruptible leader can fight against corruption that leads to abject poverty in society.

It is ironic for a leader to say he is fighting against corruption when he himself is seen to be corrupt, according to him.

“When leaders want to influence productivity in their organizations, they can achieve that only when their own practices in the organizations are consistent with what they say or teach in order to lead others to do the same.

“We cannot say we are fighting corruption when we are seen to be corrupt,” he said.

Speaking at the first international conference on poverty management organized by the Spiritan University College at Ejisu, the Catholic Bishop said the Bible describes such people as hypocrites, making reference to Mathew 7:2-5 to buttress his point.

Rev. Kwofie noted that the recent call by President John Dramani Mahama on religious leaders to lead the campaign against corruption was belated since the Catholic Church was already tackling corruption.

According to him, since the country’s political and economic institutions lack discipline, it is important for government to establish structures to ensure checks and balance to reduce the magnitude of corruption.

“We have spoken against it and prayed that people will receive the conversion necessary to rid our body politic of this canker. Through our daily prayers said in our churches, the Catholic Church has not only condemned the vice of corruption but also called government’s attention to its duty of establishing structures of checks and balances to reduce the spate of corruption,” he pointed out.

He disclosed this while speaking on issues of corruption, religion and poverty under the broad theme of the conference, ‘Thinking and Acting to Break the Vicious Cycle of Poverty.’

The Metropolitan Bishop said most of the problems in Ghana could be attributed to the negative mentality of the citizens which has made them selfish.

Corruption leads to social injustice and Christians have always been concerned about corruption and poverty levels in Ghana, Bishop Kwofie indicated.

According to him, the Bible extensively teaches Christians not to tolerate corruption but serve as instruments in the hands of God to dismantle the evil of poverty.

“God demands justice and fairness from His people who hold public office– those who rule, legislate, offer arbitration and speak God’s word and lead them in worship,” he disclosed.

The man of God intimated that judges are explicitly required not to pervert justice.

“The Bible says they are to take no bribes, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and ruins the cause of the upright,” he said, adding that this only confirms earlier apodictic laws in the code of the Lord’s covenant.

Vice Rector of the Spiritan University College, Dr. Albert Dare, who gave an overview of the conference, explained that the conference was aimed at evolving ideas to improve the lives of the citizenry.

He said the theme was derived from the numerous initiatives that Ghana has taken to reduce poverty.

The Vice Rector stated that 13 individuals and groups would make presentations that cover education, economics and religion during the two-day conference.