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General News of Thursday, 21 February 2019

Source: ghananewsagency.org

Reject all forms of violence - Assemblies of God

The Assemblies of God, Ghana, has opened its first Greater Accra East Regional Council Meeting with a call on Ghanaians to reject all forms of vigilantism.

Reverend Doctor Joseph K.K Baisie, Greater Accra East Regional Superintendent, in an address said, “I urge all leaders, especially national and political leaders to hold high the interests of Ghana and collectively reject vigilantism in all means”.

Rev. Baisie stated that as a country that prides itself with modern democratic credentials, Ghana’s reputation was at stake due to the activities of vigilante groups, siting the Ayawaso incident and the recent shooting incident at the Ashanti regional office of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

“The state must make it impossible for individuals to have access to arms and weapons. Political parties must be committed to discouraging their members from engaging in such acts by disciplining offenders”.

It is obvious that this is worrying issue that required urgent national attention by well-meaning citizens as their activities were a threat to lives, progress and development of the nation, according to him.

He regretted that “culprits and perpetrators have all been spared the brunt of the law because authorities have inadvertently shielded most of them from prosecution”.

Rev. Baisie stated that ministers of the gospel were not partisan but they had to deliberate on and offer counsel as well as prayers on pertinent national issues affecting citizens, of which members of the church were an integral part.

Rev Professor Paul Frimpong-Manso, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God, in a message, reminded the Councils that the church’s corporate theme for the year was, “Bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit,” explaining that the theme was a natural progression on the 2018’s theme of “manifesting the gifts of the spirit”.



Rev. Prof. Frimpong-Manso, asked them to devote all departmental programmes and funds towards the church’s target of having 3,000 new churches by the year 2020 as part of the “Decade of Pentecost”.

He stated that “we henceforth direct that any pastor who does not hold our credentials papers should not be invited for any departmental programme at any level” explaining that there were a number of ministers who had very doubtful backgrounds, moving about and using the name of Assemblies of God for their own selfish ends.

He added that the church had also directed that change of birth dates through the swearing of affidavits would no longer be accepted because some pastors had reduced or were reducing their ages either to avoid retirement or to deceitfully make themselves eligible for elections.

“We have consequently directed that anyone caught engaging in such a wicked act will be dismissed”.

Below is the full speech by Reverend Dr. Joseph K.K Baisie

ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, GHANA GREATER ACCRA EAST REGION 1ST REGIONAL COUNCIL MEETING HELD AT AGGAR RETREAT AND RESORT CENTRE, SHAI HILLS REGIONAL SUPERINTENDENT’S ADDRESS

The Chairman, the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Ghana, Rev. Prof. Paul Yaw Frimpong-Manso, the Regional Superintendent, Greater Accra West Region, Rev. Dr. Ernest Birikorang, District Pastors, Departmental Directors, Diligent Ministers of the Gospel, Members of the Media, Distinguished Ladies and Gentle, I am elated to deliver this address to this wonderful body. First of all, I officially welcome every invited Guest and Minister of the Gospel to our first Regional Council Meeting as a new Region.

Mr. Chairman, all Protocol observed, occasions like this presents us with opportunities to renew our commitment, both as individual Ministers and collectively as a body, as well as consolidate our gains. It's usually a time for critical assessment of our efforts and work in the years gone by as we also strategize on how we can push forward to geater heights.



Mr. Chairman, it is equally a time to deliberate on and offer counsel as well as prayers on pertinent national issues affecting citizens, of which our members are an integral part.

I shall like to state unequivocally that Ministers of the Gospel are not partisan or divisive in our work of giving counsel to political leaders, as some may want to suggest. At least, for all intents and purposes, we remain the conscience of society.

Mr. Chairman, there are four areas I shall like to touch on regarding events of national interest.

CORRUPTION

Corruption has been an age old canker. From the garden of Eden to our modern times, it has hindered progress, stalled relationships and destroyed individuals and organizations. Joe Biden, a former Vice President of the United States once said, “Corruption is a cancer: a cancer that eats away at a citizen’s faith in democracy, diminishes the instinct for innovation and creativity; already-tight national budgets, crowding out important national investments. It wastes the talent of entire generation. It scares away investments and jobs.”

Mr. Chairman, the catastrophic impact of corruption is too pervasive and far outweighs any personal benefit of individual perpetrators.

I therefore use this occasion to add my voice in the fight against corruption at all levels in our society. Leaders of the nation since independence have all made attempts at removing this albatross.

VIGILANTISM

Vigilantism is a rising threat on the life, progress and development of this nation. Over the years, there has been a study upsurge in the use of such groups in the name of providing security for political parties and their kingpins. Culprits and perpetrators have all been the spared the brunt of the law because authorities have inadvertently shielded most of them from prosecution.

It is obviously a worrying issue that requires urgent national attention by well-meaning citizen of our beloved country. Leaders should discourage their followers by allowing the perverts to face the full rigors of the law. Statistics available indicate that much must be done if we are to overcome this canker. Recent issues of vigilantism at the Ayawaso Elections is fresh on our minds. Just a few days ago, certain people attacked the Regional office of a major political party, killing one and injuring many others.

As a nation, Mr. Chairman, that prides itself with modern democratic credentials, our reputation is at stake. The state must make it a impossible for individuals to have access to arms and weapons. Political parties must be committed to discouraging its members from engaging in such acts by disciplining offenders.

I urge all leaders, especially national and political leaders to hold high the interest of Ghana above petty party interests and collectively reject vigilantism in all ways.

LAND GUARDS

The issue of land Guards is still a challenge after so many years. Our land tenure system does not also help in dealing with this issue. Lives have been lost and properties destroyed as a result of this. We ask national leaders to and the state institutions responsible to help fight this menace by imposing stiffer punishment on offenders.

NOISE MAKING

Finally, Mr. Chairman, I make a solemn plea to all Churches to take a critical look at noise making. Modern trends and changes in societal preferences have put a demand on changing the way Churches deal with noise pollution in The localities. Recently, it was reported that two Churches were fined by a court for excessive noise in their communities. We ask Churches to work at reducing the noise they make. Our auditoriums should be sound-proofed if resources allow. Otherwise, the level of noise must reduce drastically. Government must also allocate places in communities for Churches and religious buildings to avoid conflict with residents.

I want to advice that, as much as we take measures to address this issue, individuals must desist from taking advantage of this case to attack or disturb Churches in the name of fighting noise making.

It is my prayer that as a an organized and responsible body, we shall work hand in hand with our leaders in helping build a prosperous and blessed Nation.

God bless you all.

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