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General News of Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Source: XYZ

Vigilantism: Fmr MP quits Catholic Church over ‘hypocrisy’ of Bishops


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Former MP for Builsa North, Timothy Ataboade Awentiirim has heavily criticised the Catholic Bishops Conference over its threat to campaign against the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Secretary-General of the Conference, Rev Father Lazarus Anondee, reportedly threatened the church will campaign against the NDC for refusing to sign the Peace Council roadmap to ending political party vigilantism.

Earlier this month, Alex Segbefia who represented the NDC declined to sign the vigilantism document despite several attempts by the Peace Council Chairman to convince him to do so. The NDC defended him and explained that the key stakeholders had to sign before them.

Reacting to the issue on Weekend Focus on Power 97.9 FM Saturday, Mr Awentiirim observed the Catholic Bishops Conference was doing the bidding of the ruling NPP that, to him, is not committed to ending party vigilantism.

“Why do you threaten to campaign against the NDC when it initiated the process of ending vigilantism…When the violence that injured many broke during the Ayawaso West Wuogon bye-elections, where were the catholic Bishops? We all know those who were behind it yet these Bishops are pretending they don’t know what happened. Their hypocrisy is glaring and we have seen it,” Mr Awentiirim fumed.

He told host Kwame Minkah that the aftermath of the violence brought the two main parties to the discussion table in bid to halt party militia that cause mayhem during elections, but the ruling government was not willing to sign the document in addition to the NPP as a way of committing to end the canker.

Mr Awentiirim added that if the Catholic Bishops Conference could not urge the Akufo-Addo government to be part of the roadmap, they have no business to threaten the NDC and put the Catholic Church in bad light.

“I know Father Anondee very well, we know where he belongs to…Their hypocrisy is why I have quit the Catholic Church. i won’t step foot there because the hypocrisy is worrying,” he disclosed in Akan.

Minority demands retraction

Last week, the minority Catholic Caucus who had taken offence to the preacher’s comment demanded a retraction and clarification from Secretary-General of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference.

MP for Lambusie and a member of the Caucus Edward Dery disclosed the General Secretary must distance the church from his statement.

“It should not be made to look as the bishops are against NDC. We insisted that he must find a very appropriate way of showing the people that the position he took was the position of the bishops. It should be looked as secretary-general who made a comment. If it demands that he retract that comment he should do that,” the MP told Starr News in an interview.

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