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Opinions of Saturday, 8 September 2012

Columnist: Daily Post

Don’t Turn The Presbyterian Church Of Ghana Into A Wing Of The NPP!

There is no doubt that the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, arguably, one of the two biggest churches in the country has contributed immensely to the politico-socio-economic development of Ghana from the pre-independence era to date. Thus, every Presbyterian can be proud to belong to such a distinguished religious denomination.

Unfortunately, however, the leadership of this church has time and again dragged the name of the church in the mud and brought its good name into public ridicule. Over the years, the leadership has taken particular partisan positions in our national discourse, clothing this body of Christ in NPP colours. They have, in the eyes of many ordinary Ghanaians, turned the church into a wing of the NPP. They issue communiqués and statements against the government only when the NDC is in power. When the NPP is in power, they see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil of the (NPP) government if they do the very things for which the church condemned an (NDC) government. It is on record that they never condemned the Kufuor-led NPP government for the brutal murder of the late Ya Na, Andani Yakubu II and forty of his elders in broad-day light nor did anyone hear a whimper from them when Alhaji Issa Mobila and Roko Frimpong were brutally murdered all under the NPP.

Just a few years ago, the then moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Rev. Yaw Frimpong Manso, was involved in the writing of a letter condemning Former President Rawlings for allegedly likening President Kufuor to Ataa Ayi, a notorious armed robber. They conveniently chose to forget that Kufuor started it all in the Western Region when he said Rawlings was ‘sasabonsam’(Satan). The nauseating aspect about this hypocrisy was that while the ‘Gang of 4’ pastors, including the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church wanted the world to believe that the letter was coming from the Christian Council of Churches, it was written on the letter head of the Presbyterian Church, a matter that caused great pain to the church members. No wonder, Fred Degbe, General Secretary of the Christian Council refused to sign the letter; certainly, a letter from the Christian Council cannot be on the letter head of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana!

The moderator and leadership of the Presbyterian Church saw nothing wrong with Kennedy Agyapong’s genocidal speech, calling on Ashantis to club Ewes and Gas on the head. The leadership of the Presbyterian Church failed to condemn Akufo Addo’s ‘All-die-be-die’ mantra. They have failed to speak up against Anthony Karbo’s assertion that if the NPP is not declared winners in the December elections, there will be an Afghanistan kind of war in Ghana.

Where was the leadership of the Presbyterian Church when former National Chairman of the NPP, Peter Mac Manu, said NPP supporters will go into the December polls with guns, cudgels, stones and machetes? Where were they when the Deputy Communications Director of the NPP, Sammy Awuku, while speaking to students at Koforidua asked them to arm themselves with pestles on Election Day? If these violent-laden comments had been made by NDC activists, one can be sure that the Moderator and the leadership of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana will with the speed of imagination condemn it. It is this kind of hypocrisy which was exhibited by the Pharisees that always irked Jesus Christ.

Today, we are witnessing another double standards and hypocrisy from the leadership of the Presbyterian Church. The Moderator, Rt. Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey, in a communiqué by the church on Monday advised the Chairman of the Electoral Commission not to embark on the creation of the 45 constituencies as it would plunge the country into chaos. Also, he called on government to do everything to stop the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) from total collapse.

Clearly, these two comments, as usual, are in support of the stance taken by the NPP. In the case of the creation of the 45 constituencies, how could their creation plunge the country into civil strife? Did it in 2004 when 30 new constituencies were created under the Kufuor administration?

About the NHIS, is the scheme really dying? So far, only Nana Akufo Addo, flag-bearer of the NPP and the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church think it is dying. The vast majority of Ghanaians obviously do not think so. They continue to access health care under the scheme. With more and more people getting on the scheme because of the confidence they have in it, it is natural that the schemes’ finances will be under pressure. Whenever there is population increase, resources are under pressure. This is basic common sense and must not be lost on the leadership of the Presbyterian Church, especially its Moderator. Rt. Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey and the leadership of the church should realize that hundreds of thousands of its members are supporters of the NDC just as they are of the NPP. They joined the church in their quest to seek salvation. They are in the church with the hope they can be in tune with God because the Good Book declares that “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am in their midst.”

Most people have become members of the Presbyterian Church in their search for the peace and serenity in their lives. They see the church as a sanctuary from the political and economic world of chaos. To therefore seek to bring politics into the church is want to destabilize their well being. Is that what the Presbyterian Church is for?

Any attempt therefore to turn the church into an appendage of the NPP will be resisted. The Presbyterian Church is bigger than any individual, group of persons or political party. It is God’s church. It is the body of Christ. The double standards and the hypocrisy that is being visited upon it by Rt. Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey and the leadership is therefore an eye sore. It is nauseating!

It is a vexation to the spirit. They must put an end to it forthwith. It is ungodly! It is satanic! It is divisive!