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Opinions of Friday, 6 March 2015

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Is Naana Opoku-Agyeman Serious?!

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
March 2, 2015
E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

The warning that Minister of Education Janet Opoku-Agyeman is reported to have issued heads of secondary schools in the country over the question of religious tolerance needs further clarification (See "Religious Coercion Will Not Be Tolerated In Schools - Education Minister" MyJoyOnline.com 3/2/15). In the main, the issue regards the behavior of Muslim students attending Western-missionary founded and/or Christian-Church-founded schools in the country.

While these Muslim students and their parents and guardians want to enjoy the widely known high-quality education provided by these Christian institutions, nevertheless, when it comes to respecting the religion-tempered conduct of discipline that made these schools the enviable and reputable institutions that they have become over the years, some Muslim attendees and their relatives vehemently dissent.

Now, by her very public and political warning, the Minister of Education appears to be saying that one religion, in this case Islam, has a right to impose its tenets and lifestyle on another, in this instance, of course, Christianity, all in the dubious name of tolerance and national unity. We must also quickly point out that it was the Nkrumah-led Convention People's Party (CPP) government that nationalized the Christian mission schools under the aegis of "government-assisted schools." And so what the leaders of these Christian academies may be forced to do is to radically assert their independence of the central and "secular" government, and then demand that taxes paid by Ghanaians educated and trained by these mission schools be used in supplementing the budgets of these Christian academies.

In reality, it is such intemperate attempt at Christian-religion nullification on the part of the Education Minister that constitutes a flagrant breach of the country's Constitution - in the matter of religious freedom and non-interference - and abject intolerance on the part of the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). And it makes one wonder whether such seemingly calculated destructive move was part of the compact initiated by President John Dramani Mahama late last year, when the Muslim-fathered Ghanaian leader paid an official business visit to one of the Gulf States and conferred with the Sultan or Emir of that notoriously conservative Muslim-Arab country.

If it was, then Mr. Mahama and his minions and lackeys are in deep trouble. For we, the Christian majority of Ghana intend to fiercely fight against this dastardly attempt by the "socio-communist"-oriented government of the so-called National Democratic Congress to impose "Sharia" culture and law on the Ghanaian people. The main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) had better table our Christian liberation as a central plank of its agenda in the leadup to Election 2016. And here ought to be promptly pointed out that the fact that the Vice-Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, for the third consecutive time, is Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, a bona fide practicing Muslim, ought to leave no shadow of doubt in anybody's mind that ours is indisputably the most liberal major political party in the country.

Even more significant ought to be underscored the fact that there are quite a remarkable number of Islamic high schools dotted all over the country which these virulently dissenting students and their parents and guardians can select for their children and wards to attend without any ideological and/or culture discomfort.

In the meantime, the heads of the various Christian churches that founded the affected institutions may want to initiate discussions with the central government on the need to maintaining their ideological and moral integrity by reassrting their administrative and fiscal independence. Of course, since Christians constitute the overwhelming majority of Ghanaian taxpayers, a mutually acceptable funding formula could be worked out in the process.

Chooboiii! No, We No Go Sit Down Make Dem Cheat Us Everyday!

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