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Religion of Saturday, 10 August 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Religious leaders urged to stop hate speech on platforms

Religious leaders have been tasked to stop using their platforms to make divisive utterances.

The Founder and President of the Change Attitude Ghana (CAG), Mr Ernest Boateng, who made the call, said the country was gradually becoming a place where public speakers, particularly those within the religious organisations tend to incite hatred and divisiveness among people through their utterances.

He therefore called on the security agencies to rise and deal with social commentators who used their platforms to create confusion among the people through their utterances.

According to Mr Boateng, it was suicidal for Ghana to tolerate and allow people who hid under the banner of free speech to make contentious statements that had the potential to create anarchy among people.

Mr Boateng’s comment, in an interview with the Daily Graphic, came in the wake of a statement made by the Founder and General Overseer of the Glorious Wave International Church, Pastor Emmanuel Badu Kobi, regarding men marrying from some tribes in the country.

Background

In one of his recent sermons, Prophet Kobi described women from certain tribes as unwise and not fit for marriage and admonished prospective husbands to avoid marrying from those tribes.

His comments have not gone down well with a section of the public and the latest to demand a retraction and apology from Prophet Kobi is the umbrella body for churches in Ghana.

The Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) criticised the bigotry statement by Prophet Kobi and said it was unnecessary and lawless for anybody to make such statement.

Not productive

Making his assertion regarding the statement, Mr Boateng, who is also a development expert, said divisive statements had the tendency to disrupt growth and productivity at the work place.

“Imagine if people are employing workers based on their tribes and also giving opportunities to people based on their ethnic groups, how on earth can Ghana rise above its development challenges and grow?” he asked.

Mr Boateng said a major issue that had derailed Ghana’s quest to attain its development goals had been the level of indiscipline among people, especially those that needed to know better.

In his view, one wrong word or statement from people at the high seat could plunge the nation into chaos because nobody would want someone to look down on them.

Mr Boateng asked the security agencies to scan the country’s airwaves and take action against speakers whose utterances “could damage the country’s unity and oneness.

“Despite the development challenges, one thing we are happy we have as a country is our peace and stability. We cannot allow anybody to derail that,” he added.