Archbishop Charles Agyinasare has told the new leadership of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that “internal elections may be tough and rough with uncharitable attacks and, sometimes, targeted lies, but the victor must be magnanimous and reach out because if internal unity is compromised, then the purpose of victory becomes empty and unproductive”.
The founder of Perez Chapel International gave the admonition when the leadership of the biggest opposition party, led by their chairman, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, worshipped at the Perez Dome, Dzorwulu, to thank God for how far He has brought the party.
“As elected leaders, you have a responsibility to embrace all, irrespective of their disposition toward your election”, he urged, noting: “The mantle of leadership requires you to reach out and close ranks even with your competitors”.
Read below Archbishop Charles Agyinasare’s full speech:
I want to welcome the NDC for choosing to have its thanksgiving service in the Perez Dome. Being one of the two major political parties in this country, they could have chosen to have the service in a lot of places.
I want to congratulate them for their contribution to our democracy in this fourth republic. Another feather in your cap, is your party’s support for the sexuality bill in parliament. With one of its spokespersons being my own son and an elder in the person of Hon Elder Sam Nartey George.
Matthew 12:25 KJV “And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:”
A. On Internal Contests and Unity
It is said that in Politics there are 3 sets of people you meet along the path
1. Those who openly and passionately support you
2. Those who are openly and passionately against you
3. Those who may mean well but neither defend nor attack you. They may even avoid being associated with you
Unless you have come to the end of your political journey, politicians must learn to cultivate the second group rather than antagonise them. That is the only way to reduce resistance into the future and build a bigger support base.
Internal elections may be tough and rough with uncharitable attacks and sometimes targeted lies, but the victor must be magnanimous and reach out because if internal unity is compromised, then the purpose of victory becomes empty and unproductive.
As elected leaders, you have a responsibility to embrace all, irrespective of their disposition towards your election. The mantle of leadership requires you to reach out and close ranks even with your competitors.
B. As Public Institutions
Political parties are public institutions and the public, rightly, has an interest in what happens internally. Our public conduct and statements reflect the kind of government you are in waiting or would be when entrusted with power.
While the church cannot prescribe to you what to say or what not to say, it is always important to appreciate the Ghanaian culture of decorum and circumspection and being cautious of the unintended effects and meanings of your public pronouncements.