Bishop Charles Agyinasare has noted that “our nation is sinking too fast and we can’t continue in this direction”.
“Those of who gain political power must not use it as a means to amass wealth for yourselves and your loved ones”, the founder of Perez Chapel International admonished when hosted the leadership of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) at the Perez Dome, Dzorwulu, on Sunday, 8 January 2023 for a thanksgiving service.
The public, Archbishop Agyinasare pointed out, “is concerned with the financial inducements and how money has replaced conscience in politics”.
“It’s obvious the greatest enemy of this nation is corruption”, he mentioned, stating: “But looking at the way political parties fund their activities and campaigns our view is that we are not going to fight corruption anytime soon”.
“Those political business people who fund politicians end up hijacking the wealth of the nation. politicians help us fight this”, he noted, and urged Ghanaian politicians to “exorcise the perception” that they “go into office to steal from the public purse and do not do anything for free”.
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.
Also, the public is concerned with the financial inducements and how money has replaced conscience in politics. It’s obvious the greatest enemy of this nation is corruption. But looking at the way political parties fund their activities and campaigns our view is that we are not going to fight corruption anytime soon. Those political business people who fund politicians end up hijacking the wealth of the nation. politicians help us fight this. Our nation is sinking too fast and we can’t continue in this direction.
Those who gain political power must not use it as a means to amass wealth for yourselves and your loved ones.
You must exorcise the perception that Ghanaian politicians go into office to steal from the public purse and do not do anything for free.
C. As Agents of Development
Political parties must make sure they implement sound social and economic policies to improve upon the living conditions of citizens.
Currently, our economy is facing many challenges, for reasons best known to all. Ghanaians would like to see a paradigm shift which can impact the economy and lives. Whether we like it or not, it’s one political party or another that would lead to achieve this. It is, therefore, very imperative for parties seeking to be in government to also espouse sound policy alternatives on national issues that will give hope to the people. It must not be criticism for criticism’s sake but constructive criticism that leads to our collective benefit as a nation.
Ghanaians would be looking forward to a healthy balance between patronage and meritocracy as the challenges of economic management get tougher.
This would also require a useful blend between the old and the young to give hope and assurance that we appreciate the magnitude of public expectations.
D. Maintaining National Peace and Unity
Without peace and tranquillity; countries struggle to develop, and citizens become despondent. Political parties play major roles in maintaining the peace or otherwise of countries including Ghana. As we move into major campaign activities towards the 2024 elections, all parties must endeavour to maintain the peace of the country. No matter the circumstances we find ourselves, we can elect our leaders through the ballot and not the bullet. I use this opportunity to reiterate my call to our security forces when I spoke at their annual thanksgiving service to remain faithful to their Oath of protecting our Nation from all aggressors and not becoming the aggressors. The NDC as the Party that ushered the 4th Republican dispensation has a duty to ensure your conduct protects this democracy which turned 30 years yesterday.
E. The Electoral Commission
Electoral Commission should do all in their power to defuse the tension using the IPAC. It’s only they that can do so. The IPAC in the past has been a good forum that has helped. It shouldn’t be destroyed. EC should work to bring its stakeholders together for the peace and good of the nation and not divide them.
The dealings of the EC should be so transparent that winners would be acknowledged by all and losers would be seen to have lost.
F. Research-Based Decisions (& Promises)
Political parties must steer more towards research-based decisions and choices if they want to carry the people along. Let’s be mindful that decisions based on narrow group interest often causes gross disaffection and internal apathy.
As we get closer to the next elections we don’t need fanciful, unrealistic & ill-researched promises just aimed at winning power.
I congratulate all elected executives of the party present here and outside and wish you a successful tenure.
Archbishop Charles Agyinasare