Monday, August 31, 2009
CORRUPTION IS INIMICAL TO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT- Archbishop Ofori Atta
The International Council for Clergy (ICC), at the weekend called on the government to start the crusade against corruption from its ranks, in order to have the moral authority to stamp out the national canker without fear or favour.Archbishop Dr George Slezer Ofori-Atta, Presiding Archbishop of the ICC, who made the call in Accra, said corruption was inimical to the development of any nation.
“When allowed either conscientiously or inadvertently to operate in a free environment at whatever level, it (corruption) becomes very destructive,” he stressed. The Archbishop was giving a keynote address at the 14th Public Ministerial Ordination and Consecration of nine members of the clergy.
The ICC, which is an Association of Independent Ministers and Churches, affiliated to the Council of Black Clergy in Philadelphia, USA.Archbishop Ofori-Atta’s speech touched on five thematic issues covering Democracy, Corruption, Education, Justice and the Church.
He noted that democracy is about the welfare of the people and so the overnight acquisition of wealth by politicians tends to raise a lot of public concern.Archbishop Ofori-Atta noted that democracy goes with leadership and accountability, adding that good leadership reflects the quality of life of the people and not necessarily policies.
He appealed to the government to respect the independence of the Judiciary and strengthen institutions like the Ghana Police Service, the Bureau of National Investigations and the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice to improve on the country’s justice system.
“We (ICC) pray the government therefore to let equity, justice and fair trial for everybody thrive in our society.“We have been witnesses of situations in this nation where the Executive arm of Government was seen getting involved in issues of the judiciary.”
Archbishop Ofori-Atta condemned the violence that was associated with the Akwatia parliamentary re-run and asked people aspiring to leadership positions not to entertain fisticuffs to achieve their political ambitions.“The politician as a leader must be seen dong what is right and that means setting good example and not inciting people to fight.”
Touching on education, he said the current reforms of the educational system should be devoid of partisan politics.“The back and forth issue on the three or four years Senior High School (SHS) education should be devoid of any political colourisation.”Archbishop Ofori-Atta said the debate should not be based on the duration of the SHS system but rather the viability of the reforms.
He asked the government to motivate teachers to give of their best in order to arrest the poor academic standards, citing the abysmal performance of students of the recent Basic Education Certificate Examination as example.
Archbishop Ofori-Atta expressed concern about the practice of some ministers of the gospel, who out of ignorance or sheer negligence append their signatures on marriage certificates and other government documents when they are not gazetted or authorised to do so.He said the sanctity of the Church was being undermined by members of the clergy who championed material acquisition and engaged in demonic activities to perform miracles.
Bishop Floyd Hills of the US-based Advocate Give of Life Ministries, said no force on earth could stop ministers of God from fulfilling their divinely ordained mission on earth and asked them to move on if their calling is of God. Dr Richard Lewis of the Marvellous Light Church, also in the US was consecrated as Bishop at the ceremony.He observed that a minister of the gospel was greater than the President of the US and charged them to be truthful to their call.
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