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Don’t shield criminals : AME Zion Church urges public

BY: Emmanuel Bonney
 Rt Rev. Dr Hilliard Dela Dogbe — Presiding Bishop of the AME Zion Church
Rt Rev. Dr Hilliard Dela Dogbe — Presiding Bishop of the AME Zion Church

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (Western-West Africa Episcopal District) has appealed to members of the public not to shield people who commit heinous crimes.

Those crimes, he said, included attacks and killing of innocent citizens such as security personnel tasked with maintaining internal peace, stability and protecting the country’s territorial borders.

“We believe these miscreants who disguise themselves as armed robbers to perpetuate their dastardly acts need not be harboured in our communities as they pose a threat to all law-abiding citizens who want to go about their businesses in peace.

“Our opinion leaders, therefore, have a greater responsibility to encourage well-meaning citizens to be bold and report such nation wreckers to the security agencies to face justice,” the Presiding Bishop of the church, Rt Rev. Dr Hilliard Dela Dogbe, said in an interview.

Appeal

He explained that the AME Zion Church was making the appeal on the heels of the shocking news of the murder of Michael Otoo, an Assistant Immigration Control Officer at Kokoligu in the Upper West Region of Ghana, late last month.

He said as a Christian institution whose values and principles were to spread love and peace in the various communities “we find the murder of the Immigration Officer very disturbing more especially as he was performing his duties to secure Ghana’s borders to keep her citizens safe”.

The church condemned the dastardly act which had led to the needless loss of the life of a dynamic young man who had pledged his life in service of his nation and died doing same.

“What is even worrying is that the death of AICO Michael Otoo is coming at a time of the danger posed to the sub-region by terrorists. We call on the government not to relent in its effort at ensuring that our brothers and sisters in uniform are assured of their utmost safety at their duty posts at Ghana’s borders, some of which are porous,” He said.

Rt.Rev. Dogbe said it was significant to note that the late Otoo was an active member of the AME Zion Church “whose pleasant welcoming and disciplined character was admirable to all who came into contact with him.”

He noted that Otoo was part of a choreography group – Heavenly Ambassadors of the Bishop Alleyne Society of the AME Zion Church at Kaneshie, adding that it was an undeniable fact that his tragic death had greatly unsettled many within the church family.

“The AME Zion Church acknowledges the honour bestowed upon our late Otoo by way of a posthumous promotion and commended the GIS for this.

“While our prayers remain with the family of Otoo and the GIS, the church further urges the service and the other relevant investigative bodies to redouble their efforts to apprehend and bring to justice those behind this gruesome murder of the late Otoo and others who have suffered similarly,” he said.