2024 General Election: Put Ghana first - Catholic Bishops urge politicians
The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) has urged Ghanaians to put Ghana first in their political campaign so as to preserve the peace and unity of the country.
In a communique issued at the end of its plenary in Sunyani last Saturday, it expressed concern about attempts to introduce and inflame religious passion in political discourse and activities as the country prepared for the 2024 general election.
It said Ghana, as a nation, was a secular state recognising the right of all persons to practise any religion and to freely form or belong to any political party of their choice, irrespective of their religious affiliation.
“We, however, urge all Ghanaians to respect this prescription of our Constitution and avoid any attempt to engage in a “politics of religion”.
It urged all stakeholders to revisit the issue of the election of metropolitan /municipal/ district chief executives (MMDCEs).
“This will make the MMDCEs accountable to the people at the grassroots.
It will also promote participation, transparency, accountability and development in the districts,” it said and added that it would make members of the community take their destiny into their own hands.
It said the “myriad of developmental challenges confronting communities, including galamsey, deforestation, environmental degradation, flooding, dissipation of public resources, among others, could be better addressed through efficient decentralisation system.”
It said an effective decentralisation system was the way to bring governance and its benefits to the people and improve the participation of citizens in the governance process.
“It enhances democracy at the grassroots, inclusiveness and accountability.
Sadly, the decentralisation has become a mirage,” it said.
The GCBC acknowledged the current global economic crisis which had affected the growth of the economy of the country.
While acknowledging the effort that the government had made so far to handle the impact of the crisis on Ghanaians, it said it was, however, true that the country had not been able to manage its economy well.
“This has contributed to the current economic woes in which we find ourselves.
We have had to resort again to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The current economic hardships are becoming unbearable for Ghanaians,” it observed.
It, therefore, called on the government to take urgent steps to stabilise the economy to bring relief to Ghanaians who had to bear with the current difficulties.
“For growth and sustainability, we also call on government to use the right approach in implementing policies, reduce its size, minimise waste, promote the common good, review and remove all of the abuses related to benefits in Article 71 of the Constitution of Ghana,” the communique stated.
It expressed regret about the recent happenings in Nkwanta in the Oti Region and Bawku in the Upper East Region that led to the death of some citizens, with several persons wounded and properties destroyed.
It, therefore, called on all parties involved in the ongoing conflicts to smoke the peace pipe and work towards reconciliation and peace.
The GCBC denounced the recent military brutalities in Garu and its environs in the Upper East Region and called on the military to ensure that their approach to restore security and peace had a more professional touch and not the use of brutal force in the course of their work.