Parliamentarians have been advised to rise above their partisan political interests and put the nation first in discussions and decisions on national issues to promote social cohesion and peace in the country.
Also, they must endeavour to work towards setting good examples for their followers and the youth, instead of the impression created that Parliament was all about protecting one’s party interest or stance.
In a New Year message shared with the Daily Graphic, the General Overseer of Living Streams International, Rev. Dr Ebenezer Markwei, said the picture the current Parliament was painting in the minds of the youth, who saw MPs engaged in clashes, was not a good example, as it seemed to suggest that the best way to resolve issues was to fight, instead of negotiating.
"I am very worried about our interpretation of democracy; I am worried about fights in Parliament and I am worried about some of the things going on in this nation," he said.
Peace on earth, goodwill to men
Rev. Dr Markwei said the pillars of the Christmas message were “peace on earth and goodwill to men”, noting that that was a charge given to people and so it was important that it was preserved.
“When the angels appeared to the shepherds, the message they brought was peace on earth, goodwill to men. That means we have to strive to live at peace with one another and also show goodwill towards one another.
"It is the intention of God for goodwill towards men, peace on earth, peace in Ghana and goodwill towards every Ghanaian.
“We have to strive to maintain the peace on earth, and that must start from leadership. But what we have been seeing does not promote peace and goodwill,” he stressed.
Rev. Dr Markwei stressed that Parliament was the country's bastion for legislation, and that that was where the nation must be put first, adding: "So I find it very troubling that we will go to Parliament and see legislators fighting."
He wondered whether the fight by MPs was a sign of things to come during future elections, adding that there was the need for MPs to change their political thoughts and dialect to think about the peace of the nation.
He said there should be no justification for the exchanges in Parliament, stressing that the fact that such incidents might have happened elsewhere did not make them right.
“Two wrongs do not make a right, and the fact that it happened in other jurisdictions does not mean it should happen in our country. It is not right and MPs must set good examples for all to follow.
"Indeed, the oil that runs from the head is what touches the body ... and so if MPs are engaged in physical exchanges or anything that is contrary to peace and harmony, then I think it is very worrying and all Ghanaians must pray and decry what went on, since it is very dangerous," he emphasised.
Rev. Dr Markwei said Ghana belonged to every Ghanaian and not certain groups of persons or political parties and so it was incumbent on all to work towards upholding the peace.
For him, the fight exhibited by MPs was a foreboding of war, hence the need to work for the good of the country and the welfare of the people who had the power to vote for MPs.
Taking a retrospective look at 2021, Rev. Dr Markwei said it had been the hope of all that that year would bring humanity some reprieve after the ravaging impact of the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in 2020, but things became even more difficult.
The General Overseer of Living Streams International said the pandemic had affected the lives of people in various ways, bringing about heartbreaks and hardships and forcing many to make adjustments, adding, however, that “despite 2021 being a difficult year, in all things God proved Himself faithful by giving us grace that preserved us”.
"We will take consolation in the Scripture that says all things work together for good; if for nothing at all, we have the gift of life," he said.
Rev. Dr Markwei predicted that 2022 would be another challenging year, given that the pandemic was far from over and the fact that there was going to be the introduction of new taxes that would no doubt have an impact on the cost of living.