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Guard against majority dictatorship - Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong urges Ghanaians

BY: Haruna Yussif Wunpini & Pacome Emmanuel Damalie
Rev. Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong  — Former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana
Rev. Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong — Former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana

A former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Reverend Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, has called on politicians and the general public to guard against majority dictatorial tendencies and politicisation of state institutions in the country's democratic dispensation.

He said the country must avoid dictatorship from the majority and the way to do it was to free state institutions from over-politicisation.

He explained that such dictatorship associated with ruling governments was due to the majority of their members in Parliament.

Rev. Dr. Opuni Frimpong said this during a public lecture organised by the Presbyterian Church of Ghana Akuapem Presbytery Ascension Congregation in Koforidua on the theme “The Church as an Agent for Consolidating Democracy, Economic Transformation and Social Equity in Ghana: Prospects and Challenges”.

The lecture was organised by the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) as part of activities to mark the centenary celebrations of the Akuapem Presbytery at Akropong.

Dictatorship

Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong said other countries had witnessed their democracy migrate into a form of dictatorship due to the fact that majority of the MPs in Parliament belonged to the ruling government.

"Because majority of the MPs in Parliament belonged to the ruling government, sitting Presidents such as Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea, Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Paul Biya of Cameroon did whatever they could to stay in power for many years,” he said.

He noted that although Ghana was not practising democracy as dictatorship, "the winner takes all kind of politics and the over politicisation of state institutions are synonymous to democracy as dictatorship.”

Good governance

Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong said the church must offer hope and influence the public life of its members to sustain good governance and improve lives, adding that "if the church is not a hope for all, then it offers no hope at all".

He said although the church had done a lot over the years, it still had more to do to ensure the well-being of Ghanaians.

He urged churches to better the lives of members by giving out soft loans to them to start their own businesses.

The church, he also indicated, must build more institutions which would create employment for the general public to help tackle unemployment in the country.

He lauded the PCG for its blueprint in the education, health and the economic sectors, citing a number of institutions built by the church.

He noted that the PCG had 2,000 basic schools, 33 senior high schools, five colleges of education, four technical and vocational schools, two fully-fledged accredited universities, among other educational institutions.

According to Rev. Dr Opuni-Frimpong, the PCG also had 57 health centres including four district hospitals and a number of nursing training colleges.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Seth Kwame Acheampong, commended the PCG for establishing relevant institutions and encouraged it to do more for the country.