Leaders of religious and non-religious organisations have shared with the Daily Graphic various wishes for Ghanaians in the new year.
While generally wishing Ghanaians well, they also called for unity, hard work, a renewal of mind and a change of attitude in 2014. The leaders prescribed other Christian virtues for the people this year.
Faithfulness in positions of trust
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rt Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey, wished Ghanaians a fruit bearing 2014, Caroline Boateng reports.
He was grateful to God for 2013, "a year that God had revealed some weaknesses and challenges in the democratic process of the country.
"Since the Lord reveals to redeem, it is up to all Ghanaians to repent and pray for restoration," he added.
Rev. Martey said the revelations at the Judgement Debt Commission and others on the Ghana Youth, Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), the Savanah Accelerated Development Agency (SADA) and Isofoton, also revealed the unfaithfulness of those in positions of authority.
"Ghana is pregnant with corruption, and has given birth to corruption. Only the wise will learn from this and repent to make 2014 a prosperous year," he emphasised.
Rev. Martey said the 2013 Election Petition also brought revelations and a challenge to the judiciary.
He was not in doubt that all had learnt from the experience, and that the challenge was intended for all Ghanaians to become better people, build and restore the country to what God intended it.
Dismantle divisions, build Ghana
The moderator of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana, the Rt Rev. Francis Amenu, also began his message with thankfulness to God, with a quote from Psalm 107: 1.
He described the first eight months of 2013 as "times of great nightmare," because of the tension from the election petition and some disasters the country faced.
"Despite the challenges, we are greatly favoured to enter a brand New Year, 2014. We need to acknowledge God’s divine favour that He continuously bestows upon us as a nation, in every aspect of our country’s undertakings," he said.
He said Ghanaians should resolve to break down every divisive wall of ethnocentrism, religious and political dissent, ideological and partisan inclinations, and the in-built elitist tendencies and work hard towards building a more cohesive state in the New Year.
The Rt Rev. Amenu, who is also the Chairman of the Christian Council of Ghana (GCC), admonished that 2014 should be the year that through God's enablement, Ghanaians strive, to "work very hard towards the elimination or possible mitigation of politics of insults, character assassination, corrupt practices in every facet as well as our society.”
He called on the Christian and religious communities to lead in the fostering of reconciliation, peace and justice in the country by networking with the government, traditional authorities and civil society groups, through the provision of transformational leadership at all levels of society.
"May 2014, which numerologically is summed up in the figure seven (7), which in Christianity embraces the seven virtues of Faith, Hope, Charity, Fortitude, Justice, Prudence and Temperance, open new doors of opportunity to the entire citizenry of Ghana," he wished for all.
National cohesion in 2014
Salomey Appiah reports that the Reverend Dr Robert Ampiah- Kwofie of the Global Revival Ministries, said entering the New Year was by the grace of God; therefore, Ghanaians should resolve to re-dedicate their lives to Christ.
He urged them to live in harmony, peace, love and eschew all social vices and evil practices that undermined national cohesion.
“Let us work harder than we have ever done before and practise honesty and integrity in all our endeavours,” he urged.
Rev. Ampiah Kwofie said Ghanaians should embrace the New Year with the assurance that the God that had began a good work with Ghana would continue to bless, protect and prosper the country.
It’s more blessed to give
The Founder and Head Pastor of the Pure Fire Miracle Ministries, Rev. Enoch Aminu, in his message, asked Christians to ensure that they were empowered by the power of God since it had the trump card for them to face the challenges of 2014 and beyond.
He said with such empowerment, they would be able to raise the standards against the works of the enemy.
Ebow Hanson reports that the pastor of the Christian Divine Church at Kaneshie, in a message titled: “it is more blessed to give than to receive, urged all Christians to emulate the example of Christ who gave himself willingly for the salvation of mankind.
Taking his text from Acts 20: 35, he talked about how Christ said that when it became difficult in volunteered to die on man’s behalf, as revealed to John in the Book of Revelations, Jesus chose to stand in for man.
Self-help is key
Felix A. Baidoo in Kumasi reports that the Most Rev. Gabriel Justice Yaw Anokye, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Catholic Church in Kumasi, appealed to all Ghanaians to desist from depending on the government and politicians at all times for developmental needs.
He explained that although it was the responsibility of the government to spearhead infrastructure and other social needs of the people, depending on the government and politicians alone was dangerous and called on corporate bodies and private individuals to complement government’s efforts at developing the nation.
In a Christmas message, Most Rev. Anokye said, “it is time Ghanaians saw the need to learn to do things on their own and desist from overdependence on politicians and government for all their needs”.
“The year 2014 would be a very blessed year if all Ghanaians would be very prayerful, work very hard and be truthful in all their endeavours to attract God’s abundant blessing,” he said.
He said irrespective of the management policies put in place by the government, without the support of God, nothing good would come out of any policies and strategies that would be implemented by the government.
There was the need for all religious groups in the country to pray for the peace and development of the nation, with God’s intervention there, certainly would be great change and development.
The Archbishop lamented the recent passing of the biosafety Act by Parliament, describing it as unfortunate as it was done in a rush and at a time that other country’s were investigating the genetically modified GM organisms.
In a related development, Nana Adu Asare II, the chief of Amakom in Kumasi, in a similar message urged Ghanaians to resort to work extra hard if they wanted the nation to develop well.
He said there was the need for more dedication and commitment to be shown by all, saying the current situation where people pretended to be working, and were paid monthly, was very bad and should be changed.
Renewal of thoughts, attitudinal change
“Let us enter the new year with renewal of thought, faith and attitude towards all sphere of human endeavour; social, economic, and politically to push the country forward,” Rev. Father Eric Awotwi-Dadson, the Delegate to the Archbishop of Cape Coast and Sekondi/Takoradi Dioceses of the Catholic Church, said Moses Dotsey Aklorbortu, reports from Sekondi/Takoradi.
He said as Christians, “we are in every facet of life and with renewed heart and mind in 2014, we will contribute to the development of society and country.”
Rev. Fr Awotwi-Dadson said it was important for all to enter the New Year in a reflective mood and to take stock of all that happened in 2013, saying, “as the year ended on December 31, 2013 we have the opportunity to look at our lives.”
He said the New Year provided mankind opportunities to be thankful to God for his mercies throughout the joyful and turbulent times in 2013.
He said 2014 should provide all the opportunity to contribute to advancement of society, do more charity work and help one another.
Reflect and renew
Seth J. Bokpe reports that the Head Pastor of the Trinity Parish of the Global Evangelical Church at Kotobabi in Accra, Pastor S. K Dumevi, urged Ghanaians to use the New Year to reflect and break away from the past.
“This is a time of new beginnings, a time of renewal, a time when people reflect on their lives, a time of change, and a time of breaking away from the past and concentrating on what must be done right in the future, he told the Daily Graphic.
“If there have been adverse moments, evil moments and things we did not like, but happened to us this year, we need to leave them behind so that we look forward. When we do that, there is no way, we’ll not succeed,” he said.
He said while it was important to be full of expectations and hope for the New Year, it was equally important not to be distracted from the things of God.
“Things that were our expectation in 2013, that were not met, God will bring them to fruition on condition that we get close to him in 2014. “
Thanks for unmerited favour
Zainabu Issah reports that the National Chief Imam, Shiekh Osumanu Nuhu Sharubutu, called on Ghanaians to thank Allah for His unlimited blessings on the country.
“Allah Almighty said in the Holy Quran chapter 14:8 that ''If you show gratitude to Me I will add more (favours) unto you, but if you show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed,'' he said.
This was contained in a press release issued to the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday.
The statement further called on all to give their full support to the initiatives embarked upon by the coalition against homosexuality in the coming year.
That, it said, would help to curb and stamp out the social canker of homosexuality from spreading and “undermining the moral fibre of the Muslim communities and the nation at large.”
The statement also encouraged the youth, irrespective of their background, to be more proactive and innovative in finding solutions to current challenges facing the country, such as poverty and unemployment.
It further pledged the support of the National Chief Imam to the government in its attempt to create a friendly environment for local, small and medium scale businesses to thrive in the pursuance of advocacy for innovation and harnessing the potential of the youth for national development.
Have confidence in God
The Bishop of the Tema Diocese of the Methodist Church, Rt Rev. Thomas Brown Forson, urged Ghanaians to have confidence in the Lord to take them through the year 2014.
Quoting from Proverbs 3:3-6, he advised Ghanaians to abide in the love of the Lord, have faith in Him and stop trusting in their own understanding for the Lord to supply their needs.
Summarising some of the plans of the devil in the coming year into the five Ds, he indicated that the devil would cause men to doubt God, so he could draw them away from God; discourage people to look at their problems and not look at them in God’s perspective, put diversions in the path of people for them to make the wrong decisions.
The other Ds, he explained, were deceit, where Satan would cause men to believe they were a failure so they would not try again, and finally delay, to cause men to lose focus on the things they were supposed to do.
To overcome all this, Rt Rev. Forson urged Ghanaians to be vigilant and depend solely on God.
The Head Pastor of The Deeper Life Bible Church at Santa Maria, Pastor Jonathan Addo, has urged Ghanaians to seek to know God more as the country enters the new year.
He urged every Ghanaian to say just like Paul did in Philippians 3:10-14 KJV “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death, if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after if that I may apprehend that for which am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
He admitted that the challenges and tidings of 2013 had been overwhelming, but God had safely brought the country into another year to be abundantly blessed by Him.
Better care, GMA
The President and the National Executive Council of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) in a statement wished all doctors and health professionals, as well as Ghanaians a happy new year.
“The GMA would continue to co-operate and partner all in the health sector to ensure better care for all Ghanaians and people living in Ghana.”
The statement, signed by the President, Dr Kwabena Opoku-Adusei, expressed the hope that 2014 would be better than 2013 in all aspects of national development.
Choose the right people to govern
The Executive Secretary of the Private Newspapers Publishers Association of Ghana, Mr Kenteman Nii Sowah, wished the government and the people of Ghana well for preserving the peace in 2013.
He entreated the government to shake-up its political mechanism to put the right people at the helm of affairs.
He urged the government to be vigilant to stop the corrupt practices by appointees to boost the economy for the benefit of the entire population in Ghana.
Mr Sowah commended Repack Headlines and MTN, which had supported the media in the course of the year, for their effort and expressed the hope that they would continue to recognise the role played by the media in Ghana’s democratic governance.