The Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) has called on the authorities to stop lamenting on corruption and act decisively to save the nation from the scourge.
It said it was a matter of concern that in spite of the persistent corruption in the public service, there was a seeming lack of commitment on the part of authorities to deal with the canker.
“The high-place lamentation alone does not shape morality; action does,” the PCG said in a communique issued at the end of its 19th General Assembly at Abetifi-Kwahu in the Eastern Region yesterday.
It implored the government and other state institutions to work with the law courts to swiftly punish all those found guilty of corruption. The one-week assembly was on the theme: “Let Christ be formed in you”.
The communique said over the years, there had been commentaries by personalities and groups decrying the widespread corruption in the country, but what was even more disturbing was that in spite of the “high and low levels of corruption in the public service, there was a seeming lack of commitment on the part of the authorities to deal with the canker”.
It said it could not fathom why the many anti-corruption legislation in the country had remained ineffective. “The impressive array of anti-corruption legislation in the nation’s law books and the existence of many high-profile anti-corruption bodies are proving almost ineffective;’ it said.
Crime and Vigilantism
The communique noted with concern the steady rise in crime.
“Although reports by the African Institute for Crime, Policy and Governance Research (AFRICPGR) show that murder cases reduced from 2.2 per 100,000 people in 2012 to 1.7 in 2018, the number of murders reported by the media in the first half of 2019 does not present a comforting picture.
In the same report, robbery cases are said to have risen from 4.4 per 100,000 people in 2012 to 6.5 in 2018.
An equally worrying development is the rise in kidnapping cases in recent times: it said.
“The General Assembly feels distressed by the unresolved case of the kidnapped Takoradi girls. We express solidarity with the families of these young ladies and pray for strength and God’s grace for them.
“While the General Assembly does not intend to play down the pain and widespread anger, it wishes to caution the public against riding on the pain of this deep sense of loss to profile all foreigners or any group of people in ways that generate hatred”, it said.
The church noted with admiration, the government’s ability to hold the nation together in relative peace, despite the numerous challenges that had confronted the country in recent years.
“The General Assembly recalls, with a sense of gratitude to God, the restoration of peace in Dagbon and urges all stakeholders, especially citizens of the area, to work hard to sustain the peace,” it said.
“While congratulating the Committee of Eminent Chiefs and successive governments on this achievement, the General Assembly encourages the current government to step up efforts to resolve similar conflicts in other parts of the country”, it added.
The communique commended the President and his government for the relatively prudent manner in which they had run the country so far.
“The General Assembly commends the President, especially, for showing sensitivity to the expectations of the electorate. The President demonstrated a sense of solidarity with the people when he listened to the call for the suspension of the proposed construction of a multi-million-dollar new chamber for the Parliament of Ghana.
“The General Assembly similarly lauds the collective achievement of Parliament, civil society and the Executive in passing into law the Right to Information Bill. It hopes that this positive approach to governance will be enhanced to enrich Ghana’s democracy,” it said.
It further recognised “the bold effort” the government was making in managing the economy.
“However, the PCG identifies with lamentations of the public over the difficult economic conditions, despite the improvement in the various economic indicators.
“For most Ghanaians, those indicators are of no relevance unless they are reflected in tangible ways in their daily lives,” it observed and called on the government to do everything possible to reduce the high cost of living.
It said the PCG had started a campaign dubbed: “National Cleanliness/Sanitation Campaign”, beginning with selected schools in Accra.
The campaign, which has the slogan: Godliness; Cleanliness”, has subsequently been given a national dimension, with a formal launch at the 19th General Assembly.
It will be extended to all congregations, with the objective of empowering communities to adopt effective waste management practices in homes and neighbourhoods as part of witnessing to the Christ-like character of believers,” it said.
The communique expressed disquiet about “what appears to be a preparation towards the introduction and dissemination of a policy document on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in our schools”.
Although it said a careful sexuality education could be helpful and was, therefore, desirable, “the General Assembly cautions against the indoctrination of Ghanaian children and youth with ideas and attitudes that are incompatible with the religious and cultural values of our people. The introduction of inappropriate concepts and practices to our children of any age that can be damaging to the institutions of marriage and the family must be avoided.