By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
??????????? Maybe what needs to be highlighted here is the fact that in terms of its quality of education and the number of citizens graduated by its well-reputed academies, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) has few peers and/or rivals among the ranks of major religious institutions in the country. And so when the notoriously uncouth general-secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia (aka General Mosquito), decided to brazenly impugn the moral integrity of the Basel Church, as the PCG used to be known and called until fairly recently, the Seikwa, Brong-Ahafo, native ought to have known, beforehand, that he had embarked on the Herculean task of biting far, far more than he could possibly chew in at least ten lifetimes (See ?Presby Accepts Mahama?s Apology? Ghanaweb.com 9/15/12).
The NDC general-secretary?s insufferably disgusting impugnation came in the wake of the leadership of the Church?s all-too-rational call on Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan and the Electoral Commission to hold off on the constitutionally mandated, albeit temporally inauspicious, and suspicious, creation of 45 additional parliamentary constituencies to synch with the nation?s population increase. Like most interested disputants on the matter, including former President John Agyekum-Kufuor, the reservation of the executive membership of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana was squarely predicated on such practical realities as logistics, and such already-lingering problems as fraudulent registrants in the roll-books of the newly-introduced biometric voters? register. With barely three months before Election 2012, for example, several constituencies across the country have reported missing whole lists of duly registered voters. It was, in essence, with a view to ensuring that the credibility of the Electoral Commission would be upheld in the wake of Election 2012, which prompted the PCG leadership to call for an immediate halt to the indubitably cancerous attempt by the Afari-Gyan-headed EC to creating 45 additional constituencies, while existing and potentially explosive problems were unwisely ignored.
Predictably, the response of the NDC general-secretary and his crude and cynical posse of self-serving lieutenants has been to virulently accuse the PCG leadership of playing partisan politics, almost as if the constitutionally stipulated ?Separation of Church and State? ought to be stolidly understood to entail a situation of stultifying passivity in which the PCG and, indeed, the leadership of all the nation?s recognized religious bodies stood idly by, while the staunchly NDC-backed EC set the country alight on the course of a potentially destructive and irreversible civil strife.
What was even more amusing was the NDC accusation that the PCG leadership had an invidiously inordinate penchant for political fault-finding almost exclusive to the watch of the NDC. The bald fact of the matter, however, is that the National Democratic Congress has a unique track-record of engaging in political intimidation, electoral abortion and poll-rigging that makes it all the more imperative for any responsible civic organizational leadership, such as that of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, to demand prompt accountability and the preemption of potentially chaotic running of our national affairs.
Indeed, what is presently required, even as former President Kufuor and the New Patriotic Party flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, have long and wisely observed, and lately joined by President Mahama, is the need for Parliament to work out a more credible and functionally effective deal vis-?-vis the creation of additional constituencies, or the enlarging of existing ones, with a view to trimming excessive and economically unsustainable fat from what clearly appears to be a viable and imminent threat to the managerial efficiency of Ghanaian democracy. The Americans already have a stable system in place which Ghana could learn from; and, already, the British are reported to be fast leaning towards the American model of representational stability.
??????????? On the question of apology, the best approach ought to have been for President Mahama to have prevailed on Mr. Asiedu-Nketia and his associates to individually and severally offer unqualified written apologies to the national leadership of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and, indeed, all the understandably offended major religious bodies and institutions in the country. This is because the primary offenders are mature adults, many of them born and raised as bona fide members of the PCG who ought to know far better.
Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.